Saturday, December 14, 2013


I was in Jeju for a meeting in early November and I only had one day to spare for sightseeing. So I quickly did some research and I have narrowed down to 4 places that I had to at least visit while I'm there. Just to put things into perspective, Jeju Island can be divided into 4 areas. the city area which is located at the North (Jeju City) and South (Seogwipo CIty) and also the attractions area which is on the east course or the west course.

The hotel that we stayed is the KAL Hotel Seogwipo which is located in the South. Please take note that there is also one KAL Hotel in Jeju City. From what I heard, KAL Hotel Seogwipo is the first tallest and most modern hotel during its time in the 80s if im not mistaken. However, today, you can see that the design is bit dated and in need of some updating. Location wise, its not advisable to stay here unless if you have your own transport as there is nothing whatsoever in the vicinity of the hotel. and also generally, if you prefer a more lively environment, it is advisable to stay in Jeju City itself. It's better in terms of shopping, food and also proximity to the airport.

During my stay in Jeju, a few of the Koreans I met told me that Jeju is the island of 3 many which means that there 3 things in Jeju that is in abundance - rocks, women, and wind. This is because the Wind from the ocean blows steadily throughout the year and beautiful and unusually-shaped black rocks are all over the island due to its past volcanic activities. The island’s reputation of having an abundance of women dates back to the time when fishing was the primary means of income and many men were lost at sea leaving their widows behind. and also ive heard stories of how strong jeju women are in the past as they have to take care of themselves when their husbands goes to the sea.

Coming back to what i was talking (writing) about before, IMHO, its more convenient for you to rent a car or hire a driver to get around jeju as it is a big island and the attractions are not that close to each other. especially if you have limited time, taking the public transportation i.e. bus, is not an option. I was lucky at that time as I've managed to get Mr Moon as our driver for the day. I got his contact from trip advisor and he has a good reputation. Mr Moon is a nice guy eventhough his english is quite limited he tried his best to communicate with us whenever we asked him about anything. he is also very knowledgable about jeju and very 'proactive' in taking your pictures ;-) he's contact can be referred to here.

For my very short trip this time, I have picked out four places to go, which i think that I must not leave Jeju before setting foot at these places. But please bear in mind that this can be quite exhausting and not suitable if you are travelling with kids. Also, take note when you are in Jeju, do pack along your walking gear which includes comfy clothes and shoes and also disposable rain ponchos can be useful for certain seasons as most of Jeju's places of interests are nature attractions which involves a lot of walking and hiking. All of the places that I picked is located in the East Coast. We started the journey from Jeongbang Waterfall which is located very near to our hotel. It can be reached within foot from KAL Hotel via olle route 6, if im not mistaken.

Jeongbang WaterfallJeongbang Waterfall is a waterfall that falls directly into the sea. Size wise it is small but it'a rare thing that you won't easily be able to see elsewhere. When we were there, there was not so many people and there was even a rainbow at that time. Please take note that there is a flight of stairs to climb on your way back - difficulty - moderate.


Sangumburi Crater

After that, we went to the Sangumburi Crater which is about 45 mins drive from Jeongbang Waterfall. It is an extinct volcanic crater now filled with lush vegetation. Formed during Jeju’s fiery volcanic past, the crater withstood its violent eruption and is still perfectly shaped, making it unique. 

It takes 15 minutes light walk from the entrace to the crater -  Do wear comfortable shoes. At the top there is an area which they put a few swings and I totally fell in love with that. The ambiance is really romantic with the wind blowing in your face, acres of silver grass swaying as the wind blows and piped in music (i was really impressed with this - they thought about everything , even to the finest details). That said, it's really nice to be there with your loved ones.
Sangumburi Crater entrance

this is the swing that i was raving about.. ;-)

The crater - cant really see it from here

Seongsan Ilchubong

Seongsan Ilchubong is a peak rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago which is a UNESCO World Heritage. It is said to be the best spot to view the sunrise. However one must be up very early in order to climb the peak in time for the sunrise. Our mistake is that we had lunch just before the visit to the peak and we only managed to climb half way to the peak. Hmm, maybe not even half way, i think its more like a third of the peak. (by the way, Mr Moon took us to a seafood restaurant which is so so delish. we really enjoyed our lunch there...) To me, the level of difficulty of climbing the peak (for a person as unfit as I am) is DIFFICULT because of its height.  Im not really sure if its suitable for kids eventhough the path is lined with stairs, but i saw lots of kids climbing the peak on that day.

