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Showing posts with label Jeju Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeju Island. Show all posts

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Top 20 Things to Do on Jeju Island

Jeju Island has been my home away from home for the last year or so.  And when the weather warms up around May, I am quite ready to see all that I can see as summer swings in.  Jeju is considered the "Hawaii" of Korea and with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I am continuously amazed by the serene and beautiful sites that make up Jeju Island.  It took some time figure out where everything was, so I thought, I'd put together a list of the top 20 things to do here on Jeju.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Tea at O'Sulloc Museum in South Korea

You are here~
I have long been a fan of the benefits that come with a cup of green tea.  Ever since my grandpa mentioned to my grandma about it being a dieters drink, I'd been drinking a small cup daily with breakfast for several years.  Dr. Oz, a featured doctor on the Oprah Winfrey show who later got his his own syndication has raved about these tea leaves named after my favorite color and the benefits that come from drinking it; benefits that include antioxidants and a means for maintaining and/or losing weight.

I'd seen enough pictures of this museum that my interest had been sparked right from the beginning.  Add to the fact that I've long been a fan of the health benefits of green tea... The stars had aligned, today I'd be heading to O'Sulloc (오설록), known to foreigners as The Green Tea Museum.

Here's the tea...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Foreigners in Korea: In Light of Michael Brown

“It is better to light a candle that to curse the darkness” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spirited Gardens, Wood Tales and Spirits

I had been longing to get to this botanical garden for at least a year.  I do love botanical gardens and nature trails.  Same for animals, so visiting a local zoo or an aquarium in a new city is always welcomed.  The Yeomiji Botanical Gardens on Jeju Island was a fun visit as was the Seoul Zoo.  Still, my new favorite place to be on Jeju Island, the Spirited Gardens.

Like the name?  I do too and as the name hints, this attraction alludes to more that just plant life.  How?  Hmm.  Let's see.  But first, a few pictures from this amazingly large but serene garden.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Walking Trails in South Korea, #6

I couldn't resist.
Olleh Walking Trails are 26 (21 trails, 5 sub-trails) walking paths that cover the entire 2,713 meter circumference of Jeju Island (and neighboring Udo, Chujado and Gapado Islands) with sub-trails that go slightly inland; a whopping total of 422 km.

Just recenlty, I decided to do my very first Olleh Walking Trail.  And of the many things to do on Jeju-do, this is probably the only one that will require the most endurance, as each walking path can range from 14 km to 20 km in length.  You can bet on walking for at least 4 hours should you decide on doing an Olleh path. They range in difficulty as Jeju-do is known for it's mountainous terrain.

If you plan on doing all 26 paths, be sure to pick up an Olleh passport, so you can collect the stamp at the beginning of each trail.

This past weekend, I opted for the least difficult of the 26 trails, Olleh Trail Number 6.
Together with 3 hiking buddies, we made it through tired, but feeling accomplished.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Playing With Mud in South Korea

Of course, if you've taught in the United States and then come to teach in Korea, you'll notice right away that there is humongous difference in the respect teachers get in South Korea, generally speaking.

Really, if you're teaching elementary school kids, you'll know just how adorable they can be.

So, I really like teaching in Korea.  But what's better than teaching these little darlings you ask?? Taking a break from teaching and going on a field trip some where in beautifully scenic, Jeju Island.

On my most recent field trip, I got down and dirty with some clay.  While helping a few students out, the man demonstrating the technique and probably a supervisor or owner in some regard, permitted the teachers to create our own works of art.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Life in Korea: How Do Vegetarians Survive Korea?

Initially, I was a little grossed out when the food, a pile of raw chicken mixed with cabbage and other vegetables was placed on the hot plate right in front of me.  I was eating out, celebrating the birthday of a fellow teacher, Kelly. But since I hadn't had any issue finding something that suited my vegetarian diet in my two years of living in Korea, I wasn't worried.

I inquired about what I could get from the menu at a popular Dakalbi place in Shin Jeju, Chun Ton Myun Tong Dakgalbi. And while the Korean women who were a part of the dinner party were busying themselves trying to find out what, if anything, was available for me to eat, I chatted with my friends.

All this time, the food was cooking at our table and it started to smell really good and every so often, a chef would come over and stir things up a bit.  What was I going to do?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: The Alive Museums

I used to think of museums as boring exhibitions that required way too much analytical thought.  Sure, an appreciation for the arts has taken time as growing up in the inner city, there wasn't much exposure and so an appreciation for and recognition of the aesthetic qualities that go into the arts took time.

Still, if you find art boring, you'll soon change your mind with Korea's sometimes quirky, sometimes bizarre but always fun, museums.

I've been to a few great places on Jeju that include UNESCO World Heritage sites on Jeju.  And seeing absolutely beautiful  places on Jeju IslandI'm very content.  

But there's a whole other side to Korea that is found in the fun-loving museums that are everywhere.  I did a short posts on some of the art from Love Land and another on Hello Kitty Island where I became a fan of the adorable cartoon cat.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Chasing Waterfalls Part 1

Me giving over to the majestic Jeongbang Falls
Unlike the popular TLC song 'Waterfalls' from the late 1990's, you're going to enjoying "chasing" every waterfall on Jeju Island.  Full of life, I found myself giving over to majestic beauty that is Jeongbang Falls, the only waterfall in Asia that empties into the ocean.  Jeonbang Falls is simply put, spectacular measuring 23 meters in height and 10 meters in width it is considered one of the ten scenic wonders of Jeju Island.

We arrived at Jeongbang Falls around 1:30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon.  And while it was during the Chuseok holiday, the area was beaming with tourists but not over-crowded.  Yah!!  We obtained our admission ticket and after a short walk down a few steps, we met with the splendor of Jeongbang Fall in the distance, our first photo opportunity.  The dots of color from the people below just made this view a bit colorful.  And the faint hum of birds in song really made this visit to Jeonbang falls err on the enchanted side.

We took the stairs all the way down and with so many photo opportunities, just from where we were standing, one could easily spend an hour perfecting poses.  Add that to the gush of the water hitting the bottom, the cooling mist from this, and the faint chatter of Koreans cooling their feet, I couldn't ask for more.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Hello Kitty Island (How a Hello Kitty Fan was Born)

There I was in/on Hello Kitty Island taking in the life-size dollhouse and as much pink that anyone could stand at one time.  One of the five adults on a tour of the island, we were all pretty much lackadaisical about the first stop at Hello Kitty Island.  

At the urging of our tour guide, we were to head to the third floor where we would see a 3D movie on Hello Kitty and her friends and I think the consensus what that "This is for children".  Still, I was curious about the craze that some of my adult friends have about Hello Kitty.  I knew who Hello Kitty was, duh!, but I never understood what was so great about it.  She's a cartooned cat??-- and that was my entire take on that until today.

Making our way to the 3D movie, I took in quickly how adorable everything was.  I mean talk about cuteness overload!!!   "Okaaay, I get it now!", I thought to myself when I walked into the life-sized doll house and first saw the mirror shaped in Hello Kitty's face and the incredible details that went into all the products that were the Hello Kitty brand.   Room after room after room of so many things with that adorable little face on it.  

By the time the 3D movie on Hello Kitty and her friends was over, a Hello Kitty fan was born.  

Here's a peek into Hello Kitty Island (Hello Kitty Museum) on Jeju Island

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: 6 Best Places to Eat Near City Hall

I love food!!  I realized this when I went vegan for one month during World Vegan's Month last November.  I would find these awesome recipes and make them my own by changing out vegetables or beans or grains to one that suited my appetite and omg!!!  A vegan foodie was born.  However, by mid December, I was back to my regular vegetarian diet.

With Korea being a veggie friendly country, it's easy to think that foods that look vegetarian are, but that's often not the case as most of the sauces used in the cooking process contains anchovy paste.  Fear not!  I've been living on the island for nearly a year already and I've mapped out several food spots that will satisfy whatever craving (within reason) you may have.

Things to Note:

  • With the exception of The Loving Hut, each restaurant offers meat-based meals for the meat lovers.
  • Be sure to see below for hours and a map on how to get there form Jeju-si City Hall (체주시청).  If you are using a mobile phone, you will need to download the Naver Map App. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: 4 Best Beaches on Jeju Island

Hamdoek Beach
When I made the decision to come relocate to Jeju Island as my initial contract teaching in Pohang was coming to a close, I thought, beautiful beaches and remarkable scenery.  I hadn't heard anything negative about the island.  Sure, foreigners here are quite cliquish and it is rather small, but that can be a good thing...maybe.

Unfortunately, six months of teaching here amidst an egregious co-teacher, I was ready to call it quits, back up my bags and perhaps start graduate school at Florida International University.  Luckily, during my vacation in Taipei I found out that my school assignment had changed and I was congratulated on being placed elsewhere.  Happy about my good fortune, I counted my blessings!

Since then, I've adjusted nicely to my new school and finally settling in to life on Jeju Island and back to my initial thoughts on Jeju:  beautiful beaches and wonderful sceneries.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Aqua Planet

I often find myself bragging to my family about all the amazing things there are to do and see on Jeju Island.Truly, living and teaching in Korea is somewhat of a dream come true and although it took a while to sink in, I'm settled on the idea that Jeju Island is an amazing place to live.  This is especially so with summer in full swing.  While most people are (rightfully) heading to take in the bluest waters at any of the 15 beaches on the coasts of Jeju Island, I took the opportunity to check out Aqua Planet.  Although it's one of the pricier places to see on Jeju Island, it's totally worth the 28,000 won.  As for the additional 1,800 won to see the 3D show, I'd say skip it unless you're with children.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jeju Island, South Korea

Hamdoek Beach
So, I decided on a second year of teaching in South Korea; this time, Jeju Island.  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  I arrived in Jeju on August 26, 2013 with 25+ expats who decided to teach with EPIK, most of whom were in Korea for the very first time.  I could tell that they were excited about learning Korean culture and making the very best of their one year as an English teacher.  And so was I.  I had heard of the many things to do on Jeju Island and of the many people I had spoken to before I got here, no one had anything bad to say about Jeju-do.  I so, I came planning to make the most of my one year teaching elementary school and uncovering the gems that make Jeju-do a perfect destination for honeymooners, vacationers and expats wanting to experience life in Korea surrounded by aesthetic qualities and views that make up Jeju-do.