47th: SEOUL WINTER HOLIDAY


Assalamualaikum

Oh well, look. Procrastinator at her best. Been putting on hold this entry for almost 2 months. *insert LMAO emoticon* 

Butttttttttttt, say wootwoot to the new layout of this blog. At least, procrastinator actually DID something after all. :P

Anywaysss, as I have promised in my new year entry, I would like to share with you guys my awesome experience during my winter holiday in Seoul, December last year (you guys are also welcomed to read my winter holiday 2013 experience in Shenzhen and Hong Kong --> 35th Shenzhen - HK Winter Holiday ).

For this trip, Arnab Gemok sekeluarga (7 orang semuanya) telah memilih untuk pergi under joined tour package Arba Travel . My family and I have been planning and talking about going to Korea since forever. Boleh laa jugak dikatakan sebab terpengaruh dengan K-Wave. Nak-nak plak my mom, aunty and cousins are all avid fans of K-Drama (Goblin, The Legend Of The Blue Sea and Scarlet Heart memang dorang tak tinggal. And those 3 are just to name a few. Dengarnya, latest ni tengok Saimdang plak). 

After googling for the best looking package and discussing, we decided to join the December trip because we wanna go skiing. Oh man, did we overestimate our skills (skills laa sangat) or did we overestimate our skills? We DID. Never mind, lets just dig in the journey from day one till the end. 

Price: RM2997 per person (includes return flight tickets, halal meals [breakfast, lunch, dinner sepanjang di Korea], accommodation, private transport, entrance fee [Nami Island, Kyeongbokgung Palace], Travel Takaful and 20 kg luggage)
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights (9 - 13 December 2016)

DAY ONE

Since our flight memang awal (8 am), kitorang pun gerak kemain pagi buta ke KLIA2. Ada laa dalam pukul 5 am dah tercegat kat sana. Pastu kitorang terus carik wakil Arba Travel untuk berkumpul dengan ahli tour group yang lain-lain. 

FYI, winter trip is like pisang goreng panas for rakyat Malaysia. Almaklum negara kita takde salji so semua teruja gila nak tengok and main salji so usually for winter trip memang overwhelm sambutannya. Therefore, if you guys are planning nak join mana-mana tour group masa winter, boleh start secure your reservation seawal mungkin. Like awal-awal tahun dah booking. Kalau last minute, takut takdak seat dah pastu nangis tak berlagu. Melepas nak merasa buat snowman.

Back to our story, after dah hai-hai dengan semua ahli, confirmed kehadiran and checked in luggage, kitorang boleh bergerak bebas untuk pergi solat and makan before naik flight. So my family and I did just that and boyyy, do we made a terrible judgment. 

At first, kitorang tak sedar lagi tapi tiba-tiba lepas dah lalu gate Imigresen, kitorang baru tersedar yang kitorang dah kesuntukan masa gila untuk berlari (Read: BERLARI) ke gate pelepasan flight kitorang. Long story short, all of us became Usain Bolt and managed to catch our flight (we were the last to arrive. What a way to make a grand entrance. Rasa VVIP sangat).

When we arrived at Incheon International Airport, we didn't face much difficulties to find our guide ( Arba Travel sediakan guide rakyat Malaysia yang memang duduk kat Korea so very the easypeasy for us to communicate with them). One thing that I noticed at the airport, we can never get lost. I mean, you can try but signboards are everywhere man. Unless you are like super lazy to read. 

While waiting for other ahli setel amik luggage dorang and all, my family and I spent our first thousands of KRW (Korean Won) at one of the mini marts in the airport. We bought the super famous Banana milk and also few other super cute packaging drinks. 

After that, all of us went straight to dinner at a really nice underground restaurant. It got dark pretty early there since it was winter time. Sun sets around 5 pm. Lepas dah kenyang, we went to check in at our hotel, Jungro Biz Hotel in Insadong and ended our day one in South Korea.

KLIA2

South Korea


DAY TWO

What's best about this trip is that every day, the journey started pada waktu yang reasonable. We don't have to wake up sebelum Subuh or time gelap-gelita-bulan-pun-masih-ada-kat-langit kinda hour. Setiap hari, kitorang boleh bangun, bersiap, breakfast (Read: SEDAP GILA nasi lemak with kimchi and telur rebus and sup seaweed. It's like birthday every day there. Two thumbs up yaww) and berkumpul kat entrance hotel around 8 am (during the days where we will be going to far places) or 8.30 am (when travelling to nearer ones or around town).

