With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Archive for November, 2009

No Bus!

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 28, 2009

November 26, 2009

All Pictures

No! You took all the good bits of a boyfriend and just left the head.

The Maddening Buses!!!

My mistake was this. I wanted to see Mini-mini Land, then the Trick Art Museum, then the Chocolate Museum. I looked at my map and the bus route information and thought that it could be done.

We would take the bus from gate 7 to Minimini Land then walk to Sangumburi. After that we would take a bus that left from gate 3 to the Trick Art Museum then catch that same bus to Pyoseon. From there we would catch the gate 4 bus to Seogwipo City bus terminal then get on the gate 11 bus to somewhere near the Chocolate Museum, then get a taxi the rest of the way.

I’ve never trusted that Snow White.

Everything was going well until we got to somewhere near Seogwipo. I’m not sure where we stopped. The bus driver told us that it was our stop and we needed to change buses to get near the Chocolate Museum. But when we got off and asked what bus to take next, everyone told us, “NO BUS!”

I’m not sure what was going on. Because a bus driver before told us that we would have “3 changee” which is what I worked out also by looking at my map and bus info. But at that one stop, no one wanted to help us.

Stop asking me for directions!

The man at the ticket counter couldn’t understand my English map. He pulled out a Korean map for me to show him where I wanted to go. I kept my English map open for me to compare the two and find the location on his map. But he kept pushing my English map aside and tried to knock it out of my hands. He seemed to have gotten annoyed and just shouted, “NO BUS”. After that, no one was very helpful. Later a new bus driver showed up and we asked him. He pointed out the bus that we should take. But by then it was too late. The museum closed at 5:00 pm.

All this could have been avoided if only there were a bus map and the buses had numbers. The island is too big to take taxis around. Most tourists just sign up for bus tours, but you don’t have much control over what you see and do with your time. I don’t like bus tours.

Mark in the mirror

If you go to Jeju, I recommend one of two things:

1. Rent a car.

2. Pick one bus per day. See all the stuff on that bus route and never change buses. And remember that most buses stop running around 21:00.

I also think that whenever you find a free map, you should take it no matter what language it is in. There are tons of attractions on this island and they can’t all fit on any one map. So every map leaves out many things.

Since I’ve spent most of this blog entry giving bus information and wining about the lack of bus route maps I think I should post some videos. This is to show that we did have loads of fun, when we weren’t waiting for buses.

MiniMiniLand:

The Trick Art Museum:

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Jeju Island
(제주도)

How to get there:

  • 33°30’26.8″N 126°29’32.8″E

From Seoul or Incheon:

  • By Boat fromthePortofIncheon
    • Depending on the time of year the fare to Jeju by boat will be cheaper than flying. But for us, traveling in the non-peak season for air travel, it was almost double the price of a cheap flight.
    • Cost: about 65,000KRW  one-way or more depending of the accommodations
    • Phone: 721-2173
  • ByPlanefromGimpo Airport
    • The best way to find cheap flights is to go wikipedia, look up the airport of your destination (Jeju International Airport) , find out what airlines fly there and from where. Then go down the list of airlines. Check out their website for flights costs. It doesn’t hurt to check out a few flight search engines like orbitz or priceline. We got our tickets from JejuAir with the help of a Korean speaker. They were less than 200,000KRW for 2 round trip tickets.

From outside Korea:

Notes:

  • Public transportation on Jeju Island is a real pain. Rent a car or scooter or bring a really interesting book.
  • Even though it is called the Hawaii of Korea, it is not warm there in the winter.

Gimpo Airport
(김포국제공항)

to get there:

  • 37°33’31.2″N 126°47’40.0″E

From Seoul

  • By Subway:
    • It’s easy, just go to Gimpo Airport subway station. If you live anywhere near a line 9 station, then you can take advantage of the express train to Gimpo.
  • By Bus:
    • All the airport limosine to Incheon Airport from Seoul stops at Gimpo Airport. Just look out for the bus stops with a plane on them. These buses cost 8,000KRW without a T-money card and 7,500KRW with one.

Website

Notes:

  • Gimpo Airport is not even close to being as nice as Incheon airport.
  • There is a movie theater over at the international terminal, but there is not much to do or eat once you go past the security check.
  • Make sure to eat before you go past the security check. There is a restaurant inside but every time I’ve seen it, it was either not opened yet, already closed, or there was nothing decent to eat.

Jeju City Bus Terminal
(제주종합터미널)

How to get there:

  • 33°29’58.9″N 126°30’53.7″E

From the Airport:

  • Take the #100 city bus.
  • They use the English word for “terminal” so when the stop is near you will hear the word in English.
  • You can use your T-Money card on all public buses on this island.

