Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Happiest Memory in Seoul

My Happiest Memory in Seoul| by Meheartseoul
In case you’re wondering why I named my blog 'meheartseoul'. Yes, this blog was started after my first trip to Korea in 2012. It was a DIY trip after the travel agency canceled the tour as they don't have enough participants. So disappointed because they only informed us less than 7 days before the traveling day. We couldn't find other agencies that could match the date as they suggested later date which it's impossible for my hubby to change the applied leave from his company.

Desperate me decided to plan and travel on our own. Lucky that I have few kind and helpful Korean friends to checked through my whole itinerary and transportation especially from one province to  another one.

Our 9 days of amazing virgin trip covering some parts of...

  Seoul (Cheonggyecheon, Gangnam, N Seoul Tower, Myeongdong).
  Seoul (Cheonggyecheon, Gangnam, N Seoul Tower, Myeongdong).

Met the private tour guide that supposed to accompany our nine days trip in Gangnam. However, we ended up travel ourselves because of calculation error and ended up it's a lot more expensive than our budget. Nonetheless, he's helpful and kind to assist us in booking interesting accommodations such as minbak in Udo Island, Caravan glamping at Jaraseom, and also flight to Jeju and back. 

When he refunded us the balance after deducted all the payments, we even asked his suggestion where we could find authentic Hanjeongsik, and he even assisted to call and reserve the table for us at Samcheonggak on our last day in Seoul. 

Jeju Seogwipo (Yakcheonsa Temple, Jungmun Beach,   Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and breathtaking Jeongbang Falls).
Jeju Seogwipo (Yakcheonsa Temple, Jungmun Beach, 
Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and breathtaking Jeongbang Falls).
 
 Udo Island (ATV ride to scenic spots of this beautiful island  and lazying at Seonbinbaeksa beach to catch sunset).
 Udo Island (ATV ride to scenic spots of this beautiful island
and lazying at Seonbinbaeksa beach to catch sunset).

Awesome experience and right decision to stay overnight in White Castle Minbak. Halmeoni, the owner of the minbak was kind to invite s inside her house and boil hot water for our ramen and we'd some fun chit chat. I think Halmeoni had hard time to understand because of my poor grammar.

Jeju City (Just Jeju (Hallim Park, Hyeopjae Beach, Biyangdo Island,      Yeongduam Rock, Geumneung Beach, Jusangjeolli Cliffs, O'Sulloc Museum).
 Jeju City (Just Jeju (Hallim Park, Hyeopjae Beach, Biyangdo Island,
    Yeongduam Rock, Geumneung Beach, Jusangjeolli Cliffs, O'Sulloc Museum).

Visited all of these places was made possible because we found friendly Mr Park Kisanim (taxi driver) to drive and show us the beauty of Jeju Island in 9 hours.

Busan (Haeundae Beach, Haedong Yonggung Temple, Dongbaek Park,   Haeundae Dalmaji-gil, Gwanggali Beach, Mt. Hwangryeongsan).
Busan (Haeundae Beach, Haedong Yonggung Temple, Dongbaek Park, 
Haeundae Dalmaji-gil, Gwanggali Beach, Mt. Hwangryeongsan).

Million thanks to Oppa and his wife, to be frank we only correspondents through emails as I was online seller and sourcing children apparels from Korea. But when he knew that I was going to visit Busan, he insisted to spend their precious time to accompany and show us around... yes, even though he's super busy with his businesses. Thank you so much~!

As we'd to leave early in the morning, Oppa had brilliant idea to drive us up to Mt. Hwangryeongsan, so he could see the whole beautiful Busan from the top of the mountain!

Gyeongju (Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto,   Donggung Palace, Woji / Anapji Pond and Daereungwon Tomb Complex).
Gyeongju (Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto, 
Donggung Palace, Woji / Anapji Pond and Daereungwon Tomb Complex).
 
Jaraseom & Nami Island.
Jaraseom & Nami Island.

 Seoul (Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Hangang Park).
 Seoul (Itaewon, Dongdaemun, Hangang Park).

We're really happy to visit charming places, tasting delicious local delicacies, interacting with locals and experience Korean culture throughout the trip in Korea. But if I have to choose only the Happiest Memory in Seoul, then it was on our last day in Seoul...
 
Changdeokgung Palace.
 Changdeokgung Palace.

