I didn’t want to be ‘cheong hei’ (long-winded) in my prologue post but circumstances prevented it. Travelogue is long-winded as always. So here it goes…
I don’t think anyone will be surprised if I happen to travel to South Korea one day seeing that I’m a Korean drama addict. Well, actually I’ve been to South Korea before. This is my 2nd trip in nearly 11 years!!! Eleven years ago (2003) I made my maiden trip to South Korea following a travel group with my sister. I wasn’t a drama addict back then. It was all about scenery and winter (yeah to my first snow fall!) at that time. Because the trip was so pleasant, I have always wanted to go back again. Sis and me always reminiscence about our feel good South Korea trip. 🙂
My travel buddy for this South Korea backpacking trip is my sis (no doubt) PLUS my mom! All 3 of us are Korean drama addicts. Hehehehe The purpose of our trip this time can be break down into 3 areas: cherry blossom, Korean food and wanting to absorb the pleasantness again plus chucking in some Korean drama filming locations if time permits. Talking about time, well our journey span 15 days and 15 nights (4th April to 19th April 2014) in 5 locations (province/district/city/metropolis) namely Jeju-do, Busan, Jinhae, Jeonju and Seoul. I’ve always wanted to experience cherry blossom and so spring it is.
When booking for our MAS trip (about 10 months earlier), we can only gamble at our travel dates as it’s difficult to predict when the cherry blossom are going to spring into actions. Turns out I was a bit late, belatedly late and right on time for some cherry blossom viewing locations. Oh well, you can’t beat mother nature. Usually cheery blossom will go into full bloom in the southern part first (like Jeju-do) as it’s nearer to the equator (warmer) while the northern area (like Seoul) will bloom later as it’s colder. A day before my trip, I read news that cherry blossom in Seoul is already in full bloom. Ahh tough luck! So I went into this trip knowing the cherry blossom luck will not be my side. Tsk I choose MAS over AirAsia yet again because the airfare is more or less the same.
It’s good to know some easy Korean greetings and to learn Hangul (Korean alphabet) which I had it in me. The Hangul did helped me whenever I need to order food from the menu. Other than that I just resort to my broken Korean language, weird sign language or English to talk to them. Learning how to ask “how much is it?” (이거 얼마에요? / igeo eolmaeyo?) is very important for the ladies. Hahahaha.
Memories from this trip can be divided into pleasant (at the beginning of this trip) to “what man???” (at the ending of this trip). What man? because many sellers in Seoul spoke to us in Mandarin. Hey you, I may look Chinese and I’m a Malaysian Chinese but I’m a banana la. So a lot of time I have question marks above my head. It also spoiled my mood. It feels like I’m visiting China all over again. The “Korean’ feeling was lost. In a nutshell, my South Korea trip this time did not fare as good as my first trip there. Maybe I was expecting too much? And when I came back from this trip, I was like “Did I just visited South Korea? How come I couldn’t feel it.” I think writing this travelogue will help me to appreciate this trip. So let’s see how I feel when I finished this travelogue.
It was too bad to hear about MH370 and the Sewol ferry incident that happened around our trip period. Heartfelt condolence to the family of the lost ones.
For Malaysians, you don’t need visa to visit South Korea if you’re just visiting for a couple of days.
If you have read my Shanghai trip the previous year, you would know that my flight was a midnight flight. I swore never to do it again. Sigh. But I did it again! I can help it if I can but I couldn’t. MAS only has one flight per day to South Korea and that’s midnight. Thankfully I did not become a zombie this time. I managed to catch some sleep. Fhew! The flight depart at 11.30pm and reach Incheon Airport the next day at 6.25am (Korean time). It’s suppose to reach at 7.10am (6 hours 40 mins). So we arrived early. Fyi South Korea is an hour ahead of Malaysia.
Midnight croissant snack presented to us about an hour after we departed from KLIA. It was yummy.