When you arrive at Seoul, beauty  products is the most talk about topic among friends. To me is all about food as this is a great combination where Innisfree Green Cafe at Myeongdong is one of the cafe that you should drop by especially those of you love Lee Min Ho. A clever move by Innisfree where most of the customer get to enjoy their sweetness with Korean superstar Lee Min Ho VR Experience.

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This outlet is located at the main street of Myeongdong where you would not miss.

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Ground floor is the the main area that sells all the beauty products and as you head up to level 1, there is where you are transported to another dimension.

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An interactive zone of the VR experience with Lee Min Ho. He will tour you the scene of Jeju and history of Innisfree.

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Their VR Area.

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AS for the Green Cafe, it caught my attention the most where most of the items offer in here are very pretty and healthy. Look at the salad tube and their pastries. Just looks too good!

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Another signature here is their CLOUD Souffle Hotcake which is their signature here. We wanted to order but the wait is 90 minutes and we did not proceed. Best advise is to come here when the store just open to avoid such long queue.

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Level 1 is indeed very pretty for photo taking where the center seating area is filled with pretty bonzai and mini plants.

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Level 2 is very different as it is very ZEN. Interior is is more peaceful

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Offerings in level 2 is more on unique healthy cold press juice.

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Most of the item are prepare fresh in their level 2 kitchen.

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As being one of their signature flavour, Matcha or green tea is an item that we would try to order.

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We order 3 item. Green Tea tiramisu @ 7500 won = RM 28.50,  Jeju Snow Ice Tea @ 6600 won – RM 25.50Original Green Tea @ 5500 won = RM 21

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For their original green tea, it is serve with a shot of strong matcha where the original cup is serve with milk and mild green tea. Love the strong flavour of green tea and definitely love it! Green Tea Tiramisu is a bomb. So soft, fluffy and airy. Flavors hit the mark and just loving it.

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I would say if you are here then do hit on their signature Cloud Souffle and Green tea. As for their Jeju Snow ice, it is perfect for summer where a good thirst quencher.

Innisfree Café
15, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
(Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station Exit 5, Seoul Subway Line 2)
서울특별시 중구 명동길 15 (명동1가)

Tel: +82 2776 0117
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 11:00pm

Right after viewing on The Guard Changing Ceremony, it takes us about 10 minutes walk from Deoksugung Palace to reach this famous and largest traditional market in Korea known as Nandaemun Market that located in the heart of Seoul, not only that as this make them one of the oldest market too as they started since 1964. In this market, you can find alot of variety of selling items such as Children’s Clothing, Men & womens, daily groceries, kitchenware, local products and most of the shops here do have their own factories and make the product themselves that offer both wholesale and retail price.

For traveller like us, do not worry about it as they have 3 Tourist Booth area to guide us and you will see roaming Tourist info Guide with red vest ready to help us. They are equip with English,Japanese and Chinese speaking guide.

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A traveller like me, I am impress with the friendly people around this area and of course I am hunting for food more than shopping. In here you will get a variety of food products, from Japanese items like  gim (seaweed), gimchi, and ginseng, while the Chinese are into clothing trade and others. This market is rather big and you can spend at least half a day here if you were to slowly walk and stroll around.

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 manage to find a translation map as below: (source from Visit Korea)


The first thing I am here is to hunt for their local food and went to food street first. Its so pack as it was lunch time and many working people are here to hunt for their favourite stalls. In this little ally you will find all the auntie selling pretty similar food and all have their own customers.

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And those famous stalls there are line of people waiting behind patiently to wait for their seats. Do expect seating here is cramp! as the owner trying to squeeze as many customer possible.

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We stroll around up and down twice without knowing what to eat and also did not know which is better option as everything in here looks good.

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Then we end up this stall as the owner herself is the most attractive in asking us to join them yet also she got alot of TV coverage in this stall and also one of the busiest too.

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She even pose for me as we wait for our turn to eat.

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All food are served with their kimchi and kimchi in this stall are marinated towards more sourish and with sweet end. That’s something new.

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Its hard for us to take picture as the turn over of this stall is very fast. People quickly sit down and eat then move to let other customers to come in. You can order any sides if you want besides the complimentary and its additional charges.

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We ordered one set by pointing to the owner as they do not know how to speak English. Therefore what people around there eat we follow suit. This is their famous Glass noodle in this stall that is served cold.

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Something new to us as its showered with peanut, yet its cold platter with sourish, yet mild of sweet and spicy end. Something new yet very appetizing. We could not finish it as the portion is pretty huge!

