Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cafe hunting in Seoul.

If you've been following me on instagram, i am sure you'll know that I'm a coffee addict. For me happiness is coffee. I love coffee so much. I love to spend my time and chill in a coffee shops or cafes and enjoy all kinds of coffees and snacks. I have always seen a lot of coffee shop scenes in Korean dramas and I have always fascinated by them.  For me, drinking coffee is the simple and little thing in life that i should treasure . One of the little things I always love to enjoy. The aroma of the coffee shops has always fascinated me. Well, it won't solve world or life problems for you but it's really nice to have a cup of coffee everyday.

My ELTDP mentor, Paul Hughes once said to me during our get together in school, "Tina you should go visit South Korea since you love coffee so much" and TADAAAAAAA hey Paul i was here in Seoul. There are so many goods cafes in Seoul and there are a lot more I haven't visited. Here are some of the coffee shops I've visited during my trip to Seoul.

1. Angel-in-us Coffee in Hongdae

2. Hollys Coffee in Myeongdong
3. Ycat Cafe in Hongdae
Hey human, can i have a cup of coffee juseyooo

4. Cafe Bene in Hongdae
5. Tom N Toms Coffee in Cheonggyecheon
6. You are here Cafe in Hongdae
So this cafe is owned by the famous eat your kimchi bloggers Simon and Martina. I was here because my friend back in Malaysia asked me to check out these books for her. I even bought them for her. So Kema, if you're reading this, thank you for introducing me to this cafe. I got to try their coffee because of you *wink

7. Coffenie Cafe in Hongdae
 I visited this cafe twice because it's really near to my guest house. Since it was December, all coffee shops here in Seoul were decorated with Christmas trees and colourful ornaments. 

8.Beans Bins Cafe in Garosugil, Sinsadong
Enjoyed my cup of chocolate mint at one of the famous street in Seoul.

9. Cube Studio Cafe in Apgujong Rodeo
If you're a kpop fan, this cafe is a must to go. One of the top hallyu attractions. Owned by the Cube Entertatainment. Does this name ring a bell to you? Well, it's home to Beast, 4Minute, BTOB, CLC and so on. I heard the Beast members would come down to this cafe at weekend nights to chill. You might encounter them if you're lucky star. So, i tried the sweet potato latte. It's really interesting that most coffee shops in Seoul offer special latte made from sweet potato. It's fragrant and sweet. Not bad.

10. Starbucks
Things to do while travelling: Try Starbucks in every country and collect the tumblers.

Like the saying goes, you can't buy happiness but you can buy coffee. That's pretty close!
Well, that's all for my cafe hunting in Seoul. I will come back to Seoul again, I promise!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Annyeong Seoul! Part 1

Hi bloggers, i'm back. omo omo omo it's been sooooo long i haven't posted anything here. To tell you guys the truth, things change now. I'm currently teaching in rural school in Limbang, Sarawak. I had been so busy for the past 2 years, forgetting this precious blog of mine. 90% of my life revolves around my students, 5% of my career and another 5% of my family. I seriously don't have time for myself. *cries

Okay, that's not the point. I want to talk about my travelling passion. Since my last trip to Singapore, which was in December 2012. Is Singapore even considered as a trip? It's so close to Malaysia. *lol Alright, since my last trip to Singapore i hadn't been to overseas. I stopped travelling. Then, i came to my senses. I realised that i hadn't been living my life in the right way. It was lifeless. I stopped doing the thing that i love the most which is travelling. It was last year. I was browsing airasia website, suddenly i had this thought 'i should go somewhere' and boom! I booked a return flight to Seoul, South Korea.

Annyeong Seoul!

My trip to Seoul lasted for 21 days (28th Nov - 18th Dec 2014) I KNOW RIGHTTT. Friends and relatives had been asking me why so long? They even joked that i might not coming back to Malaysia that i might become a Korean citizen. *lol Well, I had reasons. First, as a kpop and k-drama lover, i planned to visit all the attractions that related to them. Second, I love winter. I don't have to worry about my outfits because i just wear winter jackets all the time. People don't give a crap if you're wearing the same jacket for few days because helloooo it's winter. Third, i don't like to rush things. Going to few different places in one day is not my thing. My style of travelling is going to one place at a time, spending my time alone there and admiring the place till i get bored. That's why i took 21 days to cover the whole Seoul. Hehe. you think i'm weird right? Well, i do admit that i'm quite odd.

So i stayed in Boa guesthouse in Hongdae. It's a nice, quiet guesthouse and the staffs there were really friendly. A few of the things that keep me amused me is they were so many Malays (Malaysians) staying there. It felt like home haha. The guesthouse even provides musollah, kiblat and separate kitchen utensils for Muslims. It was really convenient. I had a great time staying there. Totally recommended! 

How to get to Boa Travel House: From Incheon airport, take the train AREX and get off at Hongik University station. Exit 4 and you need to walk for about 5 minutes.

Yup. I'm a solo traveller. I still couldn't believe that i went all the way to South Korea alone. I was very proud of myself. The thing about travelling alone is i get to discover a lot about myself. I get to reflect more. I get to do a lot thinking while i'm being alone. It was just me in my own world. I love the feeling. 

I swear Koreans are the nicest, warmest and friendliest people i've ever met. I hadn't encountered a single problem while i was in Seoul. I felt safe here. So here is a list of top attractions that i went in Seoul. So, let the pictures do the talking aye?

                               1. Cats' Cafe in Hongdae (Hongik University)

How to get to Cat's Cafe: Hongik University station, Subway line 2, Exit 9.
It was purrrrrfect day with them. It was rainy, cold day and i decided to cuddle and stay there all day. You got your latte and and you got to play with these hairballs. Aigoo neomu kyeoptaaaaaa. I love this place so much it made my heart warm and calmer.
2.Gyeongbokgung Palace

How to get to Gyeongbokgung Palace: Gyeongbokgung station, Subway line 3, Exit 5
The biggest palace in Seoul. Theme parks aren't my cup of tea. I love palaces. I learned a lot about the Korean culture. Even watched some Korean folk performance inside the museum. It was very interesting sadly no photography was allowed.  
   3. Ewha Womans University

How to get there: Ewha Womans University station, Subway line 2, Exit 3
The most beautiful university i have ever seen making me feel like to return to uni life again.  I wish i could be a student here. University for women only. How cool is that. I'm so jellyyyyyyy. I really love the sound and the feels of stepping on crunchy leaves. Maple leaves are so prettyyyyy. 
    4. Insadong

How to get to Insadong: Anguk station. Subway line 3. Exit 6
So i went for food hunting in Insadong. I tried some Korean traditional tea and rice cakes with honey and almond at Shin Old Tea House. The tea was refreshing. How did the rice cakes taste like? It's not that bad. It was pretty and cosy tea house. Will come here again in the future. 

Insadong street is a very unique area of Seoul where it has this Korean traditional touch and it contains a mix of historical and modern atmosphere. Totally a must a go destination when you're in Seoul. Even the Starbucks shop sign is in hangul language. I went into the shop to buy a hot choc because it's freezing cold. Plus, i did a lot souvenirs shopping for family so need a break. 
                       5. Nami Island

How to get to Nami Island:
From Hongik University station, take the Gyeongui (Jungang Line towards Sangbong), Change at Sangbong, take the Gyeongchun Line towards Gapyeong. From Gapyeong station, take a taxi to Nami Island. 
I escaped the hustle bustle Seoul city for a day trip to this beautiful island. It's one hour train ride from Seoul. Calling out K-drama fans and lovers. This is where the shooting of Winter Sonata drama took place. 
  6. Yeouido Hangang Park

How to get there: National Assembly station, Subway line 9, Exit 1.
I took a stroll along the Han river overlooking the beautiful city of Seoul. Take note, Han river is also one of the famous location for K-drama shooting. It's winter time and the locals don't usually go to the parks. It's good thing because i had this park for myself. 
 7. Gwanghwamun square 

How to get there: Gwanghwamun station, Subway line 5, Exit 2 or Subway line 3, Exit 6.
So, nothing special here. It's just a statue of King Sejong the Great. Based on my history knowledge, King Sejong was the person who introduced hangul characters? From far, you can see Gyeongbokgung main gate. It was snowing that day. 
8. Cheonggyecheon stream

Just a few metres from Gwanghwamun square, i took a stroll along this stream. A stream in the middle of the city. It was surprisingly clean and clear. Beautiful and breathtaking!
9. Dongdaemun History and Culture Park

How to get there: Dongdaemun Stadium station, Subway line 2,3,5. Exit 1.
It's near the Dongdaemun shopping areas since i didn't like shopping and crowded areas so i went here instead. They are not real flowers. They are LED flowers. Yeppeoyoooo. 
 10. War memorial of Korea

How to get there: Samgakji station, Subway Line 4 or 6, Exit 12. 
I told you i love history. So i chose nerding at the museum.  From what i read, basically North and South Korea were brothers and sisters since they had different ideologies and politics understanding so they fought a lot. It's not too bad to travel alone. I kinda enjoyed it. Okey dokey this post will be continued.. bye for now. Toodles! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'm not a vampire

The issue regarding Taman Medan 'cross' protest is somewhat sickening. Where is the respect for other religion?

If you have strong faith and believe Islam is a true religion, I'm sure that you wouldn't be affected so easily just by seeing a 'cross' in your daily life. I'd like to share something, I used to study in Wellington. Of course it's a non muslim country. I have not heard of azan for two freaking years. Besides, I have entered churches and cathedrals all over the New Zealand during backpacking. My apartment that I used to stay was just a few blocks away from a church and I could hear the church bells ringing every single day. Did it affect my faith? No. Did it stop me from praying 5 times a day? No. Your faith in the religion is the most matter. Actually the 'cross' ain't a problem. The most worrying thing is that Malaysia still has such community that is so self-centred, ignorant, insensitive and of course the level of stupidity is too damn high. Come on. Malaysians you're better than this. Time to change. If you want respect, give respect. Simple.

p/s: Only vampires are scared of the cross. 
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