All About Kimchi

I love kimchi. Period.

I loveeeeeeeeeee kimchi. It's yummy, to me at least. As always it is an acquired taste where not everyone can tolerate its awesomeness. This is possible probably because I can tolerate sour stuff. There are hundreds type of kimchi and I can't wait to taste the authenticity in South Korea itself. Fortunately, my trip would be around October until December which marks the time of making kimchi season. One of the reasons I am dying to visit Gwangju is because of Gwangju Kimchi Festival on 23rd October until 1st November 2009.

What really tweaks my interest is one ingredient in making kimchi: myeolchijeot (hangul: 멸치젓, brined anchovy allowed to ferment).

Why? Because in Malaysia, we have the exact potion called Budu. It made me think that the world is indeed small. Maybe our ancestors share the same recipe when they met at one point of their life and spread the word. going bonkers again.

Basically both myeolchijeot and budu serves the same purpose: an alternative of salt.

Regards to kimchi, I would like to do some of these:

1. The Kimchi Museum, Seoul
Tuesday ~ Saturday - 10:00 ~ 17:00 (Enter until 16:30)
Sunday - 13:00 ~ 17:00 (enter until 16:30)
Closed: Every Monday, New Year (Jan., 1), Lunar New Year holidays (3 days), Harvest Moon Festival (3 days), Christmas

Adults: 3,000 won
Elementary/Junior, high school students: 2,000 won
Children 4 years old and over: 1,000 won

Directions: Subway line 2, Samseong Station, located in the second basement level of COEX Mall

A 'Beautiful Kimchi Exhibition' is ongoing now from June 10th to August 30th 2009

For more info, visit the museum website.

2. Gwangju Kimchi Festival

Date: Friday, October 23rd 2009 - Sunday, November 1st 2009
Venue: Gwangju World Cup Complex

From Seoul to Gwangju: take a flight (50 minutes), train (2 hours 50 minutes), or express bus (3 hours 30~40 minutes) . There is a free shuttle bus leaving from Gwangju Airport and Gwangju station every day during the festival. The shuttle bus operates 5 to 6 times a day.

3. Kimchi making with WWOOF

October is harvest season for most of the farms so I would be glad to help the farmers to make their kimchi and of course take loads of pictures.

4. Taste varieties of kimchi creation
Kimchi has been assimilated with other foods like chocolate. What chocolate?!! I need to taste it at least once. Arghh..spicy, salty, sweet. I can't imagine. Is it yummy? No?

Yasmin Ahmad : my unsung talented director passed away

Somehow unrelated to Seoul and South Korea but just wanted to mention briefly on one of my talented Malaysian director. Yasmin Ahmad passed away peacefully on 26th July 2009 due to stroke.

I have once imagined myself to meet her personally, to tell her how much I adore all of her movies and creative touches. The Petronas's festivals advertisement which has touched so many hearts if not minds of Malaysian.

Loving her for being able to describe herself honestly: I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying, especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool. Everyday, I thank Allah for everyday things like the ability to breathe, the ability to love, the ability to laugh, and the ability to eat and drink.

Aren't those simple things in life that we should be thankful for?

In her blog, she mentioned :

"You may find this hard to believe, but I never ever think about festivals or awards while I'm writing a script or making a film. But given the flak I get back home sometimes, you cannot blame me for feeling at least a little vindicated when foreign festivals like Tokyo seek my permission to celebrate our films.

Allah is indeed great."

We did meet. In our hearts (at least) as Tokyo has acknowledged her rather than her own country. Tokyo being one of my favourite oriental metropolitan city.

Rest in peace. Al Fatihah.

Free Seoul Tour with a guide!

Just came across this few kind souls in Seoul who volunteer themselves to guide foreigners around Seoul for free!! It means you don't have to pay them to be your tour guide but just pay your own food/transportation/admission fees for museums,palaces etc.

1. METEOR teens' Volunteer Club

Free city-tour service for foreigners.
Opportunity to make Korean friends and get free interpretation!

Date : 2009.July.15th, 19th, 25th, 26th
(Every Saturday and Sunday starting from July 26th, they will provide a tour guide on week days,
by request.)

