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[GPGT] First S.Korea Trip Report (Seoul Jeju Vivaldi Park)

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Old 12-01-2018, 11:18 PM   #1
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[GPGT] First S.Korea Trip Report (Seoul Jeju Vivaldi Park)

First time visiting Seoul / South Korea for holiday!!!

Rough Agenda:

Day 0. Overnight flight SIN - KUL - ICN on Malaysia Airlines (cos it was cheap)
Day 1. Rent Hanbok go walk around Gyeongbokgung palace then jiak the famous Tosokchon Samgyetang
Day 2. Fly to Jeju, Jeju self-drive tour
Day 3. Jeju self-drive tour and O'sulloc Tea Museum before flying back to Seoul.
Day 4. Hanwoo BBQ Lunch before Shopping Ewha / Dongdaemun
Day 5. S Namsan Tower
Day 6. Vivaldi Park (skiing)
Day 7. Vivaldi Park (skiing)
Day 8. Itaewon area
Day 9. DMZ tour (no JSA) and fish market jiak king crab.
Day 10. War Museum, Nanta cooking show thing, more shopping
Day 11. Cafe hopping @ Gangnam, Lotte World Tower area
Day 12. Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm

Pictures and videos coming!
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:20 PM   #2
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Day 0. Overnight flight SIN - KUL - ICN on Malaysia Airlines (cos it was cheap)
We chose Malaysia Airlines cos it was literally barely half the price of Singapore Airlines direct flight. Maybe cos Christmas time so flights all round really expensive. First leg SIN-KUL departing Changi ...




Then we got our successful bid for MHUpgrade to Business Class on the KUL-ICN/Seoul leg, for "only" s$2xx, heng ah!!!

... but then at KLIA, apparently the "main" international lounge is closed for renovation so everyone just cram into the "regional" lounge, it really was super crowded and the food only so-so ...

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Old 12-01-2018, 11:20 PM   #3
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Malaysia Airlines business class seat!



The seat is pretty decent actually. Of course not as opulent as SQ's (and other airlines) 1-2-1. But there's enough storage, the seat can recline to resting and flat / sleeping mode, even got massage function in the back. Good enough for the (cheap) price IMO.

Oh ... but the in flight entertainment really sucks compared to SIA or Emirates, old movies and limited TV shows.



They served Satay for supper ... which wasn't bad for airline food.



In bed mode, the seat is a little cramped, but long enough for me to sleep comfortably (I'm 6'0"). I think broader shouldered people might find it a tight squeeze. The feet area light can control on and off de.



Breakfast was pastry, muesli and a fruit plate. Service quite inconsistent, I didn't get any jam and honey and I didn't get the hot drink I ordered. Meanwhile my wife didn't get any pastry/bread and she got served her muesli with no milk (wtf?), and had to ask a few times to get milk ...



Breakfast main courses: Choice of omelette or nasi lemak


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Old 12-01-2018, 11:21 PM   #4
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Our first AirBnB was near Mullae station (on metro line 2). So we took the Airport train.

Actually Seoul train system is really nice, got MagLev, got high speed train, got 20 metro lines plus don't know how many more commuter trains. I used to think we had a kick ass public transport system but on the world stage it really is just so-so only






I found Seoul's system easier to navigate than Tokyo's one (maybe cos no need to remember line names, just remember line numbers).
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:23 PM   #5
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Day 1. Rent Hanbok go walk around Gyeongbokgung palace then jiak the famous Tosokchon Samgyetang
After landing from the overnight flight then we took the train to the AirBNB to check in and place bags. Our first meal in SK ... supermarket fried chicken (lousy), LOL. So lousy that I didn't bother taking any photos.

After that it was off to Anguk metro station to rent our hanbok from OneDay Hanbok.



And then walk straightaway to the somewhat nearby Gyeongbokgung Palace (free entry if you are wearing Hanbok). Near the entrance there was this weird looking sculpture that uhhhhhhh looks like uh ... well, you see for yourself.



Group photo within the castle/palace grounds (it's my wife's family)



Moi dad and mum in law



This was just after the Seoul snap cold + snow in mid December so although it isn't snowing anymore, it's still really cold especially for someone who just came from 30deg weather ...



So actually in between photo shoots we were all still wearing our jackets ...



Apologies for inconsistent photo quality here cos some of them were captured from handphone video.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:24 PM   #6
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Today is only Day 1, after an overnight red-eye flight of just 6.5hrs (of which 2+ hours we were awake for mealtime), so we were cold and hungry and sleepy. So by around 5pm++ we were already quite lazy to take anymore photos and just decided to go eat early dinner.

Since nearby the palace there is the famous samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) restaurant nearby, that's where we wanted to go. The problem is that from Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Hanbok rental place was direct opposite direction.



So naturally the only thing to do is to go and eat samgyetang in our hanbok!