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Follow by their local handpull noodle that serve with seaweed, dry bean curd skin, meat and others.

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Soup base is sweet and this opens out our appetitite for eating, with chili paste added on top to make it mild spicy yet noodle texture is al dante. Finish till to the last drop of it. We call it Korean Pan Mee version! A MUST TRY! One set cost is about RM 20 = 6500 Won

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Korean people sure do can eat as their one portion serve with small glass noodle and a sides its pretty huge for us yet the finish it like eating a small meal. Impressive.

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AS we stroll along the main market, then we saw this is also another product that must eat in Korea yet people are queuing up. I was too full even to put something into my stomach instantly.


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For any online seller or retailer, this would be your paradise of shopping as most of this owner they handmade all the accessories themselves and the quality is GOOD! In this Jangan Accessories Shopping Mall they only sell wholesale price and if you do own a shop online or buy bulk, you have a special discount. After we came back only regretted we did not buy a huge pack to sell as its cheap.

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Right outside this Jangan  Mall, we saw this and decided to try.

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 cost 100o won for 3 pieces

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filled with peanut and another flavour with red bean. Not my type of local pastries as I find the skin is too thick yet very chewy. .

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 Then comes to street snacks that this caught my attention.

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 We stood there and observe as they did it so fast yet customers just come buy and go . .

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Its very good that its thin, coated with mild black sugar with a hint of honey  . .

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Then we saw another long queue that this auntie is doing their traditional breakfast omelette. Smells good though.

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 This is how they do their delivery . .

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This is another side of Nandaemun which is pretty near to GAte 2 that sells all seafood and also alot of pig spare part item.

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Till this stall caught our attention again as the queue is super long and turn out to be like a snake queue.

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They are doing this non stop and it smells so good!

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Anna is queuing while I was looking for something else to eat. It takes us about 20 minutes to reach our turn.

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Among the ingredients, after it was cook, the owner will paint 3 times of this special marinated soy sauce with green papper, red dates, apple, onion, green chili and others to make it so special that the sauce is so fragrant when top on it.

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Inside the fillings are glass noodle with special sauce. Fragrant and huge in pieces that makes it a good snacks. We could not finish though as its too much food for both of us.


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This famous snack can be hunt at this Gate 2 pillar which is directly next to it. Do come by if you are here.

Nandaemun Market CLOSED ON SUNDAY!

How to get here:

Seoul Subway Line 4, Hoehyeon Station Exit 5

As we were very hungry when we arrive, we headed to next door for a quick fix and it was satisfying with a great start of coffee and waffle (click here). Then we slowly stroll to the main entrance and snap a few pictures and we still have quite a lot of time , then we decided to check out inside the palace as the main event here is the Guard Changing Ceremony.

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Deoksugung Palace has held a guard-changing ceremony since 1996 after thorough historical research by leading historians. The ceremony, which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate of Deoksugung Palace, is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture. The royal gate is opened and closed at pre-determined times, and the gatekeepers in charge of guard duty and patrols hold a shift ceremony three times a day. (source from Visit Korea)

Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by various Korean royalties until the colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The buildings are of varying construction, including some of natural cryptomeria wood[citation needed]), painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built in Western style.  [source from Wikipedia]

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right before the show, there will be a few emperor guards standing outside the area and you can take picture freely with them. Best is not to touch them.

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 Lets go for a stroll inside and see how it looks like as seen in the map, its not a huge palace.

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Deoksugung was originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the older brother of King Seongjong. This residence became a royal ‘palace’ during the Imjin war after all of the other palaces were burned in 1592 during the Imjin wars. King Seonjo was the first Joseon king to reside at the palace. King Gwanghaegun was crowned in this palace in 1608, and renamed it Gyeongun-gung (경운궁, 慶運宮) in 1611. After the official palace was moved to the rebuilt Changdeokgung in 1618, it was used as an auxiliary palace for 270 years and was renamed Seogung (West Palace).

In 1897, after the incident when Emperor Gojong took refuge in the Russian legation, he returned to this place and named it Gyeongungung again. Expansion of the facility followed after his return. After Emperor Gojong abdicated the throne to Emperor Sunjong, he continued to live in this palace. The palace was then renamed Deoksugung, as a reference to a wish for longevity of Emperor Gojong. Emperor Gojong died in Hamnyeongjeon. [source from Wikipedia]

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Love how the whole structure being preserve with the details of it and its quite impressive, as it was 11am and we quickly head outside to check out on the guard changing.

