Seoul-Searching Trip – Day 4 Part 2

After the visit to EGG Hall, we walked to Changdeok Palace.

It was still freezing, and a brief stop at a western cafe was much appreciated. The kids had vegetarian sandwiches, while I had a fruit bun, with coffee;

We continued our walk to the palace. When we arrived there, we didn’t waste much time buying the tickets. Soon DH distributed the tickets among us:

After we entered the gate (which is not as grand as that of Geongbok Palace) ,

but with the beautiful landscape and building structure, it got recognition from the World Heritage Site:

The palace decoration is very much like the Geongbok Palace. Many times I found myself roaming around in the freezing weather alone:

I tried very much to be in the sunlight, but unlike home, I couldn’t feel the warm of the sun:

The main throne building:

The throne inside was impressive:

The landscape is beautiful:

but it was just too cold for me to keep on roaming around the palace ground.

So, I decided to take shelter at the nearby cafe:

I read the palace brochure in the warmer cafe room, until the kids and DH came to join me.

As we were leaving the palace, walking towards the main entrance/exit:

We wanted to go to  the nearby temple which is also on the World Heritage Site list, but we didn’t take the earlier pedestrian crossing, hence we missed it. We were too tired to turn back, so we decided to head towards the nearest subway station.

Aina and I went back to our hotel while DH and the boys went to visit Itaewon IT Centre.

A Bolster (or Two) With a Difference

When Mila Rimbum left a comment on my blog, I decided to check hers 🙂 . Apparently Mila too loves needlecraft.

I kinda like the bolster that her MIL made for her and family, as blogged here. I decided to try make one myself. Since I was going to use kapok, and I was making for a close person who just had a newborn, I decided to make the bolster plain, with bolster cover for it.

Well, I didn’t just make one, but made two bolsters, with a pillow to go with them:

And here is the set with the cases:

Yes, you guess it right (if you did!), the newborn is a baby boy, hence the car design on the fabric 🙂 .

Here’s the close-up of the edges of the bolster:

and the pillow with its case:

I even HAND-sewed the buttonholes myself (should have taken a close-up pic of the holes):

Since lately I have been into knitting, I managed to also include in the package a pair of knitted booties for the baby:

Side view:

I actually changed the laces with white ribbons instead, but forgot to take a photo of the pair after the “transformation” 🙁 .

The gifts arrived at the destination last Friday. I just hope the parents of the baby like the gifts I sent them 🙂

Seoul-Searching Trip Day 4 – Part 1

Tuesday, 14th December 2010.

I found out the night before that when we went to the Geoungbok Palace, we actually wanted to go to Changdeok Palace (Changdeokgung), which is a World Heritage Site! So DH and I agreed that we should give a try to visit the World Heritage Site the following day.

So on the morning of on the 4th day, in the late morning (it was too freaking cold, at about -12C, to go out much earlier) we took the subway again heading towards the Changdeok Palace.

But before that we took a detour and visited this Experience Green Growth Hall:

This is the same place where I expereinced the U-Korea (Ubiquitous Korea)  exhibition in 2005:

From the 2005 experience, I was sure the exhibits would be interesting 🙂 . I bet it’s hardly on the itinerary  of the typical tourists coming to Seoul 🙂 !

You can visit the EGG website to get some idea of what to expect, but here are some of the attractions that Nafis managed to capture:

Right into the hall:

Aina discovered the environmentally friendly electric car (no less than a Hyundai!):

With great simulation:

that even DH couldn’t resist it:

Never mind if the instruction was in Korean:

they figured their way to virtually drive in Korea!

It wasa working/schooling day, so we were the only visitors at that time 🙂 :

I enjoyed most of the exhibits, especially those with some explanation in English!

The ideal Green township:

There was also a photo shoot corner, and we managed to take one the whole family:

Next: The Changdeok Palace.

Seoul-Searching Trip -Day 3 (part 2)

Venue (please click on the museum name to get to its homepage):

The National Folk Museum of Korea

After spending close to 3 hours in the open freezing air, we took refuge in the museum’s cafe, to enjoy some vegetarian sandwiches and hot drinks (no pic),

The entrance hall is very spacious:

There is NO entry fee (that’s right, it’s FREE!). Despite that the displays are fantastic. Furthermore, photography is allowed as long as there is no usage of flash.