For more details click here.

2. SeoulMate

University students that volunteer as special Seoul tour guides to non-Korean tourists for free.
They have a schedule on certain dates for the free tour and as usual the guide is free and the rest is at your own expense.

I tried to check their website, but can't seem to connect. Will try to email the owner though.
You could check their ads for the free tour here or here.
Another option you could directly email to miseo at

3. Your own 8 hour Seoul tour as suggested by Buhay sa Korea

4. Korea Tourism Organisation suggested budget tour for Seoul

Cheap Tickets To Seoul from Malaysia Airlines

MITM Fair from 24th July to 26th July 2009!!!
Fly to Seoul from Johor, Malaysia.
Round trip price from MYR528
Travel dates from 31st July to 15th December 2009

Departure City: Johor Bahru Arrival City: Seoul
Terms and Conditions
Ticket Round Trip.
Booking Class Economy
Minimum Stay 3 days
Maximum Stay 30 days
Open Jaw Not permitted.
Waitlist / Open date Not permitted.
Changes / Reissuance Not permitted.
Refund / Cancellation Non refundable
Stopover No stopover permitted
Child/Infant discount Child : same as per adult fare. Infant : 20% of adult fare

Sample Search: 19th Nov - 13th Dec comes up to MYR1,357 for a return ticket

Book here!

My first Couch Surfing Host: 1st Oct - 4th Oct in Gyeonggi-do

Is it too early for requesting couch host? Hmm..I just tried my luck last night looking for one in Couch Surfing. Fortunately, a lady from southern Seoul replied. Her family is very kind to accept me from 1st until 4th October because during that time there would be a very big festival going on - Chuseok.

Seoul would be kinda less people and peaceful during that time cause the Seoulites would be going to hometown to pay respect. I was abit hesitant to barge into a korean family, afraid that if by going there during Chuseok would be very rude of me.

But she's more than glad for me to come during Chuseok. It feels great! I can't wait to experience that festival.

Japanese eyes v/s Korean eyes

Could you differentiate that? Some people think that it's the same but to me it's not! Although most Koreans and Japanese have one-lid eyes but they are still different. This is not a comparison whether Koreans are more handsome or beautiful than Japanese or vice versa but more towards you-are-still-pretty-or-gorgeous even if you have one-lid eyes.

Bi/Rain is mighty fine with that smiling eyes. I would kill him if he ever dare to do plastic surgery on his eyes. Yahhh..I'm kidding! Bi, please don't ever do anything with your eyes, I just like it the way it is. Lee Joon Ki, Kim Jong Kook, Daesung (Big Bang), Yoo Jae Suk just line up some of my favourite men but Heechul is exceptional. I favour Heechul for his weird, eccentric behavior not for his looks. Big eyes are big and just as beautiful as Heechul's hahaha...

As I am watching Cinderella Man starring Kwon Sang Woo (my favourite but not anymore after he married Sohn Tae Yong..hahah) now, I browse some interesting youtube videos on the koreans v/s japanese eyes. Weirldly..I still favour one-lid eyes.

National Geographic: Seoul Walking Tour

I love walking when I travel which justified my weight loss and gain the same amount when I return to my ol' plain jane life. Hehe..just like oreo ads, now you see it, now you don't. Gosh..I love to deviate from my topic don't I?

I did a lot of walking when I travelled in Japan and double of that in a short span of time while I was in Hong Kong with Tutie. I remember she said that her legs will break in matters of second if we would not stop walking. Those memorable walks almost killed us but when I think back, it was hilarious. We covered unknown neighborhoods and corners in Hong Kong and I felt like going through places in one of Wong Kar Wai's movie!

My Korean friend, Jiny said that walking in Seoul is similar to walking in Hong Kong Island while Tokyo is like in Kowloon. Hmmm...will I survive this torturous walk of life? No wonder Korean girls are so slim and svelte! You don't even have to exercise with Seoul itself is hills and mountains by nature. We will walk up, up and away!

What is my point here??

Well..because I love to walk, I don't mind to walk alone to enjoy the scenery and beautiful architecture in slow motion. But, never without a guide or plan before attempting. I managed to print out some guided walking tour from Hong Kong Tourism before going there. Theirs were detail and precise. 99% you would never stray from your path.

