South Korea Day 10: Dongpirang Mural Village

The plan for today will be visiting Dongpirang Mural village before we headed back to Seoul.

Dongpirang Village (동피랑마을) is a small village/area nearby Gangguan harbour which actually plan to be demolished to make a way for apartment complex. Rather than leaving their houses, all community hand in hand together revitalize the area by painting the neighborhood with street art. Now, Dongpirang village become one of favorite tourist destination in Tongyeong.

Dongpirang village was also filming location of Song Joong Ki’s drama “Nice guy”. Song Joong Ki is one of my favorite Korean drama actor.

 

After exploring Dongpirang village and take a lot of photos, we went back to Gangguan harbour for lunch. We found one restaurant selling Bibimbap.

To our surprise, Tongyeong has different version of Bibimbap. It’s called Meonggae Yukwak Bibimbap. Meonggae yugwak bibimbap, comes with bite-size pieces of sea squirt, vegetables, and yugwak.

Yugwak is diced vegetables and clam meat seasoned with fermented soy bean paste or deonjang, filled in a large clam, and grilled on fire. The grilled Yugwak is then added to the bibibmbab for a delicious meal. Although Tongyeong bibimbap is also nice, I still prefer the usual bibimbap style (with spicy sauce).

For the kids, the ahjumma made special dish for them because it’s not on the menu. It’s simple fried fish but the fish taste very fresh and very good. The kids like the fish so much and eat it together with seaweed soup.

With a heavy heart, we need to leave this beautiful city and we took bus at Tongyeong terminal back to Loft hotel in Seoul. Total travelling time took about 4 hours.

We decided to walk nearby the hotel to find a place for dinner and we were interested to try Gamjatang. Gamjatang is a spicy korean soup made with pork spine or ribs, vegetable, green onion, hot pepper and ground wild sesame seeds. Luckily, the soup is not too spicy so our kids still able to eat it. The ahjumma is very nice because she let our kids eat ice cream for free.

Photo 5-7-17, 3 31 01 PM

After dinner, we patronized nearby Hollys coffee as this Hollys coffee branch was the filming location of Korea drama “I Can Hear Your Voice” starring Lee Bo-young and Lee Jong-suk.

Advertisements

South Korea Day 9: Beautiful port city of Tongyeong

We checked out from Paragon hotel around 10 am and we quickly crossed the street to Busan Seobu Bus Terminal. You need to go to Busan Seobu Bus terminal to take intercity bus to other cities in Korea.

Our destination today is a small city called Tongyeong. We choosed to travel to Tongyeong because we wanted to visit several Korean drama filming locations. The journey from Busan to Tongyeong takes about 90 minutes and we arrived at Tongyeong around 11am. Since Tongyeong is a small city, we mostly took cab to commute around the city.

Tongyeong is similar to Busan, a port city on the Southern coast of Korea. This city is closely asaociated with Admiral Yi Shun-sin who placed his naval base on nearby Hansan island to defend Korea from Japanese army invasion.

Getting There:
The most convenient way to get to Tongyeong is by bus. Buses travel regularly from both Seoul’s Nambu Terminal at Seocho (11 times daily) and the express bus terminal at Gangnam (14 times daily). The ride takes about 4 1/2 hours. There are 8 express buses and 14 regular buses a day from Daejeon and about 18 buses from Daegu’s Seobu Terminal. Buses from Busan’s Seobu Terminal run daily from 6:30am to 10:30pm about every 20 minutes. From Masan’s Nambu Terminal, there are daily buses from 5:10am to 9:15pm every 10 minutes. Buses from Jinju run about 63 times a day from 6am to 9pm.

After dropped our baggage at Benikea Tongyeong Hotel, we went to Tongyeong Excursion Boat Terminal to catch ferry heading to Jangsado / Camelia Island.

Jangsado Island was one of filming location of “Man from The Stars” & “Uncontrollably Fond” Korean Drama. Please note that there are only 3 departure schedules from Tongyeong to Jangsado Island in a day. We got the afternoon slots (1pm) and the journey took about 45 minutes.

Since we still had time before ferry departure, we tried Chungmu Gimbap, famous Tongyeong version gimbap. There are not many restaurant inside the ferry terminal and all of them usually sell Chungmu Gimbap.

Every visitors only have 2 hours to explore Jangsado Island. The ferry operator will inform every visitor the expected time they need to come back to the boat. Please note that the entry and exit point of Jangsado island are different. Please make sure to grab a map of this island at Tongyeong Ferry Terminal.

Although the island size is not so big, but there are a lot of slopes inside the island. It is advisable to bring comfort shoes, water bottle and good sleep before visiting the islands.

I took a lot of pictures in Jangsado Island because I am one of the fan of “Man From The Star” Korean drama. The view of the sea is so relaxing and beautiful.

Time flies so fast and at 3.30 pm, we need to go back to the boat to catch ferry back to Tongyeong terminal. Although the trip to Jangsado Island is very tiring, but Jangsado Island is a beautiful island that always remains in my heart. Saranghe!

After arriving at Tongyeong Excursion Boat Terminal, We quickly took taxi to nearby Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway (한려수도 조망케이블카). Located on Mireuksan Mountain, one of Korea’s top 100 mountains, Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway is the only dual-cable automatic circulating gondola system in Korea. At 1,975 meters long, it is the longest tourist ropeway in the nation.

Visitors can take the stairs lead to the very top after gettimg out from the ropeway. At the top, visitor can see the whole Tongyeong city.

Our next stop is Gangguan Harbour. At Gangguan Harbour, we intend to go inside of Turtle Ship replica created by Admiral Yin Shun-sin. Unfortunately, we were too late and the exhibition time was already closed. At the end, I just took pictures of Turtle Ship.

A turtle ship, also known as Geobukseon (거북선, Korean pronunciation: [kʌbuksən]), was a type of large Korean warship that was used intermittently by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century. It was used alongside the panokseon warships in the fight against invading Japanese naval ships.

At Gangguan Harbour, there are a lot of stores selling various sea creatures. The menu of most restaurant are also seafood. We bought traditional Tongyeong snack (Kkulbang) and we had Korean Fried Chicken as dinner. Kkulbang is kind of bread filled with red bean, chocolate etc coated in honey. This snack is quite interesting and the honey blends well with the sweet taste from the bread filling.

Photo 5-7-17, 12 48 52 PM

South Korea Day 8: Adventure at Busan

After 2 days exploring Jeju, we took Jejuair to fly to second biggest city in Korea: Busan. Busan is a large port city in South Korea and it is known for its beaches, temples and mountains.

In order to save time, we ordered Lotteria Burger at Jeju airport for lunch. We bought European Cheese Burger and Bulgogi burger. Comparing to Mcdonald burger, Lotteria burger taste is better and their burger is also bigger. Their bulgogi burger is truly the best Bulgogi burger I ever eat and I can’t forget their authentic Bulgogi taste.

Photo 5-7-17, 6 41 15 AM

Once arrived at Gimhae Busan airport, we quickly headed to Paragon hotel and checked in to our room.

After quick rest, we were ready to explore Busan.
Our first stop was BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) Square. At this shopping street, we visited Etude house, Korean cosmestic brand which popular for the young people and Korean drama fans.

Photo 5-7-17, 6 51 10 AM

Nearby Etude house, there is an escalator leading to Yongdusan park and Busan tower.
On our way to Yongdusan park, we stopped by to Over The Rainbow cafe for snacking and relaxing.

Yongdusan Park is a park located in Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea. The 118-meter-high Busan Tower is located here. Yongdu means “dragon’s head” and “san” means “mountain”.

Busan Tower is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly 69 m above sea level at a height of 120 m. The top of the tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju. Beloved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see, such as the Statue of the Great Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the Bell of the Citizens, a flower clock and a bust of the Busan-based independent activist, Baeksan An Hee-je.

From observation deck at Busan Tower, visitor will able to see the whole Busan city and the view is magnificent. Visitors definitely should not miss to visit Busan Tower when they travel to Busan.

Gamcheon culture village was our next stop. Gamcheon is a tourist attraction nowadays. Many people called it Korea’s Santorini because there are many little houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain. The many alleys cutting through this community are vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the residents.

I advice you to get a map when you arrived at Gamcheon Village especially when you want to explore through the alleys. Those alleys can lead to at least 3 or 4 separate intersections. One wrong turn will make you go one whole round the village or having all uphill route instead of an easier downhill one.

Gamcheon village is an artistic place and there are a lot of wall painting done by residents.

To close our day, we headed to Gwangwali beach. When the kids saw the beach, they straight away went down to the beach and played with the sand. Behind us, lies Gwangwan bridge (also called Gwangan-daero) stretches over 7.4km from Namcheon-dong (Suyeong-gu, Busan) to Centum City (U-dong, Haeundae-gu). It is the longest bi-level bridge over the ocean in Korea.

At night time, the bridge will lit up with thousands of LED lights which makes the bridge so beautiful. The bridge offers a majesty beauty when combined with nearby attractions during the day and a romantic atmosphere at night, attracting many residents and tourists.

After we took dinner at nearby Western restaurant, we called a cab to go back to Paragon hotel.

South Korea Day 7: Jeju Island (part 2)

A new day! We eager to explore Jeju again today. There are so many things to explore at Jeju.

Our first stop was Samyang black beach. As you can guest from the name, the sand color on this beach is black. Mr Lee told us that the black sand can be used for neuralgia and obesity therapy. Visitors can lay down on the beach and burying themselves in the black sand.

DSC02907

Our next stop is the famous Seongsan Ilchubong Peak.

In order not to have late lunch like yesterday, we requested to Mr Lee to bring us for lunch first. Mr Lee brought us to delicious noodle (aka Guksu) restaurant for lunch.

Lunch (Pork Noodle Soup – Gogi guksu)
Everything that we choose in this restaurant is very nice. We really liked the spicy noodle and mandu (aka dumpling). Price is 22,000 won for 2 persons set.

 

Seongsan Ilchubong Peak is one of UNESCO world heritage site which rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago. If you hike up to the top, you will able to see huge crater at the top of Seongsan Ilchubong peak. This place is very huge and it takes time to hike up until the top. However, the view is very pretty! If you visit Jeju, I can recommend you to visit this place.

DSC02939

Our next stop is Seopjikoji, the filming site of “All In” korean drama. Seopjikoji is located at the end of the eastern shore of Jeju Island. “Seopji” is the old name for the area, and “Koji” is Jeju dialect meaning a sudden bump on land. Until the very end, you will find a lighthouse and at the top of lighthouse, you can view the whole seashore.

Sangumburi crater (산굼부리) is a crater with a circumference of over 2 km, and has been designated as a Natural Monument. It is located on the southeast side of Jeju-si, and is a flat crater, about 650 meters wide, 100 meters deep, and 2,070 meters in circumference. If you look at the crater from above up, it looks like a man-made circular stadium.

Our next stop is Mini Mini Land. Jeju Mini Mini Land is a spacious park featuring miniature versions of famous attractions from around the world. Over 116 architectural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage sites from 50 different countries are represented in the park. To name a few, the park offers miniature Bulguksa Temple, the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and so on. The original works are reproduced at 1/15 or 1/30 of their original size. As the first miniature park in Korea, it has become one of the most popular attractions on Jeju Island.

Last but not least, when our tummy already craving for food, Mr Lee brought us to famous Neulbom restaurant for dinner. We tried famous Jeju Black pig – Heukdwaeji and it was very very good. I can recommend you to visit Neulbom restaurant and try their famous Jeju black pig when you visit Jeju.

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long and former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ever visited this restaurant. Beside black pig, this restaurant also served grilled beef meat.

That’s the end of day 7 and we will continue our journey to Busan tomorrow.

South Korea Day 6: Jeju Island

We are ready for the new day at Jeju …yeay!  In Jeju, we booked a taxi service to go around Jeju. The taxi driver (Lee Hong Min) from JejuNamyang Taxi tour is very nice and he explain a lot of things about Korea. Booking fee per day is 160,000 won for 8 hours.

Today will be the play day for the children because we will visit a lot of attraction for children. Our itinerary is as follows:

-Teseum Bear Safari Museum

DSC02497

DSC02593
-Osulloc Green Tea Museum

Osulloc Green Tea museum reminded us for our honeymoon 9 years ago. At that time, we also visited this place and tried their green tea ice cream.

DSC02621

DSC02626

DSC02641

-Jeju Glass Castle

DSC02663

-Hello Kitty Island

This is the place for Hello Kitty lover. You can find a lot of Hello Kitty here.

Do not forget to go to Hello Kitty cafe and try their cute Hello Kitty cake.

DSC02793

DSC02834

After played almost all day long, our driver brought us for lunch. We eat Fresh Seafood Hotpot (Haemul-jeongol), Sea Urchin & Seaweed Soup (Seongge Miyeok-guk).

To our surprise, when the owner presented the food, we shocked that the abalone is still alive. Mr Lee told us that most of visitors will eat the abalone live………….I can’t imagine how it feel to eat raw abalone while you see it moving in front of your eyes. At the end, we decided to put the abalone inside the spicy soup and boil it hahahaha…….

DSC02851

Lastly, we visited beautiful Jeongbang waterfall. Jeongbang waterfall is among the top three waterfalls of Jeju-do and is the only waterfall in Asia to fall directly into the ocean. Next to the waterfall is an inscription reading “Seobulgwacha,” referring to Seobul passing by this place. Seobul was a servant of the Emperor of the Chinese Qin Dynasty (BC 259~210) who was ordered by the Emperor to find a substance that would make him immortal.

DSC02875

At this place, we tried traditional Jeju sweet rice cake (Omaegi-tteok).

Omaegi-tteok is a famous traditional Jeju rice cake made of glutinous millet covered with red bean. It’s very filling and sweet.

Photo 4-7-17, 9 57 17 PM