Travellogues: Fly-to-Seoul (June 2012)

DAY 1

A travellogue as usual, starts with a journey. This journey was VERY LONG AND TEDIOUS!!!

1. Arrive in Manila at 4am (blurry photo due to sleep deprivation). 2. Slept in a nearby hotel: Isabelle Garden Hotel

Here my friend Michelle ate a rotten tomato during breakfast. Haha.

3. 10 hours later, off to Incheon.

In the airport we got ourselves MiFis, in a fabulous blue pouch. In Korea, u MUST rent these MiFis (affectionately called Eggs) cause if you’re anything like me, u cannot live without internet.

4. Then catch a bus to Chungmuro, where our hotel is.

5. Finally arrived in our hotel: Chungmuro Residences. 

But not without much drama. We confidently went down one stop early LOL. And so got lost and tried getting help from locals. But that wasn’t much help cause we can’t speak Korean and they can;t speak English so we kalah-kalahan just take taxi.

The taxi of course brought us to the wrong hotel. And we tried asking the receptionist (who can speak English – but barely) to explain to our driver that this is the wrong hotel. But of course, he wouldn’t so we fought for a few minutes outside that hotel and culminated in a mass confusion whereby the hotel receptionist accused us of stealing his pen???

Don’t come to Korea at night. -.-“

We finally came to the hotel!!!!!

And dunno how to open the door. DRAMA!!! The receptionist in our hotel, refused to layan us. I think he thinks we’re stupid, cause it turns out the door is easy to open lah!!!!! Why we so sakai.

Room 1204. Twelve levels closer to heaven.

Even has a washing machine!

View of Seoul from the 12th floor

DAY 2

6. Bought a subway card: an absolute must in ANY city!

Subways are our primary mode of transportation.

View inside the Korean Subway. Oh and it’s cheap!

7. Gyeongbokgung Palace

This is where I met my new boyfriend.

And a lot of other tourists with guides.

And emm, these crazy people:

Welcome to the palace!

When we were there, there was the changing of the guards ceremony. That was interesting.

Note: The guard changing ceremony happens every hour so please no pushing!!!!

8. Gwanghwamun Square

This is where there is a super big statue of this guy: King Sejong.

Here’ a view from the front:

Statue is super big. King Sejong is the guy who invented the Hangeul system. I believe he also invented the sundial (ok just read his wikipedia page, he didn’t) but there’s a sundial in front of his statue: On the way to the square, we saw a group of locals praying, on the other side of the road. Strange kan? Then when we went pass by there later, we saw the trees have drip bags attached? Weird right? I really dunno what they’re for!

9. What I think is Jeju cuisine? I think this may be watercress.

Really yummy kimchi! My raw fish salad??? And the eggy rice which was actually quite nice: Fried fish! Also quite nice. Meal was nice but SUPER EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. Bukchon Hanok Village This is where we got lost and ended up walking uphill for 15 minutes. My legs almost fell off and turns out, we went the wrong direction. *cries* Then walked downhill and went back to the above location haha.

But don’t blame us for not knowing how to follow this map!!! We did find our way in the end, but only cause there were many nice people around. May I just point out that have never been lost so many times ever before haha. Finally arrived there and it’s quite lovely!

Although my legs just wanna fall off lah. PAIN!!!!!!

We have to be quiet. Shhhh! Real people actually live here. Saw many Mercedes and BMWs and luxury cars here btw. Must be an affluent area cause old money. Keep wishing we’ll bump into someone rich hahahaha.

One house actually opens itself to visitors. It’s owned by an MP in the government or something. It’s so lovely! We get to see the inside of the traditional Korean house. Lawa! This is me in the kitchen. Posing. Actually I just want to sit down. These tiles in the toilet are so nice!!! View from outside is s pretty! We sat down in the end just enjoying some tea. Tea that tastes like TAPAI haha. But very nice and cooling! Kampaiiiii

Last photo 🙂

10. Marion Crepes

All that walking made us (me) hungry!!!! Crepe time. Had the strawberry icecream cheesecake with strawberry sauce. NYAMANNNNNNN!!!!!

11. Myeongdong Shopping District Shopping time!!!! Bought a LOT of makeup here this night (wasnt the only time we all went there). View below for SOME of makeup stash on first night.

I cannot help it! Makeup shops everywhere!!!

Really happening there in Myeongdong! There’s a constant stream of people coming from all directions.

So many people! Where did they come from?

I  very enjoy. Even the street food.

This lady making traditional Korean cookies kali. Nice!

