Poppy Field in Bucheon Sangdong Lake Park

Another flower edition, yeayy! And it’s not the end, yet~ xD

When my friend gave me a picture of flowers in Sangdong Lake Park and suggested that we should go there, I was curious what kind of flower it is. I think it was my first time seeing that kind of flower and it’s so pretty. I found out that it’s called 양귀비 in Korean, which is poppy in English. I was like.. what?? Isn’t it some kind of drug… How can they just freely grow there??? I searched about it and turned out poppy has so many species, not only the one that can be used as opium source. lol, sorry.

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Places To Visit In Incheon (Part II) – Songdo International Business District

It’s been a long time since I posted the part 1. Sorry  for neglecting this series. ^^;; So here I come with part 2!

Songdo International Business District is a new smart city built from scratch in Incheon area. It’s also a part of Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), along with Cheongna & Yeongjong. The construction started in 2005. Its goal is a city in perfect balance, combining the ideal mix of residential, cultural, business, retail, and recreational environments.

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Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival 2016

Seoraeseom is one of the artificial islands built on hangang riverside. It’s not that far from the famous Banpo Bridge.

Last week, me & my friend went to Seoraeseom to see canola flowers. We were afraid that it’d be very crowded since it was Sunday, so we went there around 9am. And I guess we were too early. It was really quiet, most visitors were ahjussi & ahjumma passing by after having morning jog and walk. 😀

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(Bad?) Airbnb Experiences

I only used airbnb twice. But both experiences left me with mixed feeling. The first one was when my sister and her friend came. Because I live in Incheon, it’s inefficient if they stay with me during their trip. Most of the places we want to visit were in Seoul. So, I booked a room through airbnb. It’s quite cheap, less than 140.000 KRW for 3 people a week. The room is actually quite small for 3 of us, but not that bad. We can also use the kitchen, which means saving our money.

During the first 2 days, the host was away. He gave me the password to his apartment. It was like we rent the whole apartment. Hahaha. When he finally came back, he was really nice. He doesn’t speak very good English, but we can still understand him. He sometimes cooked for us too. When he knows we don’t eat meat, he cooked fish for us. When my sister’s friend luggage was broken, he gave his old luggage to her. He also lent them Korean traditional clothes, hanbok.

That’s really nice of him, eh? I thought that, too. I don’t know if he was joking or not, but some of his behavior made me uncomfortable. Our host is a middle-aged man, but he tried to hit on my sister’s friend which maybe almost half of his age. Even called her wife… He tried to make us promise him to comeback next time and just stay there without paying. He said that he will drive us somewhere nice. Kinda creepy for me. I felt like he saw us as some kind of girl who are willing to marry a guy just because he is Korean or he has a lot of money. I was kinda conflicted when leaving review on airbnb. As a host, he’s really nice. But as personal, he offended me. LOL.

The second one was when I had an event 2 hours trip away from my home. The problem was it started really early. Even the earliest bus or subway couldn’t make me arrive there on time. I found a room not that far from the place, and it’s cheap. Since I only need a place to sleep, I don’t really care about the facility. The place mentioned it can cater up to 2 people. So, I booked for 2 people. But when me & my friend arrived there, the bed was actually only for 1 person. I felt sorry for my friend because it was my idea to stay there. We ended up cram ourselves on the bed though. Not to mention it was smell of cigarette when we first enter the room.

But it’s not the worst part yet. It was the first time for the host to receive a guest on airbnb, and he can’t speak English at all. So, we convinced him multiple times  that nothing will happen to his room and we only need a place to sleep. In my broken Korean of course, which sometimes took me a lot of time to write. And his informal speech and misspelling made it worse. What’s annoying, he really wanted to know what’s our agenda there. Curiosity kills the cat, dude.

