29 July 2013

CutiCuti: South Korea Day 3 - Nami Island by ITX Train

Assalamualaikum. 안녕!

Day 2

Makin malas rasa mau update blog. Padahal haritu berkobar mau cepat habiskan. Baru pigi seven days; belum campur lagi angan2 mau ber-WWOOF-ing segala. 

Right, sebelum aku start intro panjang lebar better continue update yang sepatutnya. That is our third day in South Korea. Alhamdulillah sempat cover two places in a day. Both situated hours away from the metropolitan Seoul.

Unlike last time where we took the shuttle bus from Tapgol Park to Nami Wharf (here)...for this trip, aku berani mati guna another route. That is by the ITX (Intercity Train Express) train! Mentang2 dapat mandat untuk buat itinerary, suka suki aku jak kunun mau trial & error option ni. Kena cuba semua barulah orang bilang dapat gain new experience, yes? Then only I could compare when being asked next time. Furthermore, this train baru jak mula beroperasi end of Feb; last year. Aku pun mau lah juga merasa naik train selain metro subway tu kan.
We woke up early mainly because we want to get there as early as possible. Mau habiskan tawaf two places in a day, tidur kena korban. Kalau lambat takut ndak cukup masa sebab faktor bersesat pun harus diambil kira.

Before departing we had breakfast in our room. Penggunaan tenaga maksima sepanjang hari hence perlulah recharged awal2. Ndaklah time tengah verangan Winter Sonata di Nami, suddenly mood ke laut sebab perut nyanyi dangdut.
From the hostel (Myeongdong), we took the subway to Cheongnyangni. From there we looked for the ITX train signboard. I purposely did not use our T-money card because I want to buy the ticket from the machine. Kunun secara manual for I still insist to trial & error.

Myeongdong Station (subway) ---> Cheongnyangni Station (subway) ---> Cheongnyangni (ITX) ---> Gapyeong Station Exit 2 (ITX)

Taxi to Nami Island

Sekali English option nan ado, baru haru di sana membaca Hangul. Baca confirm lepas, cuma maksud tu jaklah. Banyak yang ndak paham dari yang paham. Lucky I know the spelling for Gapyeong Station; where we shall alight. Memang parah panik sebab lepas pilih destination, suddenly keluar di skrin ntah apa2. To calmed myself, everything that popped out on the screen...I simply clicked '아니오' which means No, instead of '네' which means Yes.

Tekan itu, tekan ini. Finally, keluar arahan untuk insert payment. KRW 4,000/way. Tu pun aku dapat teka sebab lampu di area duit tu berlip-lap. Mau sangat cara manual, kan?
ITX train's frequency is unlike the Seoul Metro Subway. There is only one train per hour. Fortunately, we only waited for twenty minutes before the train arrived. As Cheongnyangni is the last station, it doesn't really matter which platform u should take to board the train. If two trains happened to arrive at the same time, either one will opened its doors to passengers. Jadi, naiklah yang tu. 
Kerusi super comfortable, maybe because the distance from one station to another is quite far. Siap ada attendant tolak cart jual kudapan lagi. Aku sudah telan energy drink & bar di awal pagi, so Ms H jak yang membeli. Considering apa yang dijual masih dalam status meragukan, she opted for boiled eggs.