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If you are in the area early, its a highly recommended place to visit especially for tourist like us as its being recommended by many travel bloggers too. This ceremony is happening right at the main entrance in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace and estimated to last about 30 minutes. Its being done 3 times a day  (11:00 / 14:00 / 15:30) .

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It will kick start with traditional musical instruments, and exchanges a password for verification then follow by changing ceremony and end with a patrol with beating of drums.

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Right after the whole ceremony, its a picture session time for free. Do take it quick as you will be cramping with many other travelers to take the picture.

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 Right before we leave, we saw this lady putting this sign ..

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Then I am excited on my next destination which is Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장) which is 10 minutes walk from Deoksugung Palace

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then we stop by at the convenient store to grab a drink and try this drink with its promotion.

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Pretty refreshing and nice, as this had been my next 2 day drinking water.

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As overall visit, you can skip this palace as the main attraction here is for the Guard Changing Ceremony, then you either head to Myeogdong or to next update – Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장)


Deoksugung Palace
99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 세종대로 99 (정동)

* Ceremony Schedule: 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays)
* Ceremony Route:
Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace → Seoul Plaza → Cheonggye Plaza
→ Gwangtonggyo Bridge → Bosingak Bell
** Bosingak Bell Ringing Ceremony takes place at noon.

** The operating hours may vary by season, please check the details ahead of your visit.

Operating Hours
09:00-21:00 (Last ticket sales and admission at 20:00)
Reservation via phone: +82-2-771-9955

City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2),
Exit 1, 2 or 3. Get off at In front of City Hall.

Deoksugung Palace Bus Stop. Get off at City Hall.Deoksugung Palace Bus Stop.
Get off at City Hall Station Bus Stop.

After our first stop in the famous Cheonggyecheon river, Seoul after what that reality game show (Global We Got Married) that capture my attention and which is a must to go, then we walk about 10 minutes to reach this next destination for Deoksugung Palace Guard Changing Ceremony.

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As we reach this area and we were pretty hungry already and we walk around the main gate area to see what we can have for breakfast and saw this shop that sells coffee and pancake and we decided to go for this, as the rest are pretty heavy.

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 Its a pretty simple menu that is only for pancakes, drinks and coffee.

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after I saw the guy in his little kitchen area and saw alot of Nutella, I guess its cheap in Korea.

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This is our simple meal to start off with, latte with love and the coffee is good, not too acidic yet mild enough to suits my taste bud yet the  milk did not over power it. Great coffee to kick start in the morning.

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Waffle here smells good and its done to perfection, as my order is with Maple Syrup. The Syrup is paint till shine onto the waffle and its so aromatic. Each bite is appetizing, as the base is soft yet the outer layer is slight crisp to my likings. Pair with coffee latte is just perfect!

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Friendly staff too, as although he speak basic English but good enough to assist us. 🙂

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If you do pass by to visit Deoksugung Palace, you can stop by at this little outlet Limburg Waffle for a quick bite.

Deoksugung Palace
(directly next to the main entrace at the little junction)
few shops away as can be seen on the picture above with guard marching outside the palace.

After enjoying my first 2 nights stay in home stay style nearby Seoul Station (highly Recommended), I have arrange next accommodation stay for the next 2 nights to suits on our travel itenanry which is to neary to the places that we will be going and also best of all, this accommodation is only 5 minutes walk to 3 main line of LRT, so which is pretty convenient. Not only that:

– 10 minutes walk to Gyeongbukgong Palace, 10 minutes walk to Cultural Village and also there are alot local eateries around the area.

This place is also known as Love Motel area + alot of old folks around.

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I have done my research for a few days on the hotels around the area and decided to go with Hotel POP Jungu because of their unique room they are offering (click here) . As always, I make my hotel reservation thru Agoda which is very common among my friends as they at times do provide one of the best rates ..

Its a bit tricky to locate this hotel because they are hidden in a very small ally that only perfectly fit for a sedan car to pass thru. If you even walk too fast you will miss out this alley to come thru here. Once you walk in here, they have at least another 6-8 more hotels in this alley.

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 Only 2 -4 parking spot.

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Hotel Pop have total of 3 buildings nearby which is next to it or opposite it. Of course the other 2 are more new and also the room types are more interesting. Upon entering their lobby, its small yet very clean as we check in pretty late. About 12 am after long walk from other places.

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 They have free coffee, drinks and pop corn stall too. . . For the first night, I book Royal Suite because I love this room and did specifically request for it about a month in advance and guess what. Upon my check in, I was attended by a very rude grumpy lady and I did ask did I get my request room. She said NO because being stayed by other people! then I ask what other alternative do I got. She said, THIS IS ONLY YOU HAVE! I was truly disappointed as I spend RM 500 to get shit service and not so IDEAL ROOM with a month in advance.

