Seoul

Flying with Korean Air to Seoul

This is a #throwback post. Correction, #waythrowback should be a more precise word to describe since it has been 18 months since I’ve flew with Korean Air to Seoul for the first time during February last year. That being said, I will be heading back to Seoul in another 2 months’ time for an Autumn experience.

So, what got me to choose Korean Air?

Same reason as why I flew Cathay Pacific to Taipei previously. However for this Seoul flight, the amount wasn’t just slightly extra as compared to AirAsia yet it wasn’t too pricey as well. Since I would be going to the airport right after work on a Friday and would be flying overnight to Seoul, the comfort that I will be enduring for the entire 6 hour flight matters. I don’t want to be looking crappy & extremely exhausted upon touch down because everyone looks good & almost perfect in Seoul (pun intended).

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Our night flight was at 11.59pm and to my surprise, it was a full flight. We can totally tell from the line during check-in so the little hope of getting the entire row to ourselves was dismissed. I still managed to get a window seating (yays) so I wasn’t too bothered about it.

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Like every other overnight flight, tidbits, juices and toiletries were distributed for customer to freshen up. Korean Air’s toiletries pack consist of not only toothbrush kit, they also have disposable slippers. Plus point for those who prefers to take their shoes off when you are on board – this lessen the trouble for you to have your shoes on and off whenever you need to go to the loo.

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On the entertainment aspect, I wouldn’t say they have the best database but it was not too bad. Movies are pretty up to date (note: it was 18 months ago, thus what you are seeing on the photo is definitely not LATEST) whereas on music wise, it was quite limited. I was expecting to throw a couple of K-pop songs into a playlist and then put on my headphones to sleep the 7 hours away on repeat mode but that didn’t happen. I ended up creating a list of English songs – those that I listen to frequently on a daily basis. Meh.

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When I was given the choice between Western or Korean breakfast, I quickly made a decision to opt for the latter because I want to have the complete feel of flying with a Korean Airline with a local delicacy & not sausages, eggs, etc. Though after while I thought to myself – why porridge? I don’t even fancy having porridge for breakfast moreover after seeing the portion on the tray when the stewardess handed them to me, I regretted for a bit. But you know, for the sake of experience so why not?

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So yeah, I had Juk – Korean porridge. It comes with a packet of vegetable seasoning so by mixing them together, it gives you a taste of the traditional breakfast without too much heft. Lil’ sista had the western breakfast – omelette, sausage, potatoes & peas. Their croissants were fluffy & nice too, I wanted/needed more! I am a sucker for buns on board. LOL.

While on my flight back to KL from Seoul, without a doubt I went for the western meal.

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Imagine after having these Korean food (like as above) for 3 meals almost every day throughout my 9 days in Seoul, the desire to have non-Kimchi kind of food is overpowering. I couldn’t remember what I had, it could be either fish or chicken but I definitely still remember the cheese cake ice-cream that they served for dessert.

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Overall, my experience flying with Korean Air was just alright. I have no complains but nothing to shout about either. One more thing that I would like to highlight would be their baggage allowance. Passengers on economy are only given maximum 23kg and trust me when I say this is not sufficient for those travelling to Seoul for shopping. I didn’t exactly do much shopping yet my luggage came up to 28kg.

I believe it’s always important to check on your luggage allowance before booking a flight because you wouldn’t know how much space you need at the end of the day. I personally feel that 23kg is just not enough, even if I wasn’t going for a shopping trip – what about my bulky clothing for the cold weather? But no worries, on average other airlines are mostly offering 30kg baggage allowance for economy these days.

Now that you’ve heard about my thoughts on flying with Korean Air, feel free to check out my experience on other Airlines as below :

Cathay Pacific Airways
Royal Brunei Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways
Vietnam Airlines

xx

6 months down.. here’s another 6 more until 2016!

We are now in the month of July.
It just struck me that 6 months has passed by..
and we are left with another 6 months more until 2016?

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I seriously couldn’t imagine how time flies! I used to be eager & looking forward to growing up, to quickly leave high school and to venture into college & university because people made it seem so cool to live life as a teenager but yeah, I don’t feel that way anymore. I want time to slow down.

No wait… actually let me re-phrase that.

