I’m a self-proclaimed Nature Girl. Growing up in the woods, and then attending our family cabin the mountains annually since birth, I’ve spent a lot of time running around outside without shoes on and wading through rivers in just thin water shoes. I’ve never really considered it anything much before–it’s only when I come to Asia that I see how…different…this childhood development has made me.
For example, when we reached Jeongbang Waterfall, I ran down the boulders to the waters edge, dropped my giant backpack, ripped my shoes and socks off, and waded into the water barefoot before realizing that my travel companions hadn’t followed me. That in fact, I was the only one who had waded farther than a few feet. I considered this fact for approximately one second before continuing on. I wanted pictures!
The rocks felt exactly like the rocks in the river at our family cabin, so skipping over them was really no trouble at all.
If you notice, the water at the base of the falls is a beautiful blue and I wanted nothing more than to jump in. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing my swimsuit, so I had to suffice with just getting really really close.
It just means I have to return to the Jeongbang Falls before I leave Korea, because eventually swimming will be made illegal I’m sure.
I saw this side of myself at Ecoland, a forest turned theme park, as well.
Ecoland was not in the plans. Originally we wanted to take one of the shorter trails up Mt. Hallasan, the symbol of Jeju Island, but our relaxing morning in Hyeopjae and the organic cafe meant we didn’t get up to Jeju-si until 1. When we asked our hostel owner how to get to Hallasan, she gave us this incredulous, “you’re leaving NOW?”
Instinctively, I knew 1pm was too late to start a mountain hike. But there weren’t any other days we could go so I was hoping it was possible. It wasn’t.
I was determined to see nature, so the hostel lady recommended I go to Ecoland. I had no idea what to expect, and was actually pleasantly surprised.
Ecoland is like what if someone divided up your average tropical rainforest into distinct sections and ran a train through them.
It’s how honeymooners, children, and old people can experience nature without actually having to physically assert themselves. Which was kind of nice because this WAS vacation.
So, here are Sights of Ecoland:
Another moment I realized just how callused my feet were:
When the “natural foot massage” greatly massaged everyone else
Yes Nature. Nature indeed.