4D3N Bali Trip

Long awaited vacation with the family. Such rare opportunity to travel together. However, we had a addition member, our aunt, who joined us at the very last minute and I had to do all the extra coordinations and payments.

Am not sure if there are other better flight timing that doesn’t cost more, but our flight to Bali is at 520am. That means we have to be at the airport at around 4am or so (with online check-in already done). With 3 hours of sleep, from 11pm to 2am, I am the only person who slept the most. All thanks to my nose for choosing such a good day to be down with a flu.

Day 1 – 23 Dec 2016 (Friday)

img_2750 img_2755 img_2751After taking some photos in the departure hall, we went up to have our super early breakfast. This is when you can’t decide which angle is the best.img_2766 img_2757After breakfast, we boarded our plane and jet off to Bali. I volunteered to change seat with my aunt so that she can sit with my family and I will take the lone seat. combined_day-1-on-the-planeAnd its selfie time before I nap.

Upon reaching Bali, we were being fetched by our tour guide, Waiyan and driver, Kolma. We topped up IDR400,000 for them to drive us around for the day.

Our first stop, we were being brought to a place where balinese embroidered clothes were being manufactured. Of cos, it is a place to bring tourist to spend money in. img_2785 img_2788eOur second stop, a place to buy organic soap and scent-related products.

Our third stop, Pura Batuan, Hindu Temple. All of us had to wear the Sarong around us before entering the Temple. Ladies with menses are not allowed to enter. img_2789 img_2791 img_2796 img_3169eThis is where we wear our Sarong before crossing the road to enter the Temple. img_2799 img_2806Above: Entrance to Temple.

After entering the Temple, Waiyan brought us to different places to take photo and told us some stories along the way. img_2814 img_2816 img_2819 img_3150 img_3153e img_3155e img_3141e img_3140 img_2829 img_2898 img_2906After seeing us do a jump shot. The aunt also wanted to do it and mummy accompanied her. Kinda regreted not bringing a camera along. Photos taken aren’t sharp at all. img_3131e img_3138e img_3135e img_3142e img_2931 img_2932 img_2939 img_2943 img_2944 img_2949 img_3110eIt’s always good hiding behind people to avoid looking fat >.<img_3089eDad caught a photo of me while walking out of the Temple. Totally love this candid photo. It will be perfect if I’m not wearing a cap, carrying a bag and in nicer footwear. Haha!

Weather is simply too hot! We went for coconut drink before going for our lunch. img_2957e img_2962eWaiyan brought us to a I Made Joni, Ubud for Lunch.

Bebek Joni Restaurant
Address: Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 974738
Opening Hours: Everyday 9am – 9pmcombined_day-1-lunch img_2983eimg_3090eI think that was the best meal for the trip.

Our tour continued after lunch. We told Waiyan that we are not interested in wood carvings, stone carvings or branded products. So, she brought us to Coffee Garden. I have always been interested to try 100% luwat coffee (also known as the cat shit coffee).

Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism
Address: Br. Kelingkung, Lodtunduh, Lodtunduh, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone: +62 812-3687-466
img_2990e img_3048 img_3049 img_3092e img_3087e img_3080e img_3094eI tried a cup of luwat coffee at IDR50,000. And truthfully speaking, I am not a fan of black coffee and so, I really don’t appreciate the taste of luwat coffee. However, I still bought 2 packets. It is really expensive! IDR340,000 for 50g.

After visiting the coffee garden, everyone is so tired that we just wanted to go back to the hotel. That is how we missed visiting the water falls 😦 img_3073eSis & I were the only people in the car (excluding the driver & tour guide) who didn’t nap during our journey back to hotel.

For the next 3 nights, we stayed in Kuta Lagoon Resort & Pool Villa.

The parents didn’t want to explore outside, and so we had our dinner at the cafe in the resort. Then, we went out to buy mineral water before ending our night early. img_3071Good Bye to comfortable leg-room seat at the front. Aunt was complaining about cramped seats at the back and so we swopped. The moment she sat in front, there is no means of switching or rotating seats during the trip.

Day 2 – 24 December 2016 (Saturday)

It’s Papa’s Birthday! And it is our first time celebrating in foreign land. We woke up at 650am for breakfast at 730am. Waiyan came for us at 9am for our ATV Experience. It is a last minute arrangement cos’ papa wanted to try it. We took up the full package with Badung Adventure Bali – IDR750,000 for 2hours with lunch. The 2 hours consists an hour on the road and another hour in swamps. img_3551 img_3565At home ground, we get to do a 2 rounds trial. img_3541 img_3621ATV at their trial bed before heading out to the road. img_3530 img_3603 img_3556 img_3619 img_3568 img_3584 img_3602No chance to QC photos. Mostly are pretty badly taken. Well, I really can’t complain. *ANGRY* We have more photos taken of me than my dad & siblings. Nice & Unglam ones. img_3581 img_3574 img_3569 img_3566 img_3559 img_3540 img_3538 img_3536 img_3534 img_3523 img_3514 img_3508 img_3501 img_3498 img_3495 img_3489Waiyan prepared a surprised cake for Papa.img_3224e combined_day-2-dads-birthday-cake img_3479eAnd after cropping out other people, here’s family of 5: img_3615eAfter lunch, we went to Pura Taman Ayun; a Balinese Temple.

