South Korea Winter Trip : Day 1 Part 1 (Arrival, Kimchi School)

12:47:00 AM

Hi guyssss!!!

Since it is passed 12 where i am i wanna wish you a Happy Chinese New Year! May the new year brings you happiness, prosperity, health, wealth and good fortune! We believe that we should always start a new year with all the positive and good things, so imma start this new year with a happy post too :D! The very first part of our South Korea winter trip, please enjoy!

I know some of you have been waiting for my South Korean trip post, thank your for being patient with me ^^.

Anneyonghaseo from three of us! LOL
As you can see from the title, Day 1 is hacked into more than one post for obvious reasons. I took thousands of pictures and won't cut off anything in my posts. I really like my travel posts to be story-telling like, to make you feel like you were there with us if possible! I always treat this blog like my online diary, and you should know by now that i am an extremely detailed person. I want to preserve my memories, down to the nitty gritty so i can look back on my journeys years from now and smile contentedly :).

I hope you're ready to explore South Korea with me! 

As usual, imma start at the very beginning, from Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta :D (you're lucky i didn't go even earlier as in what we did in Jakarta the day before... Coz mainly we went heat tech clothing shopping only hahaha... And some other shopping for me, obviously...).
With KC, my niece and nephew plus Baby Boy :D
Spotted the Christmassy decor and had to take picture
We were in warm clothing already (i'm a paranoid mum, forever worrying that my Baby Boy would catch a cold *darn my mum for passing the trait to me! See how he's already in long sleeved top and warm pants! Luckily i had some sense and didn't make him put on heat tech/long john hahaha-but i was in my light heat tech top already!), usually it wouldn't be so bad because Soetta's always so freaking cold, but knowing our luck (or the lack of it), it just happened that the airport's airconditioning system was down -____-. WTF.
I had to cool myself down with some froyo
If you look closely you'd be able to see Baby Boy's sweat running down the side of his face. Poor baby. Since he detests yogurt (and anything sour... But he likes sour patches/ribbons/string! Weird or what), i bugged his daddy to find some chocolate ice cream so he wouldn't be too hot
Baby Boy inherited his internal heater from his daddy, who's always in a bad mood when he's hot-which he obviously was
But still, Korea, here we come ^^
To be completely honest with you, i was not THAT excited about going to Korea. I've been there years ago and frankly speaking, i wasn't impressed. I have a lot of tour leader friends (thanks to my background as a Tourism student) and we always make jokes about how Indonesia is a LOT more beautiful than South Korea. Like how their biggest and most impressive waterfall looks like one of our so-so waterfall's baby *LOL*. 

I know a lot of people are crazy about South Korea nowadays (because of K-Pop and K-Dramas) and i don't want to offend anyone (because fans are crazy and always unable to hear anything negative about their idols, i know because i am that way too)-but it is the truth. I am also not a fan of K-Pop, K-Drama and K-fashion so... I didn't have that much to look forward to. 

I would be a lot happier to go to Japan (my next dream destination now that i've "conquered" Europe), but since my hunny haven't been to Korea and people always tell us to go to Korea before Japan (coz you'd be sorely disappointed if you've been to Japan and then expect the same thing in Korea. Again, sorry sorry, don't be offended) plus we got so many company that it'd be fun (it was!), i decided to join in the merriment. I must say that i forgot how magical snow can be, and how i was not into cosmetics when i went there before-so i ended up having the time of my life anyway hahaha.
You do know that i was nuts about Eddie Peng? I still do, but back then i was obsessed! So imagine my delight when i stumbled into his handsome face at Lotte Duty Free's Biotherm Homme counter! I just had to snap pic! (and tag him on IG hahaha)
Ever since i started blogging, i love to snap this kind of little details ^^
Everybody looking very excited
It was a midnight flight (we're taking Asiana), so i went to take off my contact lenses before we board the plane!
Family wefie hehe
I also immediately took off my makeup because i wanted to sleep! Sadly because we're traveling with a tour group, the sitting position's already pre-arranged and Baby Boy and i ended up being separated by an aisle with hunny :(. I wouldn't care if it's less than 3 hours flight, but i like to be able to snuggle up to him on long flights! He's my personal pillow/comforter/sleeping pill hehehe. I'm a spoilt princess, i know, whatever. It's understandable that the TL wanted to keep groups close together, but i honestly prefer to be separated with the rest of the group as long as three of us got to sit together! Who cares about being close to the whole group when all you're going to do is sleep, right?

