JEJU ISLAND : WE JUST CAME TO SEE AEWOL

Our first day in Jeju Island was definitely a test of navigation wits. We have come to realize that it is indeed a big island and the absence of the very friendly and efficient train took its toll on going around the place if you do not have a car. But, it is the bus rides and constant effort of figuring out where to get off and hop on that made my husband and I became closer and trust each other.

For those of you who have been reading my Jeju Island posts so far, this is our last stop from our first day. After visiting Camellia HillBonte Museum, and Bangju Church, my husband suggested that we take the intercity bus to Aewol and visit K-rapper G-Dragon's cafe named Monsant. Note that Camellia Hill, Bonte Museum, and Bangju are all in the Andeok-myeon area and we were travelling up north Aewol area. The thing about commuting in Jeju is, don't expect it to be a short ride! It took us around 1 hour and 40+mins to get to Aewol from the Seogwipo Intercity Bus terminal. I would love to speak to you more about the bus system in Jeju, so just shoot me a comment or an email so I can share with you in-depth instructions! :)
To get to Cafe Monsant, you need to get off at Handam-dong bus stop. From the bus stop, remember to cross right away at the adjacent side and you will see an alley that leads down to the coast, walk down that road. The street to Monsant is filled and still is being filled with concept cafes and restaurants, all with their own design and quirks going on. At the end of the road, turn right and walk all the way to Cafe Bomnal, it's easy to see it since it's in full bright yellow. Monsant is right behind Cafe Bomnal.
 It's not hard to notice Cafe Monsant. With it's very modern and industrial facade, one would not hesitate to stop and look at it and eventually go in to see more. The cafe was designed by Korean Architecture firm Platform_a. The simple and modernist box form was designed to blend in with the landscape, and make the surroundings stand out instead of the actual structure itself. The building was constructed using local basalt stone, concrete, and glazed glass that's made to reflect the sea.
Visitors of Monsant are rewarded with this beautiful and peaceful view. If you happened to score a seat in the West and Southern side of the cafe, you will witness the beautiful sunset envelop the island. We arrived around 6:30PM and it was still bright up. Sunset came in at around 7:30PM that day so we had a beautiful glimpse of it despite the gloomy weather.
The cafe has an alfresco seating, a spot that most of the visitors prefer. The facade of Monsant is made out of stone, reflective pivoting windows, and a steel door. I love how sustainable the building is and how they maximized natural air and light to operate during the day. The windows are shut close at night and that's the only time they turn on the ACU.
The Northern and Eastern side of the cafe is closed, playing with the elements of stone, steel, and concrete. At night, light peeks out form the stacked stone wall giving an illusion that it's glowing. There's actually a rooftop  in the cafe, we just didn't get the chance to check it out since it was closed.

My favorite side of the cafe would be this. I loved the idea of punching a hole in the wall and making an illusion of framing neighboring structures. It gives a different story to the place.
     
The interiors focused in the rustic industrial theme that gives off an old train station vibe. The furniture pieces played on the combination of wood and steel as materials.
As we sat there and watched the sunset, we enjoyed our slice of white ganache cake topped with tangerine jam, my usual caramel latte, and Monsant's iconic drink called "Tomorrow" for my husband. We sat there for around two hours planning on our itinerary and commute plan for the next few days in Jeju. We left around 8:30PM to catch the bus going back to Seogwipo area, where we were staying.
 Tired from a long yet fulfilling day, we were welcomed by Notting Hill being shown in our hostel courtyard. The perfect day ender along with a cup of ramyun and banana milk.

I cannot wait to share with you our next Jeju adventure!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Hannah! I'm so glad I was able to come across your blog and saw your posts about your trip to Jeju. My friend and I are travelling to Seoul and was planning a trip to Jeju for Cafe Monsant because we're both fans of G-Dragon and we're also architects and seeing this would be hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. Then I saw your other posts of the Tadao Ando structure and the Bangju Church. Is it okay if I email you and ask a little help for directions and tips?

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    1. Hi! I hope this is not too late, I just happened to see this now. I will be more than glad to help you map out your trip to Jeju, you will enjoy it as there are a lot of Tadao structures there. Do email me!

      Best,
      H

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  2. Hi hannah! Me and my friend are gg to cafe monsant nxt year! :) I was wondering other than the bus at seongwipo intercity terminal, is there other options to go to? And can i know what bus did you take? Can you email me instead @Firelight_rose@hotmail.com?

    Cheers,
    Ifah

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  3. I'm not sure I can ever go back to any other place, after an experience like this. This place is appropriate in a space that lends so much gravitas to events. The design of NYC venues is sharp and environment is unbelievably good.

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