Happy 2013! Dec 2012 was a great ending to the year. After months of studying and having not much of a life, I had a really fun and enjoyable vacation and managed to spend some time with friends whom I haven't met for a really long time due to A's. Attended Jasmine's chalet with Van & Annette; went to Korea with Youmin; went to Genting with Tiongxim; counted down with D&;B at Wingyin's house!
Since no one reads this blog anymore, I'm gonna post a mega lengthy blogpost so I can remember what I did and where I went, in detail :)
Seoul, Korea: 02/12/12 - 16/12/12
Day 1: 02/12/12
Took SIA alone, and I'm impressed by their service, as always! My 2nd flight alone, hehe! Kinda nervous but all went well! When a stewardess and the chief steward were exchanging trays, the plane shook a little which caused them to lose their balance and spill water on me. I was fine with that because there were only some water droplets on me and majority of the water spilled onto the in-flight catalogue so I wasn't affected much. I was surprised when the CS approached me later and apologised for what had happened, and the best thing was that he gave me a $75 voucher for purchases from the catalogue! I was really impressed by their service standards and sincerity in his apology.
Also, I found out that I was on the same plane as G.Na! Saw her at the boarding area, and afterwards in Incheon Airport while collecting the luggages. Met Youmin at the public area, and she gave me the courage (LOL) to approach G.Na, and so I did after we were in the public area! Asked G.Na for an autograph :)
Day 2: 03/12/12
Went to Yeongdeungpo underground shopping center, and omg it's such a nice shopping place! Bought bags, denim shorts and a few tops! Quality is pretty good, and the price is quite cheap! :D Prices were around $5-$12 which is reasonable when compared to Sg prices! Also went to Times Square which is just above, and ate a blueberry icecream with cheesecake crepe! The crepes at the departmental store was so cheap! Only $3.50 so we ate it every alternate day for the 1st week, LOL. Plus, they give you an entire slice of cake, so it's really worth it as well!
Day 3: 04/12/12
Shopped at Myeongdong till I literally dropped, LOL. This is also Ym's favourite place in Seoul HAHAHA! First, we went to get a haircut at Juno Hair Salon. I was lucky to get a cute female hairstylist who did everything for me, from washing my hair to cutting, blowing and styling! Other stylists would rely on the trainees to wash & blow dry, but she insisted on doing everything for me; so I was really happy with her service! Quite a nice experience too, since they massage your hair after they wash it! When she was asking me how I would want my hairstyle to be, I didnt have any in mind so I just anyhow gestured to her. We had some awkward moments since her English isnt good and my Korean isnt any better either haha. While cutting, she chatted with me and we managed to talk abit even though we had communication problems lol. She told me that I must have "home self care" cuz my hair is really dry :( They would also style your hair temporarily, and she straightened my hair and gave me curls at the bottom. I looked like a Korean, LOL, but it was quite pretty and I liked it :D Oh, and there's a free cup of tea to warm you up, plus snacks! Yay!
Finally fulfilled my wish of eating Red Mango in Korea, whoop! I think it tastes better than the Sg one because it's less tart, but the Sg one is pretty good too :P Tried the chocolate cake at CacaoStory too and it's not bad! Walked around and I bought sooooo many masks, I lost track and had a hard time carrying my full shopping bags home! My fingers all turned red and they were painful :( I think it's because each time I entered a face-care shop, I would buy packs of 10, so they all added up to over a 100 masks, HAHA! The sales assistants in these shops still scare and annoy me a little, but it's not as bad as 2 years ago, less pushy but still very pushy. Also ate street food like our favourite odeng; and finally tried Hoddeok: the fried ricecake filled with cinnamon and sugar, and SoonDae: the partner of ddeokbokki.
Day 4: 05/12/12
The 1st snow day I witnessed for this trip! Went to shop at EHwa's Women Uni. The snow was quite average, but it made the roads all wet and slippery. We had a tricky time walking because the slopes were all slippery and it felt like every step we took was part of iceskating HAHA. &It kept going into my eyes which was kinda annoying so I wore my glasses everywhere since it acted as a form of goggles HAHAHA. Ate at the yummy street food stall: had kimbab, odeng, and tried this fried egg cheese bread!