Sorry for being such a sourpuss, thing is i really had quite an unpleasant flight. Maybe wearing the light heat tech top that clings to your body was a mistake for high altitude because it probably cut off my circulation or something, my right hand kept on "going to sleep" and i kept on having hard time breathing WTF. FYI, i am not a hypochondriac, but all of those points made me totally miserable and unable to sleep more than an hour in the flight zzzz (and we'd start the tour right away once we landed!)-that's why i developed huge eye bags and looked totally haggard the next day zzzz.

At least Baby Boy slept soundly through the flight.
Only woke up when it was time to eat *LOL*
Since the flight was so torturous for me (even the movie that i picked to watch was bad -___-. It was Robbie Williams' The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. I lovde Robbie Williams and really wanted to watch this because the trailer looked promising, but i didn't enjoy it at all) so i was almost ecstatic by the time we landed hahaha.
Well, you can't tell tell from my expression, but i was! Everybody was flashing their teeth to activate the smile recognition feature in Marshmallow hahaha
Our porters hehehe
Actually we just wanted to show how many luggage we got, trust me we had more at the end of the trip *LOL* but it was so hectic we forgot to snap a pic of them -___-. That's our whole gang btw, thanks to Hana, our Tour Leader, who took this pic ^^
Baby Boy was a ball of excitement hehehe, he truly has become a little explorer-just like his parents!
Family picture, anywhere, anytime :D
Yet another country added to the list of places we've been together ^^
We managed to snap so many pictures because we were still waiting for the other members of the tour group to gather up. We had a HUGE group consisting of around 40 people-split into two buses (but our destination's always the same so we're together always except for the bus rides haha). Of course, we all went to brush our teeth first, we're not gross lah haha.