Verdict: It's super delicious, especially after a few hours out in the 0-degree weather.
(except maybe the roasted chicken, which despite having ginseng rubbed on the skin, was just so-so only).



And then after dinner, took metro to return the hanbok, before stopping by to window shop at a random supermarket to ssrr.



Then back to AirBnB to rest up, shower up, and koon early.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:25 PM   #7
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Day 2. Fly to Jeju, Jeju self-drive tour
Day 3. Jeju self-drive tour and O'sulloc Tea Museum before flying back to Seoul.
For Jeju, I did a video! For your viewing pleasure:



(Yes, I know the editing is inconsistent and some of the photos / videos color grading is terrible, but I have no talent for these kinds of things and lazy to re-edit / re-export)

(Note: The ads on this video are not mine, it's cos I used some copyrighted song then the song owner monetized it)
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Old 14-01-2018, 01:22 PM   #8
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Nice photos! Keep them coming pls
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Old 14-01-2018, 04:24 PM   #9
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Nice trip report. Waiting to read more.
You guys are funny, traversing in your Hanbok
Hahah. Did anyone stare
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:17 PM   #10
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You guys are funny, traversing in your Hanbok
Hahah. Did anyone stare
Not really cos this Hanbok thing is a really popular tourist activity leh. Inside the palace area literally 75% of the people walking around are tourists in hanbok
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:18 PM   #11
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Here's the Airbnb that we stayed in at Jeju. Nice owners, they even provided breakfast (orange juice and french toast with apple slices). And they have a super friendly golden retriever.



Jeju apparently grows lots of these Oranges called "Hallabong" (한라봉) but all the tourist places sell the orange juice at chop carrot prices (around krw4000-5000)



Speaking of tourist places I think this one is the Jusangjeolli area.



Random mermaid statue by the sea



Then just before heading back to airport we went to visit O'sulloc "tea museum." Actually Seoul itself has a few o'sulloc tea shops also (which IMO are even better than this Jeju main branch) so don't really need to force yourself to go Jeju one.



170,000krw green tea ..........



Lotteria self-declared best burger. Didn't try so I don't know how good the burger is though.

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Old 14-01-2018, 10:21 PM   #12
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Day 4. Hanwoo BBQ Lunch before Shopping Ewha / Dongdaemun
The next day after Jeju we wanted to jiak the Korean version of Wagyu i.e. Hanwoo. There's so many different places to eat so we just randomly selected Daedo Sikdang (대도식당) because they basically only serve Hanwoo BBQ. Specialist restaurant should be better than jack of all trades, no?



Video for your viewing pleasure:



Verdict: It's definitely not as oily/greasy/fatty as good A4/A5 wagyu. It's also noticeable less tender, but has a slightly more beefy taste (as in, if you have ever eaten good Wagyu before you know it can taste more "fatty" than "meaty" ...).
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Old 15-01-2018, 07:34 PM   #13
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What time you touched down? Whole family bid for the upgrade?

The service sounds half-hearted and hardware lousy lol. I guess if you just wanna sleep, it's fine.

Was klia ok?
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Old 15-01-2018, 10:10 PM   #14
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What time you touched down? Whole family bid for the upgrade?

The service sounds half-hearted and hardware lousy lol. I guess if you just wanna sleep, it's fine.

Was klia ok?
Flight 1 Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Departure: 19:30 Singapore, Singapore - Changi, Terminal 2
Arrival: 20:25 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur International

Flight 2 Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Departure: 23:10 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
Arrival: 06:30 +1 day(s) Seoul, Korea (Republic of) - Incheon International

KLIA as an airport wasn't too bad, but the MH lounge was pretty sh*t. (The international lounge is closed for renovation so basically everyone is squeezed into the Regional one ...)

Service was ... friendly but (borderline) incompetent, but the price was cheap so close one eye ba, haha.

There were 7 of us in total, my parents in law flew on SQ F (redemption ticket), the other 5 of us flew MH (SQ paid fare too expensive lol even in Y). So yah, 5 of us got the upgrade approved for ~s$250 each.
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Old 15-01-2018, 10:12 PM   #15
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... Day 4 continued ...

So after lunch ... the ladies everyone except me wanted to go shopping. So we headed to Ewha Woman's University area which is apparently one of the popular shopping areas. Of course the main problem was that this area is outdoor, and it was raining. Rain in ~2-3deg C weather is not fun at all so we walked around just a bit, had a coffee, then waved the white flag ...



... and headed to Dongdaemun, with a brief stop at DDP for group photo. After that we split up to Migliore, bla bla bla, I honestly wasn't so interested in shopping so it was a boring day for me.



Halfway through shopping time took a refueling break. Cold day also nevermind, jiak bingsu anyway.



Shop shop shop until the sun went down ...

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