Seoul D6 and back to Indonesia (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip # South Korea

Wake up at 4 o’clock then ride taxi to bus station at 5 o’clock because the airport bus schedule is on 05.50. We decided to ride taxi because our luggage. And it only took 5 minutes. The bus has already in there and it cost W10.000/pax to Incheon International Airport.

The road take 1 hours. After we arrive in there, we proceed to tax refund counter. It’s easy. Just go to the counter to check your shopping that wants to refund, don’t forget, don’t put your buying staff inside the luggage first. So after you got a stemple, then you proceed to the refund self-counter. Scan your passport, and your receipt, then the computer will tell you how much will you got.

If you didn’t understand how to do this, ask the staff. They will help you.

Prepare much time before boarding.

After that, we put our buying things to our luggage, and proceed to check-in.

After that we go to subway station to refun our card which happened that we could refund at convenient store. And that’s our mistake. The subway station is so far away from international departure and we waste time in there.

After that we eat breakfast on the 2nd floor of International Departure.

We passed Everysing SMent Shop.

Then there’s a lot of restaurant and food court. We eat the food court. You can order on the cashier, then you will got a number. Just wait until they call your number and you can take your order.

This is also one of our mistake. It tooks time, and we didn’t realize what time is it now. So we just eat and enjoy our waiting. We thought that it’s still a long wait.

Then we proceed to imigrations, and take our money on refund counter. After that, we need to ride the monorail to our waiting room.

Out from monorail, when we ride the escalator, we heard a calling, Airasia to Kuala Lumpur. That’s when we realize, it’s only 5 minutes before departure time. OMG~~~ 5 minutes before departure time and not boarding time. I make a quick react to scream “It’s us…” Then they ask us to run. Fortunately, we have prepared our boarding pass so we directly boarding.

We sit in the back, and so many people saw us haha.. It’s embarrased.

Next time, If we wants to roaming around the airport, we have to come earlier. It’s our mistake because we didn’t predict the time too.
I never experienced this things, and this is my first time and hopefully my last time. I didn’t want to risk to missed the flight.

Then we said goodbye to Korea. See you next time…

Visit my friend in Incheon and Seoul D5 (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # South Korea

After put our luggage at the new hotel, then I’m going to visit my Korean’s friend, Nana. We met when study Chinese at Beijing. She made Tteokbokki, from then, I like Tteokbokki.

Her house is located at Songdo International Business District. And it’s far-far away from the city. We ride subway about 2 hours to Campus Town Subway Station.

Songdo International Business District (Songdo IBD) is a new smart city or “ubiquitous city” built from scratch on 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of reclaimed land along Incheon’s waterfront, 65 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Seoul, South Korea and connected to Incheon International Airport by a 12.3-kilometre (7.6 mi) reinforced concrete highway bridge, called Incheon Bridge. Along with Yeongjong and Cheongna, it is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone.[2]

The Songdo International Business District will feature the Northeast Asia Trade Tower and the Incheon Tower. Schools, hospitals, apartments, office buildings and cultural amenities are to be built in the district. Replicas of architectural hallmarks, including New York City’s Central Park and Venice’s waterways, will also be incorporated. This 10-year development project is estimated to cost in excess of $40 billion, making it one of the most expensive development projects ever undertaken.

Credit: Wikipedia

The first impression for this city is, Wow… It would be nice to live here.

My friend pick us at the station, and then we ride car to her apartment. This time also, her husband cook Tteokbokki for us, and it’s delicious. Too bad, I don’t know why, but this time I travelling to South Korea, I didn’t feel hungry at all. Even I still wants to eat, but I’m already full.

The apartment is nice and comfy. I would like to have one if I have a chance. haha…

After eat lunch, they take us to eat dessert in NC Cube Canal Walk Shopping Street. I saw this area once, on Running Man. So I know what is it.

You can shopping in here. And also a lot of restaurant and cafe in here. The shopping mall is unique, there’s a canal in the middle of the building, with fountain and many decorations.

After walking around, it’s already 3 o’clock in the afternoon. So we go back to Seoul. My friend’s husband has something to do in Seoul, so they take us to Yongsan E-Market to shopping. While her husband go to Dongdaemun.

On the way to Yongsan E-Mart, we passed Indonesian Embassy at Seoul.

E-Mart is the biggest and discount store in Korea. It’s very famous. The E-Mart at Yongsan is the 70th E-Mart in Korea. Located on the first and second underground floors of I’Park Mall (A Giant Shopping Mall connected to Yongsan Station).

Credit: Visitkorea

It’s nice in here. For a special product, you can try it first then decided to buy it or not. We bought so many snack. Famous snack recommended by my Korean Friend.

I don’t know how to put it into my luggage haha…

From Yongsan, we ride subway to Dongdaemun and walk around there. We also eat dinner in Doota.

Cheonggyecheon Stream also can be reached from Dongdaemun. It’s more beautiful in night.

After that, we go back to hotel to rest and packing. Today is our last day in Seoul.

Seoul D4 (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # South Korea

Today we visit some place in Seoul. First destination is Gwanghwamun Square. Ride subway to Gwanghwamun Station then exit 2. The MRT Station interior is unique.

At Gwanghwamun Square, there’s the biggest book store in Seoul, Kyubo Book Store. You can enter the shop from MRT exit or from outside.

