Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Vacation part 1: Return to Jeju (31.July - 5.Aug.)

Yesterday was the 1st day of the new semester. Things are getting busy again, which explains why now is also the soonest I can post this entry that's a couple of weeks late. Here it is:

Ah, summer vacation! Finally!
I'm finally able to visit my people in Jeju! Even arrived just in time for a typhoon (Typhoon Nakiri)! Oh Jeju, how I missed thee!

The bus from Hoengseong/Wonju airport to the runway.
It's actually on a military base.
This was the only picture I was bold enough to take.

Where I had lunch, as soon as I arrived in Jeju.

I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant!
One of the owners (and workers) used to be a Jr. teacher at the SDA Language Institute in Jeju. Her English is alright. If you have similar dietary restrictions as I do (i.e. don't eat pork), then she'll make sure they alter the dishes accordingly. This is where I always have Jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles). SOOOO good!

On to my guesthouse!

My bedroom in said guesthouse.
It's on the apartment complex just across the street from Jeju National University Hospital.
The TV had Arirang TV (Korean news and stuff in English)!
The apartment was spacious and comfortable, although a bit far. But that's ok.

Time for a walk into town.

Wait, do you see something strange in this picture?
Well, I don't mean "strange", but something you wouldn't expect to find on a tourist destination in South Korea . . .

Let me zoom in for you . . .

I did not see that coming.
Pretty cool though!

Jeju has been going through such a construction boom as I never would have imagined. I was gone for about 2 years, but I might as well be going to completely different city. I barely recognized a few areas--sadly, the areas I used to frequent the most.

Shew, even the buses are new!

They did NOT have these screens when I lived there!

See that? You see the next stop, and then the 2 stops after. 

Oh, and nice scenery too.

I met a Korean friend who just graduated from university. We went to a restaurant called "Rice Story." Basically, it's either rice or rice noodles plus whatever else. I liked it. I recommend it too. There are a few options for vegetarians, but at least I'd say it's worth a visit to look at the menu.

My order: Mongolian beef stir fry on a bed of rice.

The side we shared: Tofu salad.
Highly recommend (the dressing wasn't too much, to my delight)

My friend's order: Beef and vegetable fried rice.
We tasted each other's. This was better.
If I return, this is what I'll order.

This is a hotel that was under construction the entire time I was in Jeju. My friend told me it was opened just a couple of weeks ago.

Here's a closer look of the hotel.

A closer look of the sign.

I had some time to kill, so I went for a walk around the area I used to jog beside when I was there. I saw a supermarket opened in that area, and decided to take a look.
Here I noticed something really cool that Korea does better than the USA (or the places I've been to in the USA):

You want to know how a product is like, they have one out of the package, open for your hands to handle.

Even a blow-up plastic balloon so you can figure out the fit.

After the exploration, I met with 2 former students. The two ladies took me to a restaurant called "The Roast Restaurant." Apparently, it was new (being a branch of one located in the Shin-Jeju area) and very popular. Then again, they had an "all entree for $9" bargain going on. Mystery solved.
This was really nice. The atmosphere was very classy, but thank GOD the price was down to the level of students--at least it was that evening.

Our shared side of fries and a salad.

My entree: Beef fried rice, with a side of pumpkin and something else covered in yogurt on a bed of salad.

All during my stay in Jeju, I noticed something else. 
This is how you know you're in Jeju during typhoon season: when you see several broken umbrellas

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Exhibit 3
(Side note: there used to be a trash bin at every bus stop. Now that the bus stops are renovated/new, this is the only one I've seen. Sadness!)

On Monday, I met another former SDA Language Institute Jr. teacher for lunch and spent most of the day together. After lunch, she took me to the 4.3. Peace Park. This park is dedicated to the victims of the 4.3. (April 3rd) massacre that happened on Jeju. Get a gist of what happened here.

Map of the vicinity.

The museum.
Too bad we found out it was closed on Mondays--as soon as we arrived.

Yeap, a typhoon was here.

Look at this view.
Even overcast, it amazes me.

Water lilies!

Water lily with a bee in the center.

The water lily pond, with the museum in the background.

Here's a spiral maze/monument.

In the center of said monument.

Info of previous monument.
Don't know if you can read it, but it says that this was created in honor of a young mother and her baby who were gunned down by soldiers during the Jeju Uprising.

A panoramic view of the major memorial park.

My friend found the names of two uncles.
These slabs have the names of those killed in the entire Jeju Uprising episode.
It's still a delicate subject in Jeju today among the locals. Every family has someone who was killed during this time.

Looking across from where my friend found the names of her 2 uncles.

An eerie art depiction of the victims.

Info slab.
Basically, there are 5 slabs: a man, a girl, an unborn child, a boy, and a woman--all headless.
It's said to represent the restless spirits of the dead.

Up at the top, there's a shrine dedicated to the victims. We went inside. It was huge.

Inside the shrine.

I found her uncles names again.

Another field. This time a cemetery.
This is dedicated to the missing.
Considering there weren't that many people on Jeju to begin with, it boggled my mind that so many people could die.

A typhoon had just passed (this was Monday) and another was coming for the weekend . . .
No idea how this cloud formed. Still pretty cool.

The sculpture says it all.

One angle from the cemetery of the missing.

In the top of the bottom-half, you can kinda make out the peak of Halla Mountain, through that cloud.

Now it's Tuesday, my departure date.
I've seen quite a few changes in Jeju, including the airport.

This waiting/shopping/snacking area used to be the security before going downstairs to the gates.

From the section where all the check-in counters are, looking in.

Internet just for the sake of looking up tourist info on Jeju.

That half is the international terminal.
Obviously, I'm at the domestic terminal.

What do you know?
Quad-lingual sign with 4 different types of alphabets/characters!
Common in Jeju.

Here's looking at you, kid.

I made it to Seoul. Now I take the subway to try to get to a few different places, then eventually I get to Cheongyangli Station. From here, it's the train to Wonju station, and the taxi/night bus to Hoengseong.

I haven't seen a train with this much space before--in Korea, that is.


Looking down the car.

Ugh, tired,
When will I get home?

Praise GOD I caught the last city bus from Wonju to my town.
It was a good trip and great to see familiar faces again.
I hope to see them again.

No comments:

Post a Comment