Little did we know that today our psycho motor ability will be tested to the max. Our journey started early today as we are heading to Vivaldi Ski Park. Yup, we are going for skiing!!! Weehuu right?? Damn right "Weehuu". Anyway, this Ski Park ada featured dalam K-Drama Goblin and also The Legend Of The Blue Sea. No wonder it was jammed pack masa kitorang pergi. Semua nak fenfeeling pegang salji yang Gong Yoo dengan Lee Min Ho main lettew~

This is an optional activity whereby kalau nak main ski, kena tambah RM318 per person (includes all ski gears except gloves. Gloves kena beli kat situ or you guys boleh bawak sendiri dari Malaysia. Untuk main ski, there is a special type of waterproof glove that you need to wear in order to prevent your hands from getting cold and wet when you touched the snow).

Basically we need to attend a 30-minutes ski lesson before entering the skiing area. But somehow my family and I missed the class and need to jump start the activity with zero knowledge in skiing. Like hello, of course we know nothing about skiing. Sedangkan orang negara ada salji pun tak semua pandai nak ski, ni tetiba satu keluarga orang Malaysia yang julung-julung kalinya nak main ski. Ohmai ohmai ohmai what do we do. Well, we redah uolz. We made a bad ass decision by choosing to ski at slopes for pros. Ahahahahahahh konfiden gila.

It was crazy. CRAZY FUN!!! I wouldn't say we managed to ski gracefully but we had a blast. Oh yeah we did!! I highly recommended for everyone to at least try skiing once in their lifetime. You might regret it when you are high up there on the slopes and you have no other choice but to ski down by yourself. But trust me, you'll regret more if you didn't try it at all. Sumpah best!!! Sampai sekarang kalau cerita bab main ski ni boleh tergelak sampai jatuh kerusi. LOL.

After a day long of skiing, we went for dinner and malam tu aktiviti bebas. Some of us took subways to travel farther to town but my family and I, we decided to go for sightseeing around our hotel area in Insadong. There are so many shops that sell clothes, bags, jewelries, foods, etc. But sadly, most of them closed early (around 8 pm-ish). So we just walked, tengok-tengok lampu and lepak at a cool cafe which serves really tasty coffees and other beverages. We also singgah this one 24-hours mini mart and bought some tasty Korean brands snacks. To know which products are Halal, korang boleh google and find out. Jangan main beli sebarang yup.

Vivaldi Ski Park



Insadong

DAY THREE

We were all very eager to start our third day because today we will be going to Nami Island. Yasss, tempat shooting the very famous K-Drama zaman Arnab Gemok masih kesat hingus kat baju sekolah lagi, Winter Sonata. 

I still remember my mom cried while watching the ending. I still have no idea why is the drama so sad. Haven't watched a single episode. Hmmm~maybe I should. Just to menjiwai perasaan para peminat K-Drama. 

Back to our journey, before we head to Nami Island, we stopped by at Kyeongbokgung Palace. Cantik betul istana-istana kat situ. The most excited person, of course, my mom (basically my mom is the MOST happy person during the whole trip)!!!

Habis segala history tempat tu my mom tanya kat tour guide. I don't even know what they talked about since my mom was wayyy ahead jalan kat depan with the tour guide while me and le husband taking our own sweet time taking photos and all along the way.

Sudahnya balik Malaysia, my mom cakap "Apsal gambar mama ada sikit je kat istana ni?" My mom is so funny and cute. ;P

Regardless, Kyeongbokgung Palace is indeed a very scenic place to visit. Visitors get to see the real interior of Korean's palaces and royal houses. Cantik!!!

Then all of us boarded the bus and headed to Nami Island. Anyways, FYI, untuk ke Nami Island kita semua kena naik feri. But the ferry journey is like only 10 minutes or so. Macam baru nak fenfeeling amik angin belayar, tahu-tahu "Eyh dah sampai." Hohoho.

Basically the main activity to be done at Nami Island (apart from having scrumptious Dakgalbi and Teriyaki Chicken for lunch), is to, yup you guessed it right, TAKE THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF PHOTOS.

Oh and also, I managed to buy 3 of the super famous Nami Island pancakes. Beratur panjang gila. Rasa pancake just like apam balik. Huhuhuew~

All in all, Nami Island is really beautiful. They said that if we come during colder times, there'll be snowing and icicles everywhere. But since masa kitorang datang tu tak snowing, so nampak salji baki-baki dari snowing waktu malam sebelum tu je. Jadi laa~

Nearing petang, we all berkumpul untuk bergerak balik ke Insadong. Then we had dinner. Same as per yesterday, malam acara bebas.

Ada yang dah gaya bebas atas katil right after sampai hotel. But for my family, we decided to straight head out before kedai-kedai best tepi jalan semua tutup like yesternight.

Boyyy, we were indeed very quick learners. The third night here we managed to spend many of our KRW by buying bags, neck warmers, socks and more coffees, snacks and fruits!!!! Talking about healthy balanced life huh? :P

I could rant on and on about the trendy and up-to-date bags, accessories and clothings they sell there. But that is just too cliche. I wanna rant about the fruits. YASS, FRUITS!!!

They sell superbly, out-of-this-world fresh, plumpy fruits which I can swear by that we will never get here in Malaysia. 

Have you guys ever heard of persimmon? Orang kita panggil "pisang kaki". Oh man, I never thought pisang kaki could taste soooooooo good and juicy. Every bite I took, rasa nak nangis. Sumpah sedap!!!

And malam tu, tidur mimpi pisang kaki. Nyamnyam~ :3

P/s: Takde gambar buah-buahan. Semua habis kena telan sebelum sempat di photoshoot kan.

Kyeongbokgung Palace


Nami Island

So excited to find these 3 phrases in Bahasa Malaysia!!!
Terima Kasih~

Apa Khabar~

Selamat Datang~













DAY FOUR
Next morning, we started off the day at Dongdaemun where we stopped by at a high end shopping mall where elites do their shoppings, Doota Mall. 

The ambiance of the mall is like a mix of Pavilion and Suria KLCC. But even more than that. Minus the Petrosains. Just kidding. But you got what I mean right. 

Masa tu, this Arnab Gemok over here is actually sedang mencari-cari winter coat with fur hoody. Well of course, NOT the ones with real fur. I love animals <--- Important to state this before I'm being judged. :P

But you know, the ones with bulu-bulu kat hoody. Specifically coat hitam with pink faux fur. Yes, I know I sounded like a spoil brat who is very demanding. But whatever. Aku nak jugak! Hohoho.

And then, I did saw my dream winter coat at one of the racks. Tapi you know when I read the price tag, I just remembered that the shopping mall is for elites. :P

I ain't no South Korean Gangnam chick. So I opted for something more affordable.

Anddd, the best thing about Seoul is that it is INDEED a shopping heaven for EVERYONE.

It's like for every shopping malls they have, they also have street shops bertebaran around it. 

What are street shops? Well, these are the shops that you wouldn't wanna miss. They called the bunch of street shops there as "market". Bukan market macam kat sini jual bahan mentah or lauk pauk tu taw.

I, myself, got my dream winter coat there, at one of the street shops (Dongdaemun Market) just right in front of Doota Mall and it costs me less than RM200. You know what they say, shop hard but most importantly, remember to shop smart. ;)

Anyway, to be honest, our real shopping spree madness begins at our next destination, Myeongdong Fashion Street.

We always heard that at Myeongdong, there are gazillions of shops of internationally renowned cosmetics, beauty products and fashion brands. There are also numerous choices, lambakan of street foods (well, this one you gotta be careful and choose wisely what is suitable for Muslims, of course. But I swear there are many Halal foods available. You won't die of hunger at all. Guaranteed!!). 

When I stepped my foot there, I came to the realization that everything I have heard about Myeongdong is TOTALLY TRUE!!!

If Seoul is a shopping heaven, then Myeongdong takes the golden throne in the shopping heaven. IT IS AMAZESOME (amazing + awesome)!!!

Needless to say more, I bought so many cosmetics and beauty products that I could last months without having to shop anymore. Alhamdulillah sebab duit pun memang dah habis. Hohoii~

To honor the superb shopping experiences I had in Myeongdong, I shall make a list of the shops  that beautifully lined the street so that when any of you guys are planning to go there, you guys can bring along a well written list of items to buy (I know, you're welcome):
1. Nature Republic
2. Tony Moly
3. Etude House
4. Holika Holika
5. Skin Food
6. The Face Shop
7. Club Clio
8. A'Pieu
9. Innisfree
10. Too Cool For School
11. Banila.Co
12. Lacoste
13. Forever 21
14. Nike
15. Lesportsac
16. Adidas
17. H&M
18. Uniqlo
19. Levis
20. Converse
And SOOO MUCH MORE!!!

Day four ended with all of us going back to hotel and realized "Oh crap, all of these won't fit in the luggage!!".