Address:

Jeju IntercityTerminal
2441 Ora 1-dong, Jeju City

Notes:


Yeha Guesthouse

How to get there:

  • 33°29’59.7″N 126°31’33.9″E
  • by taxi: 3 minutes from Jeju Airport (3,000KRW)
  • by bus:
    • take the #100, get off at Jeju bus terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.
  • fromJeju Port Terminal:
    • Take the #92 bus (1,000KRW),
    • get off at the Jungangno crossroads near the KB bank.
    • Then transfer to the #100 bus (1,000KRW)
    • get off at Jeju Bus Terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.

Address: 

Yeha Guesthouse 561-17, Samdo 1-dong Jeju-si, Jeju Island

Phone:

  • +82-64-713-5505

Website:

E-Mail: yehaguesthouse@hotmail.com

Notes:

  • It’s way better than staying at a love motel.
  • It comes with free breakfast,
  • free internet,
  • free wireless internet,
  • free laundry,
  • free international phone calls,
  • free use of the kitchen…
  • Most of all, it’s clean.
  • If you book your stay through hostelworld you’ll get lower rates.

Mini Mini Land
(미니미니랜드)

How to get There:

  • 33°26’00.1″N 126°40’28.0″E
  • From Jeju City Bus Terminal go to gate 7.
  • The bus driver will tell you where to get off if he knows where you’re going.

Cost:

  • 6,000KRW

Hours:

  • 8:30-19:30

Phone:

  • 064-782-7720

Notes:

The displays are supposed to be tourist attractions from around the world, but they had a hard time sticking to the theme.


Sangumburi
(산굼부리관리사무소)

How to get there:

Cost:

  • 3,000KRW

Hours:

  • Mar 1 – Jul 14     9:00 – 18:00
  • Jul 15 – Aug 31  9:00 – 19:00
  • Sept 1 – oct 31    9:00 – 18:00
  • Nov 1 – Feb 28   9:00 – 17:00

Phone:

  • 064-783-9900

Websites:

Notes:

Like most things in Korea, this involves hiking up a hill. But don’t worry it’s not a very big hill.


The Trick Art Museum
(트릭아트뮤지엄)

How to get there:

  • This museum is near the Seong Folk Village.
  • Take the bus from gate 7 or 3 from Jeju City bus terminal.

From Sangumburi

Cost:

  • 8,000KRW

Notes:

  • Your photos will look better if you turn off your flash.

Map:

Elephant land, Goblin Park, Minimini Land, Joy World, Sangumburi, Seongbuloren, Jeju pony town, reptile theme park, Seongeup Folk Village, Kim Jung-mun Aloe farm, Jeju folk Village

Posted in Jeju, Jeju City, Seogwipo City, South Korea | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hairy Black Pig

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009

All Pictures

caving fun

Women under water

Today was one of those “what we would have done had we known better” days. First we went to see the lava tubes. It was a long walk through the dormant volcano. Then we walked to the maze. It’s a short lovely walk. We spent the next 45 minutes getting lost and un-lost in the maze.

After all that maze walking I asked for directions to the Haenyeo Museum. As usual, I got the standard, what-the-hell-is-that look. I then had to spout out words like, “diving women”, “scuba woman”, and mime like a fool to get people to understand. Maybe my pronunciation is bad… I really need to learn more Korean, but I’m about to leave the country…

Since we couldn’t get directions to the Haenyeo Museum, we asked about Seopjikoji instead. One guy told me, “bus” then pointed out to the road. “Walk 30.” He meant that the walk was 30 minutes down the road. Mark and I were getting hungry at that point and we were not in the mood for another long walk. We knew that a bus goes to the Manjanggul cave and that it’s just a 10 minute walk away, so we went there. We looked at the bus schedule and saw that we had just missed the previous bus. The next one wouldn’t be around for another hour and a half.

There was a restaurant near the cave so we ate there while we waited for the bus. The restaurant’s kimchi jjigae was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was so meaty!

When we were done we strolled around the grounds. I laid down in the grass with a faint thought of a nap in my mind. Mark looked up and saw a bus. “Hey! That’s our bus!” There were 2 schedules apparently, and I had only looked at one.

Crying for a missed bus

Benny

We waited for the next bus. It drove right past Manjanggul’s entrance and never came in. It was now time for some walking to the main road. It was not a 30 minute walk; more like a 20 minute saunter. And it was quicker than waiting for the bus.

When we got on the main-road-bus we told the driver where we wanted to go. At our stop he told us to get a taxi the rest of the way. That’s when we met Benny. He was on our bus and headed in the same direction. As we made our way up Seopjikoji we found out that we were all staying at the same guesthouse. Mark and I decided that Benny’s first Korean meal should be not just samgyeopsal, but Jeju samgyeopsal.