Next was, I told her I am going to spend another night here and did I get my second selection. Again she SAID NO. Then I asked” Can I choose”, again NO. Base on first come first serve. Have to wait for others to check out then only I get to choose what Is available on that DAY! This is truly BAD! or maybe the only service I got from this grumpy lady.


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Among the 6 suits room available, I got the worst design of all. Nothing special and I would say other homestay is much better in design and much cheaper too.

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Room is pretty decent with 2 computer in Korean language and a LED tv that is filled with at least 80 channels.

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 The only different of Suits room is only their Jacuzzi is slightly bigger.

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 Rooms are pretty clean.

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Not my ideal bed as in the first night, I have stayed in a very comfy bed (click here)

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Other staffs available are brush, lotion, hair dryer, hair spray and its pretty complete if you miss out anything.

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They provide complimentary Bubble bath. Do not expect so much in it as its FREE!

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 Rain Shower head.

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 The weirdest of all is that, the only provide 1 towel which we could not figure out.

Second Night we move to another type of room which is DELUXE Double that cost about RM 400 – RM 450 (not Cheap!)

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The only difference which is the room slightly smaller and bath tub fits 1 person instead of 2.

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The rest of the facilities are the same just thatttttttt . . .. .

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You pay more expensive room, you do not have complimentary charger, you pay cheaper they do provide. Which we do not get it also!

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 Again the provide 1 bath towel and 2 face towel.

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Complimentary in house from the fridge where what is available you can grab it.

Overall, BAD EXPERIENCE at such a price that I am paying for both nights estimated about RM 950 and we are not able to choose the room is bad enough and treated by a grumpy lady on the  night. Another girl is pretty good as she is trying to help.

I would NOT RECOMMEND this hotel because of the price and service. With that rate you can get much better hotel down town which is at prime location such as Myeong-dong area or Seoul Station.

If I were to rate on overall experience, its 3/10.

It was also my mistake for not going through Agoda.com on their feedback from the travelers, even though its rate at 7.2 over 10 from other reviewers, still best to read travelers comment and not to take your chances if most of them wrote pretty long bad feedback as reviews are usually quite spot on, because only guests who have booked and paid for the hotel room will be able to write a review, making them 100% authentic.


More reviews can be found at this link http://www.agoda.com/hotel-pop-jongno/reviews/seoul-kr.html?asq=b6flotzfTwJasTr423srr6%2beyPor9ikGodkSGHdzZSU%3d.


Hotel Pop Jongno
16 Supyo-ro 22-gil,
Nakwon-dong, Jongno-gu,
Seoul, South Korea

Phone: +82 2-764-1004

Wow, I think its really been a while since I last wrote my travel post, after Hong Kong + Taiwan + Bandung + Jakarta I stopped. Last year all my trip I have yet blog about it yet and since a few friends and readers knew I went to Korea and wanted me to blog about it, so I will skip the rest and start with this first.

I went to Korea in Oct and its not the best month to go yet cause I have always love their winter season. Well, we came into a conclusion to visit in Oct that both of us are busy over month of Nov and Dec, therefore we got no choice to head off in Oct. Before this, I did traveled to Seoul once 15 years ago during the Winter Sonata fever.

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This round we fly over with MAS as I check AirAsia they ticket were about RM1300 and MAS is about RM1600 and since its 7 hours flight, I rather go with MAS that comes with in flight entertainment and meals with free flow of drinks. Love the timing that MAS has as fly over mid night and reach early morning. .

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 Keke, instagraming before I fly off

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Right before breakfast, they have a morning call to wake you up to prepare you for your breakfast. The meal is serve 90 minutes before landing.

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whenever fly over night flight, I would always request for window seat to enjoy my morning sunrise view. Its amazing and its like Hiking to Mt.Kinabalu (which I have yet blog about it) to see this view yet easy way out is sitting in window seat to enjoy this.

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During our journey, we were hammered with 3 meals in the flight with 2 light meal and 1 breakfast. MAS food were decent as they comes with alot of variety, fruits, yogurt, drinks, warm bread and main meal. I chose their omelet and forgot to take picture of it. 😀

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We arrive at Incheon International Airport 30 minutes from the original time schedule which is good as I know that this airport is heavy loaded with passenger and lots of people. We were the first flight to be in here.

