Saturday, 24 August 2013

'NA'rcist 'ME' in Nami Island

Nami Island a must visit attraction for K-drama lover | by Meheartseoul I bet you all know this romantic and dramatic Nami Island!

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Joon-sang and his pretty girlfriend, Yoo-jin held hands walking slowly down the redwood line road. He planted a kiss on Yoo-jin's lips, and they embraced each other on  the pier by the lake... and many more romantic scenes of this famous Korean drama "Winter Sonata (겨울연가)" were shot in Namiseom Island (남이섬 종합휴양지).
Please check this link for travel information and how to go to Nami Island. It took about 90 minutes  from Seoul Station to Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun ITX line), then about 10 minutes taxi to the warft.

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Yummylicious Dakgalbi - one of the specialty food in Chuncheon
we had our lunch first before went in to Nami Island,
 as there are few Dakgalbi restaurants around the warft.

You have 2 options to get to Nami Island: Zipwire (Nami Skyline) or Ferry to Nami Island. Just don't want to have shaky legs and lose my voice when landed on the ground, so...

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
timid us chose Nami Maid ferry ride :P

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
A "passport" issued from Naminara is required to enter the Namisum.

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
"Visa" (admission ticket) is needed to pass through Immigration gate.
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Nami Island declared its cultural independence on 01 March 2006 and re-named itself the Naminara Republic (Namisun). It is an imaginary country, has invented its own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card, and has promoted the establishment of Naminara in other countries.

We spent about 4 hours strolling around this lovely island...  immersed ourselves in this nature beauty.
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Giant poster of Winter Sonata.

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
 Ah... I use this as my Fusion Hanbok photo background :P
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Though I know not possible... but still waited the crowd to vacant this path
and came back few times just to try my luck :P

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
See!!! It's possible ^^
Desperate me just used photo editing software to crop, delete unwanted object,
 clone and paint the affected area :P

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Pictureque chestnut trees in Nami Island and 
Moranbaepil Fusion Hanbok photo for my HP wallpaper :P

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Yes, this is the original photo (before edited).
 [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
First Kiss Bridge.
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata | 
정말 미안해요 Yoo Jin... Muach Muaaccchh Joon-sang! LOL :P

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata | [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Hug for 뚱뚱해 (ttungttunghae = fatty) Snowman and Heart for cute little Snowmen

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
Yoo-Jin and her high school friend come here...

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
to mourn for Joon-sang...

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
   Romantic vibe with breathtaking beautiful scenery.        

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |        [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |       [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |       [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |       [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |       [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |
[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |        [Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

[Namiseon Island] K-drama Winter Sonata |

 Snap here~~~ snap there~~~
Yap... Nami Island just too picturesque!!!

Ok, let's stop here, will continue on Chuncheon Myeongdong Street and camping on Jaraseom Island  for the next posting...

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Gyeongju - Museum without Walls (II)

[Korea O-Train] Gyeongju Museum without Walls (Bulguksa and Seokguram Grotto) | by Meheartseoul
In Jeju we took taxi tour...  here in Gyeongju, we hop in and off 3-4 busses in a day. We just took buses so we can just sit and rest our tired leg, but at the same time we can view Gyeongju city. Initially, I thought to join city tour, so I didn't plan where to visit in Gyeongju...

Good that when we purchaced Korea Pass & KR Pass, they gave an useful booklet which has a lot of information such as places to visit, map, city tour, and discount coupons (hotels, restaurants, performances,...). 

On top of that, being able to connect is a plus point... we rented Pocket Wifi from S Roaming that we can access to internet by the maximum 3 devices simultaneously. We can search online to get more information too ^^

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Korea Pass & KR Pass guidebook with Gyeongju Bus guide
For City tour, please click here for more information

Here are some photos of Gyeongju
but some of the photos quite blur as taken when the bus was moving~~~

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Gyeongju City Tour Office, Coffee & Bun Shop, rice field, traditional market, paddy field,
Tumuli Tomb, Hanok House, Hwangnam-ppang bread shops & Gyeongju Station

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Charming traditional Hanok-style rooftop everywhere ^^
Tourist Information Centre, Bus Stops, Gas Station, Houses, Ticket counter, Restaurants,... 
So, after gathered information, we decided to go to Shilla Millennium Park (신라밀레니엄파크). We alighted somewhere near Gyeongju Tower. Not sure whether we alighted at the correct bus stop... Anyway, we went a convenience store to buy something to drink and the main purpose is actually we need small notes to take a bus later :P 

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
 Shilla Millennium Park, which reproduces Shilla architecture and a village of aristocrats.
Famous Korean show Queen Seondeok was filmed here too.

Hey... wait!!! where are the rest of the photos inside Shilla Millenium Park?
I didn't lost my way, you can see the photo was taken outside the park... but I somehow changed my mind. My body was raising white flag (surrender) as I was completely exhausted! 

Although I enjoy Korea much, but I rarely do exercise... You know, the only exercise I like is swimming. So, for these 6 days in Korea, I walked the most in my life... and 3 more days to go! Therefore, need to recharge my energy first... :P

Tadaaa! Let's just relax and soak in Hot spring sauna in Hotel Gyeongju Kyoyuk Munhwa Hoekwan.  Yes, thanks to Korea Pass booklet, I accidentally saw that this hotel have Sauna facilities when searching for attractions near Bomun Lake... Furthermore, you can enjoyed 30% off for Sauna if you're using Korea Pass!

Uh Oh!!! After payment... they told us that 3rd floor is for Male and Female on 2nd floor. They just provide 2 towels and there's no clothes provided, so I think there's no unisex (jjimjilbang) area.

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Male's Lockers area

You need undress everything and store all your belongings in the locker... yap~ no strings attached on your body! 1, 2, 3,... faster walk to shower area! Well, though I think people won't be interested to look at me, but still no confidence to walk nakedly in front of people and bath together! Aigoo... Aigoo~!!!

Though, some people looked at me, they can sensed that I'm not a local? Whatever, after showered, I can finally jump and hide inside the tub... There are 4 tubs with different hot and cold temperatures. I like the one with Jacuzzi and took a quite nap at that pool... after tried all the pools and sauna rooms.

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Re-energise and fresher after relaxing my body... my mind not that relax though~
Spa centres in Singapore, mostly have hydropool or Jacuzzi in the private or couple room,
or have curtains separator between the tubs. For shared tub, you need to
wrapped yourself in a bath gown or towels provided there...

Afraid that my hubby not enjoying the sauna, I just came out half and hour earlier. Expecting that he's outside waiting for me. But, I was wrong! Wow... He really knew how to enjoy his one and half hour of hot spring and came out on time.

While waiting for my hubby,  I was wandering around the lobby and outside the hotel alone... Saw few people brought their own basket of toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, body or face cleanser and 'ddae’ a scrubber which you use to take off the dead layers of skin on your body). Next time I should bring my own toiletries too :P

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Small Sikdang near Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal
Kimchi jjigae and Galbi Tang with banchan spread covered almost the whole table.

After dinner, we walked around Bus Terminal to find famous Hwangnamppang (황남빵). It's Gyeongju specialty bread  filled with a sweet red bean paste, which has preserved the same traditions and flavors for 70 years, spanning three generations.

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
  You can find this big Hwangnamppang store/factory near bus terminal

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
 Chalborippang (찰보리빵) another popular specialty bread of Gyeongju.
It is round and flat, made with locally produced glutinous barley, which gives it chewy texture.

The bread makers selling Hwangnamppang, Gyeonjuppang, and Chalborippang are located around the downtown area of Gyeongju, bus terminal and Singyeongju KTX station.

Well, it's quite late... so we took a taxi to our final destination for the day..

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Evening stroll in this stunning Anapji Pond (안압지)

Anapji is an artificial pond. Imhae jeonji was a detached palaces of the Silla royal family’s main palace. It was built for the crown prince, constructed by order of King Munmu in 674 CE.
[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
The pond is situated at the northeast edge of the Banwolseong palace site.
Pond had been surrounded by stone walls, and that 5 buildings had been
standing on the pond's west to south.

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
Beautifully lighted up pavilions, huge pond and surrounding park.
 [Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
 Too bad... I'm not a good photographer
these photos just not justified the beauty of Anapji Pond

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
I love those pretty reflections on the pond surface.
Thanks for the restoration and maintenance of this historical place, Anapji Pond is reviving to its former glory.

Here are video and more photos of Anapji Pond: 

Drama "Gung (궁) Princess Hours" mesmerising scenes of the front and back palace courtyards were filmed at Anapji Pond. I hope that there will be more films or dramas setting using Anapji Pond as filming location...

[Gyeongju] Must visit Tourist Attractions |
 Back to Seoul the next morning by KTX
Unbelievable...  only yellow sticker on the floor
"고객신뢰선 (운임경계선) We Trust You (Only paid customers can cross)"

Goodbye Gorgeous Gyeongju!

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