There’s Admiral Yi Sunsin statue and also famous King Sejong statue in here.

Under the square, there’s a exhibition about King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sunsin.

After see the exhibitions, we decided to eat lunch first. We found some restaurant in the small road near the Gwanghwamun Square. Then we go to Gwanghwamun Gate which is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Just like other palace, in Gyeongbokgung Palace, we can see the royal culture and kingdom in here.

Geunjongmun Gate (The Third Inner Gate)
The outside wall of Gyeongbokgung palace

When we arrive at Gwanghwamun Station, my friends said that she wants to looking for some book. So while she is looking for her books, I decided to back to Euljiro 3(sam)-ga station, to visit Jeonggwanjang Hongsam 정관장 홍삼 Store. Once you go out from the station, then you will see the store in the right side.

Jeonggwanjang Hongsam exclusively deals with products by the Korea Ginseng Corporation. Jeonggwanjang, with over 100 years of history, is a Goryeo hongsam brand that only uses high quality six-year-old ginseng roots through rigorous testing.

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=988479

They offer the product: ginseng roots, condensed products, liquid products, extracts, hongsam tea, hongsam jelly, hongsam candies, and hongsam chocolate.

I also have a discount coupon from Visit Korea site. But unfortunately, the ginseng roots that I’m looking for, only there’s the big package ones and there’s no smaller one. I didn’t bring much money, and my uncle, who wants the Ginseng, said that he only wants a little. So I didn’t buy it.

After that, I’m going back to Gwanghwamun Station to meet up with my friend.

Then we go to Ewha Women’s University shopping area.

Stop by Ewha Women’s University / 이대 station then exit 2 / 3 and walk for 5 minutes then you will see a lot of store.

I didn’t buy anything in here, just walk around, until I found the entrance of Ewha Women’s University. Because it’s university area, so there’s so many students in here.

There’s so many street food and cafe too.

From Ewha, I plan to join my other friends, who are at Odbo Cosmetic Store in Seoul which there’s only 1 outlet. I go to Mapo-Gu Office Subway Station.

Credit: https://seoulinspiration.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/odbo-outlet-in-seoul/

I found this website before and try to follow it’s instructions. Exit Mapo-Gu Office Subway Station exit 3, the area is different with others subway station. It’s quiet, only traffic.

I just drop by and then back to continue my journey. I didn’t found my friends there because they are already done.

Let’s take it as walking around Seoul.. Haha..

Next I went to Yeouido Park. Yes, it’s only me, because my friend is sick and she said she go back to guesthouse first to take a rest.

Yeouido Park is a large recreational area located on Yeouido Island in the central part of Seoul. It was once originally covered with black asphalt, and people frequented the place for bicycling and roller-skating. The construction began in 1997, and opened officially in February 1999. It is now the place where many people in the city come to rest and enjoy strolling around, play sports, and cultural events. 

The park is divided into theme-based sections: the Traditional Korean Forest, Grass Square, Culture Square, and Nature’s Ecosystem Forest. In the Traditional Korean Forest, only traditional Korean trees are planted, and it has a pond and an octagonal pavilion, with a trail walk that completes the feel of an elegant Korean garden. Grass Square has a low hill, with grass field and various trails, and nearby there are evergreens and deciduous trees to reflect the changing of the seasons. Many performances and events are held at the Cultural Square, and because there are many zelkova trees lined up nearby, it is a great place to rest. One particular part of the park that is most enjoyed is the Nature’s Ecosystem Forest – it is where you can observe nature and learn from an ecologically sensitive pond and forest, right in the middle of the city. Composed of a swamp area, waterline area, grassland area, and a forest, you can observe various kinds of life forms living in these areas. 

One of the must-see areas is the Yunjunro Street, behind the National Assembly Building. This place is famous for having the loveliest cherry blossom street in Seoul. Cherry blossom trees, 30 to 40 years old, line up for about 6km, and is very popular in the spring.

Credit: Visikorea

Once out from the station, we can see the 63 building

It’s a nice evening to enjoy the park. Maybe next time, I could come here with someone, and enjoy more of it’s facility.

Yeouido Subway Station

From Yeouido, I decided to walk at Cheonggyecheon Stream. There’s so many subway that could lead to the stream, so I choose Euljiro 3(san)-ga to Euljiro 4(sa)-ga. 

Credit: Visit Korea

Until it was restored in 2005, Cheonggyecheon Stream existed only as a neglected waterway hidden by an overpass. Today, it has been transformed into a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life. 

Narae Bridge, representing a butterfly in flight, and Gwanggyo Bridge, symbolizing the harmony of the past and future, are just two of the more than twenty beautiful bridges that cross the stream. The Rhythmic Wall Stream, lined with fine marble, sculptures, and Korea’s 8th stone building, Palseokdam, adorn the Cheonggyecheon Stream. 

Cheonggyecheon Stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisurely stroll along the stream. 

It’s unique. Pity I didn’t have a change to explore more. Maybe next time. 🙂

It’s already evening, and I promise my friends to meet them at guesthouse at 17:00. So I decided to go back to the guesthouse. While on the way back, I drop by Wangsimi Subway Station, to go to E-Mart. I bought some snack, and also bread for my dinner.

Today is my friend’s last day in Seoul, tomorrow they will go back to Indonesia. So tonight we plan to watch Rainbow Fountain at Banpo Bridge.

