Thursday, 29 November 2012

13 Oct 2012 - A big turn off

Checked in at Seoul Green Residence at around 7.30pm.
I was given a different room this time.

This room was slight better than the one I stayed before I went to Sokcho..

Everything was within my expectation until I looked down at the toilet bowl seat.

I saw yellow urine stains on the toilet seat and they looked FRESH!!!  *Puke

This is a big turn off especially after dinner.  Since they don't provide shower gel etc, I used my own shower gel to wash the toilet seat. I didn't expect to spend my time washing toilet bowl during my vacation but I was so glad that I bought a big bottle of rose essence shower gel from Lotte Mart.  The toilet smelled of rose essence thereafter. nice..

One of my friend said I was too pampered and asking too much. Was I asking too much? I don't think so. Basic hygiene is what I expect in a hotel room even though I paid KRW60000 for it. This is the reason I will never stay here again.

A cabinet was provided in this room but not in the room that I stayed during my first few days in Seoul.

Went to the pantry for some hot water and took a peep at the "lounge" which was two doors away from my room.  I don't like it at all becos it reeked of cigarette smell.

13 Oct 2012 - Dinner at 명동 할머니국수 (Hongik)

Decided to have my dinner at 명동 할머니국수 Myeongdong Halmoni Kalguksu before checking in to Seoul Green Residence. They have an outlet at the Express Bus Terminal and I had always wanted to try out the noodles there. Well, I didn't have the chance until now.

I always thought Halmoni Kalguksu specialised in Kalguksu.
Never knew they served rice until I saw their menu.

I think I ordered 제육덮밥 (stir fried spicy pork rice).
There's English menu with pictures available.

To my surprise, a complimentary bowl of Kalguksu was served. 
I think it was one of their Kalguksu, 두부국수 Dubu Guksu (Toufu Noodle soup).
A small portion but it was light and tasty ^^
It was a good strategy to promote their noodles, 그렇죠?

Its a little spicy for me but its YUMMY  ^^
A cheap and satisfying meal!

13 Oct 2012 - Back to Seoul from Sokcho

The bus set off at 1.30pm sharp. 

It took about 11 mins for the bus to reach this point. There was a toilet break at 2.33pm. The driver made an announcement in Korean and I did not understand what he said.  Many passengers went down to buy food and drinks.  The bus continued with the journey at 2.50pm.  Its nap nap time from here.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Reached Dong Seoul Bus terminal at 3.56pm. It was a Saturday, so I decided to proceed straight to Hongik Free Market instead of checking in to the hotel. At one station, I saw 4 girls entering the train carrying a box of cake each. They do not know each other. What surprised me was the poppers and sparklers on the boxes! In Singapore, our cakes do not come with poppers or sparklers but plastic knife, candles and birthday tag can be provided upon request.  On the other hand, what Jae said is true. I wouldn't like to have my cake sprinkled with a layer of ash from the sparklers.

The poppers may not be visible to you in this picture.

Can you see the sparklers and poppers?

By now, I recognised the route to the Free Market ^^

I didn't buy anything but it was an interesting place to check out.

This kiosk is not part of the free market but I bought some souvenirs from here during my last trip.  Surprisingly, the Korean lady who managed this kiosk remembered me! She gave me a big "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii" when she saw me.  *Touched

I bought these for my colleagues earlier this year. The Korean lady handmade them.  Actually, writing on rice grains is not uncommon but the Korean wordings make it special as a souvenir from Korea  ^^  If I did not remember wrongly, it cost KRW3000 per piece.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

13 Oct 2012 - Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 for lunch

I saw this eating place on my way back to the bus terminal.

They sell Chinese cuisine although the menu is in Korean.

Hmm...I came to Sokcho to eat 짜장면................
Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 was not reflected on the menu but I tried my luck by asking.

