Thursday, 29 May 2014

Korea Travelogue (Day 3 - 5)

Continuing my #SCTRAVELOGUE Day 3 – 5 after almost 1 month (what’s new??).

But I’m in a more relaxed mode now that I’ve paid my deposit for the bridal studio & hotel. Currently in the midst of confirming the photographer & videographer for AD. Hopefully things will flow well….. *fingers crossed*

Day 3
Started off Day 3 with buffet breakfast at Jeju Oriental Hotel. The spread includes western & local (Korean) cuisine. One of the best breakfast we had :D












#OOTD for Day 3; with the waterfall as backdrop


1st stop: Tangerine Picking Experience – I was expecting to pick some giant strawberries to consume on the spot :( Perhaps it is due to the cold weather, and that it was not the harvest of the month for most fruits, so only Tangerine?? Types of fruits varies accordingly to the season and harvest for the month.

Well, just inside this tangerine “maze”, our group already spent around 30mins taking pictures with the tangerines. *Touristsssssss* HAHAHA!

PS: Jeju is famous for their tangerine & the tangerines we picked were really sweet.











Got a few boxes of tangerine flavoured chocolates back for the colleagues.

2nd stop: Songan Sunrise Peak – an extinct volcanic crater on the eastern tip of Jeju Island offering a splendid view by the coast. The peak resembles a great ancient castle when seen from a distance. Its crater is surrounded by the volcanic ashes that were created when lava touched the cold sea more than 100,000 years ago. At its peak, be swept away by the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.



This is where Sam & I had our 180m climb uphill & another 180m downhill. Our first “workout” during our trip that aided us in burning those bbq poultry & rice we consumed. 

Despite the chilly weather, climbing uphill is NO FUN. My main aim is to challenge myself. Furthermore this shouldn’t be tough for us since we frequent the gym?? And we are still young!!!! :pp



Breathe in, breathe out. Slow & steady… working out but not forgetting to take some scenic views.





YAYYYYYY!! Achievement unlocked :)









3rd stop: Seongeup Folk Village, a small town that holds a vast amount of culture. This is where many of the traditional thatched houses are under a protection order and where people continue to live & work as they have done for centuries.


The local black-haired pigs are especially well-known characteristics of Jeju folk culture. The Jeju black pork is said to be very nutritious.  Imagine our reaction when the guide told us that our lunch was bbq black pork after witnessing the waste that goes into its’ mouth :SSSS



The village lady guide was explaining to us the different types of pure honey they sell. You can refer to the price list in attached photo. 

She also showed us how pure their honey is when mixed with water. Apparently, when mixed together, the honey is supposed to foam a hive shape; & not get diluted into the water.



Time for our BBQ Black Pork lunch!!








More marinated meat for you??


4th stop: O’Sulloc Green Tea Museum, where we experienced Korean tea culture and see displays related to tea and tea related tools. We can also indulge ourselves to all kinds of green tea associated goodies like cakes, ice cream and biscuits (at our own expenses).




Sample tasting of their tangerine tea




And this is their signature green tea ice cream!! Slurrrrrpp~~



On our way to Glass Castle.......


5th stop: ‘Jeju’ Glass Castle is a glass art theme park featuring an exhibition hall, garden and models all made entirely out of glass. There are 6 themed model parks, in which over 250 models are exhibited. These include glass art masterpieces by internationally famous artists from Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan, and more.


Origins & Methods of Glass Making



Entering into the Mirror Maze

Act only :p

Make a toast to your loved ones at The Ring of Eternal Promises

Glass Shoes


Sam: Baby you need to roll your eyes & look at me from the side. Lidat then will show you look at me into the eyes.

Me: Huhhh?? Errrrr..okay….

(I think I look more instead)


Amber Carriage








Glass Pumpkins

Talk a walk through the beautiful Glass Garden







6th stop: Teddy Bear Museum – The one and only one of its kind in the world and we can see different types of teddy bears collection, including the smallest which is at 4.5mm to the most expensive “Louis Vuitton Bear” (which I did not manage to see :( Maybe there is another Teddy Bear Museum?? Huffff..).













































Ah Bao is nice enough to get each of us a bear as souvenir from the museum. Not sure if it’s true; an authentic mini bear (from the museum) like this cost around S$12/-.

Seafood Steamboat for dinner before heading back to our last night in Jeju Oriental Hotel.