Pura Taman Ayun
Address: Jalan Ayodya, Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia  img_3229e img_3232e img_3234e img_3463e img_3462eAnd to see pagodas inside the temple:img_3236e img_3235e img_3238e img_3241e img_3413 img_3428e img_3435e img_3453e img_3434eAnd last photo with the guardian before exiting the temple:img_3247e img_3420e img_3427e img_3424eNext, we travelled to Tanah Lot. From Wikipedia: Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot, a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography.

Tanah Lot
Address: Bali 82171, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 880361img_3416e img_3408eHere we are at Tanah Lot. The wind is super strong and I’m glad I brought a cap along. No need to bother much about my hair during photo taking. LOL ^_^ First, some scenaries.img_3267e img_3310e img_3308eThe waves are super huge and with many folds. We stood at the shore taking photos of the waves and the rocks. combined_day-2-paparazi-feelTada! Candid taken by Papa. Paparazi feel isn’t it?? Heex ^_^ Group photos taken at the shore before we move to higher level.img_3400e img_3409eWoosh! Luckily we took photos before the tide becomes higher. img_3390e img_3354e img_3355e img_3347e img_3345e img_3344e img_3341e img_3343e img_3339eMy aunt observed how I “pose” for photos and requested to have a similar one of her taken. Haha! This was the situation throughout the trip. Whereever spot I took photo at, she will want to have one of her taken there.

Group photos taken at a few strategic locations.img_3348e img_3325e img_3324e img_3328e img_3307eAnd more of sis & I…img_3320e img_3316eAnd when I see a long bench…img_3321e img_3314eOne last photo before we leave tanah lot for dinner. The aunt requested for chinese food for dinner and I did a quick search on google map and located this chinese restaurant which is quite near to our resort (17 minutes walk – if we don’t have any transport).

The Garoupa Seafood and Dine Restaurant
Address: Jl. Raya Kuta 21 B C D E, Br. Abian Base, 80361, Kuta, Kuta – Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 764925
Opening Hours: Everyday 11am – 11pmimg_3303We were there before 6pm for dinner. So early such that there is no other customer in the restaurant. All servers simply just stood around our table looking at us having our dinner. Food were served really fast but not that fantastic. Sweet & Sour Chicken, Vegetables and Egg Tofu were ok. Soup and Crab are not nice. Crab was served with crispy bread. I find the chili gravy not hot enough. The spices used are different. Prefered the Singapore Style. img_3305Waiyan & Kolma joined us for Dinner and sent us back to our Resort. Since it is early, we decided to take a short rest before heading out to take a walk down the neighbourhood.

Our butts landed at Street Food Festival (A pub, cafe, restuarant) for some Satays & couple of drinks.

Street Food Festival (Bali)
Address: Jl. Legian, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs (4pm – 11pm) | Sat (5pm – 2am) | Sun (5pm – 12Mid)
img_3371e img_3492eThe mummies had orange juice. Bro & Sis shared a Cider. I had Margarita (The one I had in Bintan is so much nicer). Papa had 2 bottles of Bintang Beer (of which, I drank half a bottle of his). And the bags right beside my butt were some tidbits, maggie mees (all for the bf), coffee sachets, toothbrushes and sanitary pads. Haha!

Day 3 – 25 December 2016 (Sunday)

It is Christmas Day! img_3642eThe buffet breakfast spread today is slightly better 🙂 img_3648eThere is no activities in the morning. We then took the resort shuttle at 10am that bring us to Kuta Beachwalk Mall; it is a shopping mall at the Kuta Beach area. Since it is still early, we went to Starbucks for some coffee & cake. img_3635eI tried the iced version of matcha espresso fushion and didn’t quite like it. After coffee, we walk round the mall before making our way to Matahari Kuta Square (our meeting point with Waiyan). They did some shopping at the departmental store before we had our lunch at A&W.

Waiyan came at 2pm to fetch us for our tour to Uluwatu.

Our first destination: GWK Cultural Park.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (QWK) Cultural Park
Address: Jl. Raya Uluwatu, Ungasan, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Everyday 8am – 10pm

Taken at the Entrance before we had to put on a Sarong.img_3681e img_3661eSarong time…img_3904e img_3901 img_3821e combined_day-3-gwk img_3809e img_3813e img_3815eNo more Sarong….img_3871e img_3873e img_3878e img_3893eAfter GWK, we made our way to Uluwatu Temple. From wikipedia: Uluwatu Temple is a Balinese sea temple in Uluwatu. The temple is regarded as one of the sad kahyangan and is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as Rudra.

