The original plan was to go to Seoul and then visit people in Osaka but Wes and I are both poor students so we re-evaluated our funds and decided to go hiking around Jeju for a week. Jeju is an island in the south of South Korea that is famous for it's nature and volcanic rock formations. The island itself is a dormant volcano covered in about 360 mini volcanoes called "oreums" and in the middle is Mt Halla which is a 1950m high mountain that takes 7-9 hours to climb up and down it (more on that later).
((This'll probably be pretty long and detailed (we did a lot) so I'm splitting this entry into 3 sections))
Arriving in Jeju - Friday 5th April
Our flight was in the morning meaning we arrived in Jeju at about midday. We had arrived in a different country where we didn't know the language with no plans and no where to stay. I had luckily done a bit of research before hand and written down a load of hostels that speak English and listed a few places to see, but our main plan to was to go to the tourist information in the airport and plan from there. The women at one information desk wasn't really helpful although she did help us reserve the first hostel I had listed called Rainbow Hostel. We also got a pile of leaflets and a decent map and directions from the other tourist information desk. Our next step was to get money out which we could only do in the airport. I managed to get my funds for the week out but Wes had a minor problem in the fact that he hadn't told his bank he'd be in South Korea. I got some extra money out and we agreed we'd spend the afternoon finding a computer with skype to call his bank. So we head off to the first hostel using the bus system and the directions the tourist info lady had given us...at least we tried.
We were wondering around for about an hour walking in circles trying to find the place and in the end I suggested we try this Community Centre. We went in and asked if anyone spoke English to while everyone pointed at one woman who had a look of terror on her face. I tried to explain that we were lost and looking for the Rainbow Hostel which they found online. She gestured to a co-worker and said he'd give us a lift and although we tried to say we could walk it we didn't know the language well enough to say we just wanted directions. So he drives us round the corner to a road that we'd passed but hadn't walked down *facepalm*. We had been so close!
We get into the hostel and it's warm and smells nice and the people there were so nice! We dumped our stuff and asked if their computer had skype which is did but no headphones! One employee said he'd go out and get some but we later found out that he forgot *sigh*. In the mean time we decided that because we couldn't do anything anyway because the banks in the US were closed we would walk down to one of the city's attractions. On the way we found this cool bridge over a river with blossoms growing around it.
On the other side of the bridge was the dragon rock. Apparently a 40 foot long dragon that wished so hard it turned into stone with 30 feet of it's body under the water and the last 10 above it. Most pictures of it online are of it during sunset, but I found it way more amusing to take a pic of it eating a hostel sign on the other side of the bay. Omnomnom