Day 2 in Jeju began with a good start: Blue sky with no hint of rain. It was a cool, sunny day to get around! Our hotel was situated around Jeju City (northern Jeju area), so it took us around 1-hour drive to get to our first destination of the day, Jeongbang Waterfall, which lies in Seogwipo City, that is in the southern part of Jeju.
Our driver drove us from the north straight to south through Mt. Halla-san. If you see the map of Jeju, you’ll know that Halla-san – or Mount Halla – is prominently located in the center of Jeju Island. It was a memorable drive accompanied with a series of K-Pop music hits (dunno, our driver set it just like that). The road through the mountain was actually quite broad, and as smooth as a toll road. The mountain trees fenced in from each side of the road, their branches sometimes touched each others that at some points they formed a beautiful leafy tunnel. We even passed by a vast horse ranch! Sadly I didn’t take much pictures during the drive; those I happened to capture unfortunately are all blurred pictures ^^ The forests were so amazingly beautiful even in late Spring, and I bet the foliage will be more beautiful in autumn hues.
So… as I mentioned before, Jeongbang Waterfall is located in Seogwipo. Seogwipo is Jeju’s second-largest city, and… did I mention it’s also a beauty?
It’s a waterfront city bordered by Seogwipo harbour and a line of white ships bobbing quietly and… can I confess something? I get this same melancholic sentiment every time I visit a city or a town tucked so near to a coastline. Why, I also got bitten by this unknown melancholic bug when I visited Kamakura and Kobe. Sigh.
It’s such a shame I couldn’t fully explore this city.
But at least, the drive around this city made up for a quick, awesome sightseeing. Plus, Jeongbang Waterfall is equally awesome!
It was… wow. So refreshing. You see, the water falls directly to the ocean and this very sight makes Jeongbang Waterfall one of the top 3 famous waterfalls you have to visit in Jeju. Let the pictures do the talking!
It was a great, albeit windy morning (what else can you expect if you’re so close to the ocean anyway). We continued our journey to the Teddy Bear Museum after that. Well, it was the only place we visited in Jeju that was not of nature. I myself didn’t expect too much, as I was not a particular fan of Teddy Bear… but the experience turned out interesting!
The setup, the dioramas… I loved admiring all the efforts and the details (and the clothes!) that went into the construction of each diorama that I spent quite a while moving from one diorama to the next. It was just so amusing.
This part of Jeju, particularly in Seogwipo City, somewhat gives a Miami vibe with all those palm trees and smooth road. Well, it’s not as if I’d been to Miami anyway. But it definitely has a different feel – if compared to the area around my hotel and the coastal area where I’d previously visited the day before. But each is equally beautiful!
We were off for lunch at Seogwipo (jajjangmyeon, jampong) and headed towards Sanbang-san!
Sanbang-san is close to the beautiful Yeongmori Beach. According to visitkorea.co.kr, “Yongmeori Beach is a place where Mt. Sanbangsan stretches into the ocean and it looks as if a dragon’s head is going underwater.”
Well, yes, you can actually follow the route starting from the beach, trek around the circumference of the coast beneath the amazing cliff while enjoying the view of the sea that is so so so so close to your right while at the same time navigating your steps through the uneven rocks, until you emerge on a path that connects you to Sanbang-san.
The trekking route is not as short as seemingly seen in the first glance though. But the whole experience, for me, was so enjoyable. There were quite a lot of people going here at that time, but not too much to the point of overwhelming. Instead, it felt like going on a picnic by the sea. People were eating seafood and drinking soju sold by the women divers. They were laughing wholeheartedly. We could inhale the sea breeze and filled our lungs with it as much as we wanted.
Some people started their way from the beach, but many started from the other way round from Sanbang-san. We ourselves started from the beach, making our way around the otherworldly beautiful cliffs and stopping right and then to take photos. It was damn right beautiful. People cannot go to Jeju and not appreciate nature, really. I felt so close to nature than I thought I’d ever been. And it had been so long.
We took our time at Yongmeori Coast. And sadly we didn’t hike the Sanbang-san as we ran out of time.
Vacationing in Jeju is an unforgettable experience for me. Now as I’m typing this after work, I’m missing it terribly terribly terribly. How I wish I could be in my hotel room in Jeju right now, getting ready to set out, going to another place I haven’t seen in Jeju, which is still a lot.
Well, I think, I simply want to go to a place where I could see a horizon line. A place with open space.