Monday, July 27, 2015

Coffee Addicted/ Drama Location: Hollys Coffee

Few days ago one of my Japanese friend text me, asking WHEN I will coming to Seoul again. ^^ Owh how I wish Seoul is just next door to me!ㅠㅠ Just like me, her PASSION when she's at Seoul is all about COFFEE and DESSERT!ㅋㅋㅋ She asking me how about PLANNING some time to travel and doing CAFE HOPPING together! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Well I need to check my BUDGET first ㅋㅋ and I still haven't PLAN any for my WINTER trip!ㅠㅠ

Anyway lets get back to our topic.ㅋㅋ As you all know there are THOUSANDS cafes in South Korea, be it small cafe or chain cafe just name it! I even CAN'T list it down as there are too many!ㅋㅋ I've been to some of their cafes' and trying DIFFERENT type of coffees! For today, I wanna bring back my MEMORY at HOLLYS COFFEE!ㅋㅋㅋ For Korean DRAMA LOVERS, you might be aware with HOLLYS isn't it?? This brand appeared in few KOREAN DRAMAS like Rooftop Prince and I Hear Your Voice.

They shoot the SCENE in one of the cafe at Seoul. However I DIDN'T go to Hollys Coffee in Seoul ㅋㅋㅋ I went to Hollys Coffee in Gwangju with my Gwangju friend. ㅋㅋ After a very tiring day yet fun, strolling around Gwanju city at night is one of GOOD memory for me.ㅋㅋ If you asking me which part of Korea I prefer to stay, I would say GWANGJU! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I know some might think it as SLOW city, but the food is marvelous! ㅋㅋㅋ

Back to our topic, Hollys Coffee ^^. Well I DON'T remember any particular REASON why I really wanna go to Hollys (Before visited) probably because I've SEEN it in Korean drama?? ㅋㅋ There are so many Korean dramas that I've watched yet I CAN'T name which one of it!ㅠㅠ Hollys Coffee was FOUNDED on 1998 and the headquarters is in GANGNAM. Like any other cafe, this cafe OFFERS coffees, tea either hot or cold as well yummy pastries! When I think about it, suddenly I'm craving for it!ㅠㅠ Someone send me Hollys Coffee please! :Pㅋㅋㅋ

On 2008, there are MORE than 100 Hollys Coffee in South Korea and they also EXPAND their business by franchising in China, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Peru, and United State. Korean Coffee/Drama lovers who LIVING in those countries listed, why not check Hollys Coffee around you today!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Apart from that they also start their OWN ACADEMY on 2011 which called The Hollys Coffee Academy.  









p/s: Anyone plan to become BARISTA?? Check it out here. Instead of become BARISTA, I prefer just to enjoy my coffee!~ ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Sources:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollys_Coffee
                http://www.hollys.co.kr/

Photo Credit: dramafever.com
                      mischievous-panda.blogspot.com
                      amblo.jp

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Korean Food/Tradition: Bok Days, Dog Meat?? & Samgyetang?

Another seasons coming in Korea just like a flash card! with one blink, you will see such greeny scenery along the road and the heating is NO kidding! Very hot indeed!! ㅠㅠ Compare with any countries at equator line (which had hot weather) South Korea weather during summer is worse than that!!ㅠㅠ I guess most of you might wondering why I says so isn't it?? Well I'm living in Malaysia, so of course I know our normal temperature is but I also  been to Korea on late spring, nearly summer. ^^ When I felt their sunlight, I was shocked!! Can't believe it!? I thought living in equator will be the hottest area on earth?! Yet 4 seasons countries summer is NIGHTMARE!! Makes me sweat more!ㅠㅠ

During summer, there are not many cloud in Korea so that's why the weather is really hot as it is direct sunlight! Make sure to wear plenty of sunblock or else you will see stripe on your face!ㅋㅋㅋ It also take quite long period to completely fade and back to normal tone! (Skin tone on your face) I experience that and I'm so REGRET for not put much sunblock back then! The moment my face tone back to normal, I felt as if I was reborn!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Ok I'm not a make up MANIAC though but like any ordinary women, I do WORRY about my skin!ㅋㅋㅋ

Anyway today I'm NOT interested to talk about make up as I'm NOT expert in it. ㅋㅋㅋ What I wanna talk about it the BEST food during SUMMER! In Korea, during summer they said there are THREE days that are the most HOTTEST days every year known as BOK DAYS. These bok days (according to Lunar Year Calendar) were divided into three which is chubok, jungbok, and malbok. Since its July now, its a period for malbok, also known as peak heat during summer. Malbok normally start from 13 July or 21 July up until early August.

