Thursday, June 14, 2012

the seoul post (a long post)

helped two colleagues with their seoul itinerary this year. thought i'd share my experience and recommendations. as a friend would say, "good things must share." 


let me start of with my seoul summary (which i'd previously posted on fb notes) after which i'll include some comments.

111216: touchdown at Incheon Airport / Fraser Place Central / Namdaemun Market / Lotte Department Store @ Myeongdong  

My MIL and my girl  
it was my first ever winter experience and well, naturally, my girl's.  stayed at Fraser Place Seoul Central which i love 'cept for a couple of front desk service personnel who were not so helpful.  service apartment included washer/dryer and a stove so we were able to wash our clothes and MIL often prepared food for us <3. oh, we took the limousine bus service from Incheon International Airport to our hotel. 

US with (TVXQ - Homin = JYJ T_T) & #foreveralone Hyunjoong  (i kid, i kid :P). ok, i'm obviously dwarfish.

got a bit lost trying to get to the subway and somehow ended up in Namdaemun Market, a place i didn't quite enjoy. but overall an ok place to get stuff in bulk. hubs was constantly trying to get me to haggle in whatever Korean i know from the music shows/reality shows/songs lyrics i have watched/listened to.  hahaha. 

went back to Fraser Place and decided to ask concierge for help. was given a card  specially for cabbies with directions (in hangul) to the hotel in case which was really useful. he recommended we go to the lotte department stores, which we really enjoyed! there were boards of hallyu stars, which drove me quite manic as seen from above picture. thankful to have my understanding hubs. 

111217: Lotte World @ Jamsil 

Lotte World lovin'

finally went to Lotte World- a place i'd seen in so many shows! i was truly, truly, truly, kid-in-a-candy-store-overjoyed. in my heart i was going, "omg they were here! and here! and here! omg my yongseo went on this! and this! homg homg homg homg." but of course, i tried as much as possible to curb my excitement. ehehehe. bought like a couple of headbands. sigh. love love lotte world yongwonhi (forever)~

ok the only downside was getting food. we ended up having to get shrimp burger from Lotteria ( hubs and i used to go, "lotteria, lotteria, dari diri dara duuuu~" to the tune of CNBlue's I'm a Loner everytime we see a Lotteria outlet. ahahahaha. )

directions:  Jamsil station – line 2 or line 8 exit #4

111218: Itaewon / Hyundai Department Store + The Galleria, Apgujeong 

daddy & baby combo @ Seoul Central Mosque

visited the Seoul Central Mosque and even met an Iraqi ustaz :) had nice Korean Muslim food @ an eatery - can't quite remember the name now and bought some groceries.

directions: Itaewon station - line 6 exit #3

The Galleria, Apgujeong

 went to Apgujeong for some late-night shopping. fell in love with pastries from Maison Kayser we had in The Galleria, Apgujeong. 

directions: best to take a cab. we took the subway and walked a looooong way to the shopping disctrict.

111219: Lotte Premium Outlet @ Paju / Paju Premium Outlet (Chelsea -Shinsegae)

Paju Premium Outlet which, in my opinion, is inferior to Lotte Premium Outlet

someone who looked like Eunhyuk (or maybe it was Eunhyuk!) helped us get there. accidentally alighting at Lotte Premium Outlet turned out to be a blessing. we did however cab to Paju Premium Outlet to check it out first since that was our initial plan. went back to Lotte Premium Outlet which had better deals, srs bznz. 

i must however, commend the concierge at both places who were super-friendly. service is GEMS x infinity. warning: do not read the next few lines of this paragraph if kpop-spazz makes you barf uncontrollably.  even chatted a bit with the concierge at LPO about the broken-up tvxq and found that her bias is yoochun. i was like, "omo!!jaejoong!! jaejoong heart-tuh!! hehehehehehehe"  hahaha. both of us were basically like hyperventilating tweens.  sigh~ oh! i even gave her my tvxq passport cover and she was like "omomomo!! andwae!! omomomomo!!" and proceeded to like tear. so sweet right~ hahaha. sigh.

directions to LPO: Hapjeong line 2 or line 6 exit #2 go to the bus stop and take bus 2200 and alight at the first bus stop. cab back to the hotel. 

111220: Dongdaemun Market / Rodeo Drive, Apgujeong + Cheongdam-dong

the pair and pidgeottos pigeons
similar to namdaemun market. good place to buy stuff in bulk. 

directions:  Dongdaemun station line 1 or line 4

111221: Myeongdong / N Seoul Tower + Teddy Bear Museum /Myeongdong 

one of my favourite places in seoul! love love love myeongdong! lotsa cheap and good stuff to buy! also, alisha was very popular with the folks there hahaha. 

directions: Myeongdong Station line 4  exit #6. Can check out Migliore. Go inwards of the road/path between Migliore and Uniqlo.

