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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Trip to 서울 Seoul, South Korea (Part 1) ♥

image credit: Ivonna @ TheHottestKpop

This is going to be a special post about my 1-week trip to South Korea, and of course it will be non-book related; so if you're only interested in books, you can just skip reading this post ;) If you haven't already know, I went on this trip with my friend Ivonna @ TheHottestKpop, as some kind of graduation celebration maybe? And for starters, we began our journey on October 18, 2014; and we went to the airport in the evening because our flight to Jakarta was at 7:30PM. And our flight to Incheon, Seoul was late at 11:15PM; so we spent the whole night on the planetrying so hard to sleep but weren't able to find the perfect position to do so. We finally arrived at Incheon in the morning, and we're sooo ready to see Seoul ♥♥

PS. Although I've divided this post into 2 parts, it's still going to be a very long post.

Day 1 (1 일) Sunday. October 19, 2014
image credit: Ivonna @ TheHottestKpop

We met our local guide (+driver) who's going to be with us for the first several days of our trip, his name is Mr. Lee :3 Straight from the airport, we went to Nami Island (나미섬) which became popular worldwide due to the drama Winter Sonata. It was a long drive to Nami Island, and when we finally arrived the place was sooo crowded with people. It was very difficult to find a parking spot and we had to walk a little bit towards the entrance. But when we finally reached the place, it was all worth it. Nami Island was extremely beautiful, especially during Autumn when the leaves started changing colors and there are fallen leaves everywhere. We took tons of pictures there, and had a delicious lunch of 닭갈비 (dalk-gal-bi), a stir-fried marinated chicken. Because we were running late, we had to go around quickly, and Mr. Lee helped us took a lot of pictures at the famous photo spot in Nami Island. Afterwards we headed to some-sort-of-countryside for Kimchi Making and trying Hanbok. The owner of the place are super nice; and the food there are so delicious. Oh, and they have very handsome twin sonswhom I think could pass as an idol group member anytime xD For dinner, we had 설롱탕 (seol-long-tang), a Korean soup made from ox bones.

After finished with dinner, we head to the place where we're going to stay: M.Biz Hotel. It's a pretty simple hotel, but I think it provides everything nicely. There's warm water in the shower, nice soap and shampoo, comfortable bed, air-con, drinking water, and TV (which provides amazing local channels to watch). Even though the hotel is placed near smaller roads, I had an enjoyable stay there.

Day 2 (2 일) Monday. October 20, 2014

It was raining since morning, and we're very sad because the 2nd day is supposed to be Lotte World day ㅠㅠ. Our first destination for the day is 봉은사, Bongeunsa Temple which is a temple located in the middle of the city and is very near to our hotel. Our guide explained a lot of things about the temple, including the history of religion and the decoration of the temple; but I don't remember much. Sorry Mr. Lee, I wasn't paying attention the whole time. After that, we went to 롯데월드, Lotte World! Which is also not far away from where we stayed, which is in the southern area of Seoul. Because it was still raining, we played in the indoor area first after getting ourselves cute hairband :3

First we rode the Drunken Basket, in which we're in this cup and we have to spin the wheel in the middle to make the basket spin harder. The ground also elevates and spin, doubling the headache. We also got on The Adventures of Sinbad; it's a family ride I think, and there's not much thrill in it. And then we got our Magic Pass for The Conquistador, because the line for it is just unbelievably long. The ride was sooo awesomely fun; and this is my favorite indoor attraction out of the ones that we've tried :D Our ride literally almost reached the ceiling; and when it drops to the other side, my heart drops with it. And after that, we rode this attraction called Giant Loop, which is basically a ride in which we go around the loop back and forth. Going forward is just like riding a roller-coaster loop, but going backwards is a totally different story. The train would stop at the top for a while, my head would be upside down and I could see the tracks and all the people waiting in line. It was a fun ride indeed. The last ride we got on in the Adventure 1st Floor area was Flume Ride, which is a bit like roller-coaster ride but with water. And it's not too dangerous either, because we didn't even wear safety belts.

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At around 2:00PM, we checked outside to see if the rain has stopped and it has! So we finally got out to discover the outdoor area called Magic Island. Unfortunately, most of the rides are not functioning due to the rain earlier. I saw Bungee tried its' ride several times without any people on it. And when we heard screams coming from Gyro Swing, we quickly went there since the line wasn't that long yet. Oh my God this ride was the best out of everything we rode that day. The attraction is placed near the waters, so when the ride started swinging really high, the waters are below me; and there are times when all I can see is the sky. It was so much fun, especially since our legs and the ride swings really really high. You can go watch the video of the ride here. We couldn't ride anything else outside, so we head back in and got something to eat at the Korean cuisine foodcourt, Arirang. At 5:00PM, Mr. Lee picked us up and taught us a little bit about Seoul Subway system because at night we're going to be dropped off and need to figure out the way home by ourselves.

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We then left Lotte World and head to 가로수길 Garosugil, which is a very popular place for local youngsters to shop. There are shops everywhere along this road; but most of them are pretty expensive. My favorite store in this road is called JAJU; which is a bit like Muji but in a much cuter way. There are 4 Levels in the store (if I'm not mistaken); which includes fashion, houseware, and many more. I got myself a very cute drinking glass in here. I actually wanted to buy a whole lot more stuff, but most of them are too expensive. But I will definitely come back to you, JAJU. And as we walked along the road, without realizing we reached the 압구정 Apgujeong area. Because we had difficulty figuring out the way, we had dinner in a 김밥 Kimbab place and went to the subway station to go back to the hotel. This was the first time we got on the subway, so we are a bit worried, especially if we missed our stop. But it was actually so much fun, and there are a lot of stores in the station ;D
Day 3 (3 일) Tuesday. October 21, 2014

It rained again on the second day; and according to our schedule we were supposed to visit 경복궁 Gyeongbok Palace, but they're closed every Tuesday. So in exchange, Mr. Lee took us to 창덕궁 Changdeok Palace, which was favored by the King during the Joseon Dynasty. It was pretty crowded as well, there are many students on field trip around the palace. After going around the palace, we then passed by the Blue House, where the president of South Korea is. Then we visited 조계사 Jogyesa Temple, where there are tons of flowers from people who wished for something. Near the temple, there's 인사동 Insadong street, filled with lots of traditional and local products.

We visited 쌈지길 Ssamziegil, which is some kind of market about 5-level high I think, filled with local designers' and traditional products. And oh my gosh, there are so many cute and adorable things sold here ㅠㅠ Made me want to stay here forever, and I literally wanted to take everything home. But since most of the products are handmade and designed personally, they sold them at quite an expensive price. In the end I got myself a super cute mug with illustrations from a stall as a souvenir for myself. SO cute. I want to buy the whole stall. Mr. Lee only gave us 1-and-a-half hour to explore Insadong, and it's not enough! I think I will also return to this place again if I came to Korea again.

This day was the last with Mr. Lee, so the next four days we'll have no guide and no vehicle to take us around. Mr. Lee dropped us off at 명동 Myeongdong, the most popular shopping destination for tourists I think. We had lunch at 둘둘치킨 Two-Two Chicken, and ordered the most popular half-half (half fried, half marinated) portion. It was really good, especially since we're hungry and cold from the rain. We also had a blast in the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center, in which we discovered a K-Pop CD/DVD place. There are tons of other stores that sells clothing as well. We then returned to our hotel area, which is Seolleung and went to find a 삼겹살 Samgyeopsal restaurant. It was totally like what we've seen in dramas, and almost everyone are drinking 소주 soju while eating. After that, since it was my friend's birthday, we went to find a Paris Baguette bakery to celebrate with cake. We ordered a plain white cream cake with 'Happy Birthday' candles ate our desserts with a happy heart ♥♥ *note: by this day, our legs are already sore from walking so much.


So I'm going to stop this part right here, because I think this post is already long enough (if any of you are reading). I still have Day 4-Day7 to talk about, which included our trip to JYP Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Cube Cafe/Studio, and various shopping districts like Dongdaemun, Ewha, Hongdae, and many more. In the next part, I will also conclude my experience about the trip and also some tips about going to Korea as well. The second part will be published tomorrow at 9AM as well :)) I hope you enjoy this non-bookish post, see you in the next one ;))

by.stefaniesugia♥ .


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