01.12.2009 27 °C
Well Brett arrived a few weeks ago and we packed in a lot of things while he was here. Stop number one on his first weekend was of course the infamous norae bang so Brett could show off his singing talents (well, I lie, I wanted to show mine off as well - haha). We all sang or at least we tried to and practiced the old air guitar, Val especially loved jamming this (as she always does). After the norae bang, we hit a near-by club where we danced the night away to some K-Pop. It was a great night all round.
Another place we visited was the jimjibang (can you remember what that is?). Just to remind you it's a public spa which is very popular in Korea. It's the one where you strip off to your birthday suit and go for a bathe with other people (this part of the spa isn't mixed gender). After you've had a quick bathe you put on special clothes and head into the main spa which is mixed gender. The main part of the spa has about 12 different rooms to visit ranging from an ice room, to a water room to a hot stone room. There's also an outdoor area where you can get a foot massage by walking over special stones covered in water heated to 40 degrees. It was quite relaxing. If you look at my photos you'll see Brett and I wearing some ever so stylish headwear - not. These 'hats' are made out of your own sweaty towel and loads of people wear them in the jimjibang. A lady in one of the spa rooms showed me how to make one and I'm sure Brett will get a hard time from his friends for wearing one. They're not the most stylish looking things I've seen.
So Jeju Island is an island just off the South-west coast of Korea and the number one place for Koreans to visit. It's especially popular with honeymooners. The island is known for its dormant volcanoes, beautiful beaches and slower pace of life. Although the island has become more commercialised over the last few years with more hotels popping up along the sea front you can still see many signs of traditional rural life as you travel inland and there are some beautiful sites to see. Anyway, seeing as Brett was here and I had some time off school I decided to book a trip.
The trip didn't start off the best as the hotel we stayed at definitely wasn't 4 star like it said on the website, more like a 2 star. Our room absolutely stank of smoke so I asked to change rooms which after some pushing we managed to do and for the first time in Korea I have to say the people were quite unfriendly. However, I didn't let this affect the weekend. After we got settled we headed out for dinner. Now seeing as it was the Chuseok holiday (i.e. Korean Thanksgiving) many places were closed but we managed to find one restaurant open. I'm not exactly sure what we ate (before you ask, it wasn't dog) but it did involve picking meat which I think was pork off some very large bones. It sounds quite disgusting but it was actually quite tasty.
Well, for those of you that know me, you'll know I had 'a list' of places to visit (there's nothing wrong with lists), the first being Love Land which is the only sexually themed park in Korea. This park has many a risque statue or as some migh say soft porn statues and memorabilia. Now there is a story behind the formation of the park. As legend has it, the park was built to honour a lost love. Apparently a young couple who wanted to be 'together' in the physical sense were kept apart as they were not married. Anyway, sadly the girl died before they ever had the chance to take their relationship to the next level. So to honour her memory, her beau decided to build this park full of some racy statues. Now, I was told this story by someone else and after having looked online and having found no trace of it, I do believe it to be an old wives tale, although this story is much more interesting than the real one and I bet it gets the tourists in. The real story is the park was built by a group of graduates in 2002 (obviously some very sexually frustrated grads). It definitely was good for a giggle and the laughs of some older Korean women could be heard throughout the park. You can check out my photos to get a better sense of what I'm talking about. I particularly liked the door handle to the women's toliets ; )