Sunday, 26 August 2018

Jinhae City Tour

Back to the workforce for 2 months already, it left me not time to watch Korean dramas and post my trip because I need to work on alternate Saturday too. Worse was last month totally down with bad head spinning and vomiting because of ear-fluid imbalance. Last week it's much better which only attacked me once instead of 3-4 days in a week.

City Tour Bus - KRW 5,000 / Adult.

From Tourist Information Centre, Eonni called a taxi to rush us down from Masan to Jinhae Station so we could join Jinhae City Tour. Eonni told us it's better to go there the soonest before all the cherry blossoms fall as it's nearing the end of their best viewing periods.

 Jinhae Station (진해역).

Too bad, the bus just left the station few minutes ago. 
We'd to wait one hour for the next bus to come.

Having fun with sihouette of Hanbok.

 We walked around the station... There are many cherry blosoms trees around.
Awww... so pretty and lovely flowers~!

Found a cafe nearby station... Coffee Mr Dutch.

Mango Yogurt Snow KRW 6000 & Lemon Yogurt Snow KRW 6000.

We decided to sit comfortably in the cafe, drinking cold drinks and listen to music while waiting for the bus to come.

Best cheerry bloosom sighseeing in Korea~!
The routes are all popular spots to view cherry blossoms: Jehwangsan Park, Jinhaeru, Jinhae Dream Park and Gyeonghwa Station and more. You're free to hop on or droff off at designated points. Just remember to check the timing for the next bus if you're going to the other spot.

 We sat on upper deck for an unobstructed view.

Ok, I'll stop here as I need to concentrate watching episode 15 of my current most favorite drama "Mr. Sunshine (미스터 션샤인)." Are you watching this drama too?

Sunday, 29 July 2018

[Masan] - Agu-jjim at Changdong Thatched House (창동초가집).

I never eat Agu-jjim before and since we're at Masan, the birthplace of Agu-jjim, this trip would not be complete before tasting steamed monkfish!

Eonni recommended us to eat at the 창동초가집 restaurant, which is near to Tourist Information Centre, instead of Masan Agu-jjim Street near Odong-dong because later we need to go back as Eonni will help us to call a taxi to go to Jinhae.

 Agu-jjim at Changdong Thatched House (창동초가집).
Add: 창원시 마산합포구 불종거리로 16, 2층. Ph: 055-247-0011/010-3594-5609. 

Steamed Monkfish and Steamed Crab are signature dishes in this restaurant. 

Dishes can be ordered in small (2 person), medium (3 person) or large (4 person) portion. Spiciness degree: mild taste, a bit spicy, spicy or very spicy!

  Agujjim Small - ₩ 28,000 + 2 bowls of rice ₩ 2,000.
Monkfish is rich source of protein and vitamin A, making it good for the skin, 
as well as having little fat and helping with digestion. The vegetables mixed
into the broth contain vitamin C, making this spicy dish very healthy.

 They serve Kimchijeon for free with dongchimi and other sidedishes. 

I told them that the Kimchijeon was delicious when they served us the agujjim. They offered to serve us another one, but we rejected because they served  such a big portion of agujjim and we're shocked!

The staff scooped the rice from hot metal pot into our individual bowls,
and poured water to make Sungyung (Scorched Rice Tea). 

Eonni told us that Agujjim is a very spicy dish, so we selected the least spicy one and still, we could taste the spicy and strong taste.

The fish itself is pretty chewy, and we bit some small and weird things as it burst with salty water. At first, we thought they're fish' eyes but couldn't be so many eyes. Therefore, we asked Eonni, and she said it's Omandi / Mideodeok (오만디 / 미더덕= sea squirt).

Overall, we loved this dish a lot, but we couldn't quite finish all the bean sprouts because we ate too much rice and kimchi jeon.

The restaurant's staff were accommodating and provided excellent service. I do recommend all of you to go there if you're in Masan to taste this authentic and delicious agu-jjim.

While dining, my hubby couldn't find his earphone and realised that he didn't take it out from the Hanbok. So, after we'd our lunch, he went back to Hanbok Cultural Experience Hall and I walked to Tourist Information Centre to wait for him.

Jeong Ok Eonni was so concerned that we went there alone, because he might lose his way. She said even locals had a hard time to go there and somemore he only went there once. So, we walked there and he really couldn't recall where to go at the end of Sang Sang Gil. Luckily, we have kind Eonni to guide us.

It's indeed a bit tricky as it's hiding at the small alley inside Burim Market. But, you will be able to find it with this Video.... So, what are you waiting for? It's Free Hanbok and you can wear it to go around Masan!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Masan Up Close and Personal Tour

After having much fun posing selfies with my name at SangSang-Gil, we walked around the main street trying to locate Tourist Information.

Finally,  we found the booth next to Joy Golf 

Omo~! beautiful metasequoia trees lined neatly on the street similar to famous street in Seoul... Sinsadong Garosugil!

The staffs quickly opened the door for us as they saw us walking towards the booth. Greeted us with warm smiles and asked us to come in. The feeling was like visiting our close friends...

  Thanks to Kim Mi Ran Eonni for this beautiful photo of us with 
Kim Min Jung Eonni and Yoon Jeong Ok Eonni.

 Min Jung Eonni even asked us to have a cup of coffee and taste the homemade tteok.
They gave me gifts because my name's engraved at Sang Sang Gil.

 Supposedly, there was a complimentary city tour ticket too, but 
unfortunately, Changwon City Tour was not operating until 14 Apr 2018.

They found out that we're going to visit Gwangyang Maehwa Village for plum blossoms, Min Jung Eonni quickly checked the internet and confirmed that the Plum blossoms were over because Plum blossom usually happen before Cherry blossom. 

So instead of going to Hadong, Min Jung and Jeong Ok Eonni offered to show us around Changwon before we go to Jinhae to join the city tour there as suggested by them. 

1st stop - Sang Sang Gil (상상길).
Add: Masanhappo-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
To snap few pictures as a documentation proof to collect the gifts. 

250-year-old alley at Sang Sang Gil.

Min Jung Eonni then led us down memory lane in this small alley. As a child, she used to play and eat here with her friends after coming back from school.

 MBC Studio.
2nd stop - Changdong Art Village (창동예술촌).
Guess what is this gigantic red art sculpture? Please comment below.
 Add: 24, Odongseo 6-gil, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Well, these alleys were like a maze! Changdong Art Village was supposed to be the other street next to Sang Sang Gil (or maybe it's connected)! Anyway, we couldn't go wrong because have two master guides in Changwon to guide us~! ^^

According to Eonni, SangSangGil is the "Myeongdong" of Changwon. 
And according to me, Changdong Art Village is the "Insadong" of Changwon!

 It's interesting neighbourhood and pretty similar to Insadong because the streets are so lovely and artistic with mural paintings, art galleries, workshops, designers' shops, cafes and restaurants. 

 I was charmed by the flowers and plants in cute colourful pots on the wall and ground.  

Total of 315 flower pots were donated by local residents in honour of the March 15 Movement which took place in Masan, which resulted in the April 19 Revolution against the government’s dictatorship in 1960.

3 Major sections of Changdong Art Village: Munsin Art Alley (Green), 
Masan Art Trail Alley (Red) and Ecolede Changdong Alley (Blue).

 Munsin 문신 자화상 (1923–1995), famous artist in Masan. 

   Jeong Ok Eonni brought us to this house owned by Changgak Ahjumma
(seen on the photo). It's free entrance from 9am - 10pm.

This unique and cozy house welcome everyone to rest after strolling this neighbourhood where you can read books, play guitar or organ and learn more about Masan city through old photographs. (Video 0:40)

  Changdong 'Hope Tree' (희망나무) is the mural on the wall opposite the house.

Min Jung Eonni captured the above photos, while Jeong Ok Eonni happily watching us and said it's like taking pre-wedding photographs. Lol!!!

They're carrying 315 written messages on wooden blocks of 
Changdong's residents in respect of the 3.15 Movement.

 3rd stop - BuRim Market (부림시장).
Add: 352, 3·15-daero, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Burim Market is a traditional market which is famous for selling wedding products, ready-made or tailored Hanbok at afforadable prices. Of course, there are stalls selling fruits, vegetables and delicious street foods too. (Video 0:28)

We were curious whether these delicious looking platters of food were real. 
According to Eonni they are all fake and used for Sebae ritual bow
on Traditional Korea wedding ceremony.

