Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seonyudo Island

Many people say that Jeju Island is the Korean form of paradise.  I beg to differ.  I found paradise, and I like to call it Seonyudo Island.

Jeju is gorgeous.. and well dubbed the Hawaii of Korea (::cough::  Hawaii with SNOW in winter), it's just such a hassle to get to & to get around on.  And Seonyudo took all of 3 hours to go from the Jeonju bus station to sinking my feet in island sand... and for $9 a day you can get your own personal bicycle to ride up and down the island hills, transportation: check!

My Jeonju friend Dawn sadly left us a few days ago.. her last request was to visit Seonyudo (no, she didn't die.. she just left us for her home country.. also known as the USA :) ).  And my am I glad she wanted to see Seonyudo one last time.

We took a bus for 45 minutes from Jeonju to Gunsan, then a 15 minute taxi to the ferry terminal, after a bit of waiting.. we boarded our glorious ferry & it dropped us off on Seonyudo.

I hadn't looked up any pictures of the island before we went there.. so my mouth pretty much dropped.  I'm used to awesome beaches.. Thailand, Mexico, the Galapagos.. and I'm not saying this island totally compared to those, but it is definitely up there for me!


It was super relaxed, not a lot of people.. but when there WERE people, holy moly did I have a good time!

A group of Koreans started playing a hilarious game of what I have dubbed 'Chicken'.. I couldn't stop laughing while we were watching them play.. and eventually someone asked me to join, then Rehana joined (I'm the only one standing without neon hiking gear on.. Rehana is the only one on the ground already :) .. I still have the skill of not moving until I HAVE to.. geeze do I hate competition! ).

Basically, you have two teams.  You start out in two lines facing each other.. then everyone holds onto one leg, you hop around until you ram into someone from the other team and make them fall down.. once everyone from one team is down, a winner is crowned!

Koreans are so amazing.  They were SO sweet and patient with us.. of course we didn't understand a word of the rules, a random guy spoke a few words of English.. but Rehana and I started pushing people with our hands (against the rules we figured out during round 2).. but no one tattled on us, everyone was just happy playing.. whether a stupid waegookin pushed them down illegally or not!

Afterwards, one of the men came over and brought Rehana and I 'service' beers. I thought it was funny, that we were getting 'service' on the beach (In restaurants & shops, people are often given a free little gift/drink and to tell you it is 'on the house'.. they say 'service-uh' -- that was with a Korean accent).

These people were amazing, it absolutely started my trip out on the right foot... no literally.

Jet Ski

This is year #2 that a jet skier has ridden up to the beach and I've hopped on... does life get any better (or cheaper) than that??  Of course I never got to DRIVE them.. but it was fun playing passenger.  So basically this time was much safer than when I did it in Samcheon-po while living in Jinju.  This guy actually: a.)rode right up to the beach (the water wasn't even up to my knees) after I waved at him.. last year I had to swim a bit out to them to get their attention   b.)the first thing he did was whip out a life jacket... last year, I lived life a bit more on the edge I suppose, my mom also threatened to kill me herself if I ever did that again sans life jacket   c.)this guy seriously knew how to do tricks, I think I honestly peed a little sometimes!

Rehana jumped on for a ride next, we had SOOOO much fun.. it's too bad his friend didn't want to give rides as well.. we could have had a race :).

How many I LOVE KOREA moments can happen in one day??

The rest of the day we spent lounging on the beach, admiring the amazing sunset, chatting and eating (LOTS)!  We stayed in a pension for $10 each(same idea as Byeonsanbando, except it was one big room & 8 people).. we were awaken at about 5:30AM by ajushis (old men) either just waking up and talking loud, or just going to sleep and talking loud.. I normally would have thrown a fit, but it sounded like a group of grandfathers chatting about the good ole days.. I kind of wanted to join.. in all honesty, hehe.   The next day, Dawn and I rented bicycles and rode them around for a bit.. I'm ready to go back!

Good times, good people.  Again! Again!

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