Jan 9, 2010

Xmas in Korea

After many nights of deliberating (yeah right) , I have decided to split up the photos from my Korea trip. haha. We took over 800 photos but I'm just putting up about 150 photos here and about 190 photos on my Facebook. :) My facebook has the photos with our faces in it + all the camwhore photos etc. The photos here are all either food related, shopping related or scenic views of Korea during winter.

p/s. Sorry if this post kills your internet connection. haha. It kills mine too. orz




Day 1: Midnight flight to Korea. :D

Korean Air is a pretty awesome airline. We thoroughly enjoyed the flight and the service...and also the adorable way the announcements in English are done. haha. Leg room wise wasn't too bad, spacious enough to not get leg cramps. :)

Throughout the 5-6hour flight, we couldn't sleep much as there were constant announcements and constant activities going on...by that I mean giving us snacks, giving us drinks, selling duty free items etc. Free flow of snacks (honey roasted peanuts) and drinks like orange juice, pineapple juice, red/white wine, whiskey and beer.

Breakfast was served about 2 hours before landing. We had a choice of omelette or fried rice. All three of us went for fried rice. hahaha. It came with a very very very delicious croissant, yogurt and some fruits. After dinner we had a choice of Coffee or Tea.

Strangely though, on the flight back from Korea to Singapore, they served us more food and snacks. Maybe cos it takes an extra hour to arrive in Singapore than KL. We had peanuts as usual but they also served us a choice of Gimbap (Onigiri style), Pizza or prawn crackers as a mid flight snack. As for dinner, we had a choice of steak with mash potatoes or Bibimbap.


Day 2: Seagull Ship, O2 Ski Resort

We arrived early in the morning at Incheon Airport where we met our tour guide Mr. Kang and hustled onto the bus after changing into warmer clothings. We joined Apple Vacations so our Msian tour leader was a really nice lady called Ms. Elina, whilst Mr. Kang was our local tour guide. He is a Chinese, born and raised in Korea so he speaks fluent Korean and Mandarin. He told us that even though he was born in Korea, he is considered a foreigner and has a China/Taiwan passport (not sure).

One of the first places we visited was in Incheon itself. The Seagull Ship. :D
Here tourists can buy prawn crackers and throw them out for the seagulls to eat.
The amount of Seagulls swooping near us for prawn crackers was crazy!

Our bus is the pretty colourful one. :)

The temperature at the time we arrived in Korea was around 1 degree. So it was pretty darn cold already. But it's a refreshing sort of cold. :)

One of the rest stop areas where we took a toilet break. Sitting on freezing cold toilet seats is seriously no fun. T_T

Grilled sotong! :D 3000won a pack...that's about RM9.
(everything is expensive in Korea. sob sob.)

Another smaller rest stop. Koreans call it a service area. There's usually a food court inside for hungry travelers. :)

GIANT MARSHMALLOWS IN THE FIELD!!!

Okok, so it's just rolled up hay covered in something white...but it looks like yummy marshmallows we roast over campfires. :3

Steamboat lunch! :D
This restaurant was near the ski resort area and the ski equipment rental shop was next door.

Koreans always have tons of side dishes at every meal.

And they must always have a plate of Kimchi.

This particular steamboat...or stew...was quite spicy. T_T But I tried my best to eat as much fish as possible. It's really yummy despite being too spicy for me. (then again, I don't eat spicy food at all to begin with...T^T)

Soju! :D

It snowed lightly outside the restaurant and we were so excited already. haha.
Tried taking a photo of the snowflake on Daryl's scarf. Can you see it? So pretty!

The place where we rented our skiing equipment for RM150 per person.
We rented the skiing jackets and pants as well.

Our bus blocking the road. :D

One thing interesting in Korea...places that are famous for something or are hot tourist spots have special custom designed lampposts depicting what the place is famous for.

The O2 Ski Resort!

CRAZY COLD SKIING AT NIGHT.
Even though my nose was constantly running, my hair was a mess and my beanie kept covering my eyes...it was a really nice experience. I wish we got to ski in the day time though, cos the blazing wind at night is really really horridly cold.

