Saturday, November 30, 2013

November is ought to be awesome possum!
It has always been one of my dream lands, so I've decided to go for a vacation at Korea during my one week of Deepavali break.
Also, as a reward for myself during such stressful period dealing with academic stuff, and right after the concerts too.

Day 1 (4 November 2013)
Busan, first stop upon touching down the land of the morning calm.

my first meal in Korea.. with a whopping price

 the airport express

That exciting moment when I saw the fall foliage upon getting out of the airport with the cold breeze blowing.

* raw photo credit to Ailee

this was how the photo came about


just when my phone finally focus on the maple leaf... ... ... ... ...

some hidden gems when we visit the Royal Tomb of the King Suro: The Higher Building & Residence of Gaya period

 it was so scenic that even the locals wanna capture that moment!

 street view of Busan
SS as if there were no other people around
that was what we did at the cross junction

way back to the airport
After the short visit, Jeju Island here we come..!

oh the clear blue sky of Jeju Island

I have been refraining myself from instant noodles for years until that day... :S

Yongduam Dragon Head Rock
the place where the haenyeo (female divers) earn for their living 

 fresh squids by haenyeo!

 their bbq style...

some hot bites in cold weather!

their starred drink: banana milk!
 *photos credit to Ailee
ah so nice

Dol hareubang - guardian angel of Jeju

err... that's all for dinner?! 
not at all!
We hunt for the main course at some random restaurant nearby

 *photo credit to Ailee

the barbequed meat!

local convenient store with loads of choices and a few seatings

 real original yogurt to aid in digestion

wonder how was it taste like?
look at Ailee's expression!
So yeah, we ate & drank again after the stroll

Day 2 (5 November 2013) 

We departed even before the dawn - for the highest mountain in South Korea!

that was a very foggy & chilling morning D:
* photos credit to Ailee

uh... that's the starting point of the mountain hiking!

 You wouldn't believe that I was jumping around when I reach there.

 9.6km to reach the mountain peak of Mount Hallasan 한라산국립공원, the UNESCO World Heritage!
8.5km to come down from the peak.
Gosh, a total of 18.1km!

Don't be fooled by these photos.
Only a menial pathway was built with some staircase or short-distant wooden bridge.
And that was when I was able to stand still and take photo!
However, the colour of the leaves were so vivid that they brought joy to my heart!

natural mountain water?!


No photos were taken along the way as I have to concentrate on every footstep to avoid any chance of topple on the steep rocky path

After about 8km of hiking...
You feel like uttering "no thanks" to another few hundred metres to reach the observatory site

 okay, so the motivator who always mount ahead of us...

 the eco-resting area

Be astonished on the eco idea of this whole resting area!

Don't give up girl, it was just a few hundred metres away from the summit!
The number of staircase was way more than the Batu Caves temple, seriously!

 Do you realise the change of the leaves from the base to the summit?

 1900m from the sea level! huhu.. look at the broken staircases with such a huge wide gap

 Okay, this is peculiar yet cute! wifi zone? haha

 The victory is ours

Things to do when you finally reach the peak! .. selfie ...

Crowded peak? Ah yes, we were one of the few foreigners who made it on top there!
Flocks of military army can be spotted too

 It was supposed to look like the signage as below. Oh well, it was autumn season.

 "We were HERE!"

 Take deep breath and enjoy the view from top of the South Korea!

pain is temporary; victory is forever!

Oh NO, we didn't figure out that we actually need to go back to the base on feet!
*loudest cry* upon enjoying the breathtaking view on top. 

 What? Beware of ROCKFALL?!

Seriously, most of the locals were quite surprised that we actually made it to the top!

 Can't take my eyes off of the picturesque fall foliage...

That acute pain that one suffers after streneous muscle activity for every step taken, especially going down from the summit where the impact of every footstep is sooooo arduous 

Stairs?!! Noooooooooooooooo

Oh well, the journey from the top to the base was 8.5km.
That's a total of 18.1km, almost equivalent to a half marathon! 
Hallasan mountain is a habitat for more than 2,000 plants and more than 5,000 animals.
We were lucky to spot a deer during the journey.

They have a real good facilities: supergiant polycarbonate gun to remove the sands and dirts on your shoes & track bottoms!

peach soda to quench our thirst! it's by Pocari Sweat ;)

Of all the toilsome hiking with lots of perserverence, stamina (on legs) and great teamwork,  we were feeling accomplished when we witness the etching of our name on the medal, LIVE in front of our eyes!

 LOOK! It's our name..!
We conquered the  1950m Mount Hallasan - the highest mountain at South Korea (also a UNESCO heritage site) with the distant of  almost equivalent to half marathon without any training beforehand!

I still remember Ailee's expression when she expressed her willingness & Nigel's reluctance (at first when he was half-awake) to go for mountain hiking but eventually followed us for the expedition.

hmmmm... Ever wondered the missing of Karen & William from the previous photos?
They went to some other UNESCO heritage sites instead.

Alright, feast to reward ourselves after the grueling hike & exploration!
How can one doesn't have fresh seafood at Jeju?

grilled abalonessss

First time in my life watching those live abalones in the boiling soup!
What a big contrast of dead & live abalones on the table, in front of us.

cut fish?! I'm really bad on namessss....

*photo credit to Ailee
Sound sleep upon returning to our resting place... zZzzzzzz


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