Saturday, July 27, 2013

Korea: Day 4

안녕하세요. 좋은 아침! Anyeonghaseyo and good morning!

Today will be Winter Sonata day as we will head to shooting street in Chuncheon and Nami island. In the afternoon we will be going to Gyeongbokgung. Then in the evening we will shop at Dongdaemun. It's gonna be a long long day. So we woke up at 6:30am and had breakfast at 7am.

 Misty view of the golf course directly from our balcony.

Had breakfast at the super huge hall with super high ceilings. It was so chilly felt like snowing outside. We headed out at 7am and estimated to reach Nami island within 2.5 hours. Goodness! Even Google Map did not recognize the path. My advise is to hire a day tour if you are staying or want to go to such remote area. Anyway, to refresh your memory of Day 3, the resort is called Oak Valley Ski Resort.

On our way to Nami island, we dropped by this shopping district in Chuncheon around 9am.
Ahjumma preparing her stall for business in the morning. It was just 15 minutes walk around the market as the shops have yet to open.

Tried a giant strawberry at the famous big mama fruit stall. See all those giant fruits!

1 box of strawberries costs about RM50++!

We love this stall so much but the fruits were expensive.

We continued walking along the streets to get to our bus. What a lovely traditional costume store!

Don't forget to look out of the window while passing by Korean countryside. The view is really amazing.
After half an hour we reached the "immigration" station. Nami Island declared its cultural independence in 2006 and re-named itself the Naminara Republic (Namiseom). It is an imaginary country and has even invented its own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card. A "passport" is required to enter the Namiseom.

Opening Hours: 7:30 a.m. ~ 9:30 p.m. (Open all year, Recommended time of visit: May, July, August, October)  
April-November:  Foreign nationals 8,000won (entrance fee 5000won + round trip ferry 3,000won + tax included)
After 7PM April-November: 4,000won
December-March and after 6PM: 4000won

Go to this link for more info on Nami Island.

Here's my passport lol!
An alien looking ferry. Will be boarding this when we return to mainland.

 We have arrived! This is a nice path to cycle by the river .

Souvenir shop that looks like a traditional house or temple.

Should be "Selamat Datang ke Pulau Nami".

Okay, will stop inserting captions from now on and let the pictures do the talking. It's a very small long island with just 1 main road so you can't get lost. Do explore around as there's so much to see. Recommended to spend 3 hours here. There's so much to see and a lot of food outlets too.

Never leave Namiseom without taking a picture with the famous couple.

The bicycles used for Winter Sonata drama.

 Actually I wanted to take a picture with that oppa but shy.


The first kiss bridge was decorated with compressed glass bottles.

You will see this Nami maid when you reach the island but most of us wouldn't pay attention so you will only notice when you wait for your ride back. During low tide, you would be able to see her legs.

 Goodbye Namiseom!

The little girl thinks this auntie must be retarded. This was on the alien ship I mentioned earlier.

At last we are on our way to soulful city Seoul. The buildings here aren't tall. Most disappointing was the short Seoul Tower.
We were here for lunch.

BBQ chicken again but as usual the dish was tasty and juicy.

Giant strawberries for dessert. Cameron strawberries totally lose to this!

We were taken to this presidential office and from here we will walk to back entrance of Gyeongbokgung where there are less people. Our tourguide explained that this is the Feng Huang bird (immortal bird) that has been used for the royal emblem and the current presidential emblem. Behind the bird is the dragon hill but it doesn't look like a dragon to me.

There were some cool police with huge super bikes around the area but looks like their job was just to take photos with tourists. I was so shy.

These were the younger and cooler police with roller blades. Wanted to hug them but I was blushing like mad at that time. Heart melts...

Here's Cheongwadae also known as The Blue House (like The White House in Washington). You need a special pass to get in. Pity the police standing on the booth.

 Remember to look up the entrance because there's beautiful painting.

At last we entered Gyeongbokgung. Entrance fees is 3,000 won per person, 1,200 won for group of 10 or more. Opening hours usually from 9am to 5pm.Visit KTO's website for more info.
There's a lake with a beautiful pavillion at the center.

