Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Love it when a plan comes together - Jeju Island!

We had a plan, but a lot of things could have gone wrong. So we were totally happy that it came together the way we wanted it to.

The plan started with getting up this morning. At 5:30 in the morning!

We had to pack our things quickly and get out of the hotel. We were trying to make a train that would be leaving Gwangju Station at 6:55am. Sure enough, there was a taxi sitting at the nearby taxi stand and I had already practiced how to say "train station" in Korean.

So we get in the cab and I mumble out my well rehearsed Korean. The guy turns around and says in English "train station?".

Uhh...yep! Too funny. Cab fare was 3,900 won ($4.30) for the 10 minute drive.

Made it to the train station and up to the ticket window. Got our tickets for Mokpo. They cost 5,200 won ($5.70) each for the one hour and fifteen minute trip from Gwangju.

Had about twenty minutes to sit and wait for the train, so the timing was going good so far.

The train left right on time and we were headed for Mokpo to catch the 9:00am ferry to Jeju Island.

We arrived at Mokpo at 8:12, but still had to make our way from the train station to the ferry terminal. We hopped in another cab at the train station and I mumbled the Korean word for ferry..."peli". The taxi driver knew exactly what I meant, and off we went. I had read that it was a twenty minute walk, and sure enough that equated to about a five minute drive. Cab fare was 2,800 won ($3.00).

Arrived at the ferry terminal, found the line up for tickets, and we got a girl who's English was pretty good! Total price for the four and a half hour SeaStar Cruise to Jeju Island was 30,000 won ($33.00) each.

We made it! But with no time to spare. The ship was boarding, and we were on it!

The ticket line for the Jeju ferry from Mokpo.

The city of Mokpo, taken from the top deck of the ferry.

It was still a little chilly at 9:00am. But, a beautiful sunny day!

The port at Mokpo.

We found a bench outdoors on the second level. A few Korean guys were sitting on the bench next to us, laughing and joking. Obviously on a weekend away with the guys. One of them came over and handed us a tetrapak of something...we thought it was juice or some kind of cold tea. But no...it was soju! They were into the sauce already. Remember, I told you that soju is a very popular (and cheap!) alcoholic drink. Apparently you can have it for breakfast too!

Then, he handed us some kind of dried meat to go with it. After all, you have to have a healthy balanced breakfast!

Kevin, with his soju and dried fish!

Our new Korean friends who supplied us with a healthy Korean breakfast!

What a bridge! We went underneath it.

Guess who?

The route took us through hundreds of smaller islands. Really interesting just watching things from the deck. Quite a bit of shipping traffic, as well as fishing boats. Didn't see any sea life. 

Oh...we did see this though...!

Now there's something you don't see every day!

Very cool!

Looking back from the top deck.

Yes...they have a beer bar! 

Not many people on board. We would guess that it was less than half full. But, this is nearing low season for Jeju Island, and certainly near the end of "shoulder" season. Actually, it's the perfect time to visit!

Going by yet another island.

They have a route map and statistics monitor in the main lobby of the ferry. You can sort of see how many islands I'm talking about!

Here's an interesting one! Look at that boulder sitting on top of the island!

Kevin, enjoying the day.

We then had about an hour and a half where we were out in the open sea. The East China Sea, to be exact!

Oh look, we're here!

Stopped at the tourist office and the guy there gave us directions to get to a hostel. We got a nice private room at 50,000 won ($55.00) for the one night. We might stay here again. It's a little above our price range, but it's a great spot, and we're very happy with the room.

Went out for dinner at a nearby Dakgalbi restaurant. That's where they make a chicken and pork stirfry dish right in front of you. It was delicious, and only 6,000 won ($6.60) each. No tipping of course, so our food bill was 12,000 won. I had a large beer and it was a bit pricey at 3,500 won. I'll stick with water in the future!

All the ingredients in, ready to cook!

Our chef/waiter, hard at work!

Ready to eat! On the left, that's white rice topped with seaweed. The three smaller bowls contain kimchee, and some kind of pickles. The bowl on the right is a pasta salad that we didn't eat.

Another great day in Korea!!

