On our last day in Jeju Island, Sunny took us to this gigantic park called Hallim Park. The story behind the development of the park is quite interesting. In 1971, the whole park is nothing but a barren wasteland but 40-year old Mr. Song, Bong-kyu saw its potential and built a world class recreational park. Nothing grew in this park, but Mr. Song Bong-kyu was a passionate man. He removed the unused stones by the truck-loads and started bringing in soil and planted new seeds. The park expanded over the years, connecting the Hyeopjae and Ssangyong caves, and becoming the Subtropical Garden Mr. Song dreamed of. :)
There are nine themed parks or attractions within the 80 acres park: Palm Tree Avenue, Wild Grass & Flowers Garden, Hyeopjae & Ssangyong Caves, Jeju Stone & Bonsai Garden, Jae-Am Folk Village, Bird Garden, Jae-Am Stone Exhibit Hall, Water Garden and Subtropical Botanic Garden. The place is huge and I highly recommend you allow at least two hours to fully explore and appreciate the garden.
Out of the theme parks I’ve seen, I loved the Subtropical Botanic the most. The Subtropical Botanic Garden consists of over 2,000 exotic subtropical and tropical plants from all around the world, including the Bougainvillea and Jasmine. What I love about this garden is the wide array of cacti collection! They’re huge and so pretty to look at. And because Korea is lucky to experience four seasons a year, we were also able to catch the 17th Tulip Festival! This is my first time to see real-life tulips that aren’t in a bouquet, and they’re sooo gorgeous! The colors are highly saturated that you no longer need a filter (but I still post-processed these photos to further stress its beauty, hehe!). I look forward to the day I go back to Netherlands in Spring and visit Keukenhof!
Spotted these kids looking at my hair. Couldn’t help but take a photo of their darling cute faces!
After Hallim Park, we made a quick stop at a Strawberry Farm for our Korean Strawberry fix. If you remember my Baguio Travel Diary, I also experienced picking strawberries at La Trinidad. But this time, we weren’t given any scissors. We had to use our own hands to pick the strawberries. Oh, the pressure! Sunny told us that we had to pick the right way or else the branch/stem won’t grow strawberries again. These strawberries are sweet and different from the ones in Baguio, it’s definitely a worthy souvenir to my family.
Also, I’m so grateful that they gave the strawberries for free because I wasn’t able to convert my money to won!
Of course, our trip to Jeju Island wouldn’t be complete if there was no shopping.Sunny took us to The Shilla Duty-Free Shop (DFS). The DFS is located within the city center, and if you want to hoard beauty products, this is the place to go because they sell most of the beauty products in bulk.
In my previous post, I mentioned that the girls and I went to go for a little bit shopping. We all went to Etude House and bought a few beauty products. I had no intention of purchasing until I saw their nose strips. Hanggang saan aabot ang bente pesos mo? One pack of nose strips (8 pieces) from Etude House! HA HA HA!
As for me, I was only keen on buying products from Innisfree, a popular organic beauty brand that NEEDS to be locally available. I already have two products from them before to the trip: the Super Jeju Volcanic Pore Mask and Soybean Firming Eye Cream. For this trip, I bought their best-selling Green Tea Serum, Olive Oil Essential Oil, and Eco Safety No Sebum Sunblock. Don’t worry, a beauty review is in the works. ;)
I also wanted to buy a green tea mask, also from Innisfree, but it was out of stock. :( So I settled with Skinfood, another Korean beauty brand that I trust. They were selling a 100-pc. green tea facial mask for only PHP1800, that’s PHP18 per piece!!!!! Can you believe it? But since I don’t need 100 pcs. (as of this writing, I only used 3 masks), so I shared half of it with another blogger. Anyhoo, after all that shopping, we went straight to the airport to have our last lunch together and chill until it was time to go home. *SAD FACE*
Jeju Island was too beautiful for words and I don’t think 4-days is enough to cover everything. I do wish Rakso Travel would allow clients to explore on their own because there are other sights that I personally think others would enjoy more. Of course, I understand if they don’t allow such option because of security purposes. For starters, Jeju doesn’t have a metro of its own and there aren’t a lot of signs written in English. Still, I had so much fun exploring the specialty museums and parks of Jeju Island. I’m also incredibly grateful for the gracious opportunity that Rakso Travel has given to me and my blog.
If you’re planning on visiting Jeju Island, I highly recommend you book through them because they will make your travel hassle-free and worthwhile. They will arrange everything for you — a chartered direct flight from Manila, accommodations, food, and entrance fees. :)