There is also a hanyeo (women divers) show at in the area which you can watch after the climb. You can also take a boat ride around the place but im not sure how much it will cost you.

The famous sunrise peak

Women Diver Show
Our lunch - best haemul paejeon evah!!
haemultang.. so delish....
grilled saba..

Manjanggul Cave

The Manjanggul Lava Cave is also a UNESCO World Heritage and it is is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world. A lava tunnel is formed when the lava that was deep in the ground spouts from the peak and flows to the surface and only 1km of the 13,422m Manjanggul Cave is open to the tourists. If you haven't been to any lava cave before, you SHOULD visit the Manjanggul Cave. I was really in awe with the sights in the cave. It makes you feel small and that mother earth is larger than life and it's beyond your control.

Manjanggul Cave entrance

you can see the trace of the lava flows on the cave wall. awesome stuff!

So that's basically sums up my take on the mut visit places if you only have 1 day in Jeju. Of course there are A LOT of other attractions in Jeju. Especially if its in summer you have to add a beach in your must visit places as the beaches in Jeju are stunning.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I know I've been giving empty promises to update about our trip to Sydney. I have a least 2 more posts about that, but this end of the year is super hectic.. crazayyy.. Will try to find the time to finish up those 2 posts. Or perhaps I might cram it into 1 post. We'll see.

Why "the island of 3 many" u might ask. When I was in Jeju, I heard about this phrase so many times it kinda stuck in my head. But I will update on that later. I will also write on places to go if you have only 1 day to explore Jeju.. Catcha latersss...

Jeongbang Waterfall
Sangumburi Crater

Seongsan Ilchubong from afar

Manjanggul Lava Cave

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sydney Stories : Day 1

We arrived Sydney the day before. The 7 hr ++ flight was a bit bumpy at first but exceptionally smooth once we enter the Indian Ocean airspace.Q managed to find herself a new boyfriend onboard and it saves us the headache from trying to keep her entertained during the journey :P. However, landing was quite scary as it was VERY VERY windy in Sydney that evening. The plain literally tilted side to side just before landing but managed to be stabilized seconds before touch down. I was literally holding my breath as from what I have read before, wind gust during landing can be very dangerous. Took the taxi (read my previous post on taxi rides from airport) and reached the hotel at around 10.00 pm however we were still not that tired as it was just only 8pm Malaysia time. So we went out to have dinner and stock up on groceries at the nearby supermarket. It was still windy outside but we put on the right gear and were ready to face the wind this time ;-) We were exhilarated when we saw Opporto and our dinner issue was solved. Went back to have dinner and turn down for the night. 

Welcome to the Continent!
Sydney Night Aerial View
Q and her new (boy)friend
Arrival. Be prepared for one of the strictest customs in the world!
Well prepared to battle the wind!
The next day I woke up very early (4.30 am Malaysian Time). Made breakfast in our room - toast and egg. yumss.. Totally love the fact that we can cook in our room and all the cooking gadgets are being provided by the hotel; i.e.: microwave, toaster, cuttleries, plates, kitchen towel and even liquid dishwasher. Location wise, the place is perfect. It's located on a quiet road but very close to all the attractions. It is within walking distance to Paddys Market, George Street, QVB as well as The Sydney Eye Tower and its surrounding area (major shopping area). It is also located in front of the Hyde Park and you can enjoy strolling at the park in the afternoon, nice, isn't it?

Best Western Plus Hotel Stellar
Small lobby but functional. Sliding doors will be locked at 6 pm. Use your keys to enter.
Cafe. The smell of coffee in the morning, heavenly..
Standard room
Most important meal of the day! The red container is used to cook rice in the microwave. Can be bought from Woolworths for less than 10AUD. Very useful for travel. Long grain rice can also be bought at Woolworths for 3AUD.
Day 1 OOTD ;-)
Hyde Park
Our first destination of the day was to Paddys Market. It took us 20 mins walking from our hotel/apartment to Paddys Market and it was drizzling that morning. It was on a Friday and it was not crowded at all. One thing about this market is that the stuffs here are really cheap (do not convert to RM. Haha)! We went crazy buying t shirts, sweaters and souvenirs here. I also bought a sheepskin UGG for 88AUD which is oh so comfy.. At first I thought it was the original UGG brand boots (UGG is actually US based even though ugg originated from AUS), lest that I know that those boots are called ugg regardless of the brand. Nevertheless, It's totally worth it as u get the same quality at a fraction of the price ;-) I also went overboard by adding in the waterproof spray and ugg socks at that ;-p So, if u want to buy the original UGG boots,  pls make sure you buy it at the right place as you will find so many shops in Sydney selling uggs claiming that they are selling original UGGs..

Bought my UGGs here ;-)

As I have mentioned before, we have already bought our Sydney attractions tickets in advance. So our next destination of the day was to Madamme Tussauds. On the way, we had an early lunch at one Kebab joint we found en route to the Museum Train Station. The name of the place is Yummies Kebab Pizza Pide, it had delicous Pides and Pizzas! More information can be found here. The review is not so good but for us the food is descent and most importantly halal. However, i have to agree that the pizza is better than the Kebab.

We took the subway from Museum Station to Wynyard and walk towards the Aquarium Wharf. However,  there was no clear signage towards the place. Apart from that, there's no detailed direction provided on websites on how to get there i.e which exit to take at the subway station. So that's when ur phone is really needed. Googlemap was  instrumental in helping us to locate the place (u have to have internet connection for this). I just discovered that you can use Googlemap to literally direct you to the place. However, you still have to use your own instinct as its not always accurate. But it does help with getting a good sense of the surrounding area. So I would recommend buying the data package for ur phone as I have mentioned in my previous post. Or otherwise you can install an offline map app on ur phone and download the local map prior to your departure. It is about 20-30 mins walk (slow pace) to Madamme Tussauds and do check the weather beforehand. You might want to bring/buy an umbrella or raincoat with you. Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife Sydney is situated at the same area. So its recommended to cover all those in one go.  

Museum Station - No escalator and no elevator here.
double decker train
odw to Aquarium Wharf

That was my second visit to Madamme Tussauds so I'm not that excited. The most interesting figure would be Obama but it costs a bomb to have your picture taken with him. As usual, these kind of establishments have their own photographers and will sell you pictures upon ur exit. Pictures taken by them costs a minimum of RM90! So we'd rather not waste our dollars and opt not to buy them.After that we went to the Aquarium. It was just ok and could not compare to the one in Osaka. But Q enjoyed it nevertheless.After we were done with the Aquarium it was already 4.30 pm and the Sydney Wildlife was already closed.

Q busy snapping away

So we decided to go to Circular Quay (pronounced as Key) and take a walk at the harbour towards the Sydney Opera House. Q was already acting out by this time and the captain was exhausted. So we just made it brief and quick and just took a few pictures of the Sydney Opera House from afar. The place is crowded at night and we just watched from quite a distance. 
Circular Quay

Sydney Opera House from afar

Went back to our hotel/apartment at 7pmish (it was already dark like its 9pmish) and made a trip to the supermarket, again. Love the place ! ;-)

Q is crazy bout this Kinder Surprise. Bought loads of this while we were there...