Friday, April 26, 2013

KOREA - Day 1

We were supposed to board 11.30pm flight but it was delayed. After another round of waiting at Golden Lounge (the perks of travelling Business Class), our flight finally took off at 2am. I was too dizzy from lack of sleep that nothing much can be done on flight. Didn't enjoy the food too. Headache and stomach cramp due to you know what la kan. Definitely not a good start. Haha...

Just landed....
Landed safely at Incheon International Airport around 8.30am local time (exactly one hour different from Malaysia). Drama...drama.... One of our friend was held for interrogation. His name was listed on most wanted list. Definitely not a good start for him. Haha... Anyway, for others it was a breeze procedure. No wonder Incheon Airport got rated as one of the fastest airport in custom processing. Very high tech. But don't expect a smiley faces ok. Everyone got  kind of grim-face. No offence ya Korean. You all need to smile more I think. Especially those on front liners. Definitely will add more to that already beautiful face. Hihi....

We were greeted by 4 officers from COTI (Mr. Park, Mr. Kang, Ms. Jeong and  Ms. Jina)  and after settling all luggage and whatnot, we departed to Best Westin Kukdo Hotel. Along the way beautiful scenery of Korea awaited us and Mr. Park who acted as our tourist guide keep explaining just about everthing that we saw. I was kind of dizzy but saving my sleep to see the beauty of Korea. 

During arrival, we were ushered to a hall where a task already waiting for us; Korean Culture Exposure Program. We were divided into 5 group (4 members each) and was given KRW 20,000 each to complete the task. I was in Group 2 together with Efah, Penghulu and Pak Lah (amazingly these were the same people who ride my car after the briefing in Putrajaya). Our mission was to:-

Hongik University 
  • Visit university library and take picture with a student
  • Find KT&G Sangsang Madang and take photo inside
  • Take photo in Street Art Exhibition
Lunch (Grilled sotong)
  • Eat and take photograph of Hong's Sotong restaurat near Hongik University
World Cup Park
  • Go to Haneul Park (by Maeng Kkong Yi Electronic Vehicle) and take photograph with a citizen
I haven't brush my teeth nor wash my face yet and here we are on our first day in Korea having to meet the Korean. I hope I didn't stink. Haha.... I was kind of dizzy and having quite a serious stomach cramp. To make it worse, my winter jacket was in luggage bag. I was cladding only in tshirt and thin cotton jacket and the wheather was so freaking cold. I have every reason to be moody or whatever but this trip is too precious and everything feels like a dream. Still couldn't accept the fact that I really am in Korea. Haha..... Anyhow all 4 of us were moving from one place to another. It was quite a challenge since we were not really understood the subway thingy.

Buying subway ticket for the first time
Our first subway ride. Took a wrong train so had to go out and change to another one
Asking for direction
Asking again at info centre
All 4 of us at Hongik University
Where's the library?
Beautiful scenery inside
Mission 1 accomplished!
Asking for direction again. Everyone we asked will automatically pull out the handphone and looking for map. Internet connection are really fast there...
Still couldn't find and even asked an ajumma here. Hehe....
After many failed attempt of asking around and finding the building, finally these 2 beautiful girls escorted us right to the front of Sangsang Madang. Kamsahapnida....
KT&G Sangsang Madang
Mission 2 accomplished!
The Sangsangmadang is located right in the middle of the Hongik University district, better known as the Hongdae area. This is the city’s main student area and it’s a cauldron of vibrant energy and creativity. The eleven-story Sangsangmadang building houses a cinema, live performance hall, art gallery, and studio. On the first floor there is an art square, which displays and sells crafts and accessories handmade by designers. On the second floor is an art gallery displaying artwork by Korea’s contemporary artists, and work by Korea’s young artists is available for sale on the third floor, offering a glimpse into today’s young society in Korea. In the basement cinema, independent films from Korea and abroad are shown, and the underground live performance hall features various performances such as music, dance and theater.

Our first taxi ride. Actually the place we're looking for was just around the corner laaa.... Hihihi....
You might not see it in this photo but the man was really handsome ok and he's not the only one.... I'm in cloud 9. Haha...
Mission 3 partly accomplished! No grilled sotong for us...
Enjoying super hot kebab. My lips kind of numb due to the hotness and yet that Korean guy sitting next to me  eat it like nothing. Salute!
Surrounding area of Hongik University

Mission 4 accomplished!
See that Hollys Coffee? You can find it everywhere....
World Cup Stadium
Koreans walk and cycle here. Really nice place
Mission 5 partly accomplished. See that hill behind? Well that's Haneul Park and we were just too exhausted to climb it so just took photo in front of it. Haha...
Not sure what written there but this is the area of World Cup Park
Despite loosing our way, hungry, tired, freezing and whatnot, we managed to accomplish all mission. Ok maybe not in eating the grilled sotong since we found a kebab restaurant. Haha... Kebab in Korea tasted so much better than here in Malaysia. Maybe because the seller are from Middle East country, where kebab originated. Actually we were supposed to use the subway but after loosing our way while looking for Hongik University and keep moving down and forth while in that area, we opt for taxi ride to go to Haneul Park. It was quite expensive but we just don't bother much. Haha.... From Haneul Park, we went back to hotel also using a taxi and everyone fall asleep.

After everyone arrived, we had to do some presentation on our mission. I found out that Korean are tall, skinny and fashionable. Yeah that's my first line. Hahaha.... They are helpful, it's a clean city and the public transportation are really superb. You should see inside every taxi. They got all kind of gadget ok. Canggih la.... They walk fast and enjoyed exercising. You should see the park therre. Full of people walking and cycling. No wonder they are skinny.

After presentation we finally checked in, freshen a bit and went down for dinner. Enjoyed every food served and talking to COTI officers so didn't have time to took photos. It was such a long and tiring day but I'm all geared up for anything. It's once of a lifetime experience so just savour everything, right.

By the way, my roomate was Kak Aya, an auditor. Kind of missing our days together. Hai Kak Aya! It feels surreal. Like in a dream. Still couldn't believe that I really am in Korea. I sure was smiling in my sleep then. Haha....

Anyway, you can check out this blog too. Written by another participant. I guess he got more and better photos.

End of day 1.


sherry said...

hi Dear..

remember me kak sherry? hahahaha..akak ada komen pasal MAKSPEN 2011..

tak lama lagi Makpen 2013 kat JB.ingat kan boleh la jumpa Sis kat sana..huhuhu.

btw..kebetulan jugak..akak pun pernah gi KOREA Program COTI tu..rindunya kat both of Mr Park.

tenku butang said...

hai.. salam kenal,
follower no.18
done follow sini,
jom follow teman yea yunk..=) -->(official) -->2nd blog