Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summary : Amazing Experience in Korea

When we hear about Korea, we will think of Korean Drama and K Pop inevitably and instantly. Influence of this Asia country is profound and evident. Thanks God, I have the chance to be there for 6 weeks student exchange. It is unforgettable trip and wonderful blessing in my life. My thought changes positively and I have a wider view of this world as well as life.

Yonsei University is where my exchange program held. This university is ranked number 2 in Korea. Beside being huge, clean and beautiful, Yonsei University has all buildings with modern designs. The program that I join is Yonsei International Summer School. There are around 1400 students from all around the world participating in the program. It is indeed a great time for me to know new friends and learn new cultures from them. 
Yonsei Unversity
Through this program, I get to know more international friends. Most of them are from the USA, Indonesia and of course Korea and Malaysia as well. I used to be alone travelling around in Seoul during first few days. Being alone doesn't mean suffering from loneliness. I have some quiet time to think about my future and my life. With friends, I can continue to be talkative as in Malaysia. We travel, eat, share and talk together. This is one of the most memorable moments in Korea. Nice to meet them! ^^
 { International friends will motivate you to promote and introduce Malaysia as most of them do not know where is Malaysia and what's in Malaysia. They thought all of us speak Malay ONLY and they are shocked that we can speak at least 3 languages, I am so proud to know so many languages. Haha. Looks like we have to do more to let the whole world knows Malaysia! }
Myeongdong - Shopping District
A shopping heaven, Korea is full of branded shops especially cosmetic products and fashions. At night, you can see a lot of people shopping, dating and walking on the streets. The streets are usually flooded with local and foreign people. Agreeably, Korea is one of the most favourite choices of global tourists too. Besides shopping, Seoul, Korea has aplenty of tourist attractions. With developed subway system and public transport, visitors can travel around Seoul without any problem. Venues like shopping districts, Korean palaces, Korean drama filming locations, and others are the utmost selling points. All attractions are well maintained and clean. I share some of the places in my previous blog entry. To read more, click Here.

Delicious Korean Fried Chicken
Korean foods are mouth-watering too. Bulgogi (Korean BBQ), Fried Chicken, Ramen, Bibimbap and many more. I love all Korean foods except cold noodle. My stomach cannot used to the coldness of the soup and noodle. Korean loves to eat chicken especially fried one. No exception, I fall in love with that and Bulgogi too. But most of the foods are non-halal. 

Korean is polite and respectful as well. They have different levels of polite forms in Korean Language. It has special format when talking to elderly and esteemed people. When chit-chatting with friends, there is another way to speak the language. This is one of the toughest part of learning Korean language. 

Korean learns some foreign languages like Mandarin, English and Japanese in school but they are usually proficient in Korean language. With their own mother tongue, they can be one of the powerful countries in every expect such as economics and educations, they even perform pretty well in Olympic Games. Koreans are more progressive and hardworking as well as patriotic in nature? Personally I agree.

Living standard there is relatively high, so as their salary level and daily expenditure. I always think twice before I purchase or eat something there because RM 3.00 is only 1000 Won. One meal outside is normally around 5000 Won and more. Being just a student, I have to save and control my money. Perhaps this is another self-control practice or training.  
Yoido Full Gospel Church
Another splendid thing I love in Korea is, churches are everywhere. You can see red crosses brightening around you in the dark night. Around 60% of 50 million Korean are Christ followers. Korea has biggest church in the world with 800,000 church members. I have marvellous bible study and church service experience in Korea too. Brothers and sisters there are so faithful and affable.
Seoul Subway Map
Sophisticated infrastructure there is one the reasons that I love Korea. Public washrooms, public transportation, internet, tourist information centres and others are ready to serve the people in Korea. It might be confusing when looking at the complicated subway map. But you will find it extremely helpful and user-friendly as the subway system can bring you anywhere in Seoul! Subway stations are established in almost all tourist attractions. Furthermore Public toilets are clean and tourist information centres are always ready to assist tourists. Internet speed is fast and directory is clear too. I believe good infrastructure is the key for a country to be prosper and success.

A question wandering in my mind will always be:
"  Why Korea can be so advanced but we are not yet? "
We have abundant natural resources, great people, wonderful lands and no natural disasters. 
Korea is quite similar to Malaysia, but they are facing natural disaster like typhoon and others.
What has happened to our country? Perhaps, we all have our answers in our mind. 
Pray for this beloved country. We can grow strong and be better than others definitely!

Malaysia is a nice country, I love Malaysia for sure. Delicious food, unique cultures, nice people and others. We should be proud to be Malaysia. Perhaps, we can do more to make Malaysia a better nation. Changes are definitely needed. We cannot afford to be stagnated anymore, we need to move forward with wiser and more brilliant efforts.
Let's hope and pray that Malaysia can be a stronger and greater country in this world soon.

I learn a lot from the exchange and hopefully I have chances again to widen my view in Europe countries.
I love Korea and I never forget to love my country - Malaysia.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chapter 16 : Places to Visit in Korea (Seoul)

Korea is an interesting country where you have a vast number of places to visit.
If you want to travel in Korea especially its capital, Seoul, here are some recommendations. 
There might be a lot more to visit, but I just share with you guys where I have been.^^

Firstly, Korea is an advanced and sophisticated country. So it has a very well developed subway and bus system. Wherever you want to go, just take subway or bus. This is the reason why Korea is Tourist-friendly and convenient. 
To find out more about the Subway, Go Here.

Shopping in Korea is absolutely inevitable, as Korea is a shopping heaven.
For Girls especially because Men Stuffs are pretty expensive here (For Me) ^^ 

1. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is a fashion street where you can find almost everything here. Cosmetics, clothing, accessories and others are everywhere in Myeongdong. That's why Myeongdong is full of local and foreign people.You can even find at least 3 identical shops in Myeongdong too.
If you want to have shopping, this can be the primary choice.
More Details, click Here

2.  Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun is famous with the shopping complexes. There are several huge ones such as Doota and GoodMorningCity. You can notice that most of the booths/stalls inside the shopping malls are similar. But choices are aplenty as well. What you need to is, Bargain! You can definitely get a much cheaper price!
 "Don't know Korean, How?" Answer : "Use The Calculator and press the amount you want". Haha ^^
There is one Shoes Market beside all those big complexes. You can get much cheaper shoes there.
Understand more, click Here

3. Namdaemun
Having small stalls with countless choices of things, Namdaemun is also a traditional style of shopping area. Here is always Full of people! Things are quite affordable here and you can get cheap souvenirs as well. From cloth to shoes, from kitchen utensils to umbrella, everything you can find here. It closes early around 8 or 9pm, but you can find some street foods at night ^^
To know more, click Here

4.  Coex Mall
Coex Mall is a large underground shopping complex. There is also crowded most of the time. All kinds of items can be found inside the mall. There is Kimchi Museum and Aquarium too.
More Details, click Here

5.  Insadong
Want to get some Korean traditional items? Then you can visit Insadong. At there you can purchase some Korean traditional and cultural stuffs and souvenirs. Here is full of foreign visitors too. You can learn more about Korean traditions and cultures indirectly from those items too. Just go there with Bus/Subway ^^

6. Gangnam Underground Shopping Arcade
(Express Bus Terminal)

Girls will get excited and scream at this place. This is a supreme shopping area for girls. Fashion stuffs are Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! With 5000 Won, you can get a good-looking T-shirts (For Girls).
It is beneath the Express bus Terminal. You can get there with Subway or Bus.

Well, Korea government puts a lot of efforts in promoting tourism in Korea. So there are a lot of awesome places to visit in Seoul, Korea. Breathtaking and impressive!

7. N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower provides you a fantastic view of whole Seoul! On the top of Namsam, This tower is the tallest building in Seoul. So, at night, you can see the best night view of Seoul here^^. After visited Namdaemun market, you can pay a visit here. With 9000 won, whole Seoul will be in your eyes.
  More Details, click Here (Combined with Namdaemun Market)

8. Gyeongbokgung

Korea movie loves to film in palace. So, visit a palace in Korea is necessary. Hehe^^ Here is one of the biggest palaces in Seoul. This is really huge and preserved nicely. A lot of nice photos can be taken here.
Experience the feel in Palace here, to be a Korean King or Queen? haha. There are museums nearby too.
   More info, click Here

9. Cheonggyechoen Stream
Cheonggyecheon stream is artificial stream built for people. This is a few-kilometers-long stream. You can date and have a stroll along the stream to relax your mind and enjoy soaking your feet into the cold water. There are some water jet performances too. You can start walking from Dongdaemun to the end (near Gyeongbokgong). The photo above is one end of the Stream. 

10. Nami Island - Winter Sonata
Nami island is not big, but it is famous because of the well-known Korean Drama (Winter Sonata). The island is relaxing and decorated with all kinds of trees. I believe Fall gives the best scenery to this Island. You can cycle here and enjoy the soothing breeze. Remember to charge your camera before going there, you can take a vast number of great photos.
 More Details, click Here

11. Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon preserves the most original Korean traditional houses. Entering there as if taking time machine going back to 300 years ago XD. Bukchon is huge and you can enjoy the building along the roads. Grab a map and discover the whole Bukchon. Take some nice photos with these historical houses ^^
Go there with Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit 2.

12. Yoido Full Gospel Church
For Christians even non-believers, this church is pretty worth to pay a visit. This largest church in the world with around 800,000 church members. Most members here are faithful and serving God well. You can see around 7000 members worshiping God together.^^There are bookstore, cafe, and others too.
View more God's grace, Click here

Other than these, Seoul has aplenty of places to have FUN and enjoy too.

12. Hongdae (Hongik University)
Hongdae is an energetic place with all kinds of fun. There are clubs, pubs and shopping areas too. Here is one of the favorites of youth for sure. Besides that, Language Cast is also held here. Hellokitty cafe and other themed restaurants can be found in Hongdae. TrickEye museum is here too!
Discover more, click Here 

13. Lotte World
Located in Seoul, Lotte World is the favorite themed park of Korean and visitors. There are extreme and exciting games. I believe that teenages and youth love that place. Long queue for each ride is common during peak season like Summer. Some rides give me good impression like Gyro Swing and Giant loop.
Learn more, click Here

14. 63 City
63 Sky Art Gallery
63 Aquarium
63 Wax Museum
63 building is somehow built for tourism. It has Wax Museum, Imax Theater, Aquarium and Art Gallery. 
All these 4 are charged around 34000 Won for foreigners. You can view part of Seoul in the Sky Art Gallery. The Wax Museum can be Fun if you go with friends, most of the characters are well known politicians, artist, athletes and others. 63 building is full of family with kids. 
In my opinion, Go there If and only If you have no where else to go.
 How to go : Daebang station (subway line1), Exit 6
Take the Free Shuttle or bus no.62 

15. Sauna(Jjimjilbang) - Dragon Hill Spa

Sauna is common in Korea and it will be a brand new experience. Relaxation is all you need during the hectic  life and travels. There are aplenty of great sauna in Korea. Dragon Hill Spa is one of the best choice. It is just beside Yongsan Bus Terminal with 12000 won for 12 hours. You can enjoy the marvellous hot spring and sweat-inducing saunas there. Since you are in Korea, why not pay a visit to sauna. Stay over night there ^^
More info, visit here

16. Everland
Everland is top ten Amusement park in the world. The roller coasters there are amazing and heart-challenging too. Most of the visitors will pay a visit to the zoo there too. Actually I miss the opportunity to there. Oops... Hehe... Never Mind ^^ More Info, Click Here

Beside Seoul, Where to visit else???
I will recommend

17. Busan

Second largest City in Korea. Busan is a lovely and beautiful place. You can get nice beach, seafood, people here. This city is well equipped with public transportation like Subway and bus as well. Shopping centers and underground markets are common at here too. Busan is a great tourist spot! Foreigners can go there with free shuttle bus too, but only available for certain period.
Know more about Busan, Click Here

18. Jeju Island

People will say, you must pay a visit to Jeju if you are in Korea. Jeju Island is a wonderful natural island in Korea. It is famous with its naturally formed scenery and filming locations for several Korea dramas. Some places are recognised as World Heritage too. Enjoy the wonders of Mother of Nature there^^
Read more Here

Hopefully This helps to enlighten you about Korea and suggestions are helpful for your visit in Korea.
Everyone loves Korea, So am I. Prepare more money here and have a shopping spree. Enjoy your travel in this lovely and blessed Land. I love Korea.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chapter 15 : Jeju Island (济州岛) - Must-Go Places in Jeju-do(济州必去之地)

