Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rooftop Prince OST: Ali - Hurt

Because the reason I live is you,
With my heart, I hope the remaining,
flickering memories will be sent to you
At the end of this road I walk on,
At this road that was allowed to me,
I, who used to love and love you more,
Remain here alone
My love has all burned up and
the only thing remaining
Are the exhausted scars from waiting
I cannot forget a person like you
Only tears fall
When my love has all washed away
Only the longing scars remain
Only the words, “good bye” remain
So I cannot forget you
Following the flower petals
that yield to the sky
When I meet you,
I can tell you now that I longed for you
I long for you so I couldn’t forget you

Return to the Land of Kimchi

Part 3: Out and About

Day 2 (20.5.2012) (The Plan)
National Museum Korea
Lunch @ Itaewon
Namsangol Hanok Village (closed Tuesdays)
Chandeokgung Palace (Closed Mondays)
Stop at Insadong to buy souviniers
Back to Hotel - Rest / Dinner (Yukaney @ myeongdong)
Namsan Cable Car / Tower

we started out a bit late today after some light breakfast. our destination this morning is to the National Museum of Korea today we decided to take the bus instead of the subway as we thought it is more convenient. besides the bus stop is just in front of the hotel and there will be no bus service tomorrow (Sunday). little that we know that were in for a "ride". first, we took the bus at myeongdong which is towards the end of the cycle so we have to go the long way (which took nearly an hour due to the traffic) just to change bus at the first stop in Gwanghwamun to finally get to the Museum. it didnt help that the road were winding and we were going up and down steep hills (the driver had a hard time controlling the bus during the jam at a steeeep road nearby Namsan Tower - i was shivering in my pants!). it was hot and we ended up feeling drowsy and nauseated during the journey.. luckily Q slept throughout the ride. we reached our destination at 1 oclock. the museum is huge and modern and to our surprise, the admission was free. i was busy handling Q and cant concentrate much on the items on display. We brought the stroller with us, but as usual q did not want to sit in it. We put our bags on it instead.. It did help with the load that we r carrying - mostly q's stuffs.

only hubby diligently took pictures and kinda reads into the history of Korea... we cant help but noticed there were groups of kids lead by young teachers (i think) on a study trip to the museum. we were amazed on how diligently those teachers were teaching history to the kids... we were wondering if the same thing is happening back home.

The National Museum of Korea
The Museum compound
kids on study trip
by 2.30 pm we were famished and we head down to Itaewon as planned.. again, we took the bus. we were kinda lost in itaewon cos i forgot to look for the exact directions to the restaurants.. however, we (i mean, I :)) followed my instincts and asked around some and found the restaurant i was looking for - As Salam (Turkish Restaurant). however, to reach the place, again, involves climbing steep lanes which seems never ending. at lasttt, after almost giving up, we found the place which was further further up the hill.. phewww~~.. ordered the Salam Course (to share) which was about 24k won if im not mistaken - we dug in like we haven't eaten in years. the food was GOOD and it satisfies our palettes -  we cleaned up the plates pretty fast :). sorry, no pictures ya, tak sempat dahhh.. hahaha..

the steep lane to the restaurant
As Salam Restaurant

Q was acting out and we were quite tired, so after lunch, we decided to go back to our hotel to get some rest. we took the cab which cost less than 5k won. so no palace trip and souvinier shopping for today.

We thot Q was tired but she did not sleep at all that afternoon. After an early dinner (yup, we skipped dinner at Yukaney as well), we went out at 6.30pm to do our first round of shopping at Myeongdong - which was just across the street.. We decided not to bring the stroller as we planned to go up the Namsan Tower and we used the baby carrier instead - it was a good decision indeed. Shortly after we went out, Q fell fast asleep.

shopping time!
first round of shopping

after some cosmetics shopping in Myeongdong, we start our journey to the N Seoul Tower / Namsan Tower. from Myeongdong i suggest u take the Namsan Oreumi (outdoor elevator) to go to the cable car station. seriously, if ur travelling with a kid, this is the best bet.. unless u take the taxi direct to the cable car station, or the tower itself cos man, the climb will kill ya. huhuhu..

our destination atop the hill  
Inside the Namsan Oreumi
view from inside the oreumi
unfortunately, it was a Sunday nite.. ppl came in flocks to the tower. which means, ques, ques and ques!!! OMG, it took 30 - 45 mins waiting at each q u know. we reached at the cable car station greeted with a long que to board the cable car and it was humid.. luckily Q was still sleeping which makes it much easier. it took 30 mins before we were able to board the cable car which took 10 mins to reach the top. inside the cable car it was dark and there were a lot of couples and some took advantage to make out in it! we just pretend not to notice, but were quite surprised..

the que to the cable car
we reached the station again, to be greeted by a steep steep flight of stairs. no picchas cos we were kinda exhausted by that time, no kidding k. slowly we climbed the stairs and finally reached the top.

ok we got one pic of one section of the stairs on our way back. watch ur steps, it doesnt have any railings.
it doesnt help that hubby's knees started failing him by this time. we reached the tower area and bought the ticket. again, there was a long que to go up the tower. this time it was 45 mins! we went up for barely 20 mins, indeed the view was magnificent, but guess what, there was a que to go down the elevator!! another 30 mins wasted there. ok this was no fun anymore..

the tower
the view
view from the loo :P
love messages
we were relieved when we reached the base again and went back to the hotel exhausted. reached our room, wind down, and zzzzzzZZZzzzz.. the best part was, Q did not have trouble sleeping that nite.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Return to Land Of Kimchi

Part 2: The Day!

Finally, the long wait is over.. THE DAY has arrived..! was not able to sleep during the night - super excited! ive always known to bring lots of stuffs when travelling. i just hate not being prepared so i make sure i bring stuffs just in case i need it for every kind of situation.. but, because now im travelling with a kiddo, I tried to packed light.. operative word here being - TRIED.. :-) well, at least i managed to cram our stuffs (including a portable cooker and loads of rations enuff to last a week) into one HUGE 30 Kg bag, 1 back pack, 1 hand luggage and a stroller. thats not bad isnt it..

our luggages

we board the flight from LCCT bound to ICN @ 2.20pm - which was a bit delayed due to disembarking a passenger's luggage cos he failed to show up after checking in. it was a boring uneventful 6 hour flight to ICN which feels like forever. luckily Q managed to behave considerably well, except that being a very active, chatty toddler, she just couldn't sit still for a bit and she did not slept a wink either! finally we arrived at the airport around 10pm local time. took quite a while for immigration to clear due to the long que.

in flight
long immigration clearance que
arrival time
we took the taxi to our hotel - despite having done extensive research which tells us NOT to take the black taxi, we took it - bcos we are not able to find the silver taxis. it costs us 90k won as compared to 70k won if we took the silver taxi. oklah, as long as we arrived our destination safe and sound. We chose Prince Hotel in myeongdong as our accomodation due to its location which we established thru reviews we read.. Frm actual experience, Even though the room is quite small, but i must say that the location is indeed SUPERB!!! Its in the middle of myeongdong (happening shopping / tourist area) where the subway, taxi stand , the seoul tour bus station and the 24 hr convenience store (family mart) is literally in front of ur doorstep. and the incheon airport shuttle bus stop is also just across the road.. if ur wondering why we took the taxi as opposed to the airport bus shuttle which only costs 10k won, its because the bus stop is on the opposite of the road which requires u to cross the road via the subway which involves flights of stairs, and were carrying a HUGE luggage which we can barely lift ourselves. so that's why. we booked the same taxi for our ride back to ICN in advanced @ 70k won, dont ask me why the price differs, its just like that.

tourist spots like the namsan tower, namdaemun market and a few other places are also within walking distance, if ur up for it (ill elaborate on this later :-P) or u can just easily take the subway which is only a few stations away..

We did have doubts about this place before since they do not provide some facilities like guesthouses do  - i.e. microwaves, but we solved the problem by asking the cashier of family mart to heat up the instant rice for us. We brought our own portable cooker which we used to fry eggs and heat instant foods we brought from home. Tip: Dont forget to bring some oil and salt from home, and most importantly, dont forget the kicap kipas udang of course..!  U can do much more with the portable cooker - explore ur creativity / survival instinct while ur at it :-).. We hardly starved during our stay in Seoul despite it might be challenging to source for halal food / food that suits our palettes - especially  if u have a hardcore Malaysian appetite (like the Captain). Other tips would be (1) bring your own toiletries as they don't provide them; (2) if uve read somewhere that there is a bakery beside the hotel (Paris Baguette), fyi, the bakery has closed shop and im not sure what kind of establishment that will take its place.

this product is revolutionary!
we survived on this

fyi, guesthouses are popular among msians travelling to Korea and from what ive read some of the popular GH are really provides descent and comfortable accommodation.they also provide free wifi, simple breakfast, cooking utensils and washing machines for diy laundry. one GH thats popular is the

arrived at our hotel around midnight. we were the only ones in the lobby. check in was a breeze, barely a few minutes - the most effective ive ever experienced!. it was like they were expecting us. checked into our room, did a lil unpacking and hit the sack.. zzzzzzz

Friday, May 25, 2012

Return to The Land of Kimchi

Alhamdulillah, we made it back to KL safe and sound.. im in the mood to write about our journey in Seoul, lets hope the mood last long enough until i finished all the parts.. haha ;-)

Part 1: The Preparation

This is going to be a series of entries relating to my recent trip to Seoul.. I cant remember when i last wrote travelogues before.. Ive read so many travelogues about trips to Seoul but there are v few logs written by parents travelling with toddlers/young kids.. So my perspective will be skewed more on this in hopes to fill in the gap. Perhaps it could be of use to give a rough idea on what its like to travel to seoul with a toddler in tow..

