I spent my third day on the island walking around Hallim Park, where Jeju showcases its tropical gardens and lava-formed caves. It wasn’t what I expected, some of the displays were a little strange or out of place. Like all the lizards in cramped aquariums, randomly placed in some of the greenhouses. But I’m a little spoiled when it comes to animal attractions, growing up going to the St. Louis Zoo. So apart from some of the inauthentic set-ups, getting to walk through the world’s longest lava-tubes, made the visit to the park worth it.
The Entrance, “Palm Tree Alley”
Heading to the greenhouses
The big deal about these caves is that they were formed from lava cutting through the ground and have both stalagmites and stalactites, which I gather is rare. Researches also think these parts of the island had to be under water at the time they were made, because the caves have various sea fossils embedded in them. There are two caves, the second one, Sangyong-gul is the world’s longest lava-tube.
If you’ve ever been inside a typical cave, you can probably see how different this one looks, it’s even and round throughout.
There were a lot of different formations in the caves, each one with an epic story, but I couldn’t make out most of them. A dragon head here, a dragon tail there, crying bears, hiding turtles and roosting owls. But I did see this one of a mother holding her baby.
The Pillar of Wisdom. Walking around it once is said to clear your mind and enlighten you.
I wish I wouldn’t have made a face here. This is the only picture I took of the bonsai tree garden, sorry. The garden was just a bunch of very small potted bonsai trees arranged placed along the walking path. This first one was really the only one worth having a see.
A pagoda, a lava rock and a stone sculpture you could buy at Pier One. I don’t know why the three of them glued to a boulder makes any sense, but I was the only one who seemed to think its randomness was worth mentioning. There were other mismatched decorations and pieces of art like bicycle sculptures and bushes cut into the shapes of elephant and giraffes, that my guides would admit were meaningless if asked, but otherwise they accepted and passed on as just boring exhibits.
Walking through the folk village, where you can observe traditional Korean living.
Kids in the kimchi pots
Yunju and Muhyuk playing a Korean game similar to horseshoes.
Later we were filmed for a promotional video of the park, not making a single toss.
If there was an opt to be photoed. Muhyuk insisted we take it. “Fighting!”
It wouldn’t be fall in Korea without 호떡 hoddok, one of Korea’s fried street foods that tastes just like an elephant ear from the fair.
On to the birds
Leaving the park
Muhyuk got frustrated trying to figure out the English word, “tide”. He kept referencing the moon and waves and time and I kept saying, “Yeah, high tide, low tide.” But he kept saying, that was wrong and he didn’t mean the past tense of “tie”. Don’t trust the English teacher. She’s only American.
Big Burger, another stop on Cafe Friend’s map of things to do, right on the beach. We passed it up though.
Muhyuk, “Big Burger is very delicious but…very not delicious.”