I heard about Dokdo for the first time, after I came to Korea. I had no prior knowledge. As I got to know more about Dokdo, I became more interested. However, I knew I would not be able to visit Dokdo. Dokdo is not like any other places in Korea that you can visit by yourself. It is even difficult for Koreans to go there. So, I gave up my hopes about Dokdo, but life is full of surprises.
After my finals were over, I met my friend from Paraguay who told me about a free trip to Dokdo, organized by KNCCN. I did not think twice and registered for it. The results were out after a week, and I was among the 100 foreign students who were selected for the 3 days 2 nights trip to Ulleungdo and Dokdo. It was the best thing that happened to me in 2015.
It was 3 am on June 23 when my roommate woke me up. I prepared my baggage and left the dormitory at 3:30 am. I arrived at the meeting place and met my other friends. We boarded the bus to Mukho Ferry Terminal. It took us around 5 hours to reach the terminal, and then we were inside the ferry for around 3 hours. At 12 pm, we arrived at Ulleungdo.
Ulleungdo is surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters. The air is fresh and free of pollution, and the sky is full of seagulls. When I saw the beauty around me, I felt I was the happiest person on the planet.
We had lunch in the hotel, where we were going to stay during our trip. The food was absolutely delicious and surprisingly light. After lunch, they took us to Nari Basin. It is a large volcanic depression having fertile volcanic soil, used especially for growing medicinal plants. We did not visit any other places that day. We had dinner, and since we were so tired after the long journey, we slept early.
Next day, we woke up early and paid a visit to Bongrae Waterfall. I love waterfalls. I think they are the artworks of Mother Nature. After lunch at the hotel, we boarded the ferry to Dokdo. It took about an hour far to reach Dokdo. We had only 30 minutes to look around and, we could not go any farther from the port. There were Korean guards everywhere. I did not find Dokdo very interesting. After 30 minutes were over, we returned to Ulleungdo.
On the last day of our trip, we went to the Taehahyangmok Observatory from where we saw the surroundings of Ulleungdo. We also paid a visit to Dokdo Museum in Ulleungdo. The museum is full of artefacts which prove that Dokdo belongs to South Korea. On the way to the museum, we came across a huge statue of Bodhisattva. There was a souvenir shop near the museum. I bought a pen made of fragrant wood of Chinese Juniper. We then returned to the hotel and had lunch. After checking out at 2pm, we boarded the ferry back to Mukho Terminal. From the terminal, we took a bus to Seoul station. We reached Seoul at around 10 pm.
For me, it was the best 3 days of 2015. I felt I had spent a week or a month there. South Korea has given me another unforgettable memory to cherish.
If you want to visit Ulleungdo and Dokdo, you need to plan ahead. Here are some links which can be useful:
Enjoy your vacations!!!