I was thinking to do the same while in Korea but there's no recommendable guided walking tour featured in Tour2Korea or even HiSeoul. But...after so much web surfing whole day in between of handling severity issue aka my job, I found this gem from National Geographic.

What?? National Geographic? Isn't National Geographics about polar bears, greenpeace, no nuclear please and recyling is the best policy? What does it have to do with tour to Seoul? I am totally perplexed. But who cares when the very thing that I need is here --> Seoul Walking Tour.

Thank you so much National Geographic for doing this. My shining amour in disguise and lighting my path when I will be loss in Seoul. Won't I? Perhaps not.


One of many reasons why I choose Korea as my next WWOOFing assignment is to push my comfort zone level. My friends think I'm crazy to rough it in a language barrier country. Korea to name a few. Before this, I WWOOFed in Japan, Chiba area and learned the language decently in my own level hehe. Fortunately, I survived. Besides making a klutz of myself in a middle of nowhere with a very old grandmother finding my route back to Oohara.

After I return to Malaysia, I stumbled upon a very neat learning system online for learning japanese: JapanesePod101. Why I call them a neat system is because it helps, completes, guides and the most important thing is you don't have to go to physical class. What I learn in years is shortened in merely months and KoreanClass101 is the perfect bonus since it is under the same roof.

I gauge that somewhere between the lines will happen in Korea too and body language by far helps the most in dire situation. Nevertheless, I believe it's just human nature to help others when someone else is in helpless condition. Just to prepare for rainy days, I start to learn the language. Honestly, korean is hard. If I compare it to Japanese. The pronunciation just twisted my tongue..haha. Anyway, either korean or japanese, both languages sound very cute to me.
Aja-aja Fighting!!

Get the free lesson in 7 days from KoreanClass101 and if it helps you like it does to me, go and subscribe!

City Hall - I just heart Kim Sun Ah!

She's freaking funny! I love Korean comedy, I do. Punishing my eyes until 3am just to finish the City Hall series. My verdict: Forget about the soapy plot aside, the actors and actresses in the drama were completely engrossed in their act. They were awesome!! Frankly, I just hate anything to do with politics but this drama just uniquely different because Kim Sun Ah is in it! I just heart her especially in My lovely Kim Sam Soon. She was downright funny and refreshing. I totally recommend City Hall, if you love comedy.

Go to MySoju for streaming drama and Soompi has the full ramblings about this drama.

Budget Hostel: Single room for 30,000 won/night or less

Here are some of the hostel/guesthouse with single room for 30,000 won/night or less. Rate last updated as on 18th July 2009.

1. Kim's Guest House

28,000 won/ night
By Airport bus : Stop at Hapjeong Station Exit 4, go to Exit 8
By Subway : Hapjeong Station, Line Exit 8

Reviews from Hostelbookers

2. Backpacker Mr Sea in Jongro-gu

30,000 won/ night

By Subway: Hyehwa Station Line 4, Take Exit no.4
By Airport Bus: Bus no. 6011 (price 9000 won). SungKyunkwan univ station

Reviews from
Reviews from Hostelworld

3.Backpackers INSIDE in Jongro-gu

28,000 won/night

By Subway: Hyehwa Station Line 4, Take Exit no.4
By Airport Bus: Bus no. 6011 (price 9000 won). SungKyunkwan univ station

Dongdaemun Market : just one stop away by subway(2min)
Myeong-dong : 4 station away by sub (12min)
Changkyunggung Palace : 4 min on foot
Gyeongbokgung Palace : 7 min by bus
Insadong Traditional Culture Street : 5 min by bus

Reviews from

4. Golden Pond Guesthouse in Jongno-gu

30,000 won / night

By Airport bus: Take 602 limousine bus. Stop at Sung Kyun Kwan University
By Subway: Hyehwa Station , Line 4, Exit 4

Reviews from
Reviews from Hostelworld

5. Hostel Korea in Jongrogu

25,000 won - 30,000 won / night

By Airport bus: Take 602 limousine bus at the 5b section of the airport and get off at Take "602 limousine bus". Sinseol-dong(right next to dongdaemun station).
By Subway: Sinseol-dong station- line is No 1 or 2,exit by the gate no.11

Reviews from
Reviews from Hostelworld
Reviews from Hostelbookers

6. Guest House Korea - Jongno-Gu, Seoul, South Korea .

26,000 won/Night

By Airport Bus - Take bus no 601. Get off at Anguk station
By Subway - Jong-no 3ga station, line 5 , exit 7.