A rather MEH meal. Seafood consists of crab, mini crayfish, mussel, cockles & squid. Coincidentally, a bunch of my tour mates work in Sheng Siong. One of them was telling the group that the cockles are not fresh cos they restaurant serve “dead” cockles in the steamboat; meaning the cockles are already dead before cooking. Yikesssss :/




Sam & I went super-marketing (I love super-marketing!!) before ending our Day 3. Their hyper-mart is super huge, like our Giant :DD Manage to get some snacks to munch on our bus ride :p









Some snacks & my fav Korean rice drink that we bought.
By the way, this brownie from Market O is really GOOD!!
Heard that some supermarket sell this brownie; but I've yet to see any :(


Day 4
Checked out of Jeju Oriental Hotel & prepare ourselves for a domestic flight to Gangwon-Do.



Before our flight, we had Jeju Abalone Bits Congee for breakfast. The hot congee is so perfect for the chilly weather. On the other hand, congee is never Sam’s kind of breakfast :/ He will choose the small bun & fried egg anytime.







Chillax dog spotted outside the congee eating place.

Our “energizer” boost to last us throughout Day 4. One thing we realise is that there are a lot of cafes in Korea. Coffee lovers can easily grab a cup of coffee anytime. They are priced almost the same as those in SG.



1st stop: Traditional Korean Experience - Kim Chi Making (Kim Chi Na Ra) & Korean Costume Photo-shoot. Under the guidance of the Korean gourmet expert, we were able to experience kimchi making process. We were taught how to apply the kimchi sauce onto every single piece of the cabbage, then using one piece to wrap the whole cabbage into one lump. After which, we were supposed to put the kimchi into a plastic. These kimchi that we made will then be given to the needy. Fret not, cos we wore plastic gloves before making our kimchi :p





















Some of the yummy bites prepared by Kim Chi Na Ra

Ingredients used for making the Kimchi sauce.

Sam & I both bought a pack of Kimchi back to SG. Kim Chi Na Ra is thoughtful enough to pack & air-tight all the kimchi & kimchi snacks orders into carton boxes, which they will be delivered to the airport on our day of departure. The specialised packing allows us to check-in all our kimchi without worrying on how to pack/hand-carry the kimchi we had purchased.
In case you are wondering, the kimchi packed inside is in a whole bunch of cabbage, not chopped up yet. You have to chop the kimchi (& must be kept in a sealed contained into the fridge) before consuming. Tried the kimchi only recently & they taste really good.

After the kimchi making session, we were free to try on the various selections of traditional hanboks. Thankfully, we were the only tour group in the room when trying the hanboks. All of us hurriedly chose our desire outfit & head accessories. We managed to change into 2 outfits (blur me forget to change to another set of head accessory for my 2nd outfit :(  ) and were happily snapping a lot of photos away.







What do you guys think about Sam & me dressing up in our chosen hanboks?? Do we look like some male hero & female heroine?? :p















Korean Chicken & Pork Belly BBQ for lunch.









2nd stop: Everland (Day Pass), a combination of leisure, entertainment, education and culture, is the world’s seventh largest outdoor amusement park. There is also a Safari where we can have a chance to get very close to endangered animals like tigers, lions, bears and many others. SO EXCITED to see the animals!!!

For thrill-seekers, take on the challenge of the Amazon Express water adventure, the Hurricane, the Suspended Roller Coaster or the Double-loop and Corkscrew Coaster!! No thanks, but these are definitely not for the weak heart me.





To my horror, we need to get down to the other part of Everland in this way!!! O_O I was petrified (too afraid of heights) & I told my guide that I do not want to go down, asking him if there are other alternatives (i.e. walking??)!!! :’(   However, he assured me that it will move down very slowly at a very comfortable height.

See how clearly I can see the people walking down there -.- Everyone is enjoying the ride except me. I must be a joker!! Booooo..









Exploring Everland with some tourist shots before we went to queue up for the lost valley safari adventure. 

The queue is superrrrrrrr loooonggg!! 

Look at those Tiger, White Tiger, Lion, Liger & THE BEAR!!!! The bear is really HUGE and they are all trained to follow what the bus guide asked them to do/perform.









































We managed to go to the pet farm as well. 







The sheep’s fur feels so thick & “fluffy”.















By the time we gather with Ah Bao, it is already dinner time.







In case you were wondering if the weather is really that cold that Sam needs to wrap up like a dumpling, it really was!! So whenever I’m on the tour bus, I would still be wearing my long john, down-jacket, neck warmer & gloves. As Sam is afraid of heat, he will only wear his long john & long sleeved top when on-board the bus. But somehow, I guessed he caught a bad cold during the journey. He woke up from his nap shivering, so I wrapped him up with all his winter gears, hopping he will sweat it all out.

