Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ulleungdo: Retrospective

Sea Turtle Motel
(Image Borrowed From 바다거북)

I'm still recovering from the past week's vacation, so I'll keep today's entry short.

Although we didn't manage to visit every place that we had set out to see -- because of road construction, low clouds, recalcitrant children, and various unforeseenables -- we nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed our Ulleungdo journey.

We can thank our kind hosts at the Sea Turtle Motel (바다거북), located in the tiny seaside village of Tonggumi, for they generously gave us rides along the 8.5 kilometer route to and from the main port, Dodong, and even took us sightseeing. I can't guarantee that they would do all of this for everyone staying at their motel, but even if not, a bus service runs along the road from Dodong through Tonggumi and all the way around the coast until the end of the road.

Perhaps the somewhat unfortunate weather contributed to our good fortune, for many would-be vacationers had cancelled their reservations due to rain and flooding on the peninsula, opening up rooms offered at a discount. We paid about 50,000 won per night, but the usual cost would be closer to 80,000 (roughly 50 and 80 dollars, respectively). Meals were available at the motel's restaurant, and the prices were reasonable -- about 6,000 per meal, or 10,000 for a special meal. The food was good, and amounts provided were reasonable.

The rooms were spare but comfortable enough. Bedding was a sleeping pad on the floor, plus pillows and covers. A small refrigerator kept our beer and soft drinks cool. Free television entertained the kids during the weary evenings, when we aged, aged parents needed a break. A private toilet and shower provided convenience.

The rooms have no internet connection, but -- perhaps due to the paucity of vacationers -- the hosts allowed me to check my email and even to blog from their private computer. Obviously, no one should automatically expect this privilege, and I did see a sign in Dodong announcing a PC Room, so getting online is possible anyway ... even if you'd have to pay for it.

For those of you who are considering a visit to Ulleungdo, we can recommend it generally and the Sea Turtle Motel in particular. Visit the motel's website (바다거북) and click on various links for pictures of the motel and of places to visit.

Incidentally, you would do well to have along someone who can speak Korean, for the hosts at the Sea Turtle Motel don't speak English.



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