Our family room. The resort we stayed at was like a cozy dorm. So I slept on the floor on a futon whilst mom and Daryl occupied the double decker. The floor is heated so it kinda got a lil too warm in the room...we ended up turning off the heating system. haha.

We had dinner at the same place we had our fish stew. This time it was chicken + potatoes stew. After braving the cold weather (-10 degrees), a hot pot of stew did warm us up nicely. :)


Day 3: Seoraksan National Park, Teddy Bear Farm,
Waterpia Hot Spring Theme Park


The gorgeous view at the O2 Resort. We had a nice buffet breakfast here at the resort, this place is different from the dorm area we stayed in but still under O2 Resort.

Cute cute soft toys at one of the shops in the lobby area. :D

Seoraksan National Park!

Goodness gracious me. It was so freaking cold that day because the wind kept blowing non-stop. We had to use our scarves to cover our nose and mouth, I bought a face mask (H1N1 style) to stop the biting cold wind from hitting my runny nose.

I was wondering why there were so many piles of rocks and stones everywhere in the park. Then I found out that these were what people did to make wishes. If you stack the stones and they don't fall, your wish will come true. :)

It was quite a hike into the park to get to the Shinheungsa Temple but the view was breathtaking. And even though it was sunny, we were freezing our butts off. =_=

As I've noticed at most temples, you can donate some money by buying a roof tile. Write your wishes on the tile and then later they will use the tile to build roofs at the temple.

Dunno what this says. haha. :P

Waiting for spring to arrive?

Absolutely love the vibrant colours at the temple.

1 degree. But thanks to the wind, it felt like -10 degrees.

Check out the amazing deep blue sky. Such a beautiful contrast of colours. :)

Looks kinda like Mushu from the Disney movie Mulan. :)

Another guardian of the temple? This guy had a twin on the other side. :) They were placed at the end of a bridge.

Tadah! My stack of wishing stones. :D

Mommy's stack. Daryl didn't bother. :P

Scenic hike back down towards the exit.

Not much left of the river. At least it wasn't frozen like the river we saw near the ski resort. :)

Accidentally took this photo. hehe. But it turned out nice. A couple of Korean monks. See? They're wearing face masks as well. hehe.

I wonder what it says on the lanterns. hmm.

Saw this after leaving Seoraksan National Park.
SO CUTE RIGHT?!?!
It's a school zone, so they had a row of cute cat fences along the road. :D

Lunch was the fantabulously awesomous famous Korean Pork BBQ!

I love Korean utensils. :D We bought some to use at home. haha.

Yummy seaweed. :D I noticed seaweed is often present at mealtimes as well.

Seaweed jelly thingy.
There was another side dish...Korean pancake. We finished it the moment it came so didn't manage to get a photo of it. hehe.

This we refilled cos we used it to wrap the meat. slurps.

*sizzle sizzle sizzle*

The service was pretty amazing. They changed the grill a few times and gave us more than enough meat to BBQ. They even helped us cook the meat and cut it into small pieces with a scissors. :) This meal was so good that we finished every single piece of meat...the only meal with no leftovers. hahaha.

The wonderful Korean BBQ restaurant. :)

This was a road side stall right outside the restaurant.

Giant crabs!!! The legs giler panjang. O_O

The Teddy Bear Farm!

Teddy bears EVERYWHERE!

They had a special room furnished with Christmas themed teddy bears. :)

Miniature bears on display. So cute......*hearts*

Cute birdhouse outside the Teddy Bear Farm.

Fairy Tale themed displays.

So cute so cute so cute!

Couldn't resist hugging all the bears. :)

Even the bench also has a teddy bear theme. Though the bear kinda looks a lil emo.

Sneaking a peek inside a teddy bear's house.

WATERPIA!!!

OMG CULTURE SHOCK BETUL.

