Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Oct: South Korea: Autumn Itinerary (University Hopping)


Accommodation:

Hotel Name: 24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Address: 57-17 Changcheon-dong (24 Yonsei-ro 5na-gil), Seodaemun-gu, Shinchon / Hongdae/Seoul/South Korea

Itinerary

Travel Date: October 24-27, 2014

2014 Oct: South Korea: Gyeonggi: My Love from the Star at Kintex

You think it’s over?!  It ended last August 15, 2014 in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Jung-gu, but the star will continue to shine from Kintex, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do until August 31, 2015.

On a personal note, not much of the bloggers have been posting about the movement of the exhibition to Kintex. I learned about it from a small shop in DDP that it was moved.  So on our last day before departure, we choose to suddenly change our itinerary and skip:
-Bukchon for the palace walls, art paintings and breakfast at LN cafe
-Trick Eye and Ice Museum at Hongdae

It took us an hour to reach Daehwa station from Sinchon.  And another 30 minutes to reach the Outdoor Special Exhibition (near Kintex 2, Hall 8).  Don’t worry about getting lost as there will be a lot of signs and direction pointing to the star’s location. 

Exhibition Period: 2014.9.5 - 2015.8.31
Exhibition Time: 10:00 - 19:00
Admission: 15,000krw (Adult)
How to get there? [Google Maps] Line 3 (Ilsan Line), Daehwa Station, Exit 1 (750m for Kintex)





The Story
My Love from the Star (You Who Came from the Stars) is a South Korean television series about an alien who landed on Earth in the Joseon Dynasty and, 400 years later, falls in love with a top actress in the modern era. 

The fantasy romance stars Kim Soo-hyun (Do Min-joon, DMJ) and Jun Ji-hyun (Cheon Song-yi, CSY) (who is the famous Sassy Girl and her small screen comeback after 14 years). They are the very first male and female lead to win the Grand Prize ("Daesang") with a same drama. [Reference]


The Experience
We were welcomed by Lyn's song as we give our tickets to the staff.  

You’re my destiny, you are
You’re my everything,
The thing that hasn’t changed is my love for you

Then the exhibit started as we push the wall, just like DMJ in his unit when he gets into the library.

Zone 1 - Exhibition of the black robes used by the aliens, palanquin (sedan chair) used on the cliff, costumes, umbrella and hairpin from Joseon Dynasty



I can consider it interactive since some of those exhibited can be touched, you'll be allowed to carry traditional umbrellas, seat on CSY bed, photo shoot on the library, and others.



2014 Oct: South Korea: Jamsil: Rubber Duck Project

Rubber Duck is any of several giant floating sculptures designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_Duck_(sculpture)


2014 Oct: South Korea: Deoksugung Palace Night Lights

During spring and autumn, 2 grand palaces in Seoul offers special open night tickets, where tourists and locals can get inside until late night.

Since the website is limited to korean language, getting tickets is just so hard.  Even I tried calling the number, they told me they will call me back with someone who speaks in English, but I have not received any.  From Facebook, I knew that tickets are already sold out after its availability just within 3 hours.




2014 Oct: South Korea: English Catholic Mass

Church goers normally go to Myeongdong Cathedral for mass, since it is easily accessible, known to many tourists, located in shopping area, visible on blogs and websites.

Last February, I’ve been to Yakhyeon Church, but there is no formal mass and no English mass.

This October, we have visited Yeoksam Catholic Church - Roman Catholic.

Yeoksam Catholic Church - Roman Catholic
Where: Yeoksam-dong 722-9, Kangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea 02-553-0801. 
How to go there: Line #2 (green line) Yeoksam Station, Exit 1
Mass Schedule: English Mass on Sundays 9:00 at Basement 2 (KyungHwan-dang Chapel)  




The main church holds Korean mass. Ask around or go to basement 2 and find the main door (KyungHwan-dang Chapel) for the English mass at around 9:00-9:30am Sundays.



Below is the list of other English Catholic Mass around Seoul.





There is another English mass at Sogang University on Sun. 7:30 P.M at subway DaeHeung station line 6


Summary of 4 days itinerary in 2014 Autumn Seoul Trip:

Day
Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal
Seoraksan
Seoraksan
Day 2
Ewha Food Court/Canteen
Haha's Restaurant
Dunkin Donuts
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Day 3
Yeoksam Catholic Church
Garosu-gil Road, Gangnam
Rubber Ducky at Jamsil
DDP - Dongdaenum Design Plaza
The Kona Coffee & Kona Beans
Ace Pizza Club
Chicken Bus
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Day 4
Café del Tren
Kintex: With My Recipe
Korean Dessert Café
Global Kitchen @ Incheon
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style

2014 Oct: South Korea: Shopping Zone

Aside from Myeongdong and Namdaemun markets, finally was able to visit other places on this trip.

Dongdaemun
Include visit to underground shopping stalls, street food, Doota Mall, etc.  
DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza) offers exhibit who can see arts.  It may be expensive, but items extremely depict art on it's own.
Location: 281 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 



Hongdae Free Market (홍대 프리마켓)
Opens on Saturdays: 13:00-18:00 (from March to November)
Location: 19-3, Wausan-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul 
Directions
Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 9. 
Go 150m straight, and cross the street.
Turn left, and go 500m straight towards the Hongik University entrance.
Turn right to arrive at Hongik Children's Park.

