Korea is so cute.
The first hint of how cute it is, was on my domestic flight from Seoul bound for Jeju.
This is the placard they have in front of every seat on the plane >
The smoking room in the airport has inspiring words plastered all over it,
giving a glimpse into what may be Koreans' more highly regarded characteristics.
After i checked into my awesome orchard guesthouse, i rested for an hour (it was an overnight flight where i didn't sleep much) before catching a taxi to explore Jeju for the first time!
Despite how big the island is, Jeju has perfectly-paved roads. I don't think i experienced a single pothole. That's Korean efficiency for you :p (It was hard going back to Malaysia and being jolted back to certain things that aren't so smoothly-run!)
If you love nature, you'll love Jeju to no end...
I'm honestly not a selfie kinda person, but i resort to it when traveling alone 😀
My first meal in Jeju was a seafood hotpot in a restaurant just outside Halim park.
After lunch i took a walk to the beach just across Halim park, which as you can see is really massive and beautiful!!!
Self-timer pic 🙂 My backpack is from Kipling.
I read about this place called the Spirited Garden in my guidebook, and decided i HAD to visit it to see if it was as magical as they say!
I love how the Spirited Garden reminds me of how connected we are with nature; and how "stones have souls, trees have spirit, and water, feelings". It's so true, i always feel like stones and rocks have their own character, as do trees! #treehuggermuch #stonecollector
I allowed myself to wander around the garden at leisure and admire all the bonsai in my own time.
Definitely the most impressive bonsai i've seen in person in my life!
There are also all these signs placed around the garden explaining the connection between the philosophy and learnings from bonsai and human life, which i found true and fascinating.
After i left Spirited Garden, i tried to make my way to a nearby hill to climb, but i discovered it was NOT so nearby after all and felt i might miss the sunset up there. Passed by a local wine bar while walking down the roads and getting lost.
It's a family-run bar which sells wine that they make themselves from citrus and another fruit i forgot, sorry! The girl let me try both flavours before i decided on the citrus one, and (via gesturing cos we both had a language barrier) i discovered they only sold by bottle and not glass! I tried asking her to sell me a glass, and she went, no it's okay, and wanted to GIVE me a glass that in the end i felt that i WANTED to support her and bought a bottle cos she was just so NICE.
I had half the bottle while chilling out there, and got her to pour the other half into my water tumbler so i wouldn't have to carry the heavy bottle around in my backpack with me...
She giggled when she realised what i wanted to do, and i went "hee hee hee" back.
When i wanted to leave and get a taxi home, she was SO nice to offer me a ride back! We managed to communicate using a translation app she had on her phone.
When i got back to Citrus BnB, Young offered to drop me off at a restaurant down the road so i could grab dinner.
EVERYONE IS SO NICE!
I ordered this special pork dish that everyone had been recommending me to try...
It turned out to be too big a portion for me and i felt a bit sick eating it (i don't know... i can't stomach eating so much meat like i used to) and spotted three men seated next to me that i wanted to share it with. I think they were farmers and i kept on gesturing to them that i was full and to PLEASE share some with me!
This is the bit that pushes my acting skills when they can't speak English and i can't speak their language, it's really cool tho cos it spurs you to get over shyness and return to an age-old way of communicating - via gestures + sounds + facial expressions XD
In the end, they helped themselves to the pork and i smiled and encouraged them by nodding my head and grinning widely like a maniac. They were so sweet to buy me a bottle of beer but i only had a glass cos it was much too big for me alone! So they had the rest of the beer too.
'Twas a funny dinner, i really enjoyed it!
In the midst of my meal, a middle-aged Korean lady who spoke some English stopped by my table to ask whether i was alone, and that i was okay getting home cos it was getting dark. So nice of her...
When i was done, the restaurant owner arranged for one of her staff to fetch me home to the guesthouse 🙂 That was the plan Young had arranged for me!
I don't know why people are so scared to travel alone, i think you need to have faith in yourself and the people around you that everything will be okay. I feel that more people are looking out for me especially when i'm a single female traveling alone compared to when i'm with a girl friend. I mean, of course i'm not gonna go looking for trouble and walk down some dark street or explore a lonely area at night! Just use your brains la... 😀
Ok i'm actually writing this from Sri Lanka, time to go get some sun time!
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To view where i stayed in Jeju, click on link below:
* Staying with local Jeju sisters in an AWESOME guesthouse in an orchard! *