Jeju, the Island of Gods D2: Outdoors
[01 Nov 2016]
We were done with the indoor activities slightly after noon, and headed out for one of the waterfalls located at Seogwipo. While I planned for two, the mister decided to cut it down to just visiting one. Which one in particular, I didn’t know until we arrived.
Cheonjiyeon Falls 천지연폭포 [GPS: 760-6304]
He chose the one waterfall which I planned for to visit at night since it was the only one that opens till late at night. And we realised it is actually located very nearby our hotel, within walking distance even. 😆
Cheonjiyeon Falls 천지연폭포 literally meant ‘Sky Land Falls’ in Chinese characters. Apparently the name came about because the waterfall seems to fall from the heavens hence ‘sky connected with land’. Admission fee priced very affordably at ₩2,000 per person. Eh, I’m not certain why the ticket indicated 10,000. Probably meant something else.
It was a short 10-minute easy walk through a park to get to the waterfall proper. We stopped often to enjoy the flora and fauna. Good thing it wasn’t terribly crowded and we didn’t felt that we were jostling with people.
We got to the waterfall and there, it became necessary to jostle for a prime spot for taking the mandatory shot in front of it. Nothing too spectacular about the waterfall. I have more praise for the woods and park leading to it. We ought to have chosen to visit Cheonjeyeon Falls 천제연폭포, a three-tier waterfall instead. Note how similar the spelling of the two waterfalls are – but they are in fact worlds apart.
You would see a lot of this rock statue in various sizes everywhere you turn on Jeju Island. This is because it is a unique feature of Jeju. Called Dol Hareubang 돌 하르방 (‘stone grandfather’ in English), it is considered a god of protection and fertility. I think there is a custom about running its nose if you are trying to conceive. Worth giving it a try if you are!
We wanted to have a quick lunch at the entrance of Cheonjiyeon Falls (saw many shops) but none appealed to us. Decided to hop into Dunkin’ Donuts to buy some bite size donuts so I could easily pop them into my mouth as I drove. That was our quick and easy lunch for the day.
Near Haevichi Hotel & Resort 해비치호텔&리조트 [GPS: 780-8100]
We ended up spending the better half of our afternoon looking for lighthouses along Pyoseon Beach 표선해변. Not just any particular lighthouse, but the ones that appeared in two separate Korean Drama series – Heartstrings and IRIS because these 2 dramas were the rare ones where both the mister and I liked. You see, we have rather different tastes when it comes to Korean dramas.
The lighthouses aren’t significant landmarks with telephone numbers to be keyed into the car’s GPS, we keyed in the nearest landmark – Haevichi Hotel & Resort 해비치호텔&리조트 as a guide to get us to the general direction of the beach. Instead of turning into the resort, you would be able to see a lighthouse right almost at the entrance by the beach. This would be the lighthouse that appeared in the final scene of IRIS, where Kim Tae-hee’s character was all in white, with earphones plugged in her ears listening to music while waiting for her lover played byLee Byung-hun to meet up with her. I couldn’t get a good screenshot of the lighthouse in the final scene but trust me, this is the one heh.
On the other hand, I could capture a good screenshot of the Heartstrings lighthouse from a video on YouTube. To get to this lighthouse, drive further right (facing the sea) for about 5-8 minutes, depending on your driving speed, and you would arrive at this lighthouse.
I really loved this shot of the mister silhouetted against the setting sun. On hindsight, I should have got him to do some crazy gesturing with his hands or something for an even more impactful picture.
A shadow-wefie in the setting sun. 😉
We came by another lighthouse along the coastline. This one had a breakwater sheltering a small wharf. The wooden railings reminded me a little of Tojinbo in Japan.
We retraced our steps back to the IRIS lighthouse for more shots with the setting sun. It was getting windy and I was cold! Forgot to bring along a coat with hoodie or a beanie, so the scarf protecting my neck from the cold had to double up as my ‘hoodie’.
Not wishing to drive in the dark, we left the area when the sun was still setting. And headed straight back to the hotel where we knew we could find a lot of food in the vicinity.
I had been raving about the Black Pork BBQ place where I ate with the bffs in March. Since it was near the hotel, we parked the car, went up to freshen up and then went out again to explore the neighbourhood. The problem with me is, while I can be very good with directions, I tend to switch off when someone else is leading the way. That was the case when I was with my bffs – try as I might, I could not remember where the restaurant is located.
Finally, we found the restaurant.
Although Kimchi Stew is not in the menu, I asked for it and the lady owner confirmed that they could prepare that for me. Happy! My tummy was feeling a little chilly and this stew would help a lot in warming it a little.
Comparatively, the mister preferred the grilled black pork we had the night before at Dongbaek Jongwon 동백정원. In general I don’t fancy pork much, so I didn’t eat a lot of it. At least not enough to form an opinion; I trust his superior taste buds in this case.
Seogwipo Astronomical Science and Culture Centre 서귀포천문과학문화관 [GPS:739-9701]
It was still early after we were done with dinner. We decided to find a spot for some night photography and finalised on Seogwipo Astronomical Science and Culture Centre 귀포천문과학문화관 based on its relatively nearer distance from our hotel. We returned to the room to freshen up, changed into some thicker clothing, organised the photography equipment required and headed out. Based on Naver Maps’ estimate, we should be able to arrive at the centre at least half hour before its closing at 2200hrs.
Whilst I knew I would have to drive up the dark, winding mountain road again, I was not expecting the distance. Sometime midway, I started regretting.
Fortunately, the drive was not that long. It was pitch dark when I drove along the service road leading to the centre. So dark I couldn’t even quite make out the way to drive into the parking lot with my headlights. We were puzzled. Didn’t the website state that the centre is opened till 2200hrs?
Nevertheless, pitch dark is especially good for capturing star trails. While I concentrated on finding the best angle, the worry-wart with me was concerned with safety. He was afraid we might be attacked or mugged since I had to switch off the car headlights for the photo-taking and we were swallowed in complete darkness. Didn’t help that it was also exceedingly cold for an autumn night. I’d forgotten that we would be in the hills and was under-dressed.
During our brief visit to the centre, I managed one satisfactory shot when the satellite dish paused at a position long enough for me to capture a little star trails (reason why the stars are blur). The mister refused to allow me more time for more attempts although he agreed that we could revisit the lighthouses at Pyoseon Beach for some night shots, after filling up our tank.
Here’s the queer thing about petrol kiosks on Jeju Island – they were all closed by 2130hrs! Alright, a few were open but only had diesel, presumably to serve trucks and trailers travelling long distance late into the night. Try as we might, we could not locate any 24-hour, or for that matter, a petrol kiosk with gasoline that was still opened at the time. With an almost empty fuel tank by the time we arrived back in the vicinity of the hotel, there was no way we could travel out again for night photography as planned. The idea was discarded and we called it a night. 😦
If you ever drive on Jeju Island, remember not to leave the task of filling up your fuel tank till at night. There are a couple of 24-hour petrol kiosks, but the likelihood that you can locate one is extremely slim.