We saw a few more things before heading back to the hostel. We asked the lady at the desk for a good samgyeopsal place. She wrote a note on a post-it for us to show the taxi driver. When we got to the restaurant I stuck the note to the bill on the table. The waitress saw it and thought it was the cutest thing. She kept giggling and showing it to all the other waitresses. I’m still not sure what was so entertaining about it.

Those little “spots” are actually hair

We ordered the famous black pig samgyeopsal that Jeju-do is known for. It was delicious, but they kept the skin on… turns out, black pigs are hairy.

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Jeju Island
(제주도)

How to get there:

  • 33°30’26.8″N 126°29’32.8″E

From Seoul or Incheon:

  • By Boat fromthePortofIncheon
    • Depending on the time of year the fare to Jeju by boat will be cheaper than flying. But for us, traveling in the non-peak season for air travel, it was almost double the price of a cheap flight.
    • Cost: about 65,000KRW  one-way or more depending of the accommodations
    • Phone: 721-2173
  • ByPlanefromGimpo Airport
    • The best way to find cheap flights is to go wikipedia, look up the airport of your destination (Jeju International Airport) , find out what airlines fly there and from where. Then go down the list of airlines. Check out their website for flights costs. It doesn’t hurt to check out a few flight search engines like orbitz or priceline. We got our tickets from JejuAir with the help of a Korean speaker. They were less than 200,000KRW for 2 round trip tickets.

From outside Korea:

Notes:

  • Public transportation on Jeju Island is a real pain. Rent a car or scooter or bring a really interesting book.
  • Even though it is called the Hawaii of Korea, it is not warm there in the winter.

Gimpo Airport
(김포국제공항)

to get there:

  • 37°33’31.2″N 126°47’40.0″E

From Seoul

  • By Subway:
    • It’s easy, just go to Gimpo Airport subway station. If you live anywhere near a line 9 station, then you can take advantage of the express train to Gimpo.
  • By Bus:
    • All the airport limosine to Incheon Airport from Seoul stops at Gimpo Airport. Just look out for the bus stops with a plane on them. These buses cost 8,000KRW without a T-money card and 7,500KRW with one.

Website

Notes:

  • Gimpo Airport is not even close to being as nice as Incheon airport.
  • There is a movie theater over at the international terminal, but there is not much to do or eat once you go past the security check.
  • Make sure to eat before you go past the security check. There is a restaurant inside but every time I’ve seen it, it was either not opened yet, already closed, or there was nothing decent to eat.

Jeju City Bus Terminal
(제주종합터미널)

How to get there:

  • 33°29’58.9″N 126°30’53.7″E

From the Airport:

  • Take the #100 city bus.
  • They use the English word for “terminal” so when the stop is near you will hear the word in English.
  • You can use your T-Money card on all public buses on this island.

Address:

Jeju IntercityTerminal
2441 Ora 1-dong, Jeju City

Notes:


Yeha Guesthouse

How to get there:

  • 33°29’59.7″N 126°31’33.9″E
  • by taxi: 3 minutes from Jeju Airport (3,000KRW)
  • by bus:
    • take the #100, get off at Jeju bus terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.
  • fromJeju Port Terminal:
    • Take the #92 bus (1,000KRW),
    • get off at the Jungangno crossroads near the KB bank.
    • Then transfer to the #100 bus (1,000KRW)
    • get off at Jeju Bus Terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.

Address: 

Yeha Guesthouse 561-17, Samdo 1-dong Jeju-si, Jeju Island

Phone:

  • +82-64-713-5505

Website:

E-Mail: yehaguesthouse@hotmail.com

Notes:

  • It’s way better than staying at a love motel.
  • It comes with free breakfast,
  • free internet,
  • free wireless internet,
  • free laundry,
  • free international phone calls,
  • free use of the kitchen…
  • Most of all, it’s clean.
  • If you book your stay through hostelworld you’ll get lower rates.

Lava Tubes: Manjanggul Cave
(만장굴)

How to get there:

  • 33°31’42.5″N 126°46’17.3″E

From Jeju City Bus Terminal:

  • Take the bus at gate 4.
  • You can use your T-money card.
  • The first bus is at 6:00 and they leave in every 20 minutes after that.
  • You can get off when you hear the English ad for the Lava Tubes at the Manjanggul stop.
  • From here you have to cross the road and walk to the cave.
  • The bus driver might drop you off at Gimnyeong-ri. From here you can take a bus to the cave. The bus doesn’t come very often, so it might be better to go the Manjanggul bus stop.

How to leave:

  • Check the schedule for the bus that takes you to the main road.
  • If one isn’t coming in the next 20 minutes just walk to the main road.
  • Walk towards the Gimnyeong Maze Park.
  • There is only one bus that passes on that main road. It’s the bus you took to get to the cave.
  • The stop on the side closest to the ocean will get you a bus going to Jeju City Bus Terminal
  • The bus stop on the side opposite the ocean will get buses going to Seogwupo City Bus Terminal.

