Tag Archives: vacation

Snapshots from Seoul: Hotel Rooms

16 Apr

I only stayed in Seoul/ South Korea for four days but I have stayed in two hotels. I don’t really know why our travel agency booked us that way.

Anyway, we stayed at Lone Star Hotel on the first two nights. I wasn’t really expecting much from our accommodation since I didn’t pay a premium for the package tour. Lone Star Hote is a small, cozy hotel (if I’m not mistaken there’s no onsite restaurant as we always had breakfast outside the hotel) near Dongdaemun.  A little corner in the lobby can be found which has complimentary coffee, tea, bananas, and fruit juice. The hotel was also nearby many convenience stores – 7-11, Mini-stop and GS25, restaurants, cafes, shops, drugstores, and tent restaurants (too bad I wasn’t able to try it).

I was surprised at how everything in my room was big – the bed, the floor area, tv, bath tub (I think it was a Jacuzzi that can fit two persons) and bathroom. I didn’t feel scared even though I was alone (I sometimes get paranoid staying at hotel rooms by myself), I even opened the windows just to balance the hot air emanating from the heater 🙂

Although there was no WiFi available, each room (I think) has a computer with internet connection which you can use for free. There were also  a small fridge, huge TV and DVD player including free bottles of water, coffee and tea, and toiletries in the bathroom. Of course, I had fun playing  using the automatic toilet seat 😀

There was no flourescent lamp in my room though so it was a little dim. But I liked the red lamps and lips wallpaper by the bed. Don’t you think my room looks a little like a honeymoon room? 😉

On our last day, we moved to a different hotel (outside Seoul). Business Hotel Jewelry is located in Gyeonggi-do. I did not really see much of the hotel or its nearby attractions or shops. Visit Korea in its website mentioned that, “Business Hotel Jewelry is close to Everland, Korean Folk Village, Gyeonggi Korean Traditional Music Center, and is only a 2-minute walk to Nam June Paik Art Center, and the Gyeonggi Provincial Museum. The Osancheon Stream also flows right in front of the hotel and is a good place to jog, walk, cycle and enjoy other sports activities.”

My hotel room was also big but not as chic-looking as the first one.

The room amenities at Business Jewelry Hotel are similar to the Lone Star Hotel Seoul – the TV, computer, bathroom, and toiletries, except for a couch and the cold/hot water dispenser (instead of a fridge). I did not also get scary vibes in this hotel, I even stayed up until 3AM watching Korean shows which I cannot understand 😉

I’m not sure about the other hotel facilities but this time, there was an onsite restaurant. The hotel staff was quite friendly, too. They were surprised when I greeted them in Korean.

 Can you tell I am missing Seoul and South Korea? 🙂 I will still be posting more entries with my travel to South Korea. I really hope you will enjoy reading them.

Where did you stay when you went to Seoul/ South Korea? What facilities/services of a hotel do you consider to be the most important? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

Snapshots from Seoul: Nami Island

16 Apr

NOTE: Nami Island/ Namiseom is not actually in Seoul but in Chuncheon (the capital city of  Gangwon Province, in the northeastern part of South Korea) but for the sake of uniformity of my travel accounts in Seoul, I’m keeping the same heading.

After our quick stop at Provence Village, we headed to Chuncheon for lunch. Chuncheon is popular for dak galbi, it is a dish which consists of chicken, cabbage, rice cakes, potatoes, and scallions with gochujang, a red pepper sauce, cooked on a big pan in the center of the table.

dak galbi

And off we went to Nami Island, after our hearty lunch.

Nami Island or Namiseom is a “tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon that was formed due to the rising water of the North Han River because of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.”

We had to ride the ferry, Nami Maid, for a five-minute ride to reach Nami Island.

Nami Maid – queue to the ferry – five-minute ride – winterscape

Welcome to Naminara Republic

Naminara Republic is an imaginary country where a “passport” is issued to gain entry into Namiseom. It declared itself a self-governing contry in 2006; it has also invented its own passport, currency, stamp, and telephone card”.

I actually did not see the “passport”, perhaps it was with our tour guide? I remembered just holding a Namiseom pamphlet (in Thai) when we boarded the ferry. I’m not sure about the currency, stamp, and telephone card either. I did not stay long enough to observe these things. I bought a steamed bun when I was there but I used the “regular” Korean won.

winter wonderland

Winter Sonata memorabilia

Nami Island is also one of the filming locations of the hit South Korean drama, Winter SonataTourists from far and wide, especially the avid Korean drama fans flock Nami Island for this very reason. But the time when we were there, there were also many Korean families with small children and groups of young adults or university students even on a Monday.

There were also art galleries, outdoor exhibitions, museums, shops, and small stalls selling food and coffee.

outdoor art sculptures and exhibitions

 “I see trees of green…”

Natural beauty abounds in Nami Island even in winter. I just cannot imagine how awesome it can get when flowers bloom in spring or when leaves turn red in fall.

I was not able to explore the whole of Nami Island but from what I have seen and experienced, the place is not only a feast to the senses but it also enables you to be attuned and appreciate the beauty of nature. Nami Island is a dreamy paradise that is definitely worth visiting especially with every season change.

Have you been to Nami Island or to a similar place that left you a lasting impression? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

Snapshots from Seoul: Provence Village

15 Apr

NOTE: Provence Village is not actually in Seoul but in Gyeonggi-do (a province in South Korea) but for the sake of uniformity of my travel accounts in Seoul, I’m keeping the same heading.

map of the village

Hi everyone! Munching on some Korean strawberries brought me back to Korea and I reminisced all the beautiful places I visited on my winter trip. It also made me realise that I haven’t finished my posts on my travel to South Korea almost two months ago. So, here is one of our destinations…

Provence Village is the very first place we visited after going out of the airport. I was really excited because I thought we will be going to Petit France. I was the first one to excitedly get off the bus to look for the Little Prince-inspired landmarks and I realised we’re at the wrong place (Our tour guide was speaking in Thai so I couldn’t understand what he was talking about most of the time).

Anyway, Provence Village is a themed village to probably resemble a little charming French village. The area is not really that big and the whole “village” comprised mainly of quaint cafes, restaurants (I saw a shabu-shabu and French restaurants, among others), and shops selling trinkets, souvenirs, candies, and more. The shophouses and cafes are uniquely painted in bright colours, too. There is also a nice garden and a pond in the center. While there is not much to be done in Provence Village except for some casual dining and eclectic shopping (I espied on a Zara warehouse, too), there is plenty of opportunity for cam-whoring. I did, too 🙂

Here are some of the pictures… Enjoy!

French restaurant – signage – drama/ movie poster*

(*I’m guessing that a certain drama/ movie filmed there, but I can be wrong)

charming cafes, restaurants and shops

out in the sun

I think it was only 3 degrees Celsius that time and coming from Thailand, it was a chilly day!

a sidestreet – cafe – more restaurants and cafes

the pond – “Vincent Van Gogh” house – and more shops

We only stayed there for barely half an hour and I have walked the center area thrice (I still didn’t make any friends with my tour group at this time so I was by my lonesome T.T). I guess when you’re with friends or special someone, you’ll see Provence Village differently. Looking at the pictures now, it actually seemed a romantic place.

I will be definitely back next time 🙂 Have you been to Provence Village? Which part/ area did you like? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

Nail Polish Haul

13 Apr

Hi everyone! Before I forget, I would like to greet you all “Happy Songkran Day”. April 13-15 is Songkran Festival which is the Thai New Year. It is a popular time for water fights  fun and merriments but it is first and foremost a religious and cultural celebration. I will explain more about Songkran in my next post 🙂

Anyway, our long holiday officially started yesterday. Since I don’t want to get wet when I go out for the next three days, I decided to visit the mall and buy some groceries. I did not only bring home a week’s supply of food but also 6 bottles of nail polish as well. It’s not like I ran out of nail polish but I really can’t just resist them.

After not paying attention to Revlon and 17 nail polish for quite a while and having bought a lot of different Korean-brand nail polish, I gave them another look yesterday. It was not a bad idea at all since I discovered new colours and got away with new bottles again.

Here’s my humble haul:

Whimsical – Hazy – Ocean

I was glad I browsed through the Revlon counters at Watsons and Siam Paragon because I have finally gotten ahold of Whimsical! There were new colours available, too but I only got these three.

Sweet Kisses – Bolt from the Blue – Pink Lemonade

I also went to Boots to check out some items. They have an ongoing  “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” promotion so I checked out what I can get. Instead of make up, I decided to get the 17 nail polish because I haven’t tried it before. There’s not a lot of choices, though.

Was I happy with my little loot? Of course I am! I can’t wait to try all six of them. I have used Revlon Ocean, though, and I’ll do a separate post about it.

What’s your current favourite nail polish brand or colour? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