Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Studying Is Not Getting Into My Head

So, it has been...Day Two in the office.

I think I didnt mention about me being in KL for a few days after the Korea Trip. Saw JWei's place (which Mum immediately cleaned up due to its horrendous messy and dusty state), hang out with Lynnx and Lynthia, also hang out with Dennis, shopping and tried to do some studying.

I tried Chili's with JWei and Mum.... Actually, JWei gave the reason that he is very kohlian at his place so my Mum had to treat him to something nice. Thus, Chili's it is.

Then... I went to Mantin (a place in Negeri Sembilan) where my aunt is at. People, the place is smaller than Sarikei. Can you imagine?!

Then, I left Mantin the next day to go to Lynnx's place. Overnight there for two nights. Day One went to Midvalley and then DUMC. Day Two went to Ikea and Ikano Power Centre with Dennis.

That's me at DUMC

After Lynnx's place, I used KTM to go to Mantin to fetch Mum. And back to JWei's place for two more nights. We did go to Sunway Pyramid and had a walk... Kinda boring.

The Kimchi I bought at Korea. Yummy~

And finally... The stuff I bought for myself from Korea...minus the BB Cream, which I forgot to put in

At this moment, I havent been studying well. Which is bad. Hwaiting!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trip to Korea Part 3

Ah! I am back in Miri and also went to the office as well. Not to work but to distribute souvenirs from Korea. I just unpacked the night before and I want to distribute everything so that I have less things to think about. Does that sounds logical?

Today is the second day back in Miri. I haven't opened the pack of cabbage kimchi yet and I am anxious to open it. Hehe. I nearly drove to the wrong lane when I was driving yesterday to get a blood test. Yes, wrong lane. I need to remember that I am no longer in Korea and the correct lanes to drive in Malaysia. Erk...

Blood test? Yea, I went to get my blood extracted for a blood examination. I want to see how unhealthy I am. Finally after so long, I decided to do it.

Today, I have mopped (almost) the whole house and wiped some of the surfaces in the house. Also did my laundry. And now, I am actually kind of sleepy and tired.

Ah! I have corrected the 'date' mistake in my previous entries. I don't know how I can make such mistake. Thanks to the people who told me about it.

Errmmm... So, where did I stop?

Day 4 08.09.2008

Again, American Breakfast. It is getting kind of boring but there isn't anything else they can serve us. Sweat.

We get to learn how to make kimchi, at least get to try out a small part of kimchi-making process.

My kimchi and I

Ah! Btw, I just checked online how to make kimchi steamboat. Apparently, there is this other thing called kimchi stew aka Kimchi jjigae and it is so damn easy to make. I think I will try to make kimchi jjigae for lunch tomorrow. Need to get ingredient.

After the kimchi-making, we get to try on hanbok, Korean traditional costume. Ah! I am not going to put any pic of myself in hanbok 'cause my pics are so ... ugly.

Then.... we went to Ginseng Centre to get a lecture in Korean ginseng and for the tai-tais to purchase ginseng. After the Ginseng Centre, our Korean tour guide decided to bring us to another duty free shop that sells only beauty products since we are all ladies.

After all the shopping, it was time to fill our stomach. Lunch is something like Bak Kut Teh but not quite the taste. I think it is of a lower quality food that we are having. It is somewhat disappointing.
After makan, comes more shopping. Actually, we were supposed to go to Apgujeong, a street where all the high fashion (and also very expensive) shops are. But then, our Korean guide got us to choose between that or a duty free shop that also sells branded (and expensive) goods but we can get about 30% reduction in price if we shop at the duty free shop. If we choose Apgujeong, we will kena the duty charge and we (I am referring to us, the 15 ladies) have no idea where to claim for this duty refund. So, we went to the duty free instead. I actually would prefer to go to Apgujeong for the environment. Just to have a look at the place. To see the rich people or people who pretend to be rich. But who am I to say anything if the rest agree to go to Duty Free Shop. I am the youngest in the whole bus. So, become even less speaking power. Too bad...

Ok, honestly, I cant possibly afford to shop in Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Burberry etc. So, four of us (Mum, her two friends and I) went out and saw KFC. Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken. We pergi makan KFC.
It is not as nice as Malaysia one. Trust me. The fried chicken doesnt have enough seasoning, I think. The Zinger burger is not as hot and spicy as Malaysian. The BBQ chicken burger is something different and this is the only thing that is worth trying.

After the duty free shop, we walked across the street to see the Cheong Gye Stream. So, this stream is restored by the ex-mayor of Seoul after many years of 'shut down.'

Just a visit to a 'kind of' historical site lor. After the visit, we headed to Coex Mall for more shopping.

COEX Mall is an underground mall and it has an aquarium and some more stuff. We just walked around and shop though. I actually wanted to try McD there but decided not to because I was too full and because their menu is not much different than ours.

Ah! Lotte World. I have been looking forward to this place. Why? Because this is where some of the scenes of Stairway to Heaven were filmed.

The disadvantage of following a tour group is that there is always not enough time. The time spent at Lotte World is not sufficient. The four of us only managed to cover the indoor theme park. The outdoor theme park - we simply had no time to go. Even the indoor theme park, we only managed to go for four rides.

Something to remember about this place would be two things.

Number one - I ran all the way to the Merry-Go-Round to take a pic of it. The memorable scene from the drama. I must have the pic! Sadly, the painting on the wall is gone. Oh well...

Number two - My mum's friend and I ran all the way to the entrance to the outdoor theme park to capture of pic of us with the castle. I believe the two of us were cursed and scolded (when we were on our way running to the outdoor theme park and not around to hear them) by the rest of tour group for going there when the meeting time is almost up. :p

Dinner for the day is another version of hot pot with pork. Ladies and gentlemen, by now, I realised that the variation of Korean food that I had is really...limited (?). It is almost the same lor. And each lunch and dinner is definitely with cabbage. The down point about this place is that the waitress doesnt look willing to serve us. We usually get our refill of the side dishes (even if we didnt call for the waitress) at other places but this place, we had to call so many times before she was willing to serve us.

That ends the fourth day. Err... ok, not really. A group of the ladies went out to Dongdaemun again. I refused to follow with the reason that I want to go online at the hotel. But the truth is actually because I was slowly running out of cash and I havent gotten Yuanz his Nike shirt. I need to save the cash le. Then, there is also this other reason...but... nvm.

Day 5 09.09.2008

So, after the American Breakfast, we headed to Namsangol Hanok Village to see the traditional Korean house. During this visit, I was so bored that I went to walk around by myself and sort of made friend with two japanese tourist girls. Err... I helped them to take pics and then... we took pic together and then... when we left the place, we were waving goodbyes to each other. :D

From the Hanok Village, we went to N Seoul Tower so that we can see the overall view of Seoul. I am a bit curious as to why we did not use the cable car to go up to mountain where the tower is. We rode the bus to a point where we had to walk up to the base of the tower.

The view from the top of the tower was quite breath-taking. Although... I also would like to see Seoul's nightview. I wanted to take a pic of Seoul at night. I think it will be so beautiful. Again, too bad.

Ah! There is a mini Teddy Bear Museum at the base of the tower. But I didn't manage to go in for a look. One is because it actually look more like a teddy bear shop inside and two is because we were leaving at the time. No time. The next place we went reminds me of the places I went to Shanghai. It is an amethyst factory and it is so secluded and unnoticed. Nothing interesting to talk about this place. Or does the info that one of the rich tai-tais bought a USD500 necklace interest you?

So... lunch. Finally, after many days of Korean food, we get to eat some Chinese food. Cooked by Chinese who live in Korea.

There is no escape from cabbage. The first dish we had is Cabbage and Tofu Soup. Aaaaa....Then, there were Squid with Celery, Sweet Sour Chicken, Spicy Sour Pork, Mushroom with Cabbage, and Cai Xin.

Somehow, all of us think that the food was too oily. Have we actually gotten used to Korean's almost oil-less food?

Anyways... we headed to Myeong-Dong to do more shopping. Erm... I had this 32cm ice cream there. Not sure if it is really 32cm but it is sure very tall. Green Tea and Strawberry Flavour is what i ordered.

Doesnt the face of that man at the back looks so cheerful? He was so into promoting the ice cream. And his colleague is so busy giving everyone their ice-cream. Ah! Then, there is also that hand that is taking the ice-cream away. My Mum's friend, who ordered Strawberry Flavour ice-cream, took my ice-cream and ate it as if it was hers. Sigh... The guy gave me another one when they realised that my ice-cream was given to the wrong person. Sweat...

One thing that made me really scream is this.

The Brunei tour guide bought this for her niece. Her niece asked her to buy it because she is a fan of them. Damn... This book is about RM126 or 38,000 Korean Won, ok? I am so envious... Anyone want to get it for me? Kidding. No use la.

Well, it is finally our last meal in Korea. The Korean guide had asked us to choose something that we would like to eat, either a new dish or a repeat from what we had previously. We chose Bibimbap.

After returning to the hotel, there was the final expedition to Dongdaemun but I didn't join. I went online and packed my stuff instead.

