Wednesday, November 5, 2014


The boys thought this structure looked familiar. Dubai's Burj Al Arab? Nah. This bridge was patterned to Jeju's traditional log boat, the Tewu, and the tower was inspired by the wind (which Jeju Island is well-known for) and a sail.. The Saeyeongryo Pedestrian Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge built in the southern-most part of the country connecting Seogwipo Port and Birds Island.

We actually drove by this area by accident on our way to Cheonjiyeon Falls. I remembered the sail-inspired tower from one of the books I read. But we had the falls first in our itinerary so we came back for the bridge after our falls visit. 

I think we've hit more than 2 birds with one stone in this leg of our road trip. We dropped by Seogwipo Submarine Terminal and browsed through some of the photos and brochures they had. We were thinking of going for the submarine tour when we were planning for our trip. Hubby looked for interesting photos taken by tourists during their submersible tour but didn't find anything interesting. We were also informed by some friends who went for the tour that they didn't really have a good view of the underwater world as the water was a bit murky. So there goes our chance for a submarine ride. Maybe we'll have luck in another country.
still had  my photo taken in front of their office even if we weren't going for the tour
We walked towards the bridge and saw several eating places selling fresh seafood. We were curious as to what we could gobble up in the stop but they cater mostly to the drinking crowd (we thought) because most of the people we saw eating in the shops were also drinking beer. We passed up on this seafood banquet and walked closer to the bridge and stopped by a set of hand prints on the street. On the side saw several of these big concrete structures similar to the ones we saw in Hokkaido which were used as breakwaters during typhoon season. I researched and found out they were called tetrapods (see! Now that's another learning moment during a holiday).
We took our time to cross the bridge and, to our surprise, we saw one of the symbols of Jeju Island - the haenyo. I've noted in our itinerary that we should be on the look out for these skilled women divers. Although they have been a symbol of Jeju Island over the years, their numbers have been dwindling, probably due to commercialization or other opportunities for women of the new generation. So I guess we were lucky to have spotted one, and then a few more, while walking on the bridge.

The haenyo we saw was treading water beside this orange floater where she put all her catch - abalone, conch, sea urchin, octopus and seaweed. She was wearing a face mask, a diving suit (I assume it's a thermal suit) and flippers. We watched her every move as she seemed to be searching for something under the water then slowly and gracefully flung her feet into the air and dove into the water. We waited in anticipation for her to resurface and watched as she repeated the process again - searching, diving, resurfacing with her catch.

While hubby and I were mesmerized by the haenyo, the two boys walked on ahead to the Birds Island or Saeseom Islet. There was a walking path around the island but they decided to just sit and rest. It was more than a kilometre of strolling if they have decided to venture into this warm temperate conservation zone. But it was too hot and they were getting hungry and thirsty so we had to move along.

overlooking the the tower inspired by the wind and sail, and the diving haenyos
I've read that this area is also famous for its beautiful sunset and night shots, photos of which I've seen over the internet. We wanted to drive back here on our way back from Seopjikoji but it took us more time there than was planned. That just adds to the reasons why we should go back to Jeju Island.

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