Address:

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Gujwa-eup Donggimryeong-ri San 7-1

Phone:

  • +82-64-783-4818

Cost:

  • 2,000KRW

Hours:

  • 9:00-17:30

Notes:

  • Bring a jacket.
  • High heels are not allowed.

Gimnyeong Maze Park
(김녕미로공원)

How to get there:

  • 33°32’09.4″N 126°46’19.9″E

The directions are the same as the Manjanggul cave.

From Jeju City Bus Terminal:

  • Take the bus at gate 4.
  • You can use your T-money card.
  • The first bus is at 6:00 and they leave in every 20 minutes after that.
  • You can get off when you hear the English ad for the Lava Tubes at the Manjanggul stop.
  • From here you have to cross the road and walk to the maze.
  • The bus driver might drop you off at Gimnyeong-ri. From here you can take a bus to the cave. The bus doesn’t come very often, so it might be better to go the Manjanggul bus stop.

How to leave:

The directions are the same as the Manjanggul cave.

  • Check the schedule for the bus that takes you to the main road.
  • If one isn’t coming in the next 20 minutes just walk to the main road.
  • Walk away from the lava tubes.
  • There is only one bus that passes on that main road. It’s the bus you took to get to the cave or maze.
  • The stop on the side closest to the ocean will get you a bus going to Jeju City Bus Terminal
  • The bus stop on the side opposite the ocean will get buses going to Seogwupo City Bus Terminal.

Address:

Gujwa-eup Gimnyeong-ri, Jeju-si, Jeju-do South Korea

Phone:

  • +82-64-1330

Cost:

  • 3,300KRW

Hours:

  • 8:00-18:00

Seopjikoji
(섭지코지매표소)

How to get there:

  • 33°25’24.9″N 126°55’47.7″E
  • From Jeju City Bus Terminal
    • get on the bus at gate 4. Get off at Sinyang-ri and take a taxi or walk the rest of the way. Remember to tell the bus driver where you want to go so that he can tell you when to get off.
  • From the Manjanggul cave or Gimnyeong Maze Park
    • go to the main road, wait at the bus stop on the side opposite the ocean, and get on the bus that stops there. Get off at Sinyang-ri and take a taxi or walk the rest of the way. Remember to tell the bus driver where you want to go so that he can tell you when to get off.

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

  • always open to the public

Phone:

  • 06-782-2810

Sunrise Peak/Seongsan Ilchulbong
(성선일줄봉)

How to get there:

  • From Jeju City Bus Terminal
    • get on the bus at gate 4. Remember to tell the bus driver where you want to go so that he can tell you when to get off. You can walk the rest of the way.
  • From the Manjanggul cave or Gimnyeong Maze Park
    • go to the main road, wait at the bus stop on the side opposite the ocean, and get on the bus that stops there. Remember to tell the bus driver where you want to go so that he can tell you when to get off. You can walk the rest of the way.

Cost:

  • 2,000KRW

Hours:

  • Nov-Feb 1hr before sunrise to 20:00;
  • Mar-Oct 1hr before sunrise to 21:00

Phone: 064-783-0959

Map:

Posted in Jeju, Jeju City, South Korea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Only 1 lighter

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

All Pictures

boo

Does this thing make my bag look big?

Mark and I got to Gimpo Airport way ahead of time. We didn’t want to be late and we had nothing better to do with our time. Besides, I love hanging out at airports. We checked in at JejuAir.

You’re too big, bag.

I noticed the very tiny sized baggage restriction demo near the counter. I placed my backpack on the demo and saw that my backpack was more than twice its size. I asked the lady at the luggage check-in if I could carry my bag on. She said it was okay.

There was no way to get my bag to fit in the overhead compartment. Mark shoved it under the seats in front of us. It took up the space meant for 2 carry-on bags. (My backpack is considered to be a small backpacking rucksack and I always use it as a carry-on.)

oh yeah, Josie is not my real name…

조씨

When it was time to go through security, I noticed that my name was misspelled. My real first name is J-O-S-E-P-H-I-N-E. My nickname is J-O-S-I-E. My ticket said, “J-O-S-I-E-P-H-I-N-E” with the last 5 letters written in pen and a stamp above it. I looked at the ticket and giggled. “They wrote my name wrong.” I guess the security lady heard me, because she scrutinized the ticket and would not let me pass.

I went back to the ticket counter to get my ticket reprinted. The lady at the counter could not see the difference. She kept looking at my passport then at the ticket. I had to point the mistake out to her.

“Oh,” she said, then pressed the print button on her keyboard. I thought it would come out with my name correctly spelled on the ticket. It still said J-O-S-I-E. Then the lady took out her pen and crossed out the I-E and wrote E-P-H-I-N-E. The ticket was then topped off with a tiny blue stamp.

