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Jeju Island family holiday, beyond beautiful!


Jeju Island family holiday, beyond beautiful!

As we are now suffering the haziest of hazes from Sumatran forest fires...my mind yearns and wonders to the cool clean air of Jeju Island, South Korea. That's right, the idyllic and picturesque Jeju Island...an amazing island that's beyond beautiful. If I have only enough money to visit only one place in Korea...it would be Jeju Island. Yes, I know Hokkaido is beautiful too... but that's in Japan. I will stay with kimchi at the moment, sushi will be savoured in another time. Please don't be too distressed by the PSI and haze... hang in there, stay safe and join me in my journey through this fabulous island.

For lovers of cool (and cold weather), the best months to visit Jeju is between Oct - April. And I dare say the air is clean & clear all months of the year (read - what haze ?) This is one trip in long long time when I actually holidayed via tour agents... as the language, time constraint, itineraries and vast country "conspired" to limit my "free-independent-traveller" (FIT) instincts. But we still had great fun, ... 감사합니다 kamsahamnida...

 

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Yongduam (Dragon Head Rock) - situated to the north of Jeju City, Yongduam was created by strong winds and waves over thousands of years. And many myths added to to the "mystic" feel of this venue just 15-20min ride from the airport.

 

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One legend has it that a white horse, who dreamed of being a dragon and ascending to the sky, came to be caught by a soldier and froze into the rock. Here, the Yongduam Rock (shaped like a dragon head) is a must visit and usually the first stop after arrival at the island. 

 

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Due to relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju developed a culture and language that are distinctive from mainland Korea. Jeju is home to thousands of local legends. Perhaps the most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol harebang ("stone grandfather") carved from basalt (volcanic rock). They are considered to be gods offering both protection and fertility and were placed outside of gates for protection against demons.

 

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Conveniently located at the heart of downtown Jeju, Tap-dong is the largest shopping district on the island. Most shops stay open till 4am, so it's a great place to spend an evening. There are also a lot of restaurants, bars and theaters, as well as local vendors selling handicrafts on the street. (Source: Fodors Travel) 

 

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Smartphones and ladies certainly created a boom in accessories market....

 

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Shoe fashion....I can hear the ladies going wild already...

 

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The United Colors Of Tapdong ......

 

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Fancy yourself sitting in a cafe?...sipping latte... like in those K-pop movies...

 

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No rockets or missiles will fly off from those receptacles...no worries.. just delicious piping hot roasted sweet potatoes and chestnuts ...

 

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Beautiful field of canola flower garden....awesome photo opportunities awaits you....

 

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Unbelievably beautiful scenery wherever you looked...up, down or eye level....such is the wonder of Jeju Island during the wintry months... air so crisp and clean.....Avian for the lungs !

 

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Plenty of oranges on Jeju farms for the taking.... so sweet, so fresh,...

 

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Vitamin C galore ! Great for complexion...

 

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Seongsan Ilchulbong, also called ‘Sunrise Peak’. a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. The 182 meter cone forms a conspicuous peninsula on Jeju Island’s eastern edge. The volcanic cone is 600-meters wide and 90 meters tall. Its crater is lined with 99 rocky spires that resemble a crown or castle walls.the 182 meter cone forms a conspicuous peninsula on Jeju Island’s eastern edge. The volcanic cone is 600-meters wide and 90 meters tall. A must visit venue...

 

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Panoramic view of the bay....

 

Probably the most famous among them is Jeju Island’s Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉), which is also known as Sunrise Peak. The striking archetypal tuff cone was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions about 5,000 years ago. Today, the 182 meter cone forms a conspicuous peninsula on Jeju Island’s eastern edge. The volcanic cone is 600-meters wide and 90 meters tall. Its crater is lined with 99 rocky spires that resemble a crown or castle walls. - See more at: http://discoveringkorea.com/090504/jeju-islands-seongsan-ilchulbong-sunrise-peak/#sthash.fZdPsIJW.dpuf
Probably the most famous among them is Jeju Island’s Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉), which is also known as Sunrise Peak. The striking archetypal tuff cone was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions about 5,000 years ago. Today, the 182 meter cone forms a conspicuous peninsula on Jeju Island’s eastern edge. The volcanic cone is 600-meters wide and 90 meters tall. Its crater is lined with 99 rocky spires that resemble a crown or castle walls. - See more at: http://discoveringkorea.com/090504/jeju-islands-seongsan-ilchulbong-sunrise-peak/#sthash.fZdPsIJW.dpuf

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Coastal scenery near Seongsan IIchulbong Peak...

