Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 4 - Lee Jung Seop Art Street

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Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017: Day 4 - Lee Jung Seop Art Street
Tour of Jeju & Busan, South Korea : Day 4 - 27th March 2017
Cycling Distance - 52.98 km.     Level: Medium
Cycling Time : 9:10am to 6:30pm
Time Taken :  9hrs 20mins (inclusive of 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 4 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Day 3 Mt. Sanbang      |    Go to Other Days          |           Go to Day 5 Udo>

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 11°C | Night 7°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
- Oedolgae Rock (외돌개(제주) (Viewpoint GPS: 33.23902, 126.54485).
Lee Jung Seop Art Street (이중섭미술관) (GPS: 33.24584, 126.56495).
- World Seashell Museum at the Seobok Exhibition Park (GPS: 33.24485, 126.5709).
- Soesokkak Estuary (쇠소깍) (GPS: 33.25331, 126.62319).

5. Certification Stations:
These are certification centres for the optional Korea Cycling Passport:
Soesokkak (GPS: 33.25054, 126.62132).

6. Food
- Dinner was Abalone Porridge, Pan-fried Mackerel and other seafood at Sehwali Haenyeoi Jip (GPS: 33.30366, 126.80618) a unique restaurant run by the Haenyeo in Pyoseon.

7. Accommodations
Accommodations was two Ondol type aparment at 메모리 펜션 (GPS: 33.30478, 126.80631) in Pyoseon.
  Address: 289-1 Sehwa-ri, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea.
  Tel: +82 64-787-7803.
  Cost: 100,000KRW per night for two apartments.

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.
   To get pre-paid sim cards at Jeju Airport, there are counters selling them at the airport. Or one can purchase them on line, via this link:
It advise that the cards can be bought on line and be picked up near Gate 5 of the 1st Floor Arrival Hall.
    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.


The previous day we had taken on the slopes around Mount Sanbangsan, it was not that difficult, and then there was the bonus of savouring the juicy and sweet Hallabong Oranges. We also visited a market and met some helpful policemen at Hwasun-ri.

Today's we pushed onwards towards Pyoseon, and along the way met an interesting pastor, viewed some art, and ended the day eating at an unique Haenyeo restaurant.

We had breakfast at our motel, the friendly lady-operator was strangely not so friendly. Although still chatty, she kept her distance... see, her husband was around and she is "behaving" herself 😔. The hubby spoke some English and gave us some pointers on the road ahead.
9:10am - We rolled off with some interesting slopes, heading outwards towards the coast, which looked so near but was actually quite a distance away - it would be ten kilometres before we were actually at the coastal roads. So in the meantime might as well try to enjoy the slopes.... pant! ..... Pant!

Along the way, we saw several bus covered bus stops, stopped at one and noticed that these serves the Jeju Airport Limousine Bus 600. I post the above for those who are staying at towns away from the Jeju International Airport and wish to take this bus, the fare is between 1,000 to 5,000KRW per trip. Please not that the route only covers the southern section of the island up till Jungmun and Seogwipo and then traverse the centre of the isand. So many towns on the western coasts may not be served. Click here for more details. on the bus route and schedule.

Somewhere near Gangjeong-dong, we saw these make-shift huts at the roadside. We made a U-turn and were pleasantly surpised that it is chapel. We met a man dressed in overalls, with a long beard he looked like on of those ancient sages. He was a wise man indeed, he was a Catholic priest. 

He and his flock had set up "camp" here at the roadside; they even have a chapel where mass is held. It's a simple make-do chapel with plastic chairs and a wooden altar.

They are here to voice out their objection against the construction of a new naval base nearby. A small placard with a teary-eyed praying cartoon character rest on one of the chairs.

One of his congregation was busy carving out Korean characters onto a old tree trunk. This will be put up as a totem to draw more attention to their cause.

10:35 - We hit the coast and a short distance ahead it was a pee stop at a small museums. This one is interesting, it's a small shop selling Haenyeo souvenirs. At the entrance, the girls took a photo with this cardboard cut-off of a Haenyeo. This was at Beophwan, the southern most coastal village in Korea; the largest number of Haenyeo used to live here and their culture has been properly preserved.

Somewhere en-route, Sin suddenly made a U-turn. What's happening?
He saw this nice street art wall mural, and soon was a director getting us to "act" there in various poses. Some tried to look "cool", the girls put on their best with sultry "Marilyn Monroe" looks.
Ok.... did we pass the screen test?

At Seohong-dong, while the rest waited at a nearby car-park, I took a brisk walk through the shady forest to reach a shore where I could view the Oedolgae Rock (외돌개(제주). It's not a huge natural marvel, but had some story behind it. During the late Goryeo Dynasty, a Korean general named Chor Yeong was battling Moak-ho from Yuan, he disquised Oedolgae as a giant to scare of his enemies. That is why the rock is also known as the "General Rock".
The surrounding coastal area is full of cliffs and caves formed by tidal erosion; I was tempeted to explore more but my friends were waiting.

