Friday, March 21, 2014

My 11 Days In Korea; 8 Days With Hong Thai

(Date: 27 March 2014)

It's been a week since I got back, but I'm finally sitting my ass down to do up this entry today because...... I've been trying to recover from my jet-lag. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Okay, bullshit. Korea is just an hour ahead of Singapore. I've just been extremely lazy to sort, edit and arrange the thousand over pictures I've taken over the span of eleven days. Besides, I've also been patiently waiting for our photographer to email me the few pictures he took of us............... It's been a week and still no email. Hai.

ANYWAYZ!!! Better late than never, right? xD
ps: I'm going to cheat and schedule this entry 21st March anyway! hehehe.

Because I have over a thousand pictures, and, knowing how livejournal has a limit to the length of each entry, I've broken up the experience into a few parts there and two parts in here (4 Days Free & Easy)!!!

Click click >>> for my broken up account if one long entry is too much for you:
Part 1 - Arrival at Jeju-do and visiting Trickeye Museum, Ice Gallery
Part 2 - Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Seongeup Village, Teddy Bear Museum, Eating Live Octopus
Part 3 - Hanbok, Everland, Snowy Night
Part 4 - More snow!, Temple visit
Part 5 - Nami Island, Lotte World, Ginseng Chicken
Part 6 - Free & Easy, Cat Cafe, Gyeongbokgung, Dog Cafe, Myeongdong
Part 7 - Temple visit, Coex Aquarium, N Seoul Tower
Part 8 - Departure Home!!

We were supposedly there for 11 days, but it would seem as though we were there for 12. Truth is, it was technically 7 days with Hong Thai but they included the midnight flight to Korean as day one. -,- #justsaying

Okaaay,,, before I go on to spam this entry with pictures, here's just a quick run-down about my wonderful vacation. HEHEHE.


First off, I won't describe or remember this vacation in Korea as the most perfect or the best vacation yet...... Because, there were drastic ups and downs throughout the 11 days. In fact, this entire Korea experience seem to be filled with a roller coaster of emotions; Like... just in our planning phase we were already arguing about going with tour or on our own. Talked about it here. Lol.

Well, I'm glad we had the best of both worlds. :D

ANYWAY!! Even though it was a crazily awesome and fun vacation, there were almost as many upset/frustrating/unhappy episodes. Looking back, I wonder why I was so easily frustrated with my parents. :/ There was definitely something wrong with me; I behaved horribly towards them half the time. I got upset whenever they were unenthusiastic (in regards to taking pictures or at a place/activity) and whenever my Dad's stomach shuts off from Korea's food, which is 90% of the time. (Yes, my dad doesn't like Korea)

I end up giving myself and my parents a hard time whenever I get annoyed by those trivial things. :/ Damn stupid. I was aware but I couldn't control or stop myself. Tssssk. My screwed up head was the only imperfection throughout the entire vacation.

That's that.

Ultimately, it was still a very very very good vacation with the family.

Korea. Korea. Korea.
Korea is the furthest country the family has traveled to, together.
Korea is the first country that the family is visiting for more than a week!
Korea is the first country that the family has went on tour.
Korea is the first cold country the family has visited.
Korea is the first country the family HAS EXPERIENCED SNOW!!!

The entire vacation was very surreal. I couldn't believe I was finally in Korea until the third day! Not that Korea is a country I've always dream to visit... But, I've watched too many Korean dramas and variety shows that I couldn't believe I was actually going to visit the place. It was like... going to break all kinds of fantasy I have of the country. Does that make sense?

Then again, no fantasies were broken. It still doesn't feel like I've visited Korea. Hahahaha. I can't wait to go on another vacation in Korea! The second time free and easy so I can really explore the place.

OKAY OKAY, I've just scrolled up to see how much nonsense I've typed. Let's just move on to pictures and I'll rant along!

OH OH! Before I go on, I'm extremely glad that we got to experience a real cold country. Lol. The weather was very good throughout the 11 days (less our Everland day where it rained. pfft) and the average temperature was 15°C to 7°C. When we went to the skii resort, the lowest was -7°C!!! AND IT SNOWED IT SNOWED!!! It was insanely cold but I LOVED IT!!! Hehehe.

Lastly ah, I don't think I've taken a lot a lot of pictures throughout my vacation. Most pictures are selfies also. :x I think I was too shy to spam photos uh. Like... to go around snapping while the group was together. I was already shy to snap every meal we had. Lol. I didn't get to take much pictures of our hotel lobbies also! So.... I don't think I can remember all the hotels we've stayed in. >< Also because our tour guide usually bring us to one spot and stop us from taking pictures on the way; So by the time we were given our free time to explore, I won't get to head back to take pictures. -,- Boo.

It's okay, I'm going back to Korea. ;)


ღDay 1: Flight to Seoulღ

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Waiting to board!

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On-board Korean Air!

I like how smooth their landing and taking off were, we can hardly feel it.
But, their airplanes are quite noisy. Lol.
When we were going to Korea, we had one of the prettiest air stewardess too! HEHEHEH.
Their uniform makes them look very professional, but it looks uncomfortable. Like... full formal wear.

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I didn't take out my camera to take pictures of the food. :x But for "breakfast", we had omelette! It tasted normal luh.

Because it was a midnight flight, it is wise to sleep throughout the flight. Duh. But of course, how is it possible to get good sleep when you're thousand miles up in the air and seated in Economy Class?! I manage to sleep quite a bit (I think) but my mother and sister barely rested.


ღDay 2: Arrival → Jeju-doღ

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Here's my sister taking out scarves and other wears for the cold weather!
We also manage to wash up in the toilet. Hooray to no breakouts and bad complexion!!

It was freaking cold when we exited the airport to search for our bus.
I was extremely excited when I felt the cold breeze!

And I got even more excited when I exhaled; there were "smoke" coming out of my mouth!!!

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Some fruit stall opposite the restaurant where we had lunch.

