Monday, July 6, 2009

Jeju Rocks!

Literally. Black, volcanic rocks to be exact.

Apparently the entire island was formed by volcanic eruptions 2 million years ago which makes it a very natural World Heritage Site.

Except that these rocks were piled up unnaturally by cheeky people, probably Korean honeymooners from the city who had nothing better to do.

Most travel guidebooks will tell you that Jeju is famous for 3 things:
1) The impossibly blue sea
2) The volcanic rocks
3) The volcanic women

We saw one. But it wasn't alive.

Jeju is famous for its tough women divers called haenyo (sea women). They have lungs of steel and are able to dive all year round, even in cold water without professional scuba gear. Not only that, traditionally they are mostly head of the family as they control the income. That suddenly made me feel really small, hanging out on an island like this.

Since we had the whole afternoon to kill, and since we over-ate, we thought we'd just take a nice bicycle ride around Pyoseon beach.

There wasn't really much to see there but it felt nice just to be there. Like the Zodiac statues that you can find in Sibu town, the Jeju council also built similar ones that lined the beach front, which meant only one thing - camwhoring opportunities.

By now, you should be able to guess who bullies who (whimper whimper).

The tide wasn't in, so there was more sand than sea. And those volcanic Jeju women again.

And volcanic Jeju lighthouses.

And volcanic Jeju rocks.

And more volcanic Jeju rocks.

Being in a place with nothing else but the purest of blue skies, blue sea, rocks & air as fresh as the day life began, it's easy to think of nothing but the person next to you.

In a place as basic as this, you are no longer rushing, no traffic jam, no deadlines, no stress, no work. It strips you down to bare necessity. It takes away all extraneous identities that we have built for ourselves in our busy lives & what's left is our true self, a human being. And being humans, being our true selves, we only need the air, the sky, the sea, good food, & of course a good partner & friends to be happy.

And on our very first day in Jeju, we finally understood why this place was the most romantic in all of South Korea.

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