Saturday, May 6, 2017

Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 6 - Hamdeok Beach

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Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 6 - Hamdeok Beach
Tour of Jeju & Busan, South Korea : Day 6 - 29th March 2017
Cycling Distance - 42.65 km.     Level: Medium
Cycling Time : 11:35am to 6:00pm
Time Taken : 6hrs 25mins (inclusive of stops at the beaches & various places of interests, stops to enjoy the sceneries, for lunch, regrouping, rests and many,many photo opps).

This is page 6 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.

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.

3. Weather
At Jeju : Day 16°C | Night1°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
Jeju Haenyeo Museum (해녀박물관) (GPS: 33.52352, 126.86348) at Hado-ri.
Sehwa Beach Romantic Sea Wall (GPS: 33.52643, 126.85739).
- Haengwon-ri Sea View (GPS: 33.56159, 126.814).
Woljeongri Beach (월정리해변 (월정리해수욕장)) (GPS: 33.55597, 126.79617).
Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach (김녕 성세기 해변) (GPS: 33.55863, 126.76261).
Neobeunsung Memorial (너븐숭이4.3기념관) (GPS: 33.54601, 126.68871).
Hamdeok Seoubong Beach (함덕 서우봉해변-함덕해수욕장) (GPS: 33.54345, 126.67052).

5. Certification Stations:
These are certification centres for the optional Korea Cycling Passport:
Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach (GPS: 33.55863, 126.76261).
Hamdeok Seoubong Beach (GPS: 33.5442, 126.67257).
Coordinates are approximate location of the stamping stations.

6. Food
- A heavy Hot Pot Rib breakfast at the 재연식당 Restaurant (GPS: 33.52647, 126.85602) in Sehwa-ri.
- Light lunch at GS-25 outlet (GPS: 33.54251, 126.66821) at Hamdeok Beach.
- Dinner was nice un-pressed Tofu soup, pan-fried mackerel and other dishes at the 정말 맛있는 식당 Dongmun Restaurant at 3 Sarabong-gil (GPS: 33.5146, 126.53922).

7. Accommodations
Accommodations was at the 별관모텔 Motel (GPS: 33.51379, 126.54133) at Dongmun (Jeju City). It does not provide wi-fi; so I would suggest trying out many of the other motels available at the Dongmun area. Google maps would show a lot of "Bed" icons here.
  Address: 710-17 Geonip-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea.
  Tel: +82 64-752-5235
  Cost: 40,000KRW per room per night.

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

The previous day's trip had included a ferry ride over to Udo Island for a short ride along the island's rustic road. We ended in the pleasant twin towns of Sehwa-ri and Hado-ri.
With today's final stretch, we end up at Jeju City and complete our round Jeju Island cycling, a total of 255km.
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It's a route that will take us to several beaches and end back at Jeju City. This is the final section of the Jeju round island cycling tour.


As today's route back to Jeju City will not be a long one, we decided to explore the twin towns of Sehwa-ri and Hado-ri. These two towns have much character and good food. They are worthwhile places to stay in and explore; the previous evening we had our best Black Pork meal in at Halla Pork Restaurant in Sehwa-ri. This morning, we are back in the town for a wonderful meal of Hot Pot Ribs soup at 재연식당 Restaurant. Suffice to say it was another delicious meal, see we really loved the soup and drank them to the last drop!


We had wanted to visit the local market, but oddly it was closed. So we instead visited the nearby Achi-maru supermarket; here we got some buns to sustain us along the way. They sell very fresh and good strawberries here too.

The Sehwa-ri shop-owners are an ingenious lot; on the coastal beach wall opposite their shops they have placed low tables and chairs and every morning put fresh flowers into a vase on these tables. It's a super attraction for couples and friends to stop and take memorable and beautiful photos at these tables with the breaking waves in the background.

Back at Hado-ri, it was a visit to the Jeju Haenyeo Museum. Within its large compound is a monument to these lady divers, one that will etched them into the island's history. Three bronze statues of the ladies show them standing proud marching out to sea with their diving gear and harvesting basket.

