Sunday, 25 November 2018

5D/4N In Jeju: Day 4 (Free And Easy Day)

Day 4 was a free and easy day as there was no planned itinerary by the travel agent and we were free to spend our time in Jeju as we pleased. I already had a few things in mind and top on the list was visiting the city's local market. If you'd been reading my blogs, you would have known that I am a 'market person' meaning the market has always been one of the destinations I take delight in spending time whenever I travel on my own.

To get around I decided to use the city's public buses as that would save me a lot of money. It didn't take long before I understood Jeju's intracity bus transport system but I did make a blunder during my second outing which I will share with you later on in this post. 

About Jeju's Intracity Bus
Jeju's intracity bus transport system is really commendable. All the bus routes, the bus numbers and schedule are clearly written on all the bus stops. The only thing is  they are 100% in Korean language. Buses are very punctual and there is a digital screen that indicates the next few buses that would be arriving at the bus stop. Each bus will make a full circuit and irregardless of which destination along the route you are planning to go to, the bus fare is fixed at 1200 won (approx. RM4.40). Unlike buses in some countries where a money changing machine is provided, there is none on Jeju buses. Passengers are required to prepare the exact change to drop into a box. The bus drivers does not provide the service of changing money into the correct denomination and if you are not prepared you may be asked to leave. 
Ronnie's feet hurt badly from the hike up Sunrise Peak two days before and he wanted to rest in the hotel so I had to make the market trip myself. There is a digital screen inside the bus and it is in English so that was a relief. The bus does not always stop along the destination in its route unless you ring the bell. For that I got the help of the driver by showing him a picture of the market and asking him to indicate to me when to alight the bus. (Language used: sign language)

Dongmun Market
Taking public transport and visiting the marketplace in a foreign country is something I like to do as this is a good way to experience the lifestyle and culture of the local people. The marketplace is where you see what the locals sell, eat and how they trade. You often get to see foodstuff unique only to the place. It is also the best place to buy a few things home at local residents' price.

There are several markets in Jeju, the largest and oldest being Dongmun Market. Spanning a huge area of 17299 sq meters (186205 sq ft) there are at least 7 entrances into the market. I happened to walk to the 7th entrance, but there could be more. (See picture below). There are about 300 vendors selling a good variety of stuffs. The entire market is roofed and it is organised in a manner where the various categories of products are sold at different sections. 

The market is quite clean, even at the section where seafood, poultry and meat are sold.

There are many varieties of local snacks and delicacies and walking around can make you drool if you are hungry.

I happen to love Korean Kimchi (side dishes that accompany a main Korean meal) so it was quite exciting to see stalls selling up to 80 different types of kimchi. 

There are also stalls that sell souvenirs and non-food stuffs.
I picked up a few things to bring home: seaweed, ginseng, Jeju chocolates and they are a lot cheaper than in the city and tourist shops.
I spent half a day at the market, had my lunch and went back to the hotel as it had started to rain by noon.

Iho Tewoo Beach
It rained a few hours so I had a good nap at the hotel. With more than half a day gone by the time the rain stopped, I decided to visit Iho Tewoo Beach next. I was planning to see the sunset there. Another attraction at the beach are its two unique lighthouses that take the form of a red and a white horse. 
Ronnie's feet felt better by then so he joined me for this second outing. 
Iho Tewoo is a good place to hang out especially on a cool autumn evening. I didn't see any swimmers as it was probably too cold to do so. The sand is blackish but the sea looked calm and alluring.
We managed to view a beautiful sunset with the city buildings as a backdrop. Iho Tewoo is just 250m long with a gentle 5-degree slope

On the eastern side of the beach are the lighthouses. 
We left Iho Tewoo Beach after the sunset. The blunder I was talking about earlier on was the mistake we made while taking the bus back to the hotel. Instead of waiting at the opposite side of the road we waited at the same bus stop not realising each bus makes only one complete circuit instead of repeated circuits. We were taken for a long ride before culminating at the bus depo which is located in a very dark, quiet and secluded place. The shock came when we were told by the driver to get off by which time we'd realised that the bus will take a break instead of continuing another circuit to the city. 
We met an elderly Korean woman and sought help regarding taking another bus back to the city but it was like 2 ducks communicating with a hen. Somehow we managed to board the correct bus that came out from the depo but we couldn't find the right change of money to drop into the box. We were short of 400 won. The bus driver refused to help us out with the change and looked very agitated but looking at the desperate looks on our faces, he relented and allowed us to ride to the city for 400 won less. Phew, that was an unforgettable experience.
(Reminder: If you are taking the intracity buses in Jeju, always wait at the bus station opposite the station you alighted in order to get back to your original destination and don't forget to bring a lot of coins and smaller denomination of Korean won)

Culture Street
A good shower, a warm meal and we were exploring the city again, this time on foot. Our hotel is in the city's hub so we didn't have to walk far to where all the happening spots are. There is a pedestrian street in the city, called Culture Street where you can find interesting restaurants and shops. 

Sammu Park
There is also a nice park in the hotel vicinity. Sammu Park is equipped with many fitness gadgets and many local residents can be seen working out there. There is a train on display. There is also a beautiful pavillion there.

Related Posts: 
1. 5D/4N In Jeju: Day 1
2. 5D/4N In Jeju: Day 2, Visiting Jeju's Attractions
3. 5D/4N In Jeju: Day 3, Visiting Jeju's Attractions
4. 5D/4N In Jeju: Day 4 (Free And Easy Day)
5. 5D/4N In Jeju: Day 5, More Attractions.
6. My Jeju Travel In Video

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