So, this is my 2nd time visiting Seoul. The last time I went was in September 2011. It was Autumn and the weather was really nice, perfect season to travel to Seoul. However, this time I decided to experience winter since we never have any in Malaysia *Everyone said I was crazy =_=*
For Kuchingnites, the tiring part of traveling overseas is transits. Kuching to Kuala Lumpur then to Korea. Hopefully by my next trip to Korea, there will be direct flights. *fingers crossed* My family and I took a midnight flight from KL to Korea. I was so tired that I fell asleep before the plane even took off.
We reached Incheon International Airport at 7am and my younger brother was there to welcome us. Yes, for those who didn't know, my younger brother is studying in Korea, so we have our very own personal translator / tour guide! *lucky us* We took a bus down to MyeongDong and walked a short distance to MyeongDong Guest House, where we stayed the whole week. The place is small but cozy. Great location and the rate is quite reasonable too. For a double bedroom, 45,000 won per night, which convert to Ringgit Malaysia is about RM130.
*le bro and dad*
I've read somewhere saying that winter in Korea are different than other seasonal countries, they can be brutal sometimes. The temperature while we were there is from 2 degree celsius to minus 12 degree celsius. I know it sounds freezing cold, but it's not actually that bad if you have proper attires.
1. A good old trusty thermal undergarment ** seriously, you NEED it!**
2. Winter coat - I bought mine in MyeongDong. Cheaper and more fashionable compared ones bought in Malaysia.
3. Shoes with thicker soles *I wore UGG, and I have no complains*
We didn't do much the 1st day, just shopping in MyeongDong, and let me tell you, MyeongDong is a shopping heaven!! The price range is average and above, but I believe in what you pay is what you get, so I don't mind paying a little more for better quality.
OHH!! This is only for dog lovers like me! If you're a cat person, you probably want to skip this part. While I was walking in MyeongDong, I came across a big Snoopy-look-alike mascot , and it handed me a flyer to a Dog Cafe! How could I say NO?! The cafe is one the 4th floor, there's a map on the flyer. I don't think it will be that hard to find a big Snoopy running around MyeongDong. So when I open the door of the cafe, I could see at least a dozen of dogs welcoming us at the entrance! CUTE!!! The entrance fee is 8,000 won/ around RM 24 and you get a free cup of coffee. They gave us a list of names of the dogs in the cafe and warned us a few of them were off limits cause they bite. There were Pugs, Schnauzers, Maltese, Shi Tzus, Golden Retrievers and Border Collie!!
*Gucci, my fav*
Dinner time finally is here!! I've been craving for this particular food since my last visit!
SAMGEOKSAL!!In Malaysia, it's known as 3 layer pork, and I hate it! Too greasy and the texture gross me out. But Samgeoksal is really different, Koreans would grill it till it's golden brown, dip it in some yummy sauce, add some kimchii in it and wrap in veggies. It just melts in your mouth! DELICIOUS!!
There's nothing much to do at night, but to DRINK. Koreans are actually very well known for their drinking culture. I'm serious.. So, we as visitors of this country must oblige to their custom. hahaha.. *I think u can sense my sarcasm thru the screen, yea right.. like i'm being forced to drink.* It was fun and seriously loud! 5 loud mouths together? Wait.. my mistake! 5 drunk loud mouths together? What do u expect?!
*Nice food, nice beer, nice people*
Woke up with no hangover! Hurray! We decided to take the Seoul City Tour Bus around the city. We headed to the 1st station: GwangHwaMun using the subway. The bus stop is in front of Exit #6 of GwangHwaMun Station (Subway Line 5). The bus fare is 10,000 won/ RM 30 per person.You can check out their website for more info. But here's the route that they will be taking. It's a great way to get around the city. You can drop off any station and hop on another tour bus to get your next destination. The shuttle departs every 30 minutes.
The first place we went was Namdaemun Market. We were dropped off quite a walking distance from the market. For a second there, we thought we were lost. But my heart sprang alive again when we turned into an alley filled with hawkers and stalls.
The highlight of Namdaemun Market: Korean Pancake! Best I've ever tasted. Must try it!
Lots of food and cheap stuff in Namdaemun Market. If you like pasar malam, this is definitely your place.
Second stop, Korean National Musuem! The moment we stepped out of the bus, it's like we've hit the jackpot! No.. It's not the amazing architecture of the museum.. Not the breathtaking landscape.. Well, not yet.. but SNOW!!
As we walk towards the museum, we were even more amazed! The view was stunning. It was like I'm in winter wonderland!
*the lake has been frozen*
*le boys having a snowball fight*
Feeling tired, we all decided to go Namsangol Korean Town before heading back. Namsangol Korean Town is actually just a 15 minutes walk from our guest house *feels like we've been running around in circles* Anyways, admission fees are free. Check out this site for more info on it's operating hours and schedules.
*you can see Namsam Tower from here*
It is me? Or does snow makes everything looks good?
Stay tuned for Part 2.