Saturday, 28 April 2018

South Korea SEOUL || Day 11 Shinsegae


We are down to the last day in Seoul!

No more stopping at convenience stores to buy snacks. No more baths while applying one of the endless face masks you can easily get.

Saw this brochure - how could I resist a visit to Shinsegae?
After checking out in the morning we went for our last meal in Myeongdong-


The yam rice cakes were yummy!
The purple rice cakes were chewy, a touch sweet with real yam pieces.

After brunch we walked to Shinsegae -


I was a bit surprised by how lovely it was inside Shinsegae - reminded me of David Jones.

The LG food department was charmingly decorated -


We saw this delicious-looking vanilla soft-serve stall O'slo and decided to try some -


I'm always on the lookout for good vanilla bean ice-cream since Woolies stopped stocking my favourite a few years ago.


The sign below explaining the black flecks in the ice-cream from the vanilla beans further increased my anticipation of tasting the ice-cream!


I ordered a Coffee Float. The ice-cream had 2 shots of espresso poured over it (a la affogato) then it was placed inside a fridge for a minute.

The freezing process solidifies the outside of the ice-cream for a crunchy texture.



It's more froyo than the creamy vanilla ice-cream of my dreams, but it was still yummy.


We wandered upstairs while eating our ice-creams.

The decor looks like David Jones' annual flower show.


On the top floor there is a rooftop garden-

A couple on a date facing the sakura tree


Looked awesome!

If I'd known Shinsegae was so pretty and fun I would've allocated time to visit thoroughly.

On our way back to the hotel we passed by an ahjumma ladling shikye (sweet rice punch) into sample paper cups, and I paused to try some because I love shikye. (Every time I enter a Korean mart I buy a can of shikye.)

High class shikye
This was some atas shikye - can't remember how, but it tasted better than my usual.

We also stopped by this stall selling cream buns to buy one for the road. I bought a bun with matcha and whipped cream filling, and it was yum.


We also bought some buns from this Korean bakery
After that we returned to Crown Park, got our (bulging) suitcases and crossed the street to catch a shuttle from The Chosun Hotel.

The staff at the Chosun was really nice and directed us to use the hotel lifts to access the entrance, although it was obvious we weren't staying at the Chosun.

While waiting for the shuttle we saw many American army personnel in uniform arrive and leave, so it must be the hotel of choice for the American army.


Finally the shuttle came and off we went to the airport to return to Sydney.

I realised my dream of visiting South Korea, and although I didn't find it as breathtaking as Japan, it was still a charming trip where I got to do the things I wanted to, like eat fish cakes on sticks, sip hot soup from a paper cup at a roadside stall, see sakura bloom abundantly, visit famous eateries and shop like crazy (it's now 1 year since I visited South Korea and I still have unopened boxes of skincare).

Mei was patient with my random ideas (good) and over-supportive of my shopaholic tendencies (bad).

With news of tensions easing between North and South Korea, it might be interesting to return to South Korea to visit the DMZ (demilitarised zone - if it's still there) and Jeju.

For now I'm happily planning my next trip to Tokyo - another city I've been dreaming of traveling to.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

6-7 Apr: The very sad flight


Looking back all the fretting and crying over my 16h flight in economy after work on Friday seems a tiny bit dramatic and unhinged, but only a little.

I started my flight with checking in and asking for an upgrade, where I learned that it was a full flight in both Business and Economy! (kneels

This diminished whatever willpower I had left, and I almost finished a huge plate of pappardelle from Mach2, courtesy of Priority Pass.

Then I proceeded to Duty Free where I displayed more lack of willpower, followed by an hour-long call with Mum in the Amex lounge.

Dinner on Qatar Airways
Finally I dragged myself onto the plane during Final Call, into my 70D seat, much to the disappointment of the lady in 70E who was probably praying for a no-show.

The food on Qatar was so-so, and my seat couldn't recline properly, so I was pretty shattered halfway through the flight.

I did enjoy watching The Greatest Showman and I, Tonya on the flight, accompanied by lots of tomato juice, since Qatar sandwiches are inedible.

Cheddar omelette

I don't know how I managed - praying? Crying? Trying to think about the philosophy of equanimity taught at the yoga retreat?