We were on our way to Gimpo Airport for our flight to Jeju Island, and dropped by somewhere near the airports for lunch.

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My first and few random shots of Korea.
&That's Sharon. We were still strangers until the 4th day of our tour.

But but but, we have a small funny episode. Both of us turn out to know Jasmine. Hahahha!! Jasmine as in Jasmine from MCBI! Super coincidental!

She first updated her Facebook with a picture taken in our skii resort. And then, I updated my Instagram with a picture of me in the same skii resort. Jasmine commented and asked about my trip only to realise that both her ex-colleagues were in the same group! Thereafter, Sharon and I became closer. Hehehe.

Actually, the entire tour group got closer and opened up to one and other after the 5th day. I guess because we were all there with our own family and group, it took us slower to become friends? :3

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Lunch place!

Most of the restaurants we visited with the group look somewhat like this!
Like this not as in the interior, but the tables all well set with food! I guess the restaurants we visited are all 'designated' for tourists. Obviously to handle the crowd. Even though they are designated tourists restaurants, the food were all good! And we kept getting food refilled! (Y)!

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Our first meal!

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Bibimbap (비빔밥)!! But this bibimbap is less fanciful.
Still nice. xD

My mother hardly eats kimchi here, but I think she had their kimchi EVERYDAY! :O

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@Gimpo Airport with my new luggage. HEHEHE.

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Caught in the moment shot. Bwahahahahahaha!!!! Super funny.

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Me with ugly flat hair after the flight and feeling super duper lethargic. x,x

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Beanie to save the mess!!!
Special thanks to my bimboticgirlfriend Karena for lending me SIX beanies. Lol.
I tried to wear every single one of them throughout my 11 days... Wasn't successful. Lol.

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Because we weren't given window seats previously, here's a few mandatory flight shots!

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&about an hour later....

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That's our Tour Guide, Kim Mi Hua (Jin Mei Hua)!
She was explaining the mascots of Jeju-do.
And here's our first destination: Dragon Head Rock (용두암)

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A really nice serene place I've seen on TV before. :x

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Pictures does no justice!
It is extremely gorgeous in real life.

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But yeah, that's all there is to this place. :x

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The unenthusiastic parents who stayed up at the top and end up hiding in Dunkin' Donuts. x,x

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I was a bit bummed about leaving my tripod at home, but I made do with anything that can hold my camera! :D

So yeah, 80% of our pictures throughout our trip is not taken by anyone else but self-timed on something nearby. Lol.

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The air is really fresh in Jeju-do!

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With our Tour Leader, Virine!
She turn out to be the youngest in the entire group! :O She's 4 days younger than my sister.
I feel kindda bad that I keep forgetting she's there to work; I kept wanting to take pictures for her and asked her to join us on many occasions. :X But who says work can't be fun too, right right? xD

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Last two shots of the beautiful scenery.

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Like as if we've been friends for a very long time. Lol.

At this point, I honestly felt like I've already spent quite some time in Korea. It felt like I was awake for a very long time. lol. Maybe I didn't really sleep much during the flight? It was like as though I haven't slept for 24hours, but truth is, this was only our first destination. LOL!!!

The first two days of our tour was very packed and extremely long. There were a lot of itineraries to finish in a day. It was good though, because the rest of the vacation zoomed past too fast. TOO FAST!!!

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Next destination!!!

No pictures of this place because it was........ not very interesting. :X
The highlight of this road is how it looks like the road is up slope and yet vehicles can proceed without any engine. It was interesting at first but that's really all there is to this road. Lol. Besides, it's not like we'll be able to capture this whole road attraction.

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THIS! Along the road got more attention. :X

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Wa, now I get it. I now know why Koreans like to eat these fishcakes/odeng (오뎅).
PERFECT for the weather. And my family loves it too! Even my dad!

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Insanely sweet strawberries for only 10,000won! Approximately SGD$12.50 with our crappy exchange rate.
22 strawberries that are freaking sweet! We went down to buy another pack and my parents finished it all at night. T^T
I ONLY GOT TO EAT ONE!!! Elsewhere sold it more expensive I think.

Anyway, about our crappy exchange rate. We had the worse! Everyone exchanged their money at much better rates. We had ours changed for SDG1 : 800won while others had like... 829won to 839won.

It won't matter much if you're not changing big amount, but everything you buy ends up being expensive. Zz Blame us for being too occupied with sick Sugar (she was ill for an entire week before we flew!) and totally forgot to ask our Aunt to help with exchanging our money. Zz We had it changed on the flight day itself at Compass Point. TOTAL RIPOFF! We also came to know that Airport has better rates than ours. Zz FUUUUUUG! T^T

Anywayz, here was also the place I spoke a little Korean and got praised. :3 I told my sister my confidence got boosted and I was going to try to speak more. Bwahahahah. Downside of barely knowing the language? I could ask and talk but I wasn't able to understand their answers. HAHAHAHAHA. JOKE! Like... I was able to ask where a place is located, but I couldn't understand the directions. LOL! What's the use of knowing how to speak right?! Damn stupid. Lol.

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I also like their strawberry milk but their banana milk is DAMN NICE! :O
(ps: We also have it here in Korean supermarkets!)

I have no idea where our next stop is but it was some building where we got to visit the 3D Trick Art, Ice Gallery and do some ice carvings!

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I was very very excited to visit this place.

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But,,, there were so many people.
I got sian-ed after a few pictures got ruined by some rude Chinese. Zz
They don't know how to wait and stay away when people are trying to take pictures.

& I know some of the pictures don't look at all "realistic". Hai.

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People, people everywhereeee!
How to take pictures without being photobombed?! Tsssk.

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See see!
But I was glad it was only this room that was damn crowded.

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Possibly the most convincing photo. Lol.

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I think this picture quite nice also!

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Award for being the best dad!!! xD

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My first time meeting Mr. Jobs.

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Looks damn real right?

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One of my favourite shots taken there!

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This also quite cute though blur.