Only 4 of us go there, the others feel tired already.

After rest for a while, then we go there. We stop by Gangnam Subway station and walk along their underground mall first. It’s cheap and many things sell in there. If you would like to shopping, this place is one of the suggestion.

The rainbow fountain show is 20:00 o’clock. At 19:30, we walk to Banpo Bridge directions. A lot of people go back after watched the 19:30 performance.

We passed by underground tunnel.

Banpodaegyo (Bridge) is a two-tiered bridge over the Hangang (River). Its lower level, called Jamsugyo (Submergence Bridge), is designed to be below water during the rainy season. In 2009, Seoul Metropolitan Government added the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain to the Banpodaegyo, creating the world’s longest bridge fountain (as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records) with 380 water jets and a dazzling array of multi-colored lights.

Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is the world’s longest bridge fountain. The fountain is programmed to play different shows during the day and night. During the day, the fountain shows a hundred different configurations meant to evoke waving willow branches and willow leaves. When the sun goes down, 200 lights illuminate the fountain as it sends up dancing, rainbow-colored jets of water in the air in synchronization with music.

The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain’s water jets are dynamic and can move in time to music creating spectacular ever-changing displays. Add to that the hundreds of rainbow-colored lighting combinations when night falls, and it is easy to see why Banpodaegyo is a magnet for tourists year-round.

The park also has outdoor stage, eco-observatory and picnic spots.

Credit: Visit KoreaVisit Seoul

My friends said, that if you visit on weekend, there are a stall that sell Seoul Fried Chicken, which very famous. Too bad, I visit when it’s weekdays, so no one sell food in there.

The rainbow fountain is beautiful. I’m not regret come here during night, in the middle of autumn cold.

Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain Time:
> April-June, September- October (Duration: 20 min)
     Weekdays: 12:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
     Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
> July-August (Duration: 20 min)
     Weekdays: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
     Weekends: 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

Then we go back to guesthouse for rest.. Tomorrow is my last day, and tomorrow I’m gonna meet my Korean friends.

Seoul 서울 D3 (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # South Korea

Today, we visit Apgujeong and Cheongdam Street at Gangnam. 

Before start our journey, I bought Banana Milk for my breakfast.

Apgujeong and Cheongdam are located right at the entry of Gangnam (literally meaning, “South of Hangang River”). Gangnam is known for advanced industries, venture capitals, global business centers, expensive apartment complexes, and high-end villas. If one lives in Gangnam, he or she is regarded as having “new money”. This is also area of K-Pop Entertainment. Many entertainment company, located in here like SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Cube Entertainment and F&C Entertainment.

We decided to stop at Apgujeong Rodeo Street Station. At the station, we can found 2PM 2D stand-picture.

Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong are the main shopping districts for the rich in Gangnam. Many young people interested in fashion and hair crowd the district. Considered to be ‘hot’ places, Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong typically lead in new fashion styles and social trends in Korea.

Connecting Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong, Apgujeong-ro (ro meaning ‘boulevard’) is the center of luxury fashion and is full of a chic department stores and luxury brands. Korean and international designer shops, galleries, and multi-shops (designer goods in smaller boutiques), and entertainment venues can easily overwhelm casual visitors. Designated as the ‘Special Fashion District’, Apgujeong-ro attracts leaders in the fashion industry and fashion enthusiasts and holds various fashion festivals and events every year.

Aside from fashion, Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong are renowned for offering high-end total beauty care from nail art to hairdos, skin care, and plastic surgery. Top-notch beauty shops provide comprehensive luxurious services to international tourists.

Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong embody the modern wealthy lifestyle in Korea, evidenced by the young professionals that flock to the area’s chic cafés, bars, and restaurants.

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/whereToShop/whereToShop.jsp?action=about&cid=995827

The street from the Cheongdam Station intersection to Galleria Department Store is lined with luxury brand stores and designated as the special fashion zone “Cheongdam-dong Fashion Geori (Street). Often frequented by celebrities, the area became a popular tourist destination for Hallyu fans.

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1389275

Some of my friends, are Kpop fans. And this is why this trip is made. I’m not a big fans, but I know some of idols. And I’m curious, about the entertainment in Korea.

From Apgujeong Rodeo Street exit 2, make a u-turn, you will greet by Apgujeong Street which is very big. Just like Orchard Road in Singapore, but bigger and not too crowded like Orchard Road. You can see clearly the shop in the road side. And all is branded.

1st destination is SM Entertainment. Actually, there’s an office in the road which we passed, but it has been renovated. So we keep move on. We plan to visit the other office. I remember my friends said, keep walk until you found Citibank. Then turn left. So, we keep walk to Cheongdam Station direction. We passed Galeria Department Store, and many fashion boutique. The weather is nice, so it’s really comfortable to walk.

After the main road turn to right, we found the citibank, then we turn left, to a small alley. Just walk straight until almost the end of road and you arrive at F&C Entertainment. If you know CNBLue, AOA, FTIsland then this is their company.

Walk again to the end of the road then turn right. Then you will arrive at SM Entertainment new office. Super Junior, TVXQ, Girls Generations, F(x), EXO, this is their company. My friends is fans of Suju, and we took some picture in here. In front of SM Entertainment, is Han River. But you can’t see it from here because there’s a small hill.