At another section of the grounds, are fishing boat. This makes me wonder whether the Haenyeo also go further out to sea for their diving work; so far we had only seen the ladies around the sheltered piers and harbours. Out in the open sea, it would have been a different matter, the ladies must have been super fit to take on the stronger and deeper currents.

Within the museum building, exhibits shows the history behind the Haenyeo; this one shows a traditional village (which is very similar to a folk village) and old-style timber boats and rafts from which the Haenyeo operates.


Leaving the twin towns, our route took us on the cycling trail which hugs the coast passing by many other small towns. On and off, flocks of seagull would swoop down, almost grazing us, wing to shoulder.

Our first stop, Haengwon-ri. This is a scenic small rocky outcrop cape with a small park. The locals must find this a favourite spot too, often bridal couples would come here for their wedding photo shoot.

We passed by this place with a a large aerodynamic wind vane and many large anemometers. Curious I did a quick pop by - it's the Korea Institute of Energy Research. and the various equipment are for their research.


Within it's ground were large giant windmills that were harvesting wind energy. One seemed to have it's propeller missing; on closer look the propellers had been dismantled and on top was a viewing platform for visitors to go up for a great view of the surrounding area.


12:30pm - At Gimnyeong Seonsegi Beach, it was time put our first Korea Four Rivers Cycling Trail stamp for the day. This is a beautiful beach, even though it was a weekday, the place was crowded with tourists. We were happily taking photos when Zu-yi realised that he had left his red back-pack at our previous stop, the Woljeongri Beach. Sin being a dedicated father and a stronger rider rode back to look for it. This was a panting eight kilometer fast-paced ride for him. Thank goodness for Korean honesty, the bag was still there!


Near to Bukchon town is the Neobeunsung Memorial; this is a memorial park dedicated to the victims of Jeju 4.3 which refers to incidents that happened during 1947 to 1948 in post World War II Korea. Several people were killed during these incidents.


The memorial rock is at the entrance which leads to a memorial building.


2:30pm - Yahoo!!!! Our final stamping at the Hamdeok Stamping Station for the chopping the last stamp onto our Korea Cycling Trail Passports. This beach is one of the largest/longest on Jeju Island with many amenities and shops to cater for tourists. Being one of the most beautiful beaches and the closest to Jeju City, it is one of the most busy beaches on the island. It's a beach with clear bright blue waters set in front of a cape of bright green hills.


We spent much time here, relaxing, enjoying the scenenries and the cool, strong breeze. It was a very wide beach and at certain points we had to push our bicycles through long sandy patches and up some slopes.


3:15pm - The enjoyment of the beach had made us forget about food; but the moment we were out, our tummies came back growling at us - time for quick bites at the GS-25 outlet located just behind this sculpture of olden days Korean fishermen.


These bright red building reminded us of the horse-shaped light-houses at Iho-Tewoo Beach. Their modern design indicated that we are back at metropolitan areas and getting close to Jeju City.


Just at the outkirts of the city, Sin led us on a detour down to the Samyang Black Sand Beach; the beaches here does indeed have black sand, one that came about from eons of erosion of the black volcanic rocks.


The road back up to the mains street took us through quiet rural streets, what a surprising find, a quiet enclave right within the city.


Lynne's injured leg was hurting her and she was having diffuctly keeping pace with the rest. At Hwabugil-dong we went looking for accomodations, but some freindly locals advised us that there were hardly any accommodations available here and advised us that there were many hotels/motels at the Dongmun-dong area. So at Dongmun, we took the first motel that we saw eventhough it did not have wi-fi.
 Nearby is the 정말 맛있는 식당 Restaurant; which serves very good Korean food. Their speciality was un-pressed tofu soup which we loved very much.
GOODNIGHT! Tomorrow will be our last full day on Jeju and after that we fly to Busan.

안녕 제주.
(That's "annyeong Jeju" meaning "Goodbye Jeju" in Korean)



A video of our sixth day ride by our buddy Sin, one of lovely beaches and a lost red back-pack!
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