26 May 2012

Day 21 Last Day. Good bye Seoul.

I'm currently sitting in the lobby of Han Suites; killing time on my iPhone. We're waiting for our driver to arrive to take us to Incheon Airport.

It's been a long, tiring and depressing day. We checked out around 11am and then went to Lotteria for our final lunch in Seoul. Too bad our fries weren't fresh and our chicken was too overcooked. Can't catch a break lol.

We spent some time in Starbucks, sipping on drinks and randomly chatting about things. Anything to let the time pass by really. After a while, we decided to go to the basement level of M Plaza and picked up a few goodies. I found a pocket diary which was 50% off :D plus got an expensive but awesome wind resistant umbrella. It better be as good as it claims!! (it wasn't that great -__-" when I came back home and tried it the first time, the umbrella was impossible to open. Maybe I bought a faulty one. SIGH.)

Came back to Han Suites for a couple of hours to use the Internet and then went out again to look at random things lol window shopping.. That's all we could really do because our luggage is already overflowing. We were getting increasingly bored so we decided to line up for a table at Pane Pasta. It was so busy in Myeongdong because of the public holiday, but luckily we didnt have to wait for a table. We headed back to the hotel by 6.30 to rest in the lobby. It's 7.13pm right now... Getting sleepy. Getting bored. It's going to be a hectic and boring 30 hours from now. Can't wait to be home.

Holidays are fun but at the end of the day, there's no place like home.

//end seoul adventures blog series 


YAY! Finally finished publishing all my blog posts I wrote while I was in Seoul :D I'm sorry if anyone was waiting to read the whole series.. I've been so busy with university and work since I got back in March. I'm a bit bummed I didn't take more photos, but hope I still painted a good picture :P

Now, back to blogging about normal stuff haha

Day 20 Apgujeong and last minute buys

I had a pretty rotten time getting to bed the night before. Those neighbours were talking do loudly from midnight until sometime past 3 when my body finally gave in and collapsed into slumber.

We were planning to take our last set of purikura that day but before we got there, we were distracted my Dara's face LOL damn her beautiful face! It was an ad for a new line of lipsticks. We couldn't resist her charm, so we bought the hot pink lipstick she was wearing xD the packaging was too cute! I also got tricked into buying two lash ampoules because it came with a free SHINee diary xD those ampoules cost 20,000won each! They better be good! Possible future review.

Before purikura, we had McDonald's for lunch and were astounded that it was only 7,800 won for two Big Mac sets !!!! So cheap! :3

After a bit of walking around and purikura, we walked to Euljiro-sam ga to take the train to Apgujeong. We knew there wasn't going to be much shopping to be done there, but we still wanted to go for the experience lol and I wanted to people watch xD !

From exit 2, we walked a few blocks (approx 10 min) straight until we reached Garosu-Gil. The street is filled with boutique stores, including a Parsons store with fat pigs at the entrance (keeping the doors open). Posh cafés popped up here and there, all with a drink menu which was more expensive than necessary.

Sarah and I decided to visit Deux Cremes after I saw it listed in Lonely Planet (or at least I think I saw it). There is a large assortment of tarts on display and many more desserts in the menu. The desserts really aren't too expensive. If I recall correctly, the most was about 8,000won for a slice. As for beverages, there were choices of tea and other drinks, such as freshly made lemonade (which Sarah ordered and told me was sour lol well, it is lemonade xD). I chose a green tea mint smoothie~~ I could really taste the tea and the mint. It was kind of like a choco mint green tea smoothie haha. For the dessert, we decided to go for the chocolate fondant (6,000won) which meant a 20min wait while they made it fresh for us <3

After our expensive sweet espionage, we continued to walk down Garosu-Gil until we reached the end of the street. I picked up a nice sweater along the way for 28,000won (on sale :3).

We were thinking about going home at this point but I really wanted to check out the well-known 'Rodeo Street' where people watching is a must (if you want to spot the odd celebrity). We stood at the entrance of the subway trying to suck wifi to figure out which direction to go but ended up going down to find a neighbourhood map.

Rodeo Street is apparently somewhere down Apgujeong-46gil. It was a hell of a walk down from the exit. We 'think' we found Rodeo Street but we didn't actually see the big sign so we're not actually too sure -_- either way, it was a struggle to get to and not worth the trouble. We did see some TB bubblegum pop idol looking girls step out of a van in a dark side street (don't ask why we were there, we were lost), but we have no idea who they might have been.

I will say this, the plastic surgery ads in Apgujeong are no joke. I saw quite a lot of girls who obviously had their nose and eyes done and even one girl who probably took surgery a bit too far :/ on the flip side, it's nice to go people watching there cuz I saw some really handsome guys sipping on their coffees and being absolutely gorgeous hahaha

We ended the night with expensive Korean BBQ at 목우촌 and last minute shopping in Myeongdong. We even had a few drinks back at our apartment as a celebration of our last night in our home away from home. Tear. It's going to be sad to leave.

Day 19 Crazy spending in Myeongdong

After the damage I inflicted on my bank account the day before, you'd think that I wouldn't be too keen about forking out more today. Sooo not the case..

We started the morning off being lazy as usual lol but went to a hot dog place for lunch and then stopped by Cafe Goodovening. I always wanted to go there after reading the slightly amusing name but kept forgetting to go. I'm glad we stopped by though because the cupcakes were SO adorable. We ordered one each, Cotton Candy and some Earl Grey flavored one. We thought that since they had just come from the back that they'd be super fresh and moist but.... We were so wrong.

The cupcakes may have had fresh topping and cute decor, but the cakes themselves were what I described as 'rockcakes' .. Yeah. It was firm and dry - not the type of thing you'd want in a cupcake. Overall disappointment but the store's interior design was pretty and the Hot Choco was pretty yum.

Sarah and I decided to look at the underground Myeongdong mall to look for a bag for her mum. There's honestly not much down there but if you're looking for Kpop merchandise, it's the best place to check for bargains. I ended up spending about 250,000won down there LOL bought some concerts, iPhone covers/hanger and Big Bang's new release! Lol in fact, I bought 6 copies because it came with 6 different covers lol. The funny thing is, the single isn't meant to be released til the 29th. Sneaky sneaky. I was worried about it being legit but the cases were too good to be fake and when I opened them later, they seemed to be in perfect condition. Didn't try the CD though because I don't have a CD player :/ hopefully it'll be ok cuz I spent 74,400won on them >.< got free posters too! I can't check them now because I already shipped them back home lol cost a bomb to send them too !! Each single is pretty heavy -.-

The rest of the day was just shop shop shopping. I tried to take it easy though because the EMS shipping and Kpop purchases really killed me. Spent the most I've ever spent during my entire trip today. Hopefully it won't bite me in the ass later.

Right now it's 1.52am on a Wednesday. I can't sleep at all; partially because I wanted to catch up on blogging, partially because I'm still rather awake and mostly because there are some noisy ass freaking Chinese women talking super loud in one of the rooms near ours!!! I can't figure out which one. I feel like pressing my ear against each door to find out and the ring the bell and ask them to stfu!!! Ughh do they not realise the time?! They're so loud it's like they're standing right outside our apartment door. The worst thing about this place is that you can look over the balcony in the middle and see the other floors; which means a lot of echo. Damn, not gonna get any sleep tonight. Sigh.

Day 18 Jamsil & Dondaemun shopping madness

Since we didn't get a chance to look at the underground shopping mall in Jamsil last time, we decided to go back to see what we could find. It turns out it was a lot smaller than I thought but I still bought some iPhone cases, jewellery and tops from there :)

After shopping around, we headed to Lotteria for lunch and then Lotte Department Store where I picked up a few things. Then off to Dongdaemun to check out Doota mall but it wasn't opening until 7pm! So we crossed the road towards Maxtyle mall, which we were always too afraid to go into because it looked expensive. Turns out that it's exactly like Doota and Migliore except there were hardly any stores/stalls. Max fail.

We still had time to kill, so we found ourselves retreating to Caffe Bene for iced lemon tea (which was awfully expensive and awfully sweet). When it was just past 7pm, we headed to Doota but couldn't find anything we really liked. I think we went up to the souvenir level though and ended up getting a few things there instead :3

We headed home after a while and took a break before heading out again to Myeongdong so that I could stock up on my Nature Republic bb cream (25,000won per bb cream) and buy some gifts for my parents ^^

All in all, a day full of damage to my wallet. Did a lot of souvenir and gift shopping which totaled to about $340 aud :x the most spending always seems to happen in the final week :c

(sorry guys, I thought I had photos of my hauls, but I can't find them T^T)

Day 17 Nami Island & N Seoul Tower

I woke up much earlier than usual to shower and get ready. We had a big day planned, so once Sarah & I were dressed, we took the train over to Gangbyeon to meet Anne.

