Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Backpacking South Korea : KL - Incheon - Myeongdong (photo update)


WARNING: THIS IS GONNA BE A VERY, VERY LONG ENTRY.

For this trip, there were four of us : me, Ana, She & Mzl.

beg besar daripada tuan (-__-)"

 Alhamdulillah, all four of us can make it despite of Mzl's off-shore drama. thank God Alhamdulillah! ^__^ Our flight was scheduled to depart at 1 am (6th oct 2012) so we decided to meet at LCCT around 10-ish pm. we met.. ate ( i didn't eat. was too excited for our trip! lol), settle our check in baggage and then boarded the plane. seriously masa ni nervous and excited at the same time. even siang tu masa kat ofis dah tak sabar-sabar dah nak balik angkut beg pegi LCCT. kalau cuti ada lagi, memang konfem siang hari Jumaat tu aku cuti! hahaha.

It was a 6 hours flight.. we should really get some sleep especially after a tiring day running from office to LCCT, but no! i couldn't get any sleep!. haishk. is it maybe because i didn't opt for A.Asia premium flat bed? ;p

orang lain tidur, kitorang cam-whore. haha.


 anyhoo.. we landed at Incheon approx. 8ish am. (Korea time is ONE HOUR early from Malaysia). The Captain informed us that the outside temperature was 20 degrees. it's mild cold!

Incheon Airport is really really big. i forgot oredi how long it took us to get to the imigression counter. sempat singgah pegi toilet kejap T__T



After custom clearance, angkut bag and off we go finding our way to Myeongdong. There are several options from Incheon to go to Myeongdong : Bus, taxi/airport limousine or by subway. we choose subway as it's the CHEAPEST option. yeah we are stingy like that ;p.

ooh before that, we had to top up our T-Money as we only get the free  KRW20,000 for shopping. As for public transportation, we had to top up by ourselves. so, we went to the airport's 7 Eleven and top up another KRW20,000. (sekarang masih ada balance lagi KRW3,000 kalau tak silap).



we took AREX (Airport Train, sort of like ERL in Malaysia) from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station (almost one hour journey) and from Seoul Station, we took subway to Myeongdong (Line 4, Second Stop).


on the way to Seoul Station

Agak hazab jugak la bila sampai Seoul Station nak ke subway pasal banyak gilaaaa tanggaaaaa memang bertabahlah kau mengangkut beg-beg especially beg makanan yang super berat tu. nasib baik la yang angkut beg tu adalah our one and only Hero Malaya ;p




Sampai je Myeongdong, Alhamdulillah.. we were one stop closer to our booked Guest House. eventhough still clueless in a foreign country, we managed to arrived safely at Namsan 2 Guesthouse.. which apparently just near Myeongdong's Uniqlo ^__^


We were over the moon when we saw the AWESOME guest house and i couldn't be more happier rasa macam nak lompat-lompat UNTIL Mzl told us that we booked Namsan 1, which is situated up the hill.. 5 minutes walk from Namsan 2. huwaaa nak nanges kena panjat bukit!!!!! *lap peluh*

anyway, since it's still early, with what's left of our final energy,we had lunch at Namsan 2. ate the forever delicious Maggi Cup and some bread. phew.

maggi pun sodappp!

DAH ADA ENERGY, BARU LA BOLE PANJAT BUKIT YEEEHHHAAAA! ARIBBA!


So, after lunch, we check in to our room.. had shower.. perform prayer.. and later went out for a walk. memandangkan itinerary Day 1 semua dah ke laut disebabkan kekangan masa, so we just walked around Myeongdong Area. the first place, the Myeongdong Market. hehe.



first thing i bought, a  pair of cute socks! hahaha. mana la aku nak tau sejuk dia cemana kan. cost me KRW 2,000.