According to old tradition, during bok days, Korean will eat dog meat. They BELIEVE that eating dog meat is the BEST remedy to counter the heat as well to REFRESH themselves. I did ask around about it, whether this tradition still been PRACTICED these years. Some of my Korean friends says, this OLD TRADITION still been practicing, but its only FAMOUS among OLD generation. Lot of Korean YOUNGSTERS said NO for this tradition and they REPLACED it with chicken.

Some of us believe that when its get HOT, we SHOULDN'T take hot meals instead taking cold meal isn't it?? However for Korean taking hot meals is one of the best remedy during bok days!ㅋㅋㅋ What meal I'm talking about? There are many DELICIOUS meal in Korea so which one is?? ㅋㅋ The BEST meal during bok days is SAMGYETANG. Samgyetang is a HOT soup where consist of whole YOUNG chicken that been cook with Korean ginseng, jujube, scallion and etc.

Samgyetang is ONE of popular dishes among Korean, known as one of HEALTHY meal to prevent people from getting SICK. This dishes is AVAILABLE 365 days but MOST famous during bok days.ㅋㅋㅋ For some people Samgyetang soup might taste PLAIN but consider of its ingredient, its one of the BEST meal to HEAL fatigue as well RESTORE people stamina. Even though this meal were considered as TRADITIONAL food, new generation of Korean still aware that this menu is one of the BEST remedy during bok days.



p/s: I haven't get a chance to try it though since it's quite hard to find Halal Korean cuisine restaurant. ㅠㅠ Maybe if I got a chance to visit Korea again, I should listing this menu as top request! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

http://speakupforthevoiceless.org/2015/06/25/bok-nal-dog-eating-days-south-korea/
http://blog.korea.net/?p=3891
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FO/FO_EN_6_5_2_2.jsp

Photo Credit: korea.prkorea.com
                      My Korean Friend

Monday, July 6, 2015

Event/Festival: Korean HALAL Expo 2015


I've been to South Korea for 3 times so far, but I NEVER get tired of it!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ People around me asking is it easy to find HALAL food in Korea?? Well of course as Muslim I searched for Halal restaurant before boarding to Seoul.ㅋㅋㅋ For Muslim HALAL is one of most COMPULSORY aspect for us! However how many Koreans knows about it???? For anyone who have Korean friends try to ask about "Halal" to them, I'm sure some of them might be like O-o (this)ㅋㅋㅋ

Do not blame them though!ㅋㅋ This is because Islam is a MINORITY religion in Korea compare to Christianity, Buddha or paganism. Some of them might even NEVER heard a word "HALAL" entire of their life!ㅋㅋㅋ We can see there are so many expatriate living in Korea isn't it?? There are many INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL but I have NO idea about their syllabus as well in which language they using. I asked some of my Korean friends, but they also unsure about it as they said international school fees is very EXPENSIVE! That means NOT many Korean had interaction with international community (especially Muslim) since they were young.

Their school system is good (I mean accredited system) , I don't want to talk about their education system though because I don't think I have a RIGHT to says so (I never attend school in Korea).I did asked my Korean friends about their NORMAL school, their syllabus, they said during school time they just learnt BASIC about other RELIGION.However ISLAM didn't have HUGE impact on their history, so it DIDN'T cover much about it. That's one of reason why KOREAN have LESS idea about Islam and its culture.

Since "HALLAYU" wave swept globally. INTERNATIONAL travelers flock in to Korea every year including MUSLIM traveler. The rise of  Muslim travelers CREATE many OPPORTUNITY for NEW industry which is HALAL! Yet KOREAN still have LESS knowledge about it.This is because they ONLY FOCUS about Islam as RELIGION not a WAY OF LIFE (related in daily life). Some of them ONLY knows that HALAL is popular in FOOD aspect!ㅋㅋ However actually in Islam, HALAL is applicable in DAILY life and almost in EVERYTHING!ㅋㅋㅋ Halal aspect also COVER in finance, buying selling, measure (buying and selling), cosmetics, fashion, personal care products, daily living products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredient, and food contact material.

For those who have ZERO idea about HALAL, they might wonder HOW COME it can be RELATED to finance and other aspect isn't it?? Well its such a HUGE topic to discuss here.ㅋㅋㅋ Maybe I will write about it in different entries someday when KOREANS understand about ISLAMIC BANKING SYSTEM and others!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ (Wonder when it will be, but I think that day will come soon!)ㅋㅋ Due to the RISE of MUSLIM traveler to South Korea, their President take an initiative to START providing GOOD THOUGHT about it.  