12. Spicy Squid Restaurant

Then became very hungry so we ate at a really famous place which served ONLY squid. (Found cause we downloaded the app iTourSeoul) Oh yes, by the way, you MUST download the iTourSeoul app!!! It’s free and so awesome cause we get to find all these great places to eat and visit.

So anyway we went to this place that serves THE MOST AMAZING SPICY SQUID EVER!!!

Basically there’s no menu, no nothing, just squid. And a lady that cooks right in front of u, and she cooks to order. And the restaurant, has been around for past 50 years so u would imagine it’s pretty decent and easy to find. BUT NO! It sits in a nondescript alley, like places we go where we wanna get raped.

See what I mean??? We had to ask a staff from Holika Holika to show us the way. LOL.

Ordering was hard!

First of all, there’s no menu. The waitress was an old Korean lady, who do not speak English so we just randomly point to other people’s food to order. Then we googled “RICE”. Hahaha. She understood.

Then this lady starts cooking (sambil watching a TV and non concentrating on cooking).

Lo and behold, the spicy squid.

Had the spicy squid with really nice pickles!!!

Yellow pickles.

Cuboid white pickles.

Bigass plate of beansprouts!!!!

Nyaman lah here!!! Totally recommended. Also relatively cheap!

After that shopped more, and went back hotel, with JELLY legs, shaking like a mutha!!!

DAY 2

We started off the day feeling so tired. Haha. Well, we overexerted ourselves on the first day really. We tried to keep things simple on this day.

13. Lotte World

Our ticket.

There’s a story here. On the way to Lotte World, a few Koreans stopped us and sold us tickets. So strange! We thought they were scalpers, selling at expensive price so I thought that we should basically ignore them. But my kepo fren very friendly one, actually stop to listen. -______-”

Long story short, we bought the tickets from them! At quarter of the actual price. Lucky we don’t get scammed.

Here I am, trying to pose like a Korean.

And since it was a theme park, there were many little kiddies!

I ate a lot of junk as usual. Like churros and takoyakis.

BTW churros are surprisingly a common sight in Seoul. But takoyakis not so much:

They’r not as nice as the ones I had in Sendai. Hehehe.

Went on the hot air balloon rides.

Quite torturous waiting to go on the rides. Line was like 400000000 km long. Legs gave out again. They haven’t fully recovered from the walking the day before hahaha.

But I guess we get to see the bird’s eye view of the whole of Lotte World.

Suddenly felt super tired and hungry after this ride. Haha we’re old. Also we don’t recognise any of the mascots.

Lotte World is the biggest indoor theme park in the world. But we wanna get out.

14. Lotte Department Store

Lotte World is actually nestled inside a Lotte Mall, a really biggggggggg duty free Mall, meaning expensive imported stuff are cheaper by 20-30% from any other place in Seoul. When we were there the Mall was bustling with various activities. Of course we don’t really understand what was going on.

For example, why is everyone getting a massage here?

Some more it must have been some really good massage because many ladies sampai closed eyes!!!!

Then, when we were on the way up to the restaurants, some old people were just sitting on the waiting couches, having lunch. LOL

So relax until take off shoe!!! Haha. I find this quite funny!!!

15. Lunch at random Italian restaurant.

So sleepy yet hungry haha

We had boring prawn pastas, but Abang had yummy Squid Ink Pasta!

16. Do u know how much a cup of OJ costs in Seoul?

I keep on telling people that Seoul is an expensive country. You know why I say that? Cause simple, everyday things like juice like below:

Simple juice not even in a fancy glass costs below:

That’s about $5. I mean, it’s ordinary juice saja. Balum lagi yang branded!

17. Olympic Bridge over Han River

From the subway, we passed the Han River and saw the Olympic Bridge. Very nice here. We were on the way to the Dongdaemun Fashion Market.

18. Dongdaemun Fashion Market

Welcome to Dongdaemun, somewhere which can be potentially exciting for someone who is into fashion and erm, sewing.

So much fabric u can die

Lace stuff!!!

Reams of ribbons like u cannot believe!

Unfortunately, we are not DIY people haha. While it was novel, we didn’t really buy anything.

We were more excited by this real big cone haha

Walked further and bought some magnets for friends here:

Hung out outside this mall, but more cause we needed to sit down!!! Hahahah. Sakit kaki ani.

Many tourists here.

Then back to hotel for some much needed rest!!!!! Gila so tiring this day. Wanted to faint. LOL

DAY 4

19. N Seoul Tower

The next day awal awal pagi like crazy people we decided to climb a hill.

Sleepy face abang. I am actually like that behind my fake smile hahaha.