I would want time to slow down anytime aside from working hours.
That, I still want time flies to apply. LOL.

Beside the fact that I am now an aunt to 20 nephews and nieces (and counting), the first half of 2015 has been pleasurably productive for me. From exploring new places, venturing into different opportunities, recoupling with friends that I have not met for years, etc – all these definitely put a smile on my face. Sure there are a couple of downside happening but really, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did in the past. Woots, high five myself.
+1 MATURITY LEVEL UP!

So here’s a quick update on what happened in the past 6 months.

I AM AT THE AGE WHERE MY FRIENDS ARE STARTING TO GET MARRIED

Yup, the above statement states it all. I have attended two weddings earlier this year with both my primary school friend & Uni mate getting married to their long-time sweetheart. Words couldn’t describe how happy I am for them because I love weddings, especially the speech part. It could get me all emotional at times. I remember shedding tears of happiness on my childhood friend’s tea ceremony because seeing her cry makes me want to myself. YES, I am quite an emotional person but who isn’t? Like hello everyone is made of flesh & blood so yeah, we do have feelings!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

 

However, the positive side of attending weddings is that I am able to catch up with friends that I have not met in years as well as meeting new one. Common topic these days usually comprise like where are you working right now? Who’s getting married next? What business are you up to?
+2 MATURITY LEVEL UP!

I DIDN’T STOP TRAVELLING & TRAVELLED EVEN MORE

I remember how I used to vow to not do impromptu holiday bookings that I did a couple of time previously because I have a bad habit of doing random air fare check & book whenever convenient. But yeah.. #YOLO (You only live once). So if this is not the time and age to do the most random stuffs, when should I be waiting to do so? When I turn 30 years old? Hell friggin’ no. Now’s the time. Screw everyone who thinks that I am loaded because I travel so much. Trust me when I say with proper planning, it’s not expensive. You can have my words on that.

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I went to Seoul in February, a place that was never in my list of expected country to visit as I prefer going to places that they understand me & I understand them (language barrier) with no extreme communication breakdown but lil’ sista managed to pursued me to tag along. Also, a high school buddy has moved back to Seoul so I reckon it wouldn’t be a bad idea. I went crazy with shopping at Seoul that I was this close to paying excessive luggage fee but the Korean Air counter lady was nice and let me go with that additional 8kg. Managed to spend a good amount of time catching up with Janus as well since it has been years since we actually hung out. Couldn’t thank him enough for showing us the city in a non-tourist way!

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Not long after returning from Seoul, the company sent me on an ad hoc business trip to Kelantan – Bachok & Pengkalan Chepa, two small town in Kelantan itself. I was notified about this trip just 12 hours before flying so it was an early morning flight the next day. My first time flying Firefly as well, will write a separate review about my flying experience with them the next time.

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To be very honest, I have no idea what to expect out of this. I have heard that Kelantan is not as progressive as KL, where people are rather laid back, etc. On top of that, this is my first time flying solo for work purposes so yes, I was pretty nervous.
But things turned out to be very different from what I thought.

People in Kelantan are friendly and nice. From the taxi driver to the old uncle that I randomly speak to just because we were playing with the same cat, everyone was just living their simple village sort of life happily. I feel that the Kelantanese are genuine people thus, this business trip was definitely an eye opening experience.

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Oh. And not forgetting how my luggage was damaged upon picking it up.
I saw how they transferred and handle our luggage, extremely unprofessional! I was very upset because instead of sending back my repaired luggage to me, they said that I needed to go to the airport and collect it myself. I was like, WHAT?!

Other airlines actually send it to your doorstep and sometimes even replaced the damage one with a new luggage. But yeah, guess it was just my luck that of all the luggages out there, it has to be mine that lose a wheel.

Anyway, back to the travelling story..

Matta Fair Sales happened right after I returned from Kelantan. While the colleagues & I was just looking around just for fun on the air fares, we ended up booking ourselves a trip to Phuket during the Labour Day long weekend. Another case of impromptu booking but like I say, #YOLO. It was my first time to Phuket and I major love that place. Though it’s a tiny weeny sunny and I got sunburned, it was really nice to spend quality time on the beautiful island of Koh Tachai.

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Last but not least, I am going to Hanoi end of this month.
Friggin’ looking forward for Halong Bay & to indulge on Bún Chả & Cà Phê Trứng!


