Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 5 - Udo Island & Hadori

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Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 5 - Udo Island & Hadori
Tour of Jeju & Busan, South Korea : Day 5 - 28th March 2017
Small Group Cycling Tour Around Jeju Island : Pyoseon>Onpyeong-ri>Seongsan>Udo Island>Hado-ri.
Cycling Distance - 53.86 km.     Level: Medium
Cycling Time : 8:50am to 6:30pm
Time Taken : 9hrs 40mins (inclusive of ferry rides to-fro Udo Island, stops at various places of interests, stops to enjoy the sceneries, for breakfast, lunch & tea, regrouping, rests and many,many photo opps).

This is page 5 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Day 4 Pyoseon         |        Go to Other Days      |     Go to Day 6 Hamdeok>

Route Recommendations :


1. Right is Right!
    South Korea's traffic is left-hand drive. For those coming from right-hand drive countries always do remember to ride on the right-hand side... i.e. Right is right! Same thing applies when crossing the road, take note that traffic is approaching from left! Sounds confusing, it actually isn't, just take while to get use to it.
    Generally, the road conditions of the highways and main roads in South Korea are in excellent conditions with few pot-holes. Most towns have well planned dedicated cycling lanes or shared lanes. But cycling on highways is a no-no.
    Local motorists, especially the taxi-drivers, are an impatient lot and unless a zebra-crossing is signalised, most don't bother to stop to let pedestrians or cyclist pass. In fact at un-signalised crossings we had to slowly edge our way out to stop oncoming traffic in order to cross.
    Do watch out for the delivery motorcycles in the larger towns, most of these are huge bikes and they ride across zebra-crossing and onto pavements, disregarding the safety of pedestrians!

2. Cycling Route
    As Korea's traffic is left-hand drive, we took an anti-clockwise route around Jeju island so as to be on the seaward side for better views.
    The ferry fare from Seongsan to Udo Island is 2,500KRW per pax each way; there is an additional charge of 750KRW each bicycle each way. Prices are inclusive of tax. Also note that passports need to be shown during the purchase of tickets, and a boarding declaration form need to be filled for the group, once for the outward trip and another for the return trip.

3. Weather
At Jeju : Day 13°C | Night 6°C
Even though it was early spring, the weather was surprisingly quite cold. During colder days we had on wind breakers, inner thermals, face masks and beanie caps.

4. Places of Interest
Pyoseon Haevich Beach (표선해비치해변) (GPS: 33.32594, 126.84158).
- Jeju Folk Village Museum (제주민속촌) (GPS: 33.32251, 126.84185).
- Yellow Rape-seed Fields @ Onpyeong-ri (삼달리) (GPS: 33.40234, 126.90312).
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (성산일출봉) (GPS: 33.45805, 126.9425).
- Udo Island (우도해양도립공원) (GPS: 33.50924, 126.94133).
- The Jeju Olle Walking Trails; for those interested to walk and hike around Jeju.

5. Certification Stations:
These are certification centres for the optional Korea Cycling Passport:
Pyoseon Beach (GPS: 33.32542, 126.84081).
Seongsan Ilchulbong (GPS 33.4687, 126.92435).

6. Food
- Sashimi Seafood Lunch at 그리운바다성산포 Restaurant (GPS: 33.4699, 126.93019) in Seongsan.
- Jeju Black Pork dinner at Halla Pork Restaurant (GPS: 33.52702, 126.85525) at Sehwa-ri.
  Address: 46-8 Sepyeonghang-ro, Sehwa-ri, Jeju, South Korea.
  Phone: +82-(064)782-2811     |     Mobile: +82-010-3119-4554

7. Accommodations
Accommodations were three colourful chalets at Manjo House at Hado-ri (GPS: 33.52408, 126.86644). I would recommend this place as it is cosy and the operator is very helpful.
  Address: Junction of Myeonsu-gil & Myeonsu 2-gil, Hado-ri.
  Cost: 60,000KRW per night for a chalet (sleeps 2-3 pax).

8. Communicating with Each Other
    When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost.
    At the Busan's Gimhae International Airport pre-paid sim cards can be obtained from a couple of stalls at level 1. It's good to get the sim-cards at the airport stalls as there are staff there to help the unfamiliar (or non-techies) set up the sim cards for one's phones.
    Sim cards can also be obtained from larger outlets of the 24-hours convenience stores like 7-11, CU and GS25. See this link for more details.
    If not opting to get the data package, at some spots on the islands free open wifi is available, just use your phone to search for these.
    Save up each others local phone numbers once that is done. Create a chat group so that general communications can be broadcast, eg. where and when to meet to start the day.
    Alternatively, pocket wifis can be rented for use by a small group (usually up to five persons), and could end up cheaper. The only dis-advantage of this is that users must stay within 20-30 metres of the device. Pocket wifis can be obtain from Travel Recommends at the KLIA and KLIA2 airports in Malaysia. Pocket wifi can also be obtained in South Korea.