Then we walk straight, and turn right. We found JYP Entertainment in there, right in front of Dunkin Donuts. This is the company for 2PM, Miss A, GOT7, etc.

There’s 2 alley in there, and we go to the left, and found CUBE Entertainment, the company of Beast, 4Minutes, BToB, etc.

After that, we arrive again at the big street cheongdam but different alley. Actually, from here you can turn left and walk to Cheongdam Station. But, because we still need to visit a cafe at Apgujeong, then we turn left. Stop by KFC first to eat because it’s already lunch time. Then we decided to ride bus to back to Apgujeong Rodeo Street Station. Fortunately, some of us know how to read Hangeul. So I know how to read bus line. (But I forgot the bus number).

From Apgujeong, we ride subway to Chungmuro Station go out from exit 4. Once out from subway, you could see a lot of people in there. Yes, many people go to Namsangol Hanok Village. It’s Korean Traditional Village. You may consider it interesting to find this area standing between the tall buildings. This village has five restored traditional Korean houses and a pavilion, a pond and a time capsule, which make it a perfect spot to take a walk. 

When you enter the front gate, you will see the vast valley and the Chunugak building to the left of the pond. Along with the pond, it is a splendid place where performances are held.

cute kids, with hanbok

I saw an Ahjussi making Sandals. It’s interesting.

On the side you will see five traditional houses. These houses were rebuilt after the traditional houses of Joseon Dynasty and belong to those of various social classes, ranking from peasants to the king. The furniture in the house is situated to help guests understand the daily life of the past, and the clean, traditional houses and their antique items provide a great photo op.

If you would like to check out some souvenirs, stop by the traditional craftwork exhibit where you can buy small dishes and other items. You can also have traditional tea and refreshments.

On the grounds, there are traditional games you may try such as ‘neolttwigi’ (sea-saw jumping), ‘tuho'(arrow throwing) and ‘yunnori’ (traditional game of throwing wooden yut sticks).

Don’t forget to go see the traditional marriage ceremony! During the weekends, traditional marriages are shown at Bak Yeong Hyo’s Residence. The traditional marriage ceremony is an interesting event for both Koreans and foreigners and many gather to watch. During the winter season (November to February), there are not as many wedding ceremonies as held in the spring and fall. Weddings are typically held around noon or 1 p.m. and visitors can take pictures with the husband and wife wearing traditional wedding costumes. There is also a time capsule commemorating Seoul’s 600 Year Anniversary that was buried in 1994 and is scheduled to be reopened four hundred years later in 2394. Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264116

We can see Namsan Tower from here.

From Namsangol Hanok Village,  we go to Namsan Tower / N Seoul Tower. We will ride the cable car. So we go to Myeongdong Station exit 4, then until you see Pasific Hotel then took the right side and walk up to Namsan Cable Car.

Cable car return-trip fee cost W8.500/pax.

Once we arrive, we still have to climb for a while.

If you didn’t want to ride cable car, you can walk this road

Then we arrive at a big park, which sometimes there’s a performance in here.

Before we go to Observatory, we walk around the park. There’s a cafe and souvenir shop. There’s an upstair deck, this place is where you could put love lock.

You can buy the observatory entrance ticket in here. It cost W9.000/pax.

The observatory entrance located in the middle of the park, not the same as where you buy the ticket.

Once you are at observatory, you can see a very beautiful view of Seoul City.

There’s a cafe inside, and also candy shop and souvenir shop. You also can send a postcard from Namsan post. I try to send one, but because I wrote it using wrong ink pen, when I want to put it inside the red post office, the ink was spread. So I think it won’t arrive at home.

From observatory, we walk around the park in front of Namsan Tower. You can see the beautiful scene of Seoul city too in here.

It’s beautiful. We enjoy the view for a while. Then we go back to cable car. On the way back, we drop by a little food court and buy Twist Potato. It’s delicious. Too bad, the weather is more and more cold. When we eat the potato twist, firstly it’s hot. But in the end, the potato twist turn cold.

Then we go back to Myeongdong Station using cable car.

Link:
– N Seoul Tower Visitkorea
– Namsan Tower Cable Car
– Wikipedia

After finish visiting Namsan Tower, we go to Hongdae 홍대. Hongdae is the area in front of Hongik University. Also a neighborhood known for its youthful and romantic ambience, underground cultures, and freedom of self-expression. Unique cafes, cozy galleries, accessory stores, fashion shops, live cafés and clubs, art markets, and gourmet eateries make this a popular hang-out for locals in their 20s and 30s and a fascinating place to walk around. 

Also in this same area is the ‘A ballerina who loves b-boy’ theater and other theaters dedicated to the art of b-boy dance. Another big draw of Hongdae is the weekend ‘Free market,’ (1pm to 6m) where artists gather each week to display and sell their handmade crafts and accessories. During the market time there are usually a variety of open-air concerts and events as well. 

These unique place plus the cultural events, street performances, and festivals held here make Hongdae-ap an area that is always packed with people and excitement. Special streets such as ateliers’ street (with full of private institutions for art students preparing for university entrance exams), Picasso’s Street, and Club Street are also must-go places if you’re hoping to fully experience the Hongdae area.

Address: 
Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul-si 
서울 마포구 서교동 일대

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1326972

Hongdae is a famous area for young. Because it’s in front of university, and there’s a lot of cafe and club in there. It is more lifely at night.