These days, some of their mainstream MEDIA start letting PUBLIC knows about HALAL industry. ^^ One of good news is South Korea will HOSTING the very FIRST ever Korean Halal Expo 2015. Yes for MUSLIM, HALAL is very IMPORTANT aspect but for NON MUSLIM this can be opportunity for them in business (opportunity to export their product in ISLAM COUNTRIES)ㅋㅋ or simply new knowledge for them! ^^ This event also open for HALAL Industry/company WORLDWIDE! For more information about it, you may refer here.  






p/s: Islam also a MINORITY RELIGION in THAILAND, however they are HUB for HALAL FOOD INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE!~ I think you guys must wonder why isn't it?? Its because they saw HUGE POTENTIAL/PROFIT/MARKET in this industry!ㅋㅋㅋ  

p/s: Some of KOREAN COMPANY already get HALAL CERTIFICATE from various HALAL ACCREDITED BODY, and they earn new VOLUME as they manage to EXPORT their product in ISLAM COUNTRIES!~ One of the company is NONGSHIM .

p/s: I saw KOREA HALAL EXPO 2015 page, yet wonder why there are NOT MANY HALAL companies from Thailand and MALAYSIA join in! Maybe they DIDN'T promoting much about it in international level?? 
O-o

Sources:
http://www.halalexpokorea.co.kr/eng/
http://www.ifanca.org/Pages/staticwebpages.aspx?page=whatisHalal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140304001195
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/03/26/technology/technology_30098896.php
My Friends

Photo Credit: koreahalal.org
                      halalexpokorea.co.kr

Friday, June 26, 2015

Life: Ramadhan 2015 in Korea

The most holiest month for Muslim known as Ramadhan had start around the world!  With different area had different duration for fasting I wondered how they doing.ㅋㅋㅋ In most of 4 seasons countries, since its SUMMER seasons their daylight is longer than night,so they had to fasting for more than 15 hours according to their latitude. One of those 4 seasons countries is South Korea! I never had experience fasting abroad so I ask some Malaysians who live there about their life during fasting month of Ramadhan. ^^

By hearing what they said, I'm speechless yet thankful that I didn't have to experience it. (so far) However who knows someday I might experience it too?? O-oㅋㅋㅋ They said as it fall on summer and with high temperature, they rather stayed at home if there is no necessarily of going out!ㅋㅋㅋ They will start fasting around 3.00 a.m until 8 p.m! Its 18 hours! I think if I had to fasting in 4 seasons countries (during SUMMER), for the first day I might can't get off from my bed???ㅋㅋㅋ

Apart from that, there is NO such Ramadhan bazaar like we had over here. They have to cook for their meal (Iftar and Suhur). Practically for me I think its GOOD,ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ as it can save their expenses, plus you get a chance to cook at home with your own creativity!ㅋㅋ (Bear in mind, during fasting month some people might have many demanding for their meal!) ㅋㅋㅋ For Muslim university students and workers there is NO such extraordinary permission like can leaving early or what. That will be another challengers for them while fasting abroad!ㅠㅠ

Living in Islam countries, for Iftar and Suhur we can heard call for prayer, Azan so we don't have to worry about it. However living in countries that Muslim as minority, its quite HARD NOT only to know when is the time for prayer every time plus its quite HARD to find Halal poultry or beef sources. I know some of you might seems it in NEGATIVE way isn't it?? ㅋㅋㅋ However Islam is NOT a HARD religion. For those who have INTEREST in knowing about ISLAM, you can visit nearest mosque and asking. If you are living in KOREA and interested to learn more about Islam, visit this siteMake sure to get information from RELIABLE sources. Owh for MUSLIM who LIVE in Korea, here are schedule for your Iftar (breakfasting) time as well prayer time.  







p/s: Ramadhan Mubaraq for Muslim around the world!Lets  focus more on worship during this holiest month of RAMADHAN. DEAR READERS, forgive me if any my enty ever offended you.Have a great days ahead! ^^


Sources:
http://islamicfinder.org/prayerDetail.php?city=Seoul&state=11&country=south_korea&lang=
http://www.koreaislam.org/en/mainpage/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iftar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suhur
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhan
My Malaysian Friends

Photos Credit: slideshare.net
                        flickr.com
                        koreatimes.co.kr
                        dwdd.com.ph

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Trends: Mask Selfie during MERS???

Since MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in South Korea been reported few weeks ago, many of us still blur about it.. Not just us, even scientists also wonder how this virus seems aggressively been spread from human to another human.O-o The fact is this virus is hardly transferred might need to be revised again, as every day we heard that there are new cases. It was reported that 31 fatal due to this outbreak in South Korea alone, highest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia, (the virus originally detected).

I asked some of my Korean friends about precaution they take during this period, most of them said not much.. Not much effect on their daily life, but yes some of them cut down the numbers of daily outing. As we all know that this virus is NOT been transferred via airborne and so far most of cases are hospitals clusters cases. Yet personally, I think public still should take precaution for themselves because there is NO CURE nor VACCINE for this virus! Scientist also still doing research on how its been transmitted.

Malaysia have ONE case of MERS last year, where a man died after back from pilgrimage in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). At that time most of us also have NO idea about it but THANKS to media, our government manage to stop the spread!! Phewww! Our authority released a statement in newspapers and TV news asking for passengers who boarding the same aircraft with the man to go to hospital for checking and quarantine if necessary.

Apart from that, our authority also let public knows on how to prevent it (just in case). We had some experience to another outbreak back in 2003, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and since that most Malaysian were aware if we had some respiratory syndrome outbreak or cases. Even we don't have many SARS mortality case, yet it stir public fear! Like myself, I'm having one of respiratory problem, so whenever those pandemic cases arise, I've been extra precautions for myself. ㅋㅋㅋ PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE! For myself, I always carry hand sanitizer in my handbag and use it whenever I need. I also wash my hands with soap often.^^  Sometimes if I'm having flu I always wear mask, (even normal flu/cold) this is not only for myself but I don't wanna spread flu/virus to others especially those who had kids. (My office mate) ㅋㅋ 

Another precaution is do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Always covers your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.  Some people ignored these precaution and thinking that they trust their health/body well, but for me this virus don't care if you are MOST healthy or not. Last time, during SARS outbreak we had one case where a women hardly sick and maintain her health very good yet couldn't make it.. She pass away with SARS. ㅠㅠ Those precaution might seems too much for some people but its BETTER rather to say SORRY later. Since MERS outbreak, I heard that some Korean artist make a NEW trend these days by taking selfie with mask on. I think this action is GOOD as to encourage public to do so!! Below are some Korean artists who wear mask during this critical MERS outbreak!!~








p/s: Anyone can guess who are those Korean artist/celebrity??ㅋㅋㅋ If you can wow 대박 (Daebak), you are Korean idol fanatic fans!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

p/s: Don't get me wrong! I wore it as I have flu that day!ㅋㅋㅋ Cute mask?? One of my Korean friend gave to me as a gift ㅋㅋㅋ!  It's good as its washable mask! ^^ Thanks for this cute mask! You know who you are ^^ ㅋㅋㅋ

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_East_respiratory_syndrome
              http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/mers-cases-south-korea-outbreak-150614012824661.html
              http://kpopherald.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=201506091604214941999_2

Photo Credit: instagram
                      kpopherald
                      kpopstarz.com
                              

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Throwback#Places: Busan Lotte Department Store Observatory

Whenever I saw about Busan on TV, its remind me of my good time there.~ Known as seafood paradise in Korea yet there are some more attractions that might be off from prime spotlight! ㅋㅋㅋ When someone said about Haeundae or Gwanggali beach, people will automatically knows its about Busan. However if you mention about Lotte Department Store Observatory, people might need some time to think where is it??ㅋㅋ We all know that Lotte Department is one of the biggest shopping store across South Korea isn't it? but is every Lotte Department have it own Observatory deck?? O-o

There are 35 stores of Lotte Department nationwide. Among those, Busan Lotte Department or known as Gwangbok is the FIRST branch that been build by sea-side. Anyway I'm NOT interested to talk about the shopping mall because for me most of shopping mall is quite similar from one to another. ㅋㅋㅋ Since I have a very limited time to explore Busan, I didn't stop by at the shopping mall instead I go to it observatory deck! ㅋㅋ ^^

For local this observatory deck is known as 'Sky Park' in Busan. Don't get confused with another Sky Park ㅋㅋㅋ, another famous Sky Park in Korea was located in Seoul. (I will write about it in different entry, as I've been there too!) ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ ^^ I've been to Busan Sky Park during daylight, so each corner of it showing different side of Busan! ^^ From main observatory deck I can see Nampo-dong as well Jalgachi Market. On the other side I saw Youngdusan Tower and the most beautiful scenery is Busan Harbour with the bridge.~

Apart from that, in this observatory deck; for those who missed a chance to go to Namsan Tower to click your pad lock, you can do it here! Wee ^^ Well I didn't click any pad lock at this observatory deck as well at Namsan Tower though. ㅋㅋ For me just click pad lock in hearts is enough! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Lets my photos speak more than my words! I had a video too but its too short! ㅠㅠ Hope you guys enjoy it! ^^






video


p/s: Anyone who come over with kids, this place also provided a small park for kids to move around! ^^ However I don't snap it photos! ㅠㅠ

Sources: http://www.trazy.com/spot/2247/Lotte+Dept.+Gwangbok+Observatory+%EB%A1%AF%EB%8D%B0%EB%B0%B1%ED%99%94%EC%A0%90+%EA%B4%91%EB%B3%B5%EC%A0%90+%EC%A0%84%EB%A7%9D%EB%8C%80

Photo Credit: english.visitkorea.or.kr