25 January 2014

CutiCuti: South Korea Day 3 - Winter Light Festival at Garden of Morning Calm

Assalamualaikum. 안녕!

Alhamdulillah! After few readings & searches, I finally set my foot upon the Morning Calm Arboretum or also known as Garden of Morning Calm. 

My main mission for the recent trip is to experience snowfall (poyo gila!) apart from fulfilling my angan2 to celebrate the New Year somewhere outside hometown. And I purposely chose to visit the places that held winter festivals as well. Killing two birds with one stone they say it is. 

I've come to know about this garden from the KTO website. Besides the locals, still not many especially the tourist know about this place. I actually plan to go here during the trip with my girlfriends last June but cancelled it in the last minute due to lack of info. Someday I coaxed myself. But the desire to visit this garden grew stronger upon reading an entry from Suraya's blog. Thanks to her I got to see how the garden looks like during the summer season. Couldn't imagine how lovely it would be during spring/autumn. I could only dream for now...the uni semester break never fall on those two seasons so far. Sob. 

Now back to my journey. My last destination on our second day in South Korea before returning 'home'. Yeah, our temporary home in Sangwangsimni that is.   
Taken on our way to the garden.
Weather was a bit gloomy that evening. It even rain for a while. I was a bit worried thinking if it continues to rain, we might cancel our plan. But immediately I thanked Allah when the rain subsided as we reached the garden. 

Annyeong Winter Light Festival; I greeted the Garden of the Morning Calm soon after hopping down from the bus. I didn't bother to take picture at the entrance; let alone the ticket counters. It was super cold it took me sometime to adjust to the coldness. After paying 6,000for me (brought the discount coupon; normal fare is 8,000) 5,000(high school student rate) off we entered the garden.

For the first 5 minutes of our journey into the garden, I hid both my hands in the pockets. I refused to take them out until suddenly 

"Take my picture here. Ppalli. Who told u to dropped the camera. Now we both have to sacrifice. Buka glove cepat."

Oii that was too cruel a jibe!! Fine! And so I took off my glove & started taking pics of her. And the environment! 
Totally different view from what I saw in Su's blog.
I've expected this because we were there during the winter. Pokok togel is something that rhythm with the white environment that winter gives. Right? 
The place will definitely crowded with locals I told my cousin prior coming. And boy did I expected right. 
I must say, Koreans do the best selca. Did I ever mentioned they prefer taking pictures using their handphone's camera rather than the 'real' camera. Even the senior citizen choose the handphone. Saw many of them in the bus & train. Smart phone kau! Some used the latest model some more. Siap view konsert via youtube. Update instagram. And I saw this Ahjumma busy tapping on her phone, curiosity kills me & so I peeked. Ahjumma busy editing pictures & decorating with emoticons etc. Mampu? 
Wandering the garden, we were guided solely by lights. 
 Mesmerized we were as we went further inside.
We went gugugaga almost all the time. The place is too beautiful. Too awesome. Over one million LED lights adorned the trees & garden. 
Heart-shaped decoration; a must have to every event held in South Korean. I kid u not!
This festival has given a new winter trend to those who visited the garden. 
THIS! Speechless I was! U can't imagined how low my jaw dropped upon seeing this tunnel from afar. Too excited, too much adrenaline rush we BOTH forgot to snap its picture in full frame. Perangai!
I personally think the Best Course sign is best followed for day-trip. For the light festival, follow where the light leads u is the best course. 
To the Moonlight Garden we go where a small cute cathedral is situated. 
And surrounded with angels. 
Just like in fairy tales. But please ignore the 'noises' in all my pictures. Sob. I thought my handphone camera does well under the low light setting. 
The highlight of the light festival; the Sunken Garden. 
Where my wish was granted by The Almighty! Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah.
We were busy taking pictures...awing the lights & all when suddenly I felt something got into my eyes. My cousin told me something touched her face, too. That's when we both look at the dark sky...and saw that 'something'. We weren't sure at first, might be drizzle. And the cousin went 

"Why is ur anak tudung covered with white dusts?"

And the couple next to us went...

