Friday, December 28, 2012

Asian Eyes' Korea - Dokebi Road

Hotel Robero at Jeju City,
a 3 star hotel, cater mostly 

to package tourists 
           Day 3 - Nov/19/12, 8 am: Today we started early and by 8 am we were at Hotel Robero's level 3 for  breakfast. Breakfast was a Korean style buffet breakfast of abalone porridge, noodles, fried rice, bread and butter, fried konjac, kimchi, buns, sauteed vegetable and meat, eggs, fish, tofu, juices, fruits, and coffee. After breakfast the first destination for the day is Dokebi Road, a mysterious or ghost road. I wrote about such similar slope in one of my earlier blog. A gravity or magnetic hill is a place where a slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope due to the layout of the surrounding land, creating the optical illusion that water flows uphill or a car left out of gear will roll uphill, among others. Many of these sites have no specific name and are instead often simply referred to as "Gravity Hill".
           Our bus arrived at a seemingly gentle uphill undulating road called Dokebi Road, also called Mysterious or Ghost Road, and cut off its engine. The bus rolled forward steadily and slowly gaining speed while going "uphill". This is just an illusion. Actually the bus was going downhill instead of uphill. Due to the lack of a true horizon, subconsciously our judgement of a slope is misled by the false horizon in that area. This is not unique to Jeju alone but the Koreans have done a great job marketing this Mysterious Road or Ghost Road into a tourist spot. The bus rolled about 300 meters until it reached a sign that marked the end of the mysterious road and the driver roared the engine back to life and turned into a parking spot nearby. According to Kent, our tour guide, this road was spotted by a taxi driver who was giving a newlywed couple a driving tour around the area in 1980s. The wife needed to take a leak and since it was a deserted area, she eased herself on the road, and then came rushing back to the taxi to informed her husband that her leak actually flow "upstream".  
            We get down to inspect the road with close proximity. We did a couple of experiment like pouring waters on the road, running forward and reverse and gawked at passing buses or cars did what our bus jsu did moment ago. We saw a lot of water marks on the right hand side of the road, and bus load upon busload of tourist arrive and go. This Dokebi Road had been transform into a big tourist attraction. After 30 minutes later, we boarded our bus to the next destination - another museum, but along the way we stopped at a farm for tasting of Jeju's most famous fruit - Jeju oranges. There are a lot of oranges trees in the farm where we were allowed to roam and take our pick of the fruits from the tree freely. Little M and big M had their fill, but Middle M had his eyes on Jeju orange chocolate cracker, a kind of rice cracker with orange and chocolate filling, at the farm souvenir shop. We bought 3 boxes for snack later in the bus, and they tasted really nice. Little M also loaded with a lot of Vitamin C that were laid out as samples. We bought 2 boxes and maybe that explained why we did not catch any cold during the entire trip.
            Here are a couple of pictures I took at the Ghost Road and the Jeju tangerine farm:
Location: Hotel Robero, 57-2, Samdo1-dong, Jeju International Airport/ Jeju City, Jeju-do, South Korea.
Location: Dokebi Road, Jeju-do, South Korea
Mysterious Road of Jeju-do. The surrounding area on this stretch is actually littered with cemeteries. To the left of this road sign over the fence is a cemetery. We did not realized what  it was until I tried to go over the fence for a  better location to snap pictures, and I had a  very good view of the cemetery indeed. Spooky! 
Tourists walked down Dokebi Road to feel the "anti-gravity", but would not be able to feel it on foot.
Tourists by the roadside waiting for passing cars or buses to witness the "anti-gravity" feat.
Traffic was busy, and it gets dangerous as tourists did experiment to try to get the the "anti-gravity" feeling. They can be spotted running to and fro backwards, or rolling Evian water bottles on the road or simply pouring water on the road and seeing it runs. Honking of cars or buses were common and we witnessed near accident twice for the short time we were there.
A big blue tuna statue is being erected at the parking space beside Dokebi Road.
Tangerine trees laden with ripening fruits at Jeju-do famous Tangerine farm. We had our hand, mouth and pocket fulls of these tangerine.
A basalt stone statue of a Jeju woman straddling a basket in front of the tangerine farm caught my attention. Also on the trees, I saw green tangerine and orange ones, but on closer look the orange tangerine were actually decorative plastic orange. I got fooled!
Big M and Middle M enjoyed a short excursion in the farm, stuffing the tangerine until they were full.
Little M enjoyed a "swinging" moment at the tangerine farm.
Thanks to the Vitamin C on sale at the souvenir shop at the tangerine farm. We bought many packs and they repaid them self as it prevent us from getting cold during our entire trip.

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