Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jeju Island Road Trip Day 2: Mysterious Road

The drive from our hotel to our hunt for the Mysterious Road on our way south to Seogwipo couldn't have been more exciting. Although my husband and I have already seen such occurrence in the Philippines, the boys have not. They were anticipating what was going to happen and what was there to see.

Based on the Jeju Island map there were 2 such roads - one was along hway 1139 and the other was along hway 1117. We went to the one which was close to Jeju Love Land at hway 1139.

We guessed we were already in the place when we saw some cars stopping and making a u-turn in the middle of the road. On the road side were several eating places and a souvenir shop. There were even some interesting structures that add to the mystery that was in that place.

There were designated parking spaces in front of the convenience shops and eateries. We parked the car and let the boys out. Several other tourists were staring at the cars on the road, most of which made u-turns at the "starting point" of the mysterious road. Yes, there was a designated starting point where drivers should turn the engines of their cars off and let nature take its course - that is, let the cars roll up on its own. Sounds not possible specially when you are standing there looking at an uphill road. But we did see it happen with the other cars. Some tourists even put soda cans and water bottles on the road and watch as the cans and bottles roll up together with the cars.

But the boys weren't that much convinced. What better way to satisfy their curiosity than to have them try it for themselves. So we got back into the car in our quest to let them have a go at it. Hubby drove the car to the starting point, killed the engine and the car started backing up towards the hill, moving alongside another car in the other lane. Ira was still not convinced though. He hasn't figured things out yet. So hubby drove to the starting point again, made a u-turn, and like what other drivers did, turned the engine off and waited. It seemed like nothing was going to happen until we felt the car moving slowly, following the car right in front of us. Ira couldn't believe his eyes. We were in a car, with a dead engine, definitely rolling up the hill. The car moved a little bit faster as we go along the road. We even caught everything on video.

Ira still doesn't looked convinced but he was enjoying the engine-off ride 
When we reached the top of the road,the end point of the Mysterious Road, we drove back to the parking lot and checked out the different rock sculptures in the area. There was a big statue of a fish (unfortunately we couldn't read what it was all about). There were also sculptures of what looked like a warrior with fangs, a pig riding a horse, another pig (which I thought represents the black pig that's famous in the island) and a family of three owls (where my 3 boys posed for a photo). There were even statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse! Something we never expected to see in the middle of Jeju Island. Ira was more than happy to take photos with them.

Then we went into the shops to have a look at what we could have for lunch. The kids settled for the usual - hotdogs and pasta and cool drinks. We also tried this walnut pie which came highly recommended in one of the shops. One slice of walnut pie for 3,000 won (that's $3.55!). It did taste really good though. We had like a picnic lunch while looking over the road as more and more cars drove past, made u-turns and experience the mystery of the road.  We discussed about the mysterious phenomenon over lunch and reminded the boys of the TV show we watched about these mysterious, magnetic roads which turned out to be just optical illusions because of the way the roads were built in relation to its surroundings. 

After lunch, we strolled to the nearby souvenir shop. I found (and bought) these cute dolharubang display figures for 5,000 won ($5.92) and got a keychain for free! 
dolharubang representing the four seasons in Korea
Then we walked over to the next shop selling street food and tried their chicken BBQ. We liked the taste of the marinated chicken, something close to teriyaki I think. We left the area with our tummies fuller than expected, and more than satisfied with the experience we had driving along the Mysterious Road. Those visiting the island and thinking of driving should include this spot in their list of places to go to.


Other photos taken during our Mysterious Road visit:


 

 

 

   

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