"Wah, nun-i!

Upon hearing the word nun...which means snow in Korean language; automatically senyum sampai telinga. Mata buntang. Terkinja ndak hengat dunia. Taking pictures as prove kununnya. To show family & friends back home. Show off skittttttttttt. But nan ado hasil. Serves u right, riak lagi! Picture below is among the many pictures we took during the not so heavy snowfall. 
Regardless the 'macam ndak da cebisan snow pun atas anak tudung kau tu, Bie', apa ku kisah for as long as it's no longer a dream for Yours Truly. Syukran Allah. 
Done touring the garden, we stopped by at one of the shop there. Intended to celebrate the evening with a cuppa but I ended up buying the wrong one. Coffee mixed with ginseng is so not my cup of coffee. The bottle was of help to me though since it's warm. 
Dalam happy, I didn't realize the runny nose. Only when we arrived at bus 'shelter' stop that my cousin pointed my reddish nose. No wonder temperature dropped gila2 hence the extreme coldness earlier that day. Now I know, bila sejuk luar biasa maka itu tanda akan ada snowfall. Ngeh.
We took the last Gapyeong Tour Bus (1930 bus) back to Cheongpyeong Station. And from there we took the train back to Seoul. 
Inside the train. From Seoul we rode the same train with them...and we met again on the way back to Seoul. Timing kami sama, agenda saja yang berbeza. And they smelled Soju. Drinking is a tradition for them; perhaps its their way to celebrate. 
It was unusually cold when we arrived Seoul. And I want to be a gonggok once more. Sejuk-ness! While walking to the hostel, we noticed the wet road. Ah, Seoul pun snow juga rupanya. 
Dinner on our third night there. My all time favourite Maggi 'goreng' Laksa. Improvised menu adalah best!
The next morning, outside the hostel.
"Alaaa By, kira lebat juga lah snow malam tadi kan". 

All the cars parked at the street were covered with snow. Rugi we didn't noticed the snowfall. Boleh juga posing mengada di jalan raya. Darat sungguh!
Highlight of our day! Berusaha sungguh to have this picture! It wasn't that heavy, still kami happy habis meter. 
Last time datang during winter, mampu main snow atas ground at Yongpyong Resort jak. This time merasa jatuh di muka. Gitu kan feeling over!

"Apa ada dengan kamera jatuh, rosak? Sedih tu replaced with something lagi best"

So the cousin repeated my statement. Amboi tadi bukan main kau perli aku sebab jatuhkan kamera kan!?? Pfft!

Light Festival at Garden of Morning Calm:
  • Light will be on from 530pm until 830pm. (Garden is open from 9am-9pm)
  • Festival started from December to March. 
  • More info here
If I happened go to South Korea again (I doubt I won't), I would love to visit this garden in the morning. Not during the winter of course. I will take the bus from Cheongpyeong Station, spend hours there before taking the same bus to Nami Island for I am curious how Nami looks like during the night. And that means I have to spend a night near the island because staying at a chalet in the island will definitely cost me a bomb. Sounds like a plan already. Right? Insha Allah, all in good time. Amin.

eryantierdabdulkarim

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22 hollered!:

DJ said...

wah cantik garden ni...tak pernah tahu...boleh pi la next time...heeee wahhh salji...yg ni mmg jeles lah aku!hahahaha nak salji jugak!hahahaha

BIBIE KARIM said...

@DJ: Cantik kan? Imagine lah kalau musim bunga. Nak luruh jantung tengok bunga2 kembang semangkuk. Hahaha saljiiiii saljiiii xabis lagi rasa gumbira ni.

PuTrImaRyam said...

So, korean so obses about smart phone huh? Nnt ko pi JP, ko akan perasan org tua dgn kamera gabak + lens canggih, remaja pla byk pakai I-phone... Btw, mmg ada ati mo pi garden ni nnt, tp ntahla, Moga aku x sesat nnt....

BIBIE KARIM said...

@PutriMaryam: Diorang memang melekat sama fon. Macam kalau dalam train or bus, diorang entertain diri sama fon. Tengok movie or mv ka gitu. Ada juga bawa dlsr tapi jarang nampak kalau di bandar, selalu tempat yang memang attraction lah baru dorang bawa. Teenagers sana fon canggih2 sama macam yang veteran2 juga.

Ngam lah ko pigi sini time spring kan.Naik tour bas tu jak, senang. Jimat lagi sebab ko sendiri. Bazir kalau naik taxi.

syieda said...

Bie...walaupun blom baca sbb bz yg melampau..kira gambar yg ada ni membuatkan syida mau pigi sana. Sila bgi extra tips k. Hihihu

Suraya I. said...

omg seriously mmg different from wt i saw at the garden mase pegi aritu and mmg cantik!! the tunnel tu ya Allah..nak nangis i tengok ur pic..cantik amat!
XD

BIBIE KARIM said...

@Syieda: Hihi boleh je share apa2 yang aku tau. No hal.

BIBIE KARIM said...

@Suraya: Masa Su pegi tu memang lawa, natural deco. Time akak gi pun lawa gak. Tunnel tu pun memang mengundang uwahhhh yang panjang. Dari jauh macam melambai2.

Azra said...

Ohh mengapekah aku tak check balik the schedule for the tour bus itu... aku aritu ade jugak plan nak gi garden ni.. sebab nak tengok light festival ni la.. tapi we left nami island a bit late so ingat tak sempat nak terjah sane dah...takut tak sempat nak catch the tour bus.. uhukss...

BIBIE KARIM said...

Ha tulah kan cepat je diorang ni tukar2 padahal baru je kot kita gi aritu. Aku kalau x tripping tourist guide kat cousin aku memang xperasan gak diorang dah tambah slot. Balik 730pm dr garden tu, memang ramai gila dalam bas. Pasal light festival tulah aku rasa.

KAK KIAH said...

wow wow wow and wowwwww... best nyah!!!

BIBIE KARIM said...

@KakKiah: Amboi amboi amboi. Memang best. Tu nye ke nyah. Haha.

Malicious Mind said...

Tebalnya baju sejuk you.mesti susah mau jalan kan. LOL. aku kurang suka winter, prefer autumn than winter.

BIBIE KARIM said...

@Dana: Betul2 aku xmenahan sejuk dia. Gigit tulang. Sudah tebal gitu pun boleh lutut aku shaking tu time jalan. And that muff sangat xhelping either. Haha. Autumn belum pernah experience ah tapi so far aku memang selalu suka winter. Walau tu sejuk membunuh.

Jari Manis said...

like ICT di Shah Alam lah..but here more ohsem..eee...tgk gambar pun dh terasa sejuk nehhh

BIBIE KARIM said...

@JM: Kena gi! Memang sejuk gila. Kat SA tu pun best gak dulu saya pegi masa mula2 buka. Sekarang ni macam crowded semacam je.

Anonymous said...

Salam Bie

Would like to ask you a few things on your Korea trip, may I have you email add please?

Thanks!
Sue

Bibie Karim said...

Wassalam Su. This is my email bibierr82@gmail.com

luna paris said...

oh... macam garden light ni macam icity la kan.. tapi yelaa bezenye ade snow.. heheh.... so untuk la bie, dah dapat rase snow...! =D

Bibie Karim said...

Luna: Aah lebih kurang macam iCity. Tapi beza sini sejuk giler time light festival sebab diorang memang buat during winter je. Alhamdulillah merasa walau masa ni snow yang turun pun malu2 je.

Aku Bernama Rin said...

hai b...this is my first comment here, im ur silent reader...hee..

nak tanye, kalau terlepas bas dr garden of morning calm ni, ada cara lain tak nak g cheongpyeong station?

anyway, thanks in advance!

Bibie Karim said...

Hi Rin. Thanks for reading.

Kalau terlepas shuttle bus tu, kenalah naik teksi dari garden tu. Dah xde cara lain. Ada gak yang naik teksi so kalau aku tertinggal, aku akan cari kawan untuk share teksi. Sebab jarang nak gi subway station boleh tahan jauh gak.

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