Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dream job and slice of lemon

This is totally travel-unrelated entry but it made my day. Really. Couldn't stop smiling, in fact am smiling while writing this now.

I have a few women in my life I admire for their achievement, passion, dedication and spirit contributing in humanity. I shall thank Sabrina from Sliceoflemon for writing such an inspiring entries and share it to the world. I admire her survival spirit as Muslim woman in country where Islam is not a national religion like here in Malaysia but also it gain a negative perspective from its citizens.

I started following her site about a year ago and it was because of her youtube video on how to wear hijab with earring ;) Don't laugh, that's how I met her (virtually). But after being a frequent reader it turns out wearing earring with hijab is not the only thing she's good at. She's a great positive-vibe-trasmitter, well at least to me. Do read her and tell me how u feel.

Last few days was Sliceoflemon 2nd year anniversary and she decided to do a give-away. I entered not because of the prize. I swear it was the shortest and simplest sentence that came from my mind at that instance and didn't even thinking of stand a chance to be her pick. Somehow, she picked my simple "dream job and how to get there" sentence among others' many sentences. I feel blessed now. Thanks Sabrina for indirecly motivates me and may Allah bless u and The Boss always.

This is what I'll get :D

Me with Sliceoflemon inspired hijab :D

I have a great Saturday already, hope u too.
Happy Weekends.


Friday, October 29, 2010

It's FLY-DAY Again

Air Asia, please I need a VERY CHEAP ticket to Kota Kinabalu for my BFF's wedding this December. I don't wanna pay about equal price of my Beijing ticket, please please please. I will not complain on your flight delay, I promise.

It's FLY-DAY and I know u have the best deal for me.

If I don't, I hope others get theirs :)
I'll try another Fly-day. Patience has rewards.

Changdeokgung Palace

Finally an entry on place I went in Korea :)

After checking in and freshen up a little bit, we walked to our first destination, Changdeokgung Palace about 200m away from Beewon. We were that close to one of the many still standing Korean heritage built in 1405 (it was too long ago, I couldn't imagine life then). If u are coming from other places, I suggest u use subway and stop at Anguk Station Exit 3 and walk about 5 minutes to palace's entrance. Otherwise, u can come from Exit 6 of Jongno 3-ga Station and do 10 minutes walking.

Changdeokgung Palace was designated as UNESCO World Heritage in 1997. It deserve the recognition and status for its prominent Far Eastern architecture and design and harmoniously blending with the nature surrounding it. Every building's placement was carefully positioned to create tranquility effect. The statement of King Seongjong, the 15th year of King Seongjong's reign could also support in its selection back then.

"Even though Gyeongbukgong is magnificent and splendid, the ideal place of this capital city is Changdeokgung"

I vouch his statement (and u would too after u visited Changdeokgung).

I'm not a history buff nor like dwelling too much on past events (I try to focus on future). I hated History, the good grade I got was just from memorizing it hardly ;') but knowing a little background and history do score more appreciation to the place. It always does. That could be reason History is included in our compulsory subject at school.

The tour guide will loaded u with many interesting historical facts it held since 1405. Some might choose to ignore due to many king names were mentioned and they are not related to your life. I tried to appreciate and gain value for W 3000 admission ticket I bought by staying close to my guide and absorbed as much info as possible to stimulate this brain of mine travel back date when Dynasty Joseon was in their paramount era. That way, I hoped to embrace the feeling living in a beautiful palace as royalty *dreaming*

Tour started at Donhwamun Gate, the main gate of Changdeokgung. It is the oldest palace gate still exist in Korea.

Donhwa means great virtue teaches people and influenced them to be warm-hearted

Then continued to Geumcheongyo.

And to Injeongmun Gate and Injeongjeon Palace. Important national events such as coronation, congratulatory ceremony and reception of envoys were held here.

Civil official would line up before their rank stone in the east side while military in the west side.

I was then amazed by the roofing details, colours and sculpture.

Progressing further brought us to many other buildings in the palace compound.

And to library too.

Were acting as students in front of library

And finally its beautiful gardens.

The 80-minutes General Tour however didn't cover all buildings and parts of Secret Garden in this 110 acres palace complex. There is Secret Garden Tour if u intend to visit more than quarter part the General Tour covers. Due to the remaining part of Secret Garden has special ecology protection as well as cultural properties protection, it is only limit to 3 sessions per day at W 5000.

It was such a great honour to visit one of the "Five Grand Palaces" in Seoul although I didn't meet any available prince there :')

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Out from airport to a place call home

After 6 hours flying with Korean Air, we landed at Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN), the largest and primary airport in South Korea. Yay, breathing in Korean air :)

Arrival Hall

Had no problem during immigration and custom inspection, we headed straight to collect our pre-booked mobile phone to be used during our stay and took airport limousine to our guest house.

There are 2 types of airport limousine, Deluxe and Standard. Deluxe buses are limousines that go straight to major hotels in Seoul while Standard buses stop at several bus stops following its route. Ticket can be purchased at Exit 4 & 9 of Arrival Hall 1st Floor. Don't worry, English signboards are always available if u can't read Korean like me. Before buying, know where u are heading exactly as there are too many routes to choose from. Their names alone can make u confuse. However if u are not sure about which bus to take, there is an Airport Information Desk between Gate 3 and 4 or Gate 11 and 12 to get the information. Take the chance to talk to their friendly and seriously beautiful staffs.

Since we have decided to stay at Beewon Guesthouse which is near to Changdeokgung Palace (I'll write more after this), we bought Limousine Standard ticket priced W 9,000 route to Seongbook/Wolgye (bus no 6011) and waited at Station 5B, 12A. More routes are available here.

Airport Limousine Ticket

Frugal traveller chooses Standard Limousine

The bus dropped us near Anguk Station Exit 5 after 80 minutes departing airport. The distance was about 70 km. According to direction given to Beewon, we had to walk about 4 minutes before we reached Beewon's front door. Pretty near and it was a main reason why we chose them. Ok, remember my huge-and-almost-excess-weight-luggage in red?

Oh yes, that one

From Anguk Exit 5, we had to cross a road to Exit 4. The direction DIDN'T mention we need to use underground passage to cross the road. We were damsels in distress then. Imagine how difficult to carefully dragging/rolling the big and heavy luggage down and climb the staircases all by yourselves so u and the luggage won't fall down. Yes, I did regret for not packing into my 50 litres haversack at this point. Luckily the earlier rain had stopped and made our life a little easier.

Like all Korean dramas we watched (or I watched), the road leading to Beewon's front door is a narrow pathway that can comfortably fit only 2 person walking side by side. Secluded it made seen but welcoming enough.

Narrow yet clean pathway

The booking made by Sis Ernie only via email and no deposit or any payment made before our departure. They just wrote our booking on whiteboard at the counter and if we didn't show up on said date, they'll release the reservation to other traveller. Very simple.

Welcome to Beewon :)

The triple room we booked had one queen bed and additional mattress that can be laid on its wide heated floor for third person. Bathroom was attached unlike other dormitory bunk room downstairs. All basic facilities were in satisfactory condition, clean towel, TV set, hair dryer, fridge and toiletries. We paid W 54,000 per night and for me it's not cheap for the fact that it just a guest house, not a hotel room. But can't complaint much, that's just an average price one has to pay for staying in a typical guest house's room.

Downstairs where the reception counter was, were common rooms shared with other travellers.

An entertainment room as I called it placed a TV set and 2 units of PC with very good internet connection. A place u shall visit to rest and meet the other travellers after a day of walking Seoul. 

There was also a kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, toaster and hot water dispenser in it together with breakfast (toast, coffee, tea, yakult etc) served until 10am. Drinks are available at all the time, for free. Another room placed a washing machine and also locker. 

Overall, they offered more than simple lodging as a venue for u to feel and experience Korean culture, languange and hospitality. First impression with Korea, very very positive :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wedding Passport

Normally I don't say yes when my mum request to follow her to wedding of not-so-close relative although I know I should take the chance to tie the loose end to have much closer relationship with them. But last Sunday I went because this itchy feet need to go out and because grandma was also following. It could be because of law of attraction that many things happened to me related to travelling including this wedding invitation.

I swear I didn't go because of this

Imagine when mum handed me the invitation card to help dad in looking for direction, I looked at the card in disbelief. Inside the card even had a stamp like this. I found it amusing and unique.

The passport pages

They look real ain't they?

However, the overall wedding had nothing close to travelling theme. Instead, only colour theme of red and black.

Wedding hall

Wedding favours

It was just the invitation card and maybe this drink which manufactured in The Philippines.

One stamp on passport to bring this here

Weekly Travel Photo

Sipisopiso Waterfall, North Sumatera, Indonesia
It was captured at vantage point near Tongging, northwestern tip of Lake Toba. Sipisopiso means "like knives" (seperti pisau in Malay). It falls from height of 120m and reaches Lake Toba.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How I got bitten by travel bug

Looks like i'm gonna start the first destination with South Korea. A place I couldn't communicate without phrase book in hand, albeit the difficulties I loveeee to revisit someday. It's a place where I got bitten by travel bug and it still swell until now, got my first exposure of backpacking and independent travel or whatever u want to call it.

A trip to Korea was initiated by my cousin Ernie as she's a super duper die-hard fan of K-drama and all sort of stuff made from Korea :) It was actually an alternative for Japan after we found out the cost was beyond our budget during that time, and maybe still until now teehee...I had no option than following to her 10-day plan. Great, another long getaway after my Mount Yong Yap-Yong Belar expedition minus the hiking and eating can food in mass tin. I invited a good friend of mine, Sayra to tag along to share the experience with us. That made the 3 of us:

miss S(ayra)

miss E(rnie)

miss B(yya)
The initial plan was to go with travel agent since the languange barrier become our main concern as not many Koreans speak english. After Sis Ernie and I had went through a series of argument on the itinerary and last minute call from travel agent requesting us to change the travel date, we opted out of the travel package and move on our own. That was a start of our travelling adventure...and my first backpacking experience (not literally, i was carrying a big red luggage).

My parents were only being informed 2 nights before departure that we would be going independently. I was sooo worried they wouldn't allow if they knew earlier.

I was determined, packed like i'm gonna stay there forever;

it was half occupied with food stock actually ;)

Stuffed my wallet with some cash to stay living there.

Korea currency is Won

Found method to seam the communication barrier.

definitely the mobile phone was not use to call home

And finally, checking in and got this boarding pass to make all happen.

it was Korean Air *cool

So off we went to Seoul, capital city of South Korea on a midnight when there was a family gathering (sorry aunties and all, ticket was booked much earlier than your gathering).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Traveller's Anatomy

Welcome to Traveller's Anatomy :)

As the name suggest, it will mainly publish travel related entry to reflect my passion and this addictive hobby of mine. My ultimate goal is to travel Round The World (RTW) and to continue doing so until I have 195 countries stamped on my passport (thanks for inspiration Chris Guillebeau). InsyaAllah. I hope I don't sound too ambitious here because I've met many travellers been doing it for few years and yet they never wanna stop. I didn't exaggerate when I said it's addictive right?

Until that day ever come, do be patient with my humble progress and enjoy series of my previous travel destinations. If u find yourself consistently checking airline ticket (esp Air Asia) and can't stop planning next country to visit in your head during driving to work, yes u are a travel addict like me (nothing bad about that). Hope our path will cross one day and be my travel mate. Till then, never keep your backpack/luggage collecting dust and keep that travel spirit going!!!

p/s: I have finally moved over to join blogspot from travelpod, freely designing my blog. It may take some time to extract the previous content to here. Stay tune!