Thursday, December 07, 2006

Korea Holiday - Day 1 - Seoul

We arrived at Incheon International Airport, Seoul around 6 plus in the morning. We had to wait for our tour guide who was late.

Our guide finally arrived and she is Ms Hwang Bong-Ryeon (黄凤莲), we were asked to call her 'Xiao Lian'. She's 35, married with a 5 year-old boy. She speaks fluent Mandarin. She studied Chinese language during university & went for further studies in Beijing for 3 years.

We were asked to go for our breakfast before we set off. We had an hour. We walked around the huge airport & finally settled for soup noodles. And boy! was the food expensive....a simple bowl of noodles cost 5500 won (S$9.15). Ok, this is the airport, prices are high. But a Burger King Whopper Junior with cheese is going for 4400 won (S$7.35)! pheeeew!

We met Xiao Lian after our breakfast. She taught us some basic Korean greetings before leading us to our bus. And we got chided for not greeting the driver in Korean!

When we went out of the airport, it was cold! I didn't expect the weather to be so cold. I thought it was around 16 degree Celcius. When we spoke, there was 'smoke' coming from our mouths.

I only wore my long pants, and I did pile on a couple of T-shirts. I put on my jacket. The coldness was biting into my legs. It's like being slashed multiple times with a knife, the cold blade cutting into my flesh each time. Aaarrrghhhhh.....

We ran up the bus. The seats were stone cold. We huddled close to each other. We set off for our first destination - Everland Resort. What?! Go to a theme park in this freezing weather?

Admission to the park is already paid but we still had to pay 25000 won (S$41.75) for 5 rides! The elderly couple didn't want to go in as they wouldn't be taking any rides. Xiao Lian's face crashed. She was getting impatient with us.

We reached Everland Resort after an hour. It was so cold when we got off the bus. I didn't want to go in but there was no other place to hide. I would freeze to death in the bus.

There were many Korean students queuing outside the theme park. They were on a school outing. My goodness! The girls wore mini skirts & stockings, even in this cold weather!

I was glad that I came. Everland is a fairy land come true for me! It's so beautiful. And the staff of Everland were dressed in cute costumes. Ooooh! It's awesome!

I was nearly frozen. We had to run to a souvenir shop every now & then to keep warm. There were some electric heaters scattered around the park which we readily rushed to use. I bought a mouth cover because my face was almost frozen. There were some really cute animal hats for sale too.

We took the cable car to the bottom of the hill. There were many rides & attractions. We went for the Safari World ride, to see the liger. It is the result of mixed breeding of a lion & tiger. We were so close to the ferocious lions & tigers. We also saw some huge bears. They came towards the driver walking on their hind legs! The driver then threw biscuits into their wide open mouths. He even made them wave their huge paws.

We had lunch at an alpine lodge. I had Pork Cutlets with Mashed Pumpkin Croquette (11500 won, S$19.20) & a hot chocolate for 3000 won (S$5). After our meal, Yang Fan & I just put our heads down on the table & took a nap.

We were then left on our own to explore the park. We walked round the park, stopping ever so often to get some warmth from the heated shops. We finally managed to walk back to the entrance.

We took a 2 & a half hour ride to the city for a Korean Hot Pot & Bibimbap dinner. It was great drinking hot soup on a cold day.

After dinner, we went to the domestic airport for our flight to Jeju Island at 6.45pm. At the airport, I bought some Dunkin Donuts to takeaway. It was a one-hour flight to Jeju Island. It was colder in Jeju Island because of the wind blowing in from the sea.

We checked in to Jeju Travellers Hotel at 9 plus. I was so tired, I washed up & went straight to bed.......

1 comment:

  1. I can imagine how cold it would be. My wife and I are heading to Hokkaido next week for a break and I am sure that it will be freezing there. I like it though and strange though it may seem, I always relish a winter experience with snow, icy winds and beautiful white-capped snowscapes.

    Please post photos. I will try to blog about my wintry escapade too.