First things first, im gonna write a lil bit on my preparation for this trip.. Lots of infos came from blogs about their recent trips to seoul that i managed to google.. A few of the noteworthy sources are and the cari forum -- .. From the infos i got there i managed to prepare a rough itineray as per below..

Day 1 (19.5.2012)
Depart from LCCT - ICN @ 2.20pm
Arrive @ 9.20 pm (local time)
Take Taxi to Prince Hotel
Retire for the night

Day 2 (20.5.2012)
National Museum Korea
Lunch @ Itaewon
Namsangol Hanok Village (closed Tuesdays)
Chandeokgung Palace (Closed Mondays)
Stop at Insadong to buy souviniers
Back to Hotel - Rest / Dinner (Yukaney @ myeongdong)
Namsan Cable Car / Tower

Day 3 (21.5.2012)
Namdaemun Market (Closed Sundays) 
Dongdaemun (Closed Sundays)
cheonggyecheon stream
Lunch at Dongdaemun - Jeonju Sikdang
Yeouido park
Han River Cruise
Dinner (Yukaney @ myeongdong)
Back to Hotel

Day 4 (22.5.2012)
COEX Mall – Aquarium
Lunch and last minute shopping myeongdong
Depart from ICN - LCCT @ 12.20pm

* Pls take note that normally ull only get to do half of the things u planned.. So try to  draft up an itinerary that is flexible, especially when ur travelling with a toddler. Ull see how fluid my itinerary has become by the end of this trip..

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Ramblings

The Captain has a peculiar way in preparing his fried eggs. i used to make fun of it but recently i tried the egg that he cooked and it tasted superb! cant seem to forget the taste and today i secretly made the eggs myself during lunch (its friday and we have long lunch breaks on friday. i always go back home to laze around on fridays :-)) he'll surely tease me on this one if he gets a whiff of this.. lets see how he prepares his eggs..

 the ingredient - ur fav soy sauce, an egg and a glass!

crack the egg carefully into the glass and pour a few slush of soy sauce into the cup. 

fry it in a small wok..

and tadaaa.. well, my egg is not that pretty today.. the yolk was broken :(
my lunch for today - sardine fried rice extra spicy + "special" fried egg

kinda look like kimchi fried rice or kimchi bokeumbap ;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bitten By The Travel Bug

Last year, after almost 2 years of (air) traveling hiatus, i secretly planned that 2012 will be the year for me to start hitting the road (air) again.. hmm, let me see.. my last airplane trip was in.... early 2010 - to Seoul, Korea. During that time, i did not notice that i was pregnant with my 1st child.. after that, it was like - well you know the drill. being a first time parent and all, it was quite challenging to adapt to the whole situation, but now you can say that im, in my own way, already a pro (cheh) when it comes to travelling with a toddler. We did our fair share of domestic (spore included) travelling last year but we drove ourselves to those destinations. In the middle of last year i booked our ticket to Seoul which will be our daughter's first overseas trip (spore did not count as overseas to me, haha). I chose Seoul as our destination as i personally think that Seoul is a tourist friendly city and pretty convenient to get around. 

We started the year with a trip to LGK (in March) - to let our daughter have a look n feel being on an airplane - in preparation for the long haul flight in May. The flight to LGK was not that smooth due to the bad weather but our daughter kept it cool, despite her expression did looked really cuak.. hahahaha.. i act as normal and pretended like nothing had happened.. when in fact, everybody in the plane including me held their breath and were relieved as soon as the plane landed, thank god.

Time passes by so quickly and now its May.. yeay! Our trip to Seoul is next week and im pretty psyched about it.. hope i can contain my "excitedness" to prevent it from jinxing the trip.... have been busy juggling work and "researching" about our destination which i cleverly named the file as "My Seoul Survival Kit".. hahahhahaha. poyo ok-i know..  i could say im almost there and im keeping my fingers crossed and hope that it will all go smooth until the day of departure..

Well, our journey will not end here, as last night we booked our next adventure in September.... where to? i guess you'll just have to wait for that...... ngeeee...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

KLIA @ nite..

Since we r free on a saturday nite, we decided to hang out at the airport which is just a stone's throw away from our hse.. we love the place as it is like a huge playground for our little daughter where we can easily keep a watchful eye on her. the viewing deck also is a cool place to hang out and kill time where u can watch planes come and go.. mind you that KLIA is not as crowded as other international airports even though its a world class airport as far as im concerned..

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cameron Highlands-Revisited

i recently created an account with travel pod - in an effort to document my travels (lah kononn). i dont know how long it will last but do have a look at my CH entry. im trying to find time to upload my other travels..... (yelah tu)