Everytime naik subway, memang banyak nampak telur rebus dijual di kiosk. Perhaps sumber protein seawal pagi? Maybe. But defo not for me. Tu gerenti akan panggil cik Gastrik datang. Kalau penyakitan time travel memang paling bikin panas. Its better to not ask for it. 
After being showered with tranquil views of green land along the way, we arrived at Gapyeong. The journey took more or less than thirty minutes. Note to Ernie, that's Exit in Korean language.
가평 - Gapyeong. - Station. 
We rode the taxi just in front of the station to get to Nami Wharf. It cost us KRW 4,300 for the five minutes ride. Quite worthy as we shared the fares. 
The newly renovated cafe & information office. Last year lepak sini makan fried potato sambil tunggu shuttle bus to Seoul. If I remembered it correctly, last time the building looked kinda dull & less interesting. I reckoned that might be the reason why they revamped it. Winter or not, snowmen tetap berdiri teguh di Nami!
Dengan izin Nya & usaha gigih buat research terjah berjenis blogs mainly to get information about how to reach Nami by ITX train; kami selamat sampai. Syukur. The entrance ticket & return ferry to Nami Island is KRW 8,000.
Datang awal...ndak payah join queue to ride the ferry. Jalan terus!
Malaysia's flag spotted! Right behind Korea's gitu. 
On board the ferry. Bagi chance these three ladies posing. The sun came out but the air was kinda breezy that day. Bliss for it wasn't scorching hot. 
Motif? Kentara mau compare rupa air tu kan. I was in Nami during winter last year...and this year, it was during summer. Would really love to come for autumn & spring. I am sure the feeling would be different. Insha Allah, sila tolong aminkan.
Tulislah nama kau besar2 di sini & make sure to take picture of it. Unless u're coming back to Nami on the same year...don't bother looking for this next year, ok.
Annyeong Namiseom! I had so much fun the last time I was here. And although this was my second time here, I enjoyed myself still. The feeling is pretty much the same like the first time. Uber excited! My second time here, both trips pun all ladies trip. Yay!!

At first we thought those were balloons hanging up there. But soon we discovered it was actually light bulbs!!

I dreamed of this view for my next visit. 
Yet Allah answered my prayer on the dot. Ndak payah tunggu next visit! Although it is still summer...some of the trees seem to cannot wait to enter the autumn season.

"Perhaps we came too early" I somehow forgot to be grateful & whined. And Ms G replied "Ini rezeki nama dia". Indeed it was. Nauzubillah, suka betul kufur nikmat!
We took a picture under the orange maple tree as a remembrance of our Summer-Autumn trip in Nami.

Penjimatan sumber. Ndak payah bazir guna kayu segala. They used books to build up the pillars. Habis event, either simpan for future use or jadikan bahan recycle. 

We were looking for Drama Cafe where I had the popular Nasi Kocak a.k.a Bento Shake lunch last year. A lunchbox that contains rice, kimchi & egg. Gloves is provided as the box is too hot to be touched with only bare hands. I really want the ladies to experience the kocak a.k.a shaking thingy. Unfortunately, the only cafe in Nami Island that has the Halal logo is no longer there.
I remembered exactly the location of the cafe. The tugu opposite & the so-called lake near the May House restaurant tu memang landmark aku ingat. And it is just next to the Winter Sonata photo gallery. After searching around; going back & forth...still ndak jumpa. The previous spot is replaced by a building with MBC logo at the main entrance; one of South Korea major television & radio network. Photos from dramas by MBC are displayed here. Sebab lapar, maka lupa ambil gambar building baru tu. Haru!

Update: The Drama Cafe still existed. Thanks to Ms Zetti; she went to Nami in Jan & had her lunch at the cafe. From her pics I think the cafe has moved to another building. Last time kami makan, open air concept jak. Ada few tables inside tapi memang mostly orang dined di luar. Need to confirm the exact location, supaya nanti Dec ni ndak kelibut panik mencari. 
Newly painted library...bright color makes the building standout than the cafes or restaurants next to it. And this is where the prayer room in Nami Island is located. 
Direction to the prayer room at the door. How accommodating. Terharu dengan keprihatinan pihak pengurusan pulau ni. In a place where Muslim is just a minority...
To ease the frustration ndak dapat merasa bento shake...we quenched our thirst at a cafe nearby instead. Waffle spread with cream & blueberry jam. My first waffle in South Korea since we arrived. Dari Malaysia sudah poyo mau makan waffle Korea kununnya! Ntahlah apa motif sebenar. Tapi caramel macchiato aku super sedap tau.
Pas lepak2 minum, continued exploring lagi. Carvings as such memang bersepah di Nami. Mostly segan untuk diupload gitu; too SX a category for Yours Truly. 

Different way to express loves...apart from the padlocks in N Tower.

That snowman is made out of bottle caps.
Artwork based made of  recycled Soju bottles. 
The management practices the great concept of recycling for many of the materials decorating this island. 
I guess this bicycle is one of the props used for the drama; Winter Sonata. A drama that popularized Nami Island. A drama that rocked the film industry & later introduced South Korea to the world.
Despite of the drama, tourist is encourage to come here because of its romantic & beautiful scenery. Every season has its own beauty in this island.  
A memorial is placed in remembering one of the actor; the late Mr. ParkYongHa who committed suicide sometime in June, 2010. I came to know about his death on my first time here. Am not really a fan of this drama to be frank.
As we were there early in the morning, we didn't have to queue to take picture with this statue. We had the statue of this love birds to ourselves. Yay. Because there were not many people so no photobomb happened. 
I brilliantly left Blackie in the hostel room, kena cari creative way to be able to capture the avenue-like fashion trees. Kunun inilah the best shot.

The scenery is breathtakingly awesome. During winter, pokok semua botak. This time, pokok semua berimbunan dedaun hijau gitu.
Proses pengabdian kenangan dengan pokok2 di Nami. Ni lah faktor utama aku rasa kenapa sejuk dingin jak pulau ni, even summer. Terima kasih pokok!

To kill time, Ms G & I decided to rent the couple bicycle & tour the island. Kes kondifen paling mantap...the first ten minutes we giggled & laughed so hard we nearly fall from the bike. It's been eons since I last cycled; dengan penuh rasa rendah hati & malu besar....I admitted that I forgot how to cycle; let alone to control the handle. 

"Left, right, leeeft, right. Ok, ok boleh kau tu. Lek jak, lek!" Ms G tried to calm myself & herself. Ngeks. I was supposed to lead us forward but both my feet can't reach the pedal! And so I stopped...for only God knows how many times. 

Lemah lutut kalau ketawa sepanjang masa. Pasal tu susah mau fokus. Kunun kata penyedap hati si co-cyclist. 
Walaupun terhuyung hayang, still ada masa untuk rest & posed! Gaya kena ada.
After a few set of "Stop stop stop...we're about to fall. Kaki ndak sampai ni pedal oii!!" Baru gain confidence to cycle farther...

Sungguh poyo. Once we 'tuned' our cycling skill, terus lupa diri. Siap berselca while still on the bike gitu. Yang kunun kaki ndak sampai, pun request juga. Untuk kenangan! Thanks to Ms G for trusting me. Motivator mode sangat. Non stop bagi semangat.

After a good forty minutes cycling around the island & stopping by few photo spots; we returned the bike. In one piece! 

We took the ferry back to Nami Wharf. And off we headed to the bus stop nearby...waited for the Gapyeong Tour Bus to our next destination.
While waiting for the tour bus, selca moment is a must. Ignore the oily face.

Stay tune for my next update. My first time to that place...thanks to Running Man; I found u Petite France!

My two cents:
Try coming during the weekdays to avoid crowd. Or come early. Having tried both routes, I'd say the most convenient way to go to Nami Wharf is by shuttle bus. It's a first come first serve basis hence u need to come early to get ur seat. Or book earlier at Nami Island Seoul Center located in Insadong. Bus departed near Tapgol Park at 9.30a daily. And from Nami Wharf at 4p. For more info; please refer here


25 July 2013

CutiCuti: South Korea Day 2 - Namsan Tower / Teddy Bear Museum / Myeongdong

Assalamualaikum. 안녕!

Everland Resort

Was too busy chasing deadline of the photobook's voucher I bought months ago made me forgot about this blog. P to the Yo! Fortunately I have submitted my order last night which the expiry date is today. Lain kali sila bertangguh bernanti2 lagi ah Bie! 

Ok lets continue where I last stopped. After Everland Resort, we went back to the hostel. Refreshed. Part ni the most crucial as to avoid mood untuk ke laut. Sudah penat berjalan, muka pun berminyak, kusam...badan melekit2 macam covered with dust hence decision untuk balik hostel & mandi adalah paling bijak.

Namsan Tower is located up the hill. We walked from the hostel to the cable car station. It's the same route to Namsan Guesthouse 1. 

Shop along the way up. Perlu snap sebab...it's fink! What else could it be, kan.
IF I remembered it correctly...it took us less than 5 minutes to reach the stairs heading to the cable car station. Ndak sempat berpeluh pun. But walking the uphill was truly an exercise; at least to the half-asleep moi.
Last year, we queued for the cable car at the left side of the building. The mirrored one. It was a bit inconvenient; terpaksa bersesak sebab sempit. This year, we queued at the right side of the building. Entrance door is under that pink or red? fluorescent light. 

I found out later that the area where we queued last year was only temporary. They were undergoing some renovation works to expand the ticket counter & waiting area at that time. The new queuing area has more ample space. Visitors no longer feel like they're being herded into a narrow room. 
Apart from the cable car & other public transportation e.g bus or taxi; another option to go down from Namsan Tower is by stairs. We decided for a return cable car ride. Bukan risau sebab malam, tapi malas mau menapak turun tangga.

We had fully utilized our superwalkertapaki the whole day at Everland hence we opted for a less energy consumption exercise. Lagipun dari stesen cable car tu, we still have to walk down the hill to get back to our hostel. Exercise sungguh.
Inside the cable car. Someone was forced to overcome her acrophobia; once more! Kejam ndak kejam kami membuli. Bravo lah two fear factor challenges for her in just one day. And congratulations for being able to control ur phobia while we're in the cable car. Lepas ni praktis naik cable car banyak kali, insha Allah akan hilang fobia tu. 
Dusk in Myeongdong.
Tengah tergantung di atas cable...lucky ndak da orang berdrama mau turun sebab takut. She did enjoyed this view I guess although not as much as we did. Aku yang second time ni pun ikut berkagum. Siap berdiri melekat sama cermin just to get a clearer view. 
Taken from Ms Z's fb album. 
Annyeong Namsan Tower! Or also known as N Seoul Tower. 오랜만이야! It's been more than a year since we first met.
In front of the entrance to the Teddy Bear Museum. Lucky enough Ms G didn't smile. Else memang picture ni akan nampak scary. Or it's rather scary when she posed like that? 
Bear ni setia menanti pengunjung yang datang. Sudah masuk last time, tapi tetap masuk lagi. And impressed I am still. 

Ada orang bestfriend sama bears sekarang. Bukan alang2 these bears...siap pakai hanbok tau. Very traditional a feeling.
This Bear Gangnam Style is new. Psy's Gangnam Style indeed left a big positive impact to South Korea's music industry. And their tourism as well. 
I was awed when she told me she knows about Princess Hour. No wonder beria kiss Prince Bear segala. 
Super nice wallpaper u have there, Mr Little Bear!!
Applying this to my life...
Alhamdulillah. Finally!!! Last time ndak sempat jejak kaki ke N Seoul Tower's Locks of Love. Though it is just next to Namsan Tower. This trip harus jadikan realiti. 
How lovers expressed their love. But the idea to throw the keys away; especially down the hill...where there are houses isn't wise at all. Yes? It could cause injury. Also damages to facilities. 
The chair is designed like that. So couple will naturally glide...and meet each other at the center? But I still want to believe Ms G caused the chair to split into two. Eh?
Apart from attaching the padlocks at the fences, couples have other option as well. Memang tangan paling selim & panjang jak dapat seluk masuk & hang their padlocks inside. 
And I know, my not-so-tiny hand would never fit. A dream it would forever be to leave my padlock farther inside. Wait! Padlock secara solo adalah unacceptable here, Bie. Come next time with the other half, barulah termanis declare chenta di sini. 
Since malam masih muda, we decided to spend the evening with window shopping. Untung stay di hostel ni, one of Seoul's famous shopping district is only a walking distance away. Sudahlah underground passage dijadikan underground mall juga...sangat berambang mata.
Sama poster pun jadilah! Pose semata2 favorite artist gue. KHJ-ssi. Pastu sibuk upload di IG & tagged peminat bersama, si hoobae kesayangan.
Fenomena super moon that evening; we witnessed it in Seoul! Friends back home whined about not being able to watch the phenomenon due to the bad haze that attacked Malaysia at that time. Feeling lucky, sungguh! Syukran Allah.

We left the area after wandering around...full schedule the next day & we need to wake up early for we will be travelling out of Seoul. zZZzz!