Friday, July 8, 2011

Dokdo Special

Dokdo is probably one of Korea's most "famous" islands due to its political nature. For people who are not so familiar, this has been one of the conflicts between South Korea and Japan, which I think wouldn't be solved in the near future.
A brief background about Dokdo. It's consist of two main islets and numerous surrounding rocks. Altogether, there are about 90 islets and reefs,(source) volcanic rocks and a total of 37 of these islets are recognized as permanent land.(source)

I will not be talking about the issue here nor more information about the islands, since almost everything's already been written. Just search Dokdo on Google and you'll see various information you want. I will just talk about the experiences I had when I was going to the island.

Not an Ordinary Tourist Destination

Well, you cannot visit Dokdo just because you wanna have some fun or just wanna have some air,  for many reasons. We were told that in a year, you can only visit Dokdo more or less 60 times. By visit, I mean the boat should be able to dock to the island's pier. It was my second time to visit the island. The first time, we were not so lucky. Even if the weather was really fine, that's what we thought, docking to the pier was impossible so after reaching the island we just went back to Ulleungdo (see links below for references). However, this year, my second time going to the island, we were able to docked on the island for around 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes. And that was already long and lucky enough. hahaha.
Another reason why it's not an ordinary destination is the price. Since I went there for free I didn't have a problem but other tourists paid for it. I didn't ask for the exact price but they told me it's more expensive or same as going to Jeju island. So, I guess it must be really expensive.
And the last reason, well, that I can think of, is the distance from Ulleungdo. It takes more or less 3 hours going and another more or less 3 hours coming back. Plus, if you have seasickness or maybe you're not aware that you have one, the 6-hour ride will let you discover it. Hahaha. The first time I went there, I just kept on throwing up during the whole ride. Imagine. But for the second time, I was already prepared, so I took a medicine few hours before riding the boat and it was fine.

Challenging but Interesting enough!
A challenging ride but I guess it was worth it. After all, not everyone can go to the island, not even Koreans themselves. Plus you can take wonderful pictures if you're into photography like me. I met many photographers when I went there. I also met these two birds who posed for my picture. hahaha. There are many pigeons on the island more than the number of people living there. I am not really sure but from what I heard there are only three official residents and 16 soldiers guarding the island.      

The pigeons were my official models in Dokdo. Thank you pigeons. lol  "Break the rock on Dokdo and Korean blood will flow out" is a line quoted from a poem specially made for Dokdo (see link below). All pictures are taken on the island so these are Dokdo rocks, Dokdo pigeons, Dokdo water... hehe