주왕산국립공원 Juwangsan National Park

Yeongdeok is a place that I want to visit from years ago, and I still want to visit again (read about Yeongdeok here). But I did also want to visit a National Park, especially since it’s the summer.

I saw a photo of Sobaeksan National Park, the ridge right at the top after a 21km+++ walk, and decided one day we shall be there. In the end we went to Juwangsan National Park. Both parks are considered since they are “near” to Yeongdeok; “near” meaning about 3 change of buses that would take ~3, 4 hours. The logistics from either National Park to Yeongdeok was crazy. It literally drove me nuts trying to get information from one “village bus stop” to another. Eventually we did it, from Juwangsan National Park to Yeongdeok, and it couldn’t have been done without the friendly bus stop auntie/ uncle bus driver/ random passengers whom are so ever helpful. I don’t think I remember the route if I have to do it again 🙂

Anyway, the long story cut short – after I had back pain about 3 weeks before our trip, I didn’t have confidence I could do the walk up to the ridge. And if that’s the case, maybe this is not the best time to be at Sobaeksan. Juwangsan has shorter, flat routes so we cancelled our reservation for Sobaeksan, and decided to wait till the trip itself to see if I am well enough for Juwangsan. On the day of arriving in Seoul, we thought if we can get a room in Juwangsan, we would go (since it’s the weekends and rooms might be fully booked in the summer). The helpful owner of Seoul Sieoso Hotel helped us call the pension that we found, but they don’t have a room for Saturday. In the end, he even searched for another pension and gave them a ring. They have a room and so we decided on the spot to make a reservation and head down.

But before that, we had gamjatang, probably one of our many favourite korean meal. A quick stop at the supermarket to grab food for hiking too.

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동원집 Dongwon jip for pork bone stew; thanks to happydalki’s recommendation. It’s near to our Seoul Sieoso Hotel where we left our luggage there; and it opens as early as 9am. We needed an early lunch before heading to the supermarket. I did mention we visited the supermarkets about 11 (or 12? was it 13?) times in the entire 20 days 😉

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Yakult is nice, whether as a drink or sweet or coating for nuts. It’s surprising that just after 2 meal of army stew instant mee, we thought we have enough of instant mee for the trip hah. But it must have been an achievement to enjoy the soju – grapefruit or ginger flavour is nice; the outdoor soju pack is great too though I wish they have all the soju flavour in outdoor pack. Should have gotten that chips back too. And all those perilla leaves.

 

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Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to 주왕산정류장 Juwangsan Bus Terminal; 4.5 hours. We slept really well throughout! But Dong Seoul Bus Terminal was crazily hot in the summer.

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The pension owner asked that we text him upon arrival; so we were waiting at the bus terminal for him to pick us up. It’s walkable to his pension, as we discovered on our second day. A straight walk, for about 20 minutes?

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Our room for the first 2 nights. Interestingly, the owner (whom had been working in Seoul until a few years back) told us that he is the probably guy in Juwangsan whom speaks English! That’s so lucky for us. Anyway this room is in the older pension; he has a newly built pension and cafe 10 minutes car ride away.

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After our early meal of gamjatang, we had kimbap at the bus terminal. And we cooked this for dinner!

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Snacks, and the best soju – grapefruit.

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Breakfast the following morning; noodles meant to pack for hiking.

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to be continued…

Annecy, France 2016

Annecy France is famous for Lake Annecy. But to me, I remember Annecy for Semnoz Plateau. We took the Summer Line up – I really can’t quite see how we can hike up (but I think you really can!).

It’s windy (read: cold) despite such a good sunny day when we were up there. After a while we had a meal and came down. I wish we would stay up there all day long.

And yes, after almost 18 months of cherry blossoms at Hadong being my wallpaper, it’s this blue, blue sky that I want to see mostly:

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Bangkok Christmas 2014

As I mentioned in my previous post (on Mandarin Oriental Bangkok), I don’t have much free time in Bangkok, so that’s pretty much what I managed to squeeze in:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTailored two blouses for my grandmother (you can read my review here) ^^

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy first meal in Bangkok – A&W, pretty much a Singaporean thing. For those who might not be familiar, we used to have A&W in Singapore (I probably love that more than Mac?) until they left our shores! We may have our favourite fried chicken stores to go to now, but this is nostalgic!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESChristmas at Central World – snoopy!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESDuring a cruise (part of work though)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESDinner at Platinum Fashion Mall food court – northern Thai style curry noodles, Tom yam noodles soup, pad thai and green papaya salad, all for only S$10. Yummy! Thanks to fellow delegates who treated us while we (sort of) brought them around. For those planning to shop at Platinum Fashion Mall, do note that they really close at 8pm. All in all, I only had 20 minutes on my last day to shop there (it wasn’t even shopping! All I did was walk continuously and “scanned” the shops, but I did get myself 3 dresses, so the 25 minutes walk from the nearest subway (one way!) was worth it @@ )

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter the massive breakfast buffet, glad we still managed to have this for lunch on the last day before rushing back to our hotel to get our luggage. It’s probably braised pork noodles soup, served under the subway no less – appreciated this compared to all the richness we had over the last few days.

