Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jeju Review

(a bit late, but better than never...) 
The Jeju trip started out (as most good trips do) with McDonalds breakfast at the bracing hour of 5:30am on Saturday morning.  I met Louise, Amanda, and Amanda's friend Christie at Daegu Airport , where I was singled out for an upgrade to Prestige class.  It was definitely the swankiest 55 minute flight of my life so far.  
The tour bus (Ye-HA Tours) picked us up at the airport and showed us the sights, some of which included:

O'Sulloc Tea Museum- a green tea plantation and museum.  
(and me, being a teapot)

Cheonjiyeon Pokpo (waterfall).  Said to have healing properties.

Jeongbang Pokpo- "the only waterfall in the Orient that falls directly into the ocean." so our tour sheet informed us. 

(I'm just happy to be off the bus)

At the conclusion of the tour, we were picked up by the Ellen, the proprietress of our guest house .  It was a lovely little cottage with vaulted ceilings and a porch, though a bit far away from the action of downtown (about a seven minute cab ride, which Ellen graciously called for us several times during the weekend.) 

Dinner was at El Paso, a quality Mexican restaurant across from city hall, followed by an early night for the four of us.    

On Sunday morning, Amanda and Christie opted for another bus tour of the east end of the island, while Louise and I decided to explore the sights downtown.  We found some excellent duty free shopping at "The Shilla" duty free shopping center.  Jeju's status as a self-governing province affords it certain benefits in regard to commerce and this isn't mentioned in any guidebook and probably for the best.  Louise walked into a random bookstore and used her mobile phone's dictionary to show an employee the korean word for "Duty Free".  He understood and generously ushered us into a cab and gave the driver directions.  Props to Louise and her moxie.  

Dinner was a home-cooked affair and followed by an excursion to Loveland, a sexual theme park (oh, yeah).  Began in 2002 by 20 artist students from Hongik University, it was originally conceived as an outdoor sculpture garden designed for "sexual education" and "health" instruction.  The park's website describes it as "a place where sexually-oriented art and eroticism meet" and it's definitely worth the 7,000 won admission fee.    

On Monday morning, Louise and I boarded a 9am flight back to Daegu, not before discovering some more quality duty free opportunities at the Jeju airport.  All told, a very satisfying mini-break.  

The rainbow that capped off our trip: 

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