Monday, 13 October 2014

Korea Day 1 & 2: Jeju Island

Opps this is really late, but I thought I should still share the photos from my Korea trip in July! And I realised I didn’t complete last year’s Europe Visuals, ohman.. This is part 1, the first two days when I was mainly in Jeju Island!
Just a short summary of my trip before I start on Day 1 and Day 2..

I went to Korea with my family of 4 on a package tour, it was a 8D7N trip covering Seoul, Jeju, Yongpyong, Mt Sorak, Nami Island, etc.. We went to korea more than 10 years ago, so this is our second time there! We booked our holidays with Hong Thai Travel, and it wasn’t that fantastic at times.. We covered a lot of places in 8 days, hotels was superb, but the itenary was far too packed such that we only had about 2 hours even for those super popular attractions, tour guide wasn’t knowledgeable (he’s from China I got no idea why), I don’t like our kiasu tour group aunties and the food sucks.
Anyway, because I was on a package tour, I was blindly touring Korea and asleep half the time on the coach hehe. I can’t help you people with the prices of the food and admission tickets, or the exact name/address of the places I went to. If you’re interested, please google and match my photos maybe? I’ll just briefly comment if those places are interesting or worth visiting or not and I hope it helps!
Okay, moving on to the actual Day 1 and 2 in Jeju Island mainly… (Btw, don’t mind my no make up face and anyhow make up face in the photos!)
Took a midnight flight on Korean Air, so we reached Incheon airport in the next morning! Korean Air is pretty good with movies to watch, I think I slept most of the time.. Chose to have porridge for breakfast, and it is not bad! (I usually hate airplane food so it was really not bad ok..) Sorry was half awake as I had my meal on the plane so no photo of my food!
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Met up with the Korea tour guide at Incheon airport and we were brought to some place for lunch. We had bibimbap and some hotpot, and it wasn’t the usual type of bibimbap that we have in Singapore.. I’m not sure if the place is just cheapo (the staffs are all chinese and not koreans) or it is meant to be like that though.
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After our meal, we headed to a domestic airport for our flight to Jeju Island!

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There was a convenience store at the waiting area, so I got my first melon milk and banana milk. MUST TRY when you’re in Korea! Most people seem to favour banana milk, I like it too but I like melon milk more! :D
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This is banana milk!

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Landed in Jeju in about 1-2hours (omg I can’t remember).. To be honest, I feel that there are more chinese than koreans on Jeju Island. The whole place was flooded with chinese tourists!
Headed to the first attraction, which is the Mysterious Road. Apparently, vehicles will continue moving up the slope even when the engine is turned off. Our coach did for a few seconds and then the engine went on again.. I felt that there is nothing special about this??? Anyway, my tour guide was bad at providing information, so I don’t really understand his explanation at all. From what I gathered, it might be due to momentum, that’s why the vehicles continue moving with engines off, or it might just be due to optical illusion and the slope is actually going downhill instead of up. Whichever it is, I am not amazed.
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There are shops selling some street food to our delight!

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Tried this beancurd in spicy sauce! Tasted ok!

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Also got a black pau (bun), I can’t remember what it is filled with..

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Next up, we went to the Dragon Head Rock, which made of lava.. Near the center of this photo! Basically sightseeing here, nothing much..
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And the scenary there~

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Had dinner at I-don’t-know-where… But the steam egg was so good!! I guess eggs can never go wrong as long as they’re fresh right?

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Checked into our hotel after dinner.. We stayed at Jeju Oriental Hotel for 2 nights and I liked it! There’s a casino at the lobby (but I didn’t enter)..
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This is supposedly a 5 star hotel… To be honest it didn’t feel like a 5 star as it was kinda plain.. But it was good enough, very clean and we had a comfortable stay!
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What’s even better about our hotel was that there are convenience stores nearby, a huge supermarket across the road and 5-10 minutes away from Kyochon Chicken which is super yummy! Another MUST TRY but I’ll talk more about it later..
Yummy looking drinks in a convenience that we don’t have in Singapore! Tried the Hershey’s chocolate original and it tasted like a normal chocolate milk, opps.
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More melon and banana milk, yum yum!

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Saw a huge box of pretty grapes at the supermarket and was super tempted to buy it! But there were like 5 or 6 big bunches inside so we didn’t get it in the end.. Too much!
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Bought some snacks from the supermarket and 7 eleven! The biscuits were okay.. The cup noodles on the left is sesame ramen which wasn’t very nice.. The center one is ramen bokki which is a dry and spicy ramen, the right one is cheese bokki which is a dry and cheesy ramen (that don’t really taste cheesy) – these 2 are pretty special and worth a try, but they’re not like super nice so don’t get your expectations up. I think you can get them in Korean marts in Singapore too, if you’re lucky!
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After some shopping and exploring, time for supper!!!! We had Kyochon Chicken, which is endorsed by Lee Min Ho! The shop looks pretty plain on the outside so we almost missed it, it was in the same row as our hotel hehe.. This is a MUST TRY too, please note haha!
We ordered a mix of orginal and red on Day 1 plus some wedges and pepsi. No beer because I can’t drink and nobody wanna share a beer with me.. Wanted to try “chicken and beer” because it sounds like a very nice combination in “My Love from Another Star”, boo. Anyway, the original was super good, even better than Four Fingers in Singapore! The chicken was really fresh and just yummy, I don’t know how to describe it too…. Try it yourself when you go to Korea! AND OMGWTFBBQ THE RED CHICKEN IS REALLY MAD SPICY, it numbed our tongues really badly and we had a hard time finishing the red ones (yes, even my mum who loves spicy food)! :( And don’t order extra “chilli sauce” (that sealed up thingy at the bottom right corner of my picture), because you’ll need to pay extra money and it is as spicy as the Red chicken which most of you should avoid trying..
But anyway, it was still so good on the whole that we headed back on Day 2 and we ordered something else that’s even nicer, continue reading this post to find out hehe! :D
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Second day!

