Korea 2014: Bukchon Hanok Village, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Namsan Tower

Possibly the most “cultural” part of our holiday, we visited the traditional houses at Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을). It’s quite a far walk away from the nearest Anguk Station, but luckily they have a tourist information stand with detailed maps available to guide us to the famous sites.

Bukchon Hanok Village

There are actually residents still staying in these houses, and I think it’s very disruptive to their life when hordes of tourists descent upon their door steps to take photos and snoop around.

Wall Patterns

But since we’re there already, we kept our volumes down and happily snap away. I like the wall patterns outside their houses.

Another famous tourist attraction just nearby is Cheonggyecheon (청계천) stream. We began right at the start of the stream and strolled along, dodging busy office workers and trying not to fall into the water. There were a lot of people having their lunch beside the stream, picnic-style, which I thought was pretty cool.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

They have rocks placed in the stream for you to cross over from one side to another. Inspired by Gen & MS’ wedding shoot, we took quite some effort to capture the photos here, and obstructing a lot of people genuinely trying to get to the other side.

Rocks at Cheonggyecheon

The stream is more than 8km long, and obviously we didn’t walk the entire stretch.

Our last scenic destination of the trip is at Namsan Mountain. N Seoul Tower, also known as Namsan Tower, is the highest point in Seoul at 479m above sea-level.

Namsan Tower

We took a cable car ride up the mountain from Myeongdong Station, and the walk up to the cable car station itself was a KILLER. It was pure 15 minutes of upslope climbing, and we were sweating by the time we reached the base cable car station.

Once there, we were more interested in leaving our lock behind at the foot of the tower, than going up to the observatory itself.

Namsan Lock

Don’t worry if you’re not prepared and came without a lock. A store at the bottom of the Namsan Tower sells them together with marker pens. Also over here, we saw more “creative” confessions written on handphone cases. A bigger surface area, and who’s to say that’s not permanent huh.

Wall of locks

There were already thousands of locks secured on the railings, and we’re left with the option of putting our lock on other couple’s locks.

It is all sweet and lovey dovey. Therefore if you’re single or traveling in a single-sex group, my advice is to avoid this area for your own sake.

We found love in a crowded place

As you can tell by now, our trip was really just eating and shopping. Not much I can post about regarding the cultural highlights of the trip.

I do want to emphasis on the next (and last) post, which will probably be one of the most interesting one for me!


Click to read my other posts on Korea 2014

Korea 2014: Myeongdong, Edae, Sinchon

Korea 2014: Gangnam, Everland, Caribbean Bay

Korea 2014: Hongdae, Trick-eye Museum, Jimbilbang

Malacca Trip: 12th July 2014

Sacrificing sleep and a much needed rest after my ICT, we drove off early Saturday morning on our road-trip to Malacca. We set off at 5.30am, and the traffic was smooth the whole way with no hiccups at both immigration checkpoints.

Truthfully, we reached Malacca so early (before 9a.m.) that most of the shops weren’t open. We did do a bit of research, so we headed off to have our Dimsum breakfast at Jalan Tukang Emas.

The place is called Low Yong Moh Restaurant, and a prominent landmark will be the mosque that’s directly opposite it.

Low Yong Mou Restaurant

It’s quite crowded when we went, probably because they only open for the mornings, and do take note they are closed on Tuesdays.

We found the 肉包 (Meat-bun) and 叉烧包 (Char Siew Pork-bun) to be above average and juicy, and their 排骨 (Pork Ribs) are good, but the other Dimsum items that they serve didn’t really impress.

I believe the most popular dish that comes to mind when people speak of Malacca will be the Chicken Rice Balls. The authentic original stall is Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, which you can easily recognize by the queue of hungry people in the hot sun.

