I remember having a lot of fun on this particular day and I think it’s because I like to give-in to the capitalist agenda; or rather I see red when there are particularly enticing souvenirs to be bought. There were so many Jeju-themed goods I encountered on this day and although some were gimmicky, it was definitely one of those instances that helped me understand the mind of a tourist better. There’s this very real urge to buy all the souvenirs associated with a certain region in hopes that family and friends back home will not only be impressed but will be moved that you thought of them enough to get them this “very special item from this special region.” Anyways, that was the Innisfree café and Osulloc green tea field and café in a nutshell for me. I usually feel a good amount of stress when buying souvenirs because I want to get my people things that they’ll actually use and that they can’t find online. What better place to buy souvenirs than an exclusive only-in-Jeju store?
Innisfree is a Korean skincare brand that is based in Jeju and often includes local ingredients in their products, like volcanic rock for example. Their main store and café in Jeju includes many skin products and food items that are exclusive to that location and I kind of went crazy. It’s only fitting that skincare is one of the things you bring back from Korea, as I think it’s one of the countries that does skincare the best. The aesthetic of the café and store was very nice as well; it was very wide and well-lit. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mt. Hallasan-shaped green tea cake and my friend enjoyed some Hallabong ice cream (green tea and Hallabong oranges are popular local grown foods). We ate overlooking a green tea field!
Our group then moved on to the Osulloc green tea museum/store/house. We read up on some green tea history in Jeju and had the chance to buy locally grown tea and tea products. I picked up some matcha powder and sweet green tea spread for myself as one thing that I’ve found out through this trip is that matcha has become one of my favorite dessert flavors.
The last thing we did on this day was go to Geumneung Beach and it is hands down the best beach I’ve ever been to. Don’t expect any waves at all if you come here, but the scene is truly breathtaking. What’s special about this beach is that the white sand shores stretch out very far at low tide so it seems as if the water will never get higher than waist deep. The water is also extremely clear and blue. We also arrived at sunset, so the water only continued to recede. It was the first time I watched the shoreline of a beach recede so quickly. Even as I walked farther and farther into the ocean the distance between myself and the shoreline stayed the same, although the distance from my belongings increased greatly. My friends and I also made it a point to watch the sunset here! It was very beautiful and it was also a great end to the day!