When everybody's ready, it was time to brace the coooolllldddddd :D!
My hunny's half rhinoceros, he can stand very cold weather with only a heat tech top+short sleeved tee hehe but he had to wrap his head with his scarf because the wind's freezing his face hahaha
Wefie everywhere, i told ya
According to the itinerary (that i remembered to save to help writing the blog post, but as usual.... I misplace now FML) we're supposed to go somewhere else (which we ended up going on the last day on the tour) but this became our first destination instead :
Welcome to KimChi School
My ninja husband hehe
The welcoming hall was quite narrow and there were so many of us (plus other tour groups OMG) so... i hardly heard whatever the attendant/instructor said, she was explaining the 101 on kimchi lah. Not that i paid any attention anyway. I hate kimchi -___-
Then we went to the second floor where the classrooms are. The stupid looking guy in blue was our local guide, Sonny *LOL*. He really looks like Nobita, don't you think? He acts as stupid as he looks btw. No, i don't hate him, i say this in the nicest sense possible okay *LOL*. He's Korean but he speaks almost perfect Indonesian-turned out he used to live in Jakarta (even went to an international high school there) for four years and his parents are still living in Jakarta-no wonder he's familiar even with alay terms, he still routinely go back to Indonesia every few months.
Waiting for our classroom to be ready
#wefie with CL and Au.. I love how our coats' colors are so harmonious in this pic!
Ohai, that's my new boyfriend ahahahaha. Darn it, since when are all of my nephews taller than me???
Well, we're not REALLY making kimchi from scratch *no time la*, they already prepared the cabbage and ready kimchi paste, we just had to rub the paste on the cabbage, that's all! But seriously, even such a simple task i couldn't do right it was effing embarrassing. I surprised myself when i couldn't manage to tie my cabbage like how the instructor told us. That milky white liquid in the small cup was a "welcome drink", i don't remember what it was made of but i was peer-pressured to taste it (i hate trying new foods/drink, they scare me) and it was horrible!!!!! The instructor put me on the spot and asked "Nice, right?" so i half cried while i was nodding "Yes yesss, very nice!" LOL.
It's a good thing that half of us were on the other side of the room so we could snap pics of each other :D. I managed to embarrassed myself further when i exclaimed *way too loudly, as usual* to Au that it was the first time i was wearing an apron-the instructor (who's one of the rare Koreans we met that spoke decent English in that trip *LOL*) immediately zoomed on in me "First time? Really?". Yes yes, i'm a trophy wife, satisfied?
Why did i look so amused?
The instructor reminded me so much of the singer Maribeth. Is it weird that i was momentarily distracted because hunny looked so handsome in this pic? It's normal to be mesmerized by your own husband, okay :D
Meet DB, a wife of HD (CL's cousin) ^^ showing off her kimchi
We had to gather our "creations" in that metal bowl because it was going to be donated somewhere (a nursing house?). Like i said, i failed miserably to even tie the friggin cabbage so i sneakily plopped my falling apart cabbage into the bowl when nobody's watching :p. I have no idea how i still got kimchi paste all over my hands when i was already wearing plastic gloves! SMH. I really have no talent in the kitchen seriously. I guess i better stick to writing...
Hunny attending to his son hehe
LOL at hunny's expression here
They also gave us samplers of various kinds of kimchis and seaweeds that we can buy (they have a very cute system, you just need to pay-they'll deliver your order to the airport the day of your departure. They actually just leave all the orders in the airport, just like that! Of course we made the usual joke about how they'd all be gone within seconds if it was in Indonesia *LOL*) later. While their octopus and squid kimchis were quite nice, i prefer the seaweeds-so addicting!
Then we were told to go downstairs where you can take pictures while wearing traditional Korean costumes.
Wefie with DB. That glasses are vintage looking, but i wonder if it's vintage enough for the era where people wear these clothes as everyday wear? Yes, i'm always curious about the weirdest things, i think we got that established a long time ago!
If you're wondering why Au and i wore different type of dresses to the ones that DB and CL wore (i was!), well... We weren't allowed to choose our dresses (and FYI i had to be forced to wear that head gear. I hate most hats coz they make me look stupid, this one's no exception!), there were some women who were there to dress us and they were the ones who picked the dress for us. They don't speak English and we clearly don't speak Korean, so they just take a dress and shove it on us.

Later on the bus Sonny explained that there are two different types of dresses for the ladies, one of young and unmarried women and one for the married women. It's no science to figure out that i was wearing the dress for unmarried women -____-. FYI, i was towing my Baby Boy everywhere-wonder what they were thinking? He was my little brother or something? LOL. Anyway, i think the umarried women's costume's cuter because of the rainbow sleeves, so it's not all bad.

