travel journal part 4 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | Everland safari + Myeongdong Dog Cafe

Hello again ~

I really wanted to share two awesome experiences and places in Seoul that U NEED TO take a look at !

BEFORE I get to this incredibly cute little pug on the top half of this collage I want to tell u about my first ever safari experience which I was able to get at the

Everland Theme Park

 

which lies a little more outside of Seoul but can be reached with train and bus in an hour .
And ( again . . . ) if it weren’t that cold I would have enjoyed it sooo much more than I’ve already done back there .

But super cold weather ( the sun couldn’t possibly warm me up against the freezing wind ) + fast rides on rollercoasters or other attractions just don’t do anyone any good .

It was pretty surprising to me though that there were quite many people in the theme park !

I guess they all wanted to enjoy the really really cooool safari tours there ?

There was a tour with a bus to take a look at a lot of tigers and lions , snow lions , ligers , etc and I was a little afraid first . . .

but they didn’t move much so I was totally fine throughout the tour :)

It’s cool for someone like me who won’t ever get to countries where these animals are at home .

But I did keep in mind that they are held there against their will .

People may want to talk all they want against such an act and I truly DO NO support these things

BUT

it’s not like they hold the animals there and harm them .

People should raise more awareness against the killing of these animals and THAT doesn’t happen in zoos etc .

Instead they are fed all the time and get a lot of love from the staff .

And a lot of small children get to see such great animals in real life and get super excited and happy .

I think things like these also matter :)

First time I ever saw these animals in real life .
Might as well be the last I will ever get this close to them .
SUPER CLOSE .
This giraffes head was right above mine .
How I would have loved to pet it . . . ~
As I was freezing and trying my best to warm up but it was no use . . .
( sorry Geon for taking me to this wonderful place and sorry for being so sensitive to cold :( . . . )
we went back to Seoul and had something super healthy and yummy to warm up again !

Super good KIMCHI !

Of course it wasn’t the super yummy kimchi that warmed us up but the Ginseng Chicken !
I strongly recommend anyone to try Ginseng Chicken like this .
I love it because it’s super good for health and warms you up in cold winter days ~
I also tried this once in Beijing in Wangjing and it was super good there but this one was EVEN BETTER .
There are plenty of places to get this Korean dish so don’t miss it when you visit South Korea ! ! !
We also visited Myeongdong and had breakfast there :
Haha – I super duper rarely ever have breakfast . Instead my first meal of a day is lunch .
This is why sometimes I call this brunch :D
Anyway – it was a good meal ~
I like how in Korean restaurants they like to add some rice to what is left in the wok / bowl at the end and then fry it .
One thing I have to share with those of you who do not know of it :
the best part of these fried rice at the end is the rice that gets stuck on the wok / bowl and gets a little burned .

IT’S THE BEST PART coz it’s super crispy I LOVE IT ~

 

Roaming the streets of Myeongdong we set our eyes on a

Myeongdong Dog Café

which happens to be close to a cat café .
One can’t help but instantly fall deeply in love with those super cute and fluffy and cuddly dogs inside the café !
They were all so cute and it’s really cool and interesting how it’s not us visitors who get to choose the dog we want to cuddle and pet . . . no . . .
IT’S THE DOG WHO GETS TO CHOOSE !
Needs some amount of patience to get a decent photo with the dogs you like when they actually don’t want to stick with you ;A;
OH BUT I REALLY REALLY ADORED THIS LITTLE BUN HERE !

 

OH MY WHY IS HE SO CUTE ? ? ?
I don’t know why but I find pugs so cuuuuute ~

 

They had sooo many dogs but the three different sized pugs were my favourites ~

 

I guess they have a super relaxed life here at this dog café .
But most of them were picked of from the streets actually . . .
I really like how this café didn’t simply pick cute n good looking dogs but dogs that were in need !

 

I always wanted to raise a dog . . . after this experience my urge to want one has grown bigger . . .
I WANT ONE SO MUCH
So that’s it about Seoul I wanted to share with you :)
I had sooo much good food here hehe ~
Look forward to the last part of my Korea trip journal :
Yeosu + Namhae | This is Korea ! part 5

 

A visit to the south part of South Korea !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 3 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | Bukchon + Ihwa | villages of Seoul

Hello everyone ~

this third part of my Korea trip posts will be about one of my favourite things in Seoul :
the cute and artsy villages of Seoul !
I only made it to two of the villages of Seoul but they are both soooo interesting and super beautiful ~
IF ONLY it wasn’t that cold . . . I surely would have enjoyed walking in the small streets longer . . .
But you should always see the bright side of everything like me thinking it’s actually pretty smart to come in winter when it’s so super cold because this way there are only few tourist at all the tourist spots :D
And yeah that was an absolutely correct thought !

