ANYWAYZ! After a great night sleep at the best hotel with the tour, the last half day begun. It was the simplest throughout our 8days with Hong Thai.
Breakfast → Last tourist spot → Shopping → Local specialty store → Flight back home.
As for my family, the tour ended with shopping. And of course, my sister and I were extremely excited for our last itinerary with the tour to be over. xD While the rest of the tour went ahead to shop for more local products near the airport, the family took a taxi down to our apartment for four days! :D
You have no freaking idea how happy I was to finally STOP moving around hotels. LOL. Once we checked in, I literally took out my remaining clothes to hang in the wardrobe, and also all my cosmetics to nicely arrange them in our toilet. Lol. I love doing that!
Shifting around every day is one downside of travelling with a tour group. But I guess, it's also somewhat cool... Since we get to experience different hotels. (ps: Hotels in Korea is not at all cheap!)
After traveling with a tour group and on our own in Korea, I now think that traveling with tour groups is not as horrible as I've always thought it would be. &Here's a quick good and bad of traveling with tour groups!
- Meet new people!
- Have everything taken care of!
- No problems shopping and sightseeing in a day!
- Traveling and dining costs saved (since already in package)!
The best part about traveling with tour groups is making new friends! :D I'm extremely blessed to have met really fun and easy going tour guide, leader and members! Especially so when everyone's very cooperative with the time, and we could move on very smoothly.
The second thing good about tour groups is having everything taken care of! Food, lodging, itineraries... everything!! All I have to do is to research on various tour packages, pick one of the best and make payment! Everything else get settled and I can just sit back and relax throughout the vacation.
Another thing I like about traveling with tour groups is being able to sight-see and shop in a single day! We didn't have to bother much about our loots because after each shopping stop, we can just chunk everything into the bus and move on. During our free and easy days, we had to shift a few plans because we end up shopping too much. Lol!! Such a bother to bring all our loots to the next sight-seeing destination! &In the end, we had to spend more on transport because it was like.......... going back and forth. Very wasted when the shopping area and sight-seeing destination is nearby!
ps: Not that we didn't think of sight-seeing first and then shop~ N Seoul Tower has the best scenery when you're up there in the evening!
- Too much moving around (bus and hotels)
- Some places may not be of your interest (in other words, boring!)
- Can't go to places you really wanna go
- Time limits
It may seem as though I'm now very keen in traveling with tour groups. But nope, I would love to go on free and easy anytime anywhere!
Okaaay~ PICTURES! :D Or not...... It seems like I have a lot more to rant for my free and easy days. Hurrrr.
ღDay 8: End of Tour & Cat Cafe!ღ
No pictures taken throughout the morning because it was just us going for Chinese breakfast (I had a lot of buns again!) and to our last two itineraries: a place to buy supplements for our liver and SHOPPING!!! :D
Similar to the time we went to their Ginseng and Seaweed Specialty Store, I didn't bother to take any pictures in the place they introduced supplements for our liver. They were the kind of mandatory tour about their products, so nothing special~~ (one of the places prohibits photo-taking too!).
But! The family had actually spent a lot at all three stops!!!! Bought 200 pieces of seaweed, a lot a lot of Ginseng costing up to four thousand, and then at this stop where they sold liver supplements, each of us got the four-months "repair" course which burnt another two thousand in our pockets. All, in Singapore dollars. :O
Eyyyy, in our defense! Those are for our health! :D
Therafter, we went shopping near Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) and bought another two bags of cosmetics. Hahahhaahha. I seriously didn't think we'll buy that much! And that.............. wasn't the last time we bought skin care products. :X
Korean address of our service apartment!
Fraser Suites Insadong, Seoul. Their site!
Our photographer had to help and call the apartment for the address because the taxi drivers won't be able to understand the address in English... Korea is too big for them to know each and every place. Even for just Seoul. Lucky for us, my sister had already drafted out our itineraries for the days, and prepared every single destination in Korean and English. All except our apartment. LOL.
And so.... we went our separate ways~~~~ :'(
The lobby of our apartment.
Poor Dad had to help carry a lot of stuffs!
We needed two taxis when we traveled to our apartment because we had TOO MANY baggage... :X
Reached the apartment just in time to check-in but our room was still being cleaned up so we had to wait for about another hour.. But everything is good because WE LOVE THE APARTMENT!! and they extended our check-out time by an hour. ^^
I think the family is really poisoned with liking apartments more than hotels.
The first thing we see when we open the door. :D
The master bedroom! D:
Another view of the master bedroom.