And my guess, he didn’t tell the room owner that he’s re-renting his room to other person. He told us to tell the room owner that we’re his friends if she asks… And you know what, the room owner stays on upper floor and speaks perfect English. We met her because the host asks her to explain about the heater and everything. Crazy guy.  Haha.

After these 2 kinda bad experiences, I feel like I prefer the normal guesthouse/hostel rather than airbnb. I don’t waste my time contacting the host about every little thing. And I don’t have any obligation to socialize with the host. *introvert problem* But well, maybe it’s just my bad luck since my priority was on the budget. Haha.

A Tropical Girl’s Spring

After long winter, the spring finally sprung! Because of the global weirding, half of the spring still felt quite cold. It’s only last week I started to left my coat at home, after several days of rain and strong wind.

When waiting for spring to come, I learned this phrase “꽃샘추위”. It literally means “Winter is Jealous of The Blooming Flowers”. It usually happens in March when the weather start getting warmer but then it’s back to freezing cold for several days. Cute, eh?

Some pictures from flower hunting~

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Jelajah Busan Dalam 3 Hari

Di post tentang backpacking ke Jeju, saya sempet bilang kalau saya pengen ke Busan juga. Sebenernya sih udah kesampean pas akhir September tahun lalu, tapi belum sempet nulis ceritanya. 😛

Berawal dari tawaran transport dan penginapan gratis, saya yang lemah godaan ini pun akhirnya berangkat ke Busan. Karena saat itu adalah musim libur Chuseok yang bisa dibilang lebarannya orang Korea, bus yang saya tumpangi telat sampai di Busan sekitar 1,5 jam dari waktu yang direncanakan. Maklum, banyak yang mudik juga.

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Pertama Kali ke Seoul? Kemana Aja?

Setelah berkali-kali saya komporin, akhrnya bulan Januari kemarin adik saya main ke Korea. Ini merupakan pertama kalinya dia ke Korea, pertama kalinya ke luar negeri juga malahan. Dia berangkat bareng temennya yang juga baru pertama ke luar negeri. Walopun sempet ketinggalan shuttle bus ke hotel pas transit di Kuala Lumpur, untungnya mereka berdua selamat sampe di Incheon. Haha.

Selama mereka di Korea, tentunya saya jadi tour guide dadakan. Itinerary sudah saya susun sedemikian rupa supaya puas jalan-jalan dalam waktu kurang dari seminggu. Tapi apa daya, suhu saat itu ternyata lagi dingin-dinginnya. Kami sempat merasakan suhu -15º C bahkan lebih dingin dari itu. Ujung-ujungnya banyak plan yang mesti diubah. Di suhu yang bikin beku kayak gitu, manusia-manusia tropis seperti kami ini tentu pengennya ngangetin badan di kamar. Saat lagi jalan di luar pun kami sering banget berhenti masuk ke dalam gedung ato ATM buat cari penghangat karena dinginnya emang nggak ketolongan.

Kali ini saya mau share tempat-tempat yang mereka kunjungi sebagai referensi untuk para Seoul First Timer.

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Rekomendasi Traveler SIM Card di Jepang: b-mobile

Jaman sekarang, kalo jalan-jalan kayaknya harus mesti kudu wajib tetep konek internet. Entah untuk cek google map, cari info tempat, atau sekedar buat aplot foto-foto di instagram. Saya juga gitu. Haha. Pas tanya-tanya soal jalan ke Jepang, semua temen saya bilang “asalkan ada internet aman deh”. xD

Jadilah saya googling soal Portable WiFi dan Traveler SIM Card. Berhubung saya cuma sendirian, akhirnya opsi portable WiFi saya coret. Kayaknya itu lebih cocok buat rombongan karena bisa di-share ke multiple device. Setelah membandingkan beberapa website, akhirnya pilihan saya jatuh ke b-mobile visitor SIM Card.

Beberapa keunggulannya:

  1. Murah. (2380 yen setelah pajak). Kayaknya ini SIM Card paling murah yang saya temui. Kalau dikirim ke hotel, free delivery fee. Kalau mau diambil di kantor pos airport, ada biaya tambahan 200 yen.
  2. Unlimited data use. Yupp, unlimited data use! Saya bahkan sempet pake SIM Card ini buat streaming radio selama 2 jam x 3 hari! Ini gara-gara Bang Mumun dapet job baru jadi DJ di Arirang Music Access. LOL. Di websitenya dibilang speednya bakal turun kalo pake data lebih dari 1 GB selama 3 hari berturut-turut, tapi kayaknya walopun diturunin tetep aja speed-nya lumayan. Haha.
  3. Masa aktif 14 hari. Nggak ada pilihan lain, nggak bikin ribet. Di beberapa website, ada yang mesti milih 3,5,10 hari dll. Ribet dah. Dan enaknya SIM Card ini, kalo tinggal di Jepang lebih dari 14 hari masih bisa diisi ulang. Dan kalo udah beres dipake, bisa tinggal dibuang. Lebih enak kan daripada Portable WiFi yang mesti dikirim balik ke provider?
  4. Cocok untuk hampir semua tipe handphone. Ada pilihan Nano, Micro, dan Regular SIM Card. Selama handphone-nya nggak di-lock, harusnya sih bisa pake SIM Card ni. Kalo masih nggak yakin, silakan cek supported device-nya.
  5. Network Coverage oke. Saya cuma nyobain di Tokyo, Kyoto, an Osaka sih. Tapi selama saya pake, selalu ada networknya deh. Dia pake jaringan NTT Docomo soalnya.
  6. Prosesnya gampang. Saya book online dan minta dikirim ke hotel. Saat book, kita udah bisa pilih mau dianter jam berapa. Dan saat ngirim pun mereka kirim konfirmasi email ke kita jadi bisa di-track.

Kelemahannya:

  1. Data Only. Yup, untuk tipe yang saya pakai cuma bisa untuk internetan. Buat saya sih nggak masalah soalnya kebanyakan kontak keluarga dan temen pake online chatting app macem whatsapp, line, kakao. Kalo ada yang butuh voice call & text message, SIM Card tipe ini nggak cocok.
  2. Nggak bisa ngubah tanggal mulai/pengiriman. Setelah booking, kita nggak bisa ngubah tanggal mulai pemakaian atau tanggal pengiriman. Jadi pilih baik-baik!
  3. Set APN Manual. Jangan lupa set APN! Sebenernya otomatis ada pilihannya juga sih. Cuma supaya yakin, saya set manual juga sesuai petunjuk mereka. Tapi anehnya, beberapa kali muncul notifikasi kalo APN belum di-setting padahal internetnya bisa dipake. Well, kurang tau hp atau SIM Card-nya yang bermasalah. Tapi selama internetnya jalan, no problemo. Haha.

Jadii, kalo ada yang mau ke Jepang silakan coba pake SIM Card ini. Berdasarkan pengalaman, I highly recommend this one! Sempet nggak yakin dengan kualitasnya karena harganya yang jauh lebih murah dibanding SIM Card lain. Tapi ternyata harga murah bukan berarti kualitasnya murahan. Hehe.

Japan Trip – Part 5 : Amazing Osaka and How It Ended with Another Drama

I arrived in Osaka at my 7th day night. My hostel is near Dobutsuen-Mae Station. It’s called Hostel Backpacker Toyo. This time I took a single room instead of the dorm one. I slept really well that night. My condition got a lot better the next day. As I told you on the previous post, I didn’t prepare my Osaka trip well. I didn’t have exact plan for that day. Since I already bought Osaka Amazing 2-Day Pass and asked TIC staff in Kyoto for recommended places, I checked whether the place I want to visit was open or not. All the places I visited in Osaka are already included in Osaka Amazing Pass. The pass also covers subway and bus fee. It’s super awesome. Check more about the pass here.

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