Day 6 10.09.2008

It was finally our last day..morning in Korea. Mum and I increased our baggage number from three unit to five unit.

We had kimchi for our flight meal. Not bad.
And so, after five and a half hour flight, we were back in Malaysia.

Finally done with the Korea Trip... Blogging from my own laptop is so comfortable. hehe.... Now, I guess I better take pics of things I bought so that I can blog about them too. :P

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trip to Korea Part 2

Here goes.

Day 2 06.05.2008

The view from our sixth floor room

The 'zoomed' view from our sixth floor room

The morning at Saint Hiyan Hotel is very cooling. Something like being in Genting Highlands. So... our first breakfast is American Breakfast. Not the usual buffet breakfast that we usually have when we go out travelling with tour. American Breakfast is so... little but just enough actually. So, we arent too full or too hungry. Just right.

Our first destination for the day is Farm Herbnara. It is a place they planted all sorts of herbs as you can guessed from its name.

Felt so relaxing being in this green green place and the air is so cooling.

After the farm, we travelled for quite a distance to have lunch - Barbeque Pork. Yummy.

Ah! For each of our meal, we are seated four person per table. And we have four tables - 15 people. I do believe that my table always finished our food. There is always nothing left on our pot when we are done eating.

After lunch, we headed to Everland. It is an outdoor theme park... Quite big. Ah! As we were hanging around the entrance of the park, I heard people screaming and clapping their hands as if there is a celebrity nearby. Guess whom I saw? Andre Kim walking into the theme park. Yea, that old guy dressed in white. I know his hair is a bit odd. But he is famous, yo!

We used the cable car to go to the lower grounds of the theme park where most of the rides are. We went for the Safari Adventure to see the tigers, lions and bears.

The four of us went on a few more rides before I went on this ride with one of my Mum's friend (she is quite young although I am younger). Crazy? Actually, I rode it because of Goong. Haha.... :p
After such exhilirating ride, we left Everland for dinner. Bibimbap.

After dinner, we headed to Dongdaemun, Seoul's biggest shopping complexes area. We did a bit of shopping. Not much time as the Korean tour guide and the bus driver need to go home as well.

Day 3 07.05.2008

It is American Breakfast again for breakfast. According to the Korean tour guide, Korean usually have rice and jiggae aka soup for breakfast. But he doesnt think that we will want to eat rice for all of our meals. But there isnt any other alternative and... the hotel provide breakfast for us so... American Breakfast it is.

First stop for our Third Day is... Jewel in the Palace's shooting place. The place is actually meant to be deconstructed after the filming but because of the high rating, MBC opened the place to the public so that they can look at the filming places. Despite of looking tremendous huge, the shooting place is actually quite small. It is a wonder to see how the drama-maker filmed to make the place looks huge. They must have really cramped themselves in that place.

After the visit, we had lunch - Mushroom Hotpot. We had to sit in Korean style. Which is sitting on the floor. Ah! My favourite mushrooms!!
Then.... We had another long drive to the President's Blue House. It is President's House like American President's White House. South Korea's President gets to stay there for 5 years of his service as President. It was written in the itinerary that we will pass by the Blue House and it is true. We just passed by the Blue House. But we did stopped at the front of the Foreign Guest Welcoming House to take pictures. However, because it is afternoon, the sun is shining right above us and extremely warm... our visit there is quite short.

The Blue House - I captured the pic while on the bus & the other one is me in front of the monument outside of the Foreign Guest Welcoming House

After that, we went to visit the National Folk Museum which is at Gyeongbokgung aka Gyeongbok Palace. I left the tour group to use the free internet there while we were roaming in the museum.

After the Museum, we proceeded to visit the Gyeongbok Palace. It hasnt been fully restored to its former glory. But, I think it is good enough. The place actually looks very much like a Chinese Palace.

Ah! One funny memory from this place is that I took pic with three Japanese obasan who happened to be visiting the palace at that time. They are so sporting.

We left Gyeongbok Palace and headed to a Korea Buddhist Temple. Just about ten minutes there because nothing much to see. The we walked to Insadong Antique and Arts Street which is behind the Temple. It is a street that sells all sorts of Korean antiques and arts with loads of souvenirs of Korea and also some clothing shops. The things there are almost all the same despite of being a really long street so instead... Mum and I shared an ice cream and a bowl of tteokbokki while waiting for the others to shop. Ah! I also bought JWei's instant noodles at the nearby 7-Eleven.

Dinner for the night is Ginseng Chicken. Not bad, i must say.

After dinner, we retired to our hotel....and then, nine of us went walking to Dongdaemun for more shopping. We initially planned to take a taxi there but then decided to walk instead. Surprisingly, it only took us about 20 minutes to reach there. Our Korean tour guide said that it will take more than 30 minutes. He is wrong!