This is so yummy!!  I recalled the time when Jae brought me to Heyri Art Village.  He asked me whether I knew how to use the chopsticks.  I was puzzled when Jae asked me this question but soon realised why he asked me. Just imagine using flat metal chopsticks to pick up the slippery noodles.. Hahahaa...its not easy even though I have been using chopsticks since young.  If I did not remember wrongly, this plate of 짜장면 cost only KRW3500.  Cheap!

13 Oct 2012 - Where am I??

It was only a 5mins bus ride back to the bus terminal. I reached the bus terminal at about 11.50am with the intention to buy the ticket for 12pm. To my surprise, the tickets for 12pm and 1pm bus were sold out! The next available time was 1.30pm. I always manage to get a ticket even if it was only a few mins to the departure time. Was it becos it was a peak season?  What should I do within the next one hour?  I decided to check out the vicinity.

Walking around aimlessly...

Decided to cross the junction and see if there's anything interesting there.

속초항여객선터미널 Sokcho Ferry Terminal.

On my left would be the direction to the lighthouse Observatory. 

I turned to my right where I saw a row of vendors selling seafood.

Am I right to say that Koreans like to eat squids a lot?

Actually, I am not sure where am I..
Is this the Sokcho Harbour??

Made my way back to the bus terminal.

13 Oct 2012 - Wondering around Abai Village

I have been looking forward to visit Abai Village and I am finally here ^^

Abai Village appears as one of the filming location in the drama "Autumn in My Heart 가을동화".  I didn't really watch this drama becos its a sad drama. I don't like to watch sad drama becos I couldn't stop crying.  송승헌 is one of my favourite Korean actor but he was not the reason why I wanted to visit this place. I came here becos it looks like simple and quiet place to me.

I knew Abai sundae and Hamheung Naengmyeon (cold noodles) are two popular dishes in Abai Village but I saw many eating places selling Sundaeguk 순대국 and Saengseon Gui 생선구이. I am not sure what is Saengseon Gui but I think its a kind of fish.  I wanted to try Sundaeguk but hesitated as I am not sure if it contains beef.

The food sold were pretty much the same.

I was suprised to see a few cafes here.

Ermm...The rubbish dump seems to spoil my impression of the Cheonghodaegyo bridge.

Abai Village is much smaller than I thought.  I came to this place located at the back of the village, where it led me to a  beach.

The beach looks clean and nice.

Was that the red and white towers that I saw from the bus?  

I walked back to the village.

This is probably one of the prettiest staircase that I ever saw.
Yeah, I tried my best not to step on these pretty leaves. 

A pumpkin growing out of nowhere, or somebody placed it there??

Very quiet place.
An old lady came out from her house and asked me if I am from Seoul. 
She looked surprised when I told her I am from Singapore.
Saw this under the bridge.
Was it there to promote a festival or culture?

Back to the river side to take the Gaetbeh.
This time, I paid the fare before I got on the boat.

The same 아저씨 calling out to all the guys to help him.

I wanted to try but I didn't.  
Regretted that I didn't tried pulling the rope tow...
Nobody went forward except these two girls. 
아저씨 asked a guy to help but things didn't work out and a nasty argument broke out.
Fortunately, they didn't end up fighting.

*Come on. Give the poor 아저씨 a break.  He was just trying his best to make a living.

I still don't understand why Koreans like to dye the furs of their pet dogs.

Got off the boat and  walked back to the main road.
Sokcho Jungang Market across the road but I didn't went over to check it out.

Still walking along the same road.

조인성 ^^
Nothing interesting along the main road so I turned right from here to check out the alleys.

I think doggie looks prettier without dying its furs..

Well, nothing much to see. I walked back to the main road to take bus no. 7-1 to the bus terminal.  Actually, the bus terminal is not too far away. I thought I looked very much like a tourist with my big haversack and camera but I still encounter drivers and some passers-by asking me for directions.  I am really sorry that I couldn't help you at all...
Argghhhh...How I wish I can speak Korean!!