ULLEUNGDO – MYSTERY ISLAND
Ulleung-do is a South Korean island 120 km (75 miles) east of the Korean Peninsula was also known as Yuling-dao (郁陵岛) in Chinese, and Utsuryo-do (鬱陵島) in Japanese.
It’s actually the top of a large volcano, which rises from the seafloor to a maximum height of 984 metres (3,228 ft) as Seonginbong Peak. The island is 9.5 km (5.9 miles) long and 10 km (6.2 miles) wide with a permanent population of 10,500. That population rises dramatically in the tourist season.
The main city is the ferry port of Dodong (도동; 道洞), which is where you disembark the ferry from the South Korean mainland. After tourism, the main economic activity is fishing, including the famous squid harvest, which can be seen drying in the sun everywhere. Ulleung-do has a humid subtropical climate with Summer average highs of 22 – 27°C (67 – 78°F).
There is currently no airport on the island and the proposed construction may not be completed until 2022. Meanwhile, the only way onto the island for civilians is by sea ferry unless your are an uber rich head of your own ‘chaebol’ and can afford a helicopter.
Favorite activities for tourists are hiking, fishing, and eating ‘hoe’ (Korean raw fish dish). Sightseeing boats make regular three-hour circuits around Ulleung-do, departing from Dodong and passing all the points of interest along the coast, including many interesting rock formations and the small neighbouring island of Jukdo. Other scenic sites are Seonginbong Peak; Bongnae waterfall – the “natural icehouse”; and a coastal cliff, from which, Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) can be viewed.
YIN YANG ENERGY
“There is darkness because there is light, there is light because there is darkness. The principle of the operation of the universe, Yin-Yang.
Sky and earth, land and sea, day and night.”
Yin and Yang seem to be different but they need to coexist for the creation of the universe. Where a magnificent energy stream flows and powerful spirits sprout, Chusan-ri, Songgotsan Mountain is the location of a special resort.
Korea is about the balance of Yin-Yang and it is even an element of their national flag. There is Chusan-ri where Mireukbong Peak and Songgotsan Mountain are located together along the range of Seonginbong Peak which means ’emerging saint’. Chusan-ri, Songgotsan Mountain looks like an owl and is very wonderful and miraculous to everyone, providing a spectacular view of Chusan. “It increases the power of a person to birth a wonderful leader of the world.”
“I wanted KOSMOS a container of ‘energy’ rather than a simple building.”
– Architect Prof. Kim Chan Jung, CEO of THE_SYSTEM LAB.
Visiting professor at Kyunghee University Graduate School of Architecture.
KOSMOS Resort has the energy of the sky and the earth from the scenery of nature and magnificent vitality of the earth, Yin and Yang, which is the principle of the universe, fulfills the lack of harmony. A mystery that fills all energy.
There are 12 guestrooms at KOSMOS Resort and all have an ocean view. The pension-style VILLA TERRE has 3 types of rooms: Ondol Room, Room with Bed, and Family Room.
Other accommodations include VILLA KOSMOS, a Pool Villa.
BEDROOM (VILLA TERRE)
Bed: ₩ 350,000 – 400,000 / USD 312 – 357 (including breakfast for 2)
For 2 persons. Up to 2 persons may be added.
(Extra fee of ₩ 20,000 / USD 18 for every additional guest)
This is a familiar Western style that would not be out of place in any international hotel.
ONDOL (VILLA TERRE)
Ondol: ₩ 390,000 – 450,000 / USD 348 – 400 (including breakfast for 2)
For 4 persons. Up to 2 persons may be added.
(Extra fee of ₩ 20,000 / USD 18 for every additional guest)
Ondol is traditional architecture with underfloor heating that uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to heat the underside of a thick masonry floor. In modern usage it refers to any type of underfloor heating, or to a hotel room in Korean style, where guests sleep on the floor.
FAMILY ROOM (VILLA TERRE)
Family Room: ₩ 450,000 – 500,000 / USD 400 – 446 (including breakfast for 4)
For 4 persons. (Additional guests not allowed)
VILLA KOSMOS POOL VILLA
A moment when you feel that you are one with the constantly circulating universe in peaceful rest. KOSMOS Ring, a mystery that brings the energy of Yin and Yang together. There are two Ring Chairs in KOSMOS where you can receive Yin and Yang energy respectively. In the Yin Ring Chair, you can receive abundant Yin energy while looking at the moon above Songgotbong Peak.
When you sit on the Yang Ring Chair and watch the sunset falling over the ocean, you will fill with the energy of the Yang. The concept is to view an island, a mountain, the sea, and a rock.
During your stay, it is highly recommended to experience more than one energy bath in the KOSMOS Ring Chair.
The café is run by KOSMOS with the concept of the Gorilla Rock character of Mt. Songgotsan. You can enjoy the “brewed coffee” made at CAFÉ ULLA, which has a good view of the Gorilla Rock in Mt. Songgotsan and the clear ocean. I can’t understand why Korea had gorillas….
Ulla is a cute gorilla that likes flowers and loves nature in contrast to its large size. As the guardian of Mt. Songgotsan, it has lived here, having fallen in love with the nature, flowers, trees, and butterflies of Ulleungdo Island after defeating the goblin that afflicted the people living in the village under Mt. Songgotsan a long time ago.
Siphon refers to a method of brewing coffee by soaking the ground coffee with hot water, which rises owing to the difference in pressure caused by the temperature of the boiling water. The coffee made using the Siphon method tastes soft and simple due to the short brewing time; it is classified into an aromatic coffee brewing method because of its excellent fragrance.
Unlike ordinary coffee, which uses hot water, cold water is used to extract crude liquid slowly for a long time (24-72 hours). Dilute the crude liquid with water or milk according to taste.
Koreans call hiking – “tracking”; there are five Tracking Courses along some main tourist attractions in Buk-myeon where the resort, ‘KOSMOS’ is located. The five trails are between 0.8km and 3km in length and require 40 minutes to 3 hours to traverse, whilst revealing mineral springs, forests, mountains, flora, fauna and traditional thatched houses.
That’s ‘trekking’ to you and me!
ULLEUNGDO SQUID FESTIVAL
In Summer, Ulleungdo is all about squid. The Ulleungdo Squid Festival is an all hands-on event, when you can catch squid with bare hands, see them drying and then taste delicious squid dishes.
It is an event enjoyed by Korean and foreign tourists, being held in July every year by the Squid Festival Association.
VIDEO: On the Road to Healing Stay at KOSMOS
VIDEO: Making of KOSMOS
KOSMOS Resort is undoubtedly a special place according to Yin-Yang and “fung-shui” energy lines. Even if you do not place much belief in them, the remote and peaceful location bodes well for a healing restful visit. All you have to do is switch off your Samsung smartphone and you are surrounded by a “cone of silence”.
Conversely, the location seems apt for an executive retreat should your entire boardroom require sequestering for corporate shenanigans.
After all, “The cost of true luxury is the choice that it affords.”
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).