Reviews from
Reviews from Hostelbookers

Bread and Bakery in Seoul

1. Paris Baguette - Chain Bakery. Everywhere in Seoul

Review of Paris Baguette's Summer Donuts by FatManSeoul
Picture courtesy PierrickBlon

2. Tous Les Jours - Chain Bakery. Everywhere in Seoul

Picture by VancityAllie
Review of Tous Les Jours's donuts by FatManSeoul

3. Crown Bakery - Chain Bakery. Everywhere in Seoul

4. Dunkin Donuts - Everywhere in Seoul

A review of Annalog on their cupcakes.

5. Jongno Bakery - Insadong

6. Salam Bakery (with Halal sign) - Itaewon , near mosque

7. Ops Bakery - Haeundae, Busan (round the corner from the Riviera Hotel)

8. Life is just a cup of cake - Itaewon
Reviewed by Wendy Gould
Tel : 02-794-2908 or 010-4617-2908

9. Sticky fingers bakery (vegan) - a review by The vegan Korean
Located in the Hyundai Department Store basement food hall.

10. Anna Bini - Gangnam

11. Lord Stow Bakery for Portuguese tarts in Apgujeong

12. Kim Young Mo
Doggok station exit 4, next to Coffee Bean (orange line)
lots of tasty samples
Expensive compared to the rest

13. Tartine Cafe and Bakery (All about pies) - Itaewon

14. Richemont in Hongik - Review by Seoul Man in Tokyo

Richemont by daniellajaeger

Richemont Bakery Delight by Hongdae Hongdae . Clockwise from left - Cream Cheese cake, Almond cake, CHOUX and pecan pie.

It's a couple of minutes walk from Hongik University subway station on line 2. Take exit 6

15. Paris Croissant - one at the Gwanghwamun end of the Cheonggyecheon opposite the huge snail-like sculpture.

16. Grande Dame of Bakeries ~ 태극당 - Reviewed by FatManSeoul

Take line 3 to Dongguk University Station (동국대), exit 2. The bakery will be on your left. There’s a second, newer location outside exit 1 of Seongshin Women’s University Station (성신여대) on line 4.

17. Napoleon bakery - Near Hangsung University subway station

18. lynn's cupcakes
Lynn's Cupcakes in Hannam-dong is located right across the street from UN Village. It's pink facade is hard to miss.
Business Hours:
10 - 8 pm
(010) 2893-6687
(02) 792-0804
*Also a shop in itaewon

19. Deux Cremes Tart
In Sinsa-dong, somewhere along Karosogil. The tarts are so yummy. They're almost worth their exorbitant 8,000 won price tag

20. Shinsegae Cupcakes
Myeondong Shinsegae Department Store
The cupcakes are made by One, a company that claims to make "Contemporary American Style cupcakes." (In case this impresses anyone, I should note that One is affiliated with the Chosun Hotel). A box (4300 won per cupcake). For 300 won extra, the cupcakes are wrapped in an adorable little brown box, tied with a pink bow. The alternative is a white box (no charge).

21. Butterfinger Pancakes in Apgujeong.

Review by KissMyKimchi

22. HoHo Myoll
Cafe from back of an old Volkswagen van - Sangsu (Hongdae-ish area)

23. Passion 5
Luxurious dessert place - Hannam-dong

25. Bread Talk

Picture courtesy of Taekwonwierdo

In Myeongdong, down from Krispy Kreme. Juicy pictures at SeoulEats.

Work of Art: Graffiti in South Korea

Courtesy of pwllmd

I don't know where in Seoul did he/she take this photo at. This is just so neat! Yes, I's somehow a minimal vandalism but in a pretty scale. Who cares! Hehe. I wish to know this excellent artist but probably they will do their 'activity' in the wee hour of dawn right?'s too dangerous to wander around Seoul to catch them in action around that time I think. Better stick to my bed..hehe.

