Hong Kong 2019 Day 14 – Seoul to Hong Kong

Transition day for us and so slept in late as usual while I had to wake up slightly earlier to pack. The transport that we booked was for 10am, giving us 3.5hrs to get from Seoul to Incheon Airport for the flight to Hong Kong scheduled at 135pm.

I had to dress K in this sleep and then turn on YouTube to automate the rest of the morning process. Soon he was already up and ready eating bread and having his milk.

We made it to the ground floor to find a black vehicle waiting downstairs but of a different vehicle number. Whatsapp the driver who helped with the booking and found that the vehicle was not the right one even though he thought that the vehicle had arrived. It wasn’t too long before our vehicle came.

This Chinese driver helped with the luggage as we all loaded up his vehicle, this time more spacious for us as my sister’s family had left on an earlier vehicle to Gimpo for their extension to Japan. The journey was a 1 hr drive to Incheon and it was spent with K chattering most of the time and playing with imaginative scenarios of ice cream making and trying to shoot some last photos of Seoul from the vehicle with my phone.

Leaving for the airport…many bridges around Seoul
Interesting looking building.
AREX train
Incheon Airport

We got off the vehicle, paid the 70k and as I wanted to whip out my phone to see if I could place some Pokémon at the Seoul gym, I found it missing. The transport! With all the contacts being made thru my phone, I was in a very difficult situation but thankfully I remembered that I got a name card from my first driver and was taking photo of it just in the morning in the vehicle with my camera. Found it in the bag and quickly called him. Though it was frustrating, he managed to call the driver who brought back the phone to me.

We carried out the check in at the self check in machine assisted by the staffs there and it was a breeze. They even helped with attaching the luggage stickers and we were off to dropping off the luggage at the counter. We were informed to stay back for 10mins to clear the luggage Xray in which we just visited the toilet and then left to queue to clear security and immigrations. It wasn’t too long before we were at the departures and granddad who was holding bags of goodies that we bought informed me that my strawberry jam from Pocheon strawberry farm was confiscated because it was not checked in!

Did some last minute shopping for mommy who wanted something from Nature Republic and then again to spend off some of the Korean Won, I bought more goodies to bring home while the rest of the family were having a small lunch of Udon at the Saboten outlet in the food court.

Robot at the charging station
Airstar Avenue for last minute shopping needs

We walked towards the gate with 15mins left and upon reaching found that we were last passengers to get on. Made it to our seats and then the plane was seated there for almost 15mins before it took to the skies. But this was not a problem as K was thoroughly entertained by the entertainment games. This plane was a new one, different from the ones we took from Singapore, and the entertainment system was new too!

There was time for me to watch 2 movies which I caught Into the Spiderverse and King of Comedy. K just played his Mickey Mouse game throughout and a little bit of Angry Birds. He was even lamenting why the plane landed so quickly before I had to pull him away to disembark.

I love the new screens
For the boy, pretty sumptuous

Clearing immigrations and customs was quick, even our luggage was out the moment we arrived at the belt. We met our Hong Kong relatives at the arrival hall who was there to pick up my aunt to return home. They then escorted us to the taxi stand where we separated and went on our way to Lanson Place hotel, the accommodation where mommy was staying for her business trip.

It was a one hour drive where we all slept and upon reaching, the kind bellboys just took over all the barang barang and we could just go to the 1st floor for check in. Did a check in for my parents since mommy already checked in for her room and as we requested for the same floor, there wasn’t one. They gave an upgrade to my parents which was twice the room size but when they looked at the place and found too many mirrors and felt uncomfortable, they were given a room at the much lower level instead.

TV and a desk
Queen bed
Small pantry with stove
Rain shower



We got out for dinner and visited a Wing Kee noodle store and joined a queue that already formed. The noodle store concept was like Yong Tau Foo and we ordered 2 bowls with 4 and 3 varieties and a bowl of vegetables. Shared mine with K who loved this place as he loved noodles and could take the Tau Pok, fish cake and even the vegetables while mommy gave him some pork. I found the soup base really good and that complimented the other food that had a good texture. Worth the queue that didn’t take too long and the affordable price of 114HKD.

Wing Kee noodle store with its queue
Yummy noodles

Proceeded to Yee Shun Milk company to have some desserts and ordered the steamed milk with red bean for mommy and chocolate flavor for me while my parents had the original and lotus seed one. The staff had to confirm the order so many times that we wondered why she didn’t bother to just write it down. The dessert tasted good, the same that I remembered it to be the last time I tried, which explained the always fully occupied seats in the store. Paid 155HKD for 4 desserts.

Yee Shun milk company at Causeway Bay
Red bean

Spent the night walking around the streets and taking photos. There were big movies displays for photos and we got some photos with the Avengers at Hysan place and another with Dumbo at Lane Crawford.

Avengers Endgame exhibit
4D Dumbo experience
Dumbo exhibits to take photos with

After this short walk around the streets that were still crowded with people brightly lit with colourful lights, we returned to the rooms for the night. Mommy had some time to catch up play time with K on his whack-a-mole before we all turn in for the night.

Streets of Causeway Bay at night

Seoul 2019 Day 13 – Strawberry farm, Ponchon Art Valley and Herb Island light festival

The last itinerary in Korea started late (planned that way). While K slept in till about 10am, grandma was up early preparing some food for K, fearing that he wasn’t eating enough food since most Korean food was spicy.

I got K up and dressed him, packed and got out of the apartment by 1130. We had to have lunch before the vehicle would arrive at 1pm to pick us up so we decided to check out the Chinese restaurant at the 4th floor outside Lotte Outlet.

Went in the restaurant and choose a mushroom soup, a seafood noodle and a plate of XO fried rice and granddad ordered some spicy noodles, all these for 54k. K had his lunch that grandma cooked. The food tasted ok and felt Chinese, a pretty rare place to find in Korea dominated by the Korean cuisine restaurants.

Fish soup.
Seafood noodles


We were late for the 1pm appointment and I informed the driver, the same one we had on Tuesday, that I would whatsapp him when we were ready. Grandma had to return to the apartment first and by the time everyone was finally on ground floor and loading up, it was already 130pm.

The journey to Pocheon was 1.5hrs and our first stop was to a strawberry farm that the driver brought us. Wanted K to rest to avoid car sickness but he refused, and ended up puking a few times.

We arrived at the farm at around 3pm. The staff there gave us boxes to collect the strawberries and we were told that we get 15mins to pick and eat at the farm and were given instructions on where to throw leftovers from eating and how to pick strawberries. My nephew had to eat some lunch there as he was having a fever and not feeling well before and we started going to the farm to pick strawberries after 10mins. Grandma wasn’t interested in strawberries and stayed out with my sleeping niece while the rest went down the lane to pick. Taught K how to identify the red ones and how to pick them and he had a fun time filling his box while mine was not being filled as I only had two hands and couldn’t manage two boxes. I even spilled one box of the strawberries and had to wash them later.

Strawberry farm
Name on the box
Lanes of strawberries

The staff saw that one of my boxes was not filled and helped me go around to fill them up. I washed the strawberries and tried the jam spread before getting one jar (we skipped the jam making experience as it needed at least 5 people to participate and costed just the same amount of getting a jar of jam per person and we didn’t need that much jam) and leaving for the vehicle. The picking costed 17k per person and the jam was 5k.

Strawberry jam
2 boxes of strawberries

30mins drive and we were at the 2nd location, the Pocheon art valley. Using the coupons (that was found in the Korea tourism brochure) that I brought from Singapore, that enabled us to get the tickets at much lower than shown at the ticket counter. The total costs were 25.8k while the kids get to go in free. For normal pricing, it was 5k for entrance and 4.5k for return trip on monorail and that would work out to 57k already.

