Yeosu 2019 Day 4 – Hakdong beach, Windy hill and Drive to Yeosu, Odongdo island

I awoke slightly after 730 and continued on jotting down of the memories for the day before. Had to maintain the discipline as I was getting forgetful and wouldn’t remember some of the details if left too long! As I was thumbing away on my handphone, mommy started to wake up too and soon K also woke up just before 9, surprising as he wasn’t getting his usual 12hrs of sleep. Thankfully I was nearing the end of my note and I started to get ready.

Brekkie for the day

We planned to drive to Yeosu for another 2 nights and so we packed to check out. K was unwilling to leave the huge bathtub and we only managed to persuade him after several rounds. The staff was out there to meet us early in the cold morning before bidding us goodbye with a bow, like the one in Busan as well. Punched in Windy hill and it was a 30mins drive away.

En-route, we went through a small town and parked at the parking lot to go over to the popular black pebble beach of Hakdong, called Hakdong Mongdol Beach. K was excited to see this different kind of beach and we were soon throwing the pebbles into the waters. Stayed for a while before using the nice clean loo and left for the next destination.

Hakdong black pebble beach

The drive to the Windy hill was easy and initially we drove into the carpark (GPS led us there) that was situated below the Windmill. Suspecting that it wasn’t the right place since it didn’t seemed to have a path up to the windmill, we drove back up and ended up by accident at a Sinseondae observatory which had a nice viewpoint of the surrounding. A quick photo shot before we drove back downhill passing a huge parking space near SK station and fortunately slotted into one empty carpark opposite Angel-in-us coffee, facing the Sinseondae cliff.

Sinseondae observatory
Viewing deck
To see this
Windmill above the parking lot

It was a short walk of 10mins across the road to the windmill and a further few meters down to another patch of land to the edge to sit at the chairs for the beautiful photo shoot, of both the bay and the windmill. The windmill couldn’t be visited and it did looked fake as the blades had through holes. I supposed it was just built there as display for Instagram.

Sinseondae cliff near where we parked
Windmill at Windy Hill
Panoramic view of the surrounding
Overlooking the port

We returned back to the main road and went across to find a Korean restaurant and ate there. Language was a barrier and my feeble attempt of using the app ended up with them asking for another lady staff that spoke excellent Mandarin to speak to us. We ordered 2 fried fish and an abalone porridge for 45k, cos after all, the restaurant was a seafood one.

Sat at the short table as the meals were served and it was delicious! The freshness of the fish kept the succulence of the flesh even though the it was fried! K had no problem eating at least half of the fish that was at least 25cm. The porridge was the usual nicely flavored one that I expected it to be, with tiny chunks of abalone that was soft and not rubbery like the one I am used to back home. All in all, great food!

Myeongseung restaurant
Yummy fishes
Yummy abalone porridge

We left satisfied and after using their loo. Got into the car and punched in the next destination Yeosu. It was a 2.5hrs drive! Before leaving Geoje, we returned to the Hakdong Mongdol Beach for another round of pebble throwing as K loved it. Then as we hit the road, we tried to get K to nap first which he did, as I negotiated the bends out of Geoje and soon mommy was asleep too. Driving became easier after getting onto the highway though I still find it difficult to gauge what a good speed should be as cars zoomed past me really quickly even though I was already above the speed limit, trucks included!

Had to pay a toll of 4.5k at somewhere in between. Then along the highway towards Sancheon, we stopped at one of the service station as I was informed that the service station were really nice. Once parked, I got off to used the toilet which was impressively digitalized, to say the list. There was a information board of the occupancy of the cubicles! The design was nice too as it had an aviation theme to it and models of airplanes displayed.

Rest stop
Hi tech cubicle information board
Toilet with fighter jet theme

Returning to the car from the loo, K awoke and we spent some time at the loo (again) and bought some snacks to eat, including a corn shaped pastry with corn paste called Deli-manjoo and pork dumplings (Mandu). K spent some time at the fighter jet display before I got my vanilla coffee from Holly’s coffee and went to pump gas at an EX brand gas station.

Robots for kids loo
Urinal and toilet too
Space theme near the food court
Life size fighter jet display
Tasty corn shape pastry

I was stumped as I found out that it was a self service station and I couldn’t figure out the Korean words on the automated machine and pumping wouldn’t start without paying. The office was empty and I was almost at wits end when I saw a staff returning and asked in English that I needed gas. Immediately after putting some stuff at this office he came to my station and helped with entering the details into the automated system. He was asking how much fuel I needed and it was my first time so I also didn’t know. He helped looked at the fuel gauge and suggested 30k and I just agreed. Then a quick pump that brought the level back from half to 7/8 and we left for the last 1 hr drive.

After the highway, we entered a slow moving road of speed limit 60km/hr into an industrial zone, one that reminded me of Jurong Island back home. The place was just filled with industrial plants all over the place but it allowed road access to the public. It was a boring place for the rest of my family since I was the only person who could relate to this.

Yeosu mascots

The drive to our hotel was not easy and one of the directions given by the in car Navi brought us to the wrong road. Had to make a few detours and mindfully avoid the wrong road and took the direction for what I thought would bring me to the right road before we managed to drive into the multistory carpark of MVL hotel. The initial impression I had of this 5stars hotel was that it reminded me of the Al Burj Arab, where one building stood out from the rest as it was obviously the tallest one there. Of course it couldn’t be comparable in terms of opulence and luxury but it looked comfortable enough.