9. Communicating with Locals
    For the uninitiated cycling in foreign lands can be a daunting experience, especially when one can only speak a smattering of the local language or if there is no common language to speak to each other (like English). Most Koreans can hardly speak English, and learning some basic phrases will be helpful. When speaking to Koreans in English, they may initially seem stand-offish but after a while they did warm up to us.
    This could be partly overcome by using translation apps like Google Translate. Do install this app into your phone and before you leave on your tour do some basic translation as it will be saved onto a list of recent translations. We also had a list of destinations, accomodations, etc. with their Korean names just in case we had to show the locals.
    Memory-resident translation apps like Learn Korean by Wingsapp & Korean Flashcards by Bravolol were useful apps we used from Google Play Store are also useful; they give translations of basic terms.
    Look out for the tourist information booths at airports, railway stations or bus stations, the guides manning the booths speak very good English and do give good tips on where to visit, directions, train and bus schedule. It's good too to have these guides write the intended destinations in Korean so that one can show to other locals in order to get our bearings right.

10. Navigation
    Unless he or she is very familiar with the locals routes, the tour leader should carry a GPS units. It will also be good if another member of the team carry another GPS unit should the leader's one go faulty. We had pre-loaded the South Korean Map together with GPS coordinates of our destinations. These units are useful, but do study the proposed route made by the unit as sometimes these are longer loop around; OR sometimes there are parallel narrow lanes that can be used and these lanes can sometimes turn out to be more interesting.
    Alternatively, download the MAPS.ME app together with the relevant country maps. This app can be used offline.
    Surprisingly, in many parts of the country, Google Maps don't seem to work well for cycling or even walking - it seem to only propose routes that goes onto buses or trains! Do let me know if this feature has been upgraded.
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PRELUDE

Yesterday was a day of views, one of seeing artwork at Lee Jung Seop Art Street and one of a great scenery at Soesokkak Estuary. Today we will take a ferry ride over to Udo Island and end the day at Hado-ri which together with it's neighbour Sehwa-ri, are cozy towns with friendly locals; it's a good place to stop for a night.
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THE RIDE

From Pyoseon we had an impromptu stop at Onpyeong-ri where were many yellow fields of rape-seed flowers. A short ferry ride took us over to Udo Island for a small cycling loop. The ride ends at Hado-ri and Sehwa-ri, our last stop before returning to Jeju City.


The day started with a small hiccup. Jo's tire had a puncture; here's Sin repairing it with Jo giving him a supporting hand. We have been quite fortunate, this was our one and only puncture during the tour; I guess using the Shwalbe Marathon Plus (Level 6) tires does help.


Just a distance after we rolled off, we passed by Pyoseon-ri. It was rather quiet in the morning. At one of the shops, I saw these octopus in an aquarium - all curled up (probably still sleeping) they didn't look like octupus. In the cold water, they had turned redder and looked like some aliens from outer space.


Our first stop, the Four-Rivers Cycling Trail stamping station at Pyoseon Beach. The booth stand just at the car-park entrance; behind it is the Pyoseon Haevich Beach. It's a beautiful beach with a long and wide sandy stretch; it looked so nice that we were tempted to jump into the water for a swim.... but had to refrain ourselves as the water was just to frigidly cold!
There's a line of statues of the animals from the Chinese astrology at the beach. Fenn, Sooi Ying and Lynne got onto the Pig for a snap; all of them were born in the Year of the Pig.


We had wanted to visit the Jeju Folk Village Museum, hoping for some fun similar to the one we had at the Yongin Folk Village during our previous 2016 cycling tour (... see blog). Riding through the Haevichi Resort Jeju, we tried to look for the entrance but could not find it and had to be contented with this photo taken over a brick wall. It was all quiet and desserted. The entrance gate was just opposite the Pyoseon Beach car-park. Off-peak, the gate and the village was closed, that's why we missed it.

No worries, there were other interesting things along the way:
Like these cuttlefish hanging out to be dried in the cold, dry wind ...


... and this lady, spreading out sea-weed to be sun-dried ...


... and Haenyeo lady-divers taking a stroll out to the sea to start their daily work ...


... and these ajummas garderners taking a break from their gardening duties of maintaining the road-side flowery shrubs. We did see a number of elderly folks doing work; the Jeju government does have a policy of keeping its elderly population employed and occupied.



We also saw this couple going for a stroll; it's not a leisurely stroll, like us their are following a route - the Olle Walking Trails which also have target destinations for stamping their Walking Trail Passports. They have walking sticks with them as the trail often goes off-road and some hiking is required to view the beautiful country side and rural villages. For those interested in following the trail, click here for their website.


