Travel: My very first trip to Korea, Seoul in October 2009

Yet another one unearthed from my archives – I did not blog about this previously as the content had to first go into the magazine I was working for. Of course, another reason why it’s been buried for so long was cos I had an ex-colleague (or rather, some ex-colleagues) who were major Facebook stalkers. Tsk tsk.

Anyway, this was my very first trip to Korea – the one that sparked off my Korean infatuation. Since then, I’ve gone there so many times that I’ve lost count. I’ve thus decided to break my Korean blog posts into areas for easier reading. 🙂

My very first trip to Korea

It was 2009 October and the Seoul Metropolitan Government had very kindly invited journalists to visit their city so that we could find out first hand what they were all about.

Talk about going the extra mile – they flew us there on Business Class. Here we are, chilling out in the fancy lounges before boarding the flight.

Free flow alcohol… oooh.

Cosy nooks and cranies with massage chairs

Large, large, large chairs. For the first time in my life, my ass cheeks will have reprieve during a long flight 😀 My extremely wide smile says it all. What’s more, the really lovely Korean Air cabin crew remembered my name and my meal preferences.

And more importantly, when I fell asleep, someone really came and covered me up with a blanket (without me realising it). I felt like I was in one of those unrealistic movies. It was then that I decided to make Korean Air my first choice of airlines.

We were on the flight from about 12 midnight till 5am. Bleary-eyed, we stumbled off the flight and were bundled onto a bus. We alighted at City Hall 서울시청 where we were greeted by this.

The Korean words say “Seoul Design Olympics” – It was like a showcase of all their design works. They are damn creative there, I must say. But what caught my eye more was this – at the large expansive grass patch in front was a tea celebration.

Lovely Korean ladies in their traditional outfits 한복 (hanbok)

We were welcome to just sit down and enjoy all their traditional teas and snacks for free. Such hospitality 😀

After hawking around (for free snacks and drinks) and gawking around (like typical tourists) for a bit, we were bundled off to the Seoul Fashion Week.

I find this super cute because fashion’s supposed to be all trendy and chic, but suddenly there’s this major old-school traditional congratulatory flowers.

The first thing we see when we go in – the large screen with a live feed / looped videos

And the show begins! I wish I had more photos to upload but most of them were submitted to the magazine. I don’t want to be infringing any copyrights so I’m just uploading the ones I didn’t submit.

After the show, we come out to this area that’s something like an exhitibion area – for designers who didn’t have runway walks. This is what Singapore should adopt.

After the numerous fashion shows and interviews, various other destinations (which I’ll cover in other blog posts), we finally managed to make it to our hotel at 11pm. Here’s my colleague getting something to help her make it through the day.

Ballocks to plain coffee vending machines – here’s one that lets you pick from milk coffee, espresso, sugar coffee, black coffee, etc.

An extremely beautiful Kring Museum that we saw on our way to the hotel. I believe it was featured in several Korean dramas before.

Finally, we get to the hotel! This is seriously one mean luxury hotel.

Oakwood Premier Coex Center Seoul Serviced Apartments
159 Samsung-Dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-525,
South Korea
Tel(82-2) 3466 7000
Fax(82-2) 3466 7700

It’s comparable with the Mandarin Oriental that I stayed in when I was in Chiangmai.

Main door is all the way to the end, and turn right (yes, there’s a turn to the main door). Door on the left  (behind the fridge) leads to the first toilet.

View of the living room. Somewhere near my bright red luggage is the door to the bedroom.

I’m taking this photo while standing at the doorway between the living room and the bedroom  The bedroom has its own tv. Just behind the tv cabinet is the entrance to the toilet.

The long, lonely, miserable corridor to the toilet.

and voila, the toilet! Fancy and large.

And that was the end of my very first day in Korea.

Quite clearly this post does not cover the many times I’ve visited Korea, but hey, good things can come in small and numerous packages right?

I’ll be doing up various blog entries in the next few days / weeks, so keep coming back! 😀


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