Spring in Jeju Island, South Korea: Cherry Blossoms and Yongduam Rock

It’s our third day in The Land of the Morning Calm and the weather is fine now unlike the day before when it was raining all over town. This day we’re Jeju Island bound, leaving Seoul at around 10:00 AM. We left our guesthouse early to meet my Korean friend, Amy for breakfast at Gimpo International Airport. I met her when I was onsite for work in US and she was studying English there. She was supposed to meet us the other day but auntie duties didn’t allow her to do so, instead she’s sending us off to Jeju today.
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We flew via Air Busan. We got our tickets only two weeks before the flight and it was on sale for only about 35 USD. I’m not sure if that’s how it works for Korean budget airlines, like tickets becomes on sale when the flight is getting nearer, or if it’s just because of tight competition among the airlines. We also got our tickets for Jeju Island to Busan for about the same amount via Jeju Air.
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We arrived at Jeju International Airport at around 11:AM. We took a taxi from the airport to our guesthouse which is just a few kilometers away (3000 KRW). We stayed at SUM Guesthouse in a girls dorm of 8 for 20,000 KRW (18 USD). It’s conveniently located a few meters from Jeju Island Bus Terminal which is great because in Jeju there’s no subways and the way to roam around the island is by bus.
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Since it’s still early for us to check-in, the first thing we did when we arrived at the guesthouse is to ask about where the cherry blossoms are. All we know is that they can be seen all over Seogwipo’s downtown area and the around Jeju Sports Complex. Surprisingly, that was just a few blocks away from our guesthouse so we decided to head there first and have lunch before we checked-in. They call the cherry blossom trees in Jeju, King Cherry Blossom Trees as it’s said that they are the largest and most luxurious among all the cherry blossoms.
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It also rained in Jeju a day before, so there were a lot of fallen cherry blossom petals already. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying taking pictures with the cherry blossom trees, they were still so beautiful! So kindly pardon the photo overload.
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How awesome would it be to walk down an isle like this, surrounded by fully bloomed cherry blossom trees, with your prince (like Joo Won or Lee Min Ho) waiting at the end? Okay. Fine. No more day dreaming.
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Walking along the path filled with cherry blossom petals and with the wind blowing them off like falling snow. The sight of it was so enchanting!
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Enjoying the shade of this fully bloomed cherry blossom tree!
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Resting on the rocks underneath the cherry blossom trees!
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After taking our time enjoying the King Cherry Blossoms of Jeju Island and taking tons of pictures with them, we had lunch at a nearby local restaurant. Since Jeju is known for having the best seafood in South Korea, we tried their gulguk jjigae (Korean oyster stew). You can really tell that it was made of fresh oysters, deabak (awesome)!
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As soon as we’re done in satisfying our hunger with oysters, we went back to our guesthouse to check-in. Then we asked the guesthouse hosts for recommendations of a nearby place to visit, they suggested to see Yonduam Rock and gave us the directions. It was our first time to ride a bus in South Korea, thus the photo. They also accept T-Money in Jeju, sweet!
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To get to Yongduam (Dragon Head) Rock, take a bus bound for jeju-si Jungang-ro. Get off at Yongdam Rotary and from there, follow the signs and walk toward the beach for about 10 minutes.
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Some says Yondguam Rock if formed due to basalt rock formation resulting from the solidification process of flowing lava. While others says it was created by strong winds and waves over thousands of years. I’m not sure which one is true but there are also interesting legends that tell stories on how the rock was formed.
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Near the rock are various souvenir shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and street food stalls. We had some octopus skewers and odeng (Korean steamed fish cake) for snacks.
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On our way back, we saw a grandpa selling some chestnuts, we bought some for late night snacks.
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After seeing the Yongduam Rock, we planned to see the sunset at a nearby lighthouse but failed to do so since the sun was already down when we arrived. We headed to the downtown market instead to do some shopping before heading back to the guesthouse. And that’s it for our first day in Jeju Island. Staying here for two days is not enough, wish we had allotted more days here.

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