Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jeju - More of Day Two

View of Seongsan Ichulbong from the ferry to Udo Island

With a scrumptious lunch under our belts we made our way to the east side of Jeju to hop on a ferry to Udo Island. Udu is no more than a stones throw off the coast of Jeju and on a sunny afternoon, it was a really enjoyable ferry ride over. I had been there before, but I saw it from a different perspective and did different things, so it was yet another new and unique experience.
The highlight of Udo Island was definitely the Haenyeo Divers. I learned all about these women on my last trip to Jeju but we only caught a quick glimpse of them then. This time we saw them bobbing in ocean, in the midst of a days work, hauling in the days catch and also selling their wares. I was awe struck yet again, as a dying breed, to be in their presence felt really special. Here is a link to a past blog that goes into a lot more detail on the Female Haenyeo Divers of Jeju-do.

Haenyeo Diver

One of the thrills from Udo was hopping in a speed boat and getting zipped up and down the coast. We all piled on to a small little zodiac and were brought up close to the cliffs and had a quick tour of one of the caves in the rock. The water was a beautiful shade of blue and with my love of the water, I was happy to get to see Udo from yet another perspective.

Crystal blue waters.

The cave we ventured into.

On the ferry headed back to Jeju-do.

We were on a bit of a timeline to catch the ferry back to Jeju so off we went. Next stop was a bit peculiar but interesting none the less. We arrived at Phoenix Island with no real idea of what it was or what we were doing there. Phoenix Island is an exclusive very high end resort/time share/housing rental type of property. It was massive and had a few varieties of accommodation but pretty much everything luxurious and lush. We got a tour of the grounds and were shown some of the amazing facilities there and what it had to offer. A strange item to be on our itinerary, but I suppose it just another side of Jeju, not so Korean or traditional, but it definitely opened itself up to a specific clientele. Here are some of the aesthetic highlights from our tour of the grounds.

Last stop, dinner. On an island with hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, we went to the exact same one at the base of Songsan Ichulbong that I had been to with my boyfriend on my trip over Chuseok. How ironic. Luckily it was a good restaurant so I didn't mind. The first time I was there I had just a simple bibimbop but this time I had the grilled mackerel. It was a great choice and tasted amazing. They prepare that dish to perfection. I had it last time I was in Jeju at a different restaurant and it was just as good. Grilled to perfection, nicely salted, plain and simple.

We were all secretly so excited to check out Saturday evenings accommodation. After the plush pad from the night before I figured it would be tough to beat. We were staying at a place in Seogwipo, called Shineville. It was a shame we arrived late in the evening and had to leave so early on Sunday morning. What I saw of the resort looked beautiful. Our rooms were actually suites with 2 beds and a small kitchenette. I opened the curtains in the morning and woke up to a gorgeous sunrise looking over perfectly manicured grounds, an infinity pool off in the distance and the ocean, sigh. A few of us grabbed some drinks and spent a few hours chatting and getting better aquainted. For the most part, it was a really solid group we were stuck with for the weekend. I love hearing other peoples stories and learning why they are where they are and how they got there. I also kept reminding myself how lucky I was to get an opportunity like this and be part of the group.

The view from my balcony at Shineville.

Just one day to go..... click here to check out how we spent our SUNDAY. The last day of our Bloggers Weekend Away.

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