Uluwatu Temple
Address: Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesiaimg_3798eA photo at the entrance before climbing the flight of stairs.img_3870e img_3838e img_3836e img_3779eWe did jump shot and aunt also wanted one. So there am I, jumping with her. img_3892e img_3894e img_3784e img_3786eAnd some photos with the curly tree. Then it is some scenaries below.img_3669e img_3906e img_3670e img_3776eAnd with our faces…img_3768e img_3794e img_3797e img_3874e img_3888eThen we walked towards the “auditorium” for the Kecak Dance. We arrived an hour early to secure seat. img_3708e img_3731eSorry, but I am not able to appreciate the dance. 80% of my attention is on the sunset. img_3684e img_3725e img_3762eJust before it went into the sea.

Waiyan requested for us to leave the “auditorium” 10 minutes before the Kecak Dance end for us to avoid long vehicular queue exiting the uluwatu temple. Although it took us really fast to hopped on the van, but it took us 2 hours travel out of uluwatu and back to kuta area. 2 hours journey for a usual 30mins ride.

We had dinner at Sungei Seafood, a place recommended by Waiyan for Chinese Food.

Sungei Seafood Restaurant
Address: Jl. Tuban No.333X, Tuban, Kuta, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 765039
Opening Hours: Everyday 10.30am – 1.30amimg_3916eOnly Vegetables & Egg Omelette is nice. Oh…and because of my aunt’s religion, we can’t have seafood. The seafood that requires them to fish out seafood alive before cooking. We can’t have that. Yeah…

We reached the restaurant at 9pm and everyone was complaining about being hungry during our 2 hours traffic jam. But, somehow, upon reaching the restaurant, the priority becomes connecting mobiles to free wifi. Food ordering become so insignificant that it pisses me off totally. I was really mad just short of screaming at them in the restaurant.

Day 4 – 26 December 2016 (Monday)

It’s the day we are travelling back to Singapore. It is too short a vacation but too long a suffering (to a certain extent in a certain aspect). img_3925e img_3939e img_3929We didn’t have opportunities to buy local food products. I bought some at the airport and filled up my cabin luggage. I carried none by hand. That is how little I bought.

After having some drinks and snacks at a cafe in the departure hall, it is time to finally jet back to Singapore.img_3933eThat marks the end of my 4D3N Bali Trip with my loveables.img_3945e img_3993e

3D2N @ Bintan Lagoon

It’s finally our long awaited vacation; just me with my 3 bros: Dom, Chris & Henry. It’s a rather early morning for all of us, having to reach tanah merah mrt station at 730am and hoping to reach the ferry terminal by 8am for our 9.10am ferry. We had about 40 minutes to get ourselves into the departure gate and I thought it would be sufficient. But looking at the speed of custom clearance, it really got me worried. Us with 4 different nationality passport ☺️

My baggage was with Dom and he took the left queue while I queued with Chris & Henry at the right. We managed to enter the departure hall a few minutes before 9.10pm but Dom didn’t make it in time. Luckily he checked with the officer and was told that the ferry will wait for everyone before departing. So we stood at the berth waiting for Dom and for my baggage 😂 And we reached an hour after departing! Cleared the custom and took the bintan lagoon shuttle bus to the resort. You know what, it is really awesome to have henry who is an indonesian and dominick who can speak fluent malay to be around for this trip. They can do all the communication, effectively and efficiently for us. 

We had about 2 hours before getting our villa, so we went around checking out the resort. Saw this very cute banana signage and wanted them to take a photo with it. Chris 弟 although don’t feel like taking, still obeyed. 😂 And we managed to do many rounds of jump shoots at the beach, simply because there’s a lot of failed trials. We laughed and felt so tired having to keep jumping. Our 1st trial. Our 2nd trial – still on the ground! Our 3rd trial and onwards: it’s either someone is not in the air or that they are all outside the frame. Then, Chris suggested for us to do a L.O.V.E. Dom said I shouldn’t open my legs for V and so we had to take it again. Our LOVE 🙆🏻 

We took a walk down the beach and around the resort before making our way back to the lobby. 

Receptionist said our villa is ready and we decided to quickly checked into it and have our lunch! The moment the guys entered the villa, they went around the entire place – don’t know what they are busy with! Hahaha! And after unpacking all the goodies we brought over. It is that much!!! I exclaimed at the amount of junks we had on the table. This trip going to get me fatter. My mandatory shoot of my split. Long table top 👍🏻 I’m sorry 大哥! Getting you LOL-ed by my friends. 

