Saturday, 22 December 2012

In Jeju, Korea!

In foreign lands, we like getting acquainted with the surrounds..take in the freshest of fresh air on the top-pest of mountain tops, listen to the pouring waters of the three waterfalls and make wishes as we toss coins into fountains.
To get to the waterfalls, we had to cross the 7 Fairy Bridge... this bridge had pretty fairies cast in stone lining the sides of the bridge. There were two I particularly liked, one played the flute and the other, the ruan :)
Crossing through the forest to arrive at the base of the waterfall~
The water was so blue! Well, the Chonje-Yon waterfalls weren't called God's pool for nothing!
Climbing the grand stairs back up! Work those gams Mimi-che!
Getting some positive reinforcement to will ourselves to finish the ascend up the uneven, rocky steps! Hold on tight!
Finally we made it back up the fairy bridge, and look what we found at the other end!!
That was a HUMONGOBONGO stack of rocks! (mimi saw a sign that said it brings luck;) So we hoped for the best at the Fountain of Five Blessings~
Nicky tossing some coins into the Fountain... hoping for longevity, wealth, honor, love and sons. ;)
In the distance we spotted a tiny temple on a hill! On a hill, faraway... there was an old rugged temple~ heee, ok this temple wasn't the least bit rugged! it was really well-maintained! and definitely wasn't tiny afterall. This temple was supposedly the biggest temple in Jeju island.
Apart from the intricate designs on the tiles of the temple, Mimi was fascinated by these adorable little stone elephants which lined the path leading to the large staircase towards the main temple!
Nicky enjoyed snapping away!
While this temple offered the temple-goers a temporal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday reality, it was not much different from the rest of Jeju as can be seen from the sheer abundance of tangerine bushes!
Teeming with tangerines, these bushes have lessons to offer as well.. A passing monk commented that temple-goers were encouraged to pick the sweet tangerines if they wanted, but had to refrain from jumping or climbing to pick tangerines which were out of reach, because that would be a gesture of greed, against their Buddhist principles.
Well perhaps the monk would be glad to know that the three of us kept those tangerines right where they were!
This stone tub of water held water they called the purest of pure water, which would taste the sweetest of any sweet water you would ever have tried. It is also said to clear the drinker of any sin and past misdeeds.
After the temple-visit, we settled down for some barbecued black pig (hopefully not Lil N. Wilbur Jr.) and carried on our exploration. Much to our amusement was this Starbuck's outlet, which looked so candy-like! Next to it was the Ripley's Believe it or Not shop... which probably explains the outlandish facade of the two shops!
But that wasn't where we were heading to ;) What awaited us housed creatures far more adorable... a million times more huggable.. and definitely home to the King of Companions --- The TEDDY BEAR MUSEUM!
What a welcome! Big hugs from the Big Brown Bear for Nicky, King of Companions!
Awww, just got to love that grin. Can't take a boy out of that oppa nicho~ We had the honor of witnessing the marriage of two teddies!
Dropped by the bakery for some teddy pastries~
Popped by the post office too!
Oh!! we caught the lazy bum-bum catching a siesta while on factory duties!
But Nicky says to excuse him (shh.. the teddy's new)
Next was a little bit of history... these German Bears want to "test the west" during the fall of the Berlin Wall
In the boxing rink, these teddies fly like butterflies but sting like bees:
Naturally, Amelia posed for a picture with The Thinker Bear:
Teddy Cherubs:
Impoverished Teddies:
Jeju Village Teddies:
Nicky watched some bears fight in the war-zone:
And those teddies are doing him oh so proud in space too! Space Teddies!
Ever wondered if the terracotta warriors in China had teddies to call their own once? Apparently they do!
This was a pleasant find! The Fifer, Teddy-style:
These grizzlies remind me of Disney ranch-bears... "I may be big, but I'm fast~"
Bears come in all different shapes and sizes, and this glass showcase houses some of the tiniest of teddies residing in the museum!
The best way to end the visit to the teddy bear museum - Teddy Shopping!
"Oh gosh! It's Daddy!!!" Mimi spotted the Alfred bear and we just had to take him home :)
Nicky rescued a total of three bears by the end of the visit to the museum! (Later on these three bears will meet EverBear, the bear from Everland! I'll show you in my next post!) How exciting it'll be when they meet the rest of their companions!
Before we left a certain teddy caught mimi's eye ;)
Mimi had way too much fun dancing away that we almost missed the Glass Castle!
Everything here was made of glass... or mirrors (which is a glass sheet anyway right?)
The first room we entered was pitch dark and had lights everywhere resembling a very starry starry night indeed. The mirrors added to the effect of spaciousness and had us bumping into each other most of the time!
The next room was completely blue! For the first time in my life, i felt that i might actually have been my own avatar!
After passing through the Blue room, we suddenly heard some Shostakovich playing! I was hoping really hard that my ipod didn't start sounding, or it'd be really embarrassing amidst the silence..
Turns out, it was a soundtrack playing behind this display set! It was an entire orchestra made of glass! They're so precious-ly fragile!! >.< Here's a close-up of everyone's favorite orchestra section~
In the next room were these elegant glass swans... they reminded me so much of mummy dearest's swarovski crystal collection... those would shine and shimmer in their glitzy glamour in the attic when the morning sun seeped through the windows :)
This was a glass aquarium :)
And what's Jeju without glass Dolhaerubang hmm?
You know when Cinderella left her glass shoe at the ball? It was a lesson learnt for girls worldwide. Always.. ALWAYS have more pairs of glass shoes, just in case. might *just* win you Prince Charming
Mimi and Nicky enjoying a ride in the magical Pumpkin Carriage, led by horses (previously mice ;))
The pumpkin carriage led this princess to a shrub with flowers matching her bag!
and while they were riding the carriage, I found a roll-away ring!!! must've belonged to a princess....and a rather big one i suppose ;)
Nicky was Prince Charming and led mimi to the kaleidoscope!
What a pretty sight!
These teddies are REALLY following Nicky everywhere he goes! what a huge teddy!
This was the stalk of the bean Jack climbed (remember Jack and the Bean Stalk?)
And... we found out what actually laid at the bottom of the bean stalk - Lots of jewels and crystals!
Sending some love back home all the way from the Glass Castle!
Before we left, a lady offered to write our family name in Korean in a glass globe with a painting of Jeju Island in it! What a lovely memorabilia and the date was perfect too: 12.12.12
Next stop was the Jeju National Museum! Here, mimi and i are pretty excited about finding out more about Korean history and culture... all smiles:
The ceiling had this lovely stained glass design on it.. that was really welcoming :)
Nick was really into the middle display which had little people in it, complete with their huts and everything!
Here, Nick was looking at some rocks or jade or something ancient... (I was more intrigued at mimi's behaviour ;) The girl was simply raving over the school boys!!! "OPPAA!"
Mimi... i had fun making funny animal hand shapes in front of a screen though >.<
(Now you see what an afternoon at a museum can do to you.. it refreshes mimi because she could snap pics of her oppa...) On the other hand, I was more excited about our next stop: the Nanta Show! This show has garnered so much praise and recommendations! Their shows are always sell-outs and it was amazing how we could get tickets!
We thoroughly enjoyed this non-verbal comedy-musical which played a lot on percussion and rhythm :)
Day 3 ended with a percussive BANG! and mimi had her kimora-lee-simmons moment on the way back to the hotel~
And Nicky ended his day catching up with his gadgets and updates! How fancy!
Day 4 in Mount Sorak with snow and skiing! Really excited to post about that!
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