My friends wants to try Korean hairstyle, so she entering one of the haircut salon. It’s located at 3rd floor of a cafe. They can’t speak english, so my friends only choose the picture, and they do the job.

After finish, we walk around for a while then back to hotel. Next time, I came here, I will spend 1 day in here for culinary and walk around the universi

Seoul 서울 D2 (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # South Korea

Back to Seoul, it’s still evening. So we decided to walk around Insa-dong.

Address:
130-4, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si 
서울 종로구 인사동 130-4 일대

Directions:
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.

Insa-dong (인사동), located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes. 

The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, which promotes many promising artists, and Gana Art Center. 

The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. At first they might be hard to find, but if you take the time to stroll around the twisting alleyways, the window shopping in itself can be very entertaining. The shops in Insa-dong are very popular among all age groups, because each one is unique. 

Every Saturday from 14:00 – 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 – 22:00, some streets are blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and others set up shops (Korean candy merchants and fortune tellers.) There are traditional performances and exhibits as well. Insa-dong is especially popular with foreign tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces of fine art. On the street you can eat Korean taffy and traditional pajeon (Korean pancake), and see many foreigners lost in all the joyous festivities of the street.

Credit: Visit Korea Insa-dong

This place is nice, the Korean Culture could be seen here even some store sell nowadays things. You can buy souvenir in here, even the price is not too cheap.

Not many people in here, maybe because of weekdays. The shopping street is nice, and comfortable to walk. After walk around, we back to hotel and rest.

Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch 대관령 삼양목장 / Eco Green Campus 에코그린 캠퍼스, Pyeongchang (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # Gangwon-do – South Korea

Woke up early today to take bus to Hoenggye at 08:05 o’clock. Today’s destination is Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch 대관령 삼양목장, Eco Green Campus 에코그린 캠퍼스 at Pyeongchang County.

After breakfast, we go to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal 동서울종합터미널. Buses (both intercity and express running to every corner of Korea including Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Gyeongsang, Chungcheong and Jeolla depart from this bus station). Bus reservations may be made through the following reservations agencies, but tickets can also be purchased at the ticket window upon arrival at the bus station. 

The Dong Seoul Bus Terminal is located at Gangbyeon Station, Seoul Subway Station Line 2, Exit 4.

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1113555

Bus to Hoenggye is an Intercity Bus which cost 14.500 won and it took 2 hours and 45 minutes. Hoenggye is the 3rd stop. 1st stop is 장평 Jangpyeong Bus Terminal. 2nd stop is 진부공용버스정류장 Jinbu Bus Terminal. And finally, at 3rd stop, we arrive at Hoenggye Bus Terminal.

Pyeongchang is a county in Gangwon province, South Korea located in the Taebaek Mountains region. It is also home to several Buddhist temples, including Woljeongsa. It is located approximately 180 km east of Seoul. Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

The altitude of Pyeongchang is wide-ranging, with 84% of its territory comprising mountains with average elevations of 750m (2,460ft). Its best-known place, the township of Daegwallyeong-myeon, averages between 700 to 800m (2,300 to 2,600ft) above sea level, with some areas over 1,000m (3,300ft) high. Daegwallyeong-myeon has a monsoon humid continental climate with warm, humid summers and long, cold and dry winters.

The area is popular with mountain hikers, especially at the southern part of Mount Seoraksan. 
Alpensia ski resort is a tourist attraction and has 6 slopes for skiing and snowboarding, with runs up to 1.4km long, for beginners and advanced skiers, and an area reserved for snowboarders. The resort is open year-round. Alpensia will be the focus of the 2018 Cultural Olympiad, with a new, purpose-built concert hall within the resort. A 250km per hour KTX line will be built between Wonju and Gangneung via Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics and will put Pyeongchang within 50 minutes of travel time from Seoul.

Buddhist temple Woljeongsa of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism is located on the eastern slopes of Odaesan. The Lee Seung-bok Memorial Center is located in Nodong-ri, Yongpyeong-myeon.

Samyang Ranch is the largest highlands farm in Asia located on the hills of Daegwallyeong 850 to 1,470meters above sea level. It was operated as a petting zoo and enjoy tha pastoral landscape. It is film locations of the drama ‘Autumn in my Heart’ and the movie ‘Lover’s Concerto.’

Address: Hoenggye-ri, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Kangwon, South Korea
Phone: +8233-335-5044 ext. 5

Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264459

Arrive at Hoenggye at 10:50, it’s raining really hard. I have already espect the rain, because the weather forecast. But I didn’t know that it will be this hard.

We rode taxi to Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch. There’s a taxi base camp in front of the bus station. Don’t forget, if you can’t speak Korean, write the destination, and show it to taxi driver. Then the driver tell us how much. I pay for 13.000 won one way for 20-30 minutes ride. And he gave me his name card, and ask me to call him again when we want to back to bus station. He is very kind, he even let us borrow his umbrella. Actually, I don’t know how to call him back, because my country phone number didn’t have signal at all. Just think about it later.

The ticket entrance to Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch is 8.000 won, include the shuttle bus to go around the ranch. The shuttle buses travel non-stop for 20 min from the Welcome Square to the Dong Hae Observatory. On your way down, there are five bus stops where you can get off the shuttle to view the area at your leisure, then hop back on whenever you like. (Bus service runs from May through to November).