Went to Itaewon afterwards, and ate at Tartine, a tart shop that EatYourKimchi has ate at before! We tried the chocolate cream tart, and to me it was quite disappointing cuz I was expecting something rich and thick since it was quite expensive. Anyway, snow had piled up on the outdoor tables and chairs, so Ym&I had a snowball fight hehe! The snow was soft and clean since it had just fallen, and it didnt feel very cold when I was holding it in my hands. But the snow on the ground is grey/black and it's really dirty... Made my white high tops black T_T Couldnt find Coffeechu here so I was quite disappointed, but it was dark and cold and scary :/ Bought back Tacobell for dinner, and there was rice in my chicken wrap, how Asian.
Day 5: 06/12/12
Went to Yeongdeungpo again. I bought more shorts and a pair of skinnies, since Korean skinnies have flattering cutting that makes you look good! It was also cheap at only $12! Ate crepe again, and I had the chocolate icecream with tiramisu. The tiramisu cake was rather disappointing and the taste was not strong enough.
Headed to Hongdae and walked around for awhile. It was evening and since Hongdae is one of the clubbing areas, it was quite crowded. Bought mandu (dumplings) from the less crowded part of Hongdae, which was also recommended by EYK! We bought the mixed & prawn dumplings, which were all yummy!
Rushed to Myeongdong to get my office pants from Uniqlo since it was superrr cheap as they were on sale! I love Korea's Uniqlo since they have sale racks where clothes are only $5.50 or $12 which is very cheap! I accidentally bought a pair of 3quartered ones, but on me they are full-length -_- My short legs...
Day 6: 07/12/12
2nd day of snow, and it was very heavy!! Ate Korean bbq buffet at the nearby neighbourhood, a restaurant where Ym's mom also brought us 2 years ago. There was a cute little Korean boy and he was eating the japchae strand by strand, picking it up with his fingers, aww!
Headed to Apgujeong where heavy snow greeted us as we stepped out of the subway station. Snow was falling in clumps, but the snowflakes could still be seen distinctly, so it was beautiful sight, just that I wish it wasnt so cold... There were some fans waiting outside SM, but since it's outdoors and the chances of seeing Soshi is quite low, I didnt want to wait there. Waited at the Dunkin Donuts opposite JYPE instead. I saw Randy and a few other staff in DD, but I didnt dare to ask him about the whereabouts of WG/miss A. waited for 3 hours there, but we didnt even see any idols :( I felt really sad since I had prepared gifts and letters for Fei & Sunye :'( I was really urgent since there wasnt any toilets, so we took a bus to Apgujeong but we overshot D: Even finding the toilet was such a challenge and the ground was so slippery..
Day 7: 08/12/12
Walked all the way to Namsan from Ym's house with just her mom. Went to the spa at Grand Hyatt Hotel first, and it was the kind where everyone's bare ._. I felt kinda shy at first but got kinda used to it afterwards lol. The 42degrees bath was too hot for me and I felt like I couldnt breathe... Felt the same way in the steam room, hahaha.
Walked halfway around the mountain just to find the cablecar station that would take me up to Namsan! It was really tiring since it was an upwards slope; the grip of my soles were not strong enough and the ground was slippery; the weather was cold and I couldnt feel my face. We also got lost and had to ask for directions... All I know is that I really walked A LOT!
Went up Namsan on my own, so I had to keep asking people to take photos for me ^^" The view was breath-taking, because it was overlooking the entire Seoul city. As I went in the evening, the city lights were dotting the landscape in front of me, and I could even see tiny lights from the headlamps of the cars! There was also the famous couple locks on Namsan, which is where couples lock their love together and then discard the key. The railings were full of them, and it was very colourful and vibrant! Since it was also almost Christmas season, there were also Christmas trees that were covered with the couple locks!
From the cablecar station, we walked down to Myeongdong, which is actually quite near and the correct path to walk isn't hard to find as there were other people walking too. Ate at Myeongdong Gyoza, the famous noodle&dumpling shop!
Day 8: 09/12/12
Went to Yeongdeungpo (again) to change my skinnies as they were a little too tight. Thankfully the nice shop keeper allowed me to change! She was also very helpful and picked out a few designs for me. I told her that I didnt like those with bling at the back pockets by pointing to them and said "안 좋아요", and she said 'Ah, 싫어!". In my mind I was thinking, don't have so serious until 싫어 la lolol.
Bought expensive $3 bread from the bakery in the basement of the departmental store. Ate crepe again, I had green tea icecream crepe this time! I joked that the crepe-making guys might think that we're crushing on them since we go every alternate days, haha!