Once past the first stage of security check, we moved on to the x-ray scans and the metal detectors. I got through just fine. Mark was stopped. He had forgotten that he had 2 cigarette lighters in his backpack. One guard told him, “lighter.”

Mark: “Oh, I can’t bring a lighter?”

Guard: “No, 2 lighters. One okay”

Mark handed the guard one of his lighters. So I guess bringing flammable liquids on a plane is okay as long as you just have one container.

Would anyone care for a drink of water?

OOoooo It’s so MysTerioS

On our first day on Jeju we visited first the Mysterious Road then Love Land. Love Land was great. As expected there were lots of ajumas (older ladies) and ajusshis (male counterparts of the ajuma) pointing at things, giggling at things, and yanking on things. They get so scandalized, but they just can’t look away.

The Mysterious road, however was a bit of a let down, but still okay-I-guess.

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Jeju Island
(제주도)

How to get there:

  • 33°30’26.8″N 126°29’32.8″E

From Seoul or Incheon:

  • By BoatfromthePortofIncheon
    • Depending on the time of year the fare to Jeju by boat will be cheaper than flying. But for us, traveling in the non-peak season for air travel, it was almost double the price of a cheap flight.
    • Cost: about 65,000KRW  one-way or more depending of the accommodations
    • Phone: 721-2173
  • ByPlanefromGimpo Airport
    • The best way to find cheap flights is to go wikipedia, look up the airport of your destination (Jeju International Airport) , find out what airlines fly there and from where. Then go down the list of airlines. Check out their website for flights costs. It doesn’t hurt to check out a few flight search engines like orbitz or priceline. We got our tickets from JejuAir with the help of a Korean speaker. They were less than 200,000KRW for 2 round trip tickets.

From outside Korea:

Notes:

  • Public transportation on Jeju Island is a real pain. Rent a car or scooter or bring a really interesting book.
  • Even though it is called the Hawaii of Korea, it is not warm there in the winter.

Gimpo Airport
(김포국제공항)

to get there:

  • 37°33’31.2″N 126°47’40.0″E

From Seoul

  • By Subway:
    • It’s easy, just go to Gimpo Airport subway station. If you live anywhere near a line 9 station, then you can take advantage of the express train to Gimpo.
  • By Bus:
    • All the airport limousine to Incheon Airport from Seoul stops at Gimpo Airport. Just look out for the bus stops with a plane on them. These buses cost 8,000KRW without a T-money card and 7,500KRW with one.

Website

Notes:

  • Gimpo Airport is not even close to being as nice as Incheon airport.
  • There is a movie theater over at the international terminal, but there is not much to do or eat once you go past the security check.
  • Make sure to eat before you go past the security check. There is a restaurant inside but every time I’ve seen it, it was either not opened yet, already closed, or there was nothing decent to eat.

Jeju City Bus Terminal
(제주종합터미널)

How to get there:

  • 33°29’58.9″N 126°30’53.7″E

From the Airport:

  • Take the #100 city bus.
  • They use the English word for “terminal” so when the stop is near you will hear the word in English.
  • You can use your T-Money card on all public buses on this island.

Address:

Jeju IntercityTerminal
2441 Ora 1-dong, Jeju City

Notes:


Yeha Guesthouse

How to get there:

  • 33°29’59.7″N 126°31’33.9″E
  • by taxi: 3 minutes from Jeju Airport (3,000KRW)
  • by bus:
    • take the #100, get off at Jeju bus terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.
  • fromJeju Port Terminal:
    • Take the #92 bus (1,000KRW),
    • get off at the Jungangno crossroads near the KB bank.
    • Then transfer to the #100 bus (1,000KRW)
    • get off at Jeju Bus Terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.

Address:

Yeha Guesthouse 561-17, Samdo 1-dong Jeju-si, Jeju Island

Phone:

  • +82-64-713-5505

Website:

E-Mail: yehaguesthouse@hotmail.com

Notes:

  • It’s way better than staying at a love motel.
  • It comes with free breakfast,
    • free internet,
    • free wireless internet,
    • free laundry,
    • free international phone calls,
    • free use of the kitchen…
    • Most of all, it’s clean.
  • If you book your stay through hostelworld you’ll get lower rates.

Love Land
(제주러브랜드)

How to get there:

  • 33°27’05.9″N 126°29’23.9″E
  • According to the website Love Land is a 10 minutes cab ride from the airport.
  • You can also get the bus at gate 2 at the Jeju Bus Terminal (제주종합버스터미넌).

Address:

680-26, Yeon-dong
Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

Phone:

  • 82-64-712-6988

Website

Cost:

  • 7000KRW

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 0:00

Notes:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter.

The Mysterious Road

How to get there:

  • 33°27’02.2″N 126°29’11.4″E
  • This road is near Love Land.
  • Use the map below and directions above to get there.
  • Walk pass Love Land a bit and you can’t miss it.