Jeju Island is located in the East China Sea. Right in between Japan and China, and just a little south of mainland Korea. I drew a red line of our approximate route today. Gwangju to Mokpo by train and Mokpo to Jeju by ferry.

We used a lot of different modes of transportation today! Two taxis, a train, a ferry, and a bus! 


24 comments:

  1. I am so impressed with your travels, pictures and ability to get around! Keep having fun!

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    1. Doing the research beforehand has really helped. Kevin has been doing an amazing job on our bus and train travel as we go from one place to another. This particular day was a tight one but luckily it all came together.

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  2. You guys are amazing! I still make make mistakes when I use transportation especially bus here in KOREA. (How much more in abroad??haha) I was worried about you in many ways(language, food, transportation and accommodations) but I dont think I need to do that anymore. :) Enjoy your journey in Jeju and be safe. Miss you guys!

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    1. June you are so funny! I remember a time with the train in Canada, that got you a little mixed up but you still did it and you were doing it by yourself which I think is even harder to do.

      We could still really use your help with the food, it is so difficult to know what is safe for us to eat and what isn't in regards to eating gluten. We are managing but it sure is challenging.

      We miss you too and are looking forward to seeing you again in about 2 weeks time.

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  3. Fun ferry ride to Jeju Island! Love that they cook for you at your table - looks like a happy chef/waiter!

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    1. It was a fun ferry ride and I am glad that we did it yesterday because it wouldn't have been fun today. Not sure if the ferry even ran today as we are in for a big storm.

      He was a happy guy!

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  4. What was in the stir fry? So good that you are enjoying the experience.

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    1. There was a spicy chicken and sauce, thinly slice pork (looked like bacon but it didn't taste like bacon), some kind of leafy green vegetable (maybe spinach?), and bean sprouts. I think that was about it.

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  5. Been following you on FB, looks like you are having a grand adventure!

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    1. Thanks Jane, we are having an amazing time!

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  6. i'm excited just 'traveling' along with you through your great posts and photos. Thanks to you both. The food looks delicious; maybe it's better not to know exactly what it is! Have fun and don't let the English-speaking cab driver discourage you. Keep up your newly acquired Korean vocabulary!

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    1. Thank you Mary-Pat! The food is delicious and we don't mind knowing what is in the food. We are trying to eat/taste everything that we can not matter what it is, providing it is gluten free. We have to admit that that part of the food has been quite challenging but we have found a number of dishes that we can eat, it just means that we won't have a lot of variety.

      We are trying to learn a few new words to help increase our vocabulary but I think we are going to have to learn a few of the symbols as well especially if we want to check packaging for wheat.

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  7. Love ferry rides:) Well planned trip with great prices. The stir fry sure looks good!

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    1. This was a great ferry ride because most of the way we had some beautiful scenery to look at instead of just open sea.

      The stir fry was delicious but it was pretty spicy!

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  8. I see lots of signs in English....prob should stick with shoju? the cheap alcoholic beverage. Seems Koreans are very friendly.

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    1. It's funny but there are a number signs in English but they just seem to "Westernize" the names of their businesses even though the majority of the Koreans don't speak English.

      I agree, we either order soju or water next time.

      Yes, the Koreans are very friendly!

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  9. I hope that stir fry tasted as good as it looks in the photos.

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  10. what a wonderful time you are havingl. as someone said it is amazing how you can figure how to
    get from one place to another. I have been in Branson probably times and I still get turned around

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    1. Lots of internet research is the first step. It really helps because the South Korean Tourism Board has been working with many cities to put the English spelling of the places in the bus, subway and train maps so that is a great help and they also call out stops on most modes of transportation that we have been on so as long as we know what stop we have to get off at we are good to go.

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  11. Just another fun day, love those kind.

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  12. What a stroke of luck catching the submarine - wow. Accommodation a bit pricey but other things look reasonable for back packers. Hope you don't get too much effect from the typhoon, we got absolutely drenched in the last one in Busan.

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    1. Yep, it was lucky that we were able to see it.

      We are headed to the other city on the island it is smaller and should be cheaper. Kevin found a place that is going to be about 30,000 won. Hopefully we can get there before the rain starts to really come down.

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