Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jeju Day 4: An Encounter with Daejanggeum

Six years after its television debut, Daejanggeum (Jewel in the Palace) is still the most watched Korean drama series ever in Asia. Mention this to any Malaysian housewife & they will show you their complete pirated DVD collection which they've watched repeatedly 10 times.

For those who live in the jungle, or not Korean-wave-inclined, Daejanggeum is a drama series about the legendary first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty. The chapter where she was cast away on an island was shot in this particular place called Oedolgae, which was located south of Jeju island.

As with most other tourist spots on Jeju, Oedolgae was created by violent volcanic eruption 1.5 million years ago.
The place is defined by pine trees & high cliffs that overlook into the ocean, and strange rock formations which have become legendary stories.

The Oedolgae actually refers to a strange rock that sits upright alone. Its also called Grandmother Rock. The story goes that once upon a time, an old woman waited for her fisherman husband to come back from the sea in desperation. She waited in vain & in full sorrow until she turned into a rock.

Funny, I've heard this turning -nto-a-rock thing before from my grandma. If you tell lies, the lightning will strike you & turn you into one. I guess it worked with kids of my generation. We were dumber & ranked lower on the evolutionary scale back then.

There's supposed to be another rock lying down which was believed to be the body of the deceased husband. I don't really know which one that is, but I'm sure its in either one of the photos. See if you can recognise the corpse.

From this point-of-view, you can see the old lady's side profile with the crop of hair at the top of the rock. She seems like she's wailing with her mouth wide open in sorrow & pain, just like in the Korean drama series.
The Oedolgae is also called General Rock. Legend foretells a general who fought against invading Mongolians. He cleverly disguised the rock as a giant, & that scared the sh*t out of the invaders & they defecated in their pants & committed suicide.
There is a spot called Cow Rock & I think its here.
It's supposed to be a good place for fishing & for watching the sunset.

And I think the island opposite from Cow Rock is called Beomseom island.

We stopped at about here cos the trail didn't seem to end. We didn't want to go on at this point just in case we'd turn into rocks.

Korean actress Lee Young Nee spotted.

Oh wait a minute. That was Nee. This was the real Lee Young Ae.

I didn't think she looked as good on TV as she does in real life. What a beauty.


WoMbOk™♂ said...

The 5th pic is stunning. The water, trees.. look perfect. I would love to make a visit next time.

Greg Wee said...

Well Wombok. For Jeju, you'd need a partner. Don't you think? ;)

terri@adailyobsession said...

beautiful place, esp the water! how did u go there? did u need to get on a local tour? the actress nee is beautiful too but i think the one in korean costume is a tranny.

Greg Wee said...

Hi Terri, tsk tsk that's just like the fox calling the unattainable grapes sour. I know you really liked that photo.

Actually we booked our taxi driver Mr. Kim for a one day tour around the places which were popular touristy spots. We just told him that we like nature, scenery, food places only the locals know & we wanted to do touristy things, and he took care of the rest.

The thing is that the whole of Jeju island is a world heritage site. So there's lots of sites like this around the island.

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