BUSAN

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Amidst our short trip to Seoul, we managed to squeeze in a day for Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. The train to Busan (no coincidence intended!) via KTX is highly recommended and convenient from Seoul. Well, it is somewhat similar to what you would see in the recent film Train to Busan, of course, minus all the apocalyptic zombies. The KTX train is well equipped with wifi and comfortable seats, where my friends slept through most of the 2.5 hours journey on an early morning. Perhaps they would not sleep in if they were to watch the film before this trip.

Gamcheon Cultural Village“The East of Santorini”. When we first had sight of these colourful lego-like buildings, as tourist as we can get, we could not stop snapping photos away even when it began to rain. The rain stopped and we proceed to spend half a day following a trail based on the village map, where we got an overview of Gamcheon in different angles. There’s a thing about these quaint villages and small towns that I really like, I’m not sure what or why exactly, but I guess it is the slow life in such environment that attracts me.

Jalgachi Fish Market — Busan is located by the sea and is eventually known for its fresh seafood. At Jalgachi, you can select your seafood from its array of fresh catch and select get a restaurant to cook it for you or vice versa, choose a restaurant first then your seafood. We did the latter. I’m not so much of a seafood lover, so I wasn’t that keen on paying too much for it especially when the prices here are on the higher side even after much bargaining. But trying to be a good sport with my friends, I caved in. Though a tad pricey, what you get are fresh, sweet and juicy seafoods

If time were on our side, we would spend at least 2 days in Busan instead of a day trip which was not sufficient us for us to cover more places. Albeit a short day trip, it was still truly memorable…like how we actually did miss our train back to Seoul by being late for 5 minutes.

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SEOUL

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Back in Seoul this June! Despite my recent visit to this bustling city just last November (read my post here), I have always wanted to return again, but I was not expecting this revisit to happen this soon. So with my leaves approved, flights and accommodation booked in just less than a month before scooting off, I did the itinerary planning quickly and I am very thankful that the trip did come to fruition smoothly albeit many clashes in our schedules.

Seoul is really a one stop for:

Fashion and Beauty shopping. If you haven’t already know, this city is filled with beauty and cosmetic stores in every corner. I am amazed at how there are more than 3 of the same exact beauty store in just within myeongdong shopping district.

Food food food. Seriously, as long as you are not broke, you never go hungry. Their cafes are beautifully designed and there are just so much food options everywhere, you will have a hard time deciding what to eat. So much food, so little time. And like us, we were eating everywhere we went.

Visits to heritage sites and sightseeing. While Seoul is a modern city, you will still find heritage sites like the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace or the Namsan Seoul tower in the heart of the city.

Travelling always go by so quickly, and sometimes in a blur within a short period of time, don’t they? In this trip, I got to explore a lot more places than before, mingle with the locals (and so glad to have met them in some ways) in attempt to communicate with bits and pieces of Korean, spot countless advertorial posters and standees of Song Joong Ki, had a finger lickin’ good time with Korean fried chicken till late and enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship with my church friends whom I grew up with since preschool.

I said this before but I will say again, Seoul will always have my heart with its diverse culture, amicable Koreans, beautiful shops, amazing food and shopping. Thank you for being seoul beautiful and heartwarming. I am missing this city already, but till next time again!

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VACATION

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Work has been insane. This pretty much encapsulates my life for the last several weeks, hence the unintended hiatus on this journal. I have come to accept that this journal will receive irregular posts while I am still working in the corporate world. Whatever it is, at this point, I am looking very much forward to a much needed vacation and hoping that all the plans go smoothly so as to make it happen! x

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DEEP DOWN MY SEOUL

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Seoul is a bustling city amalgamated with Asian and Western beauty – modern architectures built alongside traditional Korean houses, photogenic European curated cafes along the streets with good coffee, the best Korean fried chicken and kbbq, well dressed and friendly Koreans who willingly helped us with directions despite the language barrier, tons of beauty products, women who just did plastic surgery shopping around Myeong-dong openly with bandage and cast on their face, good shopping, kpop & kdramas.

Don’t judge me but I used to spend most of my Secondary school days listening to kpop favourites like Super Junior & 2NE1, chase after kdramas and naturally fell in love with Korea, or anything that seems to start with the letter ‘k’. Being back again after 9 years is like rekindling love with an old flame. I may not be into kpop & kdrama anymore but somehow this city will always have a place in my heart, and there’s something about Seoul that captivates my soul.

Ann yeong for now Seoul, I’ll definitely be back!

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36 HOURS IN JEJU

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Ok, first of all, how and where did time go that we’re already into the first week of December? Last Christmas still felt recent to me. And just a month ago (and is it a month already?), I was in Korea for my annual leave/vacation with my family to relax and recharge. Fast forward today, I think I’m in need of another round of recharging. But let’s face it, we can never get enough rest or holiday isn’t it?

Contrary to how I’d usually prep for a travel, I did not read up much on Jeju and went there not really knowing what to expect.

And now that I’ve been there, I’d say that Jeju might seem a little boring with the lack of “happening” sites or activities but I learnt that it is all about our perspectives. I saw this island as a very serene and calm place, and as you can probably tell from the photographs, it has lots of blues, greens and browns (and reds if you’re there during Autumn). The highlight at Jeju was a morning hike at Unesco World Heritage Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. With a great view and exercise (for me), which had my legs go jelly after the hike, no kid…that shows how long I’ve put exercise aside in my lifestyle – something I need to seriously reflect on. Being surrounded by a concrete jungle, technology, fashion and a fast paced work life every day in Singapore, Jeju was a timely escape to it, although it was only for a short 36 hours.

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