But we arrived in Doha, where I was upgraded to the First Class Lounge (there is another real First Class lounge apparently, which was not the one I went to) as the Priority Pass lounge was full.

Good food at DOH lounges

The shower was refreshing, and after a hot shower and some hot congee, I felt almost human enough to catch the next 6 hour flight.

The food at DOH lounges are quite yummy.

Lounge

After a short shut-eye in the quiet area (which wasn't really quiet as I could hear some Nigerians outside the area boasting about their wealth- literally, this man said, 'We are rich!') I boarded my flight to Zurich, almost over the trip before it began.

Finally I arrived in ZRH and proceeded to the SBB office to figure out my train to Zermatt, which is the world famous ski resort I'd never heart of.

Swiss views
On the train ride there were charming sceneries.

Swiss trains
I was too thirsty, sleepy and hungry to snap more photos. I caught the 1540 train from Zurich airport to Visp, then transferred at 1608 to Zermatt.

By the time I reached Zermatt I was too exhausted to do anything but stumble into Hotel Ambassador, gulp water, eat a Swiss biscuit (roti kok) snack, shower, brush my teeth and collapse into bed.

Despite my tiredness, jet lag prevailed and I woke throughout the night, much like now.



Sunday, 25 March 2018

South Korea SEOUL || Day 10 (Yeouido Park, Gwangjang Market, Kyung Hee University, Myeongdong)




终于!看到梦寐以求的樱花儿们!


马上照相~




Tulips 也好美。

沿着樱花道走,可以走好久。
人也挺多的。
一路上有路边摊卖零食,小吃。


我很变态地逼 Mei 陪我走到尽头。
这时候快饿晕了。
赶紧又走超久去搭公车到 Gwangjang market 持午餐。

Gwangjang market 是售卖传统食物的市集-



我超爱喝米露的!
每次到韩国超市都会买。


在电视节目好像看过这种小的 kimbap,听说味道很上瘾,所以随便买了一盒。
结果味道普通。
悉尼韩国超市卖的普通 kimbap 好像比较好吃。
肚子好饿!
突然好想吃 kimbap 哦!


把厕纸当 serviettes -非常独特的亚洲特色。
我有一次把厕纸摆在上班的书桌用,结果经理实在看不下去,默默地买了一盒面纸给我😄

午餐这里解决!


我一直想吃的猪血肠 sundae!
基本上是猪血 + 米线包成肠状。
味道不错但超大分,Mei 又不吃猪血,结果吃不完。


我们点的套餐也包括饺子汤。


泡菜是一定的。


手工汤面。

吃到一半有位化妆化得像小丑的中年妇女抱着一个宝宝,拖着一台音响在市集‘表演’。
做一些 slapstick 逗游客笑,收小费。
其实韩国人生活也不容易啊~

就像我在路上看到一位老太太摆摊- 就一个热水壶,一些纸杯和一些三合一咖啡。
就卖个街边泡咖啡服务。
我看了超想哭,然后 Mei 安慰我说老太婆是无聊才摆摊的。(真的假的,吃饱没事干?)

吃饱后我们到东大门走走,但像大家说的,东大门是批发商,没什么好看的。

于是我们在东大门附近的商场逛了后,便搭火车到 Kyunghee University


Kyunghee University 也是赏樱花的好地方。





也会有新人来 Kyunghee University 拍照,而且韩国摄影师会很厚脸皮地‘插队’- 明明看到你站在一边等其他人在一个点拍照,那人拍好后就马上冲过去那景点,无视你的存在。

我气的一直 photobomb 这对新人,直到他们要求我避开,我才说你们也无视我在等拍照,这时候他们才避开让我先拍。





赏完樱花我们便回酒店休息。


这是我在药妆店买的饮料-其实不懂是什么。
维他命水之类的吧!

因为是最后一晚了,我把想吃的食物都往嘴里塞-


认识我的人都知道我是蜜糖控。
蜂蜜冰淇淋怎么可以错过?!


应该不是著名的明洞饺子?


朴宝剑代言的 Trevi sparkling water 我看到有优惠就买了三瓶,结果带不回澳洲,默默丢掉,好浪费!

来韩国很容易莫名地失心疯大买特买,大家要小心啊!