Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jeju Island

I guess I wouldn't make such a great travel bog writer since here it is over a week since my last post, and two weeks since I got back.  Then again I don't get paid for this stuff and life has a tendency of getting in my way at times.  Then I have another chess-related trip coming up Wednesday.  So this post is "Korea trip light" with the emphasis on pictures and not so much detail.  Jeju Island is beautiful, but is known for its crazy tropical weather, and is the rainiest part of Korea.  Needless to say when one travels there during the rainy season, expect to see rain.  We actually got pretty lucky in terms of rain.  We left rainy Busan, and arrived to cloudy weather.  We visited Sangbangsan and walked up to a cave where there is a simple stone Buddha.  The views on the way up and down are beautiful.  Here are a couple of them.

Buddha in cave.

After our walk up to the Buddha cave and back we then went to Jusangjeolli Rocks. This is a 2K stretch of coastline known for hexagonal rock formations.  Click on the images to see the rock formations in more detail.

It was rather overcast and grey.  When I was previewing the pictures on my camera I thought they were coming out in black and white.  There is color, but it's hard to see.

This was near our hotel.  The beach was down the road a bit so I never made it down that far.

Lava formed rock.  

We did a site seeing cruise around different parts of the island.  We got lucky with the weather during the cruise.  It was beautiful and sunny.  That would not be the case later on. Below are some of the interesting sites we passed on the boat.

By the time we got to Cheonjiyeon Waterfall it was pouring.  I felt as though I was standing under the waterfall itself.  It was beautiful, but difficult to photograph when I'm trying to keep the camera dry.  

Rain or waterfall?

The rain would continue into the next day.  Needless to say there weren't any people hanging out by the hotel pool!!!  It was not only raining but the wind was blowing hard too.

Not a tanning day!!!

We only had one place to visit before we would have lunch and then catch a flight to Seoul.  We visited Seongeup Folk Village.  Unlike the folk village we would visit near Seoul, this one is still home to a number of people.  Many of the villagers have added modern conveniences, but not all.

The thatched roofs have ropes to hold them in place.
Strong winds could blow them off.

 Happier then a pig in $#!+
Yes that pig is sitting in village sewage.

Surprisingly enough despite the weather our flight to Seoul went off on time.  It probably helped that the weather in Seoul was actually nice.  Once we got to Seoul we visited the Kukkiwon, world headquarters for taekwondo.  There wasn't anything happening when we got there, so we pretty much wandered around and did some shopping for taekwondo gear.

Arena at Kukkiwon

After our visit there we would be taken to the Seoul Palace Hotel for a banquet hosted by Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.  There was no time to shower, freshen up or change before this dinner party.  Here comes this group of tired and sweaty tourists tromping through this very elegant hotel for a very nice dinner in the grand ballroom.  It might have been nice if the dinner was at the hotel we were staying at so that we could at least change clothes.  However I learned that when it comes to planning meals, dinner always occurs before check in.  Otherwise probably half the group would go up to their rooms and collapse!

It was actually a really nice dinner with lots of food choices.  After the dinner we got back on our busses and headed to our hotel which was over by the COEX convention center in a completely different part of Seoul. There is no such thing as a short bus ride through Seoul.  I've experienced traffic in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Seoul's traffic is just as bad if not worse.

I will post some pictures from Seoul, but I am going to post some chess before that!


chesstiger said...

As always nice photos.

Goodluck in your opcoming tournament.

Polly said...

Thanks! I'll need it!

wang said...

Makes me want to go to Korea, nice pics!