Monday, June 09, 2014

Taking the train

Korea Day 4. We are heading South. Busan it is! Boarded the KTX Train from Seoul Station. I had a hard time getting the tickets to Busan, as we opted to use the KR Pass because it is cheaper by 20000 won per person. To cut the story short, to those who wants to get the KR Pass, book it online, get the print out and exchange it for the ticket when you arrive in Seoul. No worries about the time of departure and such. You can finalize that upon getting the tickets.

After 2 hours 40mins we reached Busan
We wanted to take the City Bus Tour before checking in. We are staying at Sum Hostel Nampo btw (highly recommended! Good value for money and it's clean). Ada free usage of this nail polish lagi at the common room. Awesome! 

Back to the City Bus Tour story, it's Monday and the city bus tour has their day off on Monday. Boohoo!

So touring using subway saja la ni.

We went to see the BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) square but it's full of street food vendor selling snacks. So makan time lah. Snack food ranging from 1000won - 3000 won (rm3 to rm12)

Then to visit Busan tower. We didn't go up the tower because we are a cheapskate bunch. Haha

Saya salah bawa spek lagi pigi Korea. My current specs now here only the ahjumma (aunties) yang pakai. The younger people where thick frames glasses. I have two of those at home but I brought these ahjumma glasses. Cilaka

Thank God ada contact lenses. It's just that my eyes are tired since I don't have enough sleep for the past two days. Penat saja.

Later at late afternoon, we went to Haeundae Beach ( Busan most famous beach, in fact it is Korea's most famous). It's quite a distance and it is so many subway stations away. Yes, T-money still can be used in Busan. 

And hey hey it is also the last day of the Sand Art Fest at Haeundae Beach. To my surprise, Busan is colder than Seoul. Maybe it's just cloudy today here. 

Story of the day, ada ini mangkuk and senduk kena bagi sama kami before meals kena serve.

Gembira la nampak benda traditional kena bagi but as we sip the liquid then I raised the question whether it is for drinking or cuci tangan. Then nda jadi minum. Malu mo tanya. Then the sister and my mister pigi look around tinguk orang lain buat apa sama itu barang. Hahaha. Memang bikin minum la bah. But it taste so funny bah. Rupanya air dari kerak nasi kena rendam. So weird.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

More walking frenzy

Korea 3rd day! It's time to check out from our hotel/hostel. Sieoso Hotel is nice. It has free breakfast, nice rooms and they have this corner where you can wear hanbok (the korean traditional dress) and take photo as much as you want for FREE!! 

The next program on the list today is to visit Myeongdong Cathedral. Since it's Sunday, we attended the mass. Pretty church. And now the outside they are doing some re-landscaping work in preparation for the pope visit in August.

Then on to the mission to find the Ihwa Mural Village. We took the subway and stop the Heyhwa station and started the journey of getting lost again. Haha. But this time isn't so bad. So happy to get to that place! It's the location for the drama "Rooftop Prince"

It's an actual residential place. And there's "Please be quiet" sign for the comfort of the residents there. Tapi kalau ada pelancong dari China saja. Astaga. Macam ribut taufan. And they hog the place to take photo sampai habis filem. Bikin panas.

I hate Chinese tourists!

And we are changing our sleeping place for a night at KimChee Guesthouse in Sinchon. It's only RM30 per night on offer! Not to be missed! Vibrant place. 

So we checked out the nearby attraction like this place. Ahhhhh! Heaven for pink lovers.

Hongdae is an interesting place. Tomorrow we are off to Busan via KTX train. Staying there for a night.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Walking Frenzy

Korea day 2. It was so hard to get up this morning but the show must go on. 

I am loving this hostel because they provide breakfast. After the hearty breakfast, off we go to the DMZ tour. I book this tour through a website recommended by a friend. 

The visit to DMZ (demilitarized zone) is impossible if it is not done through tours. You can DIY it but it's very troublesome especially when it is peak season like the weekend. 

A lot to be learned from the visit. Definitely interesting indeed. I would recommend a visit here. Even better if you can get a tour the heavily guarded meeting room right at the border (half south half north)

If you can avoid going on weekends it's better. The place is swarming with people! Full of people. Tourists. I hate China tourists. They are like so rude and they think they own everything. Benci betul.

Then after was the lunch date with the girls from the exchange program group I hosted last time. I love Korean food.

Visited the Gyeongbok Palace. And a lot of walking around. Sempat pigi tumpang tour guide urang lagi. Haha. Cheapskate case.

Evening is a walk around Dongdaemun. Awesome place. Definitely a fashion mecca. A few shopping malls that is just like the Platinum Mall in Bangkok. But there is more than 5 of those here! And their operation hours is from 10am to 5am (next day). Crazy right?

Friday, June 06, 2014

Back to my second home

Second home (foreign country category). Korea. Third time here. 

Long flight. Sat for 6 hours. My butt feels so flat now and back is hurting. This trip is different from before as this is a "ready to get lost trip". 

Reached Seoul this morning and despite feeling groggy and lethargic, we still have to move. The mister and my sister are with me this time. Too bad Didi and Erika can't follow us.

Braved the subway. It's confusing and hard walking with a big bag. The show must go on. Did the phone rental at the airport. (In the dire need of internet for directions). 

Reached Seoul station via Arex from Incheon Airport. The journey took 43mins which cost around 8000won (8usd) per person. And then the drama of getting lost in translation started.

I wanted to buy the KR pass for my trip to Busan. Apparently, I have to make early arrangement for that (booking it online) and get the print outs validated and then only they issue the pass. And then only you can choose the time of the train and date.

Communication breakdown and throngs of people during the Memorial Day public holiday doesn't make it any better. Lesson learnt do more research for any trip. I get sent back and forth from 3 different ticketing counters and almost at the verge of giving up. My cheapskate-ness to get a lesser price for the tickets to Busan kept me going.

We managed to get the tickets and on we go for another getting sesat incident in finding the hotel. Not many people can speak English and so it's more like hand sign languages and some weird sounding signals. Haha. Thank God, some can converse in Mandarin and the mister can do all the job. Haha

Anyeonghaseyo! We had a long day today. Went around Myeongdong for some sightseeing and also we watche the awesome Nanta Cooking Show. It's a play that had stayed since 15 years ago and people still loving it! It really meet up the expectations from the reviews that I read.

Two thumbs for the show.

Am gonna hit the sack early. Long day. And tomorrow we will be traveling to the border to see the North Korea (from afar). Haha

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Hey June!!

So how was your Kaamatan? This year tiada saya berkampung duduk dalam dewan. Tiada kaki sudah. Banyak sudah yang retire, so nda siok pigi nda ramai. What we usually do is come early. Go in by 9am and don't leave the hall until its 6pm.

This year is a different experience as I celebrated Kaamatan , full on tourist mode. Brought the mister and two new friends from my scuba course as well as my sisters and cousin. Jadi pelancong la kami.

Photo courtesy of Fish

Hot and humid day but it's okay. Bagus lagi dari hujan. Jadi tourist guide lagi explaining stuff. A different kind of Kaamatan, less Unduk Ngadau stuff.

Btw, congratulations to the Harvest Queen of 2014 ( woot! woot! Miss DBKK ). She is one of my favourite also. I was betting on her and the Kota Marudu lass as well. Top 2 baby! I hope she will serve her duty well as the Queen and really give back to the society and inspire others. Don't be a spoiled brat, bimbo-ish queen.

Photo by my friend, David Aramaitii. Awesome la kau. Main media coverage for all the Unduk Ngadau news I suppose