Sunday, September 29, 2013

Guideline: Seoul Subbers ^^

Most countries have their own subway system in their capital cities right?? same goes to Seoul. In fact Seoul subway system had been voted as number ONE most efficient in the world by Jalopnik.com. ^^ Apart from that, Seoul Metropolitan subway is the MOST extensive system by length and 2nd of the most subway with numbers of stations. Seoul subway also placed as 2nd most frequently used subway after Tokyo subway system.

However when I first arrived at Seoul and looking at subway map, my eyes become like @_@!!!! My gosh! How am I able to remember of this map and not getting lost!?!!! With small font as well fancy colors and very complex routes its really makes me dizzy!! Anyone wanna guess how many LINE (routes) they have? They have 19 LINE!!!!! Too many isn't it??? However its good as it cover almost every part of Seoul and even connected to Gyeonggi-do and airport at Incheon! ^^

For travelers, this subway system is not only cheap, reliable but also very convenient! Normally the schedule is on-time however if you ride during peak hours it would be very pack!! One of my Korean friend telling me, DO NOT sit on 3 seat set because those seat were specially made for old folk, sick people and pregnant women. He even telling me if you sit there, some "ajumma or ajusshi" will come over and mad at you! Hahhah!! well I'm not sure about this as I never saw it for real while I'm there. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 

What about their signage and announcement??If you didn't understand Korean language don't worry!! This is because they provide with multi-language announcement when reach at every station or when need to transfer. At some station, they will announce in Korean, English, Japanese and Mandarin (according to the tourist interest center). Another good thing is inside subway you still can be connected as they provide wifi for you! That is ONE of the best service they gave you! ^^

The subway stations also clean and very safe even when you ride at night. ^^ For travelers before plan your routes using Seoul subway you also can check about the fare and the routes via their web!For more information check it out here. Another best facilities they provide for you is heated seats. Since Korea is one of the country that extremely cold during winter (plus with Siberian wind) there is one place for you to avoid cold which is inside subway! Hahah! Their seat were provides with heaters! Isn't it good??? Last but not least is if you were rushing home and busy to get something, you can do your last minutes shopping inside or at attached shopping mall at most of subway station!! Save your time isn't it?? :P 



I print this from their website

I got this from my guide book




p/s: As you can see on my last pictures, most every Seoul subway stations were covered with glass so it only open when subway reach. For buying subway ticket, I would like to suggest to use T-Money as its more convenient. You can check about it on my previous entry, T-Money. For recognizing each LINES color, please see at the wall (subway station), each station provide different color code according the Seoul subway routes.

Sources: 









Monday, September 23, 2013

Guideline: Item MUST BRING around at Korea

Did you guys check out my blog wallpaper?? How was it?? Is it nice? Thank you so much to my friend for spending some time making it for me :D Really appreciate it! ^^ Do I have to mentioned your name here?? Hahhah, you know who you are! :P

Anyway in some previous posts, I did mentioned to all of you about " 5 worth item  and 6 special stuff you need to get at Korea right?? However I never write about Item you MUST BRING around at Korea isn't it? For today I decided to write about it. :D

This entry were dedicate to South East Asia people and to Muslim travelers. As Korea is one of Tiger country, their hygienic system is similar to western countries or most of developed countries. Most of their public toilet didn't equip with normal bidet faucets. However their public toilet were the cleanest I've seen compare to any other countries!!^^

As Muslim, hygienic practices is very important. For more information check it out here. Since there is no normal bidet faucet at public toilet, I guess its hard for Muslim and South East Asia (SEA) people as most of us using water to clean our private part. We can use stones or paper too but it is the BEST to use water. In this modern era, who use those right?? unless you were in desert or some remote area! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋYou can check about it here.

