Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm Back!

It sucks to be back. I wouldn't say my trip was fantastic, but being in another land was an escape from the daily routine of life. Getting back to that routine will definitely take some time, as I’m still in a holiday mood.

Anyway, I don’t want to write a long post about my Korea trip, so I’ll sum it up in a ‘few’ points.

Picture was taken at the Culture Experience 
Center in Incheon Airport near gate 122.
Security check takes 30-40 minutes, so 
be sure to line up early if you want to have extra 
time to take pictures in traditional clothing.
We almost did not get the chance because
we did not know how tight the security was.
- Jeju day 1 was packed with visiting beaches, mountains and cave… alongside nausea, cause our taxi tour guide was not a great driver.

- I love the Nanta Show. My brother got called up to the stage. The blue chef is my favourite :)

- Jeju day 2 was raining. Did way less in comparison with day 1, but still nauseating because of bad driving.

- Bought chocolates from Jeju and taxi tour guide gave us each a teddy bear after visiting the Teddy Bear Museum, which is a waste of time by the way.

- Seoul day 1 was o.k. We walked from our hotel near Hoehyeon station all the way to Cheonggyecheon stream and back. We literally explored by foot.

- Seoul day 2 had more activities; we took a few subway rides but we walked the rest of the time. We went to N Seoul Tower at night, which was… meh.

- Food was bad for the first few meals. Then we found better places to eat and McD. It’s safe to say, we don’t really like Korean food. Street food was nice though, but food in general was just very expensive and not tasty on our palates, with the exception of some.

- We tried soju and Hite. Then we mixed them and had Somaek. I think the soju we bought was not ‘real’ soju, cause there was barely any alcohol content in it. We also tasted Ddeokbokki snack, Real Brownie, and seaweed.

- Overall, we spent about RM2, 600 for the entire trip (incl. airfare). Most money spent on food.

Conclusion, I’m going to go to a country where I have a spending power next year. Hmm, Macau or Taiwan maybe? We’ll see.

Check out my other posts on South Korea:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Shopping In Seoul

With a lot of research and reading, I have gathered enough information on what I plan on buying in Seoul. Yes, I’m a planner… and I hate and love being one.

So, here’s my shopping list:

#1 Junk Food

They say roasted seaweed and ddeokbokki snack are good. And that's it for the food items I might bring home.

I will definitely try their food and soju, but I won’t bring anything I taste-test home. It’s not possible anyway.

#2 Cosmetics

Korean cosmetics are known to be cheaper in S. Korea because it’s Korea and they are duty free with tax refunds. With research, that is a proven fact.

When I compared prices of the Laneige products I’m using with the Korean price tag, they are about RM30 cheaper. So my plan is to get one of all the products I’m using; six in total. They won’t last me forever, but they are as much as I can afford. It would be nice to stock up like a warehouse but that would cost a bomb.

#3 Memorabilia

Technically, souvenirs for myself. 

#4 Airport Chocolate

Whether in Incheon Airport or in KLIA2, airport duty free chocolate is a must. MUST. Chocolate is a must. There is no need to elaborate.

So there you have it, my shopping list. I’ll definitely take a picture of my loot when I get home. Gosh, I can’t wait to go!

Check out my other posts on South Korea:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Checking-in In South Korea

Checking-in time is at 2 or 3pm in S.Korea, which is rather late. It's quite strange because in Malaysia, check-in and check-out time are mostly before lunch. I also don't remember checking in after lunch when I arrived at Guilin last year. So, when my mum told me we can only check-in in the hotel in Seoul at 3pm, I was like, "What? How can we start our adventure with luggage?"

Anyway, this post is not about that, this post is about the two hotels we will be staying in.

#1 Jeju Four Seasons Hotel

Search it up and you'll find it on TripAdvisor. It's a 15 minute ride from the airport, which is convenient to a certain extent, but an hour plus away from Ilchubong Sunrise Peak. Good thing we have a taxi guide, because I can't imagine taking a bus. 

We already paid for the family suit, which has two queen-sized beds in one room. I'll be forced to share a bed with my brother who sleeps all over the place, and also hear the snores of my dear father. But we're on holiday, who sleeps anyway?

#2 Hill House Hotel, Seoul

It's on TripAdvisor too. It's really close to a subway line. Walking a little further would also bring us to Myeongdong and Namdaemun. Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower are rather close too. With a subway line and notable places within walking distance, I say my mum found a good place.

I read some of the comments on TripAdvisor and learned that it's an uphill walk to the hotel. I don't mind though, and I think my brother and I would have separate beds in a different room from our parents. So no snores and tugging of blanket, yay!

That is all I can say about the hotels now, and I'll probably write another post about it once I get back from the trip. I'll rate it on my blog then, since I'm too lazy to sign up for an account on TripAdvisor.

Check out my other posts on South Korea:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Where To, In South Korea?

Day 1: On The Planes

Morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Busan, followed by evening flight from Busan to Jeju. Dinner, check-in, sleep early.

Day 2 & 3: Exploring Jeju Island

Wherever the taxi guide suggests, we would follow (except for caves, cause we've been to 3 caves in Mulu already, and gardens because we have gardens in Malaysia too; Putrajaya Botanical Garden). 

I would like a morning hike up Ilchubong Sunrise Peak to see the sunrise though. Since I've never seen a sunrise before. True story. And hopefully a day spent in Udo Island, since it is highly rated on TripAdvisor.

Oh yes, and the Nanta show too. 

Day 4: Fly To Seoul

Morning flight from Jeju to Gimpo, followed by Namsangol Hanok Village, and shopping at Myeongdong. 

It's not like we will be buying a lot of things either, since the currency exchange rate is high. Food is also not cheap according to a Korean friend. But we'll see, I'll probably come home with a Seoul loot that mainly consists of candy (if they have intriguing ones) and Laneige products.

I also plan on tasting their street food, especially the sweet ones since I'm quite the sweet tooth :)

Day 5: Site-seeing, Pun Intended

I'm hoping to start the day early, so we can grab breakfast and make our way to Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden in time for the 11am tour. Before the tour, we will take a walk in Insa-dong and do some souvenir shopping. After that, we head to Cheonggyecheon; it's a long walk so I don't know if we would want to walk from one end to the other. Second to last stop would be Namdaemun, and the final stop for the day would be N Seoul Tower. 

Day 6: A Healthy Goodbye

By healthy I mean waking up early to take a walk in Namsan Park; come back in time to check-out at 11am, have lunch, and then take the subway to catch our 4pm flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

That's the plan so far, which might change, who knows. Might seem short to some as we did skip a few places (eg; the other palaces. Seen one, seen all, right?), but I think it will leave us with enough memories without being taxing on the wallet :)

Check out my other posts on South Korea: