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