26 January 2017

Jeju Christmas Trip 2016 Day 1: Teddy Bear Museum & E-MART


South Korea has been on the list of countries I wish to visit since a long time ago and Jeju Island is definitely the best part of it. Spending Christmas by travelling to Jeju Island is one of the best trip I've ever had.

It's been a month since I came back from my last Christmas trip, and here I am, finally finding some free time to recollect the story and write on this blog. Since the story about Jeju trip is going to be pretty lengthy, I decided to divide it into several posts. I already covered about how messed up the first day was in my recent post, Unexpected Trip to Shanghai, thus the next post will be focused on the days I spent in Jeju itself.

DAY 1
Thursday, 22 December 2016


We landed at Jeju International Airport at around 1pm. After we collected our luggage, I went to take some maps and brochures near the information counter—fyi, it's a must-do thing for me when I travel. We then went to SIXT to collect our rental car and get ready to explore the island.

Our first stop was Teddy Bear Museum in Seogwipo-si. It took us about 1 hour driving from the airport with the help of GPS device as the navigator—the one and only thing that we depended on so much during the trip. Jeju Teddy Bear Museum is located right in front of another attraction spot, Ripley's Believe It or Not! It was cloudy with a little shower and the air was dry and cold when I reached there.


Lives up to its name, Teddy Bear Museum displays a range collection of Teddy Bears from all over the world and through history. Once we bought our tickets, we headed down to the galleries which are located on basement 1 and basement 2. The gallery is grouped into three sections: the History Hall, the Art Hall, and the Project Exhibition Hall.

Inside the gallery, I was excited because they have a lot of Teddy Bears (duh!). I found many familiar faces and characters amusingly displayed as exhibits here, from Marilyn Monroe to Steve Jobs, all in the form of stuffed bears. They also have a collection of Teddy Bears in famous arts like Mona Lisa from Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh's painting, Starry Night (my favorite!). And not only that, they recreate stories from world's remarkable history as well such as World War II, NASA: The First Person on the Moon, and also Disneyland—oh yes, Disney made a history too. Some are, indeed, very cute and admirable while the others are a bit weird and funny.


The best part about this museum is that all of their im-bear-sonation are pretty close and accurate. I enjoyed spotting each exhibit and acting like a smart ass every time I recognized something. I believe a good museum is not only showing you things, but teaching you something too. It's always interesting to see the world in a different way.


Overall, I enjoyed what I saw here. Jeju Teddy Bear Museum is a fascinating place to visit if you like Teddy Bears. The only problem with this museum is that they put most of the exhibits in the glass display cases that reflect every damn thing. I couldn't take a nice picture without having to make such awkward positions.


After the gallery, there is a shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and a coffee shop that sells desserts. I bought a cute stuffed bear photo frame and some postcards (as always!) from the shop and then rest a while at the coffee shop to enjoy some snacks and drinks.


Right after we had our snacks, we took a walk in the park outside the building. Just like inside, there are many bears outside as well, except they weren't made out of soft plushie. I also found a giant Teddy Bear that looks like a wooden marionette. I didn't spend a lot of time here because the icy air made my fingers freeze after a while—notice how I always keep them in my pockets.

It was dark when we left. We were planning to visit Ripley, the building in front of Teddy Bear Museum, but it was already closed. So we went to have dinner at a Korean restaurant nearby instead. My first actual meal in Jeju was a local Korean food that I didn't even know the name (ha!). It was spicy and I only finished the rice and some of the side dish. I guess I'm just not into Korean traditional foods.

After eating, we went to E-MART, Korean's largest supermarket that sells food, clothes, toys, make-up, stationery, gadgets, or just basically anything. We bought a lot of yummy Korean snacks and also packed some fresh strawberry for my night supper. We loaded the purchased goods directly into our car's boot because we didn't want to spend money on plastic bags.

Our last resort on the first day was The Island Blue Hotel, the hotel that was supposed to be our second hotel if only the incident that trapped us in Shanghai didn't happen. It was surprisingly a very decent room with a nice kitchen, lounge, and two queen-sized beds instead of one. After showered and had some us time, we fell asleep and ended our first day here.

To be continued.
Read Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Check out my travel vlog below:



Highlights

  • Jeju Teddy Bear Museum
    31, Jungmungwangwang-ro110beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
  • E-MART - Seogwipo Branch
    841-2 Beophwan-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do
  • The Island Blue Hotel
    3, Taepyeong-ro 431beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

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