Address:

Mysterious Road (Dokkaebi Road)
Nohyeong-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Phone:

  • 064-710-3312

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • always available

Notes:

  • Don’t expect too much.

Map:

Posted in Jeju, Jeju City, South Korea | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fish and a Movie: The count down to Thailand

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 23, 2009

November 22, 2009

All Pictures

Care for a snack?

This is the end, my only friend, the end

November 24, 2009, will be the start of my last week in Korea. Mark, though his contract isn’t over, is on vacation. His last contracted weeks will be spent on vacation which will end on the day we leave Korea.

So we are doing any and everything we ever wanted to do while in Korea but haven’t gotten around to yet. Yesterday, it was number 8 on my list and number 6 on Marks.

yum!

My #8. Dr. Fish

A friend of ours told Mark about a Dr. Fish place in Incheon she visited once. She told us it was near a “book cafe”. Mark and I walked along the street away from the Arts Center station and towards the Shinsegae. There was a Dr. Fish sign to our left. It said, “Dr. Fish Coffee Bread.” We thought it was two signs really close together. It wasn’t.

We went to the 3rd floor and didn’t see a Dr. Fish place. Annoyed because Korea seems to be filled with many misleading signs, we went into the coffee shop to complain to each other about Korea’s many misleading signs. In the corner was the Dr. Fish pool.

The place was really crowded, but no one seemed interested in sticking their feet into the fishy pond. What appeared to be the main attraction was the free bread. You can take as much bread as you like, but you only get 1 gram of butter and 3 grams of jam.

Mark’s #6. DVD Bang (DVD )

I’ll be completely honest with you. DVD bangs are the places that teenagers and cheap adults go to make-out or have sex. I mean, look at the sofa in the room. It’s really a bed… a leather bed.

But, Mark had never been in one and we are leaving in a week. How could we leave Korea without trying one out? …without blogging about one? We picked Valkere as our movie. Meh…

It’s like watching at home, except way more expensive.

DVD bangs are easily found all over Korea. It isn’t cheaper than a movie theater, but that’s not really the point, now is it? It cost about 15,000KRW for the room. That’s about the price of 2 movie tickets. So if there are 3 of you then it would be cheaper than going to the movies. But the room is small.

It does feel a little creepy sitting in a tiny “make-out room” and the leather sofa doesn’t help. But it’s nice to be able to watch any movie on demand. It kind of reminds me of something… Oh, my DVD player at home.

So what are the reasons to use a DVD room when you aren’t a horny teenager or cheating on your spouse when you should be at work? Well, there are a few:

  • You have to wait for about 1.5 hours.
  • You need to take a 1.5 hour nap.
  • You really love leather sofas, but your spouse or parent won’t let you have one.
  • You need to have some alone time. (Scratch that. It sounds too weird.)

Nice…

Cheap Movie Tickets

To get a half price movie ticket, just show up at a theater before 9:00 or 10:00 am. Most theaters are only open for morning-half-price movies on the weekends, but some have them on the weekdays too. On the weekends, it’s best to buy your early morning movie tickets the day before. They tend to get sold out or reserved by Koreans online. On weekdays you might be the only one in the theater.

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Book & Spa Cafe
(Dr. Fish Coffee Bread)

How to get there:

Website

Downloadable:

Cost:

  • 4,000KRW for the Dr. Fish (about 4UDS)
  • Way too much for drinks
  • Bread, plain coffee, and liquid sugar are free. But, who wants that when there are lattes to be had?

Hours:

  • Sun – Thur 10:30 – 1:00
  • Fri – Sat 10:30 – 2:00

Notes:

  • Be prepared to be stared at if you do the doctor fish thing. Most people don’t want to do it, they just like ogling the few who do.

Map:

Posted in Incheon, Namdong, South Korea | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 6, 2009

November 6 – December 1, 2009

Sarah and I saying goodbye to Ron at Changdong station

It’s almost time to say goodbye.

I leave Korea on December 1st and head to Thailand. There Mark and I will travel around a bit then find jobs. Hopefully, next year, we will have interviews in Guam for jobs in Japan. But for right now we have one more trip in Korea. We’re going to Jeju Island November 24-27.

I’m writing my farewell to Korea now, in case I don’t have time later. I’m doing it in the form of a top 10 list of things I will miss about Korea. Like all top 10 list I will start with 10, the one with the least importance.

Jjimjilbangs!

10. Jimjjilbangs (찜질방): A cheaper alternative to a taxi ride home

For some reason, taxi rates increase exponentially around 2:00am. Since public transportation shuts down at midnight, there isn’t anything you can do but pay up… or is there?

