A Korean Island Made from a Volcanic Eruption
We already had our ticket back to Europe from Seoul so we needed to make a decision which countries we were going to visit last before flying back to Europe. It was going to be my Birthday as well and I wanted to be by the beach. We decided to go to Jeju island as many Koreans have recommended it to Nick. Unfortunately, hotels in Jeju were not interested in getting travel guides so we booked two hotels one in Seogwipo and one in Hamdoek.
We had a nice sea view from our first hotel room and after arriving we went to explore the area. There was a beautiful waterfall nearby Cheonjiyeon Waterfall and had our first culture shock when we were trying to look for dinner but everything was way more expensive than most previous Asian countries before.
The whole island seemed to be very much only South Korean friendly even though it became a world wonder recently. There were no English signs anywhere and people couldn’t speak English, we hardly saw other foreigners like us while our stay in Jeju island. Although the locals were very friendly and helpful teaching us thank you in Korean (gomabseubnida) 고맙습니다. This actually took us a long time to remember and pronounce correctly. Plus for any trip to Korea remember to bow your head in politeness and respect to the other person particularly if they are an elder.
Wandering Around Seogwipo
Looking outside of our window we could see a tower that looked like the Portsmouth tower and a little island so the next day we walked there. It was pretty surreal to see the black stones and the water ponds just right next to the beach. Jeju island was created by a volcano a long time ago, this made the whole island look very different from any other nature that you might see somewhere else in the world. A land formed from lava the terrain is beautifully different.
What is this mysterious seafood…
From there we walked to other tourist spots where Nick said I would be able to swim in natural ponds by the sea. The weather was pretty cold and foggy for most of our stay on the island which made our stay a lot worse than it could have been so that meant no swimming in those water pools either, booo.
Don’t get me wrong, Jeju is pretty awesome and worth to see as it’s so different from other places around the world but by this time I have definitely gotten used to the warm weather and did not like feeling cold especially not being able to swim in the sea although we did attempt to swim when we were staying at our second hotel but the sea was soooo cold, I wouldn’t call that a fun swim.
My Birthday, the weather was pretty miserable, I decided it would be nice to just chill and go to the Jeju waterpark, the website said there were saunas and hot baths there. Well, the website forgot to mention that once you step into the waterpark, you are separated into men and women and all men and women are supposed to be naked. Total culture shock, I was going to use one of the pools wearing a bikini and a woman was trying to tell me in Korean that I had to be naked to go in, she was looking at me pretty horribly so I just got out and left. I definitely didn’t feel like going into the sauna or the steam room and be crammed with lots of naked Korean women.
Fortunately, there was a cinema next door and they were showing a film in English with Korean subtitles so we went to the cinema after our waterpark experience. My Birthday dinner was a traditional Korean meal with a Korean table sitting on the floor. It wasn’t the best meal, it was also very expensive but a new Korean experience. We are very glad that later on, we found out that food isn’t that expensive in Korea, Seoul or the surrounding areas anyway as the food was in Jeju and that there is more variety, we got a bit tired of seafood by the end of our stay in Jeju.
We were able to walk to a waterfall from our accommodation again, this waterfall was pretty cool, the waterfall was right by the sea, the water joined the sea. Someone asked for a photo with me so I pretended to be a model for a few minutes.
Once we were on the other side of the island in Hamdeok our hotel was right by the beach but our room didn’t have a sea view, unfortunately. The area was nice the white sand was a nice change and the black rocks surrounded the beach was interesting to look at and wander around.
The best part of our trip to Jeju island was going to a volcanic crater at Seongsan Ilchulbong. Fortunately, the sky was a lot less foggy although very cold, we saw some amazing views, can see very far if you are able to climb to the top which is totally worth it.
Altogether I really wish that we came to Jeju island when the weather was warmer, I recommend seeing Jeju Island but only in the summer.
On the last day, we decided to go to the hospital as my symptoms from my infection haven’t disappeared. Story cut short, they did find that I have an ovarian cyst but could do nothing about it as we were flying to Japan in a couple days, will need to go for check up in Hungary.