Chicken Rice Balls

This was at 9.30a.m. in the morning. We were still full from breakfast so we decided to give this a skip. They are known for having the rice shaped into balls, instead of serving it in a bowl. I remembered their chicken to be tough/dry, and the chicken rice balls were only special for the shape it came in, so that’s also partially why we decided to save our stomach space for other delicious Malacca food.

We had our fix of the Durian & Nonya Chendol at 60 East & West Rendezvous.

East & West Rendezvous

The durian puree that was topped onto our Chendol was so good! We were so full by 10.30a.m. already, but we persevered on.

Durian Chendol

Irresistible for the summer-time heat.

We were strolling along Jonker Street to explore around and digest our food. However, we caught a waft of some Laksa fragrance emanating from somewhere along the road. There were no alternatives but to follow our nose and we arrived at Jonker 88 for more food. It’s just next to the Statue of Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong, Malaysia’s most famous bodybuilder. They have Assam Laksa, and Nonya Laksa here. It’s absurd to make a choice, so we ordered both to try.

Assam Laksa

This is the sour Assam version.

Nonya Laksa

As compared to the more familiar Nonya Laksa.

Both are good! We wished we could order another bowl of their Baba Chendol, but alas, our stomachs were exploding before it was even noon.

As our sole purpose there was to eat, we made it a point to try the Mille Crepe at Nadeje, located on the outside of Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall.

Mille Crepe

My verdict: I got sick of the cream very quickly, and maybe it’s the hot weather or the countless other things we ate, but I very much prefer the green tea mille crepe at Lady M.

We went to jalan jalan down the scenic Malacca River that’s just a stone’s throw away from Jonker Street, and it reminds us a bit of the Singapore River.

Malacca River

There were classy restaurants by the river, but I guess their peak hours are at night. The whole place was relatively empty and quiet.

Fast-forward some bowling to burn time at Mahkota Parade, we ended up at Aunty Fatso (Restoran Madam Fatso) for dinner! Their address is Jalan Melaka Raya 30.

Aunty Fatso

There is no menu, and Madam Fatso (yes she is real and she’s there) will sit down with you at the table and take your orders. I guess most are regulars and there’s simply no need for a menu. The Cheese Prawn Bee Hoon (RM50) is Slamet’s recommendation and it’s definitely a must-eat!

Cheese Prawn Bee Hoon


The emotions you get when eating this will be from shiok –> sinfully guilty –> couldn’t care less because it’s so damn good.

This was wiped clean, together with the Kung Bao Frog Leg that we ordered. Do go early on weekends if you want to avoid the dinner crowd. This place gets packed by 7.30pm and the food takes a long time to come.

After dinner, we bid selamat tinggal to Malacca and drove back to Singapore.

It was a a great food-cum-road trip, and I think there will be plans in future for more weekend-trips to explore Malaysia~





Korea 2014: Gangnam, Everland, Caribbean Bay

I’ve decided to blog about Gangnam together with Everland and Caribbean Bay because every time we go to and fro, we will drop by Gangnam Station to transfer onto the bus that brings us to Everland. There’s actually a lot to shop and see in this area that brought us Psy – Gangnam Style.

Firstly, when you come out of Exit 10 of Gangnam Station, you might be able to spot a cat mascot tirelessly giving out flyers for a cat cafe just a minute walk away. He might look lively and energetic, but we all know he is dying of heat inside the costume.

Cat Mascot

The most dramatic entrance ever by a cat. This friendly place is called Godabang (고양이 다락방)


They train their cats really well (yes you could do that). There is a ginger fatty cat that likes having water sprayed at its face, and it’ll follow the owner around the cafe and stand on its hind legs just to get a spray.

Godabang Ginger Cat

Be warned, there is also a rare breed of cat there that irks just about everyone.

Godabang Sphynx Cat

The Egyptian Sphynx cat is not the prettiest of cats, and it is completely furless. After everyone got over the ugliness, we all tried to give it a touch to see how this abominable creature feels like. The closest thing I can relate to is the frozen de-feathered chicken that you can find at NTUC. I think they feel similar to touch.

There’s no entrance fee here, but you need to order a drink and then feel free to stay around and play with the cats. It does get crowded mainly because it’s a very busy area, and the mascot works his magic to draw in customers.

Walking straight down the road from Exit 10, we will pass by many beauty shops. Do not be distracted. When you finally see the WHO.A.U. store, the bus stop to Everland is just in front of it.

Gangnam WHO.A.U.

It’s quite a long journey so try and get seats on the bus if possible. There is 1 transfer to be made at the Public Bus Terminal, where it’s the last stop and basically everyone would get off to take the Everland Shuttle Bus.

Shuttle Bus

Take note this is the correct shuttle bus number to take from Everland, if not you’ll end up at some other place…

I’ve been to Everland before, but this time it was so much more pleasant because there wasn’t much crowd. It’s partially a bad thing but I’ll come to that later. The queues were non-existent at all the rides, so essentially we finished most of the park by lunch time. I really wanted to try T-Express, the second steepest wooden roller coaster in the world, but I wasn’t fated because it was closed (along with a few other more exciting rides).

Couple Everland

We did however take a lot of couple photos there because there is a whole section of the park meant for photo opportunities.

Everland Photo Heart

We never fail to be amazed, and also take a lot of photos, on the Amazon Express ride at Everland.

Everland Bear

The bears here are trained to stand on their hind legs and perform tricks, and the driver will give them treats for doing so. They are almost as tall as the bus and it’s pretty amazing that they can be taught how to do things like spinning around, clapping, and obeying various commands.

Everland Giraffe

Over here, the giraffes are also allowed to stick their head into the bus for food. It’s definitely not everyday that we can have such a close-up encounter with them.

Just next to Everland is Caribbean Bay~ The water theme park equivalent that I’ve never been to before. Here is the sucky part – We thought we struck jackpot when the park was SUPER empty, but then we found out that 90% of the attractions in the park will only re-open a few days later. We were so pissed because we separated these 2 theme parks on 2 different days to fully enjoy ourselves. The reason for the closure was because mid-May is not “summer” enough yet for the outdoor attractions to open, and it was written on their website in Korean. Therefore, do try and check on their main website before going.


Bummer, and we even paid full price tickets for entry.

We decided to give up and head back to Gangnam area for some shopping instead. Our anger was quenched with some Affogato from Starbucks! It was damn good and I wish Starbucks Singapore brings this item onto their menu.

Starbucks Affogato

Gangnam area is also famous for its night-time activities. There were numerous “Soju, Hof, Beer” signboards all around. It was with deep regret that we chose to eat Korean fried chicken for dinner at a restaurant that didn’t serve Watermelon Soju, and when we finally found those that do, they are all fully booked!

I think the concept of having a private booth to have dinner and drinks with friends is awesome. Singapore probably has some of these, but I think they require emptying my wallet to afford a fun night in one of those establishments. (Thus, my craving for the Watermelon Soju still hasn’t been satisfied even up till now…)

When in Gangnam, clubbing is almost another “must-do” activity. We took some pains to decide on a kick-ass club, and we narrowed down to Club Octagon because of the supposed bikini-clad models dancing in 2 swimming pools inside the club.


Alas, reality is different. There were no models nor swimming pools that night, but everything else was top-notch! The music was darn good EDM, and space was big and I think they limit the number of patrons, so the dance floor was 100 times more comfortable than Zouk, and the people were mostly good-looking. Only down-side was that we couldn’t throw a couple of grands for bottle service.

That about sums up what I could remember from the Gangnam area. I hope to finish up the remaining 2 posts soon!


Click to read my other posts on Korea 2014

Korea 2014: Myeongdong, Edae, Sinchon

Korea 2014: Bukchon Hanok Village, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Namsan Tower

Korea 2014: Hongdae, Trick-eye Museum, Jimbilbang