Here's another one.
Courtesy of Harmonic Paroxysm

Don't you feel the heat? blunder. The 'HATE'. The red, white and black concoction really brings out the feeling don't you think. Where is this place anyway? Any koreans out there would care to give me a tip? Is it in dark, grimy alleys somewhere in Seoul/Busan/Daegu? This artist probably a graduate with metaphysic as one of his subject. Most 'HATEFUL' subject. Hahaha..I am at subpar level too when it comes to any 'PHYSICS' word related. My physics teacher can vouch for that cause I often made her life hell when my tests always came with red marks

Finally, my favourite... Hangang Park

Courtesy of mlkozlowski

Wow! I have always love beautiful, well tended park. But..a park with cool graffiti like this is hard to ignore. Go to mlkozlowski Flickr Stream for more of Hangang Park's graffiti. Will try to include this in one of my list for a lovely evening stroll.

To go to Hangang Park:

- Ttukseom district: Exit 2 or 3 of Ttukseom Resort station (Seoul Subway Line 7).
- Gwangnaru district: From exit 1 of Cheonho station (Seoul Subway Line 5 & 8), walk 20 min.
- Yeouido District: Exit 2 or 3 of Yeouinaru station (Seoul Subway Line 5).
- Yanghwa district: From exit 4 of Dangsan station (Seoul Subway Line 2), walk 10 min.

Another 77 days to go! Fighting!

Bong! I'm coming to Seoul! Goshh..I felt like a teenager already. this ahjumma age. Hahah..Anyway, the countdown is nearer. My heart can't handle it anymore. Everyday looking at July calendar with Bong's picture like that waiting for me in Seoul. Haha..Wake up, girl!

Today I have sent WWOOF Korea's membership details to jade and made USD50 payment via Paypal. Within 2 weeks the document will arrive and Jade will seek the appropriate farms for me in another 2 weeks. By middle of august I would confirm with the hosts.

Middle of august, will tender my resignation. End of August or early September, will book the hostel and confirm on couch surfers location.

27th September -- The D Day!!

Halal Food in Korea: Part 1

Yeayy!! Halal Food in Korea is coming! Well, to some it's easy to find food there but to me upon hearing this news I felt like finding my lost item, at last!! Thank you so much Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). I am starting to imagine, I could eat that bulgogi anyway. Yessss!

KTO had organized a session of 40 travel agents; explaining to them about Islam and Muslim's way of life to attract them to travel to Korea. Hence, Halal lunchbox created and Muslims can enjoy their holiday with no worries of food.

It's pretty wise of them to do that cause muslims will come in flocks to Korea, not only because of Hallyu influence. KTO also recently opened a prayer room at the Tourism Information Center (TIC) on the first basement floor of its headquarters, so that Muslim tourists can visit. There's another reason why I should visit TIC this coming September.

Source: Korea Times

Budget Female Dormitory in Seoul

This time, I'm hunting on Budget Female Dormitory in Seoul. Why? Hmm..sometimes a lady need privacy. What if it's just like in my situation? I'm a single lady traveling alone on a budget. To rent a single room is a bit expensive but to stay in mixed dormitory? I would like some personal space please. Please..I am not a feminist. Don't condemn me for that. It's just because a Muslim lady need an extra special space. Hehe..

So here are the options of female only dormitory with budget less than 25,000 Won/night (in no particular order/rating). Reminder: The rate may change based on season/off-season/weekend :

1. G-haus in Mapo-Gu

Rate: 20,000 Won/night

By subway
8 mins from Hongik University exit 5 - Line number 2
5 mins from Hapjeong exit 3 - Line number 2 & 6

2. Golden Pond Guesthouse in Jong-no gu

Rate: 17,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Hyehwa Station - Line number 4, Exit 4

3. Bebop Guesthouse in Mapo-gu

Rate: 20,000 - 23,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Hongik University Station - Line number 2, Exit 1