Day 9: 10/12/12
Took a bus to Itaewon, and I bought the Garlic and Sweet Potato Pastry from Paris Baguette which was delicious! Korea's sweet potatoes are really delicious so it's definitely a right choice to eat sweet potato food there.
Took the subway to Mapo-gu Office, then City Hall, where both were wasted trips since there was nothing much there... Walked to Euljiro-1 and I tried Goguma Latte (and fell in love with it!) from a sweet potato specialty shop called Cafe Gumaguma in the subway station. Apparently they blended a potato into my drink, but the fibre of the potato made me choke a little... At Lotte departmental sotre, we ate Krispy Kreme! Oh yeahhh, KK has the best donuts! I tried the NY Cheesecake flavour, and while I loved the cream cheese center, the biscuit crumb topping was disappointing as it was tasteless.
Walked to Myeongdong, and entered Lotte Young Plaza where I surprisingly found Coffeechu! Yipee, what a pleasant surprise! Coffeechu is the coffee & churro shop owned by the boss of Pledis, the Korean entertainment company. The churros were freshly made when you made your order, so I was watching the machine squeeze out my long churro into the pool of oil below. Yes, it's unhealthy, but it was also one of the nicest churros I've ever eaten! It was warm and chewy, mmm!
Day 10: 11/12/12
Ym made Mac n Cheese for her lunch! We went to Insadong, and I ate at a famous bibimbap restaurant called Gogung. Even their side dishes was very tasty, especially the pancakes! I ate the stone pot bibimbap since the weather was cold, it was quite pricey at $11, but since it's famous and tasted delicious, it was worth it!
Went to Gwanghwamun, one of the historical sites. King Sejong is just across the gate. Saw some kids filming for a children show. Ym went to seek refuge at the underground visitor's center while I went to Cheonggyecheon stream. Maybe because it's winter, there wasnt any exhibits along the stream... But there was a photography exhibit under one of the bridges, and I also saw a few buskers along the stream. Walked half of the stream and U-turned back.
We had Ginseng Chicken at a famous restaurant at Gwanghwamun. The soup was good, the chicken was very tender, and the glutinous rice stuffed inside the chicken was delicious when mixed with the kimchi sauce! I ate the entire ginseng that was stuffed in the chicken, and I think it's the reason why my nose bled at 6AM the next morning, probably because my body was too "heaty".
Day 11: 12/12/12
Jogged along Han river with Ym's mom, which Ym's house looks over! I dressed like an idol by wearing a track suit and a cap, hahaha! Crossed Mapo bridge, which is the only bridge in Seoul that supports 3 forms of transportation: vehicles, subway, pedestrains. The trains were above my head while cars were beside me. Saw ducks swimming in the river, and pigeons sitting together with their feathers all fluffed up, must have been feeling cold eh! Ooh, also saw migrating ducks those few days, and they flew in groups and in the V formation! It was a beautiful sight of nature at work, something that I wouldn't get to see in Sg.
Took a bus to Namdaemun, where I ate noodles again. Cold noodles were served as the appetizer, and tbh I liked those more because I like Naengmyeon! :D Took a shuttle bus from Myeongdong to Grand Hyatt where we went to the spa again.
Day 12: 13/12/12
Took a bus to Gangnam today. Bought bread from Tous les Jous, because I wanted to try their bread and also so that I could use their toilets, lol. Toilets are kinda hard to find in places that arent shopping malls... Ate at Se7en's chicken restaurant. The place was decorated with photos and polaroids of other celebrities who had eaten there. We ordered the 19,000won set that came with a small chicken stew, a bowl of rice and a drink. Even though we ordered the Level 1 of spiciness, it was still very spicy, and the portion was quite big so we couldn't finish it. Wasn't anything much in Gangnam, so we took a train to Jamsil and shopped at the underground shopping center. Lotte World is also situated here, but since I already went 2 years ago, I decided not to go again.
Long train ride to Hongdae, where I had a very hard time looking for the famous Hongdae Donburi shop because 1) Vanessa gave me the wrong directions; 2) the shop itself is hard to find as well. Since the shop was quite small and there were people queueing outside, I ordered the beef donburi for takeout and ate it at home instead. The beef slices were skillfully cut thin and the portion was generous, it was delicious!