The moment I stepped into the locker room, half the girls were walking around naked.
@_@
We had to change at the lockers and it was so so so awkward to change in front of so many people. It's just not our culture I guess. There were women of all ages, young girls, and old ladies. This is something they've been accustomed to since they were young, so they had no qualms about blow drying their hair while stark naked...while I kept looking at the floor so that I didn't have to see any...er...interesting things.

So cute right?

This is the place where we had our dinner. Braised Herbal Country Chicken.

Looks good huh? :D

The idea was to finish the chicken meat first. Leave some soup behind and mix it with some sticky rice to make congee. But since they gave us so much chicken to eat (this one pot was shared by my family), by the time we were done eating the chicken...we couldn't eat the congee anymore. -_-

At night, we checked into the Inter-Burgo Hotel in Wonju, Gangwon.
Was so happy they had a rain shower. :D

Daryl was the last to shower cos he filled up the tub and had his own personal "hot spring".

The beds. :D :D :D
Super comfy...so sad we only stayed there for one night.


Day 4: DIY Kimchi making, Hanbok wearing,
Strawberry Farm, Namyangju Movie World, Lotte World


We got to experience first hand how Kimchi is made. :D

The many many ingredients that go into making the Kimchi paste. O_O

All Korean wives must know how to make Kimchi...apparently some guys choose their brides based on how well they make Kimchi. :D

Ginseng milk.

Some snacks for us to try before the Hanbok wearing session.

Very very very yummy juicy and SWEET strawberries. :3

The empty strawberry farm. Weather conditions haven't been good...so no strawberries when we went there. :C

Lunch! :)

Mushroom steamboat.

Hahahaha. Kang Hodong of 2Days1Night. :)

A pretty pine cone! I kept calling it an acorn...sheesh.

Korean tolls. hahaha.

Namyangju Movie World!

We loved it here because it snowed heavily. :D

Everything is extra pretty when it snows. :)

Maple leaf! I think... :/

Lotte World!!! :D Super nice indoor and outdoor theme park.

Korea's answer to Disneyland. Indeed, their logo was almost exactly the same as Disneyland's logo. xD

SOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!

The lil puppy even "breathes" so it looks like a puppy sleeping soundly. aww. the lil tummy goes up and down ever so gently.

Candy world! Crazy expensive too. T_T

The famous Jjajangmyeon! :D
VERY VERY VERY DELICIOUS!
also very expensive. 5500 won. In KL you can get a huge bowl with side dishes for RM10.

Outdoor theme park. :)

Nifty packaging idea. The top is a removable piece. Nuggets on top, drink at the bottom. :D

After checking into the Seoul KyoYuk MunHwa HoeKwan Hotel (I'm not making this up, the name of the hotel is THAT long.), a group of us went to the 7-11 nearby to grab some snacks and drinks. :D

On the way back we had a snowball fight and made snow angels in an empty parking lot in front of a Hyundai shop. heh heh. :3

Angel-in-us-Coffee. So cute neh?

Korean version of an onigiri. This one had tako in it. :D

We also bought some banana milk drinks. (hidden behind the coffee)
IT'S EXTREMELY DELICIOUS!!!! I'm serious. After we tried it, we bought 6 more. :)

In Korea, there's a channel dedicated to computer games. O_O


Day 5: Seoul War Memorial, Digital World,
Myeongdong, Palace-like place, Ebishura.


The War Memorial site wasn't of much interest to us. And it was crazy cold that morning. We went there for buffet breakfast (we had to walk a long way in...) and then just took some photos around the place. Didn't hang around long cos it was way too cold, even with the sun shining down.

Our tour leader told us that when snow starts to melt, it gets even colder.

This was taken outside the Digital World. It was basically a place that showed us what the future would be like with technological advancements. Like windows that double up as tv screens or wallpaper. A machine that can auto detect how healthy you are, touch screen interaction stuff, invisible harp (basically a harp with sensors) etc. Reminded me of my Digital Media major friends. :)

Muddy muddy road. They throw sand on the roads to make it less slippery.

At the Ginseng Chicken restaurant.

Each person gets their own personal bowl of Ginseng Chicken. There's rice inside the chicken and you can add some ginseng alcohol drink to the soup to make it tastier. :)

Myeongdong was a street they dropped us off to go shopping. But we only had 2 hours to shop. :C so little time, so much to see. sigh.

I found Rotiboy there! :D

Ebishura Seafood Park was the place we had our buffet dinner.
SO AWESOME!

They had a variety of Japanese, Korean and Western food.

My first round. :D

Everything was seriously yummy.

Fusion Sushi!

Seafood, Salads, Steak etc.

Japanese food

Dessert

The cheesecake is to die for. :3

Giant crab! :D
And a small piece of salmon fin.

After makan-ing we walked around the shopping complex.
Took a photo of this shop cos the name was interesting. hehehe.

Stuff from Jetoy that I bought at Myeongdong. Super cute kitty illustrations. LOVE IT!

Facial masks. And samples. :D

Korean sales girls are very generous with their samples. I bought two lip glosses from Innisfree and they gave us a compact mirror, eye serum sample, make up base sample and moisturizer samples!!! The comb (about RM4) and the eye shadow were from TheFaceShop.


Day 6: Changdukkung Palace, Insadong, National Ginseng Outlet,
Amethyst Factory, Cosmetic Duty Free Shop, Dongdaemun


Changdokkung Palace.

Our ticket.

As usual we just took photos of the scenic views. Nothing much to see.

Outside the palace.

Insadong was the place we went to buy souvenirs. It's like a long street with two rows of shoplots. This one sold rice cakes in very cute designs. :)

Vendor selling super cute socks. :)

We came here to try some Gimbap. We usually buy Gimbap from a Korean shop at The Garden's Food Court, so we wanted to see if it tastes different in Korea. :P

So very very yummy. :D we also had Bibimbap and Omurice for lunch.

At Dongdaemun, it was night time so we didn't take much photos. We went to Doota and Migliore to shop for clothes and shoes. Apparently there's a cheaper place called APM. But we didn't know so we didn't get to shop there. Doota is like a departmental store. Nice stuff but kinda expensive. Migliore is kinda like Bangkok's Platinum Mall. Reasonably priced items but we didn't have enough time to shop. :C

For dinner, Bryan, Mingshy, and my family went to the food court in Doota. We had Burger King cos we kinda had enough of Korean food already. haha. The Garlic Steakhouse Burger is very delicious! The BK Singles was a Bulgogi burger. Not too bad. :)

Stuff I bought at the Nature Republic shop in Insadong.
They have sales girls standing outside giving out free masks to people in exchange for them going into the shop! :D I bought a lip gloss, mangosteen yogurt pack, nail polish and falsies. The rest are samples. Rain's face is on the sample masks. Don't feel like using them dy. Wanna keep his face intact. :D Owh and they gave us his poster as well. weeee!

Facial products we bought from the Duty Free Cosmetics Shop. They have all the major brands there...Skin79, Laneige, korean brands I haven't heard of before...etc.

The Ginseng Outlet, Amethyst Factory and Cosmetic shop are places where tour guides would bring tourists to shop. It's usually always part of a tour package. It's also where the tour guides get commission from if we purchase anything. :) In Bangkok when we took a local city tour, they brought us to those kinda places too.

Clothes and skirts I bought. :)

Strangely, as hot as Malaysian weather is, I still love knit wear and long sleeve clothes. haha. So Autumn and Winter fashion are actually my favourite sorta fashion. :)


Day 7: Sinchon, back to Incheon airport

Bought this at a supermarket. Had this with the buffet breakfast. :3

Interesting fact: Most Korean restaurants have a coffee dispenser machine. They always dispense half a cup of coffee. only half. hehe.

Shopping at an area near Sinchon Station.

Super giler cute shop. So sad it wasn't open. :C

San-x merchandise in the shop!!!

Giant lighters. hehehe.

Place where we had our lunch before leaving for the airport.

It was also after lunch that we found out 6 of us didn't have tickets back to KL because of overbooking, so we had to transit at Singapore.

Pizza Chicken Cutlet. Super nice. :3

Wachifield! :D

The owner of this shop was a nice old Korean guy. We felt like he's probably retired and is doing this as a hobby cos he gladly explained to us how Wachifield came about. :) The shop is full of cat related items from Japan. If you ever get to visit Korea you must visit this shop. :D The owner speaks very good English.

The Ambassador Transit Hotel, Singapore Changi Airport.

Crazy expensive rates. They charge every 6 hourly. >_<
Daryl was given the budget single room which was super creepy and had no bathroom (you have to use the common bath), so mom and I asked him to squeeze in with us in our twin bedroom. At least ours was a proper room with a bathroom.

That night we went to Starbucks for supper. Dinner was on board the plane.

Good thing Apple Vacation took responsibility for the trouble they caused us by paying for everything. Including our supper and our breakfast the next day.

Day 8: Back to KL on Singapore Airlines.

Cute hair band I bought in Korea. :D Used it to camouflage my messy hair. :P

Facebooking while waiting to board the airplane.

Personal entertainment systems! :D
Too bad the flight was less than an hour. >_< Remote control + game controller

Swipe your credit card...

...make phone calls. :D The all-in-one controller.

Nintendo!

Hahaha. This reminded me of Jacintha. :P

Pokemon! Old school stuff! :D Pikachuuuu~

BB Cream I bought from Skin79, only about RM28 (launch price). The rest are all samples.

So cute. Lip gloss sample.

My purchase from Wachifield. :D Stuff there are not cheap. :C

Cute, unique and it's genuine leather. :)

I wish I had enough money to buy the illustration books. :C

Bought these at the Changi Airport. hehehe. So addictive I tell you.

So that's about it. More photos are on my Facebook if you are interested. :)

In a random conclusion, there are more naturally good looking Korean guys than Korean girls. Based on our observation lah. Outside of the city, Korean girls are...er...simple and have single eyelids(typical Korean looks.). But in Seoul, the girls there are pretty, dress well, and all have double eyelids (like those actresses we see on TV). As for the guys, most of them...whether in the city areas or not...are not bad looking. hehe.

No offense to anyone k? Just a conclusion of what we observed during our holiday in Korea. :D (didn't help that our tour guide told us how amazing the plastic surgery industry is...you can get a double eyelid surgery done during lunch time and go back to work right after that!!!)


(The view from our hotel window)

Korea is a really beautiful country, if I ever get the chance I would love to go and visit Korea again in the Spring time or in Autumn. :)

(Our very first snowman. awesome group work!)

All in all, our trip to Korea was totally worth the money spent. It was an amazing experience and thank God we left Korea before Seoul was hit by very heavy snowfall. The trip was truly a blessing from God after waiting so many years to have a vacation overseas. And we are indeed thankful that we were safe throughout the holiday, even during the minor hiccup of not having tickets to go home to KL, we were considered blessed because we didn't get split up (eg. mom going KL, me and Daryl going Singapore etc.) and we had our amazingly caring tour leader with us the whole time. She worked so hard to make sure we got home safely to KL. hehe. Truly blessed. :)

(Thanks for the snowman pic and this pic Mingshy! :D)

Saranghaeyo Korea!
Bogoshipoyo!


Hugs n Kisses,
Di

7 comments:

  1. Yer... Jealous.. nvm.. will go there soon... haha.. really enjoyed there.. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Di, these pictures are so beautiful! so glad to see you guys had so much fun in kimchi-land. <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Broken tag between 'CRAZY COLD SKIING AT NIGHT' and 'Day 3.'

    ReplyDelete
  4. i can spend whole day cuddling in the teddy house!! OMG .. so comel!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Jackson: haha. I love love love it! :D

    @Xion: haha. when are you going? :D

    @Renee: Thanks hun! :D It was a blast!

    @zefi: thanks for the heads up! fixed. :D

    @Jaz: TOTALLY LOR! They had a section that sold teddy bears and stuff. But mahal lah. :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. look like a fun trip! :D btw did u visit the biggest church in the world there?

    ReplyDelete

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