continued from part 1
flight to Jeju island.
Took the LRT to Gimpo international airport, checked in and one hour later, landed Jeju. Different from the main land. Jeju do not have subways train so public transportation was dependent on bus or taxi.
I arrived at the airport and walked to the hostel “HK backpackers” which was about 3km away. Arrived at the front door of the hostel without even realising it 😀 1.5 hour walk.
Explored the hostel area at night, sight-seeing and looking for food. There’ lots of shops to the south of the hostel and even an underground market “Jungang-no”
Mount Hallasan, National Park
Climbed Mount Hallasan, via Seongpanak trail. I was late plus it was raining and almost decided not to go, but fearing that I might not get another chance tomorrow, made up my mind to just go as it was only a drizzle. Took the number 100 bus to the station and from there, the number 780 to Seongpanak. At 10:30am, the information counter said that it was already kind of late and warned that if I reached the last check point at 1:00PM or later, the ranger will not let me continue the climb to the peak. So with a little bit of running, managed to reached the gate at around 12:30, not bad for 5 km mountain trail. The checkpoint sell drinking water and some snack (chocolate bar, instant noodle, cup instant coffee) nothing much. There’s no entrance fee for climbing, except for parking fee at the front gate.
Continued climb for another 2 hours to the peak, unfortunately, there’s nothing to be seen as the fog was too thick. Biggest mistake was not prepared with the proper clothing (what was I thinking…!?). The trail is not very difficult, moderate climb most of the way with only a few steep incline for 100 meters or so and there’s even wooden plank walkways, but nature decided to give me a challenge, the rain and icy winds, made me shiver during my descent until the checkpoint where it gets better. Only had A poncho and wearing sleeveless shirt without any jacket or waterproof bags. Back at the hostel, had to blow dry my wallet, cash, passport and my canon gave an “error 50” later on. What a calamity.
Dinner of raw fish with rice and a grilled mackerel for KRW10000 and KRW15000 they are two different sets but was feeling hungry so ordered both. The restaurant owner even showed me how to mix the food. So nice.
A sunny day… clear skies..! That made yesterday looked ridiculous! 😥 Anyway, conquered Hallasan’s peak and that’s that. Extended my stay at the hostel for one more night and will be checking out tomorrow.
Planning to just sit back and relax before head out to the streets and took some photos. Fortunately my camera started to work again.
Walked south from the hostel, didn’t know how far but reached Samsyeongheol legends of the Jeju origins (did not go in) and nearby, Jeju folk museum, ticket. KRW1100. Not a very big museum, looking at the exhibits took about 1-2 hours, mostly about the island history and geographical locations of the wonderful sights. If coming for a stay at Jeju island without specific literary, this is the place to get the general idea of Jeju’s layout so better visit the museum first.
It was getting late, I walk back to north and on the way took some pictures of Dongmun market, lots of kimchi, seafood, veggies and fruits there, colorful and vibrant. Very near Jungang underground market also another wonderful sights for street photos.
Moving around Korea… Things to take note.
Previously, online booking for air-ticket from Seoul to Jeju was a nightmare, certain sites can’t accept my credit card and resorted to a Korean credit card. Verified by the staff at Jeju here, same thing happened to other guest before, so the hostel have their own credit card and helped booked for the guest, and receive cash. Only this time, they can’t help out because their card was not usable too. Persistent, gave it a try later that night, most of the airlines site can’t accept my transactions, you got to login, register, etc… basically lot of step and still getting nowhere, some can’t go through an iPad IOS or won’t accept apple OS, even certain site had to use internet explore (Microsoft IE ) Anyway, finally made it after an hour later, got the ticket for KRW38500.
Flight to Busan at 15;30, check-out from hostel, to the airport by taxi, KRW8000 for the 3KM..? well, shared it with another backpacker at that time.
Landed at Busan (Pusan)-They are the same, after an hour flight. Find my way to a hostel that looked like a house and it was indeed a house. Kim’s House (booking.com) Nice quiet place and booked for two nights there.
Running short of cash, without money changer nearby and a lot of ATM there do not accept my card, had to search for quite a while. Later found one ATM that was able to withdraw at Gwangalli beach, a very happening and definitely a party place. Expensive dinner tonight at Grang, KRW6000 for a steak.
Off to Haedong Yonggungsa, picturesque, but quite busy due to the weekends maybe. Took some photos and that’s it. To go there, from Haeundae metro station. Take bus 181. The bus is KRW1300 one way. 30 minutes.
Back at Haeundae station, walked to Haeundae beach and along it until the Nurimaru APEC house. Another nice place to walk and take pictures, Hang around for a few hours enjoying the scene and wind.
Then, Kyungsung-Pukyong University, A commercial district where there’s lots of eating place with more than 5 universities nearby the area there if not mistaken.
Ended up in UN memorial cemetery Korea. Beautifully kept and maintained. I think it’s a good place to visit and commemorate those that has fallen for peace.
Nearby, is the Busan museum, a huge place, with lots of artefact and history. Sceptical from online reviews didn’t planned to go, but since it was near and entry’s free, might as well visit. Found myself engrossed for two hours later on… Nearing closing time and the only one left there, the staff had to whisk me a away (in a polite way)
Visited Gamcheon cultural village. Took the bus number 2 (number 2-2 would be just the same) from Toseong LRT station to the village which was about 15 minutes ride uphill on a twisting road.
The entrance or starting point to the walk, clearly visible from the bus stop and very colourful. Viewing the guide map, recommended walking trails seems quite far stretched, but ideally an hour would be just nice covering the area. Interesting views with souvenirs shops, small cafe and walking in a maze of houses, It’s a nice place to go and visit.
Retrieved my luggage at guesthouse, took the train to airport and checked in. Some participating outlets do give refund for purchases, there are few counter after passing the immigration check, such as global blue, lotte, and global taxfree, that do that but check for eligibility, as some may require custom stamps before passing the immigration gate on the receipt and visual inspection on the merchandises.
Inside the waiting area, there’s 7-Eleven and two cafe selling food, not a very big airport so better have a meal before passing the gate. Flight took off on time at 5:00 pm for another 7 hours before landing home.
Korea is a nice place to be, made few friends at the hostel and we had some good time together. The average food price including drinking water, is about KRW10000 per-person. Big portion of servings, that’s just how it is here.
Many places to visit as recommended in the tourist guide map and the public transport is just among the best and efficient. Without able to to converse in Korean language, was already interesting on its’ own account, I found that I had to learn the basics (as much possible). The people are really amazing, polite, courteous and honest while I do believe I’ve been duped by my own naiveness. Most of the times, they would help, especially the older folks. Few have assisted me in operating the ticket vending machine, washing machine and even taught me how to eat Korean food. Exciting as it is when I overcome physical restrictions exploring natures trails at the outdoor, It’s fair to say that, the endeavour in Korea was a unique adventure itself.