Wow, I have literally been working on this post since September. Procrastinate much? Patrick and I went to Jeju-do for Chusok with our friends Allison and Jeremy. It was pretty awesome, even though it was typhoon season (and one was creeping our way while we were there).
The main city on the semi-tropical island is Jeju-si, or Jeju City. It's located on the north coast and also happens to be where our ferry from the mainland city of Mokpo dropped us off. It was a nice ferry, too! There was a jjimjilbang and noraebang and a nice restaurant and the scenery wasn't bad, either. Chusok is a notoriously busy time to be travelling in Korea; there was literally bumper to bumper traffic from Suwon to Mokpo, turning a 4 hour journey by bus into a 7.5 hour journey. I personally didn't mind how long it took us to get there as long as I didn't have to set foot on a plane. I'm irrational like that.
Jeju-si was cool. We stayed there our second night on the island and as it was the holiday, the streets were eerily empty. We were hard pressed to find an open restaurant, but had no problem find a hotel room anywhere. We were content; even during the bad weather.
On the south coast is the "city" of Seogwipo. This is arguable the nicer side of the island with many beautiful coastal scenes, waterfalls, botanical gardens and lots of palm trees (and lots of people trying to sell you things). While we thought the waterfalls were nice, the real highlight of the trip was our trek up Songsan Ilchulbong- a massive, extinct volcano crater completely covered in green vines. It was quite an interesting sight and a fun but easy hike up about a gazillion flights of stairs. This is located on the east coast of Jeju; very close to Udo Island which I didn't get to go to, but wanted to check out. Apparently it has a beautiful white sand beach.
This waterfall, or popo in Korean, is located at the end of a beautiful walk through a delicious smelling botanical garden.
Jeju is famous for it's "Old Women Divers". These women dive for shellfish and other seafood when the ocean is calm and sell their catch right there on the shore. Those are some brave old ladies right there.
At the base of Songsan Ilchulbong (I make it sound so huge; honestly, it took 20 minutes to climb). Koreans like to climb it veeeery early in the morning so they can watch the sun rise. I wish we thought of that!