After lunch, we slacked around on the sofa (living room has got high ceiling!!!) watching tv while chris went to take a power nap. Then we changed up and head out. Every villa has got a buggy for us to travel around the resort. Haha and I didn’t get to drive but it’s ok. Always feels good to be driven! 

I wanted a photo of myself with the buggy but I was whining that photos taken sitting down gonna be fat. Somehow the photo above taken by 大哥 doesn’t makes me look fat. 👍🏻大哥 said taking photo all by himself feels weird and so we joined him.I was complaining that I will look fat taking this sit-down-kinda photo. 大哥 said I won’t look fat sitting by his side! And guess what?! He is so right!!! Finally I feel less fat. First ride on the buggy drove by Chris 弟. Yeah! And we are off to the leisure centre. Where Dom & Henry left for Billard games while Chris & I went to soak in the water. HTHT Time. 

The Billard gang had three rounds of games before walking over to the pool. We then left for the beach for water and waves. 大哥 picks a lot of shells and caught us two mini crabs! Chris was very wowed by him. Wahahaha! Shells for dinner! Only Dom ate them 🙊 大哥 headed straight into our toilet instead of using their master bedroom toilet, and so Chris went to “bully” him. 真可怜……

After washing up, the guys started to prepare for BBQ (Dom’s responsibility) and our Dinner (Henry cooked) while I just hang around waiting to be well fed. No photos of our pasta because we kinda eat in the dark outside our villa before heading back into our villa. After Dinner, we played heart attack and watched football games while waiting for later hours of the night to come by. Slacking after dinner!!!It is super funny seeing how Dom & Chris keep getting stacks of cards. Dom lost and had to do 20 push ups supervised by our very fit, Chris! LOL! 20 standard push ups 👏🏻👏🏻 It’s a painful game. 

We decided to head out to explore the resort and ended in the pub within the resort. We stepped in and saw live band singing to just a couple in it. It is that 冷清! We still got to drive the buggy back to villa so we had to be sober. Just a couple of beers for the guys, a margarita for me and ended off with a tequila shots before heading back to “party” in our villa. Chris brought a super good speaker and played all his favourite songs. Haha! Two of them went back to villa to get more money to pay bills while I waited at the pub. Nice pink lighting 😊 I was thinking if I had to sing to an empty room, it is really quite sad. The live band people came to thank us for coming. ✌🏻️ Low light photography, bad quality but worth a keep as memories. That’s about the things we do on Day 1. 

Day 2 @ Bintan

We woke up at around 730am (Indonesia Time), washed up and went for our buffet breakfast at the main lobby. Didn’t had much appetite from bloated stomach and constipation. Luckily we decided to rest in the villa till lunch before going out to treasure bay.  I got to laze around to soothe my tummy. 

Henry made us yummy food for lunch! This is our main, and served with coleslaw and corn soup. Henry told us it is made with 3 slices of bread and I was like “Oh! I am done with lunch!” After taking a few bites. Haha! Well, I finished them! Our burger came with an egg, creamy spinach, a slice of chicken meat topped with a slice of cheese (we got it from the breakfast buffet). 

Right after lunch, the guys started clearing up. Wahahahaha 🙊 Ok! I am not that princessy ok. I did washing last night and some other meals we had in the villa (tonight’s dinner). 

After lunch, we head back to the lobby to get a taxi to treasure bay. Having to wait for half an hour, we just lazed around. The hanging egg chair! This is super comfy!!! Thanks to 弟 for voluntarily said I should take a photo with it. Haha! Nice! I really love it love it! As you can see, I am not prepared for the photos. It’s all candid, well taken ones. 大哥 said it’s a nice attire and I should wear it to Bali. 😊 Hello Treasure Bay!!! This is very funny! Three guys putting sunblock while I didn’t 🙊 Should have put some to prevent getting sun spots! 

We swam around before going for stand-up paddle. We didn’t want to spend more money so we just topup another $30,000 for Chris to go for the stand-up paddle. And while waiting:-After washing up, we got the massage place to give us a ride to the nearby town with hawker. Because it is just $2 😂 Convenient shop ladyboss said they drink this for bloated stomach and so we bought a packet. 

We then went to buy two packet of rice for dinner (no photos taken). Went back to treasure bay and saw this big piece of mirror and Chris said we should take wefie with it! Haha! The reason for doing a collage can be seen in above. First photo — Dom made me adjust my position — Third photo looking slimmer 😂 We went for massage but mine is not very well done. Don’t feel shiok 😔 After massage, our resort came to pick us up (we paid for return trip). 

We went back to villa, washed up and had dinner. Star gazing at the beach pretty awesome. Lots of star meteor 😍 

Day 3 @ Bintan

It’s checking out day. As usual, woke up around the same time, washed up and head out for breakfast. A picture of our villa before we head out for breakfast. 

