Jeju Vacation Day 3: Teddy Bear Museum and Black Sand Beach

Jeju Vacation Day 3: Teddy Bear Museum and Black Sand Beach

After a rather exhausting first day of being on Jeju Island, the next day the girls decided to take it easy while the boys climbed Mount Hallasan, the ginormous mountain in the middle of the island. I’m all for getting down and dirty hiking, but not on vacation. Though it was nowhere near warm enough to actually swim, we decided to check out Soesogoak, or Black Sand, Beach.

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It was about a 20 minute ride on the 730 bus and then another quick 20 walk minute to the beach. As you walk along you’ll see a dried up riverbed along one side that gradually turns into an actual river that meets up with the ocean. On this river you can get into glass bottom boats to paddle along and check out the wildlife in the river. It’s not too expensive, and though we didn’t partake in this particular adventure, I can say that it was a beautiful place and the water was about as blue as you’re going to get anywhere.

The road to the beach itself has a ton of vendors who sell everything from the famous Jeju unshiu orange (which is delicious, by the way), to hats, key chains, and tons of other awesome, touristy things. The beach is, indeed, as black as it’s name, but it’s also incredibly rocky. Most of the sandy beaches that you picture when you’re going on vacation are up north by Jeju City, but I liked the ruggedness of the beach. It was less about swimming and more about staking these ginormous rocks, taking pictures and enjoying the sunshine. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t get the memo when I wore white pants out to the Black Sand beach, but it rolls right off of you so 10 points there!

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We didn’t spend too long at the beach, just long enough to walk around, stack our ginormous rocks and embarrass ourselves at a pizza place that was on the road leading down to the beach. In Jeju, probably because they see so many tourists, the locals aren’t necessarily keen on you speaking Korean. This was a shock for both my friend and I since we’re nearly conversationally fluent in Korean and speak it on a daily basis here in Chungju. Nevertheless, not sure if they expect all foreigners to be stupid or we were the exception, but at this particular pizza place (and nearly every eatery afterward) they handed us an English menu, though it was clear that we were reading the Korean menu with no problem. Though, to be fair, moments before that we tried to open a door only to go around the corner and realize that the entire side of the restaurant was open with a patio (whoops…). Basically we looked like we had only just gotten to Korea 2 days before rather than 2 months before, though the embarrassing stories will continue as I recount the rest of the 4 days we spent there…

After the beach we hopped on another bus to go to the Jeju Tourist Complex, which is a stop and also a place with nearly every attraction south of the mountain that you could want to go to. Most of the big hotels in Seogwipo, if not all of them, sit alongside many different types of museums all in one area, including Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Chocolate Land, the African Art Museum and, our destination, the Teddy Bear Museum!

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The Teddy Bear Museum is exactly what you picture when you think of it and also a tad bit more than I was expecting which was great.

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There are 3 floors, one with teddy bears from different time periods and teddy bears acting out some pretty great things like Titanic and Michael Jordan in the 90′s. The second floor is more statues and teddy bears posing as modern art, which is also fantastic. The ground floor is full of different life size celebrities as teddy bears, including Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs and Audrey Hepburn.

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On the way back to the bus stop we had to stop by a local pharmacy. Why? Because we got absolutely torn apart and devoured by mosquitoes while we were on Jeju. Seriously, I had a bite in the middle of my hand that swelled to the size of Mount Hallsan. I looked like Mickey Mouse’s less attractive twin! Needless to say we grabbed some very cheap medicine from the pharmacy, but just know that if you’re going you should definitely pack some bug spray because those bugs are not playing games with you.

One thought on "Jeju Vacation Day 3: Teddy Bear Museum and Black Sand Beach"

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