Having completed our odyssey of this small maritime hide- out, we returned our trusty steed to Mr. Lee’s bike shop, who seemed genuinely amazed that neither we nor the bike had tragically perished. On our last night, we headed to the densest concentration of watering holes in Shin (New) Jeju and hit up Jespi, a bar dedicated to serving Jeju’s very own line of malted beverages. Jeju has tried to elbow its way into the domestic beer market, with its own brand launched just last summer. Sharing the name with the company bar, Jes- pi (Jeju Spirit) has wisely avoided the usual domestic swill approach and offers stout, pale ale, pilsner and strong ale, each brewed with Jeju’s legendarily pristine water and locally grown barley. Besides new initiatives in food and beverages, other at- tempts are underway to transform Jeju’s economy so it can flourish in the modern era. Jeju City recently built a 271- acre, $381 million science park as part of six major projects designed to cement Jeju’s reputation as a hub for education, healthcare and research. So far, it seems to be working: The domestic internet staple Daum moved its main operations there in 2012, as had gaming giant Nexum, which relocated its corporate headquarters in 2011. While it’s unlikely that the big guns will abdicate Seoul anytime soon, it doesn’t mean Jeju can’t cut itself a bigger slice of the pie. All of this should give hope regarding what the future holds for the island. Even after centuries of suffering and tremendous hardship, there remains a myriad of contem- porary challenges facing these proud people. Their story has always read like a classic David versus Goliath tale of overwhelming odds, yet their religion, lifestyle and language have somehow managed to persevere. The island became an autonomous government in 2006 — 900 years after first being annexed — and perhaps this, coupled with modern economic strategies, could allow the fate of Jeju to be de- cided on its own terms. MorE INFo j Mr. Lee’s Bike Shop There is a wide selection of scooters available and English-speaking staff. An international driver’s license is required to rent a scooter anywhere on Jeju. Email jejubike@gmail.com Website jejubike.co.kr/eng Big Blue 33 diving service Owner Ralf Deutsch speaks English. Visit the site to fnd out more about diving trips, rental gear and certifcation courses. Website bigblue33.co.kr Ma Park The park offers horseriding (12,000 won to 30,000 won) and go-karts (25,000 to 35,000 won). “The Black Flag of Genghis Khan” is staged three times daily (tickets 12,000 won to 18,000 won). Hours 9 a.m. to 5:20 a.m. (March to Oct.), 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Nov. to Feb.) Website mapark.co.kr Manjanggul lava tubes Hours 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (summer) and 9-5:30 (winter). Website english.jeju.go.kr 65