At winter season, shuttle bus is not available, instead you can enjoy the farm with your own car or by foot.

Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch is Asia’s largest green pasture on a plateau. This ancient and vast meadow is where milking cows feed. The view from the plateau is remarkable as well. If you go up to Daegwallyeong Observatory early in the morning, you can witness the spectacular sunrise from the East Sea beyond the peaks of Mt. Odaesan. The lake where cows drink water is called Samjeongho Lake.

It’s a bad weather when I came there. Hard rain, thick mist, and we can’t enjoy the scene much. But because we have already arrive in here, so we have to visit the place.

1st stop, Dong Hae Observatory (1140m above sea level)
It should be a fantastic view of Gangneug CityJumunjin City and Dong Hae (East Sea). But because of bad weather, we can’t see anything. Only a thick mist around there. The bus drive give us 10 minutes to stop here.
If the weather is nice, you can tracking in here. The first walking tracks is Breezy Hills (550m) which is location of filming “Taegeukgi: Brotherhood of War” and “Welcome to Dongmakgol“. 

The second walking tracks is Leisure Forest (930m) where you can see 400Jeong, a location to view an extensive 400ha of our land. That’s why it is named 400Jeong (1 Jeong is almost 1 ha).

In here, you also can see Wind Powered Generator Complex with 53 wind powered generators which in operation and provide electricity to 50.000 households which are 60% of Gangneung population.

2nd stop, Tree of Lover’s Concerto, 2002 (1.080m above sea level)
Not only famous due to the popular movie “Lover’s Concerto” in 2002, the tree’s surroundings are stunnings.
From 1st bus stop to 2nd bus stop, also known as Eunseo and Junseo’s Autumn in My Heart TV Series bike path.

We decided to stop in here, and try to walk to 3rd stop.

The 3rd walking track is Memories of Love, located between 2nd bus stop and 3rd bus stop and it took 650m. But we didn’t pass the tracking because it’s slippery. We walk around the main road. There’s nothing can be seen, we can’t see the sheep paddock. But we saw a group of sheep, and take picture with them.

3rd Stop, Office of Gangwon Wind Poweres Generator Complex
I don’t know what can be seen in this area. We stop at the bus stop and wait for the bus. It’s really cold and I thought I need to drink hot chocolate right at that time, haha.. 😀

The 4th walking track is Meadow Stroll with distance 1.470m from the middle of 2nd bus stop to 4th bus stop. We will pass cattle paddock, ostrich paddock and sheepdog herding field.

4st Stop, Wish and Wind Post-Box
There’s a “Wish and Wind Post-Box” to share your emotional experience at our beautiful farm with your postcard and put it inside the post-box, chich are provided at Cheong Yeon Botanical Garden and the Ostrich Pavilion. Postcards will be delivered full of happiness.
We also would pass Eunseo & Junseo’s Tree in the TV Series “Autumn in My Heart”.
The 5th walking track is Peace of Mind, which located from 4th bus stop to 5th  bus stop. The distance is 900m.

5th Stop, Welcome Square
Finally, we arrive at the main point. We bought instant noodle at the ranch mart. You can also buy souvenir from Samyang Ranch.

The 3rd walking track is Memories of Love, located between 2nd bus stop and 3rd bus stop and it took 650m. But we didn’t pass the tracking because it’s slippery. We walk around the main road. There’s nothing can be seen, we can’t see the sheep paddock. But we saw a group of sheep, and take picture with them.

3rd Stop, Office of Gangwon Wind Poweres Generator Complex
I don’t know what can be seen in this area. We stop at the bus stop and wait for the bus. It’s really cold and I thought I need to drink hot chocolate right at that time, haha.. 😀

The 4th walking track is Meadow Stroll with distance 1.470m from the middle of 2nd bus stop to 4th bus stop. We will pass cattle paddock, ostrich paddock and sheepdog herding field.

Behind the Welcome Square, there’s a building of Eunseo & Junseo’s House in the TV Series “Autumn in My Heart”.

Source: Eco green Campus Manual Brochure which you can get it on the ticket entrance locket when you bought the ticket.

It’s worthed to come here. And I want to come here again when the weather is nice. Maybe I could spend 1 night stay at Hoenggye.

We ask the staff at the restaurant to help us to call the taxi driver to pick us. It also cost 13.000 won to go back to the bus station.

Then we bought the ticket to back to Seoul.

At 17:15 we arrive at Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and back to guest house.

1 Day Trip to Gyeongju 경주 City (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # Gyeongsangbuk-do 경상북도 – South Korea

Woke up early, and go to 노포 Nopo Station to take bus to Gyeongju. Once out from the train, just look for the direction to bus station, and then from subway station, just make a U-Turn.
The bus station is easy to read. You just choose your destination, and it will show the time of the next departure. Then you go to the locket, and tell the officer and pay. It cost 4800 won to Gyeongju.

The Express Bus Ticket to Gyeongju from Busan
The ticket after you check with the driver

It’s only took approximately 50 minutes to Gyeongju. That’s why I plan only to do 1 trip journey. The city is beautiful. Because it’s still traditional city. 

Once arrived in Gyeongju Bus Station, there’s an information centre located just right next the bus station. You can ask the direction in there.

Our first destination is 불국사 Bulguksa Temple. Just cross the road, and wait for the bus no 10 or 11. Bulguksa station is the last station, and it took approximately 45 minutes to 1 hours (12 stop).

