Friday, February 21, 2020

A Fulfilling Year of 2019.....

I have not been diligently updating for so many months in 2019 but luckily I have tried to update as much as possible at my IG page side....

Started the littlest for his 1st basketball lesson at ActiveSG since I have long stopped his weekly swimming lesson. 

PSLE year is always a busy year for the kid and me. Regular tuitions and revisions have ended the moment the PSLE exam is over! Freedom for both of us and a treat for ourselves for the hard work we have put in for this whole year.

The daughter getting her hard work and contribution recognised by her school was a happy moment for her and I am very proud of her.

The decision to travel to Osaka was the last thing on my mind last year but we were glad to have the opportunity to bring the kids over to experience a different culture. It was an eye-opener for them!

Last year, all of them managed to obtain certification from the Edusave award and the littlest received 2 awards. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Family Trip to Seoul - Day 4

Prior to our arrival in Seoul, we booked a 10-hour minivan with driver service for ourselves. The driver/tour guide arrived very early at our hotel and we started our adventure as soon as we were done with our breakfast. The itinerary planned for the day itself was done with the booking company via Whatsapp and they were super helpful in giving suggestion. I was glad the day trip was planned smoothly without any major hiccup.

First stop was at Nami Island! After more than an hour plus of car ride, we finally reached the ferry wharf at Gapyeong. There are 2 ways to get to Nami Island, you can either take a ferry over or zipline your way across to the island. 

All of us took the most conventional & economical way to reach the island.

If you are a fan of K-drama just like me, you will see the familiar sight of some scenes shown in "Winter Sonata".

After the Nami Island tour ended, we took a return ferry ride back in time for lunch. Our driver had made our lunch reservation at Kko Kko Chuncheon Dakgalbi.

Food was nicely cooked and warmly served the moment we sat down in the restaurant. Thanks to the driver/tour guide who arranged all these for us.

After the hearty lunch, the next stop was Gangchon Rail Park. The special part about this place was we were able to cycle on the old railroad tracks and enjoyed the scenery at the same time. It was a good workout for the young and the old after a meal.

There are two-seaters and four-seaters options to choose from so our strategy on that day was to pair up some elderly people with young people in a group to evenly distribute the amount of strength needed to cycle together. The whole journey is 6km which takes about 40 minutes to finish the whole course from the bike station to Nanggu Village.

When we alighted at Nanggu Village, we rested for a while and boarded onto a Romance Train which brought us back to the bike station.

Last stop of the day, Petite France!

By the time we reached there was about 1 hour to closing time. Most of the activities were finished by the time we were there. A few shops were still opened for tourists and we managed to watch a performance as well. We tried to grab every opportunity to take as many pictures as possible before the sky turned dark.

Albeit it was a short visit to Petit France but it was fun to be able to "experience" what it was like in a replica of a French village.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Family Trip to Seoul - Day 3

Our 3rd day in Seoul was very memorable and I remembered the night before, the kids were telling me that the weather forecast was expected to snow the next day. True enough, the first snowfall started in the early morning on 24th November 2018. All of us grabbed our jackets and dashed down to the hotel lobby to take pictures of the snowing view. It was definitely a lovely surprise to see the sight of snow in the city. 

Stood under the falling snow to take pictures.

Hotel staffs were busy shoving snow away from the driveway.

After the snowing surprise saga, we went to 63 Square Building to visit the Skydeck and Aqua Planet 63 (aquarium). It is one of the tallest building in Korea and visitors are able to get a spectacular view of the city.

Upon reaching the 60th level, we were welcomed by a series of art exhibitions. 

Lovely view of the city covered partially in snow.

Are you afraid of height?

After the visit to the Skydeck, we proceeded to the aquarium.

Different species of turtles

More turtles....

Colourful fishes....


Eel fishes....

Special mermaid show to entertain the crowd.

After we were done with the marine life, we decided to visit Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market for some seafood indulgence. Many stalls were selling different types of seafood. It was an eyeopener experience for my kids as they have never been to a seafood wholesale market.

Stalls were located next to each other and seafood was displayed neatly.

Gigantic prawns

How can we miss out on gigantic crab? The stall owner was very kind to let the kids experience how it's like to hold a crab. This is the place whereby you can practise your bargaining skill with the locals. After we have selected our seafood, we were directed to dine at one of the restaurants located on the 2nd level.

Fear factor moment for my kids to try out live octopus being cut into small pieces. Octopus tasted especially yummy when it's being marinated with sesame oil.