My sister says that she looks really ugly in this shot and requested this picture to be deleted.BUT! I only have this shot of this angle. So,,,, sorry for the weird editing. Lol.
Toilet in the master bedroom.
I forgot to take a picture of the common toilet~
But it's pretty much the same! Just slightly bigger without the bathtub!
MY BEDROOM FOR FOUR DAYS!!! :D
&My sister slept here!
Balcony that is along all of our rooms!
The living room~
And the small kitchen! :D
Today is also the day I wore my new stockings and got a shock of my life. LOL! We bought them before flying to Korea and I've never opened the packaging before. Didn't know they were so thin... When I wore them out first thing in the morning, my tour guide and tour leader both got a shock and kept asking if I was cold.
Lucky for me (&the family), the weather was becoming warm and I was completely fine! :D
ANYWAY!! Sister and I finally got ready to head out after three hours of waiting, and exploring our apartment! :D
We were suppose to meet my friend at 3pm, but we end up leaving our apartment past 4pm. :X We also had a few issues going about the meeting place because there were so so so much traffic!! I think we walked a long way for about... 20minutes(?) before finally boarding a taxi! According to our tour guide, Korea experiences the heaviest traffic on Mondays and Fridays. Weekend is as equally crowded and pack though!
Finally met up with my friend and took another 15minutes or so to search for the cafe my sister has researched on!
A CAT CAFE!!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEIR RED VELVET LATTE!!! :D
Had to keep our bags in these because the cats might pee on our belongings. :O
The cafe wasn't smelly at all! But you can still smell pee very faintly.
This cat has pink cheeks!!!
And I'm not even a cat lover.
I guess you have to be lucky and pick the right time to visit this cafe.
When we just arrive, most of the cats were sleeping! :(
And just when we were about to leave, all the cats started to be active. :(
=,= back at you!
Selfie with the biggest cat in the cafe!
It's the size of Sugar! :O
The black cat is on the white cat doing weird stuff. :O
&Here's my friend, Miwi the Kiwi. xD
Finally met up with here again ever since our first meet up when she was going to Korea.
&She's still there. :O
Had a really good catch up here before finally going for dinner!
Thanks to Miwi, we got our metro cards and started traveling a bit on their subway! :D
My parents are never fans of public transport, especially when they are overseas. They always go for the luxury kind of vacation; which explains why we're always staying in good hotels, always cabbing around and now, very frequently go on cruises.
Since they aren't keen to check out public transports, my sister and I didn't do any research on their subway or buses. We had also plan to go around Seoul in taxis when it's just the two of us! But thanks to Miwi, we bought their T-money (티머니 카드) and started going around in their subway whenever we're without our parents at night! :D
It is relatively cheap to travel via their subway (depending on how far you're going)! Their subways are clean, and similar to what we have here! Their trains feel like they move faster though... But the speed is similar, about 40seconds per stop. Yes, I actually bothered to time it, because I was bored. lol.
Getting their T-money (티머니 카드) can be easy. But I'm saying this because Miwi got it for us. LOL. :X Ah! Their T-money (티머니 카드) can be used in taxis too!! About their taxis, most of them have this yellow sticker that indicates "Free Interpretation". This free interpretation is through a phone operator! We didn't try their interpretation service since we've already prepared the addresses of our destinations in Korean. We initially thought taxis with the yellow stickers mean the drivers can speak English. LOL! So foolish of us (or rather, me).
Oh oh oh! One thing about their taxis that got us interested... the countdown timer! On most of their meters, they have this countdown timer that starts off at... 135 or 140 (depending on the taxi). The number decreases according to the speed of the taxi and shows you just when the meter would increase the fare. It increases at 100won by the way. And if the taxi is stationary, it decreases by the second. I have no idea why, but it was very interesting for me! Lol. After noticing it, I can't stop staring at it whenever we board a taxi.
&So we traveled from Hongik University (홍익대학교) Station, where Tom's Cat Cafe was located, to................. I can't remember where. LOL! We traveled a little, in search for this BBQ place for dinner. Sadly, Miwi totally cannot remember where the place is located and we end up roaming around the place for 20minutes before finally settling down for a random buffet place.
This is also where I'd attempted to ask for directions and couldn't understand their responses. LOLOL.
Dinner wasn't good. The buffet was serving very normal and limited western spread.
ღDay 9: Palace, Market, Street Food & Dog Cafe!ღ
@ Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)!
The largest palace in Korea~
We were there just in time for their changing of guards ceremony!!
Our admission tickets!
3,000won per pax!
Check out my mother in the background of the first shot!
Having difficulties going down the steps because they are so steep!
