UDO ISLAND : UP, DOWN, and AROUND

A fifteen minute ferry ride from the main island, U-do Island is definitely a must pitstop for those visiting Jeju. Our trip to U-do is probably the highlight of our Jeju getaway, it taught us again to veer away from our modern life mindset and just cruise along the countryside and enjoy the pristine beauty of the sea and the fields filled with crops and flowers.
We went to U-do on our 2nd day in Jeju, by this time we've pretty much gotten the hang of the commute system. I shall make a separate blog post about the commute system in Jeju Island soon! What helped even more is that the receptionists in our hostel are very accommodating and helpful when it came to giving us directions. We took the Bus 701 from Dongmun Rotary (where we were staying) all the way to the Seongsan Port Entrance, it took us about an hour to reach the port by bus.
 From the Seongsan Port, it will take around 15 minutes to get to U-do via ferry. The weather in Jeju Island was very gloomy on the day we decided to go to U-do so I was quite worried that it might also be raining there. Have I mentioned how much I freaked out the whole ferry ride?
I have 2 main phobias : Acrophobia (fear of heights) and Thalassophobia (fear of deep dark water). These two are the worst combination for a traveller but for some reason, Acrophobia does not apply to me when I'm on a plane. Is there some sort of explanation on that? Going back, I did have a mild panic attack while in the ferry to U-do and my husband pretty much held me the whole time. 
 But my freaking out faded along with the gloomy skies when I realized that we were docking in the U-do port. It was like being transported into a whole new different world, a sunny and serene world. U-do island is famous for it's 360 degree tour experience where you will get to enjoy different kinds of views and terrains in one day. There are four ways to go around this beautiful Island:
ONE : By car (you may rent a car in Jeju Island and transport it to the ferry to U-do). On a good day like this, people opened their windows and sun-roofs so they can appreciate the place more. The good thing about having a car is that it will definitely take you to places faster and if you do not like to sweat and be burnt under the sun, this medium of transportation if for you. For foreign visitors, it is important to note that you would have to secure your International Driver's License.
 TWO : By walking. Yes, we actually witnessed a lot of these guys doing that. The perks of walking is that you can go to places at your own pace without worrying about parking your car or bikes somewhere. Be sure to be geared up and ready to be kissing the sun for this. I don't suggest this for the summer though!
THREE : By motorbike/ATV. There are a lot of stores by the port that offer rental services of motorcycles and ATV. You also have the freedom to choose the kind of motorbike you want to drive. A driver's license is also a must for this. Don't forget to secure yourself with a helmet and I suggest not wearing a dress if you plan to do this ;)
FOUR : By bicycle. If you think the motorbike is too expensive and if you're not in a hurry, biking is the best way to experience the Island. You have to remember though that you need to have minimal amount of bags and that you are in your most comfortable set of clothing. Upon renting the bike, you will be given a map of the bike trail.
Dennis and I decided to take the bike. We thought that it was the perfect day to ride a bike and enjoy the spring breeze. We got the ones with a basket so we can place our stuff there. 
It's not very hard to go around the place, you just really need to make sure that you're with a crowd. The people from the bike shop will also tell you to avoid going on the outskirts of the island and stick to the trail. Here's my husband doing some kimchi pose before we began our ride!





There's something comforting about this island that I can't seem to express through words. I guess we came at the right time, a time where both my husband and I felt so tired from our daily routine and creatively drained out from our jobs. We both told ourselves that coming here was perfect. It was a time where we get to be with each other, enjoy the time and the view without worrying about a schedule or sleeping early for the next day's full packed workday. U-do made Dennis and I evaluate ourselves personally and our marriage as well. It was as if God was speaking to us with every crash of the wave and blowing of the wind. It was indeed majestic.
We decided to take a stop and have lunch at this place. We ended up laughing to ourselves because there was no sight of any english word in their menu! We had to rely on the photographs and our instincts but ended up getting a delicious yet very spicy seafood dish. One thing you need to know about the serving in Korea is that they are very generous with the amount of food they place in one serving - at least with our experience.

To cool off the spice, we decided to try the famous peanut ice cream of U-do. From this cafe that I got ours, the peanut was crushed upon order and blended with the vanilla ice cream and served in a paper cup.

 While resting, we noticed this building across the restaurant. It's a female diver's school or headquarters. I have a bias for anything Pink, I guess this is why it caught my eye. I loved how it blended with the blue skies and sea.
Jeju Island is pretty much known for their female divers who harvest freshly caught abalone and other seafood and sell them on shore or distribute them to the market and restaurants.



 U-do is an island filled with quirks and art. That's one thing that I loved about this trip. I saw the variation in culture, design, art, and tradition cohabitate and make a lively community.
 Note : Do not wear a tank top while biking if you do not want to end up with a sunburn for months!

 After a few minutes of seeing the local houses, you will end up with a street filled with cafe's and restaurants. The competition is not only the food, it's also the design and overall concept!
 We decided to go by the beach and rest for a bit. There are actually kids swimming in this beach so if you also wish to bring some swim attire, you may do so!
 When my husband noticed the sky turning gray, we decided to leave the beach and begin riding again. Little did we know, we we're up to the biggest surprise of this trip!

 On the road after the beach, we noticed the decline in our speed and began feeling the pain in our feet from cycling. We felt the gravity pulling us downwards as we attempted to bike upward. When my husband was asking me if I was still okay and if we should turn back, I told him that we should see this till the end and was rewarded with this view:


 Worth the ride. Every single bit of it.
 From the view of the ocean, we were given a teaser of this beautiful view of the mountain. This was the highest point of our trail and by the time we reached the foot of the mountain, we were panting ourselves out! You can actually climb this mountain but we were too drained to go up and just decided to move on and find our way back to the port. Dennis and I then made a promise to climb this mountain together when we go back to U-do :)
The road after the mountain was easier since it was downhill already. We were able to see a lot of wheat fields along the way as well as the more peaceful side of the island where most of the residential areas are.
Our reward to ourselves for biking a 13km trail : Fresh mango shake to calm our tired but fulfilled bodies. I have to say though, nothing still beats the taste of Philippine mango! ;)
I have always dreamed of biking in the countryside. And I'm so glad that I was finally able to do so, with the person that I love and cherish. My husband was so loving and caring the whole ride in U-do and would always stop to ask if I can still manage to bike. 
Nearing the port, I realized how blessed I am to have this man as a husband. The hard trail that we had in U-do was a test of team work, love, patience, and understanding for each other. I'm glad we did this trip even though it wasn't really part of our plan, I still go back to this day every now and then and recall our funny encounters and memories together.
A shot to commemorate our 16km bike ride and adventure together! We praise God for His creation and for the time that we had to witness His wonders!

I can't wait to go back to U-do again!

2 comments:

  1. hi just want to ask how many hours your tour to udo island, was it whole day? thanks!^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello There! It would've been nice if I knew your name so I can formally address you :) Anyway, our bike ride took 3 and a half hours. Udo can be experienced half a day, assuming that you wish to sit down and rest as well as eat!

      Delete