|The waterfront riviera of Jeju City.|
Pianomania did not exactly go AWOL but took a short break from the rigours family medicine and music with a holiday to the Republic of Korea, also referred to as South Korea. Originally, it was supposed to have been the lamadom of Tibet, but ridiculous visa rulings from the murderous occupying Chinese government put paid to that notion. Anyway, Korea as a destination is totally recommendable for its general loveliness, relative convenience of travel (its 6 hours from Singapore but Korean Air is quite excellent), friendly people, delicious spicy food, good shopping and some stunning scenery.
First stop was the resort island of Jeju, off the Korean peninsula's south coast, a curious cross between the big island of Hawaii, Bali and believe it or not, Penang. Its the island of honeymoon couples and theme parks (there are at least three sex theme parks to speak of), and rugged and truly beautiful volcanic landscapes.
|Another view of Jeju City's low-rise skyline from the breakwaters.|
|The Mokgwana, the original governmental seat of power in Jeju during the Joseon dynasty.|
|Probably the most photographed site in Jeju, the Yongduam or Dragon Head Rock, formed by volcanic activity and the might of the sea.|
|Another geographically important location, Jusangjeolli near Jungmun resort on the south of the island, was formed by hexagonal basalt columns, not unlike the Giant's Causeway in Ireland.|
|A great view of Seongsan from the volcanic tuff cone of Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak on the easternmost reaches of Jeju Island.|
|The verdant caldera crater of Seongsan Ilchulbong, the reward of a strenuous uphill climb of over 200 metres.|
|The enjoyable Gimnyeong Maze Park, located very near the Manjanggul lava tubes.|