So yap, while I didn’t have much chances to eat local food, it was a fulfilling trip. I was so tired that I slept on the flight back (:

Note: I’ve been really slow on my #31KoreanDays (2014), thinking that since I wouldn’t be back in Korea so soon, I can pace my updates. Haha, but guess I am going back to Korea for Spring 2015 ^^ I will try to keep up with the updates, though I am running behind the entire idea of at-least-one-post-per-week. 

Korean BBQ at home…

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This was our  second BBQ at home (ok my parents’ office) ^^ and it was as usual fantastic. Thanks to my mum who prepared most of the ingredients – different kind of fish, salmon belly, different cut of pork, small corns, mushrooms, onions & garlic, capsicum, lettuce & butterhead wraps, Kimchi and everything else to make it as close to a Korean BBQ as possible – including harvesting our homegrown perilla leaves that’s not big enough as wraps yet, making Ssamjang (recipe from Maangchi), as well as basil leaves. In fact we prepared so much food (probably enough for 10?) and ended up not BBQ-ing the sausages, more meat and eggplant.

Despite the weather being really unpleasant now – warm, humid, stuffy, dusty/ash/whatever particles clogging up the air, the dinner was so enjoyable (especially whenever there’s some breeze) in terms of the grilling and the eating. And because it was outdoors, we didn’t feel/smell like a walking BBQ grill at the end of our dinner.

Not forgetting cups and cups of chilled vinegar drink to finish off the night.

Some interesting articles I read~ (click to read them)
Guide to eat galbi the right way
Significance of rice to Koreans and different variety of rice
About Makgeolli

Life of Korean nurses to Germany
Changing face of South Korea
Parisian Je Ne Sais Quoi Is Now Government Sanctioned
Park Tae-hwan with 20 medals and Happy Birthday
Kim Soohyun speaks Chinese in new Pizza Hut CF, and anti virus protection CF

17TH ASIAN GAMES INCHEON 2014 BLOGGER “CREW” – PART VII

COUNTDOWN: 32 DAYS TO KOREA.

Korea Tourism Organisation recently ran a contest on Facebook – write a love note to anyone/ anything and they will pick 50 messages, go up to N Seoul Tower and write it on locks! They will upload the photos of the locks for voting! Top 3 messages will then win vouchers.

And so, I wrote a note on how I feel for Incheon Asian Games. KTO selected my note and wrote it on a teddy-bear shaped lock! Will you vote for me @ http://goo.gl/nzNvpF

Love Note for Incheon Asian Games 2

I don’t think I will win and winning is not the most important thing. But rather I think it expresses how I feel for IAG ^^ I will try to find the lock when I am there !

Details of Incheon Asian Games ~
Incheon Asian Games BlogFacebookTwitter
I wrote about my role hereherehere and here.
My article – Life lessons we learn from watching sports dramas and movies
My second article – A local perspective of Incheon

17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 Blogger “CREW”

I’m delighted to share with you that I’ve been chosen as one of the Blogger “CREW”. In fact I am the only representative from Singapore!

To be selected, candidates have to prepare 2 write-ups

  1. Introduce myself and explain why I want to join the Asian Games Crew
  2. Write an article related to any sports or Asian Games

For the sports write-up, I wrote an article on “Taekwondo, where the human spirit shines”. Let me share with you 5 quick facts about Taekwondo:

  1. Taekwondo is one of the 28 Olympic Sports that will be play in the Asian Games Incheon 2014.
  2. Taekwon is not just a martial art, but it also develops the mind and cultivates the learner of desirable values such as tolerance, respect and benevolence.
  3. In the past, Taekwondo, or the various names that it is known throughout its history such as Taekkyeon, was played at folk festivals as a form of healthy competition between neighbouring villages in Korea.
  4. In the last Asian Games in Guangzhou, Korea won a total of 10 medals in Taekwondo.
  5. I am sure many in Singapore will be familiar with this. Mr Choi Dae Ho, 22, a South Korean undergraduate who majors in Taekwondo at Jeonju University displays this true essence of a Taekwondo learner to the fullest. In February 2013, he was one of four Koreans who came to Singapore as part of the Korea-based World Taekwondo Federation Peace Corps, and on his day off from the daily training, he encountered a barefoot stranger on a public bus. Without a second thought, he gave his slippers to this old lady, who teared at his kind gesture. While his generosity generated much online buzz, he humbly responded that it was a small gesture on his part. Mr Choi hopes to become a taekwondo instructor for the handicapped in the future.

Do look forward to my sharing of the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014, Incheon and my role!