Day 13: 14/12/12
Went to Myeongdong for the entire day (you can see how much Ym loves this place, we keep coming here LOL)! H&M was having a sale so the clothes were pretty cheap! This was such a shopping spree trip right, I know! Ate Saboten for lunch, which was so much cheaper than Sg's and they have a bigger variety in their menu too! Their staff didn't speak good English as well, so when the female waitress was trying to tell me about the fire under my hotplate, the other staff gathered around as well, probably to tease her or something, HAHA! Drank Goguma Latte again from Ediya Coffee, and I liked this more than the one from Cafe Gumaguma. The latte had a smoother texture. Goguma Latte is such a comforting drink, I can feel my body warming up even now as I think about it!
Day 14: 15/12/12
Went to Paju Premium Outlet today with her parents. It was the place where Wonder Girls filmed the Like This MV! Wow, I didn't know till I reached there! The iconic flight of stairs and escalator, and the whole European-styled setting of the place. This is where the factory outlets of big brands are at. I didn't buy anything though. Had Saboten for lunch, although I only ate it yesterday, I don't think I'll ever get sick of it because the food there is great! Dessert was Haagen Dazs ice cream, which is also cheaper than in Sg!
Day 14: 15/12/12
The day I left Korea! I sat beside a Korean man named Suji (aka Suzy, for real). Chatted and made friends with him. He's going to Brisbane to work, but his English isn't very good so I'm quite worried about him... After I finished one of my movies, he grabbed my controller and I was quite shocked, but it turned out that he only wanted to challenge me to a game of Tetris, haha! I won 2 rounds! :D We exchanged our Kakao and I managed to chat with him on Kakao a little when we landed and he went to his transit flight, but I'm not sure why his contact disappeared and I can't even search him using his ID T_T I'm so sad that I lost my new Korean friend! :(
Genting, Malaysia: 28/12/12 - 30/12/12
Finally met up with Tiongxim whom I havent seen for a quite a long while! I'm so glad that our overseas trip really worked out, although we had 2 friends who couldnt make it :( I havent taken a coach to Msia for a really looong time, so I was pleasantly surprised by the big, spacious and comfy seats!
Shared a room with Sheryl, Gekting and Laura! Gek is such a lazy burden that wakes up late haha, but gotta give her credit for getting ready quickly! It's quite amusing how when 4 girls share a room, the toilet is filled with toiletries and skin care products, haha!
On the 1st day, we just walked around a little since there wasn't much to do. Even though I haven't been to Genting for 10 years, there wasn't much changes haha! We sang karaoke for 4 hours from 9PM-1AM, which is pretty insane to me LOL but it was fun, especially towards the end where we sang well-known old songs together!
We went to the theme park for the entire of the 2nd day, till the indoor theme park closed! I played all of the thrilling outdoor rides and skipped those kiddy ones. My favourite is Corkscrew, which is this rollercoaster that goes upside down twice! I felt really safe in it because there was a over-the-shoulder restraint which I pressed close to my body! Spaceshot was also fun and thrilling, especially when it reached the top and you get to look at the beautiful view, as well as the unexpected drop! Played bumper cars in the indoor theme park till it closed at around 1AM. The rest went to play cards and stuff till the morning, while I just slept straight from 2-10AM, hahaha, can't help it, I'm just not someone who is able to stay up all night, my brain will switch off by itself!
Had a really fun and great time together with Tiongxim! Love how we are still quite close and go out even though it's been 2 years since we graduated from CCHMS. We were comfortable enough with one another to talk about poop openly, and we kept talking about it because we were worried of getting constipation HAHAHA. We even went to search for clean toilets together!
Countdown to 2013
We planned a surprise-ception for Clarissa & Jiawei! It was a major success, other than the fact that Jw walked into the kitchen while Von was lighting the candles! The red velvet cake we made was also delicious and it looked really good too! Guess our D&B bakery might really become reality in future! We had steamboat and ate till we were all super full, even though when buying ingredients, it didn't look like there was a lot of food in the trolley.
At 11:59, we panicked because the TV wasn't ready. Wy switched the channel to Vasantham right when the clock struck 12, so we didn't actually get to count down properly. Oh well, counting down with Chnl 5/8 is too mainstream, HAHA! We watched the Marina Bay fireworks from Wy's living room, it was beautiful!
Stayed up all night for the first time in my entire life, and I didn't even feel tired at all which is really weird since my brain shuts down at around 2-3AM. We talked about our life and our future, and basically lots of stuff. I think it's cute how we talk about all these things :) We also made a bet on who will be the one to get married first!
Made pancakes for breakfast, chatted, watched a horror movie called Sinister, and went home.