Feel so sweaty lah. Haha some more I was wearing WEDGES as my choice of footwear. I didn’t expect to do this much climbing ahahah.

Then we finally arrived on TOP.

TARUS DRINK WATER LAH!!!!

Barutah got tickets.

BTW N Seoul Tower looks like this:

Below the tower, there are some padlock trees!

I find these padlocks super interesting! They symbolise everlasting love. Though I disagree? Love is freedom and trust, not being locked together. Hehe. But well, still makes it cute.

Obligatory tourist photo below:

Upstairs, we are at the highest point in Seoul, looking out towards an awesome (yet hazy) view.

Looking at this view strangely, I thought of the chorus in the song “Bengawan Solo”, specifically the line, “TERKURUNG GUNUNG SERIBU”, cause Seoul is just that; locked in between a thousand mountains. 🙂

The layout upstairs is remarkably similar to the Taipei 101. Nothing too special aside from the free wifi.

20. Teddy Bear Museum

This is the CUTEST museum I’ve ever been to!!!

LOL!!! Fat bears in dresses!!!

And there were many bears in different scenarios. From Korean history to modern Seoul life:

Nah going to the zoo.

Ada teddy chefs too!!!

Smart bears

Complete with fake scrolls hehe

Ada these military school teddies

Cute right!!!!!


21. Journey Down: Namsan Cable Car

As it turns out, there’s a cable car, heading down the Mt Namsan! Why we didn’t see this before??? Quickly we went to the station, but of course, we need to go down the stairs first, with our jelly legs.

Then we bought tickets~

Waited a while for our turn. The cable car was on the way up.

Rupanya inside the cable car no seats. Damn, have to stand up all the way down! *Lazy*

ANDDD it was also very hot!!! No ventilation except for this slightly open window. I swear ah I almost fainted. Already so many people and so many smells, then no ventilation, no seat. *Die*

Ada vain aunty hehehe so that was entertaining… for 3 seconds.

After a million years, finally arrived!

This is what we looked like suspended from a cable. Scary ah actually?

22. ITAEWON

Astaga this place has many tangga. Already I have jelly legs, then I almost want to just commit suicide when I saw this:

Ya u wanna go up there??????

No thanks.

Thankfully there is an escalator next to these flight of stairs. GILA.

Some more, there’s a spa in Itaewon, where u have to climb 1 million steps in order to get to a spa. If in Brunei that spa would bankrupt.

Anyway, aside from stairs, Itaewon is famous for the halal food, which are mostly middleeastern fare. Nothing local unfortunately. Many orang puteh here too.

Spot the Hyundai. Hehe. This is a random street photo in Itaewon.

Saw this while walking around:

Hehe yea right on top of the London Tailor!

23. Pasha

At Itaewon, we had halal food! Yummers.

There is a really pretty waitress in this restaurant. And the waiters look like my Arabic lecturer in UBD. Hehe

Beef Shawarma in Pasha

It was very nice! And again, not so expensive.

CHicken also quite nice. But then again we were quite hungry after the morning’s excapades. Hehe.

24. Namdaemun Market

After Itaewon, we did more exercise, in the form of SHOPPING!!! Haha. We went to another market, Namdaemun.

SO. Many. People.

Where do all these people come from!!!

The shops go from end to end. SO MANY!!!

Amazingly all selling different things!!!

Some people were just playing board games. Scenes you’d see in a P Ramlee movie.

Shopped here so didn’t take many photos. Cause obviously hand full with plastic bag mah!!!

Just a note about the old ladies here. THEY REALLY LIKE PUSHING!!!! I don’t like!!! Sometimes I purposely tense up my body so cannot push but they add more force. Annoying thing is they do it with elbows. Painful ok!!!! *shakes fist at old Korean ladies who pushed me*

25. Concert at Myeongdong

That night yes, we went back to Myeongdong for more shopping! Hehehe and lo and behold! Ada concert!

It’s something like a talent show but the crowds seem to recognise the girls.

So many people! (I can’t seem to get used to this haha)

Up close.

Shazammed the song. Haha dunno lagu apa and if I hear it again, I won’t recognise it unfortunately.

Happy people!

DAY 5

25. Breakfast with Paris Baguette Cafe

I really like this bakery.

Blueberry Bagel with Maple Walnut Cream CHeese

Everyday we pass by Paris Baguette and they always smell like fresh bread. Kali one night we went in and everything was so nice!

Savoury Mushroom filled Donut

Nyaman!

26. iPark Mall & IT Market Place???

Ok this is how I’m a bad blogger. I don’t really know what this lace is called. Basically, we went to Yongsan, to a place called iPark Mall. It is in the quest to find an awesome underwater camera, with a reasonable price.