In order to avoid uncomfortable situation, I suggest Muslim and SEA people to bring an empty bottles around as well few pack of tissue. When I was at Seoul for the first time, I'm kind of having culture shock about this, luckily I didn't throw away my empty mineral bottle!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ! So I used it and always carry it inside my beg. This two item is the MUST BRING item while you at Korea. ^^





p/s: As you can see the last picture is one of the example of Korean public/home toilet, it have bidets faucets but its sort of modern/digital?? I'm also not sure the correct word for it! Hahah!! ^^~~ Those bidet faucets use some sort of button. (see on the right of toilet bowl) it have some sort of button, but all was written in Korean! LOL! The button includes for hot water, normal water and dryer too!! Hahah! Too savvy technology! For that no wonder most of their public toilet were the cleanest compare at any other countries!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Sources :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_hygienical_jurisprudence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_cleansing

Photo Credited: jenstreasures.net
                         news.bbc.co.uk
                         mrsbidet.com
                         reneeinsk.blogspot.com


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Special Event: Chuseok Day??

I guess for those who were curious about Korean culture might know that Chuseok day is around the corner right?? However do you know what its all about? I did ask some of my Korean friends and I got various answers for it.The most funny answer I got is getting fat days?? LOL!! Just kidding! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Chuseok is referred to Hangawi which is big (Han) (한) and ides of autumn (gawi)( 가위). According to the lunar calendar its when full harvest moon appears. Chuseok also known as Korean Thanksgiving day. This celebration is one of the most important event in Korean culture. During Chuseok, family members from near and far will gather together and sharing their food, stories as well to thanks their ancestors for abundant harvest.


For this year, Chuseok will fall on 19 September. At Korea, Chuseok holiday will start right before Chuseok celebration, on Chuseok day itself and after the celebration day which means 3 days off. As this year it fall on Wednesday, so most of them get 5 days leave! Wee ^^ Plenty time to spend time with family and their love one! :D


What did they do during Chuseok day?? O_o On Chuseok day, one of the activities is holding a memorial service or known as Charye (차례), this activity basically  to worship their ancestor. Memorial service were held twice a year, which is during Seollal and Chuseok. However the item for memorial service for both event were different. As for Chuseok, the item for memorial service are freshly harvested rice, Korean native alcohol (makgeolli or soju) and songpyeon (rice cake).

Apart from that, they will also visiting ancestral grave (Seongmyo)(성묘) and clearing weeds around the grave or known as Beolcho (벌초). This practice were to show their devotion, respect and familial duty towards their ancestors.  What about dressing during Chuseok?? I asked some of my Korean friends,their answers are "normally old people, baby or young boys/girls will wearing hanbok during Chuseok but its depend on the family itself because some of Korean family were Christian.

As Chuseok day is a family gathering activities, some of them also love to play Korean traditional game such as Go Stop and ssireum. There is a traditional dance too during Chuseok called ganggangsullae but this traditional dance mostly perform at Jeollanam-do province.Another activity during Chuseok day is exchanging gift, however this activity were practically came up during modern Korean society. Now this celebration were some sort like Christmas isn't it?? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ. 



Memorial Service ceremony

Go Stop cards

Ganggangsullae

Ssireum

Chuseok Gift Set

p/s: Usually during any celebration, kids will be the most happiest! Same as well during Chuseok day, kids normally get allowance from adult. ^^ As Muslim, I didn't celebrate Chuseok day, however our picture was taken as we learn how to bow in Korean culture. :) Happy Chuseok to all Korean readers! ^^

Sources:

Photo Credited:  twssg.blogspot.com
                          blog.investkorea.org
                          raincookie.deviantart.com
                          ssireum.sports.or.kr
                          discoverkorea.co.kr








Saturday, September 14, 2013

Guideline: Seoul City Tour Bus

Last time, when I'm asking my Korean friend, is there any way to enjoy Seoul without well planned?? Their answer is simple just go free and easy via subway. That's seems easy as ABC! However if you were first time at Seoul, I think looking at those subway map will make you @_@!!ㅋㅋㅋ Well I have a same expression when I seen their subway routes for the first time!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ On my mind was "Owh My!!! How am I able to go around with these crazy subway routes?? There are so many!! 16 of it?? What if I ended somewhere far from Seoul?? O_o

