Two islands in one day - Jeju and Udo day twoSunday, January 06, 2013
There are many UNESCO recognised places on Jeju island. N and I woke up early from our motel to visit one of them one our first full day on the island. From the bus stop we had to walk in about 3km. It was a shame that I hadn't applied for an international driver's licence because it would have had saved us a lot of time in our sightseeing schedules, but ah, well. Next time.
Until the final lava column at the end.
The lava tube was darker than I'd imagined, and a lot deeper than we expected. It was interesting to be walking in the path of the lava in the cave like tube. I felt like I was in some kind of a sci fi movie, and kept expecting alien forms to creep out of the dark shadows. Hungry out of the long dark tube, we had our first meal of the day. Mmm, so yum!
N had many plans for our Jeju trip and one of the must things on the list was to visit Udo island. Udo means, literally, cow head. Apparently from afar that's how the island looks like, though from another angle it also looks like a lion's head. Udo is a tiny island in comparison to Jeju. We took the ferry then hopped onto a bus for a tour around.
Udo has eight main attractions. On our bus tour, we were able to visit five of the eight. On the first stop was Jiducheongsa, a grass-covered hill with Korea's oldest light house.
We also saw several beaches on the tour. One was a black sand beach next to a cliff with a cave that is said to have housed a whale back in the day.
The other was Seobinbaeksa and this was my favourite part of Udo island. The white beach is amazingly beautiful. The clear water with a dreamy blue hue automatically draws an exclamation of awe (plus a whip of the smartphone camera in the Korean style) in everyone who comes to see it. The beach is also unique in its white popcorn like pebbles. Apparently there are only three of the kind in the world, the other two being in the UK and Australia.
Udo the cow island is known for its peanuts. Peanut ice creams and peanut maggulis are famous here. We tried the ice cream, but did not get the chance to try out the latter. However, we also tried a Hallabong sorbet ice cream. Hallabongs are orange like fruit famous in Jeju.
I cannot get over the beauty of this beach in Udo. Did you know that Udo is also famous for its sea ladies? These ladies are pretty much the breadwinners - or fishwinners, I guess - of the Udo population. They dive in the sea waters to catch various seafood. The amazing thing is that these ladies are nowhere young. The youngest of them are in their fifties, and the oldest in her nineties! Given the small size of the island, territory protection is important, and so one is only allowed to swim and sea hunt in her neighbouring seas. Otherwise, be prepared to go to court! This happens every once in a while, apparently.
Back onto the bigger island, we climbed Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉), which means, 'Sunrise peak,' to check out the Jeju panorama from the top. It came about as a result of a volcanic eruption some five thousand years ago. What an exhausting climb! There were heaps of Korean and foreign tourists, all attempting to climb the many narrow stairs. Among them was a little boy, who came with his Daddy and Mummy. He wasn't even tired after the climb, he jump/ran all the way down so energetically, it was so cute!
If only we had his bouncy energy... We really needed it the next day...