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Had buffet breakfast at the hotel, I can’t remember anything about the spread, but here is part of what I ate. I remember it was pretty good, especially the egg! I think I basically live on eggs and porridge for breakfast~
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First stop was at Songan Sunrise Peak, which is an extinct volcanic crater.. Mainly just sightseeing here.. Nothing much.. This place reminds me of Bali, but I can’t remember which part of Bali.. Anyway, the “local snacks” sold at the shops here didn’t taste good and was in cheapo packaging, you can give these shops a miss I guess.
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Me!

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Next up, we visited Song-up Folk Village which is an area with traditional thatched houses under protection order. We got to see how traditional korean houses are like over here, but the main point of visiting this place is…. for them to sell honey to us. Mehs. We bought one bottle of honey and one bottle of wu wei zi (五味子) tea. Tasted quite okay, but not cheap at all! One bottle is like about S$50 if I didn’t remember wrongly.
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A black pig..

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The interior..

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And opps, I can’t find any photo of my lunch for Day 2. We had black pork BBQ but I don’t think it was nice anyway.

After lunch, we visited Trick Art Gallery. This is basically pretty similar to Trick Eye Museum and Alive Museum in Singapore and I’ve went to both in Singapore! I think there are many many similar museums all over Korea, I’m not sure which one I went to exactly~ If you’re on a tight schedule, you can skip this as we have 2 in Singapore already!
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This photo is really epic hehe, monkey me!

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Next up, we also went to Glass Castle, which is an exhibition of lots of different things that are made of glass! Nothing much over here too..
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Hugging the huge bear hehe!

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A random lorry selling fruits! Fruits from other countries always look so much yummier than in Singapore..

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Then, we visited O’SULLOC Green Tea Museum! There was a green tea plantation outside, and there were some display of tea related tools and stuff inside, but I didn’t pay attention to them. Headed straight to get ice cream and cake haha!!! :P If you only want to eat the ice cream and cakes only and is not interested in the displays, don’t have to come to Jeju specially for this.. I also had O’Sulloc in Myeongdong in Seoul too!
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Milk ice cream and matcha ice cream! (Forgot to take photo of the cakes opps) I like the milk ice cream more while my sister prefer the matcha one.
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We also went to the Teddy Bear Museum! There are lots of teddy bears over here in different shapes and sizes, but I find it overrated. All the bears look kind of old or dirty? Btw, I only picked the cuter ones to share in my blog post! And the most expensive bear in the world, the LV bear, looks like an old man bear to me, opps.
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I feel that this is the cutest bear over there~ Which was for sale in the shop downstairs haha, not one of the exhibits :/

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Our dinner was seafood steamboat.. This photo looks pretty decent, but in fact, this is not nice plus the portion is way too small for 4? Totally went to have Kyochon Chicken for dinner after a while..
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We shopped around the area and bought fruit chocolate coated rice crisps in flavors like orange and cactus flower which was pretty good! Bought them for our relatives! I think they are also called Jeju Cactus Crunch Chocolate and Jeju Citrus Crunch Chocolate.
And then, KYCHON CHICKEN AGAIN!!! This time round, we ordered Honey Chicken, and it was really really super duper uber crazy yummy!!! Really super nice, please order honey chicken when you go to Kyochon! I mentioned that the original flavor is nice in Day 1, but honey chicken is like 10X nicer hehe~~ (Just don’t order the red one, most importantly….) Anyway, this was our last Kyochon meal in our whole trip, didn’t have time and didn’t pass by any Kyochon outlets anymore… :( Kyochon, come to Singapore can??
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And yeah, the above was my experience in Jeju! I headed back to Seoul the next morning…

I will say that I might not want to visit Jeju anymore when I come to Korea next time.. Coming to Jeju require extra time and a lot more money (need to take domestic flight), and the attractions are pretty dull in my opinion. Things that I love such as supermarket and convenience store shopping, Kyochon and O’Sulloc can all be done in Seoul. I didn’t get to “feel” any Korean culture in Jeju at all, as I was surrounded by chinese tourists everywhere.
If you still wanna come to Jeju, you can consider my hotel - Jeju Oriental Hotel. I’m pretty contented with the room, breakfast and the shops nearby hehe.

I don’t know when I will be done with Part 2, but stay tuned ok? :)

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