|Sunrise from Seongsan Ilchulbong|
|Seongsan Ilchulbong seen later in the day|
I loved it. I don’t remember when was the last time I saw the sunrise or know when will be the next, so I tried to soak up this experience as much as possible. On the other side of the peak, we could see the small town at the bottom. It was quite a pretty sight on its own but the sunrise certainly outshone it.
Descending from the mountain, we returned to our hotel and took a nap before getting up at 9:30am to check out. The extra sleep was much needed to keep us going for the day!
We drove to Seongsan Ferry Terminal (phone number: 783 0448) to take the 15 minute long ferry to U-do 우도 (literal translation is Cow Island). We rented bikes there for 10,000 won each for the entire day. The shop owner said it takes about 2 hours to bike around the entire island but it took us 3.5 hours with many photo stops and one food rest in between. It wasn’t too difficult to bike but you do have to share a road with cars, large tour buses, motorbikes and other bicycles. Some sections had a rather steep incline which could be difficult if you are not used to biking. There were electric bikes and scooters with hoods that could seat two people also available for rent. Personally I didn’t find the biking part tiring but the afternoon sun constantly beating down on me in the 3 or so hours of biking was. I couldn’t wear a hat since it was windy enough for it to be blown away so I felt like I didn’t have adequate sun protection.
|Beach at Udo|
|Someori Oreum (Udobong Peak)|
I would really recommend not driving a car around U-do but renting some form of bicycle so you can stop frequently and get down the narrow streets conveniently to see the stunning views. We stopped at a Marilyn Monroe themed cafe (phone number: 2823 0170) and had the famous U-do peanut ice cream and toast with homemade honey peanut butter. Both were so good but the ice cream was especially refreshing after hours in the sun.
|Marilyn Monroe themed cafe|
We returned the bike in the late afternoon and took the ferry back to Seongsan. Driving the car out of the parking lot was a bit chaotic because many people were leaving at once and you had to go one by one to pay the parking fee. We drove back to Jeju City where we were staying for the night at Jeju KAL Hotel. It was a big hotel that was nicer and grander than the Seogwipo KAL Hotel but also quite old. As well, WiFi was not free in the room and the air conditioning didn’t work so it was stuffy. Fortunately we were on the 18th floor so we could open the windows without bugs flying in to get some fresh air.
|View from Jeju KAL Hotel|
We returned the rental car and came back to town for dinner. The area around the Jeju City Hall was crowded with many people and most recognizably, students in their uniforms. We opted for a second floor restaurant and tried a new Korean trend food that was like hotpot chicken and udon with your choice of toppings such as cheese, octopus or shrimp. Banchan included rotini pasta, cubed radish and sliced radish instead of the traditional kimchi variety. We were given lettuce leaves, seaweed, mayonnaise and fish roe to wrap our meat with. It was definitely not traditional Korean food but still tasted pretty good, albeit too spicy for me.
The shops in the area were opened until 12am and the underground mall shops were opened until 10pm. Although Jeju City is considered more countryside compared to Seoul, it had all the popular Korean shops that tourists would want to shop at including Innisfree, Aritaum, Nature Republic, etc. There was definitely more choice in the city but at the airport, it was cheaper at the duty free store. I found the same foundation for about 9,000 won less at the airport than in Aritaum in Jeju City.
We flew out of Jeju at 7am the next morning and I want to prepare readers for the crowds. We thought it wouldn’t be that busy with such an early flight but we were wrong. We had to wait quite a while to check-in and we didn’t even have check-in luggage to deal with. Then the queue to pass security was very long and unorganized because people kept cutting queue.
Nonetheless, I’m glad that the majority of our Jeju trip was outside of Jeju City where we met friendly people and didn’t have to deal with queuing or shopping troubles with other tourists. We drove freely on the island and was able to see a lot at a pace that was comfortable for us.