WATCHING MY FAVOURITE STAND UP
COMEDIANS IN ACT

It’s like a yearly thing to attend the MACC Comedy Night and because I did as well this year, I was lead to attending the ‘Laugh Die You’ event with almost all my favourite stand-up comedians in act. Yays to Douglas Lim as well as Kumar Drag Queen & Gurmit Singh a.k.a Phua Chu Kang. Extremely pleased to watch them in act on the same stage but it would be definitely more awesome to have Harith Iskander as well then it would be perfect.

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LIL’ SISTA FOR FINALLY GRADUATED

How can this not be the news of the year? The pampered ‘princess’ of the family has finally finished her studies and off she goes to the real world. Can’t wait for the time where she will come back home late on certain days complaining how tired & stress out she is or how her boss turns out to be awful or bitchy then I can say this to her face – “WELCOME TO REALITY, BIATCH! NOT EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AS ACCOMODATING AND NICE AS US”. LOL. I know I sounded like a meanie older sister but at the end of the day, I will still lend her a hand whenever she is in need.

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That’s all folks, for the first half of my 2015. Haven’t exactly gotten the second half of my year planned out yet but I sure am looking forward to spending good times venturing into new experiences & spending more time with my family & friends.

xx

My experiences with Airbnb & how it became my FIRST CHOICE

So, 8 months later and here I am back to bloggin’!
Trust me when I say I actually did want to update this space several times in the past,
But I got distracted and then lazy later on. End of story.

Crap aside… there has been a topic that I would like to talk about for quite some time right now. No, IT’S NOT THAT. I am not diagnosed with any terminal stage disease if you happen to think it’s a serious matter. It’s basically just about this awesome lodging website – www.airbnb.com.

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Call me shallow or that I am living under the rock but I only discovered Airbnb back in 2013. That was when I was looking for a last minute accommodation in Hobart through www.stayz.com.au like I always do but it was out of my budget as it was only myself & Marcus for that trip. I got frustrated and I told him, we are going to end up sleeping in the street freezing our ass off until he suggested,


“why not try checking Airbnb out?”

Ever since,I started getting hooked up with booking my accommodation with Airbnb. I even developed a bad habit to check on the accommodations out first before I proceed to book my flight ticket to that destination. Either it’s just how things roll for me or that is how addictive Airbnb can be.

Up to date, I have stayed in 4 places in different countries through Airbnb booking and each and one of them never fails to impress me. Not only the hosts are friendly, informative and quick to respond to my enquiries; their apartment/house was exactly like how it was shown in the images. I am not too sure if it’s just my luck (touch wood) in getting decent accommodations but after staying at these places, I reckon it’s the quality of service that Airbnb has set for each host to ensure the guest’s well-being are taken care of in every aspect.

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Below are the apartments via Airbnb booking that I have stayed before that I would like to shout about! Oh and all the below apartments are for 3 person and below, just in case if you are wondering but fred not, the host that I have stayed with has other units in the same building as well. Thus, it wouldn’t be a problem if you are going with a family of 10 or more.

Note : This is not an advertorial and I don’t get paid to blog about it. I am doing this because I would like to share my good experience with decent accommodations because how can a holiday trip be complete without a good sleep/stay isn’t it?

Taipei, TAIWAN – Comfy Studio Apartment at Songshan District
[ click to view Airbnb page ]

We stayed at Prue’s studio apartment for 6 days at RM163/per night. No words could describe how comfortable and homely this place can be. I immediately fell in love with the interior and wished to live by my own just like this. I like how the apartment is divided into a living area & sleeping area.
This makes the whole studio looks spacious and for Taiwan’s standard,
this is quite a huge apartment I would say.

taiwan_apt (1)   The lounge area at each floor before entering your apartment

taiwan_apt (2)The living room area

taiwan_apt (4)The other side’s view of the living area

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 In addition, the apartment is strategically located 3 minutes (walk) from Raohe Night Market and I could easily find 7-11 like just around the corner. Though the apartment isn’t near any MRT station but the bus line is directly in front after exiting the apartment and trust me when I say, it brings you everywhere all the way to Ximending. Even for someone who isn’t that familiar in reading Chinese like me, I can assure you that taking the bus is easy because they have English announcement on board as well so what are the odds that you will miss your stop? Probably never.

taiwan_apt (6) Glass divider between the living room & sleeping area

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taiwan_apt (8) The bedroom area

taiwan_apt (9)The view that I wake up to in the morning

taiwan_apt (11)taiwan_apt (12) Panoramic view of the apartment


Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Double room ensuite shower at Lygon Street
[ click to view Airbnb page ]

Usually when I make a trip back to Melbourne, I would stay at a friend’s place but this time around, I decided to have the whole place to myself. Initially I wanted to stay back at the neighbourhood that I previously lived in at North Melbourne but there were not much that was available.
So while I was browsing for similar accommodation,
this particular 2 bedroom apartment immediately caught my attention.

I stayed 7 days at Antonio’s apartment at RM140/per night. I like how the apartment was not too big, nor it was too small and would be just enough for a solo person like me to stay in because I really do like buying groceries and cook whenever I am back in Melbourne. Little things I do to reminisce those good old Uni days. LOL. Anyway, back to describing the apartment.
I was wrong when I thought it was not too big – it turns out to be rather huge.
Especially my room, it’s so spacious I can keep 10 huge luggages in that room I kid you not.

melb-apt (1)The living room area

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melb-apt (4)The kitchen area

The double bed was ultra-comfortable. I was so tired after catching a flight right after work that once I reached the apartment at about 10am, I dozed off until 4pm. Oh and I went during winter, so the electric blanket that they provide is sufficient enough to keep me warm & cozy.

Transportation wise? Fred not as by walking 2 minutes across the street and I am able to catch the tram 1 and 8 into the CBD. Downside is that they don’t provide toiletries but no fuss, you can bring your own. They do provide towels so that’s good enough for me.

melb-apt (5)Stairs up to the bedrooms

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Seoul, SOUTH KOREA – Atelier White Studio Apartment at Sindang-dong 
[ click to view Airbnb page ]

This is my first time to Seoul so I’m very particular with my accommodation since I couldn’t converse in their language and if I were to be in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, it would be very difficult for us to get around. Again, I was browsing around Airbnb and then I came across this studio apartment. I couldn’t help myself but to feel that THIS IS THE ONE. People has been telling me that Hongdae or Itaewon will be a good area to stay in as its convenient and close to everywhere but this particular is in Sindang.
Lil’ sista and I decided to give it a go since we read the reviews and heard the location was good.
This is where we then spent a total of 9 days at Dorothy’s studio apartment at RM200/per night.

seoul-apt (1)The view of the apartment from outside

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seoul-apt (3)Fully equipped with refrigerator, microwave and coffee machine

seoul-apt (6)Drawer full of cooking and dining utensils

seoul-apt (5)Cooking area & washing machine available

This studio apartment is very strategically located 2 minutes walk away from Sindang station that is in the same line as Dongdaemun, Ewha, Myeongdeong, etc. I love how I don’t need to change train line to do my shopping. You know how girls work when it comes to shopping with that bags & bags of goodness. Imagine that! LOL. There were convenient stores downstairs of the apartment as well as good local restaurants nearby that often, we eat just around the corner because they were yummy and affordable. Any local delicacies from Tteokbokki, Kimbap, Jjigae, Jajangmyeon..
you name it, you will be able to find it.

I just love the fact that Sindang is a neighbourhood that is close to the city. Like I am able to live among the locals and indulge on how their daily’s is like. I mean after all, that’s the experience that you would want to gain while traveling ain’t it?

seoul-apt (2)Two single beds/double bed

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seoul-apt (9)The bathroom

seoul-apt (7)Olleh Skylife TV with every latest Korean drama & variety shows for you to watch 24 hours

I have blogged about the 4th Airbnb accommodation before here – Nature trippin’ to Hobart, Tasmania where we stayed 5 days in a townhouse at Moonah. In a nutshell, my overall experience with Airbnb has been awesome so far and if I had a choice; I would pick them over staying in a hotel. After all, the kind of price you pay for a budget hotel could actually get you a nice and cozy (maybe slightly smaller) studio apartment in Airbnb.

Because for me, clearly I rather spend that extra money splurging on shopping! ❤

xx