After some research, I found out one of easiest way to mingle around Seoul!! I did ask my Korean friend about it. They knew about it too but since most of them were born and living in Seoul, they didn't bother about it much. 하 하 하 하 Of course if you were born and living at cities like Seoul, you won't bother about it much! Just like me! I was living in rural area, I knew that there is easiest way to mingle around Kuala Lumpur but I also haven't try it before  until one day, when my adopted mother (she Singaporean) came over and ask me where should we go at Kuala Lumpur! :P 

Lets back to our topic! ^^ What is the easiest way to mingle around Seoul then??? Have you guys ever heard about Seoul City Tour Bus??? Like any other metropolitan cities, normally there is a shuttle bus service where it will bring people to those attraction places around cities. Seoul city tour bus operate every day except on Monday. However if Monday falls on holiday, normal operation is provided or during the summer vacation (4th week of July- August 15) normal operation is provided too.

There are four courses for Seoul city tour bus. Every admission fees is different according to the courses. The courses are downtown tour, palace Cheonggye tour, night tour 1, and night tour 2. For downtown tour it may take around 2 hours course and Palace Cheonggye tour will normally take around 1 hour 30 minutes course. These two tours were during day. For night tour 1 and 2 it may take around 1 hour 30 minutes each and the routes are different. For more information about it, click here. We went to Namsan Tower using this city tour bus service. ^^ If you see the attraction places in downtown courses, you can plan your trip for whole day at Seoul without bothering so much for public transport. If you wanna plan your trip using this service visit here.


Seoul city bus tour guide pamphlet 

Bus ticket

We ride on this ^^

Another bus version

One of stop over




P/s: We really enjoy during this tour, we didn't stop at every attractions though as we start the tour quite late ㅠㅠ and at one point we kind of lost! :P Hahha! Due to miss-communication!! However we kindly suggest for any traveler to try this during your trip at Seoul! Fun and worth experience! ^^ The last picture, that little angel kept playing hide and seek with me even though she didn't know how to speak English neither I'm not knowing Hangeul well during that trip! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Sources: 

Photo Credit: flickr.com




Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Places: MUST Visit: Namsan Tower!

My trip is coming soon so I'm quite busy finalized my planning for it ^^. After thinking about so many things I decided to go to Seoul and some other provinces :D. I've been to Seoul last time and visit some nice places yet there are so many places around Seoul that I haven't able to go last time! T.T so for this time, I will visit places around Seoul that not many touristic know about, I guess?? Hahha!!! However all of you must wait for those places entry once I'm back from Korea!! :D

For today I will write about throwback to Namsan Tower and Teddy Bear Museum though! :D At a first glance, I thought this tower seems familiar, where did I saw it? Then I realized! Ahhhh its seems similar with KL Tower! LOL!! The differences is the path you choose, to go to Namsan Tower, you can choose either walking, via bus or via cable car! However at KL Tower, you just can go on foot or bus.

Namsan Tower also known as Seoul Tower located on Namsan mountain in central of Seoul. It is 479.7 m above sea level. Namsan Tower consist of 4 observation deck where you can see almost whole side of Seoul from different angle!!! Besides that there are few interesting site around Namsan Tower which is Locks of Love and Teddy Bear Museum. :D

What is Locks of Love Park?? Actually I didn't know what they call this place but all I can see there are lock chain so I just simply put park after it!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ . Lots of lovers or friends come here and put a chain together as if hoping that their love will blossom together forever! Well honestly I didn't believe it as we never know whats future hold. :P I didn't put any chain love there during my visit but yes I did enjoy the surrounding and captured some pictures there! ^^ For K-drama lovers, some drama did their shooting here such as the latest one, "Expect Dating"  which is BOA, Choi Daniel and Siwan (ZE:A) were the main lead.