Alisha's fans in Myeongdong

Post-dinner at Saffron

we shopped a bit before going to n seoul tower and went back there for more shopping and dinner at this middle-eastern eatery, Saffron. food was delish! 

directions to Saffron:  Locate The Coffee Bean . In front of TCB,  is this computer/accesories shop, Concierge. Enter the door beside Concierge which would lead to a few eateries inside, one of which is Saffron.

N Seoul Tower, saranghamnida ^_^

Hubs decided not to lock them at the xmas trees which would be removed but went  down and locked it around some plant so hopefully they will be safe once shrouded with leaves. :)
i've been wanting to go to N Seoul Tower since hubs and i watched AnSol's WGM eps in the midst of preparing for our own wedding.  the view is truly breathtaking. i felt like i fell in love again when we did the couple lock thingy (like AnSol :P) 

directions to N Seoul Tower:  we were advised to take cab to N Seoul Tower Cable Car which we did but i found another way while googling for my colleague.  Myeongdong Station Line 4 station.  Exit #3.  Walk towards the Pacific Hotel.Once you've reached the Pacific Hotel, walk on the right side of the street for about 10 minutes uphill in order to reach the cable car

111222: Hangang Cruise via Yeuido / Transfer to Hotel June Incheon

Oh, Han gang~

Alisha's fan club's younger members
before leaving for Incheon, we decided to go on a Han River Cruise. i feel all fuzzy whenever we cab past the river because of how i've always seen it on shows. hahahaha. oh Alisha's fan club also garnered younger members, who spoke very good English,  during our cruise. 

Outside a seafood eatery in Incheon. 

ok, i have no idea why i even thought to travel out of Seoul to check Incheon out and stay there during the last two days of our stay but i am advising whoever is reading this to please not make the same mistake as i did. Incheon is basically like hmm a transit city, if i may say so myself. the hotel we stayed in was quite dodgy as well. 

111223: Gyeongbokgung / Miss Lee Cafe of YongSeo fame @ Insadong / The Shilla DFS Seoul 

Gyeongbokgung Palace

MIL and I with some Korean students @ Gyeongbokgung. 
since there was basically nothing we could do in Incheon, we went back to Seoul the very next day to visit places we missed out during our stay there - one of which was the Gyeongbokgung Palace. we even managed to catch the changing of guards procession. 

the notes tree!

frozen persimmons which i fell in love with after the trip to the cafe!

where yongseo sat

still from Yongseo's WGM episode- taken from sweetpotatodays
my hubs is the sweetest! 

hahaha. i would like to thank my loving husband and MIL for amusing me and allowing me to slot in a visit to Miss Lee Cafe of yongseo fame. i have no idea how many times i hyperventilated while i was in the cafe.  there was even a sign to indicate where the couple sat! we even contributed to the note tree and as any fangirl would, i wrote a yongseo note as well :P 

my hubs being all sweet again. 

still rather high from the miss lee cafe experience, i was surprised by snowfall as we got back to our Incheon hotel. a homigah homigah homigah moment truly! we experienced some snow in myeongdong and at fraser park but nothing like what welcomed us back in Incheon! sigh, ok plus point for Incheon. so sad to have to leave korea the day after. 

111224 - 11225 (0020hrs): Incheon Airport   

back home. sob sob.

ok some tips: 

Get your hotel concierge to  give you the hotel card (with the hotel’s address) so that you can show it to the cab driver if you’re too tired to take the subway to go back home. Cab fare is generally cheaper than in Singapore unless the distance is very far like say, Lotte World or
Paju. You may also ask the hotel concierge to help you write down the addresses of places you might want to visit (eg. N Seoul Tower Cable Car) on a piece of paper so you can show it to the cab driver. 

When I was in the subway, I was constantly looking at my subway map to ensure I know which station I am on or should I need to move on to another line – you might want to do that as well! 

some words/phrases that i constantly used there were:
olmaeyo = how much is it?
hwajangsil = toilet
hwajangsil oediseoyo? = where is the toilet?
yogi = here
yumocha = stroller (you can loan a stroller at the malls/lotte world) 
gogi andwae = meat, cannot 
chogioh / jwesonghamnida = excuse me 

last but not least,
kamsahamnida = thank you
goes a long way 

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