Berhuhuhu sambil packing beg a.k.a sumbat selagi boleh because tomorrow morning nak check out dan pulang ke tanah air tercinta semula. <3

Insadong (in front of our hotel)

 Dongdaemun



 Myeongdong

Nampak tak muka gembira dah dapat "dream" winter coat?? :P


DAY FIVE
Well, who said the last day is gonna be sad, dull and a boring journey to the airport only?

No it definitely is NOT!!

Since we took flight petang (4.30 pm), we have lots of ample time to take on a final round of Seoul. So we went to the terlalu-famous-tak-tahu-nak-describe-macam-mana Namsan Tower or widely known as the "Love Locks Tower".

Just a little tips from me, if you guys planning on to follow the trend and lock the love of yours at Namsan Tower, why don't you guys bring your own padlocks from Malaysia. Siap-siap dengan Sharpie sekali.

Then you don't need to spend extra KRW there. Tinggal nak tulis, lock the padlock and posing-posing wajib with all the other padlocks (there are like millions other padlocks already).
FYI, you guys can also wear Hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) for free there. You just have to look for the right place which I apparently didn't and I missed the opportunity to wear the FOC Hanbok. Sad right. I know. 

Maybe that's a sign that I have to go there again. :P

Petang pun tiba and it's time for us to board our plane to go back to Malaysia. 

When we arrived at KLIA2, I thought our adventure has ended but I was wrong.

Susah gila nak cari public transport to go back to Putrajaya.

"Some people" wanted to charge us way more than normal tambang because of our luggage. While "some others" wanted to charge us even wayyy more because katanya dah lepas waktu midnight. 

I think my eyes masih belum rabun teruk due to jetlag sampai pukul 11.30 pm-ish dengan 12.00 am pun tak boleh beza. But whatever. *roll eyes*

Apapun, in the end, alhamdulillah dapat jumpa Uber driver yang baik hati and we all selamat sampai rumah together with our luggage. No extra charge what-so-ever. :)

Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri heh?? So ironic. 

I guess everyday we discover something new. What a life.

Namsan Tower
(Padlock power bawak dari Malaysia. Hoho)




KLIA2
(Sedang mengenang nasib nak naik apa nak balik rumah)

Little foot notes from the trip <3 :

1. Did you know that there are many Koreans who speak Bahasa Malaysia? Well of course not fluently but yes, some of them (especially the shop owners at tourist attractions) can really converse and make jokes with us in understandable Bahasa Malaysia. I am amazed and proud at the same time, to think that citizens of other country took an effort to learn our language because they wanna be ready in case Malaysian tourists come to their shops. How cool is that. 

One of the dessert shops in Insadong (I'm not sure what it's called in Malay but at the box stated "Dragon's Beard"). We didn't have any intention of buying at first but after hearing them talking to us in Bahasa Malaysia and even crack some really funny jokes, we bought 6 boxes yaww. >.<
2. Did you know that even though the menu looks less diverse from ours here in Malaysia, Korean food is actually very appetizing and I don't mind eating em everyday. Sedap!!! Plus, they are healthy. And if they are serving fish or veggies, they ensure that whatever they are serving to us is fresh.

Dinner on our third night in Seoul

Lunch on our last day in Seoul

When it comes to travelling to other countries, I have a few tips to share:
1. Make sure bawa pakaian bersesuaian based on the weather forecast of the places you're going.
2. Bring extra cash.
3. Always be early to airport (jangan jadi Usain Bolt macam kitorang).
4. Cari dan gunakan Travel Agents yang well known and trusted ( Arba Travel is one of the cool choices you can make).
5. Kalau tak pakai Travel Agent, make sure your family and friends know where you're going. Especially for solo travelers.
Alhamdulillah my travelling milestone leveled up before 2016 ended. And insyaAllah~2017 kalau ada rezeki, kita naik level lagi.

Till then, be safe everyone.

Salam menggemok and Toodles~

Assalamualaikum and Have a great day!!!



Comments

  1. Wow! Wadda post! Musta taken ya 10 cups of kopi kaw2 huh?! Anyways, am keeping this for reference for my own Kimchi trip in the future... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're going to Korea soon??
      Omg you're soooo not gonna regret it.
      Korea is such a beautiful country with kindhearted people.

      Delete
  2. i love love love Korea as much as you do! Left my heart there and gonna go again to be prepared to leave it again..haha..next travel, hopefully that plan of ours for big T jadi!! In Syaa Allah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, Korea again = YASSSSSS!!!!
      Secondly, what is big T??
      Ahahahahahahh~sori lampi jap. :P

      Delete

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