Thursday, 18 April 2013

South Korea : Day 3

After having breakfast, we transfered to Yangpyeong and went for a rail bike ride. The rail bike is a 4-seat vehicle that moves on rails by foot pedaling(obviously). Since I was pregnant, my husband insisted I let him do all the pedaling. In the end I tried pedaling anyway and the thing moved even with the slightest pedaling, pffft. Tipah tertipu rupanya. haha.
The rail bike looks kinda lame I know, but trust me, totally fun when you ride it with the right people!:) Plus we got to see more of South Korea's country side and even the friendly Koreans who waved at us as we passed by.
After about an hour at the rail bike station, we went to the DIY Kimchi place in Icheon(forgive me, I really don't remember the name of this place) and made some Kimchi(well, kind of). To be completely honest all the ingredients were there already, we just happen to squeeze everything into the cabbage. Our Kimchi instructor was funny though, reminded me of that runningman guy, Jea Suk or whatever his name is. I don't really fancy the taste of Kimchi since I feel that our local sambal is so much tastier, but apparently koreans love it because according to them, not only does it taste good, but it is also very healthy food that they take everyday, apart from Ginseng.
Just opposite the Kimchi place, we had the oppurtunity of wearing the Korean traditional garments. I wore the Hanbok(dress) + Jokduri(headgear) while hubby wore the Gwanbok + Tanggeon. If you look at the traditional attire of any country around the world, you'll find that most of them are very modest. Makes you wonder why not many cultures wear any of the (slightly modified) traditional garments in everyday life like how the Arabs still wear their Abayas/Burqa/niqab or the Malays who still wear their Baju Kurung.
Across the street from the Kimchi & tradional wear place, was the Seasonal Fruits Farm where we did some strawberry picking( really reminds me of the days back in uk) The strawberries in Malaysia are not as sweet or as tasty as the ones in korea/uk so my mom bought a whole big box of korean strawberries to bring back to Malaysia but most of it was finished before we even reached Malaysia.  
Last location on our itinerary for day 3 was the massive themepark, Everland. Everland is almost similar to Paris Disneyland except I don't think they have a parade like they have in Disneyland. Other than that I think the place was beautiful, fairy-tale-like and fun!(despite the fact that I didn't get to ride any roller coasters since I'm pregnant. I loooooooooove extreme adrenelin-rush-rides/activities!!!)  
Sky Cruise, the only 'roller coaster' I got to ride. z z Z Z z z z... 
It was quite romanctic though:p got some cuddling and gedik time with the hubs, teheee
Having my cinderella moment right there.
We tried some Bulgogi for dinner at a halal Korean-Indian restaurant. Sadly it wasn't really my cup of tea because the meat gravy was kind of sweet (I dunno, maybe they didn't cook it right or I just had no idea how it's supposed to taste like, lol). Not a good combination for me but I ate it anyways since I was freakinnn hungry. We even bought some Turkish kebabs along the way back because we meat-lovers just have to have our meat cooked right. After dinner we checked into our last hotel, Manu Hotel and I instantly fell asleep due to extreme exhaustion. It was definitely a nice 3rd day though!:)
*face of exhaustion*

Monday, 15 April 2013

South Korea : Day 2

I slept so well after a tiring first day in Korea, I woke up super excited and refreshed, ready to take on our 2nd day's itinenary! Before leaving Sorak Sun Valley, we had a quick breakfast and snapped a few photos outside the hotel(the weather was just perfect at the time). It was spring yet still quite chilly, but so much better than the day before when it was freezing cold and raining. Let's enjoy some photos shall we? ( Yes I know, I have the puffy pregnant face already:D)

OOTD: pink scarf : Treats | necklace : Fashion | pink sweater : H&M | trench coat : MNG | denim skirt : no brand | bag : Clarks

We were quite surpised to see snow as we reached the Seorak Sun National Park entrance, since it was spring. Our tourist guide told us we were lucky that it rained the night before and that it was a bit weird that it snowed. But we definitely enjoyed the snow(as we always do) and after taking a 15-minute walk into the park, we went on the cable cars up to it's viewing deck. The park was very beautiful and the mountains covered in snow were just breathtaking, masyaAllah<3 I really loooved this place, a place you most definitely wouldn't want to miss should you visit South Korea in the future.

