Thursday, September 23, 2021

Things To Do in Jeju, Naturally.

Jeju was awarded by UNESCO for a few of its nature wonders namely the Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone’s bio-reserve, Mt. Halla Natural Reserve and Geomunoreum Lava Tube System. Jeju’s basaltic lava flowing underneath the earth, its underwater volcanoes are simply out of this world. As I wrote earlier, Jeju also is being recognised by UNESCO for it Haenyeo or women divers under the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Aside for its nature wonder, Jeju has a few attractions that I was not aware earlier (and now I do and impressed of) and would like to share it with those planning a trip here.

Innisfree Jeju House

If you like kdrama or kpop, I am very sure you know or at least heard of Innisfree. It is a naturalism-oriented South Korean cosmetics brand by Amorepacific and is famous for its eco-friendliness using Jeju’s quality ingredients. What makes it even more unique is that the organised activities here such as making natural soap with tangerine peel, green tea, volcanic clay and mask making to suit our own type of skin. Not only that, there is also a café here that serves organic food and beverages ie Jeju Pink Lemonade, Hallabong (Jeju famous tangerine) Blender, Green Tea Roll (I absolutely love this), Citrus Sudashi Cake and many more.

Yeomiji Botanical Garden

I had many photos taken here. ‘Beautiful land’ or ‘Yeomiji’ Botanical Garden consists of roughly 2,000 rare tropical and subtropical plants. It is said to be one of the best botanical garden in Asia that covers both indoor and outdoor plant attractions. The outdoor gardens are being segmented to  Jeju Native Garden, Korean Garden, Japanese, Italian Garden and French Folk Garden whereby one can ride the tram to check out the gardens, the Jungmun Tourist Complex as well as the Cheonjeyeon Falls.

As for the indoor garden, it covers the Cactus and Succulent Garden and also the Flower Garden of which very popular among the ladies. There is also an Observation Platform located in the indoor complex that provides view of the outdoor gardens, Hallasan Mountain, up till the coastal area, even as far as the Marado Island.

O'sulloc Tea Museum

O'sulloc Tea Museum was the first tea museum opened in Jeju Island in 2001 aimed to educate and preserve the age-old Korean tea culture and tradition. Located at Seokwang tea fields - one of Korea’s largest growers of nokcha (green tea) - the museum’s Tea Stone Gallery sets to demonstrate and educate Korea tea culture to its visitors. The Tea Cup Gallery and Tea Cups of the World showcases tea wares and utensils from the Three Kingdoms and the rest of the world, on the history, culture, custom and tradition. It also offers all sorts of green tea-infused desserts and drinks.

Jeongbang Falls

It is one of the top 3 waterfalls in Jeju Island, not only that some said that it is one of the few waterfalls in South East Asia to fall directly into the ocean. Oh yah, if you are lucky you might get to see the famous Haenyeos or woman divers doing free dive for seaweeds, sea cucumber and abalone. I also find it interesting that we could sample fresh shellfish seafood snack, eaten with garlic and gochu-jang (red chili paste) while enjoying the view. I saw locals pairing it with a bottle of cold Soju.

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Formed between 250,000 and 140,000 years ago when the lava erupted into the sea of Jungmun. Jusangjeolli Cliff  is also referred as ‘Jisatgae Rocks’  by the locals are basically rock pillars that are shaped like cubes or hexagons that runs along the Daepo coast. It is also a popular spot for sea angling. What makes it special is that the local council has erected a park that connects to the Olle walking trail, this allows visitors to view the cliffs as well do a little bit of brisk walking and enjoy Jeju’s nature wonder.

There are many places that you can visit here, best is to spend a week of so and oh yah, I would highly suggest for you to do a self drive roadtrip in Jeju. It’s more FUN!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gyeongpodae Pavilion Architecture

One thing that always fascinated me (or more like what I love about kinda thingy) is the (colourful) Korea architecture. It got me wondering so I did a little bit of googling on Gyeongpodae Pavilion in specific (I mean, I would have gone to Korea and ask around but yah… let’s blame it on the pandemic gitew).

Gyeongpodae Pavilion has been designated as Regional Cultural Asset. Located on a small hill north of Gyeongpo Lake, Gwangdong (northeastern coast). At this scenic site is where this famous pavilion was moved in 1508 from its previous location, built in 1326 this beautiful architecture has five pillars in the front and on its side,with Korean distinctive gabled roof. Its architectural feature is the “paljak” roof that is commonly used in Korean large and tall pavilion. What makes it even more interesting is the 28 pillars surrounding the pavilion and that 5 columns at both front and sides, 48 columns in total with different floor heights. Amazingly the roof is shaped like the Chinese character "" from the side.

Park Sukjeong was the first person that built the pavilion who is also the governor of Gangwon-do, at the site of Inwolsa temple from the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.-A.D. 668). Later it was moved and rebuilt by Han Geup in 1508; the mayor of Gangneung of which was reconstructed and repaired many many many a times. The beauty of this pavilion is the scenic mountain view, lake and sea.

I found out that there are 12 pavilions in the Geyongpodae area, namely Geumnanjeong, Gyeonghojeong, Banghaejeong, Haeunjeong, and many more. And that the best time to visit is between March and October.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Gayageum | A Korea musical instrument

When I first saw the instrument it immediately reminded me of the Chinese Guzheng.

Having studied in Chinese school all my live, I am not new to Guzheng infact my school has a club and class for those who want to learn about this instrument. When I found out about Gayageum I was like... eh eh… this looks similar to Guzheng lar.

And what fascinate me event more was that, when I was searching for more info on Gayageum I found out about this >>>
On the Korean Peninsula, the gayageum was part of the music of court halls, ceremonies, rituals, and commemorative, religious and social celebrations. The ancient Gaya Confederacy is where the name gayageum, which literally means "Gaya instrument," comes from. The harp has strings made of nylon or other materials that are organized, with each string having an absolute sound
different from that of other strings, while the gayageum's strings rest horizontally on its wooden body. The harp has 47 strings while the gayageum traditionally has 12. <<<<

Out of curiosity I search over the internet the key differentiator between this two - Korean Gayageum and Chinese Guzheng. And these are my findings :

Korean Gayageum
- The players will put the Gayageum on their knees in a cross-legged position when they playing the instrument.
- The sounds are rather soft for the Korean Gayageum.
- The Gayageum is able to change the string pitch by manipulating or moving the bridge.
- The other uniqueness of Gayageum is that it is played with the bare fingers.
- Its strings is made out of silk.
- Last but not least, the Gayageum was invented by Wu Ruk, who was commissioned by Gaya’s king.

Chinese Guzheng
- It is played lying horizontally on the floor.
- The Guzheng has twenty-one strings made of metal.
- It is also played with the fingers by pushing the left side of string to produce a vibrato effect.
- The Guzheng requires picks on the player’s right thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.
- Finally, Guzheng instrument creates a celestial sound by doing rapid alternate picking.

Photo credit : Tourism Korea

Do you know that you can actually visit Goryeong, the capital of Daegaya where the glorious culture and heritage Gaya prospered. At Gayatgo village, you can actually experience Gayageum as it is the symbols (or icon perhaps?) of the village. And you might be amazed this village has the best Gayageum experience hall in the whole South Korea – according to their local lah. If you want to know how the instrument is made you can take a tour at the workshop and check-out the ‘how gayageum is being assembled/made’ and of course learn a simple song or two, and later entertain you friends during meal time.

For those that is interested to listen to the soothing sound of Gayageum, you can head over to Spotify and listen.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Alpaca World in Gangwon-do, South Korea

I found this place from Jaslin Puasa during his last trip to South Korea, I thought I should blog about it as I feel it will be a great place to visit when you are coming here. So, I am going to share some tips for you guys to ease your travel.
1. Good walking shoes is a must because Alpaca World is 110,000 square feet making it the largest forest experience farm in Korea.
2. Alpaca food can be bought at vending machines that is conveniently located around the farm.
3. You need to purchase the "Pacacoin" at the ticket office in order to buy the Alpaca food. Each coin is worth ₩1,000.
4. Bring lotsa cash as the vending machines accept only cash.
5. There are indoor and outdoor activities, incase of rain just run indoor.
6. Do ride on the safari train around the hillside. It takes a brief stop for you to take close-up photos with the alpacas.
7. Aside from alpacas, the farm animals such as rabbits, deer, duck. eagles, peacock, pony and etc are available for guest.
8. There is also a colouring land for kids. Head there for some kids’ activity time.
9. Don’t worry about food as there’s food court available near the Alpaca walks and an Alpaca Cafe located near the ticketing office.
9. Souvenirs can be purchase at the Alpaca World at its Art Shop gift shop. Get the soft toy Alpaca!
10. Best time to go is Spring and Autumn. Having said that, Alpaca World operates whole year round except during Lunar New Year's Day and Korea Thanks giving Day. Obviously!
Herd animal such as Alpacas are usually inhibiting high mountain areas of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. You can see them in group of 20 at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 meters. Alpacas have a natural life span of 15–20 years and their diet are mostly grass, but occasionally leaves wood, bark or stems.
Fun fact : Many do not know that Alpacas are also known for being a therapy animals that can help people with traumatic experiences. Interesting huh!
310, Pungcheon-ri
Gangwon-do, Korea

Website :
Operating Hour
10:00-18:00 (last admission: 17:00)
Entrance Fee
Kids and Adult : ₩15,000 (age 3-64),
Senior Citizen : ₩12,000 (age 65 & above)
Walking with Alpaca : ₩10,000
Alpaca Safari Train : ₩3,000
Animal feeding experience: ₩1,000 p/cup
Transportation to Alpaca World
- Take the intercity bus from Dong Seoul/East Seoul Bus Terminal’s Gangbyeon Station via line 2/exit 4 to Hongcheon Bus Terminal (1 hr/7,400 won).
- Take the Deokbatjae Pungcheon bus and get off at Deokbatjae (1hr 6 mins).
Walk 918m on the road (with the traffic) to Alpaca World.

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