Sunday, December 14, 2014

House of Haenyeo - Sea Woman / Woman Diver / Mermaid of Jeju (海女公演會場) @ Jeju Island [Next to Sunrise Peak]

Note: I didn't catch the woman diver performance as we were too early! For those who plan to see the haenyo in action; do keep in mind that it would take place at 1.30 pm and 3.00 pm! 

We did, however, manage to explore the area by walking down the long flight of stairs. It was a breeze of course until we had to make our way back. 

Sunrise peak, the natural structure that symbolises Jeju Island more than any other in my honest opinion, would be covered in detail in a separate post! 

Cliff with a face! 

Have you ever seen a black sand beach?! Long accustomed to white (at times, brown), sandy beaches, i would have thought the beach was polluted by petrol if i have not read about it beforehand. 

As we strolled towards the stairs, the island right opposite attracted our attention due to its similarity to an animal! Would you be able to make a good guess? A cow and that's the reason why it was named as Udo, which means Cow Island in Korean. 

Making our way down; with me wondering if soil erosion is going to destroy this quaint, little cove that has the only haenyo performance in Korea. 

Should this be in Singapore, i can bet you would see 4D numbers replacing Korean characters. 

I am so not going to bore you with scientific information on how this comes about. I took a picture of the text so that i could share with all of you but i couldn't understand!!! Something about tephra (volcanic ashes) being affected by pyroclastic surge that gave us the different shapes in bedding. 

Basking in the early morning sun would be much easier than deciphering the English text! 

For those who are unaware, haenyo refers to the woman divers in Jeju Island who can dive to a depth of 15-20 meters in the cold seawater for valuable seafood like abalones, conchs etc. 

From a peak of 30,000 back in the 50s, there were less than 6,000 of them registered in 2003 with a high percentage who were then over 50 years old! In the next few decades, this century-old occupation would likely die off. 

It was a pity we didn't get to watch the ticketed performance although friends have informed me it was all staged for the benefit of tourists and i would be better off spending my time elsewhere. 

Well, that could be true but just the thought of submerging myself in the freezing cold water was sufficient enough for me to really respect their occupation! Bloody hell, i could hardly sustain a dive of 3 meters with my lousy lungs! 

Don't we all wish to have a house by the seaside where we can listen to the waves making a rhythm every night, feel the breeze licking our faces and catch the glowing sunrise every morning? Okay, maybe it's just me. 

This building, sadly, wasn't a house. 

Even though having a haenyo museum would be more suitable given the performance, a restaurant would be a better choice to sell off the seafood that the haenyo caught from the sea! 

Many chose to enter not because of the food; I admit 8.30 am might be too early for anyone to have a sumptuous seafood meal anyway. Most people enter because it has a washroom! 

Glass tanks full of seafood!!! 

Likely for sale even though fresh seafood should not be displayed in the open like the above. We should be eating them live to thoroughly appreciate the freshness! 

Notice the rock? Doesn't it look like a scaled down version of Yongduam rock


Next to Sunrise Peak, a key attraction in Jeju Island everyone will visit. 

Contact Number to Key in GPS

For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip, 
(Jeju and Seoul), please click HERE.

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