What WAS bad was the fact that we just arrived in Seoul after an all night flight and hardly had any sleep, we haven't showered or changed, or comb our hairs-so... We looked like super messy Korean maids -____-.
At least Baby Boy looked UBER CUTE!!!!
Hahahaha how cute are those two? That's DB and HD's son, JD
Nutty MT
If only ancient Korean ladies had Instagram. #ootd #hanbok #girl #fashion. LOLOLOLOL.
Hunny being nutz -___-. All of our Tour Leaders and local guides are very young (well, Sonny's two/three years younger than me, that's considered very young still, right? Coz we're not old!!!) and a bit crazy so... Sometimes it's a bit hard to figure out when they're being serious or not. Someone told us (i'm highly suspecting Bebe, the craziest amongst all) that in the old times Korean would bring this flat basket to ask for salt from their neighbor and wear it on their heads like this. Seriously doubting the truth behind this story though!
Of course i had to take a selfie. Look at those horrifying eye bags OMG! Thank God i tend to lose eyebags easily-sadly not with dark circles!
CL and KC being their usual nutty selves
Group pic!
We joined Antavaya's tour group (and later on i realized that it's where O's working!), it was the first time for all of us (i actually joined tour groups only thrice prior to this and always with different companies hehe) so we were quite surprised to learn that they have a photographer (a cute local guy, wink wink hahahaha) for every tour group to help us take pictures. You're not forced to buy his pictures at all, but seriously-he worked the hardest (twice as hard as the local guide FYI) to take care of all the tour members, you'd have to be a total bitch to not buy at least some! 

We were told beforehand that that's how they're making the living, which obviously meant to guilt us into buying more*LOL*. Our photographer name was Tom (actually his name's Korean la, but they tend to shortened their names/use their nicknames to make it easier for the tour members to remember their names, which is essential coz the only Korean names that i manage to remember are Running Man members -___-) and he was nice enough to help us taking pictures using our own cameras too.

Anyway, i thought i was the only one-but CL felt the same way about not being too happy with the messy costumes and our messy sleep-deprived faces, so we made a vow to try to get a decent photo with Korean traditional costumes later on *LOL*. Which we did manage to do, but you'll have to wait pretty long until i get to that part okay!

In the meantime, lunch was next!
For the 100th time, i love snapping pics of hunny and Baby Boy and in hand from the back ^^
Another thing that i like about Antavaya was how they fed us authentic local cuisines most of the time! If you read my Europe trip on 2013 i was quite annoyed because we had to eat Chinese food most of the time!
This restaurant has this "help yourselves" station that even included japjae!
The resturant was HUGE and totally packed
Hungry faces?
We were having samgyetang for our first lunch in South Korea. We were pretty shocked that they expected us to to eat a whole chicken each @___@ including the little kids! (of course it didn't happen. The samgyetang was very bland and Baby Boy refused to open his mouth after a spoonful -____- thank God for the free flowing japjae hehe)
When we were about to tuck in, Bebe-the other bus' local guide rushed in and told us he was going to demonstrate how to eat it properly.
We just met him a few minutes and didn't know that he's nutz (again, i mean this in the nicest sense okay! He's very fun!) so we believed him. Of course he just tore the chicken apart and said "And eat". Seriously we almost threw our chairs to him LOL
It was steaming hot that it was hard to snap pictures of, so foggy!
Tucking in
You know how picky i am with my food (i don't like Chinese food, Japanese food, and a lot other food hahaha), i was never a huge fan of Korean food in the first place other than their yummy BBQ and yukgaejang-and like i said, the samgyetang's totally bland. I dumped a truckload of salt and pepper into my soup, but it didn't help much *LOL*. Thankfully the ginseng scent was not too overpowering so i still manage to eat it, thinking "It's good for you #Pink, eat it eat it eat it" LOL. I'm now of those girls who's always trying to start a diet (and failing hahahaha) but on tiring trips i'd always say "Screw diet!" LOL.
Look at the gigantic cauldron!
Other than samgyetang, they seems to also specializes on hot pots
Okay, we're stuffed! I can cross eating a whole chicken (although it's a small one) on my list *not that i have any hahaha*
Hunny's always abnormally sour and stern to his son (i'm trying very hard to correct that!) so it's very nice to see him smiling and laughing at him for once!
Like everybody kept on saying, they do look local. But much better looking than most okay. Again no offence, but i saw four good looking guys in total while we were in Korea. As in really handsome ones! And that already includes Tom WTF. I guess i really am not into Korean guys *LOL* (what do i expect? I don't even like their actors/singers-with the exception of Jong Kook Oppa, of course)
CL who's always attracted to any kind of food *LOL*. She ended up buying super expensive persimmon, but like she said "It's better to regret buying something than regret not buying it" HAHAHA. Word!
I always take sometime to stand still and soak in the moment whenever i'm in other parts of the world ^^
Btw i just realized that Korean loves little kids! I wonder if that's because they mostly get married late (which also means that elders must wait longer for grand kids) and only have one or two kids? I noticed that Baby Boy got a lot of attention especially by older people wherever we were. We passed by a grandpa selling something and he very enthusiastically calling for Baby Boy and making cute noises. And no, he wasn't trying to sell us anything, he was just being friendly! He did it again when we passed him one more time on the way back. I find that to be very cute ^^.

I always read horror stories about how unfriendly Korean ahjummas and ahjussis are so i was a bit worried (did i tell you i'm a worrier?), but although we did encounter some very unfriendly Korean (those taxi drivers in Busan, URGHHHHH!!!!! Knocked rude taxi drivers in Taiwan off the park!!!) , but we met more nice and friendly Koreans than the other way round :).
We're back on the bus!
Bus wefie!
Everybody's flashing their teeth to activate the feat again *LOL*, but somehow i was the only one blinking zzzz. It's still a cute pic, nonetheless!
Our next destination was Gimpo Airport, yes we're riding the plane again OMG (honestly if this trip was after the AirAsia Qz8501 ordeal, i'd be a nervous wreck:(... But the trip was before the accident so i was quite calm the whole way, which i couldn't say about the flight from Jakarta back to Surabaya later...) coz we're going straight to Jeju Island! Now that's something i was excited about because i only went to Seoul before but never to Jeju Island.

Will tell you all about the flight and our first destination in Jeju island in the next post, i hope you enjoyed this post!



PS : Still plenty of time (and even more chances of winning) to join my All About Fashion Giveaway, hope you'll join it!

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  1. seru ya pergi rame2 begini...

    haha kebayang dah gimana gerahnya pake baju tebel di soetta. masa sih menurut lu soetta itu dingin? soalnya dari pengalaman gua kok soetta selalu panas ya... :P

    1. Hmmm gue jarang2 loh k Soetta, dan bbrp kali itu perasaan dingin deh-atau at least ga panas sama sekali hahaha

  2. what a fun trip! It looks like you had a great time - little brother is so cute! i love that you guys all have really cute, colorful luggage haha. yum kimchi - wish I knew how to make it! ♥ stop by and chat with me!

    1. Little brother? You mean my son? Hehehe thank you ^^!

  3. South Korea's a great place to go. It's easier to be granted a visa from them than Japan. I wish I can try the food there since I found Korean food here sour or spicy and despite of these, I might like the authentic ones.

    I am guessing that it's cold there on Jeju Island even if it's not winter season.

    1. Yep getting visa's easy, but isn't Japan wouldn't be needing visa soon? Or is it only for Indonesian? Actually it's the temperature's lower in Jeju island, it's just that their wind is really crazy...

  4. I'm also not a k-pop fan myself but I just adore how Koreans are so crazy with beauty. Probably when I get there (hopefully really soon), I will buy lots of beauty products. Making kim chi seems a totally great experience for the entire family. It's also nice to know that there are various kinds (didn't know that!). I would like to try the octopus and squid kimchis. :)

    1. Yes yes, their beauty products are something else. There are so many brands and store after store next to each other trying to outsell each other, it's a total madness!

  5. Hello.. after read ur blog, i think u say it right.. must visit korea before japan. We alr visit japan twice and now i plan to visit korea this winter so do the research and read some blog about korea and found out nothing special and attractive at all tho i love k pop.. :( japan is way too perfect in every season and worth the visit.. im so regret should be visit korea before japan!! Argh!!

    1. Hi, thx for dropping by! Yessss, i mean i wouldn't mind going back to Korea to chill and shop, but Japan is soooo much better in every way!