Since everyone kept telling me that I had to go to Jeju before returning to the States, I decided to squeeze in a short trip right before I leave. I joined a group called ISF or International Student Fellowship for a 3 night, 3 day trip, but I had to leave Jeju a day earlier than everyone else in order to catch my flight back home. The group I went with was made up of a few Koreans and many Chinese students, although most of them knew how to speak English.
We arrived to Jeju and spent the night in housing provided by the church group. Weather in Jeju can be unpredictable; It rained heavily all night and was still raining in the early morning, but luckily, the weather cleared up later. We woke up early and headed out to Udo, or Cow Island, which is shaped like a cow if you watch the island at sunrise. We took a ferry to get to the small island. There, we had to climb up many stairs and a hill to reach our final destination, which were two lighthouses overlooking a valley with cows and the sea. We also explored through a small cave on Udo.
Later in the afternoon, we went back to the main island to climb up Yongnuni, or a giant hill. It was really like a small mountain. Once we reached the top, we could see the beautiful hills and windmills turning in the background. We also went on a course called Seventh Course Olle, which was a walking trail along the coastline that allowed us to see some beautiful sights on the island. It was also where a Korean drama was filmed. Our last stop that day was to a waterfall called Chunjiyeong Falls.
On the second day, we went to the Alive museum, which consisted of pop out and interactive art. Visitors can go up to the paintings and pose so it actually looks like they are part of the picture. The Alive museum also had an outdoor sculpture garden where famous sculptures were give a funny twist.
After the Alive museum, we finally got to go to a beach called Hapjeong beach. The beach was very clean and the sea was blue and clear. The water was also very shallow with waves, and it was easy to see what was swimming around your feet. I don’t know how I can go back to the Jersey beaches after seeing the ones in Korea.
Later in the evening, we went to Yongmori, which means dragon road. There, we went to walk along the jagged sea coast and see all the mussels stuck on the rocks. Some people climbed the rocks to take pictures. In the U.S., there would be so many precautions that keep us safe but restrict us from truly experiencing the landscape. In Korea, there are no railings to prevent people from falling into the sea, but I think the government trusts people to be smart and safe.
Unfortunately, Yongmori is the last sightseeing spot for my visit to Jeju and Korea. My sister and I bought some Jeju stone keychains and chocolates to bring back as souvenirs.