4th Stop - Hanbok Cultural Experience Hall (한복 문화 체험관)
Add: 부림동 32 부림창작공예촌 한복체험관, 창원시 마산합포구, 경상남도.

Check out more photos from their Facebook or Instagram. You can watch this Video on how to go there from Burim Market.

 Choose from a wide selection of pretty and colourful Hanbok which are suitable for Spring season. (Video 5:15)

 After which you can proudly stroll around these nearby tourist attractions.

 Up up up to the hill we walked to the mural village on top of Masan...
It's 45-degree slope which is difficult for a car to drive up.

5th Stop - Gagopa Kkoburang-gil Mural Village (가고파 꼬부랑길 벽화마을).
Add: 15-8, Seonghoseo 7-gil, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Thankfully, Jeong Ok and Min Jung Eonni made the difficult 'hiking' trip a fun singing session while putting our hands on our backs and walk mimicking the Kkoburang Halmoeni song. Let's learn to sing the 'Kkoburang' song here...Video 7:18.

The girl was unhappy as we pretended to help her pushing briquettes (a block of compressed coal dust or peat that is used as fuel) cart.

Climb and climb up again and there's an old abandoned well.
Hubby posing as if he's carrying heavy water buckets on his shoulders,
and resting at the low wooden platform afterwards (평상) to get a massage.

Tada~... you can see the magnificent Masan city, mountain and sea from here!

Min Jung Eonni 진짜 최고! Walking down the steep slope in high heels like a pro. I'll sure trip down and roll down the road, so I decided to slowly walk down the stairs instead.

Went back to Hanbok Cultural Hall to return Hanbok, and chopped stamps on Stamp Tour book (Video 11:03).
 That's the end of our up close and personal tour with 2 lovely & cheerful Eonni.
Hope to see you both in Korea or Singapore soon and sing Kkoburang song again.
만히 감사합니다~^^ 

Friday, 22 June 2018

[Changwon] - Find my Name at SangSang-Gil (상상길)

Our highlight for this trip was to chase Cherry Blossom, so we had to visit Changwon by 10 April 2018 before the festival ended. We rushed there by KTX train on our second day. Although it's not the cheapest way, but it only took 3 hours instead of 4 hours by bus (KRW 36,000).

KTX from Seoul to Masan KRW 53,300.

It's cheaper to purchase Korail Pass (Saver) - KRW 91,000.

2 day / 4 day is flexible pass, not consecutive days.
We used it for a ticket back from Suncheon to Seoul KRW 44,300.

 Alighted at Changwon, one station before Masan.

My second reason to visit Changwon was to find my engraved name,
which  I participated in a campaign 'Write your name in Korea.'

As you can take unlimited train rides, we initially planned to go Tourist Information at Changwon to get complimentary city tour ticket and leave our luggage there, then take KTX to Hadong and visit Gwangyang Maehwa Village (광양 매화마을).

However, it's still early and worried that tourist information not yet open, we dropped our luggage at the hotel first.

Singapore flag with greetings in 4 official languages
(English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil).

The taxi driver dropped us off at the small alley, and we'd to walk a bit until we saw the colourful floor full of names!!! 

There are 23,000 colorful name plates of engraved names of foreigners and 
Korean celebrities such as Jeon Ji-hyeon, f(x)’s Krystal Jung, 4Minute, Kara 
and other popular Korean stars paved on 155 meter long street.
Doesn't it look like a gigantic periodic table?
Good that periodic table doesn't have 23,000 elements~! ;P

Didn't visit Changwon on our previous trip in 2015 due to time constraints.
Finally, we were able to make it this time round!

Donning a billowy Hanbok, I imagine myself strolling down
Sang Sang Gil Imaginary Street as a superstar towards
their name on Walk of Fame to sign or hand-print on it.

 Ah ha~! Here is my name... Vera Lee~^^

 Actually, my hubby's name also engraved there, but we only realised it
after we went back to the hotel at night. 

It was early in the morning, and only a few shops were open.
My hubby spent KRW 5,000 for catcher game machine, but didn't win anything. LOL!!!

 Changdong Art Village...

Is this Buljonggeori Road, where a huge bronze
 Buddhist temple bell sculpture is located?