Monday, 18 August 2014

Korea Trip Day 1-3

Flew from Taiwan to Korea on 28th May and landed at 9.50pm. I was an extremely lucky girl and every now and then I think back, I'm extremely grateful. I was supposed to check-in at Korstay Hotel for the night and since I was all alone for these two days, I did my homework thoroughly so that I knew how to get to my accommodation from the airport safely. But by the time I cleared customs, it was quite late and the airport limousine bus which I was supposed to take was terminated. I was determined not to take a taxi though, since it would most probably cost me a bomb.
I was wondering around nervously, not able to speak a word of the Korean language. Then this airport staff who was stationed at the limousine buses came over, asked me where I was going, and I said Korstay Hotel. He understood me, but couldn't speak much English. He then took my paper and started drawing a map for me, explaining to me where to alight while blabbering in hangul all the while. I nodded while listening hard, but fact was I couldn't understand anything. He directed me to another bus after what seemed like a long time, and even ran to another bus to break my note for me so I could pay the bus fare. I boarded the bus thinking, okay... I probably would know where to alight later. Never did I expect the uncle to board the bus with me as well after that! I felt so much more relieved since I knew he will probably be telling me where to alight. 
To be honest along the bus journey I felt really nervous because I realized Korea was really huge and there were no distinct landmarks, plus it was dark, freezing cold and and past midnight. And the journey took really long I was starting to think if I had missed my stop and the uncle probably didn't board to tell me where to alight. But he did! And he was such a nice human being that after alighting, he carried my luggage, flagged a cab for me and took the cab with me all the way to my hotel and continued carrying my luggage for me up the stairs to the front desk of the hotel wtf!
The hotel owner could speak fluent Chinese and he told me the uncle lived near here. I was so mad touched and grateful I just kept repeating gamsahamida (only word I knew) to the uncle until he walked out of the door lolol. The uncle was indeed my lucky star. Without him I am 100% sure I wouldn't be able to find my way to the hotel. :')      
  So for that night I did nothing much, except locking myself out of the room and troubling the owner to help me unlock my door. Then I walked along the street, intending to grab some snacks from the convenience store. I walked a long way down before I saw one across the traffic light. When I entered the ajumma started chatting with me and I couldn't understand what she was talking about but she was giving me the 'poor thing' look. I don't know why maybe it was late and cold and I looked like I'm starving? LOL. Anyway I was super paiseh and ran out of the store because there weren't much food left on the shelves too.
I settled on fast food in the end. Accidentally ordered the kids meal and I was surprised when the cashier asked me to choose a toy.
korea street yellow taxi
Neighbourhood near my hotel.
I slept in late the next morning to re-energize myself after my exhausting Taiwan trip.
korea convenience stall binggrae banana strawberry melon milk
How I love the different flavours of milk available, all in cute bottles too!
Went to look for food the moment I woke - instant noodles and binggrae banana milk at a convenience store! Then bought some snacks back to the hotel to camp for the remaining day. My hotel was quite far from the centre of Seoul and it was pretty much inconvenient to travel anywhere. :(
On my second night I realized there were many itchy red dots on my legs. Suspected to be bedbugs so if you are planning to stay in Korstay inspect the underneath of the mattress just to be safe. Also I don't think they changed the sheets because I spotted many hair underneath the outer cover. 
hi guesthouse korea where to stay
 Hi Guesthouse.
Woke up early on day 3 to check in to another guesthouse so I could explore abit on my own after that. I was staying at Hi Guesthouse which was very easy to locate from Mangwon subway station.
hi guesthouse where to stay
This was the double room, equipped with a television, hair dryer and air conditioner. Very clean and comfy! :)
ewha womans university shopping street korea where to go
Ewha Womans University shopping street.
ewhas woman university shopping street where to go
Artbox was just next to the entrance of the subway exit.
ewha womans university shopping street where to go
It was gigantic as compared to the ones in Singapore and they sell a wide range of accessories.
ewha womans university shopping street where to go
 Soft toys and imitation craftholics!
ewha womans university shopping street korean street food egg bread
Korean street food.
The first stall was selling egg bread, a must-try street food according to many. I didn't though.
ewha womans university shopping street korean street food egg bread
But here is how egg breads look like.
ewha womans university shopping street exo socks
Exo socks.
I wanted to buy this for Vic since he was a big fan of Exo lol. But just few days ago before I saw this there was some disputes among Exo and Vic stopped supporting them ever since. He's like a huge fangirl fanboy lol.
chu's churros korea best churro best cafe ewha womans university
Chu's churros!
This was soooo good! I entered this café randomly and ordered their new drink + an original churros. It was freshly made on the spot and it was warm, crispy and sugary on the outside! <3
ewha womans university street food fried chicken hashbrown toboki sweet sauce best street food
 This was just opposite artbox. I saw many people crowding around the stall for it and bought one out of curiosity.
ewha womans university street food fried chicken hashbrown toboki sweet sauce best street food
It's fried chicken, daboki and hash browns mixed together with sweet sauce and topped with mayonnaise! Very addictive and cost only 1000won!
ewha womans university street castle like building
  Castle like building.
ewha womans university shopping street where to go
ewha womans university where to go in korea
Shopping street.
You can find plenty of clothes here for as cheap as 10,000won per piece. I didn't get any as everyone advised me to look around Express Bus Terminal shopping place first before making any purchases anywhere.
fish ice cream korea street food
So innovative I was tempted to try! But didn't in the end.
ewha womans university grand stand korea where to go
Sat at the grand stand here to tap on free wifi and kill some time. :x
ewha womans university yellow ribbon campaign south korea sewol ferry incident
Yellow ribbon campaign for the South Korea Sewol ferry incident.
kimchi soup rice side dish authentic korea food what to eat in korea
This was my first decent meal in Korea. Kimchi soup with rice and many side dishes! It warmed my tummy and I was feeling like a blessed little girl stuffing myself with good and homely food! <3

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