According to the guidebook, Chungcheong region, encompassing West Coast Korea is the least visited place by foreigners. True to the book, we found ourselves stranded in an island called Anmyeondo.
As my friend and I are quite nonsensical when it comes to finding weird and random places, she stumbled upon a korean blog which had photos of the actual filming taking place.
The drama is called 아름다운 그대에게 (To the beautiful you) which is originated from a manga. There was a Taiwanese version of it, filmed back in 2005/2006 where Wu Zhun and Ella and Jiro were the main leads. I kind of like that drama despite its over-exaggerated story line of a girl disguising herself and enrolled into a boys school, to see her high jump idol. They ended up in the same dormitory, falling in love and blah blah blah.
Alright, so the point is that my friend found the filming place of the pension they visited in the show. I did a video cut from the relevant parts of the show which is somewhat relevant to the place I visited.
You can view the video at this link: https://vimeo.com/72596673
It’s a little annoying because SBS blocked my upload onto youtube.. You can try this link out too. Maybe it isn’t banned in your country =)
I’m keeping the website of the pension confidential and if you’re really interested and keen to visit that place, do drop me an email and I’ll share on a case by case basis.
The reason why I’m doing this is that I don’t want this nice and peaceful place to be flooded with foreigners. While we were there, we were the only foreigners around and I guess koreans would like to keep it this way. This is why the whole booking process is extremely troublesome, all in hangul and full bank deposit is to a korean bank account is necessary to confirm your booking. To add on, this place is inaccessible via public transport. We had to take a taxi in. Then again, if you do a google search in korean, it isn’t hard to find this place =p The western coast of Korea has large areas of foreshores (area between the average high tide and low tide). This allows for visitors to wade through the wet sand, identifying marine life and also taking part in the famous clam digging. As it is along the western coast, if you’re lucky, you can catch a beautiful and romantic sunset. My experience: The day of our adventure didn’t start off well as we were unable to catch an early bus out to Taean or Anmyeondo from both Express Bus and Nambu Terminal. The earlier buses were all full (Koreans are able to book their bus tickets online) due to the summer season. This was something which has never happen to me before. Usually when I go to a bus terminal, I am able to get a ticket for the earliest bus timing. After a long hassle, we finally bought an 11:50am ticket. The journey will take 3 hr 20 mins and we will barely have 18 hours on that island. Oh wells, we have already paid for our pension in full and not going wasn’t a choice.
The bus ride was rather scenic as it brings you to the less populated area of korea.
You see the bridge in the photo below? I wanted to visit it but there wasn’t enough time =(
I think 3D2N here would be the best but it’s kind of expensive and difficult to travel without a car.
Bus Timings at Anmyeondo. Really infrequent and very few cities.. Shows how isolated this place is..
Upon reaching the bus terminal, we walked to the nearby supermarket to get our supplies for the night!
Not forgetting, the fireworks which I have been wanting to try my whole life =p
After grabbing a bit of snacks, we were off in a taxi to our pension and oh gawd it was extremely expensive and they did not allow us to share a cab for 5 people. This means that we had to split 3/2 for taxi.. It was like 17,000W. Can you believe it? I have never paid so much even in Seoul.. We reached our pension after a drive of approximately 20 mins (Yes it is that secluded!).
Throughout the journey, there were roads that only cater to one lane. Meaning that only one car can drive through (either directions). There were a couple of times where a lot of reversing done in order to make way for the vehicle. It was a very bumpy ride. Going through farms, pine tree forests, salt plantations etc. Grey Skies =( Nevertheless it was a very pretty pension (Directly behind the drama pension which we originally wanted to stay in)
Pensions spare no effort in theme-ing.
This was the view at the corridor of our room. Looks like potential land for be to build my own pension..
Going inside our “Ann” room.. (Taken by Panorama Camera of iPhone5)
Upstairs: Even though there’s only one bed, they also provide mattress for you to lay on the floor.
View from our balcony: Do you see that familiar looking building?
Zooming in on the “wings”
Going outside: A very cute letterbox.
Exploring the drama pension.. Everything looks the same except for the name. In the show it was called “Paradise”
Finally, we mustered enough courage to ask the pension owners if we are able to take photographs inside. Being the innocent foreigners who traveled so far, of course she agreed to our request =P my only pity is that we weren’t early enough.
My plan was to asked if we could enter the actual room that they filmed in. This plan could only succeed if we asked at the timing between check out and the next check in.. But we were too late =( The actual drama didn’t have these printed words.. I guess since they painted these words.. they must be quite open to having fans stream in and out of this place to take photos.. I think..
Yes this is the palm print left behind by suli.
According to dated daum maps, these paintings didn’t exist in the past. so most probably it was painted just for the drama.
The owners own two very lovely dogs.
Exploring the beach: This is what foreshore is about. endless flat sand.
This is what exploring marine life is about.
Because the sand is so flat.. it is in the best condition for this:
I don’t have much photos of us playing in the sea because yea we were playing and no one wanted to drown their cameras or hand phones. It was really lovely. The pension provided us with the floats and the life jackets. They force one of my friend to wear the hello kitty life jacket for kids =p
The water was really cooling and we had a lot of fun just hovering in the water with the floats. Didn’t dare to venture further as it was going to be high tide and there were countless announcements in Korean which I didn’t understand.. Oh wells, it was fun while it lasted. What a waste though, we could have played longer there. If only we got on the earlier bus…
So after the final final final warning was made, we unwillingly left the sea and strolled back to the pension. Next up was MEAT DINNER TIME!!
While me and my friend explored the pension, the other 3 went grocery shopping with the pension owner. He brought them to some supermarket to buy meat. They came back with like 60,000W worth of meat and half a watermelon (9,900W – the most expensive watermelon my whole life).
In this picture, it doesn’t seem like a lot of meat but once we started eating.. the meat suddenly felt like a never ending buffet.. and yes I bought that potato chip.. with the face..
The BBQ set up is different from Singapore. Instead of Chacoal, He used some rocks that burn really well.
Pension owner was really nice. We were totally clueless but he just guided us through the steps..
Even the grill was provided! (I think..)
Let the feast begin (I know you will start to feel hungry)
He told us that the meat has to be lined around the fire such that there isn’t like direct heat on it. The garlics have to be placed on top of the meat so that the flavour can get in.
After all the arrangement is done, we put on the lid and wait for 5 mins., By putting on the lid, we can ensure that the heat is evenly spread.
After 5 mins, you open it up and flip the meat and I think sprinkle some pepper on it.
After that is done, you open up the lid and start cutting the pieces..
Have you ever seen so much meat on a grill before?!!!
There were lettuce and chilli sauce to complete the experience!
I was tasked to eat this chilli which was plucked from their garden and it was so spicy that I gave up after one bite.. apparently it wasn’t supposed to be so spicy but mine was just, extremely spicy.
After dinner, we decided to play with the fireworks that we have bought earlier.
Either the wind was too strong or the lighter was pathetic. We took fire to light something up but when it did light up, it was simple yet amazing. It was my first time setting my own fireworks and it’s awesome =) Didn’t manage to get good photos of them on my camera.
Will update with photos once my friend has uploaded hers.
View from the balcony the next morning. It must be really lovely to wake up in the morning to the sea =)
I love playing with panorama camera =) You know of all the buildings that you see, I’ve checked through most of the pensions..
This is the owner’s cute dog.. who barks whenever someone/thing hits a girl. TRIALED AND TESTED.
The pension owner was very nice and sent us to the bus terminal, just in time for us to catch our bus. The scenery along the way was so beautiful that I wished I had a bicycle and a go pro on my head..
Times like this always make me pause in life and wonder if I am able to just give up everything I have now and move to the countryside to do simple, really simple jobs and be happy..
Thanks to the speeding pension owner, we managed to meet the bus terminal right on the dot and of course, bought our tickets and boarded the bus.
We bought our tickets to go to Suwon where we were supposed to head over to Jebudo, another unique island of the west of Korea.
=( =( =( =( =( Despite planning for this trip to Jebudo for the longest time ever (Since last November), we dropped the idea.
We reached Suwon Bus Terminal, deposited our luggage in the locker and took the bus to the train station. When we alighted, I was unwelcomed with grey skies which threatened to pour any moment. It was a tough decision, it really was and I agreed to put off the plan to Jebudo T_T
Even though I didn’t make it there, I would like to share with you the awesome-ness of this island that I want to visit.
You are able to visit the “parting of sea” if you visit Jebudo. It is this really unique island that can only be accessed when the tide is low. The 2.3-kilometer stretch of water between Jebudo Island and Songgyo-ri, Seosin-myeon, parts twice a day during the low tide, and is where the sea parts most frequently in Korea. The exposed foreshore, which remains accessible for six hours until it is submerged by the tide, appears at a different time each day. Just roughly 20 years ago, the people of Jebudo Island would wade across the route, often getting soaked up to their waist, to reach the mainland. However, after cement pavement was installed in the late 1980’s, the route became quickly and easily accessible by car. Though Jebu Island is small there are some notable sights to see, like the Maebawi (falcon rock) that serves as roost for local falcons, and a 2.5 km beach that is dotted with clamshells. (Cr: http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=823350)
Well Well Well, my plan was to visit the lighthouse and to dig for clams!!
Besides, it was also a filming location.
and.. near Jebudo, there’s a lot of interesting pensions! The one that I badly badly wanted to visit was the HH Santorini pension. I don’t think I’ll make it to Greece anytime soon and this was going to be my consolation but I didn’t manage to visit it =(
Besides, there was a smurfy mushroom house too.. and if we were to explore daebudo (the larger island) there will be even more unique and cute pensions!!!
Since I didn’t manage to visit this place, I still have a reason to return to Korea..
No photos for this place since I didn’t manage to visit it.
Despite the huge disappointment, we comforted ourselves with seafood.
Some people think that it is rather sick.. but yea we ate Octopus.. live..
WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I can’t really descripte how it taste like but the truth is that it is nothing fantastic and I’m glad to say that I’ve eaten eat before and whether I’ll eat it again.. I will think twice.. I still prefer the eel I ate in busan two years back.
and that marks the end of our adventure for west coast korea =)
If you have any questions, direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
I would be glad to hear from you =)
Do check out my other entries in the series as well: