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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

[Seoul 2018]: #Nicckane's Seoul Travel Guide

Ok I didn't expected for so many people to be interested in my recent trip to Seoul lol. 
Well, many was surprised that I went to Seoul only (excluding my one day trip to Paju, but that's another story) because normally when people travel to a country, they try to go to as many places/states/provinces etc as they could cos they can say oh, I visited this country N years ago, so I'm not gonna visit that particular country in the future. Sorry, that's not for me. Because Korea is not a country I would visit once, there WILL be more future trips to Korea, trust me, so this trip is basically just a testing waters kinda trip, to see if I actually like/suit this country. And boy, did I love it! Even the unpredictable spring (freezing) weather didn't deterred me from loving every single moment of this trip! So basically this post will be a brief guide about Seoul, and my experience there! This will be a long post, so if you're not interested in words (but waiting for my pictures HAHA) you can skip now.

Okay no more dilly dallying here's the breakdown.
FYI I am the main travel planner for this trip.



Flight 


My dates were fixed, and I wanted to spend at least 7 to 8 days in Seoul, so there was no way we could skimp on flight tickets. Flight tix was approx. RM 1580 per person via Malaysia Airlines. When we went it was peak season, as the cherry blossoms were blooming, it was the start of spring etc. Hence, the not so cheap flight tix. I would suggest you to use Google flights to monitor the price of the flight tix if you are planning for a Korea trip in advance!
We took off from KLIA at 23:30, 30 March and arrived at ICN Terminal 1 the next morning at 07:10. For the return flight, it was supposed to be at 11:00. but was delayed to 14:15. Good thing it was delayed, cos it gave us more time to shop and eat at the airport! No worries as MAS compensated us with ₩10000 each for food. One thing I like about flying airlines other than the notorious axxaxxa is that baggage allowance is included in the air tix, plus no more hidden charges for payment etc. If you fly with MAS you have 30 kg per person. If Korean Air (codeshare flights) only 23 kg. Huge difference okay, cos who doesn't shop in Korea ๐Ÿ˜† You don't wanna go overweight, do you? And also, Korean Air flights land at Terminal 2. So do take note of the difference!



Accommodation


Well, since I spent so much on flight tix, hence I decided to find something (more) affordable to stay in Seoul. Hotels in Seoul are veryyyy expensive, so it is better to find guesthouses or airbnb, there are loads available. Here's the one I stayed in Seoul, located near Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, and also near Dongguk Station. It's between both lines, so you can have your pick when you travel to other places, and save time from changing lines.

 Here's the link for our room. 
Click here to sign up if you're a new user for RM 120 off your first trip!

The room is as shown in pictures. A bit small for 4 person, but still comfy enough for a person like me with slight claustrophobia lol. There's always someone available at the main counter from breakfast time till around 11pm at night, usually cute oppas on a rotation basis, and they speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese etc. No worries about communication ๐Ÿ˜
Plus, breakfast is provided every day.
RM 1295 for 4 person, 7 nights is pretty affordable, right? Less than RM 50 per person per night only!



Transport and Getting Around


T-money is available for purchase (vending machine) near the Airport Railroad Express (AREX) boarding area at Incheon Airport Terminal 1. Costs ₩3000-4000. Travelling by subways and buses in Seoul are pretty cheap IMO, cos one trip no matter how far you travel in Seoul city area, costs more or less ₩1250-₩1450 only. The furthest I've been is to Everland Theme Park, which was 2 hours away by bus, and that costs ₩2800 only. Comfy bus, like the Aeroline bus from Penang to KL leh! 

For getting around Seoul, do not use Google Maps as they are pretty much useless in Korea. Instead, I would recommend you to download some navigation apps based in Korea, like Kakao Map (the one I used), Hanchao ้Ÿฉๅทข (in Chinese) or Naver (in English). I mainly used Kakao Map because it provides subway route info as well as bus route info. Means I can choose whether I want to take the bus or subway depending on my location. Or when I don't feel like climbing the horrendously long flight of stairs in the subway. Sometimes subways are not as convenient as buses. But the catch about using this app is that, you can search and type in English, and the results will be in English, but some of the info (bus routes etc) will be in Korean. So you will have to know basic Korean to use this app. 
Fyi, Hanchao only provides subway route info while Naver's interface is quite messy for me. 



1st pic: Search the location, and then all the transport options will be shown. Choose one.
2nd pic: The detailed route of your journey.




3rd pic: You can even view all the stops, so you won't miss your stop!
4th pic: Even a walking route is shown. 