After spending about an hour on the viewing deck, we went back down via cable car and visited the Sinhueng Temple, also located within the Seorak National Park area. Situated on the slopes of SeorakSun, there was a huge bronze Buddhist statue which was well over 15 meters high (that's approximately the height of a 5-storey builing). The statue is very important to the Koreans because it is a symbol of the people wanting the reunification of their divided country.  

We had our lunch at a nearby halal food restaurant and performed our zuhur+asar prayer(jamak taqdim) before trasnferring to Nami Island via ferry boat, situated in the Gangwon province. The ride was very short since the Island wasn't that far from the mainland anyway.

Nami Island to me is such a romantic and beautiful island, no wonder they filmed 'Winter Sonata' there! This place is perfect for newlyweds on their honeymoon!:) The island is filled with artistic sculptures and artworks by the owner of the Island himself. The Island was named after General Nami, who died at 27 after being falsely accused of treason during the reign of King Seju. My husband and I had a lovely time there and felt even more lovey-dovey due to the atmosphere of the island and other couples there:p 

Afterwards, we also visited Myeongdong, the famous shopping street in Chuncheon where 'Winter Sonata' was filmed, had our dinner, checked into our second hotel at Vivaldi Park and called it a day..  


Sunday, 14 April 2013

South Korea : Day 1

Assalamualaikum! So I'm back from my short Korea trip and boy did I have a good time Alhamdulillah!(despite major back pain due to my pregnancy). So anyways, this time I'll try to give you guys a better review of the places I visited since last time I got complaints saying I didn't specifically mention the name/details of places etc (please note that this is NOT a travel blog, thank you.)

We took a 5 day 4 night package offered by Kembara Sufi and departed from Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia (return flight tickets included in the RM2999 package) - I wasn't very happy with the itinerary because it differed from what they showed on their website and they only gave us the new itinerary when we arrived in Incheon(will splur on the details later). 

We departed at 1.00am Malaysian time and landed at Incheon International Airport at about 8.00am-ish Korean time. Funny story though, I went with the whole family including my husband, parents, brothers, sisters and brother in law with their little baby. At the airport, my eldest sister Maryam was held, checked and interrogated thoroughly by police officers. Apparently she shared the same identity of a high-profiled Korean criminal who was on the loose. Which was quite amusing considering the fact that she was a nursing mom who came with her infant child. Our schedule was delayed due to that little incident and we missed out going to a few places which was luckily re-scheduled to last day's itinerary, Alhamdulillah. Oh and did I mention my dad lost his wallet on the plane. that was how our vacation started. lol.

By the time my sister was cleared of immigration and police interrogation, it was already time for Zuhur prayer, but we at least got to see a bit of Seoul City before heading for lunch and transferring to our first hotel in the Mount Seorak area. 
Hubs and me<3
This was the first meal we had upon arriving Seoul. We had grilled fish(i think it was mackerel) served with rice, hot soup and other side dishes including egg, vegetables, anchovies and Kimchi. It was a nice, healthy lunch I tells ya!
After lunch we headed to the Daepohang fish market selling local seafood products but I don't have any photos of that(sorryyy). After about a 3 hour-drive to Sorak, we had dinner and headed straight to our first hotel (Sorak Sun Valley Apartments). The room we got which was meant for two, was so big I swear it could accomodate 6 people at once. There were two rooms, two bathrooms, a lovely kitchen and a nice cozy living area which opened up to a breathtaking view of the Seorak Mountain.

OOTD : sand colored scarf : diy | denim jacket : GAP | maxi dress : gift from my sister | bracelet : H&M | bag : Clarks | cat-print silk scarf : bought from Xi'an