2014 Oct: South Korea: Campus Tour

Yonsei University is a private research university located in Seoul. (Wiki)
Address: 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Motto: The truth will set you free. (John 8:32)


Ewha Womans University is a private women's university in central Seoul, South Korea founded in 1886 by the American Methodist Episcopal missionary Mary F. Scranton.  - Wikipedia
Address: 11-1, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Motto: Knowledge·Goodness·Beauty

2014 Oct: South Korea: Gangwon-Do: Seoraksan


How to reach Seoraksan from Seoul?

Take subway heading to Express Bus Terminal station, Exit 1 or Exit 2.  Walk towards Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Express Bus Terminal.  Go to the ticket counter to find the next available seat and bus to Sokcho City.  

Fare: 18100krw (724php, 2014). On your ticket, find your platform # and seat #.


There will be reminders on the video screen as the bus depart from the terminal.  The journey will take roughly 2.5 hours.  You'll be given a quick stop half-way the journey to Sokcho.


Upon arrival at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, cross the street and walk further to wait at the local bus stop.  Board bus # 7 or 7-1.  It will take around 30 minutes to reach Seoraksan.

2014 Oct: South Korea: Seoulful Taste

Ewha University Food Hall
Preference: 9 out of 10
Location: Ewha Campus Complex (B4), 11-1, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Food: Pork cutlet
Value: 6000krw (240php, 2014)
Atmosphere: Since inside the university, it's a cozy place for studying while eating. Food is very affordable.





Haha's Restaurant (401 Loco Quan)

Preference: 7 out of 10
Food: Jeju pork belly
Value: Expensive - 31000krw (1240php, 2014)
Atmosphere: Mostly offer galbi (variety of grilled dishes in Korean cuisine). Has a raggae theme, influenced by the Haha's favorite singer Bob Marley.  Menu are mostly on pork side, hoping they could add more like beef/chicken/seafood as choices for the grilling.

Pal Ja Mak Chang (paljamakchang restaurant) - BBQ Joint in Korea 팔자막창

395-17 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울시 마포구 서교동 395-17)

As a fan of Running Man, this restaurant is must-visit for me.  The one in Hongdae is managed by Haha, while the one in Gangnam belongs to Leesang Gary. [Read]




2014 Oct: South Korea: 24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style

On this fourth trip in Seoul, we wanted to move out of comfort zone - Myeongdong. Thus, we are rooting to stay in university area. Our choice in Ehwa is a bit near the bars, staying in Hongkik is a bit crazy-chaotic experience.  So, we decided to stay in the middle, Sinchon station.

24 Guesthouse - Sinchon Style (24게스트하우스-신촌스타일)

Address: 24, Yonsei-ro 5na-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (Changcheon-dong)
서울특별시 서대문구 연세로5나길 24 (창천동)
Email: sinchonstyle@naver.com
Website: http://sinchonstyle.24guesthouse.co.kr/
Booking at agoda.com

Price: Affordable: (PHP 8,856.70 (USD 199.32) for 4 nights on Twin Bed Room - Double Deck)
Compared to Myeongdong (Exit 8) guesthouses, this is a bit cheaper. 

Location: Good. Accessible by airport bus. Lot of restaurants nearby, but there are those that will require you to select meals (15000) each, no sharing. There are a couple of bars and drinking sessions around. It is also close to 2 convenient stores - 7/11 and CU. Across the main road is Hanaro (Hana Mart) where you can buy your returning presents (omiyage/pasalubong). It is also just walking distance (15-20 minutes) to Yonsei and Ehwa universities. 



Check-in Experience: There is a misunderstanding between me and auntie on mail as she requires me to pay additional fee of 28000 krw (for the taxi fare when she returns home) if we arrive at the hostel beyond 11pm. Good thing, she took it back when we were there 10 minutes before 11pm. So we did not pay any additional fee. I read the same experience from tripadvisor.


The guesthouse has no elevator and we were assigned to 3rd floor. 

Room: I chose the double deck compared to pulled-bed due to space. The room facilities include comforter, small towels, television and water thermos. However, they don't provide glasses. 

On our first night (beyond 2am), in the kitchen at basement 1, I can't find the lights but got 2 mugs going to our room. The following morning we had a warning note. 

Going to the basement the following morning, I finally saw the notice saying, "Don't bring mugs to your room". I was wondering how contradicting the service they have, what's the use of the thermos in the room, when glasses are not allowed?

The next thing I did is to ask the uncle everytime I get the mugs, then return it the following morning.



Culinary Experience: They offer simple breakfast like bread, jam, cofee and tea. It is a self service so you have to wash your dishes. There is also a schedule on when can you wash them, since there are also private rooms in the basement.


Rules:



  • No washing of socks or clothes in the room.
  • No foundation or make-up in bed.
  • Turn-off lights, fan, aircon as you go out of the room.

Comments & Tips:



  • No digital lock in the room. It is using traditional keys.
  • There is drinking water thermos, but cups and spoons are available from B1.
  • There are more than 4 power sockets, make sure to prepare your adaptors.
  • LCD TV is also provided with selected HD cable and English channels (e.g. CNN, History, Discovery, National Geographic, Arirang) with of course unlimited non-sub local channels.
  • Water heater is very much working.
  • They provide toiletries at basic shampoo, rinse and bath.
  • They have toilet slippers and room slippers - bring your own to be hygenic.






Summary of 4 days itinerary in 2014 Autumn Seoul Trip:


Day
Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal
Seoraksan
Seoraksan
Day 2
Ewha Food Court/Canteen
Haha's Restaurant
Dunkin Donuts
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Day 3
Yeoksam Catholic Church
Garosu-gil Road, Gangnam
Rubber Ducky at Jamsil
DDP - Dongdaenum Design Plaza
The Kona Coffee & Kona Beans
Ace Pizza Club
Chicken Bus
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Day 4
Café del Tren
Kintex: With My Recipe
Korean Dessert Café
Global Kitchen @ Incheon
24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style

2014 August: Singapore and Malaysia: Itinerary


Actual Travel Date: 13 Aug – 17 Aug 0040H
Route: MNL to SG to Malacca to SG to MNL

2014 August: Malaysia: Malacca

Weeks before the trip, I already bought my bus ticket for Singapore to Melaka vise versa in http://www.easybook.com/.  (Just be warned that after few days after my online transaction, I got a call from my provider that someone out there tried to use my account.  So be careful on this site) 

 I started my journey from Bugis area in Arab street going to Queen St. to take the 707 bus. 
  
Make sure to surrender your printed ticket to the bus ticket counter to get the bus plate no. Take note that assigned buses normally wait for only 20 mins along Queen St and not inside the bus parking lot.

After an hour you'll reach the Singapore Immigration. After crossing the bridge, it is around 10-15 minutes, before you step out again, this time for the Malaysia Immigration. 
  
Two hours more before we reached Melaka Sentral.  I told the driver I should be dropped off in Casa Del Rio, but he still checked inside the ticket office, before he headed to our way. 
  
I'm not sure what are his plans, there are other passengers saying specific hotels as well.  What I did is to volunteer to drop off at Megamall since I'm familiar on its location from research, than let the driver roam around the area and waste my time inside the bus.

Dataran Pahlawan Megamall Melaka 
F10-01, Hatten Square, Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir,  75000 Melaka. (Open: 10-10p) 
*Padini Concept Store - BW-009 & BW-011/ Lower Ground Floor   
*Vincci - BW-008 & BW009 

Padini and Vincci are disappointing, I was not able to see something to buy.


Flora del Mar Maritime Museum

Location: Muzium Samudera, (the Flora De La Ma), Jalan Quayside, 75000 Malacca
Open Daily: 09:00 hrs - 17:30 hrs
Fri: 09:00 hrs - 12:15 hrs, 14:45 - 17:30 
Fee: 6RM (90 PH), for few bucks you'll get to rent this ausio guide. 
Tip: On traveling, make sure you carry with you your own ear phones, to keep things clean.


2014 August: Singapore: Philatelic Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum
Address: 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807
Website: https://www.spm.org.sg

What is Philately?
Philately is...  More than just Stamps!



Philately is the hobby of collecting 
and learning about postage stamps.
-Collins Cobuild Advance Learner's English Disctionary



Language of Philately


2014 August: Singapore: Mint Museum

Open: 9.30am to 6.30pm; 
Fee: 15 sgd (look for brochures in your hostel to get discount - I got mine at 10.50 sgd)
Location: 26 Seah St, Singapore 188382, http://emint.com/mint/go/visitus/location

If you are toy enthusiast and wonder about how toys look like in the earlier years - this is a place for you to visit.


2014 August: Singapore: Sentosa: Maritime Museum

Ho to get there? In Vivo City, to Maritime Museum:
  • Board bus RWS8 from bus stop 14141 at Vivo City or bus stop 14121 at Merrill Lynch, HarbourFront. Alight at Resorts World Sentosa drop-off point.
  • Enter via The Forum, turn right and walk to the end where McDonald's is located.
  • Take the escalator up to level 1 and you will see The Maritime Experiential Museum straight ahead across a small bridge.

It is zero visibility bus ride coming from Harbourfront, crossing the bridge and reaching Sentosa island.  With the heavy rains outside, most of the tourists decided to queue on the SEA than Universal Studios.

I started with the museum display of Asian Civilization. The section mainly depicts on how the barter trading system begun in Asia and how it did start the Singapore economy and it's strong ties with other countries.


2014 August: Singapore: Bayfront: Garden's by the Bay

Going to Garden’s by the Bay - OCBC Skyway at $5
Via the Circle Line or Downtown Line:
•Alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16)
•Take Exit B and follow the underground linkway
•Exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay

OCBC Skyway and Supertrees
Suspended 22 metres above ground, between the vertical gardens of our Supertrees, the OCBC Skyway comes alive nightly with the Garden Rhapsody - a free light and sound show - at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.