Where the Koreans originated from:

Looking at some exhibits:

Learning the Korean alphabets interactively:

admiring ancient footware:

Aina attempting a traditional board game:

Watching the video on how to make kimchi:

Kinchi display:

A weddding ceremony:

I had the pleasure of witnessing a real one in 2005.

There are really many interesting exhibits that I just can’t decided which ones to be added in,

After the indoor round, I took a breather at the entrance hall (it was also our wash-room break 🙂 ):

We later explored the outdoor display. First, the 12 Chinese zodiac years:

Nukman identified his:

Next was the enactment of the old   street , with typical shops and salons:

This coffee shop is not so much different from the ones we used to have at home:

The kids and DH really took a long time to admire this place and took  many shots.

There was also the water pump (which we used to have at our homes too):

I got tired of waiting and standing too, so i took refuge at the old tram . Here’s a pic of the tram with Aina:

I also managed to rest outside one of the “shops”:

There was a time when I felt like jumping:

And a family ghoto shot:

We only left the museum when it was announced on the PA system that the museum was about to close soon! But we didn’t leave without going via some historical statues (some are real, while others are replicas):

We then walked towards the Sejongno main street, and met up with Uncle Confucius (I think):

It was getting dark, so we hurriedly went to the nearby Gwanghwamun station to get back to our hotel..

Next day’s event consists of this:

Seoul-Searching Trip – Day 3 (Part 1)

Monday, 13th December 2010

It was a very cultural day 😉 .

We started the day by visiting the Gyeongbokgung, or Gyeongbok Palace.

As usual we took the subway to get there. Even the station near the palace looks very royalty..

When we arrived, the change of guard had just started!

When the ceremony was over, I managed to get a pic of me with the guards:

We then bought the tickets for the palace tour:

and entered the palace via the main entrance:

Gyeongbok Palace, being the main palace amongst the 5 palaces in Seoul, is so extravagant in its design, layout and size!

The carvings are very intricate, and lovely:

We kept  on roaming the palace ground, and admiring its beauty, despite the freezing weather:

the ceilings are awesome:

We also came across the (replica) sundial invented by the Koreans:

I was here in 2005, so I this time round I was not so keen to spend too much time here, but DH and the kids seemed really occupied:

After over 2 hours roaming around the palace compound, I gave up and decided to take a break at the lake, while the kids and their dad continued their tour:

I can imagine how beautiful the lake area is in spring:

When I thought we were not going to bulge from the palace, finally we managed to get to the next destination, which is just next door to the palace. It’s the National Folk Museum:

By the way, to see more pix, please visit Nafis’s album.

Seoul Searching Trip – Day 2

Sunday 12th December 2010.

We started late. We really took it easy.

First destination was the Seoul Station:

The interior looks spacious, but the station is not as impressive as Shanghai station, as blogged here.

Second stop was the Namdaemun Market. We walked from Seoul station to the place.

Looking at the crowd, no wonder the place is so famous:

There are all sorts of things on sale, but after several trips, I’ve stopped buying stuff on my trips, because most of them ended up lying around in the house. If I wat to give to friends, I have to make sure I have enough for them, which is normally not the case!

The mobile information officers:

People watching is interesting at Namdaemun Market:

And goods watching:

After Namdaemun, we took the subway to another tourist haunt, Insa-dong. By then we quite good in reading the subway map 🙂 .

The main activity was again people watching!

The boys selling the traditional kkultarae caught my attention:

It was entertaining to watch them sing as they prepare the food.

We later walked towards the river. The river is well-knowned for being turned over from an ugly one into a very clean clear-water one! I wonder if Klang River can one day be like that? Singapore has done that to their rivers too, so why wan’t we?

I started to feel colder, and put the scarf over my mouth, like most locals do 🙂

It was so cold that my jumping spree continued:

While walking back to our hotel, I came across this shop, and the motto caught my attention. “Born to be chicken”??

That’s all for now. I hope to be able to add more pix from Nafis’ camera later.

The next blog (Day 3) will have this pic:

Seoul-Searching Trip – Day 1 (Part 2)

We left Itaewon by taking the subway Line 6, heading towards Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Seoul’s subway is easy to use. Well, after surviving Shanghai’s subway (where there are not many Anglisised signage), I guess any other subway/metro ais relatively easier to use 🙂 .

Waiting for the train:

As we got out of the station:

A quick photo outside the stadium:

Almost frozen, we quickly found our way indoor, just to realised that certain parts of the stadium are actually a shopping mall, a wedding reception hall  and a cinema!