FYI:
KRW 2,000 means 2 ringgit (in won). just ignore the zeros.
but since we are from Malaysia, and the rates are quite high, the total price is : 2XRM3=RM6.
faham tak cemana?

contoh lagi:
sehelai pashmina dijual dengan harga KRW10,000. kalau kat Korea, murah la sebab harganya 10 hinggit je kan.
tapi bila diconvert ke RM, jadi la 10x3= RM30. geddit?
so, kalau kat Korea, tak payah la convert. pejam mata je la bayar bila shopping =p


as i mentioned earlier, our first day itinerary was totally out of place, so after Myeongdong Market, we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace. this Palace was not in our itinerary. we wanted to go to different palace, but oh well.. this is the kind of thing normally happened to traveller. the plan & the actual sometimes doesn't come together =p



Kebetulan yang paling best happened, 5 minutes upon reaching the palace, the Changing Guard Ceremony started! yeehaa! walhal pagi tu dah frust dah tak sempat tengok yang pukul 11am punya cermony. syukur lah ada rezeki dapat tengok the ceremony. hahaha.


oh by the way, we had a free Tourist Guide. just after we came out from the subway, a French Lady approached  us and asked if we need a guide?  we said Ok. we're totally cool with it as it's for FREE! aparently, they have some sort of School Kids Volunteer which i think it's to educate the youngster to speak English and for them to be able to communicate with Foreigner. Hmm.. i think that's something Malaysian Ministry of Education can learn and use for our school kids too. don't cha think? and these kids can speak fluently in English! i mean, their pronounciation are good eventhough they were still struggling finding the correct words to talk to us. i felt
so embarassed by them (-__-#)






After we finished the tour, we had to fill in a form, which is sort of like a survey form for our 'Tourist Guide'. After that, they left us and we sat in the garden melepak di dalam kedinginan angin petang yang super best! it was a calm and relax Saturday evening. i actually have forgotten that only this morning we reached Seoul. it felt like i belong here. cehhhhhwahhhhh statement! ;p




Next, we left the palace and went merayau in front of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Had no idea where to go, really. just follow where our feet (and of course, map!) brought us. and our feet brought us to Gwanghamun Plaza. it was situated in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace, in the middle of a wide busy road.


 it had this Tugu Peringatan, a waterway, a paddy field(yea. i was surprised too), fancy water fountain with colorful lighting, etc. i was impressed! and by the time we were there, there's some sort of event going on. not sure what, just belasah je amek gambar.



... and Korean people lovesssss CAMERA, ok! cool! hihihi.



pls excuse my cam-whore-ness. bukan selalu interframe pun kan. hihi.

i am so LOVING this photo! ^__^

Later, we went to the famous Cheonggyecheon Stream. by the time we reached the stream, it was already cold and dark.. we were shivering.  So, before the sight-seeing, we went to the nearest Coffee Shop to have a hot drink. aku tak minum pun sebab tak tidur dari semalam. petang tu pun kepala dah weng-weng.. mata pun ku gagahkan juga untuk buka.. so takde maknanya la aku nak minum kopi. kang takleh tidur pulak malam ni. dah ler esok tu kena bangun pepagi buta. huhuhu.



who are these retarded people i have no idea ;p lol.







anyway... after had some drinks, we continue to walk down the aisle. ehh. tersasul ;p we went for a walk beside the river. there were so many people brings their family and some came with friends.. boyfriend and girlfriends too..all of 'em just sit by the river, talked and laughed..and jokes.. and i really enjoy people-watching like this despite the coldness. hehe.





pastu, kami pun mencari jalan pulang. on our way, we heard this loud weird sound and i just can't ignore i hafto to find out what was it. so i asked my friends to come along and see what's going on.



it was like a flash mob. at first i thought  the blue people was interesting. But then.i dunno.. it felt like i'm watching some sort of Black Metal in Blue color performing. there's fire.. some shouting.. yelling... and i hurriedly asked my friends to walk away from the spot. seram kotttt. huhuhu. (i've recorded a video of it, but too malas to edit & upload. hihi)

that was it for Day 1. After the 'Blue Metal Show, we went back to Namsan 1 and prepared the bags to bring to Jeju Island for the next 4 days adventure. :)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Backpacking South Korea : How it's started.

Honestly, i have no idea how we ended with Korea. it must be because of Ana. yes. definitely because of her.  i'm pretty sure of it. sebabnya, the first plan after we (me & mzl) returned from Vietnam last year was China. Mzl had already  planned a route & cost lagik! dan yang bestnya, in his route, siap ada plan terlajak ke Korea lagi! little that we know that we will end up in South Korea instead of China, hahhaha.



 So, for South Korea.. Ana is the mastermind. mostly because she's a PHD student, so kitorang yang lain ni assume dia banyak masa lapang walhal dia sendiri pun banyak kije. huhu. mianhe, Ana ;) i know u love this, don't you? hehe. she is the tukang beli tiket.. the GPS bergerak during our stay in South Korea and sometimes she's our teranslator tak bertauliah. hihihi. #untungla kitorang jimat bayar Tourist Guide ;p ngehngeh.

We bought the return flight ticket to South Korea in February for only MYR458.00 (exclude luggage) during Big Sale. hebat tak? it's for 9 days (sebab harga tiket untuk the next few days semua mahal-mahal, so we have to limit our stay to only 9 days). Dah beli flight ticket, baru la kitorang met up in Korea Tourism Office (KTO) in Hap Seng Plaza to discuss our route. (read here)

 FYI, there are sooo many things you can get in KTO. yes you can get the infos from the internet, but in KTO you can get the hardcopy brochure, maps, Korea Travel Guide (buku ni lagi 8 juta kali best daripada Lonely Planet i'll post the picture later) etc and if you're lucky (like us!), you can get free T-Money as well! (we plan this trip as a backpacking trip, so T-Money is very much important to us as we gonna travel by subways).



naik lunyai dah buku ni. huhuhu~


Anyway, most of our plans came from the maps. easy peasy. tapi lepas tu survey juga di internet because ahemmm.. yours truly ni kan Secret Garden's kipas-susah-mati, so opkos ler cari shooting location for Secret Garden. but too bad, when i surveyed the drama shooting location, most of it hasn't opened yet :( now i heard dah open kot yang rumah Kim Joo Won tu, but the entrance fee quite pricey laa.. but i managed to drop by at Petite France yo! the place where the first time Joo Won met Gil Ra Im sshii!! mak suker nokkk! hahahahahahahhaah! (for other location, click here)

Another thing, two weeks before we fly to S.Korea, we went to MATTA FAIR as well. managed to get a super cheap rental car in Jeju Island for 102,600KRW for 3 days (70 hours)!!! murah gilaaaa ok. ini yang memang unexpected sebab kitorang dah survey harga dah sebelum tu dan memang dah redha dah dengan harga mahal yang akan dibayar di Jeju Island nanti. but when we went to MATTA FAIR, Baaammm! dapat murah giler rasa bersyukur yang teramat sangat. Alhamdulillah :)

Pastu beli a few things from Universal Traveller masa kat Matta Fair - winter socks (walaupun pegi masa autumn, tapi autumn sejuk and the socks helps a lot!!!!) toilettries plastic container..etc. btw, menyesal tak beli muffler masa kat matta fair sebab harga lagi murah drpd beli kat Seoul. huhuhuhu~

perkara tak best terjadi before we fly: Mzl kena pergi off-shore and was scheduled to return on Thursday (our flight for Incheon was on Friday). pehh haku hangin gila naper la takde engineer lain yang bole dikambingkan :-/ . it was a total nightmare. dah la dia sorang je ada International Driving License. Aigoo.
(-__-)"

 ok. so i guess that's all for the introduction. will update the rest later, insyaAllah. :)



Saturday, October 13, 2012

bye bye Seoul

I'm leaving South Korea in a few hours. It was a great journey, it's so sad to leave Korea T__T Will update about the backpacking later insyaAllah.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Travel Checklist

actually i have posted something similar in here back then in 2009 , but that wasn't detail enough me think. so today i came up with another travel checklist that you can download and print :)




anyway here are some checklist notes for those using smartphone:

 1. Download Prayer Time (normally it comes together with Qiblat as well)
 2. Download your Visiting Country Apps if any (Tourism/Train/Subway/Bus/etc)
3. Download foreign language Apps (depends on visiting country)
4. Download Weather Forecast Apps
 5. Download Hotel Apps (i'm a forever loyal Agoda.com user so yeah i have this apps in my phone too. hihi)

 Err that's all that i can think about right now. if you have any other suggestion, please do leave me a comment, yeah? :)