Late at night a cab ride home might cost 35,000KRW. A stay in a jimjiilbang costs about 7,000KRW to 15,000KRW. You get a clean change of clothes, a shower, and you can go to sleep right away. In the morning you eat breakfast at the restaurant in the jjimjilbag and maybe even take in a workout at the gym there. All of this, except for breakfast, is included in the price. Sure you’ll spend the night in a room with many snoring Korean families, but you’re tired and most likely drunk. What do you care?

“Calf Branding”

9. Non-sense T-shirts: Entertainment in shirt form

Not only do I love reading nonsense T-shirts being worn by Koreans who have no idea how inappropriate, vulgar, silly, or embarrassing the words are, but I love wearing them myself. Of course I only wear the silly ones. I leave all the rest for others to make faux pas in.

Hongdae is the best place to buy them, but you can find them in subway transfer stations too. Don’t pay too much for them.

I have to pay 500KRW for a whipping! What a rip off…

8. Hangul (한글):  Being able to read

When I lived in Japan, I couldn’t read anything. Signs, billboards, food packaging, none of these things meant diddly-squat to me. But here in Korea, I can read Hangul.

Okay, I don’t understand what I read, but I can pronounce it. This helps when reading maps. Most signs and ingredients are English words written in Hangul.

Because I can read Hangul, I have learned more Korean vocabulary in Korea than I learned Japanese vocabulary in Japan. For example: While grocery shopping I see a box of grapes and the word “포도” on the box. Pod0, rhyming with “pogo” means grape in Korean. 포도 주세요!

I found a book on amazon that says it can help you learn Hangul in one hour. I don’t think it would take even that long to learn. It’s so easy to learn.

Not an actual doctor

7. Cheap Medical Treatment: Doctor Visit = $3; Drugs = $2

If you work in Korea legally, you are under the national health insurance. Maybe it makes me a big commie, but I LOVE Korea’s national health insurance.

Until I got to Korea the cheapest doctor visit I had ever had, was when I was in College. It cost 20USD to see a doctor; more if something was actually wrong with you. And even more if you wanted to get it fixed. Dr. Moon, the school’s doctor, didn’t have a very good bedside manner. He had cold hands and old man smell.

Once I had bronchitis and needed to use all the cash I had to pay $50 for medication. It made me drowsy and nauseous. It cost another $30 to fill a new prescription for drugs that would not make me throw up. I had to use my credit card for that.

At home, drugs come in little bottles. Each drug comes in its own bottle so if you are on 12 types of medication you have a lot of opening to do.

In Korea, drugs come in little baggies that are connected. The edges are perforated so that you can tear one packet apart from the rest. Each bag contains all the drugs you have to take at a given time. It’s great when you have to take multiple drugs. Just rip open one little packet and pour the contents into your mouth. Get a glass of water and swallow.

I would still advise anyone coming to Korea to pack their favorite pain-killer, flu medicine, and any other non-prescription medication they think they might need. It’s no fun buying over the counter medications when you’re sick, in a foreign country, and haven’t learned how to read yet.

My friends like-a-da meat

6. Meat

If I were going back to the US, I wouldn’t miss Korean meat. But I’m moving to another Asian country.

I’ve lived in Japan and visited many Asian countries. Koreans are the biggest Asian meat eaters, aside from the Mongolians*. In Thailand, where I’m going next, they don’t seem to eat a lot of meat compared to American standards of meat consumption.

another meat grilling shot

Here in Korea there are restaurants that serve mostly meat. I was surprised the first time I went to one of the chicken and beer places to find  that all they serve is chicken and beer; no rice, no French fries, no juice, no tea. Even though I’m looking forward to plates of Pad Thai and bowls of Tom yum, I will miss things like samgyeopsal, and galbi.

*The meat in Mongolia is not delicious. If I were to live there long enough I would become a vegetarian. I might end up starving to death, since  vegetables there are not very tasty either.

What ever the hell this thing is, I LOVE it!!

5. Baked Eggs (맥반석걔란)

They’re called maekbanseok gyeran and they look like burnt hard-boiled eggs. I can’t say that they have much of a flavor, but I love the texture.  I’ve never seen them anywhere but in Korea.

According to mykoreankitchen.com, they are made by baking eggs for 3 hours on an Elvan stone. Elvan stones are used in Korean saunas (jimjjilbangs)  and are believed to have medicinal value. The stones supposedly releases some sort of infrared rays and this cures ailments of the body.

recipe:

One comment on mykoreankitchen.com, states that these delicious eggs can be made by cooking them in a simple crock-pot for 3.5 hours. Then letting them cool for an hour. But, only the eggs touching the crock-pot will have the “smoky” flavor. I don’t know if it will work, but I might try it one day when I start to miss Korea.

Update: The crock-pot version is close, but not close enough…

Update Again: A closer approximation to an Elvan stone baking is your own oven. Put your eggs in a pot; a ceramic one of you have. Put the oven on 200°C (that’s a very low setting) and bake for 10 or so hours.