Then we headed to the Teddy Bear Museum. This teddy bear museum were divided by two part, one is traditional teddy bear museum and the other one is modern teddy bear museum. Some of you might wonder what is the significant of teddy bear to Korean right?? Well there is a story behind it but I will put it in different entry someday as I need to study and get the correct fact first! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ. At this museum, you can see so many teddy bears wearing different costumes according to certain event. I record some videos for all of you! ^^ Enjoy it!  For more information about admission fees and operation hours of Namsan Tower, visit here. If you wanna know how to get there, click here.

Namsan Tower at Night

Namsan Tower during sunny day

Ticket Admission

Scenery from Observation deck

Traditional Teddy Bear Museum

Modern Teddy Bear Museum

Lock of Love

Expect Dating  feature Siwan (ZE:A)


video
Traditional Bear


video
Modern Bear


p/s: If you plan to go to Seoul, Make sure to check this place! Bring your love one and create beautiful moment! <3

Sources:

Photo Sources:     jalan2korea.com
                                     fellfromtheskies.wordpress.com
                            soompi.com










Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guideline: What should I bring to my Korean friends???

It's September already ! Owh I am nervous, excited everything in between!! My trip will be soon! Can't wait! Weeee ^^~~ My trip planning were almost 80% done, it just some small stuff I haven't figure out yet. While gathered all information, somehow I find out that I miss out on something!! Oh My!! >_<

As I plan to meet my Korean friends, it would be nice for me to bring them something. However I don't know what exactly stuff that I should bring to them! As that concerned me so much, I did search about this topic on the internet and ask some of my Korean friend randomly. ^^

Since I do some research on this gift giving topic, I'm surprising to found out a very different culture they have compare to any other countries I guess! :D This is because I ask to some of my other foreigner friends about gift giving etiquette and most of them gave quite similar answer compared to Korean!

What is the differences?? For birthday, wedding or funeral, the gift is quite similar to any other countries. However for moving to a new place (house) the gift were different! In my country if my friend moving to a new house and making house warming party, normally we will bring food such as cake, fruit or traditional cuisine. 

What about Korean then?? Guess what would they bring if a friend move in to a new place. I ask around and they told me its basic necessities such as toilet roll, waste paper, candle or detergent! This is my first time hearing it! My mind was like @_@! Why??? I kept find the reasons behind this practice! The answer I get is it means that "all be good" (잘풀 린다) or hoping them to be happy and clean family.

Then I ask them if a foreigner friend coming for the first time, what should they bring? They told me nothing. However simple gift like chocolate,imported coffee, flowers or fruits are acceptable. For being extra ordinary, why not bring something that represent your own country, specialty about your country or any stuff that expensive or hard to get in Korea. Hearing that give me so many ideas!! Hahaha!! My Korean friends must be curious about it :P, It's secret though! LOL :P

Next gift giving etiquette is the way you present your gift. Some Korean may think that the item or gift is not really important but wrapper is a Must!! Gift must be wrapped nicely before giving to them. There are some proper colors wrapper for them as it have meaning between it. Yellow or red wrapper significant as royal colors. You may also wrap your gift in pink or yellow as it denotes happiness.

As blue is considered as lucky color in South Korea, blue gift or blue wrappers would be good too! ^^ People who give the gift should be handed over the gift using both hands as well the recipient. Apart from that normally once the gift were hand out, do not expect them to open it right away. For them its kind of impolitely to open the gift in the presence of the giver.  

Last but not least are never write your gift card in red ink as it significantly to cut ties of relationship. Beside that avoid using green, white or black wrapper when you wrap your gift. Scissors and knife should not be given to them as a gift as it shows termination of relationship. Gift also should not be given in set of four or multiple four. For them number 4 is considered as unlucky number as it denotes death.







p/s: Before choosing gift to any Korean, you must consider recipient economic, rank, status or class, do not give expensive gift to any one because if she or he cannot reciprocate, it will hurt their kibun (pride) and cause losing face

Sources:

Photo Credit: businessnewsmacau.com
                     telegraph.co.uk
                     wallpapersweb.com
                     yooneunhye.net
                     uofiparentprograms.illinois.edu