Thus it began. Our Korean winter adventure.
Jeju Island – 17th December
Reaching Jeju Island by Jeju Air from Busan was a breeze. It took an hour, spent pleasantly in anticipation. We found Jeju island a sleepy, laid back place with an old world charm. It was a very pleasant 6 degrees outside, not too cold yet requiring a two layer insulation and a scarf. We got a Kia 7 seater Jumbo taxi from the airport to our first hotel – a very comfortable journey costing 80,000 Korean won. Best Jeju hotel welcomed us with warm and spacious rooms. As could be expected the Japanese style bidet toilet had warmed seats – a small detail that matters much when you find yourself in a cold climate. We had taken two rooms in the hotel, which for one night cost 960,000 won. Not bad at all.
First meal in South Korea
Next on the agenda was dinner, and boy! did we enjoy our first Korean dinner! The famed and hallowed Korean barbecue truly lived up to its name. The condiments that come with the barbecue were too many to count. The ever present Kimchi, and various other picked vegetables and chilli literally filled the table. Eating is an art in Korea. You take your time, relish it, savour it, close your eyes and enter a reverie where you are one with your food. Truly delicious experience.
A walk in the cold
Nothing like an after-dinner walk in the pristine, cold night air. We had not, however, expected bone-chilling wind, which presently made us all wish to crawl back to our warmed rooms. Yet, we braved the elements and walked about 45 minutes, feeling at one with the tranquil Jeju. It is no wonder that Jeju island is a honeymoon destination. There is a certain romantic aura to this place. Our walk over, returning to our hotel, we found a pub located quire nearby, with old classical music drifting out. There was an old piano outside their door, which I thought was very incongruous, until we spotted the piano to be covered entirely by doodles of some kind.
Our first few hours in Jeju were quite magical.
(to be continued)