Our first palace visit in Seoul wasn't Gyeongbokgung, but UNESCO World Heritage Changdeokgung Palace. Glad that they provided free guided English tour for us to know more about the palace and functions of the halls as well as where the last royal member stayed. 

King Sejong Story (세종이야기).
 King Sejong Story (세종이야기).

From Changdeokgung, we headed to Gwanghwamun Square where the statues of King Sejong The Great and legendary Admiral Yi Sun-Shin stood. We walked around and found King Sejong Story exhibitions underground it.  

We're so engrossed by his awesome inventions and awesome to find out that how he created Hangul for the sake of his people which enormously contributed to Korean civilization. Didn't notice the time passed so fast and we quickly browsed The Story of Admiral Yi Sun-shin before left the hall.

 Samcheonggak (삼청각).

From the exhibition hall, we walked to Kyobo bookstore at Gwanghwamun as there's shuttle bus provided for Samcheonggak's guests .

Didn't expect that to see such a huge and beautiful Hanok style buildings and charming garden there. We're lost until the staff guided us to the correct building. I was shocked when walked pass the familiar building shown on Korean Drama 'Feast of the Gods'. 

We had  8 course Yuha Sura (Yuha Royal set meal). The menu included Seasonal Porridge & Water Kimchi, Mug Bean Jelly with Beef, Bamboo Shoot Salad with Ripe Persimmon, Grilled Scallops, Assorted Pan-Fried Delicacies, Korean Beef Sirloin Bulgogi Salad, Japchae, Rice Cake, Grilled Pork Neck, Makgeolli, Sikye and fruits for dessert.

They only serve you another dish after you finish the one on your table, and you'll need to wait for awhile for them to prepare it freshly from the kitchen. Do set at least 90 minutes to enjoy these tantalizing and appetizing meal in this calming Korean classical ambience.

Excellent customer service too, as when they knew that I didn't eat beef. The chef came out to check whether I want to change it to pork instead. Was really impressed and it totally matched on what stated on the menu list "A dining table prepared with sincerity for you someone special."

The price was ₩45,000 / person, and it worth the price with the quality authentic Korean food, services for this high-class Korean-style restaurant. 


Lotte World Shopping Mall => Lotte Mart (Seoul Station) =>  KTO HQ => Deodeokbap => Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Lotte World Shopping Mall => Lotte Mart (Seoul Station) =>
KTO HQ => Deodeokbap => Cheonggyecheon Stream.

It's free time as we didn't schedule anything between lunch and dinner. So, we went to Lotte World to buy ginseng, snacks and gifts. But it was super crowded and we retreated to Lotte Mart in Seoul Station. 

Then went to KTO HQ, but sadly the Hanbok Experience counter was closed already and they suggested us to go to Myeondong. But, it's too troublesome to carry big and heavy box around. So we just had fun taking photos with standees at Hanbok and Hallyu Experience Zones.

Kurt came all the way to Seoul just to meet us for dinner. He brought us to Deodeokbap restaurant to have grilled Deodeok set meal. I thought deodeok was ginseng as it looked and tasted like ginseng. It's really delicious and I even asked my other friend to help me buy deodeok kimchi when he came to Singapore. I tried to pan grilled it but it's not as yummy as what we had there ;P

After dinner we strolled along the Cheonggyecheon stream with colorful laser lights displays. As he can speak English, we had no problem communicating and talked almost every topics from Singapore to Seoul, worklife, our trip,... 

I'm blessed to know and have them as my friends. This was definitely unforgettable trip we had.  My Korean friends making this trip possible and memorable one. They showered us with care, welcomed us as if we're their own family. Texted me almost everyday just to check whether we need help, update us on the weather forecast, and host us in their house, guide and even pampered us delicious meals. 

Even Halmoeni, Kisanim, Imo, and strangers that we just met assisted and did their best one way and another to make us feel so comfortable as if we're home. 

 Happiness is when you're surrounded with friendly Koreans.
 Happiness is when you're surrounded with friendly Koreans.
Our Happiest Smiles~!^^

Yes, it's this magic of heartwarming 'Jeong (정)' that keep me wanting to revisit Korea again and again.  많이 감사함니다~!^^

1 comment:

  1. It seems like you're not afraid to be yourself which is the most incredible time for an individual which I also like, so you've done it nicely! That’s why I’m thinking if you are also like curtain and blinds Singapore?

    ReplyDelete