Saw this stone structure at the seaside, it's an ancient Korean light-house. Though smaller it reminded us of the Cheomseongdae Ancient Observatory we saw at Gyeongju during our 2016 tour (... see blog).


While cycling around Jeju's coast, one may notice volcanic stones stacked up two to six feet tall. These are not just rubble but a proper wall called the Hwanhae Great Wall.
The following is an extract from the Jeju Tourism website:
"The Hwanhae Great Wall was constructed during the Goryeo Dynasty as a defense against waves of invading Mongolian forces on the Korean Peninsula and Jeju Island. There were special units of volunteers and professional fighters in this area of Samyang-dong who from about 1270 were mobilized and manning this wall right through to the Joseon era. The wall extends some 120 kilometers along the island’s coast, though now it is only intact in certain areas such as Sinsan, Onpyeong, and Aewol. The rest of the wall has either been dismantled or is covered in vines and moss."


A few stretches the wall is still intact, above photo shows how strong it was to protect against invaders and pirates.


12:00 noon - At Onpyeong-ri, the lovely fields of yellow rape-seed flowers just begged us to make an unscheduled stop. We spent some time there taking lots of nice photos. The field we stopped at was a fairly new one, and entry was free!


Further down the Hwanhaejaseong-ro, there were many larger fields. These charged about 1,000KRW per pax for entry, they put up swings and heart-shaped spots for photo opps. The rape-seed plant is related to the Gai Lan vegetable which also have similar yellow flowers.


At Seonsang-ri, we crossed over to Hando-ro Bridge (갑문다리) to get to the Seongsan Ilchulbong Stamping Station. The red booth stands at a tiny spot just after the bridge, from here was a good view of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak and the nearby sea shelter.


Short of time, we did not get to go explore the peak, here's a photo grab from a poster ot show how green and nice the plateau of the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak looks.


Hungry, we looked for a place to eat before crossing over to Udo Island. Lunch was at the 그리운바다성산포 Restaurant, a place serving Sashimi... it has an unique name "Slow Food Restaurant"... I wonder does the food come slowly, but I gues what they meant was to eat at a leisurely pace and enjoy thier food. The Sashimi came served on white porcelain blocks with a flower design on top; from afar I had thought tese were some sort of buns or cakes... Hahaha... Greedy me. 😋 😋😋!


Our lunch came with Wasabe Rice which is eatan Ssambap style, wrapped with the sashim in a mint leaf. Also on the menu were Gejang - salted, fermented baby crabs that came intact with their shells. Fenn tried the baby crabs (only one 😵) found it to be crunchy and odd tasting.


2:40pm - Boarding the ferry for Udo Island, we found it to be rather empty (most go over in the morning). The uncovered part of the ferry (as big as a badminton court) was totally without cars and one could literally dance there (which I did 😂😂😂).
For the ferry fares for passengers and bicycles see above tips.



It's just a short 20-minute four kilometre ferry ride. It gets quite winder and rather cold, but do brave this and stand at the upper-deck external front or rear corridors. Here one can catch a great view of seagulls following the ferry, every now and then they will swoop into the sea to catch some fish.


On arrival at the island, we saw rows of motorised tri-cycles for rent. Many rent these to get around; perhaps we should have rented one too (more on this later).


We cycled along the South-western coast along which were some stretches of beach, each full of seaweed growth...


At one stretch we saw locals harvesting these seaweed and bundling them into sacks for sale later on.


Inland, the roads were lined with low rubble walls, built to protect the vegetable fields from the cold wind. Cycling here reminds me of the hills of Mahato will cycling at the Batanes in Philippines. Ahead is the hills of Yeongpyeong-ri, we were short of time and did not go up there (hilly climb too). The view there is lovely!
Hah! We should have rented one of those motorised tri-cycles.


Our stay for the night was at the Manjo House in Hado-ri where they have colourful and very cosy chalets.


A couple of kilometres away is Sehwa-ri, here we had the best Jeju Black Pork meals while at Jeju. This was at the Halla Pork Restaurant. Our pork neck and belly cuts slowly simmered ont the grille while we chatted of our days experience.


Damn! These cuts of barbecued Black Pork sitting on a carpet of pickled sliced onion does look YummmY!
We liked both Hado-ri and Sehwa-ri very much; the people are warm and helpful, and the place is beautiful, more of these two towns the next day.

안녕히 주무세요...
(That's "annyeonghi jumuseyo" meaning "Good Night" in Korean)


This is page 5 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Day 4 Pyoseon         |        Go to Other Days      |     Go to Day 6 Hamdeok>


A nice video by our  buddy Sin of our fifth day's ride - we hit the eastern coast, took a ferry for a ride on Udo Island, had lots of flowery photos and ended our day at colourful chalets Hado-ri and a good black pork dinner.
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