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Wanna have a drink? xD

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In real life, if this were to happen, I don't think I'll run.
Because, obviously, I won't be able to outrun that kindda disaster. Lol.

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&Then, ice cravings!

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The master quickly carving a cup!
He did it so freaking fast! I wasn't able to catch a thing.
In the end, I didn't even bother to finish my piece. :x
Throughout this workshop, I kept wondering in my head: "what the hell am I doing?!" Lol.

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My family did a pretty decent job though.

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I was super glad I didn't visit the one in Singapore. :X
Get to save the money.

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Snowflake that reminded me of princessjojo!
Little did we know we were going to see real snow. HEHEHE.

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This is just one out of the 3 or 4 sections of the gallery.

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Damn retarded, I know. Few more retarded shots for you to laugh. Lol.

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Lol. First picture damn unglam.

It was about... -5°C and my parents hurried out of the gallery right after the shot I took with my dad. -,-

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I went on it thrice and my sister was feeling too cold to allow me to play more. :(
It was freezing cold to the extent that I couldn't feel my hands and feet. LOL.

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If only the lights were white.
Some Korean helped us with this shot because no one in the tour group was there. Lol.

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So pretty!

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Ice Gallery ended the tour there. :)

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Our dinner!
We had fish and boiled pork here!

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This was taken in my camera's sunset mode. It didn't look like that in real life. HAHAHAH. :x

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Taken in the morning, our first hotel!
Jeju Oriental Hotel (제주오리엔탈호텔)!

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There's no view outside our hotel, by the way.
We were exhausted by the time we reached our room.
Pity though because our tour guide brought some people to this fried chicken place.
We only tried it the second night AND I SO REGRET WE DIDN'T GO THERE THE FIRST NIGHT!!! T^T

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ღDay 3: Mountain, Museums, Castle, FRIED CHICKENღ

So.... My sister and I missed the fried chicken to prepare our outfits for the next few days. HAHAHAHA. We slept pretty late and got a morning call at 6am. x,x Woes of being with tour groups. Early morning every darn day! But worth it since the day is all packed. Who needs sleep when you're traveling anyway?! Lol.

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Breakfast next day!
I love love love that bowl of Cereal! Wanted to buy a box back but I FORGOT. FML.

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At some Mandarin Orange Farm.

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Our next destination!

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Short distance from the bus and my mother is already tired.

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Songan Sunrise Peak/Seong San Ilchulbong (성산일출봉)!
Gorgeous place. Especially when you go all the way up to the peak!

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Plenty of tourists!

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There was horse riding too!

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My mother and her double chin. HAHAHAHAHA. :X

It's really interesting yet annoying how our faces will all swell in the morning during our Korea vacation. I've always had this swelling issue but this time in Korea, my parents and sister's faces would also swell in the morning! Why uh?!

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Initially thought the entire road up would be like this. :O So crazy to walk on!

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Steps, steps and more steps!

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Super glad that the weather was great that day!
Sunny yet damn cooling. It was a little cold in fact!

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Camwhoring because I didn't know how much more we had to go to reach the peak.

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This is like... barely halfway up?
But I guess most people head back down from here.
And yes, you can see that both my sis and I started to feel hot here onward! My sister even took off that sweater and proceeded with just a thin layer of shirt thereafter!

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Not being able to see the top was the toughest! Lol.
It's like... I didn't know how much more to go, but to reach the top, I just had to go.
So drama. xD

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Almost halfway up!
The aujummas all damn zai. They don't pant as hard as I was panting. :x

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A barely 5 minutes stop to rest.
Thereafter, we just kept going up non-stop.

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Super happy at that point of time.

But we had no time to waste!
Because we were there with a tour group, there's always a time limit that we have to follow. We were only given about an hour to go up and back down. I can't remember how long we took to go up but I remember rushing down within 10minutes. LOL. Madness. So, we were up there for barely.... 10minutes! Maybe for about 5? :O

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I loved it up there!
It was really cooling and very very pretty!

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Sorry for the many similar shots.
I couldn't get enough of it.

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Can't see the top, can't see the bottom as well.

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Just walk walk walk!

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Took this shot and slipped down two steps. LOL.
I think I sprained my ankle a little?
But it was so cold, I think it was all numbed. LOL.
I remember feeling discomfort when there was heat though.

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Next stop: Seongeup Village (성읍민속마을)!
Supposedly the place where they filmed Dae Jang Geum/大長今.

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Ajumma showing us the black pigs and telling us how people in the past use the toilet.
Yes, that's their toilet. Funny how men had to use stick to distract the pigs because they have...... yeah.

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Our ajumma was super cute! And she spoke pretty fluent Mandarin!

This place was small but pretty nice! Really like a village. Lol. It is also the place where tourists would be introduced some local products: Pure Honey, Schisandra Chinensis (五味子) and Ganoderma Lucidum Honey Tea.

I'm gonna say it... DON'T BUY THEM!!

They would all sound really beneficial for our bodies and even taste really good, but don't buy them! One of our groups got products that were expiring in six months. They will take your order, proceed to pick up the products, quickly seal the boxes, and send them to your buses. So, it was not easy to check them on the spot (Unless you request immediately I guess). The ajumma told us that the products can be kept for ten years if unopened and two years in the shade. But still, being given products that has expiry dates in six months time is a little bit.......... :/ Lucky for us, our products all expires in another year or so...

Also, when we came back to consume what we bought, we found that the 五味子 isn't as thick as the shown by the ajumma. It was very thick and gooey when the ajumma scooped hers up; but ours is just watery. &Instead of six teaspoon of it to mix with water, we had to use six big soup spoon instead (to get the same taste)! A little disappointing. :/

So... When you ever get the chance to visit this place, don't be too quick to decide if you should buy a lot~ Check check check first!

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Pork again, for lunch!! :D

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Teddy Bear Museum (제주테디베어뮤지엄) next!

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Well, the museum is just filled with.... teddy bears. Lol. All kinds of teddy bears.
There were a lot! But I just snapped a few that I like.

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Looks exquisite, isn't it?

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Variations of Pooh Bear.

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The bear dressed in LV.

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Do you know who they represent?

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That bear in leopard prints dress pose until damn vain! Lol.

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This one damn cute. Will move around one some more!
And check out the Panda working the runway. ;)

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"Gong" bears! I didn't finish the drama. :x
And young Jihyo was one of the cast!

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I find this hilarious leh. hahahahah.

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The Teddy Bear store!

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Ma fren!

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&his family~ Lol.

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&Here's where I met Steve Jobs again.
Bear version. xD

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This was a bit boliao. :x
Rushed out to watch this bear go one round.

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See how big it is with the man controlling it as a comparison!
It's gigantic but no wow-factor.

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So, my sister got attached to this bear.
She was sending this picture to her friends telling them she found a boyfriend. -,-

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Oh nothing, just chilling with bears.

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Pig roasting a pig. LOLOL!!! :X
ps: Just kidding only okay! ♥

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Father like cute here only...

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Here, let us take a picture of you taking a picture of us.

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Potential place to camwhore!

So, we did! :D

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THESE BEARS DAMN CUTE!!!! Favourite in the shop!

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I didn't buy them so I took a selfie instead. xD

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We were given free bears also ah! (Y)!
Unsure if it's a door gift or a gift from our tour guide though. Lol.

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Glass Castle (제주유리의성) next! Almost everything made out of glass!
And that was all. A little bit boring. :x But of course, the things on display were pretty!

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My tourguide and I~

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&She told me to pick one. xD

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Dad & Mum switched roles. Bwahahahahha!

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This is so pretty!!!!!

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Some wishing well thingy~

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None of our coins went in. T^T

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We're the only crazy ones to eat icecream in the cold weather. Lol.

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Next stop!
O'sulloc Museum (설록차 뮤지엄 오설록)

They sold Green Tea and..... I can't remember what. But mostly green tea stuff.
OH! There were makeups too!

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I didn't wanna eat it at first... But after the first bite, I couldn't stop eating it. LOL!
The cream in the middle is damn nice.

We bought it again during our Free & Easy days!

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"View" from our hotel's lift.
Went back to put our stuffs before heading out for dinner nearby.

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The starters.

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I love these!
Crabmeat with cheese, potato and a little bit corn.

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Cooked Abalone!

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We upgraded our dinner to include sashimi!
I guess Koreans and Japanese are not as crazy about Salmon sashimi as us.
They usually eat other raw fishes.

&yes, we had soju! :D
It's so freaking cheap there!! We just drank them like it's free!

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Honestly, I don't really like their abalones.
They taste........ almost like rocks? Damn hard.

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&Here's the highlight to dinner...

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Hehehehe. I also tried!

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Go on and say that I'm being cruel... I ate it already and I don't care what you think. -,- I find it damn lame that some people find it a need to tell me off for eating it. Like......... I'll give you the finger if I'm crude. Not like scolding me cruel will stop Koreans from eating it live right?!! And when in Rome, do as Romans do! It's not like I'm eating it all the time. -,-

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Anyway, it taste like clams. I've heard about people having it stuck in their throat.....?
No leh, just continue chewing it! It's quite amusing when they are stuck on you though. Like suctions!

After dinner, we didn't go back to the hotel. It was still early... like 8pm? Instead, we walked around the place and tried to look for the Fried Chicken shop. Couldn't find it at first so we went to the convenience store to get umbrellas (Weather forecast said it would rain the next day, tmd it did -,-).

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Chiulee recommended it. AND I LOVE IT!!

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Ah! I didn't manage to eat their carp cakes so I need to go back again! xD

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Icecream and redbean!

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My sister likes it too and went back to get three more! Lol.
It is more expensive in their convenience stores. Chiulee told me it's sold at 1000won at their Daiso.

So.... We walked all the way to the end and couldn't find no fried chicken shop. :( We gave up and headed back with our tummies full from dinner and icecream....... ONLY TO FIND THE FRIED CHICKEN SHOP!!!! Whuuuuuut!!!

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Kyochon 1991!!!!
It's a pretty small shop.
Very near our hotel though. Just exit, turn right and walk all the way till you see it. Lol.

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Not greasy at all and damn tender! :O
And now we know why Koreans love to have beer with fried chicken. SUCH A PERFECT COMBINATION!!!
I'm not sure if it works with the fried chicken we have here though. :/
But anyway, I'm not craving for ANY fried chicken here. Pfft. OMG..... THEIR FRIED CHICKEN.... T^T

My mother loves fried chickens and she love this as well!
I told her there's few outlets in Seoul and she went on to ask why we didn't tell her and bring her there. LOL.

We only got to eat it once because we missed it the first night and couldn't find this shop in Seoul.
Okay, we didn't really bother to hunt for the shop in Seoul la.

&So, we headed off the Seoul the next day.

Morning call was at freaking 4am la. =,=


Ah!! The vacation was surreal also because it didn't really feel like I was in Korea: since I was able to use my phone very freely! My sister and I bought their SIM Card: EGSim. We did a lot a lot of research before finally deciding on EG Sim Card.

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Our EG Sim Cards!

We had them delivered to our place because we won't have time to go collect it in Korea and wasn't sure where our hotel would be.
It was a great idea though. We were able to use the internet once we arrived at Korea!


Korea has plenty of places that provides free Wifi. But my sister and I went ahead to purchase a EG Sim Card anyway because we did not want to waste time searching for available Wifi every time we are at a place. Since we were going on tour, it is a better idea to spend our time using our phones in the bus to the next destination, isn't it? :D It also felt nicer to have the freedom to use our phone anytime we want!

Especially useful when we were on our own and needed help with directions, language and whatnot! The card worked perfectly fine for us. Only issue for me was my lousy phone stopping me from topping up the card. -,- Because I was low on credit, I had to go around searching for free Wifi for the last four days. T^T


ღDay 4: Seoul, Hanbok & Everland!ღ

Our fourth day was fairly simple. Flew back to Seoul, visited their Seaweed Museum: Songhakkim (송학김), and then went up to try on some Hanbok (한복) before having lunch and traveling a long long way to Everland!! Everland was interesting and fun; but it could have been better if it didn't rain!

Everland was also the place I realize how Korea is not very tourist/foreigner friendly. Most of their stuffs are in Korean and no English. Like... if they were to brief us about safety rules in each ride, we won't be able to understand a single thing! But I guess it's because Koreans travel around Korea a lot themselves. Since it's a big country~~~

Many Koreans can speak Mandarin though. Some shops have Chinese workers too.

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Flight back!

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It's like we're above a whole lot of cottons!!!

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&Seoul we're back! xD

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Seaweed being processed.

Almost everyone in the tour bought something! They have a wideee variety of seaweeds. Our family bought 10 bags of seaweed (5 packs in it, 4 seaweed per pack, which is like... 200 pieces of seaweed?! LOL) and three packets of shredded ones. Up until now (27th March) we are still eating them with our rice. LOLOL! Of course, some of them were gifts la. I like that their seaweed are not crazy salty!

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While everyone was busy looking at the seaweeds, we camwhore!

And...... the next thing we did......

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LOL! Very weird and funny hor?
We quickly wore them, quickly took pictures and quickly took them off. haha.

Parents not seen because mother has no size and dad totally not interested. Zz

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Up next, Gamjatang (감자탕) for lunch!

This is said to be similar to our Bak Kut Teh. My parents (and most of the people in the tour) think this is the worse meal throughout the tour. But,,, I quite like!!!! It's a little too peppery but overall still very nice! Maybe my sister and I have a biased tastebud? Lol. Ah! Just take out the leaves because they kindda smell. :x

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Another random shot of Korea.
Also the last shot of good weathered Korea for the day. -,-


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Everyone in poncho to brave the horrible weather.

It was freaking cold! And it is terrible to experience such weather when you're scheduled to have fun in a theme park. T^T It is ten times worse when it is not a local theme park. At that point, I understood how sucky it must have been for tourists who visits Singapore, goes to USS and see that the thrill-est ride is still down for maintenance. Zzz LIKE WHUUUUT!!!

But fine, it means I'll have to go back to Korea again. HEHE. Besides, we were given too little time to spend in the theme park. Four freaking hours for a huge theme park leh. Walao.... My first proper visit to USS lasted longer than four hours uh! And our USS is way smaller than Everland?! Mehhh... Because of the cold during winter season, most rides/attractions were closed anyway. I was told that the best season to visit Everland is Spring/Autumn. So.... I'M COMING BACK, KOREA!

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Before we were wrapped up in ponchos ourselves.

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The tickets!
Please don't lose them.
I find it weird how we have to keep presenting them at every single ride we go to.
I lost mine and had to quickly go to my parents to take one.
Obviously, the two elderly stayed put in warm places and just walked around on their own.

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So ugly....

Anyway, some (like less than 10) of the shots are the pictures we bought from our photographer. Had to scan them because our photographer haven't (and probably won't) email me the originals. T^T

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Some screening of their performances that would look like it's real!

We were quickly hurried to Zootopia straight when we arrived, and end up figuring out our way through Everland. Didn't have the time to head back here and check this out. The timings for the shows didn't tally with our time there too. T^T

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Sorry for the terrible shots. The weather was just... T^T
I had a hard time taking pictures because I have to keep wiping my lens clean from the rain. I should have brought my lens protector man. Zz Never knew I would need it. My zoom also had some issues. Sigh....


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The tree I saw on Running Man before!

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Quick shots as we walk past.

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The most excited person to visit Zootopia. Her main aim for the trip to Everland. Lol.

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Some animals when we were on our way!

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Queuing to board a bus all to ourselves! HEHE.

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A fugly shot of me. LOLOL!
I have no idea what the hell was going through my head when I took this.

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Us excited to see what we've watched on TV before. xD

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Was super awed that we'll get to be damn close to some of the animals!

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Going through some tunnel.

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The dancing elephant!
We also caught a glimpse of the talking elephant! The one that Yoo Jaesuk had a mission with. :3

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The transition from land to water! :O
We already know about this but still very cool!!!

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Whole bus all to ourselves! HEHE.

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&Lee Kwangsoo! I mean... Giraffe! :D

I think Giraffes are cute when they face you. Like... OMG SO CUTE!!!!

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The end of this ride and going for another!

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The weather was so bad and we were all wet that we had to keep going to their souvenir stores to hide and warm up. T^T

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They have so many white tigers!

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Even though the weather was a bummer, the good thing about it is.... there was hardly anyone! So, we were able to take up an entire bus and have our tour guide translate whatever the driver says! Imagine being all excited to visit this place but not being able to understand whatever is said! &Yes, they only speak Korean.

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I was super :O by this shot.

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Hyena! I never knew they really look that ugly in real life. LOL.
I've only seen them in cartoons! :x

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Secret affair? Lol.

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Liger. SO UGLY! :X

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Some bears are cute.

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But some can be scary...

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Like this!!!! ><

What the drivers would do while we drive pass. SO CUTE!!!

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&That was the end of our tour. We were allowed to wander around for about... three hours. Obviously not enough but there wasn't much stuffs opened anyway.

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The warmest place in the theme park. :X

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I thought maybe it's a theme park thing but nope... tried corn from another place.
THEY BOTH SUCK! Damn nua....

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Sister checking out where to go!

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She picked this ride and wanted to go back.
It's the ride Running Man once ride before! Muahahahah.

My sister was all scared and black-faced. But I was damn excited!

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&Yeaps, we got wet.

We were a little wet from the bad weather but got drenched from our waist down in this ride. Hurrr... I like how most of their rides don't require us to be empty handed! We can just bring our bags along!

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Our third ride!
We played some shooting games before this.

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Cheap thrills lol.

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They have many tents like these there. But only this was lighted.
And we realize it's for people to keep warm and dry! There's heater inside!!

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I loveeee!

We snacked a lot there. A wrong move because the next place we were heading to was.... KOREAN BBQ BUFFET DINNER!!! T^T End up eating very little for dinner. Tsssssk.

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With our favourite trees. LOL.

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Who brings umbrella to theme parks right? LOL

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I was very wet and cold here.
But it was so so so cold, it felt very normal. Lol.

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Rested here for a bit before meeting with the rest of the tour group, and head off for dinner!

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Too cold that night, they had to use the BBQ to warm themselves. Lol.

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40,000won for buffet.

The price is slightly more expensive than the Korean BBQ Restaurants here. With our crappy exchange rate, it was $50SGD for that dinner. But no complains because their meat is really incomparable to those here!! Their pork belly... T^T A pity we didn't try their beef. Dinner kindda got ruined.

Every meal we had in Korea with the tour was fantastic! The ones sold in Singapore cannot even compare!!!!! T^T

Okay, good things aside!

So... although it was a pretty fun day, I must also document the lousy parts. This day is probably the unluckiest day I've ever had in my life! &Possibly the unluckiest day I'll ever have.

Other than the horrible weather that ruined our theme park, the family had a horrible argument over dinner that totally ruined our freaking nice dinner..... T^T (Also why we didn't eat much for dinner) And the cream on top of this horrible cake? I DROPPED MY PHONE INTO THE TOILET AFTER I PEED!!!! Zzz

So yes, you people who has read this, DON'T TOUCH MY PHONE!!! Lol.

I'm super glad that it was a squat toilet. Barely touched my pee la. But still gross, I know. I cleaned my screen with soap two, three times uh. I now cannot really remember how I dropped my phone but from now on, I'll NEVER have anything on me when I use the toilet.

I also remember how cold and wet I was, the entire mood and feeling suck.

But I guess with ups, there'll be downs. And when it's down, the only way out is to go up! The next day was freaking awesome (IT SNOWED!!!) and the rest of the vacation was never bad anymore.

After dinner, we headed off to do fittings for some skii-ing outfits! After spending a long time renting skii outfits, we finally headed off to our hotel. x,x

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Outside our hotel!
You cannot really see it here but it was snowing a little!

It looks like it is raining but nope! It was snowing!
And it's amazing how they literally melts once they touch the ground!
The only good thing about that day was this! Snow!
Also because we didn't know it'll snow a lot the next day. Hahaha.

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Yongpyong All Seasons Resort/Yongpyong Resort (용평리조트)

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The room! With a nice view outside.

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After being in a cold country, we realize how important it is that hotels and places we live in needs to have warm floors! We were super glad to come "home" into warm grounds after a long day out in the cold. LOL. But in the toilets, it's just cold. So we'll have to quickly shower in hot water and get dressed quickly inside. Lol. Another thing about cold countries, we'll look for toilets with toilet seat warmers! HAHAHA. I never understood the fuss about it. But woahhhhh, having to sit on hard cold toilets and warm ones has a DRASTIC different. I unknowingly started looking forward going to the toilet also. Hahahaha. Damn drama.

The few days in the cold also made me learn something new about myself.. I think my body can easily adapt to a new environment. Because it is warm in our bus, I'll always shiver for at least.... 10minutes when we first head out, before my body get used to the cold and then stop shivering. Unlike my parents, I wasn't really dressed for the cold (can see from my shorts, leggings and skirt ah!) but it wasn't as bad for me because I really loved the cold! :D


ღDay 5: SNOW!!!, Temple, Hotspringღ

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The view outside our window in the morning. :')

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I didn't watch the drama so I wasn't interested.

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I really love their eggs...............

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They look just like iceshavings!

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The temperature in the morning. -3.3°C!!!

Here ,you have everyone all dressed up to brave the snow and do some skii-ing!

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The crazy mum. Lol.

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Even though we didn't skii, it was still good that we rented the jackets and goggles!
The snow was insane!

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So... while others were learning to skii, my parents went back to snooze and my sister stayed indoors to keep warm. As for me, I was out being a busybody helping others and taking pictures! At one point, I was even running around on the soft soft snow with my tour leader because it was darn cold. HAHAHA.

Reason for not skiing was because we didn't think it was worth it. 28,000won supposedly for the entire day but we'll only get about two hours. We would rather spend the money on something else and play in the snow instead! Except, my sister was indoors 80% of the time. Lol. Few friends kept saying how wasted it is, but no lehhhh! It gives me another reason to visit Japan or Korea during winter! :D

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Super lucky to be seeing it snow at a time like that!
It was supposedly Spring already~

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Yeah, we snowball fought a little. Lol.

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Have to be wrapped up because the snow gets into your eyes...

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But of course, I'm always trying to challenge myself with something stupid. Lol.
I never protect my face and end up having red cheeks and nose!

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See how heavily it snowed!
Still gorgeous though!

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Got pretty place must camwhore!

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Everywhere just so.. Picturesque!

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Went back to tidy our luggage before coming out again to go somewhere higher!

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A freaking 20minutes ride up! :O

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I am not crazy about the edits our photographer made lo. -,-

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It was -7.6°C up there!!!!!

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Ah.. Check out my slightly red nose and cheeks here. LOL.

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Poor photographer. He was definitely not dressed warm enough.
But still had to take pictures of us.

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Within a minute, they ran back indoors.

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It looks freaking gorgeous in print!
If only he emailed the original one to me. T^T

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Here's me just lying down on the snow.

But a bad move for me because I forgot I was no longer in skiing pants. My skirt and leggings were all wet! But it was so freaking cold, I couldn't feel it at all! I wasn't sure if my skirt and shoes were still wet or already dry. LOL.

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Pardon for the unglam me ah.

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Check out our photographer in JEANS and a wind breaker. :O

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Face and hands all red! My hand became so fat too! Lol.

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Obviously, both of us thought it was cute that we were red. LOL.
But but but! The redness made my bad complexion so freaking obvious!!!! T^T
I had to spam a lot a lot of concealer to cover up. :(

After the crazy experience up the peak of the place, we quickly warmed up in the toilet and headed off for lunch! It was a perfect lunch dish... HOT SOUP!

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Hot soup to give us warmth in the cold!

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One of my favourite pictures throughout the trip!

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Next location!

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Sinheungsa Temple (Seoraksan) (신흥사(설악산)

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But first.....

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Snowflakes are real!!!!!!!
But they melt too fast, this is the only best shot I got. T^T
&Yeah, it snowed a little here too!

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The place was beautiful!!!

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Their wishing stones!
I think they have this belief (seen from dramas) that if you stack a stone on top of another and it doesn't drop, your wish would come true...

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Of course I had to try and make a wish myself! xD
For the fun of it!

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Nothing to see further in~

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Sorry, couldn't resist taking these shots. Too pretty!

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Next destination.....

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I didn't go in. :X Never liked spa and wasn't interested to bathe in door-less cubicles! Lol. But it's interesting! Their hot-springs include swimming pools~

So while others relax, I chilled with my tour guide, tour leader and a few others!
Our tour guide even treated us Starbucks coffee! Super nice.

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&They were done!

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Our tour guide preparing for us!

Have I mentioned how awesome our tour guide, tour leader and photographer was? I'm not sure if it's the same for all tour groups (I've heard different stories though), but ours were very nice and awesome people! They'll make sure to prepare our meals in proper Korean ways and then when we've started eating, make sure we have enough side dishes! They'll, of course, top up for us if we want more. &They'll usually wait till we're about half done with our meals before going ahead with their own food. Like... super nice!!!

Dinner was delicious, as usual. Our family is usually the first to finish our dinner so we headed out and got some snacks. xD Bought this really nice black sesame candy! My sister likes it so much that she bought about... three packets?! :O But uh.. it's indeed nice!

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Sorak Hanhwa Resort (한화리조트)

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Our usual debriefing before going into our rooms.
Now know how rude it would be if I was snapping pictures? Lol.
But I was comfortable with the people here on la. hehehe.

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Anywayz, this is my third favourite place to stay throughout the entire vacation! :D

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A place for tatami.
We didn't try. :x

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The small kitchen!

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&the bedroom with pretty lousy bed.
It is my third favourite place to stay but I really didn't feel that comfortable on the bed.

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After settling down our stuffs (which means putting everything to charge!), a few of us went down to the convenience store to shop! I bought a lot of snacks and even some drink. HEHEHE. Wanted to try soju bomb but the glasses provided in our rooms were too short. T^T Maybe next time!

AND WTH! Their soju sold in supermarkets are damn cheap?! 1200won for a bottle that could easily cost up to SGD$14 here?! And it's 4000won in Korean restaurants. Zz

Which means less than $2SGD in supermarkets and about $5SGD in restaurants. SINGAPORE Y U SELL SOJU SO EX!!!

After shopping, we went back to our room to slack, drink and put masks. Lol. I was semi-high after half a bottle of soju but I sobered up when everyone else was asleep. Not sure why but I wasn't keen on sleeping, and I end up watching three episodes of a randomly searched Korean drama. hurrr. Slept at 3am and had morning call at 6am. I was a little insane that night.

It was also the night I found out Sharon and I knows Jasmine. :D


ღDay 6: Nami Island, Lotte World!ღ

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Ferry with my parents who wrapped up so much that they look like... terrorists. LOL.

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I was pretty excited to go Nami Island because I've seen plenty of pretty pictures taken there! Wanted to take a nice family photo but my parents were too unenthusiastic!!! Zz They were like... ten steps away from the nicer view, but refused to move more and went walking on their own instead. Hai.

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Our pictures didn't turn out very pretty either. :/

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Picture with Momo! Our photographer~

He doesn't look very good-looking in my pictures but he's quite handsome in real life!

It was funny how he tried to rub his eyes when I asked if he wore color contacts (his eyes are light brown!). He also rubbed his nose and hit his jaw when my mother ask if he did surgery. Lol. On both occasions, he would show physical proof that it's all natural while replying us "original, original" Lol.

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Sharon and Virine! ^^

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I hate doing jump-shots but I was thickly clothed so, to hell with it! Lol.

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All together now! :D

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Eyyy, unglam shot is unglam~

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Hot pancakes! Perfect for the cold weather. :3

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I guess this place will look even more gorgeous in Spring and Autumn?

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Waiting for the ferry back!

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After lunch, we went to the last place for the day; Lotte World! :D

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As usual, we weren't given much time for the place. We just explored the theme park and played like... three rides. LOLOL. There were plenty of teenagers in Lotte World! Mostly couples and 90% of them were all very lovey dovey.

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Queuing for the first ride! Some boat ride our tour guide recommended.

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Despite not being able to understand a single thing throughout the long long ride, it was still quite interesting. The ride was really very long! There were also a few "surprises", there was this part where we fell a little and I got damn excited! I thought we'll have more of such thrills but meh.... If only we could understand what the entire ride was about ah!

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Overview of the indoor park!

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We wanted to ride on these but there was a 60-minute wait line. Zz
These as in the "hotair balloon"

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Also wanted to go on these!
The queue was about 30-minutes long too. And since it was a ride not all of us were going to try, we swore we will come back for it.

And by us I mean my sis, a new friend and her mother. My parents start off this place by telling us to go explore on our own and not disturb them. -,- I realize, other than during our meals, we were barely with our parents. =,=

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Went outdoors!

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It's very small!
Like maybe... less than half of USS?

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Contemplated damn long before we decide to go on this.

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Here's Huiying! The friend I mentioned earlier on.
Also the person we went shopping with at our resort~
Y'all will never guess her age!

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Pretty gentle but got a little kick still! (To me!)

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I enjoyed the cold breeze!

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Messy hair but happy faces!

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Went back in and saw these!!!! So cute.

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Bought the watermelon heart! :D

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I went up the ride I hate most!
Pirate Ships.

I've never liked going on this ride because of the feeling I get when the "ship" swings down.
And I have no idea what made me go on it this time. Lol.

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Does it look high yet?

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Because at some point, IT WENT ALMOST 90°!!!

Video to prove my point! Lol.
ps: My sis filmed me up there but I can't find it. :/ So, I'm not on this!

Even though it looks damn scary, I was actually able to raise my hands when we swing down. :O :O :O I was damn freaking shocked with myself. But I guess this Pirate Ship is slightly milder? Because I didn't feel as much fear as I remember always having. :/ I know I know, I was seated so near the middle. But I swear, I used to really hate this ride! Even sitting in the middle would scare the shit out of me. Lol. Not literally.

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The ice-rink!

Ah! I just recalled this other thing I did at Lotte World!

Within the amusement park, there's a few Tarot Card readers. But because they can only speak in Korean, I thought I won't have the chance to play. :( That is until I asked my tour guide about it... I've always seen Koreans in variety shows going for tarot card readings and exclaiming how accurate it is. Out of curiosity, I asked if she plays it and if it is really accurate. My tour guide was extremely nice!! She just told me that they play it for fun and asked if I was really interested. Even though we were left with just eight minutes to gather, she offered to translate for me!! :O And so I manage to ask about work and love life. Hahahahah.

Surprisingly, the cards I chose really did gave me very accurate readings! :O And it was hilarious how the readings actually matches the fortune telling I've went years ago! So now, I guess my fate is sealed. Lol. How can a Thailand fortune teller and a Korean Tarot Card Reader say the same things?!! Damn cool! hurrr.

After the long day,
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Ginseng Chicken (삼계탕) for dinner!
One small chicken per person.

Out of the 11 days in Korea, my exhaustion level was extremely prominent on this day. Lol. Going with tour makes you feel a little tired every other day; due to the packed itineraries and long bus rides. But on this day, I was so tired that I didn't really wanna talk. Maybe it's because I played games that made me go all tensed? I was all dogged and just... tired during dinner. In fact, I was so tired that the Ginseng wine didn't help! I didn't have much appetite and barely finish my dinner.

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Not a fan of this dish but it was good!

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&Here's my least favourite hotel!
Hotel Marigold Seoul. It's very clean and well located, but it is my least favourite!

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Cold floor, cold toilet bowl. AHAHHAHA!
Not the reason why it's my least favourite ah.
No reasons, just least favourite.

We didn't rest immediately after going back to our rooms. Instead, we settled down our stuffs and met up with Huiying and Virine to go shopping! The area around our hotel is quite happening. But some of the shops closed a little too early and we weren't going to eat or club.


ღDay 7: Shopping & Jjajangmyeonღ

Wa.... Can't believe it's almost the end to my trip already. :O

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This is probably lunch!

If I'm not wrong, we had Chinese cuisine in buffet style for breakfast. I ate a lot of buns. LOL. And unfortunately, I cannot remember what we did in the morning. :/

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The War Memorial of Korea (전쟁기념관)

We didn't explore much in this area.

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Here after, we went shopping!!!!

No pictures of the streets because there were too many people!
Actually, without pictures, I cannot be sure that we actually went shopping. LOL.
But I think we did la! Since I know we had dinner near Myeongdong (명동).

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Finally eating some Chinese food.

We also had Jjajangmyeon (짜장면) but it was served as one of the dishes so I didn't take pictures of our food again. It's nice! But we couldn't finish because there were so much food already.

After dinner, we headed down to some theater to watch "Jump! (점프)" a comic martial-arts performance.

We were all pleasantly entertained! I know some other tour members didn't like it though. But my family sure enjoyed the entire show! We almost went to watch it when they came to Singapore! But I'm glad we didn't because the tickets in Korea cost a lot cheaper and we had like.... the third front row seats! :O After the show, we traveled back to our hotel to rest.

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My sister's favourite Hotel and my second favourite!!!

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I love the bed!!! Extremely comfortable.

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And that's about all for my trip with Hong Thai Tour! It is the 8 Days All-In Korea Deluxe (Here! If it's still there). Good food, nice places and really fun tour guide & tour leader! :D

But of course, all that I've blogged may not necessary be everything we have done. There are shopping areas we've been to where I didn't manage to snap a picture! We did quite a bit of shopping! If I'm not wrong, the tour brought us to three or four shopping destinations. First one in some underground shopping place, then there was Dongdaemun (동대문종합시장 쇼핑타운), Namdaemun (남대문시장) and also Myeongdong (명동)!

The family has bought A LOT!! Too much that we exceeded our baggage limit. Lol. But, more on that later~

There were also some tourists places where we couldn't take pictures~~~~ Like... this place we bought supplements for our liver. Lol.

All in all, this tour was really enjoyable.

I am extremely happy that my first tour experience was good. Really good in fact! Thanks to our young tour leader, cute tour guide and extremely nice tour members. :D

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Thank you all for the wonderful experience and vacation! ^^

If given another chance to decide on this vacation, I would opt to go with tour again. I guess, it was a good choice to start off our Korea trip with a tour group. Since it is a country that we won't be able to communicate as easily, going with tour helped to reduce cultural shock and allowed us to adapt to a new environment quicker. Like... the tour guide gave us a lot of information about the country; their habits, history and whatnot. We were also given the chance to try a wide variety of Korean food! Like if you go on your own, you might just try the nearest restaurants but with tour, every meal is different! Then again, I'm saying this with respect to going with less adventurous parents. Lol.

Okay, our Free & Easy experience up next!!! :D

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chanced upon your blog while searching for Hong Thai 8D Deluxe and I find this blog entry really detailed and useful as a reference despite it being 2 years ago! :)