Jjimdak

4. Jjim dak (찜닭): a.k.a Andong jjimdak (안동찜닭)

This is some delicious stuff! The best place to get it is a restaurant near the bell by Jonggak station. If you’re ever in Seoul you should definitely try it. For some reason all restaurants serve way too much jjim dak. If there are 3 or 4 of you, order jjim dak for two. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as jjim dak for one, so make some friends quickly.

I would give you the recipe for it, but I can’t find one online. The closest thing to a recipe I found was the list of ingredients and preparation given by Wikipedia.

Heaven in the spine of a pig

3. Gamjatang (감자탕): pork bone soup

This is the most delicious thing this country has to offer. The best place to get it… well, maybe I just like it for sentimental reasons, is  near Seoul Station. When standing at the KTX station looking out on Seoul subway station, the restaurant is ahead and to the right near the many little restaurants around the corner down the street. I remember the place because it’s the only one with pictures of dishes. The name is written on there, but I don’t remember if it’s written in English or Hangul.

This is another dish where a standard 2 person dish can serve 4 people.

Here is the recipe and below is a video recipe.

The subway is always fun!

2. Seoul Metro (수도권 전철): Wonderfully Cheap Public Transportation

Seoul has the greatest public transportation in the world. It’s easy to use, cheap, and you can go shopping while transferring between stations. And it just keeps growing. I can only think of 2 things wrong with it; there are too many aggressive ajummas and it all shuts down at midnight.

All you need is a T-money card and you can go anywhere in Seoul and almost anywhere in Korea. With your T-money card you can pay for rides on buses, subways, taxis, and buy stuff at many convenient stores. They also work on vending machines in the subway and you can even make donations with it to the Salvation Army.

I LOVE Seoul public transportation!

Seoul Metro is so big that you can use it to leave Seoul. You can visit Incheon, Suwon, Uijeongbu, and some other cities outside of Seoul that I’ve never heard of. Best of all, you can do all this for about 4USD!

If you use a bus, any bus or subway ride is free for a half hour after deboarding the first bus. If you use the subway, any bus ride is free within half an hour of exiting the subway station. If you need to go to the airport there are special buses that will take you directly there for about 8,000KRW (less than 8USD) and it’s cheaper when you use your T-money card.

If you take the cheapest, slowest train from Seoul you can go to Busan for 20,000KRW. Where else can you travel clear across the country for less than 20USD?

And number 1?

1. Friends (친구): Whole lotta strange and wonderful people in Seoul

During the past year, my co-workers have asked me many odd questions. One of the more common questions is, “How many friends do you have?” I don’t know anyone who has ever sat down to count all their friends. If anyone did, it would mean that they didn’t have many friends or anything better to do with their time.

I’ve made lots of great friends during my time in Korea. Some have already left. Some are staying in Korea indefinitely. I might see some in Japan next year when I hopefully get a job there. Others I might never see again. So here is a memorial to my friends in photo-form.

Beer and Basketball with Sarah

We had different Dongs but the same Gu. Dobong-Gu FOREVER!!

My friends and me with the Thong Man of Busan

The only time I was able to talk people into going hiking with me.

Taryn just reminded me that I talked her and several others into hiking to see Gatbawi in Daegu. So that’s twice.

Fun on the east coast

Buying big pies at Costco

Noreabanging the night away

Friends in my bed

Boardgame bang. (Sarah and I take this stuff seriously!)

Dancing

Fun with hanboks

Fun at a dog cafe

Hanging out downtown

eating street food

posing with guys we don’t know

Ajummasizing down by the river

Making high calorie cookies (We were literally making cookies with crushed cookies instead of flour.)

Stay at a traditional Korean village

My birthday Party

Sarah’s Birthday party

My class and Co-teacher, Mrs. Kim.

Mrs. Kim has helped me so much during my time in Korea. Almost every trip that I took in Korea, started out with a phone call or two by Mrs. Kim to inquire about directions, reservations, availability and/ or price. She really went out of her way to help me whenever possible.

One of the funniest moments in class

I had the class watch a clip from the show Friends and they had to continue the story with what they thought should or would happen next. It’s from the episode where Joey gets a call from his agent, Estelle, telling him that he has a part in a new movie, but there is one problem…

So this group got up to act out the script they wrote in last week’s class.

Estelle the Agent: Joey, you have to have a kiss scene in the movie. Is that okay?

Joey: No problem. I show you.

“Joey” then plants a big fake kiss on the side of “Phoebe’s” head to the shock of everyone in the class.

You know there isn’t that much to do in Changdong on a Saturday night

Tea and a foot bath

Me in an education newspaper

Goodbye Korea. Goodbye good friends. I will be “missing for you”.


Here’s some funny English from Korea.

Posted in South Korea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: