Tuesday, March 27, 2018

4D3N Jeju-do, South Korea.

with the husband.
on 27-30 January 2018.

This was a trip that I was so looking forward to ever since we got pregnant because it's a holiday outside of the country and it's winter kind of holiday, hello.

The man flew there about a week earlier for his floorball tournament and since our money does not grow on trees, we decided that I would go down when his tournament ends and he would extend his trip for the few-days-of-babymoon.

I booked 2-nights at Eins Hotel, Seogwipo after few rounds of research - you can read all about it when you click on the link okay.

Initially, I told Koay to take charge of the itinerary because it's a baby-moon so that means he have to do all the work heh. What a fantastic wife I am, I know right.

But when we had the chance to facetime each other, he seemed too tired to do any kind of research on the must-see and must-eat while at Jeju. So, I took it up (without telling him) and did a few itinerary based on other people's experience through the many blogs I went through.

Without me knowing, he was also doing his 'homework' so we kind of have a few lists (mostly the same), but he did a better job on the route and stuff because my sense of direction and time is just hopeless.

So here goes of our little baby-moon - you can copy if you want hah.

TWENTY-SEVENTH OF JANUARY
PENANG-KUALA LUMPUR-JEJU

There was only 1 flight from KLIA 2 to Jeju on AirAsia which departs at 6:40am, so I decided to take the last flight from Penang to KL at 12:35am - less hours to spend in KLIA 2 heh.

Do you know that if you are pregnant (no matter how pregnant you are), you have to do check-in through the counters and you need to fill in a form for every flight. I was not very heavily pregnant (according to the flying-rules), but I kiasi so I got a letter from my doctor to show that I am fit enough to fly heh.


Upon arrival, I met up with Jieja, wife of a floorball player and we spent our few hours on a cold-steel-chair till it was time for us to check-in. I was not allowed to do self-check-in because of the pregnancy so we got up earlier and lined up.

Then, as we were walking to the departure gate, we realized that there were so many more comfortable places that we could have rested after the check-in point! My back could use a floor that time seriously.


Then, the nightmare begins.

I requested for an aisle seat because hello, pregnant lady needs to go toilet like ten times in ten minutes okay - obviously exaggerating heh. But no, they gave me a middle seat.

So, no view for me and no going out as and when I want oh man.

I decided not to drink too much water since I didn't want to trouble the white man next to me who seems to be sleeping throughout the entire journey.

Anyways, I was thankful that I purchased a set meal and an entertainment on-board (about RM50+ per way) so the 6-hours flight would passed by quickly. My back was already starting to feel really sore (thank God I brought my neck pillow which was used as my back support)


Direct flight for the win - no need to transfer here and there.

We reached Jeju at about 1:30pm (Korea time) and connected to their wifi immediately to inform Koay. It was the last day of the floorball tournament and we (Jieja and myself) have planned to take a taxi to meet them straight at the stadium.

Their airport provides free wifi (and really fast one too) so that's really a win-win.


However, knowing that we were going to explore Jeju o our own for the entire time, I decided to purchase their Prepaid Sim Card online - got discounts or something like that.

I got them from this website so you can give it a try too. They have a kiosk right outside after you come out from the Arrival Hall.

Highly recommended to get this sim card - you can get according to the number of days that you need.


While walking towards the kiosk, Adrian and Fahmie (Jieja's husband) appeared out of nowhere to greet us, which was really a lovely surprise because we thought they were already at the stadium waiting for our arrival.

They decided to meet up at the airport and we detoured to Jeju Dongmun Market for a quick jalan-jalan and lunch!

I remembered feeling so excited to see the noob's face again (after being apart for a week) - clingy pregnant wife alert heh.


It was really cold by the way. Really really cold - 1 degrees that afternoon. I had less than 4-hours of sleep but was super awake thanks to the cold weather.

We walked through a pretty-quiet Dongmun Market and find a place to sit and have a proper-woth-rice-lunch.


Not even 10-minutes walking into the market, we already bought our first round of souvenirs to bring home. All the local chocolates and goodies.

I got to taste my first abalone and boy, fell in love straight. So fresh and yummy I cannot.


Then, it was time to get a taxi and head straight to the stadium which will take about 45-minutes, but first, Koay has got to get his share of hawker snacks.

Hot warm flour-pancake-thing on a cold cold day.


Made it in time for the closing ceremony. By that time, my energy level left 3% but got to keep the body going please because not yet eat dinner. So cannot sleep just yet. Hah.

Oh can I just say that I love, loveeeee korean toilets?

All the toilets (even the public ones) are so clean and fresh and clean and dry and just amazing. EVERY EACH ONE OF THEM.

There is not one toilet that I have been to (whether in Seoul, Busan or Jeju) that is bad.

Oh Malaysia, please copy this. Please.


Proud of the Malaysia team even though they did not win whatsoever. I am amazed with the dedication of every player because not only they have to fork out their own money for this trip, they always put in 150% during training and that includes eating rightly on days leading to the big tourney. 

So yas, GO MALAYSIA. 

GO ADRIAN KOAY. 


We followed the bus back to hotel for a quick-change and headed to dinner. The team decided that it was the night to have the must-eat black pork. Based on what I've gathered through the many random blogs, Hwaro Hyang was highly recommended though not very cheap - but worth it.

So, black pork at Hwaro Hyang it is.


Thankful for Korean restaurants with English translation in their menu - makes life so much easier for tourists who don't understand their language. 

One like for you, Hwaro Hyang. 

Oh, also their boss and servise staffs speaks pretty good Mandarin and decent English so another like for you. Some of them came from China I think - I don't quite remember. 


We ordered the BBQ set meal for 4 pax - according to the tables that costs about KRW 94, 000 (about RM340 for 4 pax).

Quite expensive because in Penang, that's like buffet price already.

This is not even a buffet style because if it was buffet style, Hwaro Hyang would regret kao-kao to have ushered us into their restaurant. Heh.


"What makes you so sure that the pork they gave us is black pork and not normal pork?"

So Koay asked. 

There - the proof is there in front of you - the few strands of black hair that they obviously did not want to pluck out. 

Then, we also have abalone - oh my gosh. 


So, this is one new thing I discovered that makes Korean food so different in my palette now. We usually use the normal salad leaves to wrap the barbequed meat and other stuff but when we were there, they used this leaf - I have no idea what it's called.

But I believe its the same kind of leaves the Thai people use for their Mieng Kam dish.

AND BOY IT TASTED SO GOOD WRAPPED WITH THE MEAT AND THINGS.



There were other complimentary food items as well like steamed eggs and cold noodles - which was pretty interesting but our eyes were only on the black pork and abalone.

It was expensive but very worth it. You may find other black pork restaurants as good as this one (I wouldn't know) but Hwaro Hyang is located in this street called Black Pork Street so that means there are a lot of black pork restaurants along the street.

We returned back to the hotel and I called it a night immediately the moment I lied on the bed.

TWENTY-EIGHTH OF JANUARY
JEJU CITY - SEOGWIPO

It was an early rise and shine because we needed to travel from north of Jeju to South side where Seogwipo is and we had lots of must-do-and-see on the way there.

Breakfast in the hotel with some of the early risers from the floorball team.


We were going to travel through the west side of Jeju and cover some of the must-see before we check-in at Eins Hotel.

These are the itineraries that I did but we didn't go to all of it.



We took a taxi (we try not to take taxis because they are quite pricey) to Jeju Bus Terminal and from there, we got help from the Tourist Information Centre because apparently, most Koreans do not understand English even the younger generations.

Real struggle.


We purchased a T-card each for about KRW 3,000 and put in some cash into it - you can get them at the convenience store.

So, from there we did not know how to go to our next destination because their maps are pretty confusing. I have internet so I used Google Maps and they are wonderful.

All I needed to do was type from where to where we intend to go and information on which public bus to take comes up. So efficient please.


We got up the bus and headed straight to Monsant Cafe - highly recommended by my parents and Vanessa because the cafe is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. So, there we went!

It took us a while to get used to the public bus system (which by the way is super amazing) and to decide which stop we should get down at. We got down a bit too early and had to walked quite a distance to the place with our luggage.

I didn't have to carry anything because I am already carrying a human inside. Heh.

Koay did not complain one bit.



When we got to the junction, we used Google Maps to make sure that we were walking at the right direction.

Monsant Cafe is located further inside and there are a lot of other cafes outside so you may want to know how Monsant Cafe looks like before entering the wrong cafe.

Then again, all the cafes there are very pretty.

Monsant Cafe is different because apparently it is owned by G-Dragon member or something.


We finally got to the cafe and decided to spend some time here - pooping and drinking coffee/chocolate. A cup costs about RM25 each. Mmm. 

There were a lot of tourists and locals there so the place seemed a bit too crowded for us to relax and chill. Most people come here to take photos and just pose and take more photos outside because of the mirror-window effect. 

We, as guilty too. Heh. 


After taking turns to poop (heh), we sat down and planned for our next must-go-see. He did most of the work. I just sat down and enjoy laughing at vain people outside the windows - people just stand right in front of our window section and take selfies like a boss, it's just too funny.

Too bad no photos of them doing so.


We had to go out and take shots like that too okay. Kiasu tourists.

It was cold and my cup was empty so no help from heat whatsoever - just decided to hold the cup for photo purposes. Heh.


Five months' pregnant photoshoot by le huz. 

It was so awkward because we knew there were people from the inside watching and judging us. Hah. 


We took public bus most of the time when we were in Jeju because it was really easy and convenient and cash-less (you can pay cash too of course) and really really cheap. Also, because once we have little Koays with us, things like this a bit hard to do already. 

One thing about their bus stops that we admire is that they have countdowns on when the next bus is coming, and where they are at, at that moment. So, very good system seriously.


We relied on Google a lot on which bus we should take and which bus stop we should get down at because it's really very reliable.

All we googled was MONSANT CAFE TO HALLIM PARK BUS and this comes out.

From Monsant Cafe, we decided to head towards Hallim Park.


So, according to Google, we should walk (for about 6 minutes) to Handam-Dong Bus Stop and take Bus 202 and get down at Hallim Park Bus Stop. 



Guess what went wrong?

We got off a bit too late - a few bus stops away too late. Hah.

First time got off too early then now second time, got off too late.

We learned our lesson well and did no such mistakes after that. It seems like a short distance to walk but with luggage and wind, it was insane. We had to stop midway to wrap our face with scarfs and whatever cloth we could find.

Mad cold.

But it was pretty nice to walk along the sea-view street because then we got to take this selfie with this anonymous-but-must-be-also-famous-island according to Koay. Hah.

First time, he insisted to take a selfie with an island that is so far away. Maybe that was his way to distract ourselves from the hunger that we were already feeling.

Hallim Park macam nowhere to be seen.


We realized that Hallim Park is like Penang's Botanical Garden - if you like flowers and plants then you should pay the entrance fee to go in but after much discussion and decreasing leg strength, we decided it's a no-go.

We settled for lunch at the only-korean-restaurant at Hallim Park and ate to our heart's content.

Averagely, a meal for 1-person will cost about RM30. Hope this can help you when you do your budgeting before visiting Korea.


Next up - Osulloc Tea Museum!

We took a taxi from Hallim Park to Osulloc because I can walk no more. Need more rest before the next bus adventure.

The taxi costs about RM40.


Insane crowd inside the museum okay. People queuing up to buy things like money just fell from the sky. We got a small bottle of green tea paste and that costs about RM30.

We walked around and decided to have a little snack at the Innisfree shop (sort of connected) and celebrated an early birthday for me-self.


 We walked outside because it started snowing and I was like some kind of little girl macam tak pernah nampak snow (which in fact I have) and took more selfies outside - cannot see the snow here because when we got out, the snow slowed down and when we got back indoor, it started snoring heavily.

Pengsan.


There was a station where people were making soap and we got so curious so we thought maybe we should do it too (if the price isn't too expensive).

It will cost us about RM55 to customize our own soaps and Koay let me decide so ons la. I've never made soap before so why not.


We thought for very long what kind of soap we should make and for who and if we were ever gonna use them back at home.

Finally, we decided to do 2 big ones and 4 mini ones.

Get it?


Step-by-steps were given through a tablet so everything is DIY - easy peasy, but hard work to knead it shape it. We are so not the artsy-artsy kind of people. 


Yes, if you have guessed it right, congrats you are officially our friend. Heh.

If you have not, shame on you.

Kidding.

So, the 2 big ones represent the Mister and Missus.

The 4 mini ones represent the coming little Koays.


The soaps looked pretty geli I know - but well, that's what life is - nothing is perfect. Everything is going to be out of shape one day so why not embrace it now.

I don't know what I am saying and what that even means.

Heh.


 We got ready to leave Osulloc and snow decided to pour down like rain! We tried to get a bus but apparently no bus was coming in our direction so we took taxi again.

We chose to take taxi to a nearby bus station so we could get on a bus to Eins Hotel - that way we saved a lot more.

It was a long journey but fun.

We checked in and went for a quick barbeque dinner nearby and rested in our room the entire night. It was such a well spent day with this one.


I have probably mentioned this before, but this man right here is my favorite man to travel with because he is just so easy and so good with directions and always will be able to convince me to do the most spontaneous thing. 

Love you crazy boy. 

TWENTY-NINTH OF JANUARY

First breakfast at Eins Hotel with Fahmie and Jieja! With a view like this, waking up early is not a struggle at all.

Last night we both were so gungho about embracing and enjoying the winter that we opened up a window for the natural cool air to come in - but it got so windy that our window kept opening and closing and we almost froze to death. Heh.

All fun though.


After breakfast, we walked to Jeongbang Waterfall which was about 10-minutes walk from Eins Hotel and it was so cold in the morning. My maternity leggings is of no use seriously. My thighs were freezing already the moment we left the heated lobby.


We were pre-warned that there will be quite a number of steps that we had to take in order to get to  the bottom and then back up again after the 'tour'.

No problem la please. Heh.


We could smell the hints of barbeque from above and when we looked down, we saw two old ladies getting ready to 'open' their stall on the rocks - selling fresh seafood whether you want them raw, boiled or barbequed. We didn't try any because it was really expensive for Koay alone to be enjoying the raw octopus considering that I am not allowed to swallow anything raw into my body.

So we gave this a pass (for now).


Jeongbang Waterfall is the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly into the ocean. Yes, the water from the waterfall is tasteless (Koay tested it).

It looked very sunny here but it started snowing not long after that.


After that, we took many mode of transportation to get to Seongsan Ilchulbong because it is quite a distance away. We took a few taxis I think and then few buses if I am not mistaken.

A lot of waiting and trying to ask the locals who actually understand us and reply us in English - fun times.

When we finally got there, it started snowing and it got heavier at one point but we were determined to conquer this thing. At first, I thought of waiting at a cafe while the three of them hike this piece of hill. But after thinking about it, I was not going to give this a miss.

It looked so beautiful please and I am not gonna miss going up this UNESCO World Heritage art.

And I was not feeling tired whatsoever.

So here we go.


All with his approval of course. He was ready to double up his energy to push/pull me up. Heh. The cold weather kinda helps I guess. If it's like hot, then it will probably make the whole experience not so nice.

But cold also got its own struggle - when the wind visits. Heh.

5-months pregnant, let's do this.


Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (also called Sunrise Peak) rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption some 100,000 years ago (according to its Korea Toursim Website) and there is a huge crater right at the top of the this hill.


 One-quarter way up.

So far so good.


Many rest-stops as you may have guessed.

A need.

Slow and steady.


And when we finally got up, this was what greeted us.


"Huh, seriously that's all? Vanessa some more highly recommended this!"

I remembered saying that.

It was just a huge brown grassy crater that overlooks the sea - and a lot of cold wind.

Nothing extraordinary but the view of a part of Jeju was breathtaking. The other side okay - not the crater side.


 We did it. We went up and down and that took us about 2-hours I think. Heh. Okay, it was worth it - worth the energy used. Loved the view from on top and loved the wind though sometimes a bit too strong and cold but super nice.

We went back to Seogwipo and headed to its night market to find food. Hawker kind of food. Koay was already quite bored of Korean food so we decided not to have any main meals for dinner but to just eat a bit here and there.

However, we did end up at McDonalds because I needed more food for my belly. All the snacks were not enough for me and a tiny human please.


"Baby come sit at this bench and eat - very romantic by the mini river!"

Okay can.


We walked so much that day we probably reached the 30,000 steps per day goal. Not that I am complaining, but it felt so good to lie on the bed after the long day out.

We went to bed reasonably late that night because last night in Jeju so cannot waste it by sleeping early! Heh.

We ate ramen some more that night.

THIRTIETH OF JANUARY
JEJU-KUALA LUMPUR-PENANG

I woke up a lot earlier than Koay because need to earn wife points and finish packing the luggage and all the mess we created. Heh.

Already missing the hotel even before we left the place.


We wanted to make a quick trip to Mount Hallasan since it is on the way to Jeju Airport, but all the taxis that we ask did not want to drive there die to heavy snowing so we really had no choice so straight to the airport was the only agenda. 

Three of them were so sad. Heh. I was feeling okay because I didn't have any winter clothing that is really sufficient for the winter at Mount Hallasan. 


So, we shared a taxi from Eins Hotel to the Airport Limousine Ticket Office and got ourselves a direct bus ride to Jeju Airport for KRW 5,500 per person.

Waited for a bit and the bus came - there is a bus schedule every 1-hour or something. Not very sure on that.


Throughout the entire journey, we saw snow/ice on cars and pathways and everywhere. It looked like it was a good call afterall to not have gone to Mount Hallasan.

Maybe next time..


When we got to the airport, we took another taxi to the nearby Jeju Jungang Underground Mall for last minute shopping! Too bad we only had carry-ons. Heh.

Apparently, that was the coldest day in Jeju, even the locals didn't understand why.


We couldn't shake off the fact that we could not go to Mount Hallasan so we got onto another taxi and went searching for a anowy-place that may or may not look like Mount Hallasan, heh.

We found one for sure.


Then, we rushed to the airport and did all the necessary to check-in, have lunch and settle down before the long ride back to Penang. 

Thank you AirAsia for the direct flight from Kuala Lumpur - not  a big fan of you but direct flight is always preferred. 


Oh before that!

I love loveeee Jeju Airport's food court please. We had our lunch there and boy, the food tasted so gooood and not that expensive some more please. All the choices ahhh.

Can I go back there please.


I also bought eye-masks at the airport because Koay loves me so much. Heh.

In my defense, I have always wanted to put eye masks on okay but never got the chance or heart to get them until at Jeju Airport.


DF 502
Jeju - Kuala Lumpur
2:40pm - 7:40pm

Makan lagi on-board.

Our meals were all pre-booked because it's cheaper.


AK 6118
Kuala Lumpur - Penang
9:35pm - 10:35pm


Home sweet home.

TOTAL MONEY SPENT/person

For 4 days 3 nights at Jeju-do, South Korea

PEN-KUL-PEN flight ticket with Airasia (AK): RM163
KUL-CJU-KUL flight ticket with Airasia (AK): RM708
2-nights' stay at The Eins Hotel, Seogwipo (per person): RM182
Olleh's 5-days unlimited 4G/LTE sim card (data only) - USD25: RM102
Food: RM375
Shopping: RM243
Taxi rides: RM150
Public bus rides: RM37

TOTAL SPENT: RM1960
[Note: KRW 1,000 = RM3.62 (as of 27 March 2018)]

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