Don’t worry, you won’t miss it because the driver will tell you that it’s the last station, and everyone will get out from the bus.

The scene is beautiful, the autumn feel is really strong in here.

PS: If you have enough time, I suggest stay for 1 night / 2 night in here. It’s worthed.

Our first destination is Bulguksa Temple. There’s 2 car parking, the 1st one is where you saw once you get out from the bus.

There’s two way to Bulguksa Temple. The first one is the main road, which there’s so many stall that sell souvenir, and the 2nd one is beside the toilet.

the 2nd way to temple, beside the toilet

We decided to try the main road first.

There’s so many stall that sell souvenir and street food. You can try some street food in there and buy some souvenirs.

Bulguksa Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995.. It is located at 385, Bulguk-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 경상북도 경주시 불국로 385 (진현동). The beauty of the temple itself and the artistic touch of the stone relics are known throughout the world. 

Website:
– www.bulguksa.or.kr
– www.jikimi.cha.go.kr/english

the entrance of the temple

The 2nd car park is near the entrance. The ticket cost 4000 won. On the way to temple, you can see a beautiful autumn scene.

It’s peaceful and very suitable to refreshing from every problem. As you can see at the picture, there’s another way. We will pass there when going back.
Then you will pass a gate.

The King Gate
The Map of Bulguksa Temple

Once you enter the gate, you will arrive in a large field. There’s a free guide service near there. You can follow the time and apply for free guide. There’s English, Chinese and Japan guide. We ask for English guide, but unfortunately, there’s only one English guide and he can’t go anywhere. So he just give us information about this Buddhist Temple.

After that, we walk around the temple. We can see many of Budha statue with different pose. There’s a meaning between the pose, but I’m not remember.

It took approximately 30 minutes to 1 hours in here. There’s a stone build too.

The scene is beautiful. Especially because it’s Autumn. After the stone building, you will found this scene.

The famous leaf in Korean, Maple leaf. When it’s autumn, it will turn colour to red and yellow.

This time, we pass the other way. 

The bridge which we passed when we get in.

The situation is so peaceful. If you looking for relaxing and peaceful place, this is the one. While enjoy the scenery, you can feel the peaceful of the temple.

Actually, there’s another place near Bulguksa, it’s Seokgoram Grotto. But our time didn’t make it. The last bus is 17:40. It’s 15:40 now, and we are afraid we didn’t make it to take bus at 17:40 to back to the city. So we decided to go back to the city now.

We rode bus no 11 back to downtown. On the way back, we found a beautiful scene so we decided to drop by.

It’s in the middle of somewhere, in the big main road, with field and mountain at autumn scene.

After take some photos, we continue the journey. It tooks time to wait for the bus, but finally the bus is coming.

We stop by downtown Gyeongju then went to a park which there’s so many attraction place in there. There’s a festival in there so there’s so many people.

The first attraction place that we visit is, 내물왕릉 The Royal Tomb of King Naemul. It’s unique. Unfortunately, we only can see from far away.

Address:
14, Gyo-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 
경북 경주시 교동 14번지

Direction: 
Across from the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal, take Bus 70. Get off at Cheomseongdae (첨성대) Bus Stop. It is a 10min-walk from the bus stop.

King Naemul was the 17th monarch of the Silla Kingdom (in power from 356 to 402) and became the second king of the Kim family name. King Naemul was known as the first king to initiate the king title of ‘Maripgan’ and was known for spreading cultural advancements from China to the Korean people. When the allied forces of Baekje and Japan attacked, he asked Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo for help and led the people to victory, contributing to the increased strength of the Silla Kingdom. After his rule, the throne was exclusively ceded to members of the Kim family clan.

The royal tomb of King Naemul is a large mound (2.2m in diameter and 5.3m in height) that sits on the northern hill of the Confucian school of Gyeongju. The edge of a natural stone is exposed around the bottom of the mound, pointing to the fact that the inner chamber tomb was made of stone. In the historical document Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms), no records are found about the tomb, but the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) describes the king’s tomb as being located in the southwest of Cheomseongdae, which is consistent with the tomb’s location.

(Source: Visit Korea)


The sun almost set when I’m in there. There were so many people playing kite. It’s beautiful.

The next place is Cheomseongdae Observatory which located right next of the Royal Tomb of King Naemul.

Source:
– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheomseongdae
– http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264256

Address: 
839-1, Inwang-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeonsangbuk-do 
경북 경주시 인왕동 839-1

Directions: 

  • Start at the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. From the terminal bus stop take Bus 70. Get off at Daereung-won Tumuli Park. The observatory is 3 minutes away on foot. Bus arrives at 7-min intervals.
  • Start at the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal bus stop. Take Bus 10 or 11 and get off at Wolseong-dong office (Daereung-won Tumuli Park). TThe observatory is 5 minutes away on foot.

Admissions Fee: Free

Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (632-647), it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather. This stone structure is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and was designated as National Treasure No.31 on December 20th, 1962. 

Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones 30cm in diameter. 362 stones were piled up to make 27 levels. Roughly 4.16m up from the bottom there is a 1㎡ square entrance and a space to hang a ladder under it. The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped as the Chinese letter ‘井’ (jeong). 

It stands 9.17m high and the base stone on each side measures 5.35m. The Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to have been used as a standard of deciding directions, north, south, east and west. The 362 stones used to build Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year.

