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Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 1-2: Singapore - Seoul (South Korea)

After that 3 months in Paris, I had been thinking this would be my second "best moment in life" . Imagining all the shopping I would do, sightseeings on my own sweet time, enjoying Seoul for the full three weeks, I had been thanking God profusely for the blessings.

Changi Airport Terminal 3
Here we are at the stylish terminal 3. Again, my SQ ticket was redeemed from mileage. :)

Departure hall

Luxury shops after the immigration clearance.

Krisflyer Lounge

Our snacks

Yummy mushroom soup with croutons

More photos on Terminal 3 and Krisflyer Lounge from last Taipei trip.

Incheon Airport
Our flight departed on midnight and arrived in Seoul early morning. We couldn't sleep at all and now felt like zombie.

Took internal train to immigration hall.

The airport is located at Incheon, about 1.5 hour from Seoul. The taxi ride would cost a bomb, so we took the airport limousine instead.

Airport Limousine

We were greeted by the cherry blossom trees lining up the highway. I had been praying hard that the cherry blossoms were not over yet because they had already bloomed for two weeks and usually don't last very long.

Felt so excited, this was my first cherry blossom sightings.

More on the roadside.

Han river

Finally we reached the hotel but wasn't allowed to check-in yet. We were actually very tired but left with no choice, started our sightseeings straight away. The first on the itinerary was to hunt those cherry blossoms.

Typical subway platform

I had done my research on google, the famous location for cherry blossoms is at Yeouido, so we took the train ride there.

We saw many lovely flowers on our way to Yeouido. Spring is here!!

National Assembly building
The cherry blossom trees were located behind this building.

Oh no, the cherry blossoms had fallen to the ground.

As we walked further, I saw a white tree on its own. Yippee, still got one hehhee.. It's so pretty.

Close up look.

Then we saw the pink cherry blossom trees, wow these were even more beautiful. We are fully awake now. :)

Its latin name.

Tried to smell the flowers, no smell at all hehehe...

Under the trees

Close up look.

We saw the wedding party setup nearby. So romantic!!

As we walked further, we spotted a few more trees. Even though it wasn't as many as I could have hope, I felt lucky to be here at the right time.

Took a rest under these trees.

The cherry blossoms were shading us from the sun. The petals would slowly fall towards us when the wind rocked the branches. Oh, I could feel love in the air. :P

As we walked towards Yeouido park, we saw many more flowers in bloom.

Oh tulips!! So many of them and so colourful.

Yeouido Park

Rested here for a while before walking to subway station.

This road is so wide.

Here's how the Seoul metro looks like.

Noryangjin fish market
This fish market is not as famous as Tokyo's Tsukiji market, but it's still worth going. There are many kinds of sea creatures that I've never seen before.

Many kinds of seashell.

This kid tried to kill the crab. So naughty!!


Alaskan crabs

Sea cucumbers

Red sea cucumbers?

The gigantic octopus

After this, the octopus was getting angry and squirted ink at the seller. It was hilarious to see her expressions. :P

What is this?? After the shell is removed, it is the yellow thingy on the left.

Usually, what the locals do is to choose their seafood here and then let the restaurants upstairs to prepare. We were thinking of ordering the freshly cut sashimi, but after seeing the fish was so big, there was no way we could finish it. So in the end, we just bought the readily packed sashimi from this shop below and went back to hotel.

Hotel Astoria
The room was pretty small but never mind, this was only for two days before we move to the nicer hotel. :D

View of Seoul Tower from our room.

Our lunch was pretty good. :)

Salmon sushi

I still prefer the salmon over the rest.

We were so tired that we slept at the moment we lied down and only woke up when it was almost dark outside.

Our hotel was near Myeongdong, a popular shopping district.

Love the billboard signs, they really made the place livelier.

There are so many restaurants here, we had a hard time choosing for one and finally settled for this.

Quite crowded and popular with youngsters.

The interior

Our first Korean meal: Chicken and octopus galbi

Before it was cooked.

Done, it looked spicy.

Never order a Soju, not nice at all.

This was before he started eating.

After that, he was almost in tears as he was still nursing a cold sore. It was pretty spicy for me too, but as I ate it more and more, it became really shiok hehhee...

Anyway, we still managed to finish them.

After dinner, we walked around Myeongdong, saw many clothing shops and also mobile stalls in the middle of the streets. It was quite a happening place.

That's all for tonight, need our good night sleep to recover.


Anonymous said...

Hi Irene,

jangan lupa nyobain sop buntutnya korea. di yoido juga. Trus usus babi yang di cah dengan sesame leave Yummy, kalo yang ini di emperan Namdemun or dongdemun, antara itu lah..


Eileen said...

Hi Irene,
I really enjoyed browsing your entries on South Korea. My fiance is Korean but even he doesn't know that much! It was very insightful.. we'll be in Korea for another trip soon (we reside in Australia) and your entries will come in handy. I'm definitely going through them again to see where to go, etc! Thank you and great blog!

小小秘密和你share。。。 said...

Hi Irene,

I'm so lucky that I've found your blog. Your blog gave me lots of info of Seoul. I think I have more confidence to travel to Seoul with my 2 kids (without tour).

小小秘密和你share。。。 said...


Btw, i heard many ppl saying that travleing to Korea without tour is tuff. Cos they only speak Korea. I'm travelling with my hubby and 2 kids. I really hope that what I heard is not true as I see you also travelling without tour.

Irene said...

Yes, most Korean can't speak English. Not known to many people, some Korean can speak Chinese or read Chinese character. Also, many salesperson are from China. From my experience I had better luck getting my message across in Mandarin than in English. :)

Marsha said...

i do believe the yellow stuff in the shells are sea urchin, it's bitter, and an acquired taste, quite expensive in most places. SG about 980/kg