Korea and Jeju - Day 6

20:24

Day 6:
Rise and shine at 6.30am again! For the past few days, morning calls were ALWAYS at 6.30am.

We had breakfast at the exact same restaurant where we had our dinner the night before. There were really only a few chunks of abalone in the porridge and it was quite bland. Overall, it wasn't a very satisfying breakfast.

Our last stop at Jeju Island would be the Oeolgae Rock, one of the filming locations of Daejanggeum, where the main character's teacher died.
aka the Forever Alone rock. haha.

Once again, the place was flooded with tourists from mainland China and this old uncle kept photobombing. :(

Our entire tour group got so exasperated of getting our queues cut and photobombed that we formed a protective circle around the area for a while.




It's finally time for us to leave Jeju for Seoul!

I'm going to miss the sea breeze and the sea view

We took Jinair back to Gimpo again.

I was so excited when I walked up the plane! I think I spotted Korean stars! The entire first row had around 5-6 guys in caps, shades and some of them were even in masks. The one guy closest to the aisle had really great complexion and a damn straight nose. He only had shades and a cap on, so from what I could see, he looked freaking hot. OMO OMO OMO! Any idea which boy band or Korean stars were on JinAir, morning flight LJ0308 at around 10am, on 11 June 2014?

HAHA. I couldn't even sleep on the flight back to Gimpo. I tried straining my neck to catch a glimpse of the guys in front. The one closest to the aisle had a red cap and wore crimson high-top sneakers. Sadly, they were the first to leave the plane. =( No more ogling. Sighs.

We reached Gimpo, and then went for buffet/shabushabu lunch at mor mor.






mormor offered international cuisine. I spotted pizza, burritos, spaghetti, miso soup, udon, ddeokbokki, gyoza dumplings, and loads other stuff. Each of us had our individual steamboats and we could adjust the temperatures of our stoves. Best lunch ever!


We walked out into the streets of Seoul and it was actually rather hot then.
Our post-lunch programme would be kimchi-making and trying out the hanbok (traditional Korean costumes).

The principal of the kimchi school is so strict! When she was explaining, she expected all of us to stop whatever we were doing (no photos at all) and listen. Apparently her chopping skills were so fine that in Daejanggeum, her hands were used for the kitchen scenes instead of the main lead's hands. Hmm... I suppose being a hand model is an actual profession.


Though she explained the details of making kimchi, like soaking the veggies in salt water, making the paste using chilli powder, yulu, onions and etc, the procedure seems so tedious that I doubt anyone would try making kimchi on their own once we get back to Singapore. Ready-to-eat kimchi can be bought easily from any supermarket, so why would we go through the trouble of fermenting it?
After we made the kimchi, they were wrapped and further processed before being sent to homes and orphanages. The made-with-love kimchi! The staff at the school tried selling us huge bags of kimchi veggies, kimchi octopus, kimchi squid and etc. They were priced at 10,000 won per pack and it was a buy-5-get-1-free promotion. However, I don't think I'll want to eat kimchi every single day. It would spoil before I could even finish it. This time, we didn't buy anything.


Next stop: SHOPPING!

My eyes practically lit up when Jullie mentioned shopping at Dongdaemun. It's like the shopping haven of Seoul. The main shopping streets in Seoul would be Dongdaemun, Namdaemun, Sinchon, Myeongdong and Itaewon.

From my previous research over the net, Migliore was the best place to shop at. The prices are affordable (slightly cheaper than in Singapore, around Bugis/Chinatown prices) and the clothes there are rather fashionable. We walked into doota!, looked at the prices, and made a detour back again. Though doota's clothes are all irresistibly trendy and hip, the prices are similar to what you'd get at a typical shopping mall in Singapore (or even more expensive than that!). My main objective in Seoul was to get cheap and nice loot, so doota would be out of the question.



Based on tips from Jullie, it's best if you speak English in the malls. DO NOT SPEAK CHINESE. Korean shopkeepers absolutely detest tourists from Mainland China. Their attitude would be terrible when they assume that you're from China. Also, keep an eye on your bags. Pickpockets are rampant in such tourist-y areas.

To prepare us for some bargaining (prices aren't fixed in such places), Jullie taught us a few phrases:
Er mal eh yo? (How much is it?)
Unni (sister) / I-mo (Auntie), muji muji ippoyo (It's very pretty)
Sa-geh? (Lower the price?)

Well, I'm not sure if it worked out for the shopkeepers were rather reluctant to lower the prices here (We had better luck bargaining in Sinchon). They kept pointing at the "sale" signs and said that it was the lowest price that they could offer.

It's crucial to note that for certain shops, when they don't price the clothes, they can quote ridiculous amounts. This guy shopkeeper gave us a 15,000 won discount for a simple T-shirt from the first price that he quoted. Still, the shirt costed around SGD35 and I decided it definitely wasn't worth it.
We were laden with shopping bags at the end of the 2.5 hour shopping trip. Somehow, I spotted my batchmate, Felicia, outside Migliore with her parents. What are the chances of seeing someone from the same school overseas? Such a coincidence. I didn't say hi though because I don't know her personally and I figured it'll be rather awkward to just walk up to her. haha.

Hungry from the shopping, we headed for dinner!



Each of us had a whole chicken to ourselves, a 2-year ginseng (urgh. bitter.), glutinous rice stuffed in the chicken, and some noodles in the hot pot. Before we eat, we had to pour in a cup of ginseng wine. The meal wasn't too bad, though some may find it a little to bland. Most of my tourmates added really generous amounts of salt and pepper. I don't think anyone managed to finish the entire pot by himself/herself. The soup is really nutritious so if you couldn't finish the noodles, at least drink up the soup.

Paris baguette was everywhere in Seoul. Prices of the pastries were also cheaper than in Singapore. Of course I bought some for supper!

Cheonggyecheon

We walked past the artificial creek in Seoul, and I wanted to pose for a picture in the middle of the stones. We didn't have enough time though, for our show, Bibap, was starting soon.

Bibap show!
The introduction in the brochure seems exciting! It was said to be a "Delicious Musical". The show even garnered rave reviews from The Scotsman and Edinburgh Spotlight.


The performance sure didn't disappoint. Initially I was worried about the language barrier but it turned out they spoke really minimal English (and no Korean at all!) The performers beatboxed, did a cappella, b-boyed, did some acrobatics and martial arts. (Yes, the b-boying guys had a damn good figure and hot abs.) They even had audience interaction! It left me with cramps from all the laughing and if you ask me for one word to sum it up, it'd be: AWESOME!

The hotel we stayed at for the last 2 nights would be Courtyard Marriott at Times Square (5 star hotel). It was right beside a shopping mall and I was ready to do some late-night shopping. However, Jullie reminded us that due to the large numbers of foreigners in the area, it's like a red-light district at night if you end up on the wrong side of the street. It's safer for females to not wander out at night.
The room was clean, cozy and nice (but wifi was only available in the lobby). The service provided by the hotel staff was great too. We were short of two towels and they promptly brought it up right after our call. Thank goodness the staff here could all understand English, unlike the staff at the other hotels.

The room's toilet had clear glass windows so we had to pull down the blinds when using it. My paranoid siblings were like, "Help me check no one's spying on me while I shower!" Ahhh kids.


I completely zonked out once I hit the pillow. Gotta rest well before another busy day!

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