At the ticket counter
Ticket for all

We took the monorail up as it was a steep slope upwards and visited the beautiful granary first where some drama was shot there before. After we were satisfied, we headed uphill back to the Astronomical Science Center for a visit as K was most interested in astronomy and was eager to go. We missed the planetarium show timing and had to give it a miss but the rest of the exhibit took all the time that we had left even though there were only 3 small rooms. There were telescopes to looked into (though not at the sky) which was something interesting that not a lot of places would have.

The monorail
Astronomy science center at the background
Pocheon Art Valley
Planets lining along the road to the museum
Astronomical Science Center
Giant sun and the planets of the solar system
Meteorite to touch

We took the monorail down and left the art valley at 6pm, and drove 20mins to the Herb Island for the light festival. Upon arrival, I used the coupon too and this time, I couldn’t get the cheaper fee of 6k but 7k instead as the staff mentioned that there was a price hike (what?) and then 2 kids had to pay too so the total costs was 56k for 8 people.

View at Art Valley before leaving
Another view of the surrounding
Herb Island ticket

The vehicle then drove us uphill and let us off at the bottom of the main restaurant. We were trying to find a place for dinner and as we walked around to find the store selling traditional Korean soup meal, we couldn’t communicate to ask what was inside the soup and wasn’t sure what was included, we left. I went around to look for the restaurants first while the rest huddled in an arcade area to rest. It was a huge area and I found the Chinese restaurant closed and the one at the top of the hill selling western. I even wandered into the Santa land by mistake before arriving back to inform them about what I saw as they huddled in the warm arcade games room.

Picturesque place in Herb Island
Pretty houses with lighting
Love design
Santa street
Field full of lights at Santa land

We walked back to the main restaurant up the hill and was seated in a grand hall nicely decorated. Ordered a pork cutlet kids meal for K, a herb salad for myself, pork cutlet for grandma, pizza for granddad and a rosbap for my aunt, all for 54k.

Nice interior design at the restaurant
Pork cutlet
Salad with plants directly from Herb Island

After we were done with dinner, we went to roam around the island with whatever time that was left. Managed to see Santa land but missed the donkeys as it was late already. Saw some rabbits in an enclosure and walked past some dinosaurs. K had to go poo and after toilet visit, we only had time to just shoot whatever there was at the surrounding before going back to the vehicle. We found out that the entrance had a large beautiful area that we missed but it was already late and we were already on our way out.

Lighted heart shaped seats
Rabbits in the enclosure
Light design of boy proposing to a girl
K taking photos of me
Dancing light field
Surrounding area where we didn’t get a chance to see
Colourful trees
Lots of places to pose for photos

The return journey was about 1.5hrs and K and I just slept throughout the journey. We woke up at the ground floor of our apartment and requested the driver to provide a vehicle for us to Incheon the next morning at 10am for 70k. The night was spent with play, packing, bathing, eating strawberries and calling mommy before sleeping. We were flying off for Hong Kong the next morning.

Seoul 2019 Day 12 – Dongdaemun and Lotte Outlet

This day was planned as a break in between to rest the tired legs for everybody. At the same time, mommy would be flying off at night while my niece was celebrating her birthday and thus their family wouldn’t be joining us until dinner.

We initially planned a trip to COEX and the aquarium but changed our minds because of the fatigue. We decided to go Dongdaemun instead.

Everyone woke up later than usual and slept in till we had enough. I went to get some breakfast for everyone as our loaf of bread had ran out. I reached Lotte Mart only to find out that the Mart only opens at 10. With 30mjns to spare, I went to Seoul Station to find other choices in which I bought what looked like butter cake from a shop called Ding Dong for 14k and some pastries from another shop.

Ding Dong Cafe
Kiseki cake

The cake was pretty tasty and wasn’t really butter cake as it was quite sweet. After breakfast, we then got dressed and got out of the apartment by 11 plus. 2 stations later we arrived at Dongdaemun station and we got lost for a bit trying to find the toys and stationary wholesale street. Finally got to Exit 4 and turned in at the second street, the shops that lined this street was selling tons of toys and stationary to choose from.

Cheonggyecheon Stream at Dongdaemun
Toy street
Full of toys
Store full of stationeries.

We were searching for a toy for our niece but ended up buying one for each (K got his whack-a-mole tiny arcade machine) and even granddad bought 2 toy parrots for his grandsons. From the stationary store we also managed to get some cartoon themed item and I bought K a pair of learning chopsticks with Pikachu pictures and a container to keep them for 8k.

After this visit that effectively ended at the 2nd store, we tried to search for Korean bbq as mommy wanted to try that before flying to Hong Kong. From TripAdvisor I managed to get a location that was about 600m away and not too low in position. We crossed the Cheonggyecheon stream and ended up in a building that didn’t seem to be opened at that time. Took the lift up to the ninth floor and seated down with a nice view and 2 tables with burners inside Dachai Dongdaemun store.

Dachai Dongdaemun store

We ordered the pork meat for BBQ and a grilled fish, together with a bowl of cold buckwheat noodles and steam eggs. Vegetables was buffet style self service and there was 4 varieties of rice, including normal, brown rice, barley rice and porridge. There was also 2 types of soup.

BBQ goodies!
Slightly spicy but delicious cold noodles.
Saba fish.

It was pretty filling for all of us as the portions were quite a lot. This cost us about 64k for a really full lunch.

Mommy left for the plane to Hong Kong after 330pm while I brought the rest around to see the wholesale market there. I couldn’t remember which was the building with the wholesale clothing and went to the Dongdaemun shopping complex first. Entering the huge building we found the stores selling mostly material for clothes making and this was the same for the 2nd level.

Dongdaemun shopping complex
Clothing material for sale.

We decided to walk over to Pyoung Hwa clothing market instead and took an elevator to the 3rd floor but the entire floor was dark and shops were all closed. Went to the 2nd level and it was the same! We were surprised and 2nd guessing if the opening time was supposedly much later. Went to the first floor and saw that the shops here were opened. We walked through the length of the building and saw shops and shops of hats and caps. When we reached a section where there’s access to the upper levels, we went to the 2nd floor and this level was for clothings. My parents continued to walk while I brought K to the toilet that only had 3 cubicles, one of which that was in used had a toilet bowl while the other 2 had squatting ones. Was reprimanded by the user when he came out pissed because K was making a fuss outside the cubicle but I couldn’t really care less as K really needed to poop and he couldn’t do so squatting.

DFWM mall
More clothing for sale here though not all fully opened.

When we were done, my parents were also done exploring and said they couldn’t find anything to buy so we got out of the building and boarded the train to return back to the apartment.

A 2nd hand book store
Interesting 3D advert on a building.

My parents wanted to go Lotte Mart to get something and so I brought K to the Lotte outlet to use the toilet and took the opportunity to have a look too. Went up to the 3rd floor, there was a toys and a small Lego section and spent some time browsing. K also tried a Gacha machine. Before anything, I had to set his expectations first to avoid disappointment if he didn’t get what he wanted and fortunately, that worked well.

There was a North Face section but we didn’t get anything there too. There was a Hatson section that carried the popular Elstinko caps that we often seen worn by the Running Man celebrities and K took a liking to a black Ironman cap. Bought for him for 32k after a 30% discount.

3 floors of Lotte Outlet.
At the 3rd floor.
Cute milk kids tees.

We returned to the apartment to find that we were earlier than our parents! They came back a few minutes later and after a short rest, we were out again to Myeongdong, meeting my sister for dinner.

Classic looking theatre.
Back to crowded Myeongdong.

This time we navigated to the Myth Jokbal restaurant that my sister recommended. We got ourselves a table as we arrived first and sister’s family joined soon after. Ordered a large portion of the garlic jokbal, a steam egg and rice ball set and orden soup. The jokbal was cold pork which I thought tasted nice and the rest of the other items were ok too. The total damage was 72k.

Myth Jokbal restaurant.
Salad and pork trotters.
Steamed egg.
Some soup.


The return to the apartment was arduous journey with the kids but we managed to return to my sister’s unit for a quick birthday celebration. After the cake dessert, we went back to our own apartment. Prepared K for bed as he played a couple of times on his Whack-a-mole but he went into dreamland pretty quickly, as it was nearing midnight. I spent some time on my journal note before knocking out.

Night time Myeongdong.

Seoul 2019 Day 11 – Nami Island, Ganchon rail park and Garden of Morning Calm

It was a tour day today as I have booked a driver through Klook to get us to Nami Island and it’s surrounding. Had agreed on the meeting time the day before to change to 930 instead of 9 because it seemed impossible to get the family out by that time which the driver had agreed through whatsapp.

Everyone was awake and preparing early except K that slept in till 9 as we wanted him to get rested as much as possible. The driver had arrived early and sent a picture of the location where he was parked. By the time we got to the ground floor, it was 935, still late! I sent a picture of where we were and he drove there to pick us up. It was a mad rush to get everyone into the Hyundai Starex as there were 10 of us but it worked out fine and soon we were 1hr40mins to our first destination.

Our ride

As the journey was long, the initial lively conversation with the Korea born Chinese driver didn’t last and everyone was dozing off. We arrived finally at the restaurant for lunch as I have preferred that we ate first before going to the island as there might not be food choices there.

Chinese speaking driver
Saw an Olympics stadium during the journey

This restaurant served stir fried chicken and we had 3 tables in which 2 had spicy and one not, for the kids. The chicken was fried by the staff and had vegetables in them too. When the chicken was done, the rice was then added in and fried on the same plate to absorb in the sauce. It was quite delicious but K didn’t appreciate the food and was almost puking at some point. Maybe the food chunks were too big. The driver paid on behalf and we left for Nami Island in which the driver also helped to get tickets on our behalf (as he had an additional 5% discount) and helped take a photo for us before bringing us into the island.

Parking lots for visitors to Nami Island
Where we had lunch
Before complete cooking
The spicy version
Can choose to zipline into the island
Cruise boarding to Nami Island

We were left to roam the island as he left with the instructions on where to meet up. Following the map, we walked towards Winter Sonata filming location. It was a 500m walk there which but it took a while as we stopped by here and there to chase squirrels, play at playground, see ostriches and Merlion and tried pumping ground water out from the ground using an old pump.

Arriving at the disembarkation location
View after gettiing off the cruise
A choice of taking the bus or train or walk for free
Many water bodies on Nami Island
Ostriches on the island
Playground for the kids to stop and play
Very tall trees lined in parallel
Close up shot of a squirrel near the playground
A Merlion?!?!
A wild bunny
Panoramic view of a village in Nami Island
A pond within the village
Steamed bun over traditional log fire
Plain bun

When we finally arrived, we had to jostle with the many people there that came in a tour group before my parents could take a photo in front of the photo (think the actual shooting location was further down as we didn’t get there). Walking back to the ferry after our 1.5hrs there was way faster since we didn’t stop but there was already a huge line of people waiting to board the ferry back.

Left Nami island the same way we came

Returned to the vehicle after a restroom visit, we travelled about 30mins to the Gangchon rail park for the next destination. K fell asleep on the way there and thus we left mommy and K while the rest took 2 rail bikes of 4 persons each to ride. Again there were quite a lot of people despite the poor weather and we had to queue here too. The driver was very helpful to get the tickets and helped us with the tickets and even a video of us going off. Later he drove the vehicle at the end point to meet us with mommy and K.

Gangchon Rail Park
Display inside the park
Many rail bikes parked and ready

This rail bike experience was unlike the previous one I had in Yeosu. This was 8km in length according to the guide and had 3 tunnels and pretty good scenery along the way. Longer distance meant that I had to paddle more and it was indeed a workout for my thighs as I was seated with my parents and my aunty! But it felt great anyhow as they get to experience something different, heard them laughing a great deal along the way. The ride here made the one in Yeosu looked like a kids ride, as we made thru 3 different tunnels of different displays, one with bubbles, one with slow music and lights and the other with heart thumbing disco music!

A much longer journey than the one in Yeosu
One of the tunnels with dancing lights

After riding about 40mins, we disembarked at an intermediate platform to take a slow romantic train back to Gangchon train station. The train arrived after some time while people were going to the toilet, getting something to eat from the cafe, taking photos of the surrounding or simply just seated in an enclosed tentage. The train had 2 sections, one closed off from the elements with windows and the other was opened. We took the closed off ones to avoid the cold and the train rolled slowly to our final destination. Upon arrival at the end point, I managed to snag a few photos for my sister before the staff chased us out of the area.

Midpoint waiting for train.
The toilet was at the end.
Panoramic view of the scenery at the midpoint.
Train to the end point.
Disembarkation point at the end.
A bridge at the end point.

Boarded the drivers vehicle parked next to the road and found K still asleep with mommy. We then proceeded to the next location while the drizzle started to increase in intensity.

It was about a 40mins drive from the rail park to the Garden of Morning Calm and the drizzle didn’t stop even when we finally arrived at the carpark. We opted to skip this to go for a great dinner instead since it would be too cold to visit without an umbrella and the view will be quite dreary too. We requested for a place with good Ginseng chicken and the driver knew where to bring us.

Plants at the entrance
Not going further then the entrance of the Garden of Morning Calm

After a toilet break and some eating of some snacks bought from the stores, we were on our way, 2hrs drive back to the samgyetang restaurant.

The journey was long due to traffic jam probably contributed by rain and peak time traffic. K, who had slept too much, couldn’t go to sleep and was moving so much that he got road sickness and was puking a few times.

We had made it to the Tosokchon Samgyetang restaurant, still drizzling and the driver helped get everyone off and into the restaurant before going to park his vehicle. We ordered 8 portions to share and a seafood pancake. There were also ginseng liquor available for purchase. I thought the soup tasted pretty good, and the chicken with the glutinous rice was delicious. The pancake wasn’t fantastic though. The free ginseng alcohol was quite flavourful and tasted even better after the dinner. The total costs of the dinner was about 166k.

Tosokchon restaurant
Ginseng alcohol for sale
Thich broth of the Samgyetang
Ginseng alcohol

The drive back to the accommodation was a quick 30mins and after the driver parked just under the block, we paid the driver who had taken care of the entire day’s spending for the meals and the tickets by paying in advance. That came up to about 527k inclusive of the discount already but it was a surprise for us as we didn’t prepare a lot of cash. My mom paid off first with 500k and the rest I topped up but now we were left with not much cash. Should have paid with credit cards for the meals at least.

We returned to the accommodation tired from the days’ activities and night proceeded as usual. I dozed off for a bit while mommy and K was spending time with granddad and then lights off happen some time later.

Seoul 2019 Day 10 – Lotte World Adventure theme park

It was a day for the kids as we planned an outing to the popular Lotte World Adventure theme park. Initially wanted to get out of the apartment early so as to maximize the time at the park. The plan to meet at 9am became 945 instead. Plus we had to pack our luggage for a shift of units because of unavailability the first 2 days, and that also took up some time.

The inertia faced in the morning was the same as the day before and as we made it to the subway, we spent a lot of time searching for toilets.

After managing to get up the train, it was then about a 40 mins ride to Lotte World with the nearest station as Jamsil. Decided to have lunch upon arrival as it was almost 12 already so proceeded to the Urban’s Court food court just opposite the aquarium to eat.

Huge Lotte World Mall next to Lotte World theme park
Totoro Shop
Cute cat vehicle that can be boarded for photo
Where lunch was

After lunch, we went towards adventure land while our parents would spend their time at the malls and the cherry blossom festival outside instead.

Walking to adventure land was a little confusing within the huge mall and after trying to follow the signs and the asking the staff, we thought we found the entrance but because we bought the tickets from Klook, we had to go to the South Entrance instead. Then we had to go to the overseas tickets office to exchange for paper tickets and have that registered on the app and the magic pass.

Lotte World Adventure theme Park
Directions to the theme park
Not easy to navigate to the South Gate without asking around
Tickets to be redeemed here if purchased from Klook

The great thing was with the app there were 3 magic passes that were given. We bought the tickets with 3 magic passes so that meant 6 magic passes in total. There were differences as well, for the app magic passes these were utilized by reservation of time slots that we would be using at the ride whereas the tickets ones gave us instant access when handed over to the staff at the line.

Using the app and the hard copy map, we could identify the rides where the kids could ride tabulated in a table with clear limitations. The app gave live details on the waiting times so we planned the usage of the magic passes on the longest waiting time while the rest we just queued.

As we were mostly taking rides for kids, eventually we didn’t get to fully utilize the magic passes, and probably because it was a Monday, the lines were pretty manageable. This also meant that the kids got to play 2 to 3 times per ride as once the ride was done they quickly queued again for another round. The adult rides however were just full of people.

Our tickets
Schedule of shows and parades
Map of the entire theme park
Panoramic view of the indoor theme park

The indoor area was already huge enough and we had watched a parade at 2 pm amongst a few more scheduled shows for the day. Even then we had also ran out of time because there were 4 floors of rides to explore and an outdoor one called magic island.

Big bad wolf and the pigs
Alice in Wonderland
Peter Pan and Capt Hook
One of the more popular rides
View from the balloon
Kids size bumper car
Theatre shows
Outdoor theme park called Magic Island
Entrance to the Magic Island
Palace reminded me of Disney
Lines everywhere even in the cold
Seoul tower
Boat to cruise on the waters around the Magic Island
One of the rides on Magic Island
Ride brought us around colourful displays
Another parade just as we returned from Magic Island
Paid lucky dip (more hook than dip) to win a prize

As the sun set, the indoor theme park was lighted up and that gave the theme park a magical look. Many people were dressed in rented school uniforms or olden fashion to take their photos there (and we thought initially so many students came from school).

Interesting display
Indoor roller coaster through the indoor park
Huge section for smaller children when the kids played their hearts out
Indoor park lighted up at night

Sis went off in search for our parent first for dinner while we went to get our caricature drawn for total of 35k at one of the store within the theme park. That took about 30mins and then when we met everyone, they were still looking for a place to eat even after coming down from the 5th and 6th floor of Lotte World Mall. We settled in at a Korean food court in 2 separate tables and proceeded to order as the stalls started to close and options became limited.

K fell asleep on my shoulders while walking to the food court and continued sleeping until we woke him up to have dinner. Had to use video to hasten his eating and by the time we were ready to leave it was already 930pm.

Cold but spicy buckwheat noodles
Jjajiangmyeon set

Decided to take a taxi back instead of the train but that was also quite difficult. Tried getting on the first taxi and was told to get off (taxi driver spoke in Korean which made it difficult to understand too) because the maximum number of people was only four while we had 4 adults and one K. Dad reshuffled the group to 3 adults and 2 kids and the other 4 adults and 1 infant and that worked.

Night view of the Seoul Tower
Art installation of a lighted up man

But the second problem was the taxi driver didn’t know where we wanted to go and couldn’t see the phone clearly because he was probably far sighted due to age. So I tried reading out the address and he didn’t know where and we couldn’t communicate because he couldn’t speak English. My phone that had the translator also died. In the end, I asked mommy to call the other taxi and asked for their taxi driver to tell him where we were going.

After a few exchanges he then started driving, made a U turn and stopped behind the taxi where the others were in. That driver then came down and advised our driver before we got on the road again.

About 30mins and 19.1k later, we finally arrived. We went to the new unit that was much smaller than the initial one (of course cheaper too) and proceeded to get ready to bed quickly. It was going to be an early day the next day with a booked driver so we couldn’t afford to be late like these first 2 days. It was very tiring day for me as we walked so much within the theme park that I had no issue dozing off.


Lotte World Mall


Seoul 2019 Day 9 – Yeouido park, Noryanjin Market and Myeongdong

Everyone was mostly awoke by 9ish. The room warmed up pretty much and was even a little too warm that we had to open the door to let some cool air in. We took some bread for breakfast, something that was bought from Lotte Mart the night before. K got ready with the usual routine and soon we were all ready to leave by 10am. Then we realized my sister’s family had only just woken up! Should have informed them we were visiting the Yeouido park in the morning and that we didn’t plan shopping to take the entire day.

Went to their unit for a while before leaving to Lotte Mart to explore a bit while waiting for our our nephew, as he wanted to tag along with us to go to the park first. At Lotte Mart, other than the mega supermarket that we went to on the 2nd floor the previous night, there was also a 3rd floor that had some shops like Muji and Uniqlo and also a toybox by Toys R Us. Didn’t manage to spend a lot of time there as soon enough, our nephew was ready to leave.

Muji on the 3rd level
Toybox by Toys R Us
Lotte Outlet mall just next door

We met them on ground level and walked towards the subway for the train to Noryangjin Market followed by a transfer. We spent quite a bit of time trying to top up our subway cards, first not having enough small notes to top up and later the machines were unable to take 50k notes for top up for anything less than 40k (as we wanted to just top up 10k first). Then it was to the train tracks after clearing the initial confusion of which direction was the right direction.

The ride was pretty quick with 3 stops on the line 1 followed by a transfer and 2 stops to Yeouido. We weren’t sure if the express train actually stopped at Yeouido and skipped that to take the all stops train.

It was a 5mins walk to the Yeouido park but that took much longer with the kids in tow and the grandparents checking out the food stalls along the way. The roads were wide and missing the time to cross meant we had to wait for the next red light. I tried to quicken the pace by charging forward.

Across the street was Yeouido Park

There were a few more food stalls as we crossed the junction and we stop to buy some street food to munch on. K took a liking to the chicken on skewers while I tried one bug like stew that tasted a bit like crunchy cereal and not that bad. By the time we arrived at the center of the park where there was a big warplane on display, we had quite a bit to munch on already.

Street hawker
Tried this…crunchy
Yeouido Park
Warplane on display

There was mini scooter rental and bicycle stalls and we got one each for K and my nephew XJ, for 3k an hour with my passport as collateral until I returned. Then we proceeded to walk further down the park in the hope to see more consolidated and full cherry blossom trees as those that we had seen so far at the park were sparse and far from my expectation of a nice cherry blossom festival. We spotted a playground and left the kids there to play, and while my parents rested, I took a walk to find out the where the real deal was.

Huge pathway to scoot around
Park amongst tall buildings
Spring time
Park had a small pond

Walking towards Hangang Park, the street became jammed with traffic and hordes of people and of course the view became nicer as the roads were lined with cherry blossom trees. Then just at the location on Naver app that indicated cherry blossom broadwalk that I realized that the main location was here, at least another 15mins of walking from the park. Took a few pictures and headed back to the park to show my parents if they were interested but they declined to walk that far, which I thought so as well. We might have other opportunities elsewhere as we had learnt from our earlier exploration.

Hangang Park was location where the real party was

We met my sis at the park when they finally arrived and together we took the train back to Noryangjin Market, to visit the seafood market and to have lunch.

Was easy getting to the market following the direction signs

Once entered the huge building, the entire ground floor was filled with stalls selling similar stuff. They had huge lobsters and crabs and fishes and K were actually frightened by them. At one stall the staff took out the crab to show and weigh to us and quoted 300k for the entire king crab under 4kg, which we didn’t think was affordable. Huge lobster was 120k.

Crowded with visitors with so many seafood stalls

We moved on to another stall and bought the seafood there, 9 abalones for 20k, half a kilo of hum, 8 prawns for 10k and a fish of 20k totaling to 62k. The stall had a recommended seafood restaurant on the 2nd level and so we just followed the staff that brought us there.

The stall that we visited
Restaurant that we went to

We were given a room as we were a big group and made our orders on how to prepare the food. We had abalones made into porridge, grilled the fish and prawn, steam the hum and ordered an additional fish soup.

The food came and to my disappointment, it wasn’t as tasty as I thought it would be. Comparing to the experience I had in Tongyeong market, the food here tasted bland. Adding salt to injury, the food in totality wasn’t cheap at all. We had to pay an additional 94k at the restaurant which meant it costed us almost 160k for a family of 7adults and 3 kids with mediocre food and ended up being not too full. The service wasn’t fantastic too, a lot of times I saw the lady staff showing signs of impatience. I thought this would be my last time in this market.

Hum – very plain
Prawns, looked small

Our next activity after our late lunch that ended at 4 was to visit the Myeongdong shopping street. Sister went to Dongdaemun instead for their shopping and our parents followed us. Once arrived, we entered the busy streets and into a Savoy hotel 2nd floor where there was a Beans bins coffee. Parents wanted to rest and K had fallen asleep on my shoulder so we parked ourselves into that large cafe for some coffee and ice cream waffle while mommy went out on her own.

Beansbins coffee

I brought K around the area as well and we were both enticed into a toy shop. The store owner that introduced some Korea toys that got both our attentions! The toys were so action packed (literally) that I was wowed! Didn’t buy at first instance as these didn’t come cheap and after returning to cafe to reconsider and waited for mommy, we went back to the store to get the dual beast cars for K for 28k. He left a happy boy.

We proceeded to walk the street with mommy and my dad popping into some of the facial products stores to get stuff. Then we headed into the huge MCM Space store to check out the bags there as it was supposedly cheaper to get the MCM from Korea. The staff that was tagged to us was extremely helpful and even made our visit like a tour inside a museum. He gave us time to take photos with the huge bear and helped us with a family photo with the MCM products, my first time experiencing such moments in a luxury store. After being introduced to some the haversacks in the range of slightly more than 1k, we left the store empty handed to visit the street stalls for dinner.

MCM Space store
Rocket display inside the store
Photograph corner

There were a line of street food stalls crowded with people buying from them and also many passerby’s. We got some food along the way, getting egg omelette cabbage for 6k, sweet and sour chicken for 3k, cheese and butter scallops for 10k, dumplings which K loved, 6 small rolls of kimbap for 5k, chicken on skewers. We would buy, eat near the stalls and then left the rubbish to the stall owners who would help dispose them.

Cabbage+egg store
End product
Kimbap store
Grilled scallop store
Sweet and sour chicken store
End product
Mandu store
Still crowded by the time we left

After the dinner, we then returned to the hotel via the train. It felt like a long day after we when we finally arrived. Even so, K still had energy to play with his new toy for a bit before taking a bath and proceeding to bed. After he fell asleep we purchased our Lotte World tickets before we got into bed too.

Seoul 2019 Day 8 – Fairytale land, Chinatown and back to Seoul

Woke up refreshed after getting the sleep that I missed the day before. Gave K his milk before he went back to sleep and I completed my note before realizing that breakfast had ended at 9am, the one where we spent money to purchase for 6k per person during check in.

Morning was mostly similar routine now. The YouTube songs made the activities smooth, from getting out of bed to brushing teeth and then to eating breakfast.

We completed most part of the packing and left the room for the line of eating places at the promenade to have breakfast. Found one that was still in operations and opened and went in to find a nice decorated cafe, The Caffe Soul, manned by a single senior lady. Ordered a cheese cake, a cheese muffin and a chocolate muffin and a hazelnut latte and an americano for 16k. The muffin and cake was quite delicious!

Promenade in the morning
Heart with wings
Pretty empty in the morning
On the inside of the Caffe Soul
Yummy breakfast

As we walked back to the room, we went past a UFO machine that had some Hachiko dog soft toys. Thought we would try to win one with 1k won per game but the machine wasn’t taking my money note.

We returned to the hotel and checked out. At the reception tried my luck to get a refund but it wasn’t possible. Then we drove to Fairytale town 15mins away.

Found a carpark at the opposite side of the road and was guided in by the traffic warden. I supposed it would get messy later in the day and thus that’s why the wardens were there though it didn’t seem that busy. We crossed the road and found ourselves in a mural village of sorts with wall drawings and models made up by familiar cartoon characters. Had fun taking photos with them though we had to walk up a slope and then down again to see the entire street. There were also shops that that sold stuff like toys and other cute stuff. Mommy bought Pink Fong items that her friend had asked for from one of these shops.

Parking lot near Fairytale town
Fairytale land
Snow White and Rapunzel
The little mermaid shell seats
Stairs painted with giraffe
Noah’s ark
Alice of Wonderland theme design

Just a street away was Chinatown, characterized by the red displays all over. We went over into a really crowded street, I supposed it was very popular tourist destination. We went to a certain Gong Hwa Chun restaurant that was known for its jjajiangmyeon and queued up to get in. The queue thankfully moved pretty quickly and soon we found ourselves on the second floor ordering one jjajiangmyeong, one fried rice and one tangsuyu.

Gong Hwa Chun restaurant

The food was indeed delicious. The black sauce seemed to fit everywhere, in noodles and in fried rice where a bowl of it was given separately. The tangsuyu was really delicious, crispy on the outside and the right size that it didn’t tasted boring after a while. All this was for 48k.

Fried rice
Sauce and side dishes

The street in Chinatown offered other street food that we didn’t try, and there was one food stuff that looked like the traditional Hulu but instead made with a string of strawberries, a healthier version of the original I supposed.

Busy street of the Chinatown
Strawberry hulu

We retrieved the car from the carpark and paid 5.5k for the fees at the exit with a credit card. Then it was a 40mins drive to the airport. Before leaving I read the instructions with pictures on how to get back to the carpark to drop of the car in order to familiarize myself.

The route sent us up the majestically long Incheon Bridge that was a sight to look at even in the hazy weather. The drive however costed us 5.5k in tolls too. From the bridge, it was not too difficult before I pulled into the 2nd basement carpark at Incheon Airport and called the staff with the phone number also on the instruction list.

Incheon bridge

The staff came as I was emptying the car of our belongings and after settling for the fuel that I didn’t top up (as I didn’t see a single gas station along the way, only one in the opposite direction near the airport) for 50k for half tank of fuel. It might be slightly more expensive but heck. The payment was settled at the car itself with the staff’s mobile and I took a photo of the approved payment before we proceeded to Arrivals Hall to meet the rest of our extended family members that were joining us, flying in from Hong Kong and Singapore.

My parents and Aunt from Hong Kong had a delay in flight schedule and coincided with the time we arrived in the airport while my sister’s family had also arrived. In one big group, we then went to take the Arex straight to Seoul Station, after getting over the inertia of moving people.

Paid 56k for 7 adults for the train tickets and proceeded to the platform for the 4:08 train. Seat numbers were given to us and after the initial mess of getting so many big luggage into the luggage storage with so many other passengers, we settled down for the 50mins trip to Seoul. K was sitting with his granddad and yakking all the way with his cousin but at least I was physically resting and took a nap. For the first time, I felt the struggle that a tour guide would face given that he had to manage a group twice or thrice this size!

After disembarking, my sis realized that she dropped her hp and things became disorganized as people started to do things independently. After managing to get a staff via telecom on a top up machine (my dad thought that was easy whereas we could have exited the station and looked for a staff F2F), I brought the group up first to the ground level through 2 elevators. The elevators were very popular and even with a group of us carrying so many luggage, there were still many people who would still crowd around us to get into the lifts too.

After we finally got up the 7 floors to ground level and crossed the road, my sister had found her hp and rejoined the group. The sky then started to drizzle as we tried to find our Airbnb with the cryptic address and the navigation brought us to somewhere that didn’t looked like it had 15floors.

Seoul Station

I went alone to find the building, got up to one of the room and tested with the password and it worked! The rest of the group managed to find the building as I tried to bring 6 umbrellas from the unit to meet them, only to find that they have all arrived at the basement. Brought my sister’s family to the 2nd unit in the same building and settled them in before returning to ours.

The place where we stayed had a nice view of the surrounding but space was quite scarce since we had so many big luggage. Couldn’t open the luggage in full as we would like but we had to make do. There were enough bedding for everybody but only one toilet to share. We had to move to a smaller unit in another 2 days time but I leave that worry later as I sorted out the administrative stuff for my parents like getting the WiFi.

Main beds at the first level
Small side living room.
Kitchen with washing machine
Loft beds
View from Airbnb

We met up at 645 to visit the Lotte Mart just across the street to get some dinner. There was a food court there and we managed to settle our dinner there. Met up a cousin for a short period who was visiting Korea too before we got into the huge Lotte Mart to shop for daily necessities and food souvenirs to bring back to Singapore.

Food court at Lotte Mart
At the food court

Lotte Mart was huge but it was crowded as hell with so many people shopping and people were buying by the trolleys!


After 1 hr there, we paid for the goodies and returned back to the apartment on our own as the rest had all returned.

The night was spent preparing for bed, taking a much longer time as we shared the single toilet to bath. Then we got up to the loft where our beds were, taking care not to bump onto the low ceiling on the second floor. I got into bed last but was soon fast asleep.

Incheon 2019 Day 7 – Explore Jeonju and drive to Wolmido

It was a difficult night as I wasn’t used to sleeping on the thin mattress on the floor without a pillow. I remembered K calling out to me a few times at night as he slept on the 2nd level with mommy, guessed he was either not used to sleeping without me or dreaming. No matter, that didn’t help with me getting enough sleep too.

We got out of bed the usual time and mommy went to pick up breakfast from the pantry while I stayed with K. It consisted of sesame paste and toast with some fruit jam and instant coffee. After breakfast, we started packing for the next destination. K woke to his favorite tunes on YouTube and was happily following instructions to brush his teeth, eat toast and cheese macaroon (from the theme park) and even helped us with our luggage.

Pantry to get breakfast
Simple breakfast

We met the staff whom provided us a space at their handok rental store to stow our luggage while we go see more of historical village of Jeonju. Walking westward, we went to the circled locations on the map marked omokdae which was a pavilion on top of a hill. From there, I went down a few flight of stairs which brought me to a viewpoint of the village. Later I joined mommy and K who had crossed the bridge to the other side and found a smaller pavilion in the Jaman mural village. We didn’t spend time there since we had already seen one of such villages in Busan.

Jeonju street
Omokdae and Imokdae
Jeonju panoramic
Map of Jaman mural village
Sneak peak of the Jaman mural village

Returning back to the Main Street of the village, we entered a mandu store at the corner of a junction across the Gyeonggijeon Shrine called Daurang, and ordered 3 dumplings each for 1.5k. Used the microwave provided and ate inside the store, nice and warm. The mandu was really delicious and worth the visit!

Daurang mandu shop
Inside the shop
Tabletop full of mandu choices
What we bought


After that, we crossed the road to visit the shrine of the village, Gyeonggijeon Shrine, a huge area that was blocked out by a wall. Tickets were 3k per person, and for K it was free. It was like a different dimension after entering the shrine as the walls blocked out the hustle and bustle of the crowd outside and within the compound was more peaceful without so many people dressed in royalty moving around in groups taking photos. It was a big compound and we went to the main temple to take photos. There were a groups of weirdly dressed people there taking photos and I thought they might be the priests as people were invited to take photos with them.

Tickets to the shrine
Central shrine
Photos with the priests
Bamboo forest within the shrine compound

After that we explored the other areas including climbing up building that had a mini exhibition on the second level showing historical books that were kept there. There was a small bamboo garden which offered a good picture opportunity. Mommy went in another direction to see the other side of the compound while K and I went to visit the restroom before meeting up with her again.

Looked like an isolated building
A museum on the inside

Time was running out so we went back to retrieve the luggage, bought the carpark ticket for 6k after discount from the accommodation instead of paying 12k and pushed the luggage all the way to the car.

It was a 3hr journey to Incheon, our next destination and mostly on highways. The drive was mostly pretty easy and K fell asleep along the way. We found a Haengdamdo service area which was not too far from Incheon for a break and for lunch.

Drove into a huge parking space with lots of people stopping there too and found that it was a huge place with 2 indoor food courts and many food stalls outside. There was one stall that sold pastries in the shape of the poop called Dong Bang. We didn’t get any though.

Haengdamdo service area
Store selling pastry in the shape of poop
Toilet had a kids section
Urinal and tiny sink
Tiny monster toilet bowl
Many food stores

At the food court, we ordered pork cutlet rice and omelette rice for 18k and mommy went to buy food snacks for 7k consisting of rice and chicken on a skewer and a huge fish cake with mustard. It was very filling.

Food court
Pork fillet
Omelette rice

Before leaving, we visited the convenience store I got myself a can of warm coffee (interesting that their fridge can warm up canned drinks too) and K got himself a Pikachu car. Mommy got herself a sweet potato latte from Twosome place to try but ended up I was the one finishing it.

There was a photopoint at this service stop featuring a small windmill and a shopping mall that seemed closed. We departed for Incheon after the toilet visit.

Windmill for taking photos

The short distance between the service area didn’t translate into a short drive. The time taken was 1.5hrs as the roads became gridlocked with traffic with many vehicles traveling towards Seoul. Stretches of road were even at standstill for couple of times.

Slowly but surely we arrived into the town side of Wolmido island, driving past colourful lighted up funfairs which K wanted to visit once he checked in. Parked at the hotel Benikea the Bliss parking lot and checked into a big room that had a nice view of the bay. Just before sunset, we left the room to go explore.

View from the room
Incheon sunset

The street just below the hotel was a street lined with restaurants and game stores. After a photo session with the Incheon words, we walked towards the ferries wheel to find ourselves at the Wolmi theme park. For the most part of the park, they were closed during our visit (maybe due to off-season). We managed to try the ferries wheel for 6k per adult and 5k for child. The slow pace Ferris wheel brought us one round which offered a nice view of the surrounding before going back to ground level. We then left this park to go to another funfair at the other end of the street.

Incheon panorama
Rows of shops along the promenade
Wolmi Theme Park
At the bottom of the wheel
View from the ferris wheel

The other funfair had more rides opened although a large section of the children rides were closed also. Here we tried bumper cars as K wanted so much to do so for 5k per adult and 4K per child and together with another kid, there were just the 3 of us in the arena. But it was fun enough. Ended off with another kiddy ride of 4K that just went round and round. The elderly staff just turned on the ride and let it go and we thought it would never stop! I gave the man a look as a signal that it should be enough already then he stopped the ride. Guessed K gained the value of that 4K through and through.

Promenade lighted up at night
Another funfair
Bumper car tickets

For dinner, we moved into an makeshift enclosure that had a nice heater next to a food stall and ordered chicken with fries and unagi with rice for 18k. As the chicken didn’t come with rice, I asked if I could buy rice to top up but was given 2 balls of rice for free. Food was tasty, as often so with street food.

Our dinner

On the return back to the hotel, we visited one of the games stall to try popping balloons with darts for prices. Paid 10k to get 4 cups of 5 darts, and the stall owner gave me 2 extra darts as bonus. In the end, I got 18 balloons that earned me the prize of a pac man monster soft toy that K chose. It looked pretty decent in quality. Exiting the stall, we saw people firing fireworks, the stall owner informed that we could try to as she was selling the too. We didn’t.

Where we pop the balloons

The night was the usual bath time in the tub followed by TV that had some English speaking show but mostly still in Korean. I had drifted off to sleep as I was dead tired and eventually mommy turned off the lights with the TV remote control when K was snuggled up in bed with me on one queen bed and mommy in another queen bed.

Night view from the room

Jeonju 2019 Day 6 – Drive to Jeonju, cheese theme park and Jeonju old town

2nd morning at Yeosu and I made another attempt to check out the sunrise, this time much more prepared. Suited up and got out of the room at 6am and walked over to the elevator to the cable car only to find it inaccessible.

Went to take the stairs instead and after much panting, I finally reached the pavilion overlooking the islands coinciding with the time that the sun started to peek over the islands. There were a few people there also for the same purpose. After taking a few shots, and much less for my camera which would always die in the cold, I made my way back to the room for my usual morning activities – backing up memories on my phone.

Sunrise Panoramic
Pavillon to view the sunrise.
Pole full of heart shaped messages.
Pathway up to the viewing pavillon.

Mommy woke up and had me ordered a Korean breakfast set in room service for 34k and we all shared the breakfast that was pretty filling even for all of us, as it was a meal that looked more for lunch! Left to check out at about 1045 and we were off to head northwards to Jeonju.


Made a stop at a Hwangjeon service station about an hour into the drive. The place was a little hazy and so mommy and K donned their masks that they brought from Singapore although I thought it smelled ok.

Used the bathroom and then went over to take a photo of the view that the hippiest Dunkin Donuts building was overlooking. It wasn’t a fantastic view unfortunately.

Hwangjeon service area
Some sort of a monument
Dunkin Donuts
Place to take photo
Panoramic view from the service area

Then a further 30mins we exited to Imsil for a visit to the Cheese Theme Park, paying a toll of 4.7k. Parked at the almost empty lot and walked around to find that this theme park didn’t require entrance tickets! There were just buildings that looked like Swiss buildings all around and a couple of items here and there to take photos with. We didn’t know what the buildings were for as we couldn’t read Korean. There was a palace like building that had a food court and on the 2nd level there was a museum that we went around quickly.

Theme park map
Grand entrance
Like a palace
Clock in front of the palace
Inside the museum
Colourful display
Interesting to look at though in Korean

Then we walked uphill to find some Smurf statues to take photos with before climbing to the top where there was a long roller slide and a playground for K to play. There must have been a school outing as there were many kids around but K didn’t find an problem playing there.

Cheesy displays to take photos with
Long roller slide
Super long slide

The roller slide was interesting and K went on it twice, the 2nd time on his own. Then we squeezed past the barricades to the entrance of the playland for K to run around the playground that had a couple of places for him to climb around, including a pirate ship and a treehouse amongst them. He was unwilling to leave until much persuasion later and as we walked back uphill from the playground, we entered an area where there were some farm animals kept that, including chickens, rabbits and a pair of pigs.

Pirate ship

Our last visit was to the round cheese building that sat atop the hill. 3rd floor was a viewpoint of the entire area while the 2nd floor featured a wall that illustrated the cheese making process that I used it to explain to K.

Cheese building
Map of the cheesy world
Cheese making process
View from the cheese building

Then our tummies were rumbling as we went back to the car after a short visit to the store to see if we could get any cheese products to try. Couldn’t get any refrigerated ones as we didn’t know if the next accommodation had refrigerator or not and worried that these would spoil and become a waste. Settled for some cookies before getting into the car.

Mommy suggested that we have lunch at Osu service station as it was claimed to be one of the best service station. There was also the delicious cheese bimbimbap that combined the cheese from Imsil and the bimbimbap from Jeonju. 15mins drive and we would arrive, I thought. Then as we hit the road, we took more than the 15min that I initially thought we would need as I kept getting lost, first Navi didn’t get me to the right exit, then mommy giving the wrong direction to turn and I also took an early wrong exit. This cumulated into a 30mins drive and some multiple toll fees of 1.3k each exit.

We arrived finally at the service area close to 3pm with K almost falling asleep. Quickly parked and entered the eating place to find that Bimbimbap was sold out. We settled for Udon and Tonkotsu rice for lunch and free plain water.

Osu service area
Inside the food court

From Osu it was a 50mins drive to Jeonju and we entered the town but I was only brought to some location on the Main Street even though I had set the end destination inside the old town. Tried to drive into the old town unguided as I roughly knew the direction and then realised that it was actually possible to drive in. Went to location that was supposedly a carpark but it became an open space for something else so I had to let mommy and K alight as he wanted to go to the loo urgently while I tried to find parking on my own. Upon exiting the old town, I spotted a secured parking and drove there to park, the daily parking fee was 12k.

Secured car park at Jeonju Hanok village
Jeonju Hanok Village
The space that was indicated as a carpark on Navi
Accommodation compound

Returned to look for mommy and K and was informed that they couldn’t find anyone at the Samlockhon accommodation to check in. We had to call (also suggested by one of their guests there that we met at the entrance) the number on one of their flag to inform that we had arrived before the staff came over.

K was adamant not to stay in this accommodation as he thought that it was boring but upon entering the room, he immediately took a liking to the dual floor concept and that he could sleep on the second level. After some korean Disney channel, we went out to explore Jeonju old town, armed with the map that the staff had shared with us the most popular places to go.

Small dual floors accommodation
Shower and sink
Bedding on 2nd floor

We walked along the Main Street of the old town and found the PNB store that was famous for Choco Pie and we bought some to try (couldn’t bring home as the expiry was 7days). Then we headed towards the gate at the end of the street to take a photo of it before walking to the recommended bibimbap store, Hankookjib.

Beautiful traditional buildings
Water wheel from another angle
Small roads that allowed cars access
Famous choco pie bakery
Panoramic view of Jeonju street

Old church within the village
Gate at the northen end of the village

Map of the village

The historical store was recommended by Michellin as it served the original bibimbap. So we ordered one with the stone bowl (Dolsot) and mommy got herself a spicy bean sprout soup as she doesn’t take beef. The food was pretty delicious and the side dishes were really refreshing. There was also tiny crabs marinated with the spicy sauces that was different from the usual side dishes. All these for an affordable 18k.

Hankookjib restaurant


Pots on display
Inside the restaurant
Dolsot bibimbap
Bean sprout soup

We returned to the room and prepared for bath. The room was thankfully not too cold, as the floor was also heated. I got K to bath quickly worried that he might get a cold. After that it was a bit of TV, some books, some arguments with K on who sleeps where and off to bed.

Lighted up buildings at night

Yeosu 2019 Day 5 – Rail bike, Aqua Planet and Teddy bear museum

First morning at Yeosu and I was intrigued by possibility of a beautiful sunrise and so I got up pretty early. But it was so cold outside that I tried to find a viewpoint that kept me warm. So I took the elevator up to the highest level, 26th floor to try my luck at the sky lounge but was disappointed that it was closed at this early hour. Then I left for the 5th floor where there was an open air space where I could take a picture but by then the sun had already risen. Went back to the room to rest and jot note.

Sunrise from the 5th floor of MVL

The rest of the family started to wake at about 830-930am, sleeping in in a sleepy town. I went downstairs to the in-house pastry stall to get some croissant and pastries that costed about 10k for 3. Had our breakfast before taking the car to drive to the Yeosu ocean rail bike, about 20mins drive away. Found that our hotel carpark had free parking.


Parked in the huge carpark and headed towards the rail bikes after visiting the loo. Approached a photo stall thinking that there’s where we would get a ticket only to get a confused look and a direction to the obscure ticket office next to a mini restaurant. Paid some 31k for 3, and some simple information about the return trip on the rail bike that would happen at the end of the tunnel.

Carpark at the bike rail
Ticket store
Bike rail tickets

Then we went to the bike dispatch whom had a good amount of English vocabulary and he explained the details on how to operate the bicycle. Then we were on our way, mommy and me pedaling away as K enjoyed the ride since his legs couldn’t reach. Going towards the tunnel was easy since it was downhill but back up took a bit more effort. The tunnel had some lighting decorations but that was about it. The scenery was ok, summing up pretty much of this experience.

Yeosu mascots at the dispatch point
Going into the tunnel
Static lights
Dancing lights
View on the way back
Surrounding area

We returned to the photo stall and found the photo taken rather nice and paid 10k for it, which came with a photo frame. Left for hotel which was a 20mins drive.

Back at the hotel, we started to explore the port area on foot, walking about 15mins to Hanwha Aqua Planet. Upon reaching we went to the ticket counter to get tickets and found out that there were some packages available. Big3 meant all 3 attractions of Aquarium, AR trickeye museum and 5D movie but we took the Big2 giving AR museum a miss.

View of the port
Large ships docking
Hanwha Aqua planet
On the inside

Went to the food court to get lunch of Ramen and Tonkotsu rice which K surprisingly didn’t like as it “wasn’t real ramen” (I thought it tasted more like instant noodles). After lunch, we entered the aquarium at around 1pm.

Food court at the aqua planet
Ramen and Don

The aquarium was divided into 3 sections each having a different varieties of sea creatures and even land animals. We were thrilled to see raccoons, our first encounter with such playful animals. Amongst the usual aquatic animals, there was one exhibit that showcased the fishes found commonly in fish spa and you could dip your fingers for an adhoc dead skin removal on your fingers. There was also a show at the main tank that drew the most crowd (the biggest crowd that I have seen in the entire town of almost no people). There was story telling about rubbish in the ocean, some magic show and mermaids. It was all in Korean so we just watched and imagine. Then there was a video about the worklife of an employee within the Aqua Planet, which was also in Korean. The show ended with a feeding session by the divers where all the stingrays would crowd around and that made a good photo opportunity near the end of the session.

Funny racoon
So many of them
Playful sealions
Rainforest section
Fish spa
Monitor lizard
All kinds of acts
Light show
Mermaids and frog
Stingray feasting

We left after walking through the store and walked towards Yeosu expo. We thought we could see some exhibition stuff but was disappointed to find that the entire area was very much empty. All the big spaces within the buildings were empty! It felt desolated and sad, that the modern designed building seemed to only represent an interesting point in history and that was it.

Building with huge empty spaces
One of such buildings there
View of the port from the playground

We walked to the playground nearby where K had some fun climbing around but bumped his head against a railing. Then we walked backwards towards the teddy bear museum for a visit, spending 24.5k for 2 adults and 1 child. The exhibition showed mostly American related destinations with the bears as the actors in the scenes. There were many photo opportunities with bears in different setting as well but we weren’t all that interested except for some big ones where K sat on them to take photo. What I thought was interesting was a huge 8m bear from the story of Gulliver’s travel. There were 2 levels to walk around and we ended off our visit with a photo of donning bear mascots heads for both K and myself. That sure entertained K.

Teddy bear museum was opened
Tickets to the museum
Jurassic theme
Launch site
Elvis concert
Spring blossoms theme
Giant bear
Steven Spielberg bear
Marriage ceremony
Mona Lisa
The thinker
Trying on the mascots headgear

We decided to take a break at the bear cafe ordering a cheese cake for 3.5k and an Americano for 4k. After the short snack, we left to walk to Odongdo island, and check out what we left out yesterday.

Dine with a bear at the bear cafe
Cheesecake with Americano

On the map it didn’t looked far but walking from the expo to Odongdo was actually, and as we were also going to catch a show back at the aquarium at 7pm (the only time slots available was 10am and 7pm) we had to walk fast. Carrying K on my shoulder, we went back to the island and arrived at about 6pm. We took the wooden pathway and had to make a Uturn for the restroom at the same location we visited the day before. Then returning to the wooden pathway, we found the restroom just a few meters ahead! What a wasted walk.

Big O with an empty street

Climbing some flights of stairs flanked by trees, we arrived at a junction that led to the cave of Dragon and went to have a look. Couldn’t see much other than a hole at the side of the mountain and we returned back to the path. Walking further down, the route separated to the lighthouse and the other to the water fountain. We were initially looking for a Camellia flower garden but came to realize that maybe the entire island was full of Camellia but it was not blooming time and thus we didn’t see them?

No dragon in this cave

Walked back to the fountain for K to watch whatever that was still left. Then we walked back to the hotel to take the car so that we could drive the remaining short distance there to the Aqua Planet.

It was almost 7 when we arrived and we found ourselves walking to a building that was nearly closed. The staff standing there were surprised to see us so we explained that we were there for the 7pm show. Showed them the tickets and they allowed us into the small cinema that was projected 360 all around, short of a small area underneath of the roof. We were also given 3D glasses. Since we were the only customers, we had a choice of Poseidon or Dinosaurs. We chose dinosaurs.

The show was a short 10mins show (that’s what I thought) and it was in Korean. It was really disappointing as we expected more than just the visual such as sense of touch. There was none of such and so I didn’t understand where the other 2Ds were about.

All around dinosaurs

We left the building at 710pm and went back to the car. We skipped the fountain show at the Big O cos the timing of the show was at 750pm, guessing from the poster on the gate  but we couldn’t wait in the cold, and there wasn’t anybody around so we weren’t sure if the fountain show was going to be up anyway.

Returned to the room after getting some foodstuff from the convenience store and called in room service for dinner of seafood spaghetti and abalone porridge for 32k and 24k respectively, spent some family time with K and his sticker books, a super long dip at the bathtub since this was the last bathtub he was going to get for the rest of the trip and then off to bed.

In room dinner