Welcome our baby!

Lilypie First Birthday tickers


Enjoying the sunshine, loving the green -

loving the pregnancy. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jeju Trip (4) - travel by ship

Though this year I travelled by air, for the last 3 years we went to Jeju Island by ship/ferry. We drove from Seoul to Mokpo Terminal, and then took the ship/ferry to Jeju Island. Though it was a long journey, but it was a different and meaningful experience. (May be our life just can't get away from ship?)

Let's start the journey!

First we drove all the way to Mokpo Port International Passenger Terminal. It is called as International Ferry Terminal. Address (in Korean): 전라남도 목포시 해안동1가. Generally, it takes about 4 hours 36 minutes to travel from the east of Seoul.

From the picture I took last year, there are also international line from this port to Shanghai. Anyway, there are a lot of people who takes the ship/ferry to jeju too. Despite of the long hours, the price is more affordable for most people. The service gets better too. In 2006 and 2007, we travelled with a smaller vessel that we faced a big storm in 2007 and the vessel shoke so much that almost of us were seasick. In 2008, we took a big ship - Queen Mary vessel which is much more stronger and heavier!

Let's see the difference:
(In 2007) Car Ferry Rainbow Vessel - 652 people only

(In 2008) Queen Mary - 1,650 people (should call it a cruise?)
I believe the Queen is more powerful.
We used ferry because cars are also travelled together to Jeju island. There are 2 kinds of tickets: first for the customer and the second for the car.
For the latest price list (from the Sea Ferry homepage),

  • VIP room (3-people) 266,400 won standard price.

  • Sweet room (2-people) 166,600 won s.p.

  • Royal room (2-people) 142,800 won s.p.

  • Family room (4-people) 219,600 won s.p.

  • 1-person bed 56,800 won (free for baby, 10% discount for middle, high school students, 20% discount for group, 30% for middle, high school students' group, and 50% discount)

  • 2nd grade chair 38,400 won (same as above, except baby 19,200 won)

  • 3rd grade economy room 25,800 won (same as above, except baby 12,900 won)
For car price list, see here. Carnival needs 164,000 won.
Queen Mary only operates 1 time per day from Mokpo to Jeju:
    9am (reach Jeju 1.20pm).
    operate everyday, rest on 2nd, 4th, 5th Monday.
    passenger allowed: 1,650.
While 2pm and 2.30pm are 2 other vessels (only allowed 642 and 250 passengers).
From Jeju to Mokpo:
     4:50pm (reach Mokpo 9:10pm). Mon - Sat
     4.30pm (reach Mokpo 8.50pm). Sunday only
 While the 2 other vessels ran at 9.30am and 4.50pm.
Reminder: Winter timetable: Jeju to Mokpo - 5.30pm.
Let's see the inside of Queen Mary - since I didn't take much photos of Rainbow vessel (seasick all the time).
For economy room no. 406, 45 people max.
ok... just sleep on the floor with 1 TV sharing!
Thus, you must bring your own mattress and blanket as the air-con is on all the time!
Anyway, walk around the ship - it is just like a mini cruise - everything is here - you're not easy to get boring!
Game room

GS 25 Mart in the ship!
Cafe/restaurant in the middle!
Massage room and souvenir shop too.
Walk out of the main lobby and your room.
Have a fresh air breathe!
See the wide and endless sea
There is even an event hall that have free performance. There are also karaoke (singing room) and public bath room too!
Just want to show you the parking place inside the ferry! Smart parking system, right? The cars are not shaking and do not hit each other too.
Just before ending this part, I also wanted to show you some experiences taking the ship from Jeju to Mokpo.
Depend on which ferry you take, some ferries straightaway parked at the big port. The new port of Jeju is much more better than this. We came to this small terminal by this bus.
Anyway, there is  one good thing of this port - a lot of shops to sell chocolates and souvenirs! Much more cheaper than the big port! They will shout out for sales when the passengers queue up to leave the port at the last  minute! Grab it if you really want the chocolates - 10,000 won for 3 packets or sth like that.
Hi! Queen Mary, nice to see you  again!
This time we had a  chance to apply the drivers' room! 1 bed in a small room, with a tv, small basin,and table. The point is the driver is treated well!
In conclusion, if you have a time and want to experience a different journey other than airplane, try the ship to Jeju Island! You may enjoy it and save some money!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jeju Trip - beach

Go to jeju island must go to the beach!
Since we stayed at 애월 aewol area, we went to the nearest beach - 곽지 해수욕장.
Address: 제주특별자치도 제주시 애월읍 곽지리
Visitor information 관광안내: 064-710-3222

Although the beach here does not have coconut trees like my hometown, Malaysia, it has its own uniqueness. You can view the clear blue sky widely!

You also can jump up and down to take such superactive photos too! Because the beach is so long and nobody will notice about what yo do!

The sand is very nice too! You can make sand man or sand mermaid easily - but don't forget to save him or her out as the sun is very hot! His or her face will be sunburnt but not his/her body!
Even you can see the see grass (look like sea weed) easily too!

For this beach which we went, guakji beach, is about 350m wide. Special of this beach is - hot and make you sun burnt straightaway - you have to walk quite a long way to the water. Anyway, it has 용천수 cold water straightaway coming from the land. Even inside the beach water you can feel the coldness of the water! There is a open shower room to clean yourself with the water! Beware! It's very cool!
Even mum wants to bring her baby to enjoy the beautiful nature! See the statue at the back of this photo? There are some sea lady statues in this beach.

Anyway, just want to show you that the baby in the previous photo (taken in 2007) grows up to be beautiful kid now! She touched the sand and played with the water herself this year!

Another special of the beach is that it has this kind of rocks along the way (different from southeast asian beaches).
Prepare your own tubes for yourself or your kids! Even other facilities that you want to play, if not you also can rent for the big tubes (not quite expensive). Also, you must rent a seat at the beach (with big umbrella, chair and table) - those are not free to sit.
The Koreans take care of their public facilities very well. This little spring was made in 2008 and the public car park was also organized better since 2008.

In 2008, the kids were still scared to play with the water themselves, but this year, they rushed to it and played under the water before entering the beach. Do not miss this part if you visit this beach! Let your kids enjoy the exciting moment!

Ok... why do I show this photo?

Food delivery are possible in the beach too! (Koreans zzang!)

Anyway, I still remembered we visited another beach in 2008 but I didn't know about the name. The view is very nice and there were also a lot of visitors!

When you see your kids yawning, it's time to go home! Or else, your kids will end up like the photo below:

Monday, August 24, 2009

KF Center`s 4th Anniversary Gallery Concert

After the summer concert on 29th June, Korea Foundation Cultural Center will organize another concert again:

KF Center`s 4th Anniversary Gallery Concert

Date: 1 & 2 September
Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: Gallery Nuri

The Grupo Vocal Millennium, a Spanish choir led by conductor Im Jae-sik will be featured on the first night of the concert, and on the second night there will be a performance by Prelude, a jazz ensemble composed of Berkeley College of Music graduates, and the French painter Gerard Economos’ painting performance.

If you wish to attend the concert, choose the date(September 1 or 2) you would like to come and send them an email(kfcenter@kf.or.kr) with your name, the date you have chosen and contact information.
Reminder: They are taking seat reservation from 17th of August until the 26th and they are giving out 2 seats per person.

homepage: http://www.kfcenter.or.kr/

Don't miss the chance!

New to Korea?

I saw this good news in http://korea4expats.com.

Living In Seoul Orientation Session
Date: Fri 28 Aug 2009
Time: 10:30am - 12pm
Venue: Itaewon - Hannam Global Village Center

At this session you will be able to learn about all the services and cultural opportunities that are out there for foreigners living in this city. Seoul is an exciting place with lots of great things to see and do. Whether you or new to Seoul or even if you have lived here for years, you will be able to get some useful tips and learn more about what Seoul has to offer.

The session will consist of an informative presentation, a Q&A session, and finally refreshments and a chance to mingle with the other guests at the end.

All those who attend will also receive a package of brochures, maps, and guides that will help make your life in Seoul a lot easier and more enjoyable.

This event is free of charge and anyone is welcome to attend.

Contact information:
Tel: 02)796-2459~60
Email: itaewon@sba.seoul.kr
For more information and to find directions to the center please visit their website: http://global.seoul.go.kr/itaewon/

Jeju Trip (3) - place to stay

For the past 4 trips we had been staying at the same pension 민박집 - 바다하우스 ( Beach house)
Address: 제주특별자치도 제주시 애월읍 고내리 1176
Tel: 064-799-6192

This lodging house has 3 floors. First floor has 4 rooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen and 2 toilets/bathrooms. Second floor has 3 rooms w/ 2 toilets and 1 kitchen too. While the third floor has 2 big rooms and 1 small rooms w/ 3 toilets.

The rooms also have 1 bed and wardrobe. Besides, it also has the bed and blankets prepared in the house. Can you see, the Korean girls really like to help one another to be beautiful?

They also have a big wide garden that you have bbq time. The kids can play with the water freely in the garden too.

We have a good view of the sea everyday from the pension. Whenever we can feel the sea, smell the sea and hear the sea water.

Especially sunset time, I really amazed by the wonderful moment!

The most important thing is that the owner of the pension is very kind and friendly. Although they don't serve meals, they provide free water and tissues.
This place is near to 곽지해수욕장 Guakji beach that we can swim there. Anyway, we went to the bank to swim everyday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jeju Trip (2) - souvenirs, Jeju airport

Jeju Air, similar with other cost-saving airline, has the ticketless system. So, just show your ID when you check in. They will provide you the boarding ticket which is orange color. :)
I love their passion to the customers. The stewardess did their best to serve! Bravo! Although just a short period of 1 hour, they provide Jeju tangerine juice and water. They are willing to give the kids on board the best time ever!
What to buy as souvenirs at Jeju Island?
All about tangerine.
Tangerine and Tangerine Chocolate are the most famous souvenirs. There are shops at airport which sell tangerine like below. But they sell more expensive than outside at the island. So try to get a cheaper price when you travel around.
For chocolates, there are commonly 4 types of taste provided: mandarin / tangerine chocolate 감귤 초콜릿, jeju cactus 백년초, pineapple 파인애플 and jeju green tea 녹차.
I still remember the price sold at airport: (for chocolate)
15 pieces 5,000 won
30 pieces 10,000 won
45 pieces 15,000 won
4-in-1 small size 10,000 won
So if you can get the price cheaper than this when you travel, buy it. If not, you have to pay more in the airport. If you go to Jeju by ferry, get them at the ferry terminal. You can get 10,000 won for 3 (15 pieces)!
Try this: big tangerine - They are in higher quality and taste better, price is so much more expensive.
Tangerine season: winter.
Do not miss these:
1) 돌하르방 Grandpa stone-related souvenirs - either take photos with them (anywhere in the island) or buy a small keychain
2) 해녀 woman diver - try to look for them. Even visit their restaurants is a good way to explore about their lives.

Try to visit Jeju airport as there is a photo exhibition - history of Jeju island.

When we took the taxi to the airport, the taxi driver told us that it takes at least 3 days to travel around all the tourist places of the island, not all of them can be covered but only some. Jeju island is developed very quickly into a tourism spot - that there are a lot of museums and national parks. Yet it takes us 1 hour plus to travel from the east to the west. Thus, time arrangement is very important if you want to cover the tourist places in just a few days - choose those you really want to visit.
You can travel around by:
  • bicycle (popular way for youth)
  • motorbike (not as tiring as bicycle)
  • rent car (if only 8-10 of you travel together, they provide GPS navigation system)
  • taxi (not cheap but convenient)
  • tour package (for honeymoon is the best)
  • drive your own car from Seoul (set your own schedule)
Tips: Get the taxi to airport - try to search for nearest taxi terminal which has calling service - save about 2000 won and also can reach airport on time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jeju Trip 2009 (1) - by plane

If you ask me what is special of my trip to Jeju this year? I would say, thanks God that I can fly! For the last 3 years, I went to Jeju Island by car to Mokpo and took the ferry. It took us about 1 day, but by flight I can be there within 3 hours (include 1.5 hour taking subway to airport and 1 hour by air).
We chose Jeju Air as it is cheaper and also in the early July they had special promotion for the flights. I could say it is a good saving airlines because they are customer friendly.

From Seoul to Jeju, they give free plane balloons to the kids. The kids really love it and it brightens up the boring flight - you know, the kids can't sit on the seat for too long unless they fall asleep! But the kids know they're going to a beautiful island, they are excited! So Jeju Air really cares for their customers (though the plane is small). They also give free balloons (making balloon art like doggie, flowers) on the flight back from Jeju to Seoul. The kids do not want to fall asleep on the way back because the stewardess promised on the flight to Jeju.
In addition, they also have photo taking session, but you must use your own camera. They provide the pilot hats and cute hair bands.
It's not difficult to find Jeju Air counter at Gimpo airport because it's orange color. In case, it is at the furthest left hand side of the 3rd floor. Check in earlier and you can walk around the airport. They will close the counter 20 minutes before the flight, so do not be late. Though Gimpo airport is small, they're a lot of people here and there. Get in before a long queue.
A reminder: Jeju Air always has delayed flight, I never encounter before but my friends did. You can ask from compensation if the flight is delayed.
What I brought on plane with me: my hat and my Samsung camera.

Gimpo airport First time I was here. It's small but very convenient because I can go there by subway (line 5).

Another advantage the airport is in the middle of the city: You can see the city very clearly from above the plane! (I didn't have a clearer view like this before from Incheon airport)


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