Monday, July 30, 2007

JEJU ISLAND - GETAWAY


We just returned from our petit vacances d'ete, we visited famed Jeju Island. Our first stop was Jeju International airport at the north end of the island. The elaborate plans I made in advance of our trip melted away on day 1. Instead of catching the 3:00pm ferry to Biyang-do from Hallimhang, we took a taxi directly to Geumneung/Hyeopjae Beaches which are within 1km view of the Biyang island. Geumneung Beach was our final destination for the first day. There we found clear Pacific blue waters, white sands and coal-black lava rocks dotting the coastline. The two beaches were separated by the campsites in a mixed palm and pine forest over the sandy dunes. The campsite was excellent for "day-camping or picknicking", we rested in the shade after our swim under some thick palm trees. The windy day was accompanied by warm sea breezes and salt water that felt like a bathtub in many shallow areas. The sealife was abundant, there were countless small crabs, sea snails, and tiny fish passing through the shallow waters. This beach was ideal for photography, snorkling, relaxing, or beaching like a small whale. Night camping was another story. The wind completely stopped blowing in the late afternoon. It was extremely hot and humid and we found no relief from the temperatures far outside our comfort zone. We went into the village and found an awesome restaurant, there we cooled off with a delicious food, and I had couple pints of CASS. We should have taken a room for 40,000Won/night, but thought the camping was more ideal. We were wrong, we spent the night sweating and imagining a cool breeze that wasn't there. Then a group of 12-15 noisy teenagers decided to have a midnight picnic nearby, the noise kept going despite all the sleeping Korean families tenting around us. Finally, I went over and warned the group to keep quiet, they mouthed off in English, and I let them know I would call the police if they didn't keep quiet. They kept on partying and screaming, and of course the police arrived, and they kept on screaming at the police, and then they started to clean up the mess, and they were all free to go. We finally got back to sleep about 1:30am, and by 3:00am it was cool, we slept until 6:00am. We got up and started to clean out the tent, and prepare to leave. As soon as the sun was in our path, we began to melt. I couldn't believe how hot and humid it became with the suns return that morning. We struggled to fold up our "Quick Setup", and brutally difficult to put down camping tent. Thank God someone had a brain, Mi Sung figured it out and collaped the tent properly, I offered a hand but no brain impulses, probably because I was sweating so profusely, I was overheated. We hit the road immediately, and we eventually caught a local bus running to Seogipo. We passed beautiful scenery along the way, both coastal nature and farming areas on our way. It was an inexpensive trip by bus, and with all the open windows, we enjoyed the fresh sea air. In Seogipo we stayed in a Minbak, or efficiency with a kitchenette and they did our laundry and the place was air-conditioned. It was such a relief we booked two nights immediately, cranked the air-conditioning and slept until mid-afternoon. Jungmun Beach was nearby and a lot of tourist attractions. We ate in a fine Korean restaurant, walked around, relaxed, and just enjoyed the place. I swam in the Pacific and in a fresh mineral water river that eventually finds it's way to the Pacific Ocean. This place had more to see, but we didn't do more than scratch the surface while staying cool most of the day either in the sea or river. I'd go back tomorrow, but we will be teaching again. It was worth every penny! ^+__+^

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.


In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.


Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.


The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).


Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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