After check in, we entered the room to find a view of the port and a rather normal room. Spent some time on the TV before we went to explore the surrounding. We decided to walk to Odongdo island which was about slightly more than 500m away.

Huge bed
View from the room
MVL on the outside
View on the way to Odongdo island

The sun was already setting and winds were getting cold. We made it to the water fountain that coincidentally just started and skipped the walk around for the day since it was getting late. The fountain show had about 4-5songs worth of show before we walked back.

Walking path to the island
Water fountain show in progress
Not many people watching

Then we walked over to the cable car station that had a pavilion with a nice view of the surroundings. It was also a place where there were hundreds if not thousands of heart shaped messages hung on the railings and lamppost.

View from the top level heading towards cable car station
Pavillon lighted up
Panoramic view from the pavillon
Heavily tagged lamppost

We proceeded quickly to the cable car station building that had a nicely designed Korean restaurant and had our dinner there. It was recommended to try their marinated crab on the internet and so we ordered a soy sauce one, a pork dish with rice and another one with chicken. However, we received not one but 2 additional crab as a gift from the restaurant owners, all 3 flavors of the crab! There was also a bowl of mussel soup! I was in disbelief in the amount of food but very grateful for such hospitality. And the food was very yummy!

School Food restaurant
Modern design restaurant
Menu for the raw crabs
and more

The crab was raw and I was apprehensive at first but after the first bite, I just went on and on as it was really delicious! It tasted like raw scallop but much softer so that the flesh could be just sucked out. Loved the one with soy the most. Mommy who didn’t like raw seafood couldn’t appreciate it so I had to finish all them. I was worried about having the tummy runs after this.

3 types of raw crabs

The soup was awesome too and am amazed how they could get such flavors into the soup. The other dishes were fine too. All this for just 39k!

Before leaving for the hotel, K wanted to go see the “fantasy land” that was something like the trick eye museum. It was closed by the time we finished dinner and so we just walked back to the hotel quickly, braving the cold as we crossed the road.

The night was spent in the bathtub, as usual and I went to the convenience store that was within the hotel, to get some water, coffee, milk and yoghurt. Then it was some TV which was showing the Bahrain F1, books and then off to bed.

Escape Plan to South Korea & Hong Kong March 2019

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to South Korea and Hong Kong:

Total duration 18D17N
Singapore is 1hr behind of Korea and same timezone as Hong Kong.
Flight time is 4hrs 5mins on Cathay Airlines from Singapore to Hong Kong, a 50mins transit followed by a 4hrs 50mins time on Cathay Airlines from Hong Kong to Incheon Airport Seoul.

Return flight is 3hrs 55mins on Cathay Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore.

Friday night flight on 29th Mar at 810pm and arrival in Hong Kong in the morning of the 30th Mar at 1215am followed by a flight at 105am and arrival in Korea in the same morning at 555am.

Return flight from Hong Kong on the 15th Apr at 230pm and same day arrival in Singapore at 625pm.

Day 0-1 Flying and Gamcheon Village in Busan
Day 2 Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival and arrival into Geoje
Day 3 Cruise to Oedo Island, Tong Yeong Hallyeosudo cable car and Junggang market
Day 4 Hakdong beach, Windy hill and drive to Yeosu, Odongdo island
Day 5 Yeosu Rail bike, Aqua Planet and Teddy bear museum
Day 6 Drive to Jeonju, cheese theme park and Jeonju old town
Day 7 Explore Jeonju and drive to Wolmido
Day 8 Fairytale land, Chinatown and back to Seoul
Day 9 Yeouido park, Noryanjin Market and Myeongdong
Day 10 Lotte World Adventure theme park
Day 11 Nami Island, Gangchon rail park and Garden of Morning Calm
Day 12 Dongdaemun and Lotte Outlet
Day 13 Strawberry farm, Pocheon Art Valley and Herb Island light festival
Day 14 Seoul to Hong Kong
Day 15 Sino Center and Hysan Place
Day 16 Hong Kong Space museum and shopping at CHKC
Day 17 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was the first time in donkey years that we travel with my extended family. It was not an easy itinerary to begin with, having to plan different flights for my wife, my parents, my aunt in HK and for me and my boy, as we were flying different times, for reasons such as for business, for best price and for breaking the trip. There was also trying to plan a bit of something for my parents and for the kids. Glad that everything turned out well.

Budget nature: Rather Expensive 

Costs of living in Korea was quite high especially in the cities, car rentals was expensive too. This was offset by the optimisation of squeezing into Airbnb units in Seoul and getting the better deal through Klook and utilising discount coupons from tourism book brought over from Singapore.

Complexity: High

Due to different flight times (5 different tickets) for everyone, we had to get all the dates and times right before purchasing the tickets. Travel by car outside the city was still fine but met with heavy traffic when in Busan. Thankfully for the Hyundai Sonata in-car GPS, it was a little easier to navigate as Google maps do not work, and Naver app wasn’t driver friendly. Travelling via public transport in Seoul was easy but not so in a taxi as we were easily lost in translation, and getting taxis for a big group was a challenge itself, as the taxis can only take up to a certain number of people.