Haha . . .

I don’t like being in too crowded places for too long so I preferred it this way :D

The first village I visited was

Bukchon Hanok village | Korean traditional village

The streets here are small and not straight at all . . . walking down those streets make you actually forget you are in such a big metropole .

It’s like you are back in time in an old Seoul ~

I love the atmosphere that these old houses create !

Sooo different from the rest of Seoul yet it is just minutes away from the modern parts haha ~

Rare of me to let myself get photographed by someone else especially all alone in a picture . . .

so this photo which came out quite OK is worth showing haha ~

The next village we visited ( on another day though ) was the

Ihwa Mural village

which is famous for it’s artsy streets and walls and paintings at every corner .
Even the staircases are super cool !

Several artists have made installations + wall paintings + other art creations all across this village .

The streets here give off an entire different atmosphere than in Bukchon Village .

A lot more . . . chaotic somehow but not rundown at all !

Unlike the other village I think photos taken in Ihwa Village would be even more charming with more people on them :P

From the top of this pretty village with steep , really steep streets I could see Seoul at sunset .

Not that far from there we went to the Seoul Tower and Seoul’s highest point of view .

I got to catch this photo hehe ~

At first I only wanted to take a nice photo of the moon which shone soooo bright upon the whole city .

Then I noticed the green highlighted Seoul Tower next to it and wanted to take a photo of both together .

THEN I noticed the beautiful pavillon underneath the tower .

That’s exactly how this photo was made haha ~

I totally recommend any Seoul visitor to take a look at these two villages !

It’s a MUST-SEE really !

I hope you enjoyed this post ! Maybe it will give you some ideas of what to ( MUST ) see when you get to Seoul hehe ~
The next part will be :

Seoul | This is Korea ! | Everland safari + Myeongdong Dog Cafe 

OMG after visiting the dog cafe I think I really want to have a dog now . . . so cuuute !

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

Fragrant Hills | one of Beijings TOP spots | Beijing from the top

The Fragrant Hills
This is another great must-stop-by spot of Beijing .

I claim that there is no other better place to get the best new of Beijing !


Though I can’t possibly know that . . . because it’s the only highup place I have been to :D . . .


 

 

You srsly get an all over view of the oh-so-huge capital Beijing !
There is just one condition for you to get access to this view :
 

 

YOU HAVE TO CLIMB 
ALOT


OF 
STAIRS



and walk a loooong loooooong road all the way up the Fragrant Mountains :)

 

You could of course as well pay your way up to the top but I can promise you – once you reached the top after walking for 3 hours maybe ( no joke ) you feel so proud of yourself for not having returned halfway .


I love these kinds of experiences !

They view is lovely and the photos I took can’t possibly fully show you how beautiful that scenery is .

 

Yes – I am telling to go there by yourself haha ~


But let me show you my photos to let you get an idea of how it is like there :)


The weather was so good and the air soon fresh up here ~
You can see a lot of Beijing from here – in case the air pollution on that day is not too bad that is :P

 

But I was lucky that everything was totally fine that day !


 

 

 

As I was making my way up to the top we stopped at some spots to take short breaks and I got the chance to take panorama photos ~
Another chance to show off the iPhones great panorama feature hehe . . .  

 

 

And let me tell you one more thing – the scenery will look soon much better when the leaves are getting red and yellow ( autumn look ) ! Make sure to check that when you come haha ~


Both Geon and me were so exhausted from the LONG walk but super happy when we reached the top haha ~

He denied being exhausted for a long time and I bet everyone could see he was .
Stupid .
That’s how I always call him .
Stupid Geon tsss .
In the end I said that it’s damn human to be exhausted .
I was also super exhausted and thirsty . . . but I saw him being like that and so I told him to take a rest .
OF COURSE I ALSO WANTED TO REST HAHA ~Sometimes it’s better to speak out ones mind even if it’s plain stuff like these haha ~

Love you anyway. . . my stupid Geon  <3

This place is nearby Tsinghua University ( Science Park ) but still a little far off from central – it took us an hour to get there . Or maybe a little more :D ?

But it was worth it and I reaaaaally really LOVED the streets we passed to get to the entrance of the Fragrant Hills Park !



Full of yummy food and stuff – make sure to grab water there ( not expensive actually ! ) before you head to the park !

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 2 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | spa experience + Kwangjang Market

Hello everyone !

In this post I will tell you about my funny experience at the spa ( yea – like in Korean TV drama haha ) and at local markets like the Kwangjang Market ~
Oh yes I didn’t expect to be taken to the spa but we actually stayed over here since it really is cheaper than a hotel and this particular spa we stayed at is really good and well known .
Because it’s not tourist season ( too fcking cold I guess ) there weren’t many people at the spa which made the whole experience even more relaxing !

I couldn’t possibly get a picture to show you the bathing area but let me tell you it was really interesting .

I never went to a public bath before and so I was feeling a little uncomfortable getting completely undressed in front of all everyone ( women area of course ) and then going to the bathing area x.x
But the many bath tubs / water basins with different healthy and revitalizing substances really helped me forget about feeling awkward and made me want to stay all day haha ~

I guess the baths are the most valuable part of the spa but the institution actually had several floors !

Sooo many floors and rooms and areas – since everything was new to me everything was so interesting to me !
I am glad that there were only a few other guests so I could sneakily take some photos hehe ~
The above photo shows one of the main areas the meeting place where women and men can meet up again after their shower and bath in the lower level .
The following photo shows the cute entrances to some of the many fomentation rooms .
I actually never heard of the word ” fomentation ” before so I’m not sure if it is used correctly by them . I just hope it is . . . XD
The following photo is the the Red Clay Cave sleeping area in the top level .
I didn’t sleep here and – I didn’t sleep in the sleeping area at all .
I simply slept in one of the fomentation rooms which are quite small so that there are less people to disturb me sleeping ( by snoring or other noises ) .
Plus it was super cozy warm haha ~
After bathing you relax with some ice cold rice drink ( super refreshing ! ) and boiled egg which originally are boiled in the hot water tubs of a spa :D
Not the best dinner I had in Seoul being at the spa made it somewhat special anyway :
cold noodles + seaweed soup + lots of side dishes
Damn I just LOVE Korean side dishes .
One of the reasons I love Korean cuisine so much ~
Next morning we went to a market which is well known for its rice cakes ~
I looove korean rice cake and here they come in special styles :
Crispy hot and spicy or plain salted with oil honey coating .
I preferred the spicy one which may as well be more unhealthy haha ~
So I had a whole pot of this !
No way I could finish all this .
I had a much smaller plate XD
foodography, journal, korea, korean food, korean spa, kwangjang market, rice cake, seoul, south korea, travel, trip,
This is the glazy plain rice cake which is crispier than the spicy one .
Seeing this now while writing about it I want to have rice cake omg . . .
Another market I visited another day was really full of people and everyone was having traditional Korean pancake / pizza ( that’s how Geon called it ) and raw beef tartar and kimbap and a whole lot of fried veggies .
The fried pancakes were super oily but soooo crispy and good ~
They pre-fry this so you could chose to have them as take-away as they are cooled down or refry them so you can instantly enjoy them .
My friend introduced me to Yukhoe – spiced raw beef with eggyolk .
The taste was really good and it was much better than I thought it would be but I refrained from having too much of this x.x
I really like the market though there were so many people .
It can’t be compared to chinese markets and I like how the people would sit next to the stalls to enjoy freshly fried food served in front of them despite the cold weather .
How I would loooove to visit this place again . . . ~
I hope I can somehow learn to make that Korean pancake or the rice cake fried like that by myself !
Anywayyy – I really reaaaaally recommend you guys to visit the local markets to get cheap and yummy Korean food . You would miss something if you don’t !
Coming next is my 3rd part of the travel journal :
Seoul | This is Korea ! | Bukchon + Ihwa | villages of Seoul
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 1 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | first impressions of South Korea

Hello everyone !

This will be the first part of the travel posts of South Korea ~
Since I got to see sooooo many things and took alot of photos I figured I should slowly tell you about my trip and I hope I will be finished with this by the time I get to Tokyo XDD !
Because after Tokyo there will be even more to tell you about and no I don’t want to procrastinate anymore . . . but I swear it was not on purpose ! I simply don’t have WIFI at home here in Hong Kong . . .
I finished editing all the headers for the upcoming posts though haha ~
6a6f8-seoul1

So let’s start with my first impressions of South Korea :D

I thought about telling you everything in chronological order but I don’t want to make this into a 8 part journal and rlly I could tell you so much but I spare you haha !

So I will make this into a chaotic 6 part travel journal ~So my very first thought once I stepped out of the airplane to hop onto a bus to transfer us to the terminal of Incheon International Airport was : COLD .

Cold as hell .
Cold as WTFH AM I DOING HERE ?
And I had this thought several times while walking around in the bitter cold urban area of Seoul .
Well all together I really really liked my trip in South Koreas capital BUT I could have enjoyed my stay soooo much more if it only weren’t that cold .

-15 C

I can’t remember a day when I had to endure this kind of weather before omg .
But I tried my very very veeery best to enjoy the time in Seoul despite freezing to death .
HOW I HATE COLD WEATHER .
I was super glad all the buildings were equipped with good heaters !
And while strolling around the streets there were many streetfood vendors to sell yummy food to warm you up ~

One of my favourite foods from this journey – Bungeoppang .

Sweet red bean filled fried fish shaped cakes which are similar to the japanese snack Taiyaki .

I was surprised at how cheap all the streetfood was because friends warned me of not expecting cheap prices from the food in Seoul .
Of course it’s not as cheap as in Beijing but I really expected european prices XD . . .
old style steamed korean buns
They are areas where food is more expensive though – areas where there are lots of tourists who don’t care of the prize :D
I don’t actually belong to this group but I couldn’t get around without buying this poop shaped Bungeoppang !
This single one costs exactly the same like three fish shaped Bungeoppang which are much more delicious btw .
Coming to Seoul one of the first stops was the Palace Gyeongbokgung .
Knowing the palace in Beijing and being an architecture student I have to apologize for comparing these two palaces .
I know they are so different and I rlly don’t want to say that the Chinese palace is much bigger but well that’s a fact haha but both are beautiful in their own way .
Korea is much smaller than China after all but this palace is reallz charming and I personally like the size of this palace much more ~
Directly opposite to the palace thrones King Sejong the Great who invented the Korean Alphabet Hangul for the mostly analphabetic population of Korea .
I totally agree that Chinese characters are simply too difficult 8D . . .
During my trip I got to know a lot about South Korean history in museums and from friends . Actually I knew about nothing before because at school I was only taught about european history and world war history and other big events for western people .
South Korea has comparatively little to do with Germany after all .
I just remember something I witnessed in front of the monument !
You know how Chinese people just LOVE to take photos of everything ?
There was a family taking photos with the statue and the three objects in front of it .
They even sat their little son onto one of the objects which may look comfortable to sit on but is actually one of the inventions King Sejong introduced and this particular one is for measuring the rainfall .
[ source : https://wendyroamingtheworld.wordpress.com ]
Facepalm .
All the way .
My friend told them that it is an important object and that one shouldn’t sit on it so they immediately got their little boy from it . Still feel sorry for their ignorance . . . 

Ok next topic – FOOOOOD !

I got to know a LOOOOT of good Korean food and to sum up my dining experience there : hot and spicy and sometimes also sweet .
Koreans love their red chilli pepper paste and most of the dishes I tried included the paste .
This makes Korean food very salty and thus a little unhealthy ( high blood pressure risk ) and adding sugar makes their dishes not only more likeable to eat but also quite high in calories .
You wouldn’t consider these things when enjoying Korean dishes haha ~
Since I rarely have Korean food I couldn’t care less about such facts and just enjoyed the food !
I visited several places and of them was a stylish style restaurant in Hongdae named

Hwatteok No1 Tasty Road in Korea

 and I loved both the interior design as well as the food there ~
We ordered the menu for two which was more than enough for us to feel super duper full .
One of my favourite dishes of the Korean cuisine is sweet n spicy squid !
This lobster baked with cheese topping looked fancier than it actually tasted .
Guess it was OK but since Seoul geographical situation towards the ocean / sea is similar to Beijing the seafood here can’t be too fresh AND cheap .
Me coming straight from Hong Kong knows how fresh seafood makes a HUGE difference !
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this travel journal :
Seoul | This is Korea ! | spa experience + Kwangjang Market
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen