Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Taipei Day 3 : Hello Kitty Sweets Taipei

Day 3

Frankly speaking, i am not a freak fan of Hello Kitty. But we decided to tried it here in Taipei since the reviews of this place is very good. In order to secure a place for yourself here, you have to either come early or do a booking a day earlier. Oh! And did i mention, that each customer is given 45 minutes to 1 hour to dine since the queue were long? Hmmm...

Hence, we decided to come here first thing in the morning when the shop's open at 11.30am.
From "Zhongxiao FuXing" station, Exit 3 (opposite Sogo) and walk towards Omega shop ; which is a couple of steps. Turn right into the first alley. Within 5 minutes, you see the Hello Kitty Sweets Shop.

When we reach there, we were just in time as we were the 1st customer line up..And few minutes later, there a small family and a couple lining up behind us.. While we're still awaiting for our seats number, we took pictures of the cute little cat.

Took a pic while waiting for our turn for seats

Cute decoration


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Taipei Day 2 : Jiufen (九份) & Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)

Day 2

The breathtaking scenery of Jiufen (九份)

Today is the day whereby we will go slightly outskirt from Taipei city itself.

We'll be going to Jiufen (九份), which used to be a prosperous gold mining town on top of the mountain. It is a small town in North Taiwan built into the side of the hills; slightly inland from the Pasific Ocean coastline. The main area of the town is easily to covered on foot by two pedestrian streets which is  

: a) Jishan Street (基山街 )
: b) Shuchi (Shuqi) Street (豎崎路)
The scenery here is totally breathtaking. If you're staying longer in Taipei, staying overnight here in Jiufen (九份) is amazing ! Imagine, the moment you woke up, the only scenery you saw was the breathtaking picture as above with the cold morning breeze. What an amazing day to start with !

From Taipei Main Station, take the north train to RuiFang Station which cost NT$49 (RM 5.09) one way. We did not buy return ticket as we did not want our journey to be tight down by the time.

The railway
They even have female zone :)

At last reach RuiFang Station
The many signboards to lead you towards your destination.

Arrow to show you where is the bus stop to jiufen
 From RuiFang Station, walk towards the mainroad and turn left and walk slightly further up until you pass a police station. The busstop heading towards Jiufen & Jinguashi is located a little past the police station. The bus trip is roughly around 15 minutes, and the fare is NT$ 21  (RM 2.18) during weekday, NT$ 15 (RM 1.50) during weekends or holidays.. If you're still unsure where the bus stop is, try asking the locals for direction.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Taipei Day 1 : Ximending Shopping & CityInn Plus Ximending.

Day 1

Taipei, at last the day has reach for our speed 4D3N trip.
Frankly speaking, Taipei itself always amaze me with their food, their culture & the places to visit.
There are various marvelous places to visit in Taiwan itself..
If only i have a week or two, i will surely backpack the whole taipei itself..hopping from one place to other; enjoying the amazing scenery.
But as for now...
Focus on Taipei itself is all i could do. :)

The moment we landed in Taoyuan International Airport, it was already 2.40pm.
The moment we check out from the airport, 7-eleven is the first place that we visited in the airport as we are dreadfully hungry ! Did i mention i have plane sickness ? Most of the time while i'm on plane, i will be sleeping soundly until the plane touches the ground ! That is why i do not buy any seat arrangement with friends in the plane as it will be a waste of money since i will be snoring all the way until i reach my destination. Haha. Nevertheless, 7-11 in taipei is totally different of what we have in Malaysia ! You can really spend time scanning around the various food & drinks sold there ! I am very easy to be delighted. Give me various food & great places for photography..i will be very happy me. :)

After we have a quick lunch at 7-eleven, we bought a bus ticket from airport to Ximending which cost TWD 140 (RM 14) one way.

Our Bus ticket to Ximending, Platform No.7

Platform 7.

Inside our bus which is very comfortable.
The bus is extremely comfortable & clean.
We bought the ticket at the ticket counter at the airport itself.
This particular bus stop in Ximen Station.
Since we're staying in CityInn Plus Ximending, it is just 3 minutes walking distance from Ximen Station, Exit 3.
And only around 5-7minutes walk to the famous Ximending Shopping Heaven.

Our Hotel

We manage to book the cheapest basic room which is Double Sharing room (1 single bed) for RM 365.50 nett for 1 pax (4D3N).

Our Room 205.

Queen Size Bed

Budget 4D3N Taipei Nov 2012

Taipei 101 Tower
Taipei, a place that never fail to surprise me.
Frankly speaking, i am no shopaholic myself but has truthfully drawn into shopping when i'm here.
The handmade stuff that sold here at the flea market @ Red Building's Ximending area attracts me the most ! Nevertheless, will explain more in details later.

It was a brief 4D3N budget trip here since we manage to get cheap return tickets.

Return Flights tickets   = RM 731.40 nett
Accommodations          = RM 365.50 nett (1 pax, twin sharing room)
Currency Exchange      = RM 600.00 nett (include transport,food,shopping)
Total                             = RM 1,696.90 nett
I have been traveling to various different Asian Country and with currency exchange of RM500 for each trip except Seoul (include transportation, food, light shopping) which is just enough for me as i am not a shopaholic.
But for this round in Taipei, on our 3rd day we have to search high and low for Bank .. Yes, you heard me right....B.A.N.K....
In Taipei, there is no currency exchange shop as such in Midvalley or Sungai Wang..
You can only exchange your money in their bank..
Not only that, when you're in the bank... you're require to take number for your turn to exchange money.
When your turn comes, you need to fill up a form stating how much you want to exchange ...
Thankfully, there is not many people in the bank so the process is quite fast.

Beside bank, you can also exchange your money in your hotel...provided your hotel has such service, but you need to pay extra more than in bank... And since we're very stingy & the bank was just 15min walking distance from our hotel... We decided to exchange it in bank instead... Haha...
Moral of the story, if you're in Taipei..bring extra money or you will be ending up searching high & low for nearest banks.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Seoul Day 6 : Namsan Seoul Tower (남산타워) , Garosu-Gil

Day 6

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산타워)

Today is a more relaxing day for us as we will only be covering :

a) Namsan Seoul Tower (남산타워)
b) Garosu-Gil

Both places is in the City town itself, at least we could take our time.

Garuso-Gil is actually a trendy, tree-lined street filled with charming cafe. Popular among locals as a fashionable place to shop. Since we haven't been there yet & the place is highly promoted by the tourist brochure, we decided to check it out. 

From Hongyik Station , we stop at Sinsa (신사역) Station.  It took us  34 Minutes subway ride, 14 stations stops which cost us KWR 1,150 @ RM 3.45
Departure from Hongyik Station--> Transfer @ Euljiro 3 (Sam)-Ga --> Arrival at Sinsa Station, Exit 8.

Sinsa Station, Exit 8

It was still early when we reach Sinsa, so we decided to have a good cup of coffee at Caffe Bene to start our day...

Fresh Coffee
Various cakes & coffee to choose

With our coffee

There's a small section of books for you to read
Yes! Snail Cream is hot everywhere!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Seoul Day 5 : Namiseom Island (남이섬 종합휴양지)

Day 5

Winter Sonata's Bae Yong Joon & Choi Ji Woo.

Do you still remember the famous Korean Drama & also the 1st shown in Malaysia?
Winter Sonata (2002), staring Bae Yong Joon & Choi Ji Woo.
Some of the scenery from the drama is actually in Namiseom Island itself whereby we'll be heading there!

After Petite France, we took the same Gapyeong Shuttle Bus to the island itself.

The Bus drop us here.
The bus drop us in front of the picture above, and we're to walk about 5min to reach the "immigration" counter whereby we will purchase our tickets to Nami Island.

Our sort of "Entry Visa @ Ticket" for Ferry & Admission : KWR 8,000 (RM24)
Basically for us foreigner, we only need to pay KWR 8,000 (RM24) which is already discounted for us. Normaly local Koreans, they have to pay KWR 10,000 (RM30).

Nami Island Entrance Fee

There's special rate of KWR 4,000 (RM 12) for :
a) Visitor aged between 3 to 13
b) Visitors after 6.10pm ( December to March)
c) Visitors after 7.10pm (April to November)

Free Entrance for child aged 3 and below. To those who's driving to Nami Island, there's a parking fee of KWR 4,000 (RM 12) for a day.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Seoul Day 5 : Petite France (쁘띠프랑스)

Day 5

It is still freezing between 4'c to 8'c daylight.
Yes! It is the 5th Day & it is still remaining freezing between 4'c to 8'c.
During the night it became even worse as it drop to -2'c...
Having thick gloves doesn't help much as i could still feel my poor fingers is icy cold..:*(
Holding warm drink & hiding from the breezy wind.. Oh boy !

Jayden enjoying his hot drink, while Abang C. hiding behind from the breezy wind. Haha
Today we will be focusing on:

a)  Petite France (http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=815994)

b) Namiseom (http://visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264244)
    which also known as Nami Island where part of the drama "Winter Sonata" is film.

Going to both of the place is convenience & cheap; but slightly outskirt from the Seoul City; which also means start your journey earlier as you need to reach Cheongpyeong (청평) Station latest before 11.30am, so you can take the next bus to Petite France at 11.40am from Cheongpyeong Station.

Seoul Day 4 : Everland Theme Park (에버랜드 리조트)

Day 4

Everland Theme Park - Main Entrance

Woke up early we did since we know the journey to Everland is quite a distance.

From Hongyik Station , we stop at Gangnam Station.  It took us  38 Minutes subway ride, 17 stations stops which cost us KWR 1,150 @ RM 3.45
Departure from Hongyik Station--> Arrival at Gangnam Station, Exit 6.
Once you're out, asked around how to take bus number 5002 which will lead to Everland.

Once u come out from the Gangnam Stn, u will come across underground shopping center as above.
Came across this shop name "Chancha Mayo" to get a cup of coffee @KWR 2,000 (RM 6)
Chancha Mayo do have Lunch & Dinner menu from KWR 2,700 ( RM 8.10) to KWR 10,000 (RM 30)
The bus No. 5002 is quite frequent as we didn't need to wait more than 30minutes.
It cost around KWR 1,800 (RM 5.40) for a single journey which goes all the way to everland until the last stop.

Everland Theme Park (에버랜드 리조트) Vs Lotte World (롯데월드)

Day 4
Check out how cold it is at Everland Theme Park

Today is the day whereby we will be kids once again because.....

We're going Everland Theme Park (http://www.everland.com/web/multi/english/everland/main.html)

Frankly speaking, at my age which nearly touching 30s soon..
I don't think my heart could take it if i'm to ride the coaster...-No Way I'm gonna do that- .. Haha
I'm not married yet.. I'm still haven't had any kids yet...I don't want to end up in the Newspaper's front page...

"Women die of heart attack while having her coaster ride".....- No Way-... Haha

In Seoul, there's 2 theme park which is great for kids ; Everland Theme Park or Lotte World.

a) Everland Theme Park ; it is outskirt a little comparing Lotte World.  There will be a Local Bus No. 5002 to Everland from Gangnam Subway Station ; bus ride journey is 1+hour which cost around KWR 1,800 (RM 5.40) single journey. Once u reach the Gyeonggi-do bus station, there will be another Free shuttle bus to Everland which is only 5min ride. Yes. It might be a little troublesome & time consuming taking subway & changing of bus ride. But Everland Theme Park is bigger & has more rides and zoos than Lotte World since it is at the outskirt (Bigger Land, More things to see)

Fullday Ticket Price
 Adult : KWR 44,000 (RM 132) ; Teenager : KWR 37,000 (RM 111),  Kids/Senior : KWR 34,000 (RM 102)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Seoul Day 3 : Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을), Insadong (인사동), Ssamziegil, Jogyesa Temple, Dongdaemon & Doota (두산타워)

Day 3

Yes! It is freezing cold 7'c at 3+pm in the bright afternoon !

After our lunch at Tosokchon (토속촌), we head to Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
Basically it is quite near from Gyeongbokgung Station, which is only 1 station to Anguk Station.

Third destination of the day is to Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
From Gyeongbokgung Station, we stop at Anguk Station.  It took us  2 Minutes subway ride, 1 stations stops which cost us KWR 1,050 @ RM 2.90
Departure from Gyeongbokgung Station--> Arrival at Anguk Station, exit 2. Go Straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.

If u don't mind walking, it might take u around 15 min walk depends on your walking speed. But because the weather is too freezing cold, we still prefer to go for subway without the cold breeze.

Seoul Day 3 : Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) & Tosokchon (토속촌)

Day 3

Today's weather is extremely cold which we didn't expect it to be between 2'c...
Even though the sun is shinning brightly outside, but with one wind blow... you will just freeze to death...
Wearing 4 leggings, One hand thick purple hand glove & a thick sweater.. i will still feel the ice-cold breeze... Only now i know the important of having a fan-heater at home...

We'll be covering 6 places for the day:

a) Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
b) Tosokchon (토속촌) - Infamous Ginseng Chicken Soup-Rice
c) Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
d) Insadong (인사동)
e) Ssamziegil
f) Jogyesa Temple
g) Dongdaemon & Doota (두산타워) area.

First destination of the day is to Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁).
From Hongyik Station, we stop at Gyeongbokgung Station.  It took us  27 Minutes subway ride, 10 stations stops which cost us KWR 1,050 @ RM 2.90
Departure from Hongyik Station --> Transfer train to Euljiro 3(Sam)-Ga Station --> Arrival at Gyeongbokgung Station.

Seoul Day 2 : Noryangjin Fish Market (노량진시장) , Myeongdong Cathedral & Myeongdong Shopping

Day 2

The signs to various places nearby Noryangjin Fish Market

The sunrise in Seoul is earlier than Malaysia. Looking out at the window, the sun is already shinning as bright as 9+am, when my watch is only showing 7+am..
Woke up we did & preparing a simple light breakfast since Ann's gave us a loft of bread with butter & jam.. Well, this indeed help us to save a little for breakfast before we start our journey to 3 places :

a) Noryangjin Fish Market (노량진시장)
b) Myeongdong Cathedral
c) Myeongdong Shopping

First destination of the day is to Noryangjin Fish Market (노량진시장).
From Hongyik Station, we stop at Noryangjin Station.  It took us  27 Minutes subway ride, 9 stations stops which cost us KWR 1,050 @ RM 2.90
Departure from Hongyik Station --> Transfer train to Sindorim Station --> Arrival at Noryangjin Station.

Once reach the Noryangjin Station, Take Exit 1

Once your train reach Noryangjin Station, take exit 1...look for a footbridge over the railway tracks which looks something like this below:

The footbridge to crossover the railway tracks which lead to Noryanjing Fish market