Saturday, 19 May 2018

[Seoul] - Chasing Charming Cherry Blossoms at Yeouido Park

Annyeong ya my dearest Incheon airport~! Long time no see...

Finally arrived after 4 hours transit in Shanghai. So, half of the day
was already over. We quickly bought AREX tickets and took the train to Seoul.

 We stayed at K-Grand Hotel near to Seoul Station as the next day
early in the morning we need to take train to Changwon.

The building was old, but hotel itself  was clean though the room
was a bit small. Nice city view, Seoul Square and Namsan Tower.

It was drizziling when we arrived in Seoul, thought that it would have stopped. However it continued throughout the whole day. Forgot to put umbrella in my luggage, and only left with one disposable raincoat. Since I have a Poncho, let my hubby to use the raincoat because he gets sick easily.

 We saw 7-Eleven Store near the park, but the umbreallas were all sold out!!!

Yeouido Park (여의도공원) is a must-visit place in Seoul. You can witness beautiful cherry flowers in bloom in Spring or walking under the canopy of colourful foliage during Autumn. 

This was my first time seeing cherry blossom (벚꽃 = Beotkkot) in Korea, though I saw Sakura in Osaka and Kyoto but I think they're different species or hybrids. Anyway, they're all lovely~!

It was sad because we litterally just strolled about 10-15 minutes.

Retreated and run to IFC Mall because it started showering heavier and it was freezing cold! Unfortunately, we didn't manage to go to Yunjunro Street to walk under the lovely canopy of 1,886 Korean cherry trees.

Cherry Blossom Festival was started 3 days ago (5 - 13 April) but the rain just poured at the wrong time! As you can see from the video, only few people and only 2 or 3 street vendors seen. Maybe the day before were busier because Bamdokkaebi Night Market happening on Fridays and Saturdays from March to October.

Anyway, it's a sweet memories when walking passing this park because I came here with VIP Tour members in November 2015, and we walked to KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Building from IFC Mall.

 Keep calm and May The Force Be With You!

 We couldn't find a store selling umbrella at IFC Mall, maybe they used all 
to decorate the mall! Shall we steal these transparent umbrellas with 
beautiful cherry blossom prints and walk back to the park?

 Food Empire Premium Food Court at IFC Mall.

Late lunch because cherry blossoms were more important than anything else!

My hubby likes "Daddy Zone" concept where Daddies and kids
can rest or reading books instead of following Mummies for endless shopping.

 Finally my suffering ended~!
Earlier, we went to Lotte Outlets Seoul station to buy a pair of shoes because this boots and another pair of sport shoes almost killed my feet! Maybe they feet suddenly grew of longer or swollen because water retention during long flight that the shoes were so tight and it was painful to walk.

Actually, I told the staff that I wanted to wear the new shoes, but he told me that it was raining outside and it'll get wet. I said it's ok but he looked so concerned on the shoes. So ended up I still wore the boots out from the store and found this seat and quickly changed it before going to Seokchon Lake. 

Yeouido Park (여의도공원)
Address: 120, Yeouigongwon-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul     
서울특별시 영등포구 여의공원로 120 (여의도동)
Related Posts:

IFC Mall is a upscale shopping center located in the center of Yeouido. |

KBS On Exhibition Hall |
KBS Building

Monday, 14 May 2018

Sadly... Shanghai Failed to Impress Me at the First Sight

Our flight from Singapore was at 11.25pm by China Eastern Airlines but it was delayed for about 90 minutes. However it did not affect our connecting flight because we had 4 hours layover at Shanghai Pudong Airport.

In-flight meals: Beef Noodle and Chicken Rice.

Pudong International Airport has very limited facilities compared to the 2 best 
airports in the world(Incheon & Singapore). Mostly their stores are 
Sunrise Duty Free and small stores selling foods or souvenirs.

 Limited choices of food or restaurants too...

Went to VIP Lounge at Departure Hall for breakfast and some rest.
 It's free access using DBS Altitute Card (Priority Pass).
 Only 3 selection of simple hot foods instead of some Shanghai signature dishes.
So, I just had breads, cakes and milk for breakfast.

I wanted to shower to refresh myself because we won't have time to bath until night. But, all that I could find was one cramped and not so clean toilet! Haiz... 
The a    irport had free wifi, but we couldn't access to Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. So we thought the connection was slow, but using airport lounge's wifi also unable to connect. We restarted few times before realised that they're banned in China. 

We had to update my family that we're safely landed in Shanghai and instead of handicapped for 3 hours, my hubby turned on his Starhub DataTravel Asia Pacific. Yes, using overseas wifi allowed to connect to these SNS accounts. 

Anyway, for our 2 weeks trip to Korea and China, we spent $55.00 (2 x $15.00 for 2G + 1 x $20 for 3G). I would say it's recommended if you're in China and need to access to your FB, IG or Youtube. But, I prefer to use Pocket wifi in Korea for unlimited data, so I don't need to restrain myself to post things on my SNS.

Couldn't wait to step my feet at Kimchi Land... to be continued!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A Truly Memorable Spring Trip to Korea

Finally, I could revisit Korea after waiting forever... Yes, 28 months since my previous trip in 2015. The most taxing was the planning of the itinerary because there were so many places I wanted to go but the 10 days trip was too short. The main reason we decided to travel in April because we want to catch the charming cherry blossoms and admire the beautiful spring flowers~!^^

Finally my aching body is getting much better after resting for about 5 days even though I still need to do laundry, cooking, cleaning and other chores but it's not as bad as carrying luggage and bags up and down the stairs in Seoul and Shanghai (Yes, we transit to Shanghai for 4 days before we flew back to Singapore by China Eastern Airlines).

Ok, I'll try to blog my 6th visit to my second hometown the as soon as possible. I wanted to print-screen my itinerary. However, it was very messy because I kept changing the destinations due to transportation problems (city tours which mostly don't operate on Monday).

Nonetheless, this trip would not have been the same without my Korean friends and new friends' warmth, kindness, assistance of that we made during the trip. I feel like they're our old friends, we chatted literally everything.

So, before I start to blog about my trip, I really want to express my gratitude to all of them (though I don't even know some of their names...). It's still cold in April, but you all welcomed and jacketed us in warm Jeong (정)... 감사합니다~!

The admin of Blue City Geoje's Facebook page provided useful information and answered my queries,  and went the extra mile assisting us to book the city tour. Thanks for making our trip to beautiful Blue City Geoje possible and we totally loved it~!^^

 Changwon Tourist Information Centre
(Kim Min Jung Eonni, Kim, Yoon Jeong Ok Eonni and Kim Mi Ran Eonni).

We were supposed to visit Gwangyang Maehwa Village for plum blossoms after collecting the Changwon City Tour ticket (complimentary tour because my name is engraved at Sang Sang Gil) for the next day. Unfortunately, Changwon City Tour was not operating until 14 Apr and Min Jung Eonni checked that the Plum blossoms were over too.

So instead of going to Hadong, two of them personally showed us around Changwon before we went to Jinhae to join the city tour there as suggested by them. Thank you Eonni... I'm missing you all~! 

 이정제 기사님 (HP: 01093074545).

Sadly, we missed Tongyeong City Tour because I was waiting at the bus terminal instead of ferry terminal. When I realised wrong meeting place, we took taxi there but it left before we reached ferry terminal.

Luckily, Mr Lee offered us a 3 hours taxi tour. Although there was a bit of communication barrier, but it didn't stop us from talking. He's very kind as he didn't even charge an extra even though the trip took longer than expected as he said it's 'service' for us.

 Fun night with Hul Hul Guesthouse's owners and mates.

My gal asked me if I somehow found my long lost relatives in Korea because we looked happy gathering in the house when she saw the photos above. Well, they're our new found friends, but they felt like close relatives! We had so much fun partying and gulped about 2 bottles of soju per person! Cheers and all the best to you all~!^^

 Mr Kim Deok Man, City Tour Manager who guided and introduced us to
the hidden spots in Goeje including to the beach that I stated on
my itinerary but was not in Geoje City Tour... 2 thumbs up!

  Our trip to Pocheon Art Valley and Herb Island might not be possible without 
assistance received from Mr Anthony Yang (, 
Mr Heon Lee (Gyeonggi-do (경기도청)), Owner of Sunflower Cafe and a stranger.

A kind samaritan saw us waving at the bus, but it didn't stop. He approached us and told us the bus not stop at that time,  and that the next bus will be coming about 1.5 hours later. When he heard me telling my hubby to take a taxi to Herb Island, he quickly suggested us to follow him and take bus number 62 to a nearer bus stop. He even use Naver to translate it to Chinese language in case that we didn't understand Korean and his simple English.

According to him the taxi fare from the bus stop we waited will be around KRW 30,000, but from another bus stop will only cost KRW 10,000. He even called a taxi for us, then told the taxi driver that we're a foreigner and requested the driver to drive us safely to the destination. We didn't know his name, but we managed to capture photo of him from the moving taxi. Your kind help was much appreciated and may God bless you always~!

 Ms Jo Chang Gyeong (Staff from Jjajangmyeon Museum).

Ms Jo not only guided and explained to us about the history of Jjajangmyeon, she also introduced us to a nice Korean Chinese Restaurant and cordially strolled with us to enjoy beautiful evening in Incheon city after work. You wouldn't be able to tell that she's only learned the Chinese language for one year, because of her fluency, she even understood some of the words that I seldom used or didn't know! You're the best~!^^

Yes, we truly thank them that we'd so much memorable and unforgettable moments. This trip was also  more adventurous and challenging compared to our previous trips. Here is a preview of the places we visited in Korea.

Day 1 (Seoul): Yeouido Park & Seokchon Lake.

 Day 2 (Changwon): SangSangGil, Tourist Information Centre,
Odong-Dong Cultural Street and Gagopa Koburang-gil.

Day 2 (Jinhae): Jinhae City Tour, Gyeonghwa Station, Moving Boat.

Day 3 (Jinhae): Jinhae City Tour, Jinhaeru Pavilion, 
Jehwangsan Park, Navel Academy, Yeojwacheon Stream.

Day 4 (Tongyeong): Yi Sun Sin Park, Nammangsan International Sculpture Park,
Dongpirang Mural Village, Gangguan Port Geobukseon Ship, ES Resort,
Jangsado Island, Tongyeong.

Day 5 (Goeje): Haegeumgang, Oedo Botania, Hongpo Observatory,
Windy Hill, Sinseondae Cliff, Hakdong Mongol Beach.

Day 6 (Suncheon): Suncheon Open Film Set & Suncheon Bay National Garden.

Day 7 (Pocheon): Pocheon Art Valley & Pocheon Herb Island.

Day 8 (Incheon): Jjajangmyeon Museum, Daebul Hotel Museum, Open Port
Museum, Korean Chinese Cultural Centre, Art Platform, Samgukji Mural Street.
(Songdo): Central Park, Tri-Bowl, G-Tower, Gyeongwonjae, NC Cube Canal Walk.

Day 9 (Seoul): Seoullo 7017 Walking Tour, Jeongdong Observatory,
Seoul City Hall, Gyeongbokgung & Gyeonghoeru Pavilion.

On the last day, we just headed to Incheon Airport from hotel because our flight to Shanghai was at 11:55am. This literally summarizes our 10 days in Korea. I'll post more details about each spot as soon as possible. Please stay tuned~!^^