Welcome to iPark Mall!

After that we walked in this tunnel.

Toward that place with the OKI sign.

It was very empty! Like literally we were the only customers.

FYI all the cameras are expensive. So the mission failed! But at least I have this picture hehehehe.

Even in the subway also empty!

27. Bennigan’s @ Seoul Station

We stopped at Seoul Station for lunch in this place we randomly chose called Bennigans. It’s a nice place, and judging from the lack of empty seats, it was quite popular.

Little did we know, this lunch was absolutely unforgettable for my friend, Michelle.

After ordering, we were served hot bread with yummy butter!!!

Happy face!

Then everyone’s order came:

Abang’s creamy seafood alfredo.

My shrimp fetucinne in cream sauce.

Gzul’s seafood marinara.

We enjoyed our food immensely, but Michelle’s food was last to arrive.

Then finally it came:

We were shocked cause IT WAS HUGE. Then Michelle was shocked cause it was deep fried. I was also shocked cause there was icing sugar on top. Haha…. Then we all collectively gasped cause it had fries.

TIWYSF.

Now Michelle, my friend is a super health freak! She is the kind to have grapes for breakfast. And she does triathlons in Singapore. She is very very healthy. So when this dish arrived I was like, “Eh so steady ah she eat deep fried sandwich!”

Hahahahahahah rupanya she didnt know!!!! She ate one bite only. SAYANG!!!! (She also don’t like to waste food) Then we all cannot help her finish cause ada meat inside.

So now when we wanna go out for lunch kah apa kah, we always say, Michelle u wanna eat sandwich??????? Hahahhaha.

BTW for the rest of us, our food really nyaman!!!

28. Hongdae

Welcome to Hongdae!

A cute place full of young people!

This place is  well known for it’s art scene, particularly cause it’s very close by to Hongik University.

But we were there for this:

29. Trick Eye Museum, Hongdae

It’s so awesome here!!!!!!! We had sooooo much funnnn!!!!

The entrance don’t look like much but once inside:

Hahaha Abang trying to open a can of Pocari.

Ai kurus.

LAMPUH!

Artis with girl from China. Haha

Willing!!!!

Not my friend.

For her fat soldiers. (Maybe eat too much sandwich)

One of my dream cars ehehe.

MONEYYYYYYYYYYYYY FOR US!!!

Romantic!

Me princess!

Life is like an hourglass glued to the table.

Flying without AirAsia.

Hahahahahahahah. Siuk right!!!!!? MUST GO IF YOU’RE IN SEOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yes kami ani suka belakon bah.

DAY 5 (Our last day!)

Today we woke up SUPER late!!! FInally cukup sleep, then when wake up, we just stayed in bed for so long hehehehe. Holiday ma!

30. Lotteria

Korean version of McDonalds! And wah it’s so nyaman.

I ordered the Shrimp Burger Meal

Cheap!

And surprisingly shrimpy.

Greedy so ordered squid rings and also these potato cheese balls that are both deep fried and so nyaman also

Endorsed by famous celebrity so must be good. Haha.

31. Last shopping and hanging out at Myeongdong 

Yes we always go Myeongdong haha. Well it’s very near our hotel bah.

Had some sweet potato chips.

Though I wish I can have this long sausage that this baby is eating.

Saw a TV person! Yeay celebrity!

Got papparazi nearby.

Then saw a soldier wanting a free hug! Hehe

Hehehe. Cali!

Then more TV people!

Many pretty people.

32. Off to the airport

Then it rained for the first time! Hehe. Nice kan! The whole time we were there it was actually rainy season, but never rained. Only when we left it started raining. BTW this is when we’re supposed to catch a bus to the airport (same bus that sent us here). Then apparently, the bus changed the operating hours earlier.

So we had to take the subway. SO MANY STAIRS WHERE I HAD TO CARRY MY LUGGAGE ONE!!!!!!!!!! I almost died.

So we took the subway to Seoul Station, and then ran to the ticket kiosk. But closed!!!!!!! Must buy from vending machine!!!!

Ran here and there and finally took the LAST train from Seoul Station to Incheon International Airport.

So drama!

33. Incheon International Airport

We’re here!

While waiting for our flight, I snacked so much LOL.

Mushroom Vegetarian Porridge

Bananas, nuts, sandwich, RICE, beef curry, tuna! LOL so random.

Then banana milk.

Then ONIGIRI hahaha…

I’m such a fatty!

Then we went on to our flight and arrived in Manila. But that’s a story for another blog post! 🙂

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