Full House was the only Korean drama that I watched fully, and a friend told me there's this museum of the house that was used to film the drama in Shido, a small island nearby Incheon airport. I arrived last week in Korea and the initial plan was to go to Shido right after I arrived, store my stuff in the airport, and go to these islands (together with Modo, another small island that has a nice beach and apparently, some sensual arty sculptures). But then, of course things happen and my stupidity adds more fun to my journey. I missed the train station I should get off at and got off at the next station which was like 30 minutes further than the right one, so I needed to take the train in the opposite direction and took the 30 mins trip again to the right station. And when I finally got into the right one, it was raining so much and I didn't have an umbrella with me, not to mention it was pretty cold for my well-adjusted-to-tropical-weather-already body, and I couldn't find the bus to take me to the ferry port. I tried to ask someone where it was and he was like 'Sorry, I don't know. I'm from China'. Weird that he needed to say he's from China, but it's even weirder that I couldn't even see the difference! (Ok maybe not weird for someone like me...) Anyway so I ended up just wander around under the rain, ate something warm, then went back to the airport to wait until the afternoon to go downtown to Seoul for meeting up with a friend whose home I'd be staying in.
Long story short to heal the pain of not being able to go there I tried again yesterday, after sending Joan to the airport because her exchange year was over (insert a very sad face). And I finally did it! Got to the right subway station, asked the right person for the bus, took the right bus, got to the ferry port, all done excellently. And finally, stepped my feet on the island and the journey had just begun!
First thing to do after getting off the ferry, I went to the parking lot to find the bus. It was there, so I got in, waited for a few minutes, then the driver got in. He asked where I was going and I said 'Shido island'. He then explained something in Korean, that of course I didn't understand, showed me the timetable of the bus operation hours and kind of asked me to leave. So I got all confused and left the bus, went back to ask someone, and when I thought I knew enough information, I went back to the bus because I was sure it was the bus I should take. Then he tried to explain, using gestures, that the Full House drama set was destroyed already. So I just said 'Ok, Modo island'. Then he told me to pay and off we went to Modo.
Because Modo is the furthest from Shindo (the island that connects Incheon and all these 3 small islands), so I had to go pass by Shido as well. The bus driver showed me the location of the old Full House drama set before we went to Modo. Nice to know, but pretty sad it was gone already. Anyway we continued the journey to Modo and it was almost 5.30 when we arrived. We needed to walk for like, 10 minutes to reach the beach, to go to where the sculpture park was. We needed to pay 2,000 won to enter the park, but it was so nice! Basically these islands were almost empty, maybe only old farmers live there. No people, almost no cars, but there were a lot of dogs. Good thing they were chained for they were barking a lot. So yeah, the park in Modo was beautiful, if you like a quite sensual stuff because the sculptures were really like that. Some may find it disgusting. But the beach was so pretty! When I was there there was a bunch of young people playing in the water and it was also nice to see. I wish I had longer time there.
Noticing it was 6.30 already and I didn't wanna miss the last ferry at 7.30, I went back. Walking miles and felt like an eternity when suddenly I met someone (that of course didn't speak English) and tried to ask him directions. He was like 'there's no bus to Shindo anymore, it's too late'. Dayum. That was when all the panic attack started to come. No bus, no taxi, let alone a car that looked like going to Shindo. All I could think of was 'I really need to walk up there?'. Looks like there was nothing else I could do but to walk, so I did. After a while I met a young couple and I tried to ask them, and I started to regret so much that I didn't take Korean course before (at the same time at cursing them not to be able to speak English). It was frustrating seriously, but they were so nice that they showed gestures that I thought they were gonna drive me to the ferry port, and they asked me to follow them. It was 7 already so I was in a hurry. But I was wrong!!!! I followed them, just to go to a building that looks like a crappy motel, and we just 'talked' there. Much to waste my precious time. So I was like, borrowing their phone to call my friend. First attempt was to call Johanna, no answer. Then Alexa. I actually wasn't sure if it was her number, because long time ago she posted something on facebook with a phone number that I thought was hers, so I took a note, just in case. So I called that number yesterday and was like 'Hello, is this Alexa?'. She was like 'Who is this?'. Funny enough in this stupid situation. After saying my name she was like 'Achlaaaam, what's up?'. Then I explained the situation in a speed mode and she was like 'Wait, I'm with a native Korean speaker she can talk to them'. Great, so they talked and talked and time was running out and finally, the ajumma that owns the motel agreed to drive me to the ferry but I had to pay 15,000 won. I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to go home.
So I finally got to the ferry port before 7.30! Relieved? Not yet. The building to buy ticket was closed. Dayum double time. Confused even more now that the ajumma left already, it was so windy that it started to get cold, but then I met 3 old ajoshis that said there would be another ferry at 8.40. So I waited with them. While waiting, they were trying to talk to me but of course I sooo could understand, so I just made videos (that I absolutely will show anyone who asks) telling about my adventure that day. At 8ish the building to buy tickets was open again so I went there, it costs 4,000 won per person. Not long after that, the ferry arrived, and I was about to enter the ferry when suddenly I realised the leaving time on my ticket wasn't the correct time, so I went back to the building to check. On my way back, there was a lady in a car speaking English to me, asking where I'm from and what I did in the islands. I thought to myself 'finally an English speaking person!', so I just talked to her. Know what, she offered to drive me down to Seoul so I just needed to take subway from Dangsan station, a station in her neighbourhood. After a tiring journey, I didn't wanna say no so I went with her. Inside there was her husband who didn't speak English. They gave me fruits (lol wut) and they tried to ask a lot about me, but maybe their English was also limited so they called their daughter who speaks perfect English, and when I told them they said their daughter studied in San Francisco. Nice. Nice, I got home safely. What a trip!
How to get here:
1. From Incheon airport, take metro train to Unseo station (only 2 stops away)
2. Go exit number 1, cross the street (an important note, you wait for the bus in front of a coffee shop), take bus number 221-1(A) or 221-1(B) to Sammok Port (it will take around 10ish minutes from the bus stop to the port)
3. When you reach the port, go left, find a small building and write down your name on the passenger list (they didn't check it but for safety reason you need to do that). And you don't need to pay for this, you pay 4,000 won when you take the ferry back from Shindo
4. Enjoy your approx. 15 mins ferry ride
5. When you arrive in the island, take a bus just outside the ferry port. It should be waiting in the parking lot and it costs 1,000 won. Don't forget to pay attention to the time the bus will depart! You may not want to miss it like I did >.< The bus will take you around from Shindo to Shido to Modo. Just mention it to the bus driver, even if you don't speak Korean, he will know eventually
6. Say you're going to Modo (now that the Full House drama set is gone already), after getting off of the bus, walk straight and go up hill, then turn right. The Baemekkumi beach is maybe 10 minutes away by walking.
7. After done, go back to the bus stop and repeat all the process. Once again, don't forget to check on the latest time the bus will operate, otherwise your trip won't be as pleasant as you wish