12:45pm - At Lee Jung Seop Art Street (이중섭미술관), an archway denoted the start of the street. This open-air exhibition actually covers this street and several branch-off streets. There is also a museum and adjacent park dedicated to the painter. The house in which he stayed here during the Korean War has also been retored and maintained. At the archway is a panel carving depicting the painter.

His work is on display in the museum. Outside on the streets were artwork by several comtemporary artists whose creativitiy came out with this ying-yang figures cut out at one end of a container show-room.

Along the street is a small building which displays smaller art pieces. I like this one carved from volcanic rock - it's simple and colourful.

Lee Jung-seob's former house is one of the traditional one, a wooden building with thatched roof sitting in a small compound ringed by low walls. In the compound was a small shed, probably that's where the artist sat and pondered on his next artwork. Lynne's sitting here trying to get some artistic vibes.

The street is lined with chic shops, some are cafe while others sold souvenirs and the likes. It was a small haven for the girls - see how happy they are after coming out from one of the shops.

We guys were happy to, though we did not shop we were happy just to pose with the various art dotting various corners of the area. Hah! Guys have simple nees 😁

We were there on a Monday, and the streets were quite quiet. On weekends it's a different matter as the above photo shows, the place is packed and there are street perfomances and events to liven the place up.

Next to the Seogwipo Arts Centre is the World Seashell Museum. Running short of time, we did not go in (although we would have loved to) and I just grabbed this shot. Exhibited inside are seashells in their natural form, and also sea shells used to create artwork.

This arch marks the entrance of the Seobok Exhibition Park, it's a lovely landscaped park...

... with boardwalks trails to walk or cycle on. It's just a short one kilometre stretch, a short but beautiful stretch. Seobok (sometimes called Seobul) is named after a Chinese envoy of the Chin Empire who came to Korea with and large entourage to look for the elixir of life at Mount Hallasan. Before returning to China, he carve the word "Seobulgwaji" onto the cliffs of the Jeongbang Waterfall. It's from this word that the name Seogwipo is derived.

The park opens up to the Soesokkak Estuary (쇠소깍), a picturisque place with a balance of green trees, browninsh-grey rocks and dark blue water.

6:00pm - It's getting cold and it's time to look for accommodations. At Pyoseon we managed to get an apartment with two bedrooms. This unit was one among many at the Pyoseon Apartment Hotel (메모리 펜션 ). It's a fairly large double-storey connected duplex unit that came with a living room, dining room and kitchen. It even had a long jacuzzi bath and a sauna (which we did not try, as the jacuzzi was quite large and filling it would take a while). The bedrooms were on the top floor and had heated Ondol flooring - this could get quite warm so sitting on the floor is a no-no unless one wants one's gonads soft-boiled!
Dinner was just down the road at the unique Sehwali Haenyeoi Jip Restaurant. It is small and cute with its exterior walls and roof covered with rounded sea stones (see photo above) ... but more importantly ...

... it's run by local Haenyeos and their families. The above photo shows their the cashier's counter with poster and photos of the lady divers. On the right, is a sketch of the couple managing the place. They are quite proud of the place, and rightfully too as it has appeared on Korean KBS-TV twice.

We had their speciality, Abalone Porridge, together with pan-fried mackerels and some Banchan consisting of Kimchi, seaweed, etc. The mackerel were good, but we found the porridge tasting rather flat and added kimchi into it to pep it up a bit (under the disapproving stares of the operators).

Up above, the whole ceiling was pasted with A-4 sheets of paper, all bearing messages from happy and satisfied patrons, some even had sketches on them.

Here are the girls with Mr. Kim (the manager) who is holding up our testimonial.

Thumbs Up!!
즐거운 식사!!
(That's "jeulgeoun sigsa!!" meaning "Happy Eating!!" in Korean)

This is page 4 of a 9-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Day 3 Mt. Sanbang      |    Go to Other Days          |           Go to Day 5 Udo>

A video by Sin of our fourth day's ride - to an art street, a nice river estuary and a wonderful Haenyeo dinner at Pyoseon.



You may also like :

Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 Day 4 : Of Zheng Ho & A Siburan Feast 2nd June 2015

Cycling Japan Day 4 - Of Palaces & Street Markets 10th November 2013
Riding fun at the Imperial Palace & later a visit to Ameyoko street market.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Korea / Cycling South Korea Jeju 2017 / Day 4 - Lee Jung Seop Art Street      |     Go to D1 / D2 /D3 / D5 / D6 / D7&8 / D9 / D10
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