Dinner is some fried dried fish & tofu soup. I love this kind of boiling soup to go along with rice. On the other hand, Sam did not enjoy this soup set. He just dislikes anything soya beans related food (i.e. tofu, tau pok, tau gua, tau kee…). But I “force” him to drink lotsa of hot soup since he was still feeling cold after all the wrapping up.







Before we end our Day 4 to check in Greenpia Ski Resort, Ah Bao brought us to a ski rental shop to rent our skiing suit & equipment. Not sure how true, Ah Bao told us that it is cheaper to rent from these shops than renting from the ski resort. We were deciding whether to rent the attire & equipment cos we were unsure if we wanted to ski. HAHAHAHA. Spent almost an hour++ in the shop. Eventually, Sam & I were the only 2 who rent the full suit, including footwear & goggles.





Our superrrr big room for the night, which we both have that little spooky feeling. Well, we just sleep it off. Luckily it is only for a night :X

Ohhh, fyi footwear has to be taken off after we enter our room. It is “prohibited” to walk around the room with your footwear on (no bedroom slippers provided though). Reason being the floor is meant for the guests to lay the mattress on & sleep (the traditional Korean style of sleeping). Therefore, the resort is very particular about the cleanliness of the floor. Basically, no footwear is allowed for resorts that allow guests to lay the mattress on the floor to sleep.














Day 5
WOOOOO HOOOOO~~Rise & Shine for skiing!! How often do you wear skiing suite for an OOTD shot?? :p

Day 5 #OOTD and we had a hard time wearing & walking in those ski boots. The boots are so hard & heavy. But that was the only (and best) protection for your feet/leg during skiing.






Korean buffet breakfast from the Greenpia Ski Resort before our FIRST EVER SKI EXPERIENCE at the outdoor skiing area which was 15mins walking distance from our resort!!!

Took the Gondola ride up (approximately 20mins ride) & we get to enjoy the winter scenery along our ride. The scenic was magnificent up there! If only we experience real falling snow :(





























Enjoying my favourite drink & enjoying the snowy scenery...

Professional skiers get to ski from here all the way downhill. I didn’t managed to take a photo of how high is the slope (I’m afraid that I’ll have wobbly legs if I go near -.-) but I know it was SURELY HIGH & STEEP. THESE ARE ONLY FOR THE PROFESSIONAL SKIERS or those who have ski numerous times; don’t try to attempt even if you are no afraid of heights or love to take challenge. I don’t think you would want to land yourself in the hospital (which Ah Bao mentioned is quite frequent to see ambulance at skiing resort becos there bound to be people out there don’t take full precautions at times during skiing. In fact, we saw an ambulance on our way back to our resort).


Spend around 45mins uphill (taking photos) & we took the Gondola downhill again for our ski. By right, there will be a seasoned instructor to guide Sam & me through the finer points of this exciting winter sport; but I think they were not available at that point of time, so Ah Bao & Ben became our guides in the end.




This is our first time skiing & WE HAD SO MUCH FUN (tiring though)!!! 

Fun is when we skied downhill without falling..Wooo Hoooo~~

The tiring part was when I fell & couldn’t stand up. Erms Sam did not fall at all throughout this ski; I’m the one who fell non-stop & just couldn’t stand up on my own becos of the boots. Sam & Ben were the ones that lifted me up from behind in order to make me stand. Another tiring part was after we skied our way downhill; we need to climb uphill again (with all the skiing equipment in hand) to continue our ski. Imagine skiing downhill takes only 5mins & climbing uphill require thrice your energy. And this was not the worse. After climbing uphill, the soles of our boots were already stuck with a layer of thick snow/ice. This layer prevented us from attaching the boots to the snow blades. We had to remove the snow from the boots by using our ski stick ourselves before we can attached the boots to the blades. We literally perspired during our skiing session. *sweat*

Nevertheless, the skiing experience was AMAZING even though the time given was pretty short :( I never expect I would dare to ski cos of my weak knees (I can’t blade & skate for nuts; Sam is good in blading though). Despite the numerous falls, I never gave up. I insisted on climbing uphill & ski my way down, ending myself in a fall. I foresee myself skiing again the next time I’m in winter country. My virgin experience but definitely not the last in my life (hopefully).  HAHAHAHA. I WOULD GREATLY RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO TRY SKIING IF GIVEN A CHANCE!!!



Enjoy the video of Sam skiing & me falling.
Heeeeee :D

video

video

video

Mushroom Steamboat for lunch.








Hows the 2 drawings above?
They are the 2 soft toys Sam is holding on.




2nd stop: Mt Sorak National Park, One of the most beautiful national parks in Korea with its granite peaks, lush green valleys and dense forests. The park is divided into inner & outer Sorak and this magnificent Mt Sorak towers 1708m above sea level. The mountain was named Seorak ('Seol' meaning 'snow' and 'Ak' meaning 'big mountain') because the snow would not melt for a long time keeping the rocks in a permanent state of white



  





Seoraksan National Park Entrance


Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa (Buddhist Temple) near the main entrance to Seoraksan National Park.







Sinheungsa (Buddhist Temple) in Seoraksan National Park











Sam & I attempted to build a snowman with stones we found on the floor. Although our snowman looked hideous, we thought this was the best we could build. As you can see, were happily snapping photos with our snowman. 






Not until when we spot the cutest papa snowman & baby snowman along our way back to meet the rest of the group. These were built by 2 kids & their parents. Sam & I were truly embarrassed. HAHAHAHA.


















Checked into another resort – Hanwah Hotspring Resport, which was also Sam & my FAVOURITE resort. 



Although not as big as Greenpia, it was cozy enough for the 2 of us. You ought to check out the view from our balcony!!! If only this was my house, & I opened the balcony to this view everyday *.* 

Same thing, no footwear allowed.





#selfie













After we settled down, Ah Bao brought us to the nearby Hanwah Waterpia 100% Hotspring. It is one of Korea’s largest theme parks offering a wide variety of outdoor leisure activities and hot spring facilities. The hot spring is believed to be for good health. No pictures allowed though so I did not bother to bring my camera.

We brought our own swim wear but rented the swimming cap. Ah Bao mentioned that swimming cap is compulsory in the pool which we later realised not everyone is having their caps on when in the pool -__- Caps cost less than $2.

We did not try the hotspring cos we were supposed to go in NAKED (obviously the males & females are separated); we were too shy to show our body. So we only went to the indoor public pool which was very shallow & packed with people. Only the kids enjoy the pool…we were just bored =/ As for the outdoor activities, we did not try them as well. We were decked in our swim wear but going to the outdoor pool means we would be exposed to the chilly weather outside. Some of our group mates (yes those aunties!!!!) did went out though…Sam & I are weak lidat. The aunties mentioned that you won’t feel the cold if you swim. Definitely not for me cos I don’t swim.

A funny incident which Sam experienced & I need to document down so that I can read back for some laughter.

Quoted by Sam
“I was the only sexy guy wearing triangle swimming trunks  -.- I came out of the changing room with my triangle swimming trunk & the stupid cap which makes my face look so round,  looked around & wonder how come all the guys wear tees, shorts, even long sleeves & tights…..


I WAS SHOCKED!! I quickly take out the stupid cap & jump into the baby pool to take cover…

I remembered the scene clearly!! -.-

We kana faked by Ah Bao..cos only he wan hotspring , so bring us there to tell us how enjoyable it is”

HAHAHAHAHAHHA Sam’s epic moment! But really lahs, only Ah Bao “soaked” the longest when all of us were already backed in the resort waiting to gather for dinner.

Dinner was some barbecue meat & seafood again. 

Nope, I’m not complaining cos I mentioned I love bbq meat right? Just that I need to control the rice intake :SSS









Back to our resort after dinner and we continue round 2 of eating & drinking, which we conveniently grabbed off the convenient store within our resort.



This box of chicken looks really lip-smacking right? But nooooo, it is not. Cos the chicken were cold -.-“  We got this from the convenient store, which Ah Bao claimed to be very yummy. But then becos the box of chix is too huge to be microwaved and furthermore, the store assistant conveniently tell us that this chix should be eaten cold -.-  Yupz, our cold fried chicken :X Ate only a few pieces & they taste dry & hard :( 

Imagine eating some cold marinated fried chicken :/


Ben preparing instant noodle for us.






Nevertheless, we had a great chat with the rest of the girls & entertaining drinking session with Ah Bao, Ben & the driver. 



It was also through that night that we “re-discover” another personality of the icy Ben too. Heeeee…

Alrightyyyy, very abrupt I know, but I’ve come to an end of blogging my #SCTAVELOGUE Day 3 – 5.

Till then…#SCTRAVELOGUE Day 6 – 8 :)

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