After breakfast, we packed up and rest in the villa while Henry prepare sushi for our lunch.We checked out at 12pm and had to wait for an hour. At lobby for an hour 😂 Eat & Chit Chat. Thanks Guys!!! For doing the washing up, cooking and preparing meals, driving the buggy and carrying my baggage!!! 

That’s the end of our short trip to Bintan 😊 Time to stay at home and detox. 

Day 8 – Seoul to Singapore

It is the very last day of our Travel to Korea. We really spent quite a bit of time in our room before leaving our accommodation to do 1 last walk around Sinsa-Dong.

One last visit to Line Friends Store.IMG_7802 IMG_7803 IMG_7804Since the queue to take photo with Brown is short, we decided to just queue for it. Took a photo and leave the place.

We walked from our accommodation to Sinsa-Dong and back home. Went Pizza Hut for Lunch before heading back home. And then it is a tiring trip from Apgujeong Station to Incheon International Airport! Especially with 2 luggages (1 hand carry & 1 roller luggage) each, we really had a good exercise moving them. Not forgetting getting some help from the local. Uncles helped sis & I to move our luggage up the stairs at Seoul Station! Seriously tough without escalator and lifts. IMG_7813 IMG_7815And we are finally at Incheon International Airport. PHEW!

We checked-in at the counters, did our tax-refund scanning, checked in our baggage, clear the custom into departure hall, get our cash from tax-refund counters, took internal train to our departure gate and it is finally time for us to FLY. IMG_7822Last photo at the land of ginseng.

Day 6 – Gwangjang Market & Shopping Districts

It is a relaxing day where we took our time to prepare and sway towards the Gwangjang Traditional Market. Most of the stalls in there was not open even when we arrived after 9am.

According to some bloggers, there is a few must-eat at Gwangjang Market. Food such as Bindatteok (Fried Mung Bean Pancake) & Bimbimbap. The usuals such as Gimbap and Sticky Rice Cakes can be found there too. There is also raw beef served with egg yolk and live octopus too!

IMG_7578 IMG_7585 IMG_7587 IMG_7590 IMG_7591Haha! That’s a variety of Kimchi >_<

Sis & I only managed to try the Bindatteok which really doesn’t suit our taste buds. It is way too oily and most importantly I think we don’t really like mung bean. IMG_7580 IMG_7583 IMG_7584But having rice for breakfast is too heavy for us, hence, we just had this mung bean pancake to fill our stomach temporarily. The next time I am there, I will definitely try the raw beef with egg yolk. Super high in cholesterol but I think it is a must-try once in a life time. At least, once in my life time. Haha!

After having out bindatteok, we took the subway to Ewha Women’s University Station, where we walked around under the super hot sun to do our shopping! Roamed streets after streets and sort of “went missing” while walking out of Ewha towards another subway station.

Thankfully, we managed to walk to the nearby subway station and took it to Hongik University Station. The weather is SO HOT that we just had to rest in an air-conditioned place. IMG_7602 IMG_7603 IMG_7606That’s where we settle our lunch with Bingsu. Can you believe it? Bingsu for lunch? This is definitely not within my plan. Haha! IMG_7608 IMG_7609Top: Cheese and Condensed Milk on Toast. Bottom: Injeolmi Bingsu.

Personally, I don’t like either of them. HAHA! I don’t mind going back there again, but for something else.

After walking down the streets of Hongik University, the heat is really killing us to the max and so we decided to go back home and put down our shopping loots. IMG_7596 IMG_7595Along the way, we saw this events going on at Hondae. Everyone is there, well-equipped with water gun and having fun getting themselves drenched. Good Job!

We released our heavy burden at home and rest for awhile before heading down to Gangnam Station. We planned to do another round of shopping at the underground mall (to buy all the Korean artiste goodies!) and roamed the streets of Gangnam.

Dinner at a small place is surprisingly tasty. IMG_7617Lots of Carbs >_<

IMG_7618We just had to buy a thirst-quenching cup of COLD fruit juice. Full & Satisfied! (Especially after days of going without vegetables.)

That’s where I lost my subway T-money card too.

Day 5 – JSA & DMZ Tour

A super rush & early day for us!

We are supposed to report at Camp Kim at 7am for registration and the bus was scheduled to leave at 730am Sharp. Stupidly followed the subway map and took the extremely slow Jungang Line in the morning. Wasted most of our travelling time waiting for the train at Jungang Line.

We were late for registration but managed to board the bus before 730am and we weren’t the last to board! (It is a Hooray deep within me).

At 730am sharp, the bus left. We were attached to an English-speaking tour guide who tried her very best to educate us with some history between South and North Korea that leads to the divide. In addition, she also briefed us on the security measures that we will be going through.

After 1.5hours of bus ride, we arrived right outside the security gates of JSA. Waited for a soldier to do a checking on our passports before moving into the secured vicinity with us. Upon reaching the briefing zone, we had to board their internal bus services that will be driving us around the JSA.

Within JSA, the soldiers asked us to line up like school kids in 2 rows (just minus going hand in hand). The various tour groups took turn to enter the JSA. We were being told that only the grey buildings belong to the North Korea.

The soldier brought us into a conference room where the officials from North and South Korea held their meetings in. IMG_7436(e)There are 2 guards in the room and the above is one of them. We can take photo with him but it is not advisable to touch him. You may end up being taken down if you wish to try it out! IMG_7439(e) IMG_7441(e) IMG_7443(e)Taking photos with the better looking security soldier in the house. To the rectangular table behind us, the North and South will sit at different side of it. The centre line was being marked with the black-looking-studs on the table. IMG_7444(e) IMG_7446(e)And it looks like this from the outside. To re-emphasise, the buildings in blue belongs to / guarded by the South Korean while the grey buildings at the back belongs to the North Korean.

While you look at the properties of North Korea, we are warned not to pin point or do any hand signs/gestures. Keep your arms by the side and just LOOK. We are allowed to take photos of anything in front of us but not any buildings or structures behind us – The main building which we came through from. IMG_7453(e) IMG_7457(e)The bus then brought us to somewhere for us to have a “better” look of North Korea. Very very far from us, there is this blue security guard house, and after passing through, it will be the land of North Korea.

There is a village built and propaganda was constantly being broadcast; 24|7.  IMG_7467(e)The bus took a loop and head back to JSA. Along the way, we pass by this “bridge of no return” where we can only have sight of it on the bus. If you decided to just walk pass the bridge, you will no longer be able to get back to South Korea. Or maybe you will die trying to enter North Korea.

Very near to JSA, is the Dorasan Station. The tour guide brought us to Dorasan Station before Lunch. IMG_7474(e) IMG_7477(e) IMG_7479(e) IMG_7483(e) IMG_7484(e) IMG_7485(e) IMG_7486(e) IMG_7503(e) IMG_7504(e)If I am not wrong, this train brings you to North Korea. 1 trip a day.

Lunch Time! Lunch Time!IMG_7508(e) IMG_7509(e)There is only 2 choices: Bimbimbap (Vegetables Only.) or Beef Bulgogi. Their concept of food collection, where you queue up and take as much as you can eat. Reminds me of 1 of the Return of Superman episodes of Daehan Mingkuk Manse. They had to take as much as they can eat and get reprimanded for not finishing their food.

Tour continues right after lunch – The Observatory. IMG_7512(e)You can pay a small token to use the Binoculars but look at this! So instead of queueing for the Binos, I saw a few Aunties squeezing in between for photos. AND I DID THE SAME! Aunty-mentality!IMG_7514(e)At the far end, it is North Korea. As if we can really see :S IMG_7516(e) IMG_7518(e)A picture at the observatory before we board the bus for our final destination – 3rd infiltration tunnel!

Upon reaching, we were asked to leave all our belongings (including smart phones & camera) in the bus as we are not allowed to bring any of such items into the theatre, museum & tunnel!

The best part of this tour, the 7mins long video of the history (in an air-conditioned and comfortable environment). After the video, we moved through the museum very quickly before heading towards the 3rd infiltration tunnel.

There is a man-made pavement that leads us from ground level all the way to the tunnel. It is pretty steep and slippery. My toes hurt much on my way down to the tunnel. Upon reaching the starting point of the tunnel, we are allowed to walk approximately 200m into the tunnel before making a turn and head back up.

I am a 1.61m tall lady and I hit my head multiple times while walking in and out of the tunnel. You can imagine how confine the space is! Asked if it is worth walking? If you are in for some exercising, it will be a YES. If you are not in for any form of exercise, it is not worth walking through the tunnel. It look exactly the same, metre after metre. Nothing at the end for you to be WOW-ed over. Furthermore, you can’t take any photos without smart phone or camera. *It is prohibited, for I don’t know what reason*

While waiting for everyone to go through the tunnel and walk back up. We had a bit of free time to roam around. And so it is photo time!IMG_7519(e)This guy knew I am taking a photo and stood there until I am done taking! Haha! And his friend laughed at him for being playful. IMG_7521(e) IMG_7522(e)Here’s us with DMZ. IMG_7524(e) IMG_7528(e) IMG_7533(e) IMG_7547(e) IMG_7555(e)After the tour, the bus brought us back to Camp Kim.

We dragged our injured toes to Lotte Mart. Grabbed out tidbits (just enough to fill a carrier basket) before heading back home. We changed up and rest before heading out to search for Dinner!

We roamed around Sinsa-dong and had nothing in mind. Nothing to shop and nothing interesting to eat. IMG_7561(e)And this is our dinner. Saw some signage advertising the restaurant with artiste visiting them as filming location. Nothing fanciful. We could have eaten something better than that. IMG_7562(e) IMG_7563(e) IMG_7564(e)As recommended by *Ching, I really wanted to try out something within the Line Café but we were late by a step and had no vacant seats for us.

We did spend a bit of them doing window shopping before heading back home. IMG_7565(e)A cup of coffee to end my day.

Day 4 – Changdeokgung’s Princesses

Instead of preparing breakfast and having it before heading out to start our brand new day in Seoul, we decided to take a walk in the neighbourhood near Anguk Station.

After walking a few streets under the scorching sun, not putting their convenient stores into our considerations, we had no choice but to hop into Paris Baguette. Yes, I know, I have been having too much of Paris Baguette in Korea. Apparently, the Koreans don’t have a habit of having early Breakfast out in restaurants. I see most of their eateries open at only 11am. IMG_7142(e) IMG_7146(e) IMG_7148(e) IMG_7150(e) IMG_7153(e)A mini bakery with 2 sets of tables. Actually, we have been eyeing on the Matcha Swiss Roll. It has to be placed in a cool environment and that explain why we can’t buy it there and then. Mental reminder to buy it at Incheon Airport if we happen to see it. (But we didn’t. LOL!)

Our Itinerary for the day – Starting with Changdeokgung Palace cum Secret Garden Tour followed by Hanok Village and Ssamziegil at Insadong.

Prior to our travel, about 2 months in advance, I made my reservation for the Secret Garden Tour. Secret Garden is a guided-tour-only kind of place. One can only enter the Secret Garden within Changdeokgung Palace with reservation made. We had about an hour of walk in Changdeokgung Palace before our tour which starts at 1130am. IMG_7161(e) IMG_7160(e)As you can see, the palace was not really sheltered. Coupled with the hot weather, we are totally burnt after few hours under the sun. IMG_7164(e) IMG_7165(e) IMG_7170(e) Haha! We couldn’t open our eyes properly for the photo. That’s the result of forgetting to pack the sunglasses. [We haven’t start serious shopping as yet.]IMG_7172(e) IMG_7173(e)After awhile, you come to realise the various residences are like what you seen in Korean dramas. Residences for the doctors, the library, the horse stables, the kitchen, the meeting areas and for the Queen and various concubines are very much different in terms of interior design and furnishings.

Different Kings of different character and personality tends to have different requirements for their residences.

Found a spot with nobody around. Time for an OOTD!IMG_7174(e) IMG_7175(e) IMG_7176(e)I quite like the symmetrical environment. It calms my mind. IMG_7185(e) IMG_7190(e) IMG_7193(e)IMG_7191(e)I am not good at capturing good photos and only places without much disturbance makes me feel like having a photo with it. I have to adjust the camera and ask the sis not to move the camera away from the “stipulated” spot. Tough Job! IMG_7196(e)IMG_7195(e)Clean picture. Another reason of taking this photo. These are the steps towards the Door of Glory. Hahah! That’s what it is stated above the Door – “Door of Glory”. IMG_7206(e)Surprised to see no one in it! Not too sure which residence is it. Every Singaporean living in the usual HDB would love to have such big yard right outside your doorstep. Love it even more if that piece of land belongs to you. IMG_7208(e)IMG_7209(e) IMG_7211(e)I can totally imagine myself, wearing hanbok, walking like a Queen into my Room. Hahaha! IMG_7219(e) imageWhile Sis captured me walking into this low headroom pathway, I captured her walking out! IMG_7226(e)And back to my fantasy, visualising myself wearing hanbok running away from the Palace. LOL! Watch too much Korean drama – likereal. IMG_7233(e) IMG_7241(e) IMG_7257(e) IMG_7258(e)Haha! Actually I took many more photos than all that I have uploaded. Only the CLEAN Photos are worthy to be uploaded. IMG_7261(e) IMG_7264(e)Haha! Sis said it feels like inviting people into her house and so she made me do something similar like a bow. PalaceJump shots for me and 1 for sis coming up. IMG_7293(e)She whined but she did it eventually.IMG_7305(e)One last photo in Changdeokgung Palace.

Secret Garden is quite disappointing. I expected to see nice greenery with maple trees lined along the garden, white stone chairs, granite tiled floors and grand pavilions.

But I see these…IMG_7326(e) IMG_7328(e) IMG_7342(e) IMG_7369(e)That’s it! These are the nicest  photos that I have of the place. Blame it on my lousy photography skill. IMG_7391 IMG_7386(e) IMG_7387(e) IMG_7385(e)After Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Garden Tour, we took the subway for just 1 stop and queued for Tosokchon Samgyetang. The long queue moves pretty fast and they served really fast as well. I had the black chicken while my sis had the original chicken.

We had the time to read the instructions on how to eat Tosokchon Samgyetang. The small cup of yellowish liquid is the Ginseng Liquor (Insamju). You can have it before, during or after your meal to suit your taste. We sipped it before, during and after our meal. We even mixed it into our soup for a more Ginseng-Taste in our soup. IMG_7393(e)I have only 1 intention of visiting this mall along Insadong. At level 4 (the top floor before getting onto the rooftop), there is this neoprint shop which provides a simplified version of hanbok for neoprint-taking. Since the Sis decided to forgo the traditional experience that I have suggested, I brought her to the neoprint shop instead. IMG_7396(e) IMG_7397(e) IMG_7398(e)We are very full but in need to sit down in a cooler place with ICE. O’ Sulloc has got quite a number of outlets in Seoul. This Matcha Shave Ice isn’t cheap. It probably cost around SGD21.

After Insadong, we didn’t go for Hanok Village but instead, we travelled to Myeongdong and started our unplanned Shopping Trip. We shopped for around 2 hours or so before settling down for a simple dinner at Gimgane Myeongdong. IMG_7408(e) IMG_7411(e) IMG_7412(e) IMG_7414(e) IMG_7415(e)Can you see the shopping bags on the table and on the chair beside us?!! Haha!! I am glad I brought along a nice looking recycling bag. It allows me to carry more stuff without feeling heavy.

That’s all for the day. It is really TIRING!

p.s.: I will cover my shopping trip in another post.

Day 3 – From Jeju to Seoul

We are finally travelling back to the more city-like Seoul! Don’t misunderstood my exclamation. I love doing hiking, visiting non-city places, looking at landscapes on vacations. However, it is quite tiring for me to do the driving and not being able to enjoy long and slow walks due to time constraints.

My sis was telling me that, never did she expect herself to be taking so many flights within such short period. In total, we took 3 flights in 3 days. Every single flight, we have to prepare the motion sickness bag right in front of my sis’s seat. Also, I have to do time check, ensure that she eats the motion sickness pill 30 minutes before our flight. Ever since we realised that the sleeping supplements don’t work, my motion sickness pill came to good use! Those pills were bought during my melbourne trip (that was like at least 2 years ago) which is about to expire and it is still untouched. All thanks to the sis, it didn’t gone to waste. Haha!

We will only reach Seoul past lunch time. So we had some small bites before our flight. After walking around the airport, rice & noodles selection just ain’t appetising enough to attract our attention. Ended up in Paris Baguette! Had desserts and drinks.

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Macroon Ice-Cream & Cheesecake! Happy Tummies.IMG_7042(e) IMG_7044(e) IMG_7061(e)

After taking a break in the cafe, we headed into the departure hall.IMG_7077(e) IMG_7078(e)The departure hall is filled with many Chinese. And they were all talking very loudly 😦 IMG_7079 IMG_7080(e) IMG_7081(e) IMG_7082Boarded the plane! The koreans sitting beside us were complaining about the noise. :S I can’t even take a nap as well. Very embarrased. IMG_7084(e)

Haha! This caught my attention. Someone on the JejuAir Magazine.IMG_7092 IMG_7095When you see this kind of hardscape, you knew you are well behind Jeju and approaching the City. IMG_7097(e) IMG_7098(e)After getting off the plane, we need to take a train to our accomodation! Selfie taken in AREX before changing to some other lines. IMG_7100 IMG_7102(e)This is the station that we have been passing by quite frequent during our trip! IMG_7103Checked into our room for the next 5 nights. It is a cozy little room with a mini kitchen and a mini toilet. It comes with almost anything that we need. From a kettle to a washer.

After settling down, we decided to go Gangnam for late lunch / early dinner at Kyochon. IMG_7112(e) IMG_7114(e) IMG_7115(e) IMG_7117(e) IMG_7121(e)I did my research on the location and according to the posted by bloggers, you should be able to see the shop front at the ground floor. BUT, when we were there, we simply can’t locate it.

After much roaming around and screening the surrounding in a more detailed manner, we finally found it. It is located at the 2nd floor. You can either take the stairs or lift up. We ordered a whole chicken in 2 different flavors. They called it the Half and Half Series.

The Half and Half Series consists of Original & Red Series (Spicy). It is really tad nice that I also ate the fried chicken skin. [Haha! Sis & I were taught from young to remove the skin of any poultry before we eat it. It has became our habit.]

Right after having our fried chicken. Feeling satisfied, we started to do our shopping! Along Gangnam shopping street, underground malls at Gangnam Station and to Express Bus Terminal Shopping (Go To Mall).

It wasn’t really a satisfying shopping trip. We were both quite disappointed with the things that they were selling. Clothes are more or less the same across all the shops and they weren’t exactly suitable to be worn to office. Not my style. Just not my style.

We still bought a few tops that night. It came handy in our days to come (in Seoul).