I was very scared of falling everytime I walk down. Lol.
Everywhere in the palace is filled with sand.
We never wondered why but overheard a tour guide explaining to a group of Chinese.
In the past, everyone in the palace were "trained" to walk silently.
So silent that their footsteps can't be heard, even on the sand!
This helps the people in the palace to "hear" intruders.
We tried walking as quietly as possible.
It's almost impossible!!! Lol.
The place would be gorgeous in Spring, right?
Dad and the map of the palace.
MY FAVOURITE PICTURE OF THEM!!!
I have no idea why but my sister takes way better selfies than I do.
Is it because I have short arms or because my selfie skill suck? :(
My sister kept saying I should have worn this coat because it's nicer.
But I don't really like it!
After just one stop, we had to make a rest stop for the parents. -,-
Took a long stroll around this school because my sister got mixed up with the location. lol.
Couldn't find the place my sister had planned to go and end up eating. Lol.
I am so missing these ddeokbokki (떡볶이) now now now!!!!!!!!
After a pretty long walk, we finally found the place!
Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
The special thing about this, is the stretch of village-like architecture around modern buildings.
The inside of an attraction that keeps the design of Korea's olden houses!
We had to be quiet around this place because they are actually people living there.
Another quick stop!
We were suppose to move on to Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장) for lunch but I had to go to the toilet. :X
Koreans are really kind when you start conversing with them in Korean!
I find it weird yet interesting how most Koreans come off really...... rude and unfriendly at first. Out of the 10 Koreans I smile at, all 10 of them would actually just look away. :O Literally. Young ones or old ones would just look at you with a straight face and then look away. :( To think people in Singapore complains so much about us being unfriendly. Zz
But but but! Koreans will become all nice and polite when you converse with them in Korean. I have no idea why but it was the case for us. Ah! One other thing~~ My sister and I try to avoid speaking in Mandarin when we're there... Not because they dislike Chinese but they'll always think we're from China when we speak Mandarin. -.- But, you can find a lot of Chinese speaking Koreans and Chinese in shops and restaurants. Lol.
And so, yes, I asked where the nearest toilet is and the boss of this restaurant allowed us in to use theirs. My dad also went to the toilet. Lol!!! That's why we end up having a quick lunch here because it would be quite embarrassing to just leave after using the toilets.
Korean restaurants always go by the number of people dining at the place. Like... one person one serving. No sharing. ?!! So, we couldn't just pass off ordering one dish for the four of us. Explains why we've ordered Fried Chicken and their special Ginseng Chicken. But two dishes for four person was still a little...... unfair for them. :/
Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장)
When we first entered the market, it was really quiet, clean and pleasant smelling. That was only the start.. Lol. We were still at the shopping area where they sold ajumma clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, dried products, pillows and whatnot! In the above picture, we've already entered the wet market where they sold a wide variety of food products! As seen on many variety shows whenever they visit their market. LOL.
There were kimchi (we bought 2kg of this *airpacked*!!!!!!), fishes, seafood, vegetables and all~ The smell was really strong. :X But that's given luh. It is still very clean though. Different from our wet markets... Ours are also clean but the floor may sometimes be very wet. Korean markets have very dry walkways! It's only the inside of each store that is more wet.
Highlight of our visit!
This area was crowded with plenty of hungry people!
Because we had a little something before here, we end up only getting one thing.
I cannot remember what it is called, but my sister was craving for it ever since she saw Running Man casts eating it. Lol.
Looks oily in real life but it isn't! Taste somewhat like...... a very dense Rösti with vegetables inside!
Even though we didn't get to try other food (their kimchi pancake T^T), I was actually glad my parents already had a little bit of lunch before that! Both my parents weren't keen in their food because they look oily and all. -,-
Anyway, after our market visit, we were suppose to go Myeongdong (명동) for more shopping... But because we were carrying a 2kg kimchi that needs to be refrigerated, we changed out plans a little. Instead of advancing to Myeongdong (명동), we headed back to our apartment to keep our loots before heading back out again. We also dropped by their post office to get boxes beforehand because we know that we will exceed our baggage limit. Our initial plan was to mail back all our clothes and bring back all our loots. Since... our clothes are less valuable. LOL!
Miwi actually told me that the process of mailing items is very simple. However, even just asking for the prices was difficult for us! We had actually researched the necessary information online, but had wanted to be sure. The staffs there could barely speak English or Mandarin. So in the end, we only bought the boxes and got hurried away. T^T We later got to know that there are English-friendly post offices in Itaewon (이태원) though.
ANYWAYZ! After going back and forth, we finally went for more shopping at Myeongdong (명동)!!! My sister even prepared some coupons to buy cosmetics at lower prices! And then, we end up buying too much again. LOLOL. Our next plan was supposedly going up to N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워). But....... we bought so much stuffs that we had no choice but to make another change to our plans. Lol.
In the end, my sister and I sent our parents back to the apartment in a taxi, and continued the night at Myeongdong (명동) with street food for dinner, and Dog Cafe for coffee before traveling down to Seoul Station's Lotte Mart.
Freaking thick ddeokbokki (떡볶이)! Couldn't finish it because it was too spicy. Lol.
Their mandu (만두) and odeng (오뎅) were really nice too!
Their Grilled Squid!
We've seen Running Man made this and wondered how it taste like.
Not our type of candy.
Tasted like burnt malt candy.
My mother likes it though!
Jjajangmyeon (짜장면) by the street!
Looks unappetizing but surprising really nice!
After stuffing ourselves with various street food (we also had hotdogs and other nonsense), we made our way to the next stop!
Bau House Dog Cafe (바우하우스 애견카페)
They have both big and small dogs.
We hung out most with the big dogs because we didn't know we can move over to the other side and play with the smaller, cuter dogs. :X
Sister paying for the drinks and buying dog treats!
The only way to attract them is the treats they sell there!
He keeps sitting up trying to get more treats!!!!
&He's almost there all the time! Lol.
&A quick look around the cafe.
You can also hear a little of my sister going "No more... Go..." to the dog in Korean. Lol.
Yeaps, the dogs only understands Korean (I think). Super cute!
A selfie with Choco!
&Here you can see me using my phone.
All-in-all, I'm not an animal lover. In both the cat and dog cafes, I was only amused for the first...... 15minutes? :X Thereafter, I start looking around, wondering "What am I doing here?" hahahahah. But for my sister! :D She really enjoyed her time playing with the dogs while I enjoyed taking pictures, filming videos and sharing them with Weishan. xD Thank god for free Wi-Fi!!
Many more dogs and Choco beside me! :D
Another video of the dog sitting up because it's just too cute!
And pardon for the random yelling. Choco suddenly pushed my arm. Damn painful!
These dogs fighting for my sister's attention!
Eyyyy, actually they are both eyeing the treat. lol.
This one super cute! :3
(Both my sis and the dog hehe)
Lol. Chewing on the snack...
&He's back. hahahaha.
This is my sister looking all surprised because the black dog pushed her arm to get treats!
This big little thing here later came by to sit and enjoyed a long chin-ear-head scratch from me. HEHE.
A fight suddenly broke out between these two.
Siao. It was quite scary. Especially for my sister (I guess) since she's inbetween them!
There they are fighting while..........
This dog is enjoying a tummy rub!
I find it cute when Sugar lies down like this. But this dog looks hilarious!!!
Dog's face bigger than my sisters'!
We finished our coffee (btw, their coffee isn't as good as those in Tom's Cat Cafe!) and moved on to the next stop! Seoul Station! We were there only for one purpose.... Their Lotte Mart! And there's only one reason why we were searching high and low for Lotte Mart..... to buy Shin (辛) Ramyun!
We actually thought Shin (辛) Ramyun would be widely available for us to purchase them in Korea but nope! Most places (their convenience stores) sell them in individual packs and I guess it'll definitely cost more than getting them from their supermarket. And so, we researched and found Lotte Mart! Somewhat near our apartment! I remember riding the taxi back to our place and only paying... less than 15,000won?
A huge supermarket! Similar to our........ Giant?
Other than the usual supermarket items, they also sell fooood!
Shopped a little bit in Lotte Mart before lugging the box of ramyun back. We took a taxi back because it was really inconvenient to be moving around with two boxes, and it was past 9pm... Both of us were extremely tired too and were suppose to head back to pack all our loots for mailing!
Korea is so active in recycling! After paying for our stuffs, we see a big area filled with folded boxes, tapes and strings. People were occupying tables to fill up recycled boxes with their groceries! Since we bought fairly little from Lotte Mart, we thought we could just carry everything on hand. Their disposable plastic bags cost 1,000won, btw! In the end, we also got ourselves recycled boxes.
ღDay 10: Temples & Coex Aquarium!ღ
Selfies to start the day! :D
Super happy we didn't have to wear thick during our free & easy days! :D
I believe I was only wearing two layers here. Woohoo!
First stop, Bongeunsa Temple (봉은사)!
Flowers as offerings!
After visiting two temples on this day, I told my parents how comfortable it is to visit the temples in Korea than in Singapore. It is so cooling in Korea and the temples are really big! Different gods are located quite far apart and Koreans don't practice offering incense but flowers and candles! Imagine how less eye-stinging it would be if we also stop burning so much incense whenever we visit temples in Singapore! As for the weather, it's something we'll never be able to change.
Speaking of which!!!
Here's a long rant about winter. LOL.
Told you I've a lot more to rant for our free and easy days. :X
I've always thought living in winter would be awesome. Like, come on, it's practically living in a huge air conditioned area where YOU WON'T SWEAT!!! Not that I hate sweating or sweating is bad, of course it is good to sweat, but no sweat means you can go out and come back home looking exactly the same. No cui hair or cui face or smelly body after a long day out.
Best part? MAKEUP WON'T GET SWEATED OFF RIGHT AFTER YOU'RE DONE!!! It has happened to me too many times here, it's just so so so frustrating!
I've always thought living in places where there is winter would be damn cool and fun! Get to wear and try different styles, mix and match all kinds of clothes! You'll never see me in shorts and stockings here in Singapore or in a big coat!! Get to wear thick and feel warm instead of trying to dress as light and thin as possible so as to feel cooler.
After just eleven days in Korea, I still think living in places with winter is awesome, cool and fun!! But, I've also realize I won't wanna live in winter for months. Lol. Maybe a month would be great; but that’s the max.
If I were to live throughout the entire season, I might just break. Lol. It could be due to my stubbornness to not wear that thick (whatever I wear is sufficient though! you just can’t see my long johns and heatpad inside!), but the pain my hands and feet feel when we're only going into the third day was terrible!!!!!! It was already cold. Add on some rain and plenty of wind = FUCKING COLD!!!! It was so freezing cold that I couldn't feel my hands or feet. Literally couldn’t feel them! I was just happy that I could walk and, would be glad that I get to do what my mind coordinates my hands to do.
Then again, I think it’s just the third day that was bad. Because the rest of the trip was pretty normal. Lol. Must be the rain and the wind. Curses!!
Another down side of winter (or maybe it’s just Korea), is the dryness. I always wondered why Koreans have redder fingers and darker skin tone on their hands. Apparently, my fingers were pretty pink when I was there too! And darker skin tone is due to dry skin!
On the very first day, our tour guide gave us some tips about their weather. To wear warm and apply moisturizers as much as possible. Of course, I was somewhat skeptical about the whole moisturizer thing.. I wondered how bad would it be for just 11 days. I’ve never liked applying them anyway. So,, I pretty much ignored the whole moisturizer thing. Lol.
But into the second or third day, we went shopping and bought a 50ml hand cream. The family of four, FINISHED IT BY THE 8TH DAY!! :O
Never thought it’s possible but I actually needed them to keep my hands sane. Lol. On top of feeling numb from the cold, I could see my hands go dry and my fingertips actually hurts a little!
And after getting back from our vacation, I have a few dry patches on my ankle, arms and butt. LOL! Yes, butt. I have no idea why though because I’m definitely clothed at all times! hahaha. It’s recovering well without moisturizer now though… 12days since we got back. Woohoo!
The frightening part is……. it isn’t even full winter when we were there!! Lol. It was just average cold for Koreans as the season is in transition to Spring. :O :O :O Wa… I cannot imagine how it’ll be like to be living in winter for the entire season… (Challenge accepted! hahaha. One day, I’ll visit another country during winter!)
Okay, rant end.
I love how the place is just so spacious!
And then we walk a pretty long way down to find the Goddess of Mercy
After our visit to the temple, we walked across the road to our next destination~ One that my sister is very excited to visit. Coex Mall/Coex Aquarium! It is so near the temple!!!!
The entire area opposite the temple is Coex. And the actual building right opposite the temple is Coex Exhibition Hall. We had to enter the exhibition hall, turn left and walk down to find the mall and aquarium!!!!
But first, LUNCH!! :D It's a pity Coex Mall is under renovation. But, there were still a few shops opened!
Lunch at some Japanese restaurant!
Kimchi Udon!!!!!!! (Y)!
An hour visit to their aquarium because my sister hasn't been to our aquarium and got interested in theirs when it was shown on TV. It look really big when we saw them in shows! But........ it's not really. Especially since Singapore has the largest aquarium in the world.... Nevertheless, Coex Aquarium was interesting! They have a mix of sea and land creatures!
I like how they used bright white lights instead of dim blue ones. The aquarium in Singapore makes it so difficult to take nice pictures! Pictures of visitors ends up being all black when it's taken infront of the tanks. Tssssk.
Like these! Taken last year at our aquarium.
Our aquarium is really nicer! :X
For a second, I thought their aquarium would be a display of small tanks!
This section made me think of the fish shops in Singapore. lol.
↓↓↓ The interesting and creative fish tanks ↓↓↓
If only they make sounds when fishes swims pass a string uh!
As if we're not short and fat enough.
There are fishes inside!
Our fish spa alike!
Doing "scissors, paper, stone" to see who should put in their hand in first.
I couldn't take their hesitance from this shot on.
Very quickly, I put mine in and asked them to cut the chase! LOL.
My mummy too cute!
I was very gross out when I watch them swim... LOL
Ugh. What a lousy shot.
&I thought we were already at the Amazonian Zone?! :O
The people I love and yet hate at the same time. LOL.
Of course not! ♥
Someone took a nice shot of us. -,-
My sister communicating with the fishes?!
I thought this is quite cool... Letters in the tanks.
But you need to have your partners walk through a lot before getting here.
The lady photobombed the picture or the enormous eel photobombed her?
I have no idea. xD The lady's looking so happy, it's like I was taking picture of her and the eel.
I got oddly excited when I saw these. Lol.
A crocodile that reminded me of Karena. hehehehe.
Singapore's aquarium had a few of this display.
But, Korea only has this one. And not as vibrant as ours!
THIS TORTOISE OR TURTLE IS INSANELY HUGE!!!!!!
IT IS AS BIG AS THE CHILD!!!!!!! :O
It is really cute though. It'll actually swim up to match the human taking a selfie with it!
Maybe just coincidental but it happened a few times!!! :O
So... this is supposedly their big tank?
No wonder Singapore is said to be the largest Aquarium there is!
This is possibly just..... 10% of ours!
Their lunch time!
They kept gliding around in the water!
My favourite sea creature!
I have no idea what is this!
But such a contrary from the display above!
Forever taking pictures with penguins because it reminds me of Jiaxuan. :X
Left the Aquarium and went out for some fresh air. It was really cooling that day!
Our next stop was Itaewon (이태원), for some cafe hopping! According to my sisters' research, it is relatively easy to find a nice cafe in Itaewon (이태원) or Gangnam (강남). But, it turns out Seoul has plenty of nice cafes around!
This day didn't exactly turn out as planned though. My mother made a huge fuss in the first cafe and made my sister cry. :/ Obviously, cafe hopping is not something that suits my parents. But the trigger to the whole argument was the coffee bean fragrant in the first cafe we visited, Coffee Chu. It was also a little stuffy inside the cafe. But... -,-
At that point of time, I couldn't understand why my mother didn't just allow my sister and I to extend the days on our own. Since she isn't keen in most of the things my sister had planned. =,= This whole vacation is kindda like a graduation trip for my sister. But, we had to give in to my mother and go with a tour group. And then when my sister finally got 4 days to do what she want, my mother comes in to ruin half of it again. =,= But, no fingers pointing! Since we should have been more understanding and planned more parents friendly activities.
I guess it is always easier for us to get mad and upset with our family more than with our friends. Especially when we're overseas where everyone tend to get more sensitive as things don't go according to plan, or when things are not to our liking. But because we're a family, all these arguments and disagreements get forgotten easier too! Right?
The whole afternoon did become bruised. But it's the kind of bruise that recovers really quickly. Like.. blue black? Rub rub a bit and it'll heal in no time. Lol. My mother only stop being upset when we were going off from N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워) though.
&So, in the end, we only manage to visit two cafes! One my sister had planned to visit and another one we just happen to see.
The planned cafe! Also where my mother made my sister cry.
I like the place! &I love their churros!
I like how their churros are not too sweet!
The chocolate in the sundae isn't overpowering too!
Because everyone's mood got shaken; some ruined, we moved on in search for tapes and strings. We initially thought we'll be mailing out our clothes, so tapes and strings were necessary to tie and seal up our boxes. My mother was making a fuss about us taking things (the mailing) easy and warned us to not do things in the last minute. So, we had to get that done first. I keep repeating that mailing out was our initial plan because........... we didn't mail out anything in the end. LOL. We paid for the 10kg weight excess instead.
Anyway! So, while searching for tapes and strings (they can be found in any convenience stores la!), my sister found two cafes! We also end up getting two tapes each. -,- I'm blaming the lack of telepathy uh!!!
This is so cute right?
But it turn out to be a bistro!
We went to this instead!
We, as in my sister and I.
Because they were afraid it would be stuffy again, my parents sat outside a bistro one street away.
Such a waste because the cafe had a balcony area!
Refreshing lemonade and a delicious Nuttella cake! :D
Sadly, we didn't stay in this cafe for long.
We finished up our cake and drink, and hurried out to find our parents.
Because cafe hopping wasn't going to work out anymore, we changed our plans and went to N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워) about.... two hours earlier than planned.
Cable car tickets!
It's beautiful here!
I took quite a number of similar shots, pardon me!
My mother was still pissed uh. -,-
Locks, locks and more locks!
Pity, this is exactly what we were looking at.
We later sat around this whole area for a really long time.
We didn't go up to the tower in the end. Bummer for my sister again.
It didn't look like we'll have anything to see anyway. It was really misty that day.
Recycled cans; forming different shapes!
And my mother finally stop being frustrated. Lol.
It would be even nicer if we were there in Spring and Autumn, right?
This suck! The oil taste was super strong.
Packed cable car!
It was three times worse when we were going up! Couldn't even hold up my camera.
My father is forever doing weird poses (like his hand here).
And then when I upload them to Facebook, he'll start complaining. Tskkk.
Don't do funny poses la! >:(
Thereafter, we took a taxi to our last destination!
Passed by this statue. One we've seen on TV before. xD
Jogyesa Temple (조계사)
My sister had researched about this place and found out that it is the prettiest at night!
That's why we only went to this temple in the evening. It's actually a 20minutes walk from our apartment!
We bought a lantern to hang too!
I wonder why I took this picture instead of the nightview of the temple. -,-
Ma friend freely roaming around! xD
We strolled around Insadong (인사동), and tried searching for a BBQ dinner place. We didn't manage to eat to our satisfaction or to our fill the first time we had Korean BBQ, so we wanted to go back with no regrets! There wasn't any Korean BBQ buffet in the vicinity, so we went to this restaurant deep inside some alley.
Not buffet but better than nothing!
I've always thought the Korean BBQ places in Singapore are expensive, but it turns out to be equivalent to the prices in Korea! And in the ala carte BBQ restaurants here, the servings they give are pretty small... Also the same in Korea. LOL. At least 10,000won for one serving of meat. One serving meaning one piece of meat in the picture above. Yes, that's two servings
Most restaurants in Korea serves mainly beef and pork. No chicken. T^T I guess that's the only difference between Korean restaurants here and there. They serve more chickens here!! In their menu, there's like... two types of pork and a page full of beef. T^T We couldn't order any beef that day because the next day was a special day to pray. :(((
We made do with the two pork AND THEY WERE DAMN GOOD!!!
It was only normal pork belly and seasoned pork. BUT IT WAS REALLY GOOD!!!
I told Weishan how eating in Korea has spoiled our taste-buds. Not only do our fried chicken taste mediocre, the bakeries here are no longer appealing to me and any kind of Korean food here would now taste meh. :((
We continued walking around Insadong (인사동) and ended the stroll with a visit to the nearby bakery!
Paris Baguette is very common in Korea too!
My mother keep going to Paris Baguette to buy bread. LOL.
We've tried a variety of their bread uh.
LOVE THEIR BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!!!!
It is extremely fragrant and tasty!
They also have these... banana cake(?) that tasted like Tokyo Banana.
Y SINGAPORE PARIS BAGUETTE NO SELL THESE. T^T
I used to love the fruit tarts from Fruit Paradise BUT NO MORE!
THIS IS REALLY REALLY NICE!!! :D
Took quite a while to finally settle our baggage issue. It is also when we finally decide to heck with it and just pay for the excess baggage weight. We went back to the apartment quite early too! So the family actually had some time to chill and watch some TV in the living room together. :') Such a nice time together. HEHE.
ღDay 11: Departure for homeღ
Outfit to go home in! :D
Ah! Love my new shoes~
Got them during our first shopping stop with the tour!
Sister handling all our tax refunds!
I am extremely blessed to have such a independent and reliable sister! Embarrassing to admit but, it feels like she's the older sister leading me on most of the time.
Speaking of which, our free and easy days are all planned by her too. She did most of the research, scheduling and whatnot.. The coupons she researched for, actually works too! I only contributed three things~ Suggesting to go N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워), coming up with the schedule template and paying money for a few items first. She is super duper reliable!!! All I needed to do was to get a few things done and enjoy whatever she has done. :X I also contributed a little bit when we were searching for directions! But I always mess things up half the time. LOL. How I wish every single vacation can have me do almost nothing but enjoy the vacation. :X
Restroom in the apartment's lobby!
The staffs working in Fraser Suites Insadong, Seoul (their site) are really nice and helpful!
Because we had to share and separate the burden of our baggage (Korean Air is really strict with their 20kg limit per person), we went down to the reception at least.... FOUR TIMES to measure each of our baggage. LOL. We had...... 8 baggage?!
We felt really embarrassed everytime we go down to weight our luggage and bags. LOL.
But I'm extremely glad that every staff were polite and helpful! We manage to spread out our loots and exceed exactly by 10kg! Hahahaha.
Our last meal in Korea!
First time trying it.
Everyone said it was good!!!!
More mandu (만두) in the soup!
When we were 95% done with our brunch, we realize that there were beef in this soup!
So much for not eating beef because it was a special praying day! My mother even drank a lot a lot of the soup! HAHAHHAHAHA.
Smiling but not happy. T^T
CHECK OUT HOW MUCH WE BROUGHT BACK!!! hahahahha.
Remember how much we brought when we went there?
And we shopped so so so much, we're bringing home double the baggage count.
Here's what we've bought over the eleven days in Korea....
Definitely not all that we've bought.
Bags and bags of shopping loots!
But before I go on, here's a box of Kispy Kreme I didn't have to queue up for! xD
And it costed me only 7,200won for this box!!!!!
Can't remember when I got it but I know I had it for breakfast three days straight. ♥
One of our many bags filled to the brim! This is a bag full of fooood!
It was almost impossible to zip up!
Boxes and boxes of our loots!
One carton of Shin noodles as requested and our boxes of honey and liver supplements! :D
Clothes for Sugar and friends.
Sadly, half of what we bought were too small.
What the hell! I thought only Korean females are small sized. Their dogs too?! Lol.
For some sizes, I actually showed pictures and told them the weight of the dog (*erhum*Rich)!!!
Our masks. Masks only. :X
&Few other cosmetics.
Really bought a mountain of skincare, makeup and masks!
The bomb to my credit card!
Another shot of the things we bought.
Seriously, I don't think any one shot I've taken has actually captured every single thing we bought!
So, we exceeded by exactly 10kg for one person, and had to pay 100,000won for the excess. That's.... approximately 125SGD with our crappy exchange rate. My mother used her credit card though! So I hope it cost us lesser than that.
We had bought plenty of stuffs over the span of 11 days and they were all bought at fairly cheap prices (especially for products that are also sold here!), even though we were charged 100,000won for exceed our baggage weight, there was only an additional cost of about..... $0.50 per item. LOL. So everything we've bought is still cheap overall.
Last shot taken at the airport.
Took Korean Air back and had noodles for dinner! :D
When we finally reached Singapore, we collected our baggage and headed out to wait for Gary. We were back in the sunny island after 11 days in the cold. IT WAS A DRASTIC DIFFERENCE!!! Just eight hours before, we were all shivering in the cold after exiting the car that brought us to the airport. And after flying six hours back to our small dot, we exited the airport and started sweating within 20minutes in the heat. LOLOL!!!
But somehow, I am not really complaining. Even though it was cold, cooling and nice in Korea, our skin weren't doing very well. It was pretty troublesome to take care too. At least here, we sweat and smell, but don't suffer from dry skin. Most importantly, I don't have to apply moisturizer so often!! Positive thinking at its best! HEHEHE.
ps: Special special thanks to my uglybestfriend for chauffeuring us to and fro airport for our departure and arrival. :D
And I'm sad that I'm back... :(
It's been..... almost three weeks now (date: 02 April), and I still miss Korea. It may not have been the most perfect holiday, but it was still a great vacation with the family. Because no matter what has happened, the greatest part of our vacation is the fact that we were there as a family! ♥
I love how the family works now. Although my sister and I were still not working (my sister just started serving her two-year bond yesterday!), everyone didn't calculate who paid for what and who owes who money. Of course, I cannot compare how much our parents have spent (they spent mostly on Ginseng and the liver supplements!) and how much we've spent. But, having to not rely on them when shopping and actually paying for some of their stuffs felt pretty good. hehehehe.
OH OH! I also must include this in the entry; both my sister and I actually paid about 50% for the tour package (we were suppose to pay the full amount but my Dad receive a bonus and paid for everything in the end woohoo!) and also about 50% for our apartment!!! Spending all on our own, by the way. Except for the liver supplements. :D Muahahahah. I actually feel proud. But then again........ :/ I hope I can treat my parents to a vacation by the time I reach...... 26? Even better if I can do it before that!
Motivation to get a job asap!!!
Can't wait for our next vacation!!! :D
Have you read my first 8 days in Korea with Hong Thai yet?