Monday, June 9, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure! (or a weekend in Wando)

This past weekend was Korean Memorial Day, so we had a three day weekend. Matt and I headed to the south coast to a group of islands called Wando. There are about 150 island in Wando, but most or small and unihabited. Above is Wando-eup, the main city on Wando Island. It's tiny compared to Gwangju- you can't get lost here. After getting off the bus, we began to look for a hotel and ran into two foreigners, who happened to be 2 of 5 foreigners in Wando. They had only been in town for three days, so couldn't recomend a hotel. We happened upon the Romance Hotel and for a low-cost of $30 got a room with private bath complete with a Battlestar Galactica bed- no corners!
It was a love hotel, but they are the cheapest and suited us just fine. That night we walked the wharf of Wando, ate, and drank beer on the wharf. No open container law in Korea! You can drink anywhere! On the street, on the bus, on ferries, on jetties! However, so can everyone else. This one inebriated gentleman took a particular interest on us while we drinking and playing chess on the wharf. First, he wanted our beers and we said "Aniyo!" (no!). Then he wanted to know if were American, we said we weren't just so he wouldn't talk to us anymore. He wandered away, vomited in the harbour and wandered off. We later went into the convientant store for more beer and he was there...drinking with someone else. He just kept yelling, "America, I love you!" America, I love you.
The next morning we set out in search of a ferry to another island. We found a ferry to Cheongsan-do. It wasn't listed in our guidebook the the information desk at the ferry terminal said there places to sleep and eat, so we went.
This seemed to be the picture to take on the ferry, every group was taking one, so did we, We are leaving Wan-do.
We just liked this guy, he was brooding, ignoring his wife, eating dried squid and wearing a straw hat.
This is actually leaving Cheongsan-do, but this is its harbour. We arrived and got off the ferry in search for a hotel and after choosing 1 of 2 options, we got a room-ondol style, which means no bed, you sleep on blankets on the floor. It was fun though.

After securing a room, we set out in search of a beach. We had a tourist map that was in Korean, but had pictures of beaches. We hailed a cab and pointed. The driver took us to where we pointed, but there was no beach! We communicated to him that we wanted to go to a beach and he brought us here:
It was not the busy beach that we were anticipating with all the people on the ferry. I don't know where they all went. After a cab ride around the island and arguing about the cab fare with driver- here we were. Not a whole lot happening, not even a place to get some drinks.
It was nice though. The water was suprisingly blue and we found a couple abalone shells. We weren't sure how we were going to get back to town, but as these two girls (high-school age maybe) were leaving in their car, we asked for a ride back to town. Well, we pointed to our map and they motioned for us to get in. We were very thankful for their generousity or else we would have been walking. They weren't even sketched out.

On our cab ride around the island, I saw more garlic than I've ever seen in my life and will probably never see that much again. It must have been a major export of the island and garlic harvesting season. These trucks are full of garlic and only a portion of the crop, I'm sure.
This is the ferry we rode to the island.
After eating in small restaurant (very small-one lady only, she even left to run errands while we were eating). We discovered there was actually not much to do on Cheongsan-do, which was fine by us. We walked out to a lighthouse on the harbour jetty and drank some beers. Then we watched some seriously boot-legged American movies in our hotel room. The boot-legger's PC desktop popped up in the middle of one movie. It was pretty lo-fi.
This boy was in the ferry terminal waiting room. I just liked his funny little striped out fit and dance. Also, he tried to steal Matt's book while he was buying our tickets.
Korean Island Hopping!


Julia Meadows said...

Sounds like a fun trip...and you look happy. That makes a Mom happy. Love you, you know!

cecilia said...

i want a BSG bed!

i also want to stay somewhere that's called "romance hotel."

Caitlin E said...

hey there love!

your island and mountain pictures are all so beautiful! i just got a new computer of my own, so i can finally read your blog every day.

i can see you guys are having an amazing time. take some korean cooking classes and come back and teach ceci and i (and everyone else)!