Inside the mall, we found an interactive screen that caught our attention:

It was not difficult, click on the self-timed camera  on the wall), got your image captured, edit it as you like:

if you’re not happy with it, you can delete:

and snap another one:

then push it “out”  of the interactive screen:

to be part of the so many moving pictures:

Satisfied with the achievement (hahaha!), we walked towards the museum located nearby (also part of the stadium complex). The entrance fee was only W1,000 (About US$1.00).

We were happy to find out that photography is allowed inside the stadium:

I was telling Nafis that despite not knowing much about football (soccer), I recognise this guy 🙂 :

We discovered that we could get into the stadium via the museum!

And again, I felt like jumping:

Even DH wanted a photo of him there despite being 8 years late! (the world cup was held here in 2002)

Nukman & Aina too:

Nafis in action;

Nafis “off duty”:

Done with the outdoor, we went back into the meseum. There are really many things to see.  They have the world soccer history as well as the Korean soccer history, which surprisingly includes Korea winning our own (Malaysian) Merdeka Cup in 1970:

One of the 2002 World Cup corners:

There are also many things to do, like playing the virtual soccer here:

It’s your shadow that moves the “ball”:

or trying the virtual goal defend:

ok, ok… the picture above doesn’t really show how it was played. That’s the screen capture of the game 🙁 .

Oh, I want to show the picture of me with the Korean team 🙂 :

And the model of the stadium to end my blog:

We took the subway back to our hotel, fully knackered….

Seoul-Searching Trip – Day 1 (Part 1)

It was Saturday, 11th December 2010.

We started the day by leaving the cosy (ant yet not too expensive) hotel:

Immediate mission: to reach Itaewon, look for the mosque or the vicinity of the mosque, in order to find a halal outlet.

We knew that Itaewon is only 2 subway station away, and since the day looked so clear (despite the freezing temperature), we decided to walk.

We also knew that we will pass by the War Memorial on our way there, but we (at least not me and DH) didn’t know that the external compound could be so interesting:

The exhibits outside the meseum could easily take so much of our time! There are so many things to see:

I like the “Statue of Brothers” statue:

Here’s the description:

And yes, the bigger brother is obviously South Korea 🙂

Despite agreeing to come again to this place later, we still found ourselves wondering around the place:

And having a jump:

or two:

before I finally found myself standing in front of the main building:

By the way, here’s the tanker inside which  I jumped earlier:

Soon we left the place to proceed with our walk to Itaewon. It was a pleasant walk:

At a busy intersection, we took the pedesterian overpass where we could have quite a nice view down:

We walked towards a halal restaurant (by the name of Petra):

but decided to walk further towards the busy Itaewon. Along the way, we could see the Seoul Tower:

Whe we reached the main street of Itaewon, Aina got a new pair of walking shoes there:

Soon we saw this place:

Yeah, two halal restaurants near each other.

We decided to enter the one we came across first, Usmania International Restaurant:

It’s a Pakistani restaurant, but frecognises that Malaysia exists? See the pic below,

It was warm and comfy:

We were so hungry that only after half way eating that I remembered to snap a shot of my chicken biryani:

Like any other middle-class restaurants, the dishes are a bit pricy. If everyday we eat like this, we will surely burst our budget!

Done with the meal, next destination is Seoul World Cup Stadium!

to be continued..

The Beginning of A Seoul-Searching Trip

Last night, we arrived at Incheon International Airport via an Air Asia flight. As we got out of the airport’s cutoms, a friendly (pre-booked) cab guy waited for us: Mr Han briskly lead us out of the airport: As we waited for the cab: It wasn’t long at all: I tried my best to capture this moment: Everything happened so fast – well… it was freezing, and Aina did’nt get her jacket out of her bag! Let’s get into the MPV: very fast indeed! T As we were leaving: he cab was fully equipped with GPS and digital TV, very hi-tech!:

The tv channels  are digitally re-broadcasted by Tu Media. I remember whe I was last here in 2005, we visited the TU Media operations centre.  We were even taken to the roof top to see the transmission dish. I must look for that pic!

While in the plane, the lady who sat next to me was friendly. She’s a Korean who has been living in KL for 2 years with her 2 children.  They came to live in KL for the sole purpose of getting the kids into an international school. She wanted her kids to learn English. Her husband still workd in Seoul. Last night the lady and her kids were coming home for a month long holiday. According to her, there are many Korean families who are like them – come to stay in KL for their kids education!