We ended the night with happy bellies.

Sharing what we did on Day 4 of our Seoul trip.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ferry Service between Hong Kong International Airport and Shenzhen

Recently, I just came back from a work trip from Shenzhen. Why did I decide to pen this down on my blog? The reason was before the trip,. I was looking reading up many links online on how to get from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. I wanted to make sure I chose the most suitable mode of transport for me to reach Shenzhen. 

Currently, there are a few modes of transportation available. You can travel by train, by car, by bus or by ferry. There are so many options but I wanted to use the easiest option since we are flying from Singapore to Hong Kong International Airport.

You can book 1 way or round trip ferry tickets online at CKS website. An email confirmation will be sent to you once you have paid for the ferry ticket.

We took a red-eye flight and reached Hong Kong International Airport at about 5.30am. We did not exit through the immigration and proceeded straight to the transfer area E2 (SkyPier). 

After waiting for about an hour, the CKS counter opened for business from 6.30am onward. The earliest ferry service starts at 8.15am to Shekou port. If you have any baggage tags with you, present it to the ticketing counter. Please take note that not all airlines have baggage transfer service, refer to this website for reference.

Redeeming our ferry tickets was a breeze.

We took a short monorail service to the SkyPier. 

Free seatings and inside is clean and spacious.

We reached Shekou port in 30 minutes.

We booked a return ticket from Shekou back to Hong Kong International Airport the night before. The actual departure time was at 4.30pm and we reached Shekou Cruise Centre at about 4pm and quickly went to the self-service counter to redeem our tickets using the QR code sent to my email. 

As we were going to take Cathay Pacific airlines at Hong Kong International Airport, we were able to check-in our baggage for internal baggage transfer to the flight we were taking. It saved us the hassle to do baggage check-in at the airport later.

Waiting to board the ferry to go back to Hong Kong.

Remember to keep the refund coupon for the claim at the airport later.

Once we reached the airport, remember to proceed to the Departure Tax Refund Desk to obtain a refund.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Family Trip to Seoul - Day 2

I am so slack to update our travel posts and work has been a bit overwhelming on the front plus this year is another PSLE year again for my 2nd born. Of course, I am trying my best to put up all my Korea travel posts as fast as I could before I forget the major bulk of it.

Moving on to the 2nd day, I really wanted to bring the family to try out the popular Korean porridge at MiGaBon located nearby our hotel at Myeongdong. I mean it is highly recommended online so I thought we should at least try and see what's hype about Korean porridge. We changed our mind upon seeing the long queue outside the restaurant and decided to look around the nearby area for other alternatives. We were stopped and greeted by the friendly staff who stood outside of 多岛海鲜 (Yakiniku Restaurant).   

At the entrance of the restaurant.

We were led to sit on the upper deck of the restaurant.

Quite surprised to see so many famous actors and actresses who patronised this restaurant before.

Some of the yummy local delicacies ordered for breakfast.

When "suaku" tourists like ourselves who were so fascinated with autumn leaves that were as big as our faces. 

An impromptu stopover at Bosingak Bell Ringing Ceremony while we were on our way to Gyeongbokgung Palace. The performance takes place between 11am to 12.20pm daily (closed on Monday). During this duration, visitors can try on traditional outfits, take photos and take part in the bell-ringing ceremony for FREE.

We were very lucky to be able to take part in the free bell-ringing ceremony. We were told to make our wishes as we hit the bell repeatedly. I lost count on the number of times we hit the bell. 

I really love the internal structure and design.

Make a wish! You never know unless you try right?

We finally reached Gyeongbokgung Palace on foot by trying to figure our way via Google map. We decided to just visit this palace because this is the first and largest royal palace built during the Joseon Dynasty.

We decided to follow what the majority of tourists did by renting the Hanbok costume at the nearby costume rental shop.

We rented for 4 hours but in the end, we did not utilise the whole 4 hours because the weather was pretty cold that day.

There is a wide range of sizes suitable for children to women (from petite frame to plus size frame). Staffs working in the shop will assist tourists to wear hanboks after choosing the designs they preferred.

It felt as if we have travelled back in time.

Our next destination was Jogyesa Temple, it is one of the most important Buddhist temples built during the Goryeo period. Serenity and calmness can be found within the temple despite it is located in the city area.

Golden statues of Buddha are located inside this building.

When in Seoul, we must try the Korean Soju.

Of course, not forgetting to end our night with Korean BBQ :)

Sharing what we did on Day 3 of our Seoul trip.