4. Windroad Guesthouse and Windflower Guesthouse in Jongno-gu

Rate: 17,000 - 19,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Hyehwa Station - Line number 4, Exit 4

5. Open Guest House in Seong-Book Gu

Rate: 20,000 - 23,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Hansung University Station - Line number 4, Exit 5

6. Banana Backpackers in Jongno-gu

Rate: 20,000 - 22,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Anguk Station - Line number 3, Exit 4

7. Carpe Diem Guesthouse in Mapo-Gu (exclusively for female)

Rate: 20,000 Won/night

By subway
10 minutes from the Hongik University Station - Line 2, Exit 1

8. Beewon guesthouse in Jongno-gu

Rate: 19,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Anguk Station - Line 3, Exit 4

9. Happy Guesthouse in Jung-gu (Woman and family only)

Rate: 15,000 Won/night

By subway
10 minutes from the Beotigogae station - Line 6, Exit 3 or 1

10. Holiday in Korea Guesthouse in Jongno-gu

Rate: 18,000 Won/night
*Pls ask for female dormitory explicitly

By subway
10 minutes from the Anguk station - Line 3, Exit 4
10 minutes from the Jongno-3 ga station - Line 3 OR 5, Exit 6

My Technorati Claimer!


Bloggers of South Korea: Unite!

Today I came across Mr Hyun Woo Sun's interesting website : SendMeToKorea while searching on Bungee Jumping in Korea. Incidentally, he has written about this competition for bloggers to rave about their South Korea's experience. Well, I have not had the chance to been there yet but gonna do in this coming September. Oh,'s fun to join this kinda healthy competition anyway. Come all bloggers, unite!

Step 1: You may go to here to register: Blog Korea! Visit Korea!

Step 2: Register for Speak & Share Metablog

Step 3: Keep blogging!

It's easy and after that just cross your fingers that you will be chosen.

Initial prizes comprised of LG Notebook, Samsung Digital Cameras, Iriver Mp3 players.
The grand prizes would be: Trip to Korea for the selected 30 active bloggers!

Wow! I wish this competition has started before I've bought my tickets. Arghhh.. I'm already in Seoul in October. T_T

War of Cheap Air Tickets : MAS vs SIA vs Cathay Pacific

The culprit is the virus. To be H1N1 or not to be H1N1. Life is really fair. Haha..just like yin yang. Due to this virus, the air tickets prices has been cut down extremely. Everyone is scared now to travel overseas but as always there would be risk. For budget travelers, this is a news worth to cheer for.

As usual these promotion would only cover flight to Seoul/Busan only from Malaysia. Taken into consideration all payment can be done online and the site has e-ticketing facilities.

1. Malaysia Airlines (MAS)

Currently they are having promotion for booking from 22nd June - 5th July 2009 , traveling from 29th June - 15th Dec 2009 .

Their one way promo (exclusive insurance and extra baggage):

Origin Destination Travel Dates
All-inclusive Fares

Kota Kinabalu Seoul
29 JUN 2009
15 DEC 2009

MYR 518

Kuala Lumpur Seoul
29 JUN 2009
15 DEC 2009

MYR 598

Sample Search: From 30th Oct - 8th Nov (10 days) = MYR1,224

Flight Details
Departure date Flight
Fri, 30 Oct 2009 MH66
23:30 Kuala Lumpur International Airport
07:10 Seoul - Incheon

Return date Flight
Sun, 08 Nov 2009 MH67
11:00 Seoul - Incheon
16:35 Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Total price including tax MYR 1224.00

Sample search: 14th July to 14th Dec (5 months) = MYR1,224

I like this entry called Stimulus package. They outline exactly when the promotion is on and who is eligible for tickets purchase.

2. Cathay Pacific

I really love Cathay's user friendly website but their promotion travel period normally limits from 14 days to maximum 1 month which makes MAS is more preferrable airline.

MAS allows the maximum travel period eg 14th July - 14th Dec 2009 (5 months) with cheaper price.

Click here for latest promotion departing from Kuala Lumpur

3. Singapore Airlines (SIA)

SIA also bidding for the war price but unfortunately they don't offer Seoul as one of the destination. You can check here for more offers departing from Kuala Lumpur