 

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A fishing boat off the coast of Jeju island..in the distance is the Sea of Japan.

 

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Bonding over nature spotting.....priceless...Black lava rock beach at Seongsan IIchulbong Peak...

 

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Korean ladies seafood vendor..... freshness guaranteed. If it doesn't move... it's a rock then :) 

 

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Friendly local Koreans having a raw seafood party at the beach....

 

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Had a tough time getting the name of this "strange" marine manna.. seems they called it "Hoya", a type of sea squirts. The filter feeder attached itself firmly to a seabed...so the diver-fisherman need to dive and cut it from it's grip...it's inner content are what the locals go for.

 

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Live octopus waiting for the next seafood lover... but there will be no lost love...

 

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Seafood lovers piece-de-resistance....the abalone... still moving about here...

 

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A view of the black volcanic rock beach before we leave.... awesome venue! 

 

 

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For meat lovers...this is the premium "black-haired" pork...self-cooked over stove, dipped in bulgogi sauce and wrapped in fresh lettuce before stuffing our face.... ohhhh! delicious till 7th heaven...

 

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OMG! Abalones hotpot !!! What can I say ?.........perfect dish on a wintry season.....

 

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Seongeup Folk Village, a govt protected heritage site....some segments of the "Da Chang Jin" were filmed here...the traditional house here is belonged to the wealthiest resident here and is typhoon-proofed. Residents here are given a stipend to stay here and just carry on the their life and maintain the heritage...

 

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The village's bubbly & cheeky lady caretaker here explaining (in strangely pronounced self-taught Mandarin), on what the poles at the entrance meant -3 poles inserted meant the owner is not in. Strictly no entry. 2 inserted poles mean the owner not in but someone is in the house. 1 pole means can enter but with prior approval. None inserted poles means just pop in, no permission needed. lol !

 

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Looked familiar ?....remember the lead actress name ?....She's Lee Young Ae.

 

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Louis Vitton Bear (the world's most expensive bear at USD400K) ...at the Jeju Teddy Bear Museum...I thought it was just for kids...but I was wrong...there's a kid in us all ... great for 1-2 hours visit  (^__^)

 

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With diamond encrusted eyes and gold threads , this price of this bear is enough to buy an HDB executive flat..... no grant or subsidy available (^O^)

 

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Of course, there's the unglamourous bear.... but guess what ? It's one of the most expensive Christies auctioned bears....

 

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The Mysterious Road...an optical illusion of a venue...vehicles with engine shut off at "base of slope" will still roll "up" the incline... just as interesting is the discoverer of this nature oddity. They enjoyed government's lifetime stipend for their discovery .

 

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Our tour bus rolling up the hill with engine shut off... good that he didn't get ticket for road hogging...

 

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Totem poles near the Mysterious Road....hmmmm....enhance the mystery?

 

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Not sure why tour agent always describe helium balloon as "hot air" balloon. Sure it's cool, but it's anything but hot.

 

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Impossible to race at S'pore FI GP? try this Jeju Go Kart....nice 5'C ease the race heats, not as fast, not as glamorous,...but still fun.

 

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This one for the football junkies...Jeju World Cup Stadium. Host venue of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. White elephant now ??? Our upcoming Kallang Stadium gonna rival this ... I hope...

 

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Another attraction ? no...just windmills at 5-stars Jeju Lotte Hotel ...houses the hotel's pub... Cool !


I hope readers are transported a little to the magical island of Jeju....perhaps in future when the haze comes...make your way there... 안녕 (annyeong) (^__^)//

 

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