I bought some sort like a hoodie from this shopping excursion. Not sure how will i use though. Hehe... Will show it soon...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trip to Korea Part 1

I have decided to use RM1035 as my spending budget for this Korea trip.

And exchanged it to USD300. Ohmigosh..sakit hati, yea...

Which after that, I used a small part of it to exchange to a few hundred thousand Won. I have no idea exactly how much Korean won I have exchanged because of the different currency I have. It is also the first time I actually I have five different currency in my purse: Malaysian Ringgit, Singapore Dollars, Brunei Dollars, US Dollars and Korean Won.

Day 1 05.09.2008

Because the flight is from Brunei to KL and then From KL to Korea, I had to travel to Brunei first. Upon arrival, we had Excapade for lunch. Ah I miss Excapade. Then... we went for a bit of window shopping at Hua Ho and then headed to airport.

And so, we flew from Brunei to KL using MAS. I haven't use MAS for quite some time. Always use Airasia so I have forgotten how is it like to use MAS. It is gooodd... MAS airplane doesn't have this awful leathery smell that Airasia has. It has the smell of ... nothing. Unlike Airasia, you will have the smell of its leather seat in your hair after you use Airasia. Me like MAS.
The in-flight meal

Arrived at KLIA (ahemm... KLIA, not LCCT. Also havent been here for a few years already. I am so pathetic) at 4 something pm. All 15 of us had to wait at KLIA until 12.30 am for our flight to Korea. So, Mum, her two friends and I decided to give JWei a visit but canceled it because it is too expensive. The damn driver tried to slaughter us by chartering us a rm250 return trip to Jwei's condominium. So, we stayed at KLIA and had KFC for dinner.

And then we waited...

and waited...

and finally we boarded.
The in-flight snack and meal

As our flight is from 12.30am to 8 something am, we were greeted with the sunrise...
The pink horizon with the fluffly clouds

Btw, the flight to Korea is a co-op with Korean Air., which means that Korean Air steward and stewardess donned MAS uniform and served under MAS (I think this is what it means). This way, they can communicate with the Korean passengers and made the Korean passengers feel at home 'cause I think most Koreans can't communicate in English. Another thing... one of the Korean air stewardess (i think is from Korean Air) is rather rude to the non-Korean passengers, namely me and my other traveling companions. She is however being quite nice to the Korean passengers. All smiles to Koreans. Wahlau! Damn biased.

Anyways...We arrived safely at Incheon International Airport at about 8 something am and we had a bit of dissatisfaction with the punctuality of some of the tour mates. We met up with the Korean tour guide and got on our way to our first travel destination...

Hold on! Our first destination is supposed to be Jewel in the Palace's shooting place but that is not where we are heading. In fact, the Korean tour guide didn't even mentioned about this place at all. Instead, we were heading to our lunch destination. Along the way, we stopped for toilet break and I bought this.
Honeydew Ice Cream

Our first Korean cuisine is Chicken with Rice Cake and Veggie on Hot Pot. Don't know the Korean name. The weak point of this Korean tour guide, Mr. Chang, is that he doesn't tell the tour group the name of the dishes in Korean unless you ask him. He also doesn't teach us a few simple Korean words unless we ask him.

The dish is served with a few side dishes as well as seaweed soup. Rice was added to the hot pot later after we consumed some of the chicken and veggie.

Then, we headed towards Name Island, where Winter Sonata was filmed. There are a lot of people, including tourist and locals.

I have never watched Winter Sonata before. So... I don't have much ...feeling of the place. After Nami Island, we headed to our next destination...which is dinner. Pork and Squid HotPot.

We stayed at Saint Hiyan Hotel for our first night. It is a ski lodge during winter time and since it is autumn, there is no snow at all. But the air is very cooling and nice.

The next morning, we have American Breakfast. Little do we know, this would be our breakfast for every single morning. American Breakfast every morning.

Sherp, I asked the Saint Hiyan Hotel reception guy what does 'busurimalia' means. He said it is not 'busurimalia', it is 'busungmaria' (please pronounce with using BM) which means 'what are you saying' I later confirmed it when watching Korean Drama. The pronunciation is 'busungmaria' instead of 'busurimalia'

My initial plan to pick up dead autumn leaves, laminate it and give it as souvenirs is ruined because it is still early autumn. The leaves aren't dead yet. Darn....

Currently, I am at JWei's condominium unit. Mum has basically cleaned his unit from last night till this morning. From super dirty and messy to quite clean. Hehe...

Till next time.