Botanical Garden, Sculpture, and Catholic Church in Island Jeju

We tried to go around as much one Sunday and we first went to Yeomiji Botanical Garden. Entrance costs 6,000 won or about USD 6 or about P336. You should allot about an hour to an hour and a half to go around the place where the plants are divided into sections. You can see tropical fruits, flowers (nice, bright colorful ones), jungle plants, cacti, water lily, etc. etc. Kids may also enjoy seeing images of the Teletubbies in some displays. There's also a viewing deck where you can see the "Bridge of the Seven Nymphs" - a rust-colored bridge with an interesting design - of what else but white nymphs!

Next stop after the Botanical Garden was the Jeju Art Park, featuring sculptures by Korean artists. The park is said to be the largest art park in Asia, covering 430 thousand square meters. Entrance fee is 3,000 won or about USD 3. It's a relaxing place to be in, with a view of Mt. Sanbang in the background, in some areas although some of the art work may look pretty strange or unconventional.

It was a Sunday so after the Art Park, we went to hear mass at Jungmun Sundang. Sundang, they say, is the Korean word for Catholic Church. There is mass at 7:30pm but everything is in Korean. Anyway, it's the thought that counts. You'll have to remove your shoes to go inside the church and you'll have to bring your offering to the middle front part of the church instead of a basket being passed around as is the usual practice here in Manila.

By the way, to get around we hired a taxi with a driver who did not speak much English. There was a lot of confusion on where we wanted to go and how much he would charge us - even if we had maps and all. The funny thing is - the cab was quite high-tech. It had a contraption with a microphone and a screen and this allows the passenger to choose to speak to someone at the other end of the line in whatever language the passenger chooses. We chose English of course and we spoke to a lady who did speak English although whether we communicated is altogether another thing ("No, we don't want to go back to the hotel...". Nevertheless, we did reach our destinations eventually so I suppose that turned out alright. At the start though, I was thinking: Hi-tech but still no talk.

The driver, by the way, was trying to guess which country we came from. I think he mentioned Japan (or was it Taiwan?) and when we said Philippines, he went: "A, Philippines" -- and then he laughed a lot while mumbling something which we couldn't understand of course while shaking his head. We never found out what that was about but that's fine - it's not everyday you can bring so much joy to someone. ;-)

» Jeju, South Korea - Index of Articles

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, July 20, 2004]


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