korea day 2

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woke up extremely early to set off for breakfast.

the wonderful ocean view outside the hotel

breakfast served today was abalone porridge. sounds really extravagant, but when the bowl of porridge came, i couldn’t even find a single morsel of abalone. seriously microscopic i tell you. the guide said that we’d have to eat 100 bowls in order to eat the whole of one proper sized abalone.

after that relatively unappetizing meal, we headed for Yongduan Dragon head rock. the myth about the dragon-shaped rock formation is rather interesting:

long long time ago, this greedy dragon tried to steal jade from the mountain, but got shot by an arrow and soon began to sink into the ocean. eventually it’s body froze, leaving its head frozen above the water, looking at the sky.

the dragon head is somewhere in the picture though, see if you can spot it.

the jeju stone heads

Jeju island is a place where newly wed Korean couples traditionally come to for their honeymoon. and when they do visit the island, they have to make sure they rub/touch certain symbolic statues before leaving. men and women have one particular object to touch each.

first, i shall tell you what newly wed women have to touch: the nose of the Jeju stone head (Dol Hareubangs). don’t ask me why there, apparently the guide says it’s the shiniest part of the statue (ORLY?!). the significance of this, however, is for the women to increase her chances of bearing offspring.

haha ya touch also won’t die, so just touch for fun.

more stone heads

notice that the placing of the hands on the two stone heads differ. an elevated right hand symbolizes superior archery skill, whereas an elevated left hand symbolizes superior artistic talent. hence, people have implied that touching the nose of the right-handed stone head will bear you a son, and by touching the left-handed, a girl.

having a first taste of Korean streetfood! some sort of bbq pork stick. like char siew but much JUICIER!

the bus later took us to the nearby Seongsan Sunrise Peak, an extinct volcanic crater with vertical cliffs rising up from the shore. and the inside of the volcano is now all covered with grass. but unfortunately, i gave up climbing right at the foot of the crater so i didn’t get to see much. Toms aren’t built for terrain yo.

magnificent view though

if i had worn better shoes, and were more prepared for a mountainous hike, i might have actually tried to climb it 😛

we were all rather tired from the walking so we took a break at the nearby shops and had a prefere ice-cream! i’ve never seen this kind of ice-cream machine in Singapore so it was so interesting to watch them make it. here’s a video of what it looks like:

prefere ice-cream making from Michelle Law on Vimeo.

the guide later took us to buy some Jeju orange flavoured chocolates! seriously quite delicious so my mum bought 6 large boxes of them home!!

famous (disfigured) Jeju hallabong, tastes like oranges but slightly different

finally, it was lunchtime! and this one was one of my most enjoyable meals. because we had SHABU SHABU!!!!! lots of meat! and you can keep refilling until shiok!!!

and this is a tutorial video of how to make a shabu shabu lettuce ball, which is how (despite the mountainous pile of meat) you can still have a healthy balanced meal with meat, veges and rice:

shabu lettuce ball making from Michelle Law on Vimeo.

this meal is also the first meal that the prospective daughter-in-law will be invited to eat at the boy’s home with his parents when she first meets them. the boy’s mother, being extremely protective of her son, will assess her future daughter-in-law’s calibre merely by her table etiquette.

no matter how chio, how smart, how successful, or how rich you are, if you can’t eat a shabu shabu lettuce ball properly, you are signing yourself up for a lifetime of table manners lessons by your mother-in-law once you marry into the family.

the meat in Jeju shabu shabu is characteristically from black pigs. i dont know what the black pigs have that the pink ones dont, but their meat is DAMN NICE TO EAT I TELL YOU!

gosh, i miss it so much now ):

ah well, after lunch, we visited the Jeju Folk Village Museum. also a filming location for da chang jin aka jewel in the palace. i’ve got to find time to watch that. the guide says it’s one of the best Korean drams of all time.

spring time in Korea is the best because we get to see so many pretty flowers!!

playing some traditional village game

traditional S&M HAHA!

my mum hitting this creepy looking fisherman doll for kicks lol!

now comes the other rock the men have to touch: the cheek of this mountain-water-collecting woman. again the reason for the cheek is because its the shiniest? though if you ask men when they think they should touch a woman statue first, i’m sure they won’t be giving you “cheek” as their first answer.

the symbolism of touching her cheek is to bring the couple prosperity and wealth. so looks like i’ll be expecting more PRESENTS when i come home 😉

"please let me win an ipad2"

the tour guide later briefed us on the next activity of the day: ATV bike riding!!!! i was so nervous because i can barely ride a bicycle properly, let alone a motorcycle!!! and i have no driver’s license somemore!

but it turned out to be easy enough to operate and DAMN FUN once i got the hang of maneuvering the bike. was safe enough of a driver not to be eliminated halfway by their safety guides, and completed the entire terrain all by myself!

got a shock because my mum (also no driver’s license and cannot ride bicycle well) turned out to be some daredevil racebiker sia! she kept accelerating so fast and tailgating the driver in front of her until the safety officials had to keep telling her to slow down LOLLL!

who knew..

after that was a trip to the Teseum Safari, pure heaven for teddy bear lovers, but just as interesting for people like me who have absolutely no interest in teddy bears.

there are really all sorts of bears! superman bears, spiderman bears, papa bear, mama bear, baby bear, wonder girls bear, rain bear, surgeon bear, shrek bear. omg endless list of bears to occupy the space of a building and call it a museum!

surrounded by teddy bears

massive bears on a massive couch!

shrek bears!

btw it was a minature. so the shrek itself is already the size of my thumb. can you imagine how much work it is to make the little shrek offspring, and puss in boots??

i’m a sucker for miniature things btw, i used to have a small little teddy called amber that i carried with me everywhere i went, and was devastated was i misplaced her ):

check out the miniature gulliver’s travels bear

the liliputian bears SO CUTE!

noteddy noteddy like chu!

surgeon bear!

chef bear

LV bear also got worz

quite fun! i bought a cute 2000W mini teddy keychain wearing a pretty chiffon dress and with diamond bling on her ears! they also sold miniature collectable teddy bears but one little bear costs like US 60 dollars WHATTT!

well, we ended the day with Ginseng Chicken Dinner. zomg so weird tasting! never a fan of ginseng so i didn’t particularly enjoy the meal.

later that night, the tour guide directed us to a shopping district behind our hotel for our own free and easy shopping time! sadly the boutiques there were too expensive compared to dongdaemun, so i didn’t buy anything in hopes of finding nicer things in Seoul.

if you ever get the chance to go to Jeju island, PLEASE DRINK THE FRESH MILK THERE. it has the stone head logo on it and you can find it in almost any convenience store there.

personally, i hate fresh milk. but over there, the milk somehow tastes so delicious and sweet, pwns any other kind of fresh milk i’ve ever had! once we left jeju, we were trying to find it in convenience shops in Pusan and Seoul but to no avail. milk that you drink in Jeju stays in Jeju only ):

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