Exploring Jeju: U-do island

This week we have been on break for Chuseok (aka Korean Thanksgiving). It’s been great to rest and relax after 6 weeks of nonstop work and settling in since we’ve got here. It’s also allowed us to actually go outside in our own time and start exploring more of the island and its impressive landscape.

U-do is a smaller island adjacent to Jeju – yes, we live on an island and we went on to explore another island. We’re not sure the route we took is the most efficient but since we were guided by other teachers who had gone before, we’ll have to test another route some other time. We drove for almost 2 hours to the Samseong (I think this is the right spelling) port, where we took a ferry to U-do (about 10 minutes). You can take your car on the ferry, and some people did, but we decided not to, since the island is so small you can easily bike or scoot around. We’ve been feeling nostalgic for our Shanghai scooter, so we rented one to cruise around for the day (25,000KRW for 2 hours). Scooters at U-do are gas, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but Cameron, skilled driver as he is, got the hang of it in no time. Helmets are mandatory – we even saw a couple of girls getting stopped by traffic police for not wearing their helmets on their electric bikes. We are far from China indeed.

U-do is a small island but it sure offers some great sights. It makes me think of small English prairie or coastal towns. There are some smaller beaches with white sand, and cliffside beaches with black sand. Since Jeju and the islands around are the result of volcanic formations, black sand and volcanic rocks are the norm and white sand is the exception. Nevertheless, it’s a striking contrast, very pleasing to the eye. The meadows by the cliffs have high grass and small fields that are just being planted in this time of the year. We are certainly curious to see what the fields around Jeju look like with the changing seasons. We have noticed, for example, that the orange trees all have fruit right now, but they are all green. I look forward to riding along the orange fields when it’s closer to the winter and the oranges are on their prime, ready to be plucked. One of our colleagues also has a persimmon tree outside her window. It’s just fun to live in a place where you can see fruit growing.

U-do’s crop of choice are peanuts, and peanut inspired foods are all over the island. You can buy roasted peanuts, peanut sauce, peanut butter, peanut ice cream, ice cream with crushed peanuts, you name it. We didn’t try any of the peanut stuff, but we did find a churro truck with churros made to order. We could eat those all day – very few things beat a fresh churro.

Here are some of my phone pics of our day roaming around U-do. Enjoy!

With love and crashing waves,

Ana

 

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