The palace was first constructed in 1395 then later burned and abandoned for 3 centuries. First reconstruction was in 1867. It was the largest palace built by Joseon Dynasty. In early 20th century the palace was destroyed again by imperial Japan. Till today, we saw reconstruction going on.

So all these beautiful structures were not original but just replicas. No wonder they look so new and clean.

Hubby told me that sakura trees were introduced in South Korea during the Japanese occupation. However, I read that certain cherry blossom tress were chopped off here in Gyeongbok Palace due to offensiveness. Offensive or not, they are beautiful.

Does this poster look familiar?

Awesome design but why is the entrance so low?
The King's residence. Nothing much inside but super crowded.

Never miss taking picture of the palaces with this angle. You can find such picture on notes, stamps etc.

Front view.
The main gate.
Outside the main gate was damn crowded.

After a few minutes, we reached an office building and were taken to the basement part. It's a tourist center for you to try on Hanbok costume and take pictures. I don't know how to get here or how much is the rate but you can easily find such tourist activity all around the city. Such package is also available inside Gyeongbok Palace.

I looked so preggo!
Okay, one last shot or else you'll get bored. I agree this post is too long but we had a very long day.

We were then lead to a room at the back to learn kimchi making from this lady.

It was very messy but easy to make once you have the ingredients. You just need to make sure all layers of the napa cabbage were coated evenly and wrapped to correct way so that it won't fall apart. After we are done, our kimchi will be donated to old folks home. We also bought 2 bottles of squid kimchi, 1 packet of cabbage kimchi and 1 packet of raddish kimchi all for RM30 each which is total of about RM120. Read it from my Korean Food Product Haul. I have also shared my simple kimchijeon recipe.

For dinner, we went to a place to eat ginseng chicken.

It was really delicious and you could see tiny roots of ginseng in the chicken. You will be given a whole chicken with rice stuffed inside. You may add on noodles just like I did. Remember to take out the red date stuffed inside the chicken's belly because it can be contagious. The purpose of the red date was to remove bad toxic from the chicken.

We were on our way to Millennium Hilton hotel which is situated right opposite Seoul Tower. This scenery looks so Mexican, isn't it?

Arrived after about 15 minutes drive if no jam. Look how short is the tower!

We were taken to Seven Luck Casino but I don't know how to gamble so we just went inside to look around and gobble up their free food and drinks and admire their pretty washroom.

The Winter Sonata girl looks super sexy here.

Playing with the rotating door. It was heavy!

Wow! Speechless by the corridor. No photos allowed from this stage on.
We walked around Millenium Hilton wishing we could check in lol.

A view from below.

Next time! We are here at the overrated Dongdaemun. It's an 8 storey building but the clothes were damn expensive. A blouse can easily cost over RM100 after you convert. I just bought some masks and a floral shirt. If you visit Dongdaemun by the end of this year or early 2014 they will be moving into an alien-like modern building which looks kinda like ION mall in Singapore.

Cheonggyecheon stream is right beside the mall. This 8.4km long stream is a massive urban recreational project that has been restored since 2003. It's similar to the area where Gombak River and Klang River meet with recreational parks and sidewalks but being a typical Malaysian, we often take our homeland for granted and praise other countries.

Here's a map of the stream. It was so so cold that we had to rush to Dongdaemun.

A night view of the stream. Couples often take a romantic stroll here but we don't have time to do that.
At around 10pm we arrived at our erm...5th hotel? I had lost count. Anyway, this is Noblesse Hotel located at what I think is a red light district because there were lots of karaoke centers. The corridors were dim and dreamy to create the "romantic" feel and the rooms were small. We had to search if there's any hidden camera not because we wanna "do it" but just for precaution when I'm changing. Honestly, never ever do it when you are on vacation. If you want to do it, do it at home. Not even when your family is around, such a shame!

Okay, we had a really long day and we had to sleep immediately. Tomorrow we will go to lots of so-called factory, centers and duty free outlets which a typical tour will take you, then Ewha then fly to Jeju Island.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Jessic Wyatt, thanks for dropping by! Your support mean a lot to me.


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