As you can see, this trip takes about 25 minutes, and even went across the Hangang River, but only costs ₩1250.
 If you go down after one stop also the same price leh. So got once we lazy and took taxi instead cos short distance ride. Average per person is also almost the same as taking subway. So you calculate by yourself la which is cheaper. 

And if you want to venture out of Seoul, but not too far away, do consider taking a one day trip. There are various places you can visit, like Nami Island, the place where you can ride the rail bike (where pretty much everyone goes lol) etc but for me I chose to go join the Paju and Pocheon Art Valley tour cos there was where the latest Korean drama 'Hwayugi' was shot ๐Ÿ˜! 


A post shared by Nicole (@nicckane) on

Nice right? ๐Ÿ˜ There were a few other places we visited in this tour too. 
Will blog in details about this!

For this tour, I booked via Starway Travel. You can book via their FB page. Costs about RM 300 per person, including transport, lunch, entrance tickets etc. Not cheap, but at least you get to get to these places without much hassle. 



Wifi


How did I stay connected throughout my trip in Seoul? Without wifi I probably wouldn't survive. And get lost too lol. I rented a wifi egg through Klook for around RM 10 per day. Choose the one provided by KT Olleh. Pick up is at Incheon Airport. Instructions to pick up are easy to follow, and staff speaks English. Reception is also pretty good, works in subway stations too only drawback is that battery cannot last long, so by evening or night you'll need to charge it. But that was not a problem for us as we brought out our power bank. 




Weather


2°C-18°C
I went when it was spring. But the weather feels like winter to us Malaysians ๐Ÿ˜ง
The weather so damn unpredictable! On the day we arrived, I didn't even have to wear a coat, just a thin long sleeve turtleneck with a thin strap dress. But eventually it got colder, it even rained when we went to Everland TT And my friend even had to buy socks inside Everland to act as gloves and put hot packs in them so she could warm up her hands ๐Ÿ˜‚
One day it even snowed during midnight ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Imagine snow in April wth!
And that day when we went for cherry blossoms at Seokchon Lake, the wind was so damn strong and cold and dry I nearly froze to my death after taking off my coat for a picture ๐Ÿ˜†



A post shared by Nicole (@nicckane) on

But the Koreans, they were only wearing thin coats, jeans and sneakers. Like it was not cold at all! Eh I wear thick furry coat liao also feel cold leh I cannot imagine how its like in winter.
And during this cold/not cold period kinda weather, the Koreans do not switch on their aircon. Even in buses, taxis, even some malls, no aircon, no air ventilation. Seriously. Even in our airbnb, we had to request for the aircon remote control cos they didn't provide it lolol. The oppa asked us, "Are you guys cold?" Us: *nodding furiously* But honestly even though we were freezing we needed air ventilation or else it would be too stuffy. 



Food 


We allocated around ₩10000 per person per meal. Food in Seoul is expensive if you convert to myr so don't. We didn't really spend much on food, or calculate too much when it comes to food, but at the end we still have leftover money haha! Street food in tourist areas like Myeongdong are not recommended, bloody expensive and sometimes doesn't taste good. I would recommend restaurants like Kimgane ๊น€๊ฐ€๋„ค and Kimbap Jeonguk ๊น€๋ฐฅ์ฒœ๊ตญ, they are like the Mcd and KFC of Korea haha! They have branches everywhere, have plenty of food choices from kimbap to kimchi jjigae, and prices are affordable.



Okay this post is getting too long I have to stop here. Before I end this post, here's approx. how much I spent on this trip, excluding shopping.



Expenses


Flight 
RM 1580
Accommodation (RM 1295)  
RM 323.75 per person
Transport, Food and Entrance tickets
RM 1500 
Wifi (RM 80)     
RM 20 per person
TOTAL 
RM 3423.75



This is just an approximate amount due to fluctuating currency rates etc, not including money spent on shopping (you should know how much you can shop in Korea, and the amount of money you can afford to spend in Korea), so what suits me may not be suitable for you. 


Damn my fingers are tired from typing all of this I hope you guys find it helpful okay ๐Ÿ˜



That's all for this post, more to come so stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜˜

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Que Huong Toi Enterprise (ๆญฃๅฎ—่ถŠๅ—ๅฐ้ฃŸ้ฆ†) @ Sg. Pinang

Hi, I'm back with a food review! 

Was craving for beef noodles, and by coincidence discovered this Vietnamese restaurant which serves pho! Went there few weeks back and was thoroughly delighted by the explosive flavors! Hence this post instead of my backlog cny posts ๐Ÿ˜‚

Que Huong Toi Enterprise (not sure how to pronounce that tho haha) is located in Jalan Jelutong, just beside a car showroom. Parking is rather difficult to find, you can either park opposite the restaurant, in front of another car showroom or turn in at a lorong just before the main road and park there instead.

Here are the food we ordered!

Top right: Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)
Top left: Vietnam Black Coffee (Cafe Den)
Centre: Vietnamese Hand Roll Popiah (Goi Cuon)
Bottom centre: Vietnam Herbal Drink 
Bottom right: Vietnam BBQ Pork Chop with Fried Popiah Noodle (Bรบn thแป‹t nฦฐแป›ng)

Vietnam Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo) RM 10

This pho was seriously the best beef noodle soup I've ever had! Omg I'm literally salivating when I'm typing this. The broth is clear but packed full of flavors. It's literally to die for! None of the broth were wasted as we enjoyed it till the last drop ๐Ÿ˜‹ And I did not feel thirsty afterwards, so not much msg was added either! They also included a plate of vege but me no likey vege haha
They gave generous amount of very tender beef as well. You should definitely try this dish if you visit!

Vietnam BBQ Pork Chop with Fried Popiah Noodle (Bรบn thแป‹t nฦฐแป›ng)  RM 9.50 

My sister opted to try this dish as she loves ๐Ÿ– haha!
 This was also good, the sauce was not that overpowering but just nice, fried popiah was yummy too. IMO it was not as mind blowing as the pho. 

Vietnam Hand Roll Popiah (Goi Cuon) RM2.80 for 1, min order of 2

Packed with various vege and prawns. Texture and taste was interesting and new to me haha! There was a vege with very strong taste so I removed it ๐Ÿ˜‚
Dipped it in the sweet and sour sauce they provided, yummy! ๐Ÿ˜

Okay I didn't took individual pictures of the drinks, but the coffee was pretty good and thick too. 
RM4.20 for the black coffee and RM5.20 for the herbal drink. 


Their menu is pretty extensive, many varieties of Vietnamese food is available. I haven't got a chance to try the Banh Mi so I'll have to give it a visit again soon.
  Do give this restaurant a try if you love Vietnamese food! 

Now ciao lemme go plan for a trip to Vietnam ๐Ÿ˜

Rating: 5/5 




Que Huong Toi Enterprise

56-W, Jalan Jelutong, Taman Lita, 11600 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang
04-281 0633
MON-FRI (10am-3pm/5pm-10pm)
SAT-SUN (9am-3pm/5pm-10pm)



Till then xx

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Mideum Coffee @ Penang

Hi, all! It's been ages since I have last posted, and I apologize for my absence. 
But for now I'm back! And this is going to be a post full of yummy food :P 

The cafe that I am going to post about today is The Mideum Coffee, located just opposite SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian. I have heard a lot of reviews about this place, so me and my fam decided to give it a try! We went on a public holiday, which was probably a good thing as I read reviews that the cafe would normally be crowded with students on weekdays. 

Aaand, we went on a Monday! There was a promotion ongoing when we went, that was on Monday, if your name starts with the letter M or you wore something blue on you, you can get 23% off for drinks! I don't think the promotion is still ongoing, but you can check their FB page for details.

Dessert was served before the main courses haha! (As per my request.)

Chocolate Shake RM13.01 
(RM16.90 before discount)

The shake was served with whipped cream an a ball of chocolate ice cream on top. Even before discount the price was super affordable! Normally shakes are super duper expensive in cafes, but not this one. And it was delicious too. Perfect to cool down on a sunny day. 

Sweet Escape Waffle RM12.50

Even looking at this makes my mouth water. So much sweetness in one picture! 
The waffle was crispy, and went well with the other sweets. Beneath the cotton candy was a ball of ice cream too! Totally worth ordering, and very insta-worthy as well ๐Ÿ‘.

Next up, the main dishes that we ordered.

Spaghetti Carbonara RM12.50

The portion is quite big. But taste wise just normal, nothing much to shout about. 

Cheesy Fried Chicken RM18.90


We waited quite awhile for this dish to be served. And was not disappointed. Well, was only normal fried chicken cutlet served with cheese sauce, but anything with cheese is lurve heh๐Ÿ˜‹


A post shared by Nicole (@nicckane) on

Ok now this IG post revealed how long I procrastinated lol. There is only one swing seat table available in the cafe, so do make sure you take a pic with it!

Selfie with the furry fake plant (Idk what's the name) that was almost featured in every pic. Thanks for the cameo hahah!

Rating: 4/5 

Affordable price but cleanliness needs to be improved. 



Opens 9am-9pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun)