Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 1 - London trip (Picadilly Circus & Chinatown)

Visiting London is a totally new experience for me. It’s a country full of heritage, history, skyscrapers, landmarks, shops, savouries and essentially everything is found here. After landing at Heathrow, we made our way to the hotel via Terranova bus to Victoria. We had to wait for at least half an hour for our bus to arrive \(-)/

Us taking cheap flight from Netherlands to London (Ryanair)

Summer in London (Early June) aren’t always hot instead it was chilly, cold and gloomy. That being said, drink lots of water to stay hydrated and for ladies; apply plenty of moisturiser and lip balm! It was really chilling at that time, around 18 – 19 degree and thank God we wore leggings and cardigan to keep us warm.

On our very first day, we relished the type of typical touristy to-do-thing: selfie at the heritage buildngs, souveniers and foodie huntings and other normal touristy. There’s a long list of things to do which took us literally all over the place in London. We passed by London Victoria station, a heritage train station full with nostalgia, development and tourists. 

Spot me and my MIL with our luggages #^_^# 

We headed to our hotel in Church street – The New Dome Hotel, offers budget accommodation with en-suite facilities. The hotel staffs were friendly and helpful albeit a more remote location. But, it’s not too bad for our first experience in the hostel. The room is very basic, at a lower price (£50/night). Note: You’ll need to pay for their WiFi service. It’s recommended to buy a SIM card at the airport with 500MB data for only £13 (Includes tax) as well as Oyster card (£15) if you wish to travel by buses.

We took a moment to sit, relax and enjoy a cuppa first before we started with our expedition.

                                               Comprehensive info on London bus routes. 

We reached Picadilly Circus. a.k.a London's Times Square. It’s a place bustling with tourist crowd, street performances, LED advertising boards, souvenier shops and heritage buildings.

Wefie at the iconic Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain ∩__∩y

History vs. Technology (LED advertising boards)

Of buildings, people and mini flags in the form of signages~

Alot of street performances were happening in Picadilly Circus which lives up to its name (Literally transformed the surrounding streets into a real circus ^_^). A variety of performances ranging from street dance, monks show, magic shows to stand-up comedy show. However, the performance that caught our attention was the magic show with pretty cool illusion of street performances.

Spot the cute dancers #^_^# 

Bill Cosby wannabe ^_^III

Spot the cool-looking magic guy #^_^#

In London, one of the must visit stores is their souvenir shops of course. You can’t run away from the knick knacks and huge assortments of the classic British souvenirs such as Big Ben mugs, magnets, keychains, red telephone boxes etc. you’ll find a whole variety of souvenirs at reasonable prices here. Tips: You can have a better bargain at smaller souvenier shops ^_^

Posing with the iconic British flag mini cooper (´`)

And the trademark red telephone booth of course.

Another must visit stores for sports lover is Lillywhites in Picadilly Circus, a Sports discount store that offers big discounts. You can find most of your favourite sports brands here at a discounted rate.

Nice windows display with discounted items O.O

So tempted to watch this but we didn't. Guess which show we watched instead?

A place full with arts.

And not forgetting history!~

Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Dinner time. Too many choices to choose from ...

The bar name says it all. (Heehee... please don't judge!)

In the end, we headed to Chinatown for a sumptuous first day dinner. We had the famous Four Season Beijing duck. It was a wise choice instead ^.^v

Sorry,didn't take photos of the food. We were too starving to do so =.=

An evening stroll to digest our dinner. Indeed,London is a country full with history.

That’s a wonderful day to kick off our first day in London!

P.s: Day 2 we are off to Tower Bridge, St. Paul cathederal, Bourough market tour, London Bridge and Tower of London where we spent the day sight-seeing ∩__∩y


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 5 - Tosokchon restaurant, Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong, Gwangjang Market & Lotte Mart (Part 2)

Happy 2015!!!

Looking back, 2014 has been a great year – a lot of trips (JB, Penang, Cambodia & Korea), organised a big event and met with awesome people. Anyways, this post is not to look back post but to continue with my never-ending Korea trip entry #^_^#

On Day 5 (Part 2), we were feeling tired and hungry after walking around the temple, so we headed to the famous well-known Tosokchon restaurant, which is just a stone throw away from the temple. They are famous for their samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) and we were immediately greeted by a queue in front of the restaurant upon reaching. 

Luckily, the queue was a fast moving one, we just waited for about 20 minutes only ∩__∩y

There are alot of rooms inside the restaurant and we waited for another 15 minutes for our samgyetang to come. While waiting for our food to arrive, we had a quick chat with a local Korean whom spoke fluent English. Well, not all Koreans do not speak English after all -____-

Our bowl of hot and delicious samgyetang ^.^v

The ginseng were stuffed in the glutinous rice, chicken and boiled to perfection (´`)*

After the sumptuous lunch, we headed to our next destination and by the time we were outside, the queue was gone as it was nearing lunch time. We took the subway to Anguk Station to transfer to Bukchon Hanok Village. 

Bukchon Hanok Village is famous with “hanoks” (traditional Korean houses) that is located at the heart of Seoul. The place where Lee Min Ho filmed “Personal Taste” in it!

Breathtaking view from top of the hill.

We climbed the steps to reach the main village of Bukchon so that we can see the “hanok” up close. However, we can only view from outside as there was no access to inside. Some of the houses were converted to hotel, café, retail shops and restaurants. 

As it is still a resident area, we were not encouraged to make too much noise while having our brisk culture walk ^_^|||

Took photo at the popular alley. 

View from the top of the village.

We walked into a cosy cafeteria with interesting glass display where we can view the guests sitting in the mini garden. With their café’s glamorous sunroof design, it reflects the entire café to be brighter and livelier.

We ordered café latte and affogato to unwind ourselves after a tiring walk. There was even a small art gallery and souveniers on sale too.

Next, we moved to Insadong for traditional Korean cuisine and souveniers. On our way, we stumbled upon a chocolate shop which had a collection of vintage machines and chocolates of course! It kinda reminds me of the chocolates in Belgium which equally taste good!

Loving the huge window display panel ^_^|||

Posing as usual hahaha

At night, we went to Gwangjang Market where there was a lot of small stalls selling traditional Korean food and eateries. Lots of food stalls at Gwangjang market, and it was so crowded at night. Many stalls were selling similar food – pancakes, glass noodles, pork blood, pork intestines and sundae served with maekgeolli warmed up our chilly night {{{(>_<)}}}

To digest our heavy dinner, we took subway station to Seoul Station where Lotte Mart is located. We wanted to do some grocery shopping too!! #^_^# In the end, we bought seaweed, pre-packed kimchi, Market-O brownies, yogurt and etc.

That wraps up a long day and here's to a great and better 2015!