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The airport is not empty is just that we took our leisure time in toilet to freshen up and knowing that the baggage collection is going to take a while. Its a pretty huge airport on another side of the city.

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Then have to take train to the main terminal for immigration. Immigration counter always take the most far left that have their local citizen passport counter as whenever there is no locals that going thru, that line will be called upon to a few of their counter. Its very fast and only that line. I was stuck in the immigration for 45 minutes due to one of the guy is pretty slow.

You can swap line after that as more flights are arriving after that and you will be amaze within 20 minutes the load of passenger that arrive at the counter is so fast.

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Right after baggage collection, head out to the exit, then head over their lowest level and walk over to their train terminal. Takes about 5 minutes walk. (as I said its a huge airport)

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Before I came over here, I have read many blogs that public transportation in Seoul is very convenient. There are 4 ways to get down to the city via:

1) Airport Railroad Express (AREX) subway (Express with 1 stop direct about 40 minutes journey) – ₩8000 (about RM 24)
2) Seoul Metropolitan Subway (Slightly Cheaper but many stops about 60 minutes journey) – ₩4000 (about RM12)
3) airport limousine buses (depends where your homestay/hotel is)
4) taxis (the most expensive)

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Right after I bought the ticket, I realise I bought the wrong one as I was looking for express train to the city yet I bought all stops. I thought its all the same entrance and I was wrong.

For express train down via AREX, its directly opposite the all stop station.

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 One way for 2 person is ₩ 8000 (about RM 24)

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Their train is seriously long. Its easily 6 times longer compare to our KL LRT.

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 Incheon Airport is lcoated at another side of the city and will pass thru a very long bridge.

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Love the indicator that letting you know where the train had pass thru already as most of the people in the train fell asleep. 😀

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Here am I at my Homestay location as this round I did not pick to stay in hotel for first 2 days as I thought it would be a great advantage to check them out and during my hunting I found this website advertise in Google ad and I click on it, I am amazed and lucky to know this website too known as AirBNB.com. Its a website that mostly advertise all local homestay, that some stay with host and my bookings I book the whole studio by ourselves.

their ID in AIRBNB is Urban Ninehouse (click here) – highly recommended owner. We were late on our bookings and only manage to book one of their concept. They have 4 other concept located around Seoul Station which is very convenient for public transportation access. Its only about 5 mintues walk from the place we stay.

On the day of our arrival, we let the owner know and we really have to thank both of them for picking us up at the station with our luggage, as their homestay is located on top of the little hill.

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 All their apartment are filled with numeric security door system.

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Upon our step into the unit, we were mesmerize by the room and love it so much. It looks exaclty the same as advertise in AirBNB. One of the main reason we chose this unit because. . ..

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It comes with huge balcony and I hang out here at night enjoying the chill wind with my beer.

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A view that overlook the neighborhood at one corner.

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Toilet is pretty decent as it comes with warm water too and do not panic that the warm water takes about 2-4 minutes to flow. . The owner is nice enough to prepare basic toiletries with shampoo, shower gel and tooth paste.

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 Air con is right by the side, with towels and rack to hand clothes.

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 Huge TV with over 100 channels for you to view  . .

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 and if you decided to cook, they have all the basis kitchen utesils for you to prepare your meal.

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Love the room so much as its so clean and feel so homey. Best of all is their bed is so comfy and soft. I would rate this place is my best stay in Seoul as the other hotel that I book is rather disappointed.

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 Umbrella is prepared for you just in case it is raining outside.

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 If you feel hungry or thirsty, local convenient shop is only 1 minutes walk away.

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The huge set back about this place is you have to go thru a long climb with the stairs, as that is why I truely appreciate that the owner pick us up with luggage. Imagine that you are here with 2 big lugguage and slowly hike up with it.

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We woke up very early and depart from the apartment everyday at 7.30am to start discovering the city and the sad part is we did not manage to try this porkie shop as the soup base that they are cooking smells so good. As we return back to our studio about 11pm, this shop had already close.

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Just incase the owner can pick you up, here is the guid. Exit 4 (if I am not mistaken) from Seoul Station  then turn left from the exit as you will see a pedestrian traffic light, cross over then within 20 meter you will see this petrol station and walk into the alley whereby the auntie in red sweater is walking in till you see the porkie shop. Direction is work backwards from this picture.

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Seoul station is really another big transportation hub, as its filled with train to Busan, Jeju and other parts of Seoul, also MRT station is at another end of the Airport train is. Convinently located to the homestay which is just 5 minutes walk away.

check them out here (Urban Ninehouse)

next post will be Deoksugung Palace

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