Anne was still in her way as she lives an hour outside of Seoul, so we went to Lotteria for an early lunch. I tried the Hanwoo Lady Burger (lol weird name) and I think it had a bulgogi beef patty. It wasn't that nice. The fact that the patty had bits of fat (or whatever those bits of white stuff were) throughout the burger was not very appetizing. I kept spitting out bits towards the end of it. I still think the spicy crispy chicken burgers are the best at Lotteria... Don't seem to like anything else.

Bus ride to Gapyeong

After we ate, Anne arrived and we picked up a few snacks etc before catching a coach / shuttle bus (5,900won) to Gapyeong. It was about an hour ride from Gangbyeon to Gapyeong. From there, we took a short taxi ride to the wharf (only about 4,400won) where you can catch the ferry to Nami Island.

You need to buy a ferry ticket / visa first. It's 8,000 won for foreigners.(I love that we can get tourist discounts hahahaah!!)

Nami Island is filled with beauty. It was a great change of atmosphere from the bustling and busy streets of Seoul. Upon arrival, we heard live music being performed by what seemed like American Indians. To the left, an icy frozen fountain resembling a sculpture. Everyone was taking photos with it hehe so we couldn't resist!

You can hire a couple bike on the island (it was soo cute seeing couples ride together) as well as those nifty futuristic scooters and family bikes which have the steering and pedals at the two rear seats x]

We opted to travel by foot. The island is quite small, so getting around by foot is really simple. There were beautifully arched trees, walls of trunks lined up to form a romantic pathway and quite a few animals (ostriches, squirrels, birds and a freaking huge, cute, fluffy rabbit which came to sniff my hand ^^).

The island is very proud of its cameo in Winter Sonata ~ one of the kdramas which fueled the hallyu wave. There is a statue of the famous WS couple, as well as a set up of where the WS couple had their first kiss (snow men :3). It was really fun to relive parts of the drama. It would have been perfect if it had snowed as well ^^

We spent about 2 hours at Nami Island. We didn't look at every nook and cranny but we pretty much made a 360 hehe there are also other attractions at Nami Island which you may like to try if you ever visit; zip wire from the wharf to the island, the train ride and of course, bike riding. During the warmer seasons, I think you can take the cute duck shaped paddle boats out. But when we went, there was still bits of frozen water :P

We caught the ferry back to the wharf and caught the taxi to Gapyeong train station (by accident). So we took the train to Mangu, transferred to Yongsan (looked around at Yongsan electronics market and was turned off by the camera salesman calling out to us from left, right and center) and then took the train to Seoul, before heading to Myeongdong to catch the Namsan bus to the cable car to N Seoul Tower.

The queue was long but we only waited about 20-25 min to get into a cable car. Tickets for round trip are 8,000 won.

The view is breathtaking once you arrive. We needed to climb some stairs before we could reach the actual tower. The area is large and there's plenty of places to take photos of the view without actually going up to the tower. There's also a gorgeous pagoda where you can take photos or take a seat. We opted for dinner at Hancook which is a Korean buffet and the special package also included the N Seoul Tower view (42,000won). Additionally, we bought tickets to the bear museum (8,000 won).

The view was gorgeous from the top floor. But then again, it was almost the same as the view from the 63 Building. After looking around for a bit, we went downstairs for dinner at Hancook.

Hancook was super disappointing for the price and location, you would expect a large range of food and be spoilt for choice. Instead, you get a choice of a main meal per person (from a selection of 4 dishes; 3 red meat and 1 fish) and perhaps 10 dishes to fill your plate with (seafood, kimchi, soba, spicy pork, pumpkin etc). The desserts only consisted of sliced fruit (pineapple, persimmon, apple and longan) and not-very-nice soft serve ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, vanilla with chocolate). Don't recommend this place at all. They don't even have soft drink or juice. Just a choice of 3 punches; which taste like really sweet cordial. Worst ever.

After dinner we rushed to the bear museum. We got in a bit after admission closed at 9pm so we ended up missing out on the second bear museum :( it had the Goong bears too !!! Super wanted to take photos with them :( oh well, bought myself a kawaii baby bear from the gift shop. Oh so cute <3

We headed home before 10pm and sent Anne home. I'm so happy she came with us and hope she had a lot of fun. It was so nice meeting her and getting to spend time with her~ hope I get to meet her again in future :)

Day 16 63 Building

Sarah and I had initially planned to attempt to go to N Seoul Tower again but our friend Anne (who lives here near Seoul) wanted to visit the tower together when we planned to meet on Sunday. Sooo~ we decided to travel to Yeouinaru station and walk near the Han River towards the 63 building!

At first, we were really unsure where the building was and what it looked like but soon found that it was the metallic looking one with Hanhwa written at the top :P (Go through the revolving doors, find the ticket booth and get a ticket to join the queue.)

We decided to go for the package which included Sky Art (view from the top and art gallery), the wax museum and the aquarium! We got a foreigner discount as well :D only 30,000 won!

We went to the wax museum first. It was a little creepy. A lot of the wax figures resemble who they're supposed to but they honestly need a lot of tweaking. I didn't take any photos next to them because it freaks me out lol!!!

The scariest part was when we got to the horror section and there were wax figures of the witch from Snow White, Dracula, werewolf, Frankenstein, Sadako...... And then there was this guy standing in front of Dracula. I turned to Sarah and asked, 'Is that a wax figure too?' and she laughed, 'No, it's a real person!' As we peered from behind the man with the long ponytail we began to realise he wasn't human.... In that split second of realization, we freaked out and ran away LOLOL We were so scared and panicked that we almost ran throught the STAFF ONLY exit hahaha!

Later on, there was a bear museum! I looove the bear museums here~ oh so cute! I took as many photos as I could with them haha~

After the wax museum, we headed to the aquarium. As soon as we walked in, there was a cute, fat walrus swimming back and forth (in a small enclosure :( wasn't too happy about that). We got there in time for feeding/training. The walrus was so cute and blew us a kiss xD but then he kept failing when his trainer tried to teach him peek a boo. The trainer was going at it for so long trying to train him. I could tell he was frustrated. I couldn't stand watching after a while. I felt really sorry for the walrus.

There are some nice sea creatures to look at in the aquarium. Penguins, otters, turtles, seals~ the list goes on. There's even a tank of 'doctor fish' where you can stick your fingers in and let them clean your skin xD it tickles a bit at first haha

We finished off the night with Sky Art. I didn't really pay a lot of attention to the art pieces but the view was spectacular~

Once we got back to Myeongdong, we decided to go for Korean BBQ at the same place Yunji took us last time (near Euljiro ib-gu). Then we did a but of shopping lol we went to the new Eight Seconds store and.... I totally regret my purchase. There was a 10% discount opening promotion but I didn't receive it cuz my item was an external brand -.- paid 79,900 won for it blaaaah~ oh well.

14 May 2012

매일, 매일..

Dear Blog-san,

I've been feeling under the weather lately. I'm just recovering from food poisoning (again!) and I've missed classes, missed work shifts and have become completely behind in my university assessments. I'm not proud to say the least. I feel like I'm burning out and my motivation is lacking completely.

I believe things only get to me when I let them; but somehow I also think that what I believe or how I think I should react / feel are very different from the reality. My reactions and my emotions are innate and automatic behaviours. So even if I don't to, one way or another, I am saddened easily.

Just falling sick recently plagued a whole horde of unhappy thoughts and all I could think is, "..my busy and anticipated weekend is completely ruined!" Luckily for me, it was a fun weekend! I still think I was missing out though.. I fatigued so easily. But at least I made the effort and I couldn't be more thankful for my great friends who came over for drinks and games on Friday night. Even though I couldn't be a giggly drunk with the lot of you, I was very happy to be with everyone and I hope that they all had a good time.

It's crunch time now. I need to get a move on with my assessments. Only a handful left til the end of semester and I really need to pass my units if I want to graduate. I don't think I could handle another semester at uni. I'm so tired of it. I will keep fighting! Need to make this work!

I don't want to lose faith. I know I am capable of doing things right.

Dear Followers,
Sorry I haven't finished my Seoul Adventures series yet! I have about 6 more entries to post and I haven't had the time to edit photos and upload them. Terribly sorry if anyone was waiting for them. I'd also like to say HELLO to all my new followers! I'll be checking out your blogs soon :) Everyone stay healthy, happy and keep blogging! xx