Jeju-do or  Jeju Island (济州岛)
It is the most famous and worth-to-visit place in KOREA. ^^
Here is where you can see God's amazing work on this Earth. Wonderful, Natural and Impressive!
Where to go in Jeju island? 济州哪里好去处?
Let's Explore!!!
I go with my Best Friend, Matthew^^
自然界的经典,就在济州岛啦~ ~ ~

First of all, Choose the best and cheapest Flight to the lovely Island. 
Budget Flights to Jeju island From Seoul (直达济州的廉价航空):
1. Ester Jet
2. Jeju Air
3. Jin Air (only in Korean)
4. T'way Air (only in Korean)
5. AirBusan

Air Tickets are extremely Expensive during in Summer :( {around 80 Dollars one way}
But, If you book earlier, then there are aplenty of promotions. ^^

Next, what we need to do is Book a Nice Guest House (在济州选着民宿就对啦)
We chose Yeha GuestHouse椰哈民宿

It is just Beside Bus Terminal of Jeju City, so it is very convenient for us to take Bus to round the Island.
Yeha GuestHouse 6 in 1 Room椰哈民宿
Yeha GuestHouse Room Toilet椰哈民宿

Few things to take note when Backpack to Jeju Island :
1. Know Korean Language is better, especially taking Bus, Bus Map only in Korean >,<)
2. Prepare enough Money, as we have to take taxis all the time.
3. Get ready with Map, You can just show the map Taxi Drivers or Bus Ticket Seller to let them know the place you want to go
4. Sun Block if you go during Summer! haha

1. 懂得韩文最好啦,巴士地图都只有韩文。不懂就比手画脚吧。哈哈
2. 钱钱钱!常常得搭德士。
3. 地图:不懂说韩文,就给德士司机/售票员看你要去哪里咯。
4. 防晒油:夏天很热,会变黑,哈哈。

Okie, let's look at the places we have been ^^ 
Must-Go Places in Jeju Island ( 济州-必去之地!!!)

1. Yongduam Rock(龙头岩)

Yongduam Rock is a place where Black Rocks are all over the sea shore.

The Dragon Head-like Rock as shown in below is the attractive point of Yongduam Rock!

 Yongduam Rock is just in Jeju City, So take a taxi and go there ^^ Enjoy the Dragon Head in Black ya.
Entrance = FOC(入场免费)
Transport (交通): Taxi 

2. Sarabong Park (纱羅峯公园) 
Why come to the Park? Hehe... You will know soon... Jump:

From this Sarabong Park, you can see the whole Jeju City. It is a hill and you need to exercise to the top^^
Here is where Jeju people do Exercise lar.

Pattern Banyak, Too tired liao gua, haha

Here come de Main Point! 重点:
SunSet!!! 日落!!!
Sunset @ Jeju Island, Korea
Here is one of the Best Locations in Jeju City to Watch Sun Set ^^
享受黄昏最佳之地。Yeah~ ~ ~
Sunset @ Jeju Island, Korea

Sunset @ Jeju Island, Korea
Entrance = FOC(入场免费)
Transport (交通): Taxi

We have Dinner in Guksu Geori (Noodle Street) 面街
The noodles there is GOOD!!! Tasty!!! 那儿的面,很好吃!!!

Sadly, At night, nothing to do, So prepare for the Next day ... hehe

Provided by Yeha Guesthouse, self-service (自助式早餐)

Okie, Travel in Jeju, We need to divide the trip into Right side and Bottom of The island.

Bus Stop Map 巴士地图:
(As you see, all in Korean, 全都是韩语 *O*) 

Never Mind, Just Show the Map and Location you want to go to the Ticket Counter. 

3. Manjanggul Lava Tube(万丈窟)

This Manjanggul Tube is formed due to the lava from the volcano in Jeju Island. 
By the Way, Jeju is a Volcano Island. Haha... The Explosion formed a lot of majestic places in Jeju ^^

Manjanggul Lava Tube entrance
It is freezing Cold inside the tube!>,< But we enjoy very well!!! haha
Manjanggul Lava Tube 
Manjanggul Lava Tube 
Few lights to lead the way ^^ 1 km journey in dark and cold tunnel cave... hehe... Syoknya!!!

Manjanggul Lava Tube is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage ^^
Manjanggul Lava Tube Entrance:
Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2000 Won per person
Transport (交通): Bus then Taxi

4. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 城山日出峰

Here is another UNESCO World Heritage place in Jeju.

Ilchulbong peak is also formed by the Volcano too ( If not mistaken )
Here is the best place to enjoy the Sunrise, But I miss it as Sun rises at around 4-5am during Summer.
在城山日出峰 ,可以看到超美的日出,听说的啦。哈哈 

I love this place! Strong Wind, Fantastic views and super relaxing.

强风 与 美景,还有美男?哈哈。。。呕?

Of course, we need to put some effort to get the Great thing! That's Climb the stairs!!! around 180m height!
美好的事物是有代价的,超长的阶梯在等着我们呢。累 @@

 First Photo shows the place from a very high altitude, actually we can only see this at top:

All the sweat and energy are worthy, the view from the top is marvellous! 

Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2000 Won per person 
Transport (交通): Bus then Taxi 

Next Next,
5. Seopjikoji 涉地可支

Tourist Spot along the Sea Shore. Here is the Filming location of "All In".
There is a Lighthouse there too ^^
Seopjikoji Church 涉地可支 教堂

Seopjikoji 涉地可支
 Entrance Fee(入场费) : FOC (免费)
Transport (交通): Taxi from Ilchulbong Peak  

6. Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
Here, you can calm your mind really effectively. 
Endless Green Field and Soothing Wind will make all your cells to relax. Emmmm... 
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
There is a big special Depressed area too. Full Greenery.
那里有凹下去的一个大地方,长满青草,很特别+漂亮 ^^
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离
Sangumburi Crater 山君不离

  Entrance Fee(入场费) : 6000 Won per person
Transport (交通): Bus

The End of One Day ^^ Night... 

7. Jeongbang waterfall(正房瀑布)
This waterfall is Special as the water flows into the sea straight away ^^
Jeongbang waterfall(正房瀑布)
Jeongbang waterfall(正房瀑布)
Jeongbang waterfall(正房瀑布)
 Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2000 Won per person
Transport (交通): Bus then Taxi

8. Cheongjiyeon Waterfall 天地渊瀑布
This Waterfall is also one of the Top 3 Waterfall in Jeju ^^

Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2000 Won per person
Transport (交通): Taxi From Jeongbang Waterfall

Next Stop is
9. Oedolgae 独立岩
There is a very special rock at seashore:

Oedolgae 独立岩 
Here is also a filming place for Dae Jang Geum too ^^
在这隔壁是电视剧 “大长今” 拍摄地点。

 Entrance Fee(入场费) : FOC (免费)
Transport (交通): Taxi

10. Jungmun Daepo Coast Jusangjeolli Cliff 

Extraordinary Rocks can be observed here, along the Seashore.
The rocks are all in columnar shape. hehe

 Too hot already, Matthew closed his eyes... haha
Jungmun Daepo Coast Jusangjeolli Cliff 
  Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2000 Won per person
Transport (交通): Taxi

11. Cheongjeyeon Waterfall 天帝渊瀑布

This Waterfall is really a must-go Waterfall in Jeju island. 必去的瀑布. 

There are 3 waterfalls here. BUT Do Not go the Third Waterfall as you need to climb a lot of stairs and you see nothing and not worth to waste the energy... >o<

The Second Waterfall is nice and majestic: 
Cheongjeyeon Waterfall 天帝渊瀑布
The last and the most unique one here! The First Waterfall is at the top!
Calm water but creates the huge waterfalls at the bottom.
Cheongjeyeon Waterfall 天帝渊瀑布
The Unique wall of the waterfall.
Cheongjeyeon Waterfall 天帝渊瀑布

  Entrance Fee(入场费) : 2500 Won per person
Transport (交通): Taxi

12. Jungmun Beach 中文沙滩

Jungmun Beach 中文沙滩

 The Beach is beautiful and the wave is strong.
There are quite a number of people surf here too ^^

Jungmun Beach 中文沙滩
  Entrance Fee(入场费) : FOC (免费)
Transport (交通): Taxi  Or walk from Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

12 must-visit places in Jeju island!!!
There are a lot more ^^
I enjoy pretty much. It will be much better if we go in Spring or Fall. haha... At least the Sun is not that strong. Jeju island is a comfortable place with all the magnificent views.
12 个济州必去之地(还有更多呢)。