Korea Part 7: Hangover, Naksan Park and Shitty Jeju City Public Transportation


It might sound stupid to start every article about my Korean trip with a hangover moaning, but this time I really had no idea how I ended up home and why there was a food waiting for me at the table. God knows whether I’ve invited someone over or I just bought it at night on the way home from the gogo bar. After all it didn’t really matter, at least I didn’t have to go eating that pork broth without pork from yesterday.

On the day I haven’t seen much, because it was around 4PM when I just got out of the apartment. I hopped on a subway to see my interpals friend H for the very first time. She was little late (I accidentally did the same this summer when we met in Bratislava, so we’ll call it even) so at first I thought she might not wanna meet this lonely alcoholic. Finally she showed up, yay!

We went to 낙산공원 (Naksan Park) at least that’s what I remember. I wasn’t too conscious because my body was still getting rid of the alcohol. The park - I’d say in the middle of the city - was really nice with a fortress wall and amazing views on both sides of the city. Too bad I haven’t take any pictures except this shitty one. Maybe next time.

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After a walk around the park we went downtown to get some dinner. We passed by really interesting traditional buildings similar to what you can see in 북촌 (Bukchon). After a little struggle choosing a place (obviously because of my restrictive "diet") we went to a nice Vietnamese restaurant that I believe was called Paris Hanoi. We both had really delicious noodles with some vegetables and meat for H and fish for me (yes I still convince myself fish’s not a meat). Even though they brought some tea I somehow ended up drinking beer which got me straight back where I was yesterday.

Full of energy I talked H into getting more beer in a pub. She found a nice and busy place somewhere around Hyehwa station. Wish I had such abilities to find a pub with a draught beer in Korea on my own. But on the other hand it’s not really too much fun to drink alone anyway. The night was slowly approaching so we had to go our own ways, because Seoul’s subway closes at 12AM on weekends.

This time I got purposely "lost" so I could visit my friend G at his English bar again. We had some beers and talked about my tomorrow’s itinerary as I planned to go to Jeju. I had one more day to stay in Seoul after returning back from Jeju and staying in the hostel that shares its common space with the love motel wasn’t really what I was looking for. G was nice enough to offer me a room in his guesthouse upstairs. It was half empty only with my friend L (which I met at the bar) staying over there at the time. Living with someone I knew at least a little sounded much better to me.

The next day I got up early because I had to catch my flight to Jeju city from 김포국제공항 (Gimpo Internatil Airport). I didn’t have time to eat anything before so I got some weird chocolate cookies at 7-11. A beautiful smiling cashier made it taste much better than it looked. The flight was of course delayed for a good hour which didn’t really surprise me, because I took couple of flights to or within Asia before and I knew what to expect. A little while after we took off, a cameraman stepped in and flight attendants (really pretty btw) started to play some weird game with people. I had no idea what it was all about, but according to the following video it looks like some kind of quiz. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but I was pretending I’m sleeping while the camera was slowly approaching me.

I arrived to Jeju airport around 45 minutes later and was looking for a bus to leave my shit in the hotel to look around the area. The bus didn’t have its front board in English, but I knew the exact number so it was no big deal to me. I was told by almost everyone that the announcement of a bus stop is also in English, but that wasn’t really the case except the airport stop. Of course I missed my bus stop so I had to walk around the area to find my hotel. Thanks god (or rather capitalism) for GPS - my "modern traveler" attitude saved me again.

I stayed at Goodstay EJ Hotel which was really nicely equipped (for a 3 star hotel) and conveniently located. Staff was very friendly even though the gentleman at the front desk didn’t speak English at all. His colleague did, but it was not needed as paying and getting the key can be done just with a smile. But what I really loved about the hotel was my room that had this funny toilet with at least 6 buttons and heated toilet seat. How cool is that? Shitting have never felt so right before.

After spending some time on this cool toilet I decided to get some lunch. Jeju is an Island so I thought it’s gonna be really easy to get some fish food, but still being in Korea I was little sceptical. It didn’t take too long and I found a nice Korean restaurant called Kimbap Cheunguk that was obviously Kimbap oriented. Older lady was preparing fresh Kimbaps at the front desk so people on the street could have a look. The menu was all in Korean so I didn’t even try to speak English. I can read Korean so I found a Bibimbap there. My only concern was that they’d put a raw meet on top of the vegetable. Too good my friend Y taught me how to ask to take out all meat - "고기 빼고 주세요", so at the end I was only surprised by little delicious "Anchovies like" fishes that were brought along with the meal.

It was still plenty of time so I went to a bus stop to get to Jeju Loveland. I looked for a bus number on google maps so I knew exactly what to look for. I kept waiting. And waiting. AND WAITING. The bus has never showed up which got me really pissed off and I vented my frustration on Y through kakaotalk. I was in a state to go to the airport and leave the fuck out. Only later I found out buses in Jeju city "work" like this all the time. If I knew in advance I would have just walked everywhere, but killing an hour waiting for a public bus is just insane. Jeju public transport just sucks.

So I walked around the area and I stumbled upon some kind of park. I always love to hang out in parks because it keeps me away from an alcohol. There was an old train on the top and though you couldn’t get inside you could still go around and see what’s there.

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Next to the train was a little watch tower with some girls inside. They seemed pretty surprised when I showed up so I made a quick look around and went down to not scare them any further. As I was walking away the tower I was greeted by a random stranger, which never happened to me in Korea before. I think I had to look exactly the same as girls did.

I was little tired of walking so I gave a bus another chance. This time I wanted to go further to the city center to see some sea views. I waited for around 20 minutes and the bus has finally arrived. I was slowly getting back my faith to Jeju’s bus system. Little did I know.

It was already getting dark so I took some crappy pictures of the sea shore area with a dragon like rocky sculpture (already deleted it). It didn’t look anything as I expected but again, it was dark and maybe I’ve overlooked something. On the way home I walked along the shore to a random bus stop that would take me back to the hotel. I was walking past the seafood restaurants and I noticed huge prices for a meal starting at around 20-25000 wons. I know seafood tends to be expensive everywhere, but on the island, really?

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Little disappointed I found my bus stop next to 7-11 so I got a little snack and something to drink before leaving to the hotel. We had a small talk with a cashier and even though my Korean sucks ass I think we could understand each other. At least we were good in pretending it. Knowing my bus is gonna be late at least for 30 minutes I didn’t hurry too much. And I was right, because it arrived around 55 minutes later. Whatever, I hopped in, got to the bed and was thinking about my tomorrow’s one day trip to Udo - little Island east from Jeju.

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Where to stay on Jeju Island

Are you traveling to Jeju in the near future? If you haven't booked your hotel or hostel yet, now it's the right time.

Check out my favorite sites that I use to find and book the cheapest accommodation in Jeju.

Agoda.com   Booking.com

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