It’s a heritage monument. If you didn’t know the history, then probably you won’t understand what is this. Just look like a monument in the middle of the park. I think it’s unique.

So many people come here and enjoy the festival. We buy some streetfood like Tteokbuki and BBQ. It’s yummy. And there’s dance competition too in there.

Some place nearby are Anapji Pond, Tumuli Park, but the sun has already set. So we decided to end the trip for today.

We go back to Bus station using taxi and ride express bus back to Busan. We passed by Gyeongju Bread Store so we bought some for tasting.

Busan D2 (BGSDNMK) – SK Trip 2014 # South Korea

Woke up a little bit late today, to pay the time of sleep of yesterday. We start our journey at 09:00. Our first destination is 감천문화마을 Gamcheon Culture Village.

Gamcheon Culture Village or also known as Santorini on the South Sea, or Taeguekdo Village. The village is a panorama of endless rows of low-rise cubicle homes climbing up the steep hillsides from the sea below, their cheerful blue, yellow and pink hues a delight to the eye. Narrow stone and concrete alleyways wind their way through the homes, yielding something new at every turn. 

From Elysee Motel Busan, go to Nampo Metro Station, ride subway to 도성/土城 Toseong Metro Station (orange line), go exit 6, then you will see intersection, turn right and walk until you meet hospital. The bus stop to Gamcheon is in front of the hospital. Ride bus no 2 / 2-2 to 감천문화마을 Gamcheon Culture Village, and stop right in front of Gamcheon Elementary School.

The main entrance of Gamcheon Culture Village right across the school.

You can collect stamp about this village, buy the map in the information or art shop. It cost W2000.

We use the direction in the map, so we know where we heading. And it’s useful, because we know where to go.

We spent almost 3 hours in there. After that, we go to the next destination, Haeundae Beach. We ride bus 2 to Toseong Station, then ride metro to Haeundae. It’s a long journey, about 2 hours.

Arrived at Haeundae Station, we go through exit 5 to Haeundae Beach. It took 5-10 minutes to walk there. 

When we arrived Haeundae Beach, there’s 19th 부산국제영화제 Busan International Film Festival which held on 2-11 October 2014.

BIFF is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. Beginning in 1996 as the first international film festival in Korea, it is now a major global event. Held in Haeundae and Nampo-dong, Busan, the festival presents over 300 films from 70 countries. The focus of the BIFF is introducing new films and first-time directors, especially those from Asian countries.

Programs For 2014’s event:
– Total of 314 films from 79 countries
– 134 World & International Premieres 
– 98 World Premieres (66 Feature Films, 32 Short Films)
– 36 International Premieres (33 Feature Films, 3 Short Films)
– All New Currents screenings are World or International Premieres

For more information, please visit the website.

해운대해수욕장 Haeundae Beach located at Haeundae District. Exit 5 from Haeundae Station, and walk about 5-10 minutes.

If you ever went to beach in Indonesia (such as Bali and Lombok), you will think that the beach at Busan is a common beach.

But it’s so crowded. Many people went there to enjoy the wind and the beach. Located in the middle of high building, and the white sand, make people feel comfortable to just sit and enjoy the scene.

Hotel nearby Haeundae Beach, if you wants to stay near the beach, you can choose this hotel

We decided to stay here and enjoy this beach till night and enjoy the sunset. Because it will took some time to travel to another place.

Then We walk around Haeundae. The wind blow stronger than before. There’s a news that there’s thypoon at Japan, and it affects the weather. It’s getting colder.

So we decided to wait for the sunset inside cafe or convenient store. And we bought this.

After that, we go to the beach again to watch sunset.

And the night coming. It’s beautiful in the night, especially there’s BIFF festival which make the area full of light. The combination of sea, beach, and the city, make it more wonderful.

The wind is so strong, so after we enought to enjoy the scene, we decided to go to the next destination.

From Haeundae, we go to the 2nd famous beach in Busan, 광안리 해수욕장 Gwanganlli Beach. There’s a famous bridge in here, 광안대교 Gwangandaegyo Bridge, and it’s beautiful at night. Surrounded with building and cafe, we can enjoy the beach while drinking coffee.

To go here, you can stop at Gwangan Station exit 3 / 5 and walk around 10 minutes to the beach. You will pass a busy road and when I came there, there’s road renovation, and it’s make uncomfortable to walk.

PS: I’ve read inside the review in Trip Advisor, it’s better if you stop at Geumnyeonsan Station because it’s closer to the beach. Next time I went here, I will try it.

This is our last destination for today. After enjoy the scene for a while, we go back to hotel and rest. Time to sleep for tomorrow journey.

봉추찜닭 Bongchu Jjimdak

My first trip to Busan, we stay at Elysee Motel Busan and the owner is very kind. He give us any information about restaurant nearby and what to visit.

Yangssi Sanghoe Restaurant
Bongchu Jjimdak Restaurant (Bongchu-style seasoned and simmered chicken)
Seoul Samgyetang Restaurant

We decided to try Bongchu Jjimdak Restaurant. I heard that this is special dishes in Busan and It’s easy to go there because of the map. The map is really helpful.

We order small portion (for 2 person), and it’s really a big portion for us.

In South Korea, the eating tools is always available in each table.

And don’t worry for drinking. They always provide free water.