i just came back from seoul last saturday and i want to quickly pen down what happened during the trip. it was my first overseas trip after sooooo long and my first time with two kids. my sister and her friend came along and we brought my mum too.
day 1 – we had a sunday morning flight at about 2am. i thought i will save my leave and work on the saturday. we booked the 2am flight because we will reach seoul at around 9am thinking will be able to walk around afterwards happily.
wrong. oh how wrong we were. we were all exhausted. i had the bassinet for baby a but she slept with me baby wearing her the whole time. my neck and shoulders were aching so bad when we touched down.
we got to our airbnb by their a’rex line. good thing we didn’t have to transfer BUT with so many luggages and a stroller, it was pure torture to get through and fro on the first and last day. our accommodation was at hongik university.
the train line is just 1 minute walk away, gs 25 which is the equivalent of our 7-11 is just downstairs. the neighbourhood is very lively even till late at night. another torturous part is that the place does not have any elevator. it was like a landed property on it’s own so imagine the dragging up and down the luggages 😂
we couldn’t do early check in as they were still cleaning up the place so we left our luggage and went to itaewon for lunch. the weather was lovely about 11 degree celcius. i didn’t put any heat tech underneath my knit wear and it’s bearable.
i’ve always heard seoul is very hilly even from my colleagues who went there before. and i swear there were so much hills i’m not even kidding. i was baby carrying while my husband pushed up the stroller with toddler a.
after going up a hill, there was another steep hill anddddd another hill after that. to top it off, it was raining. we didn’t have umbrellas with us and both the toddler and baby were very cranky by then. we finished our lunch, took the train back and then had an early night.
day 2 – woke up at around 9am because we were so tired. i think the down side of travelling with those who don’t have kids is that, they do tend to rush the kids and us. which is difficult. because once we were ready to get out of the house, toddler a had to poo poo.
we were supposed to go to gyeongbokgung palace to catch their guard changing ceremony which was happening at 1030am. in the end, we left the house at 1100am. got to the palace by 1145am. toddler a had a meltdown at the sidewalk of the palace. i tried to be very patient but i went the annoying mum route and started hushing him. made him milk and he fell asleep. afterwards then i realised it was actually his nap time anyway and i felt guilty.
we walked around taking pictures at the place and were already very hungry. we went to get lunch at halal kitchen which was nearby but the hills, remember? that nearby took us about 45 minutes to reach there hehehe.
the area was really nice. the walkways are levelled and nice for strollers. once in a while cobbled but our babyzen yoyo had no problem over there. we woke toddler a up for lunch and he was in a better mood by then. he made friends with our korean server who is a little fluent in malay.
he asked toddler a how old is he, what’s his name and such. then toddler a decided to introduce all of us to the server. it was so cute and i managed to take a picture of them together. when we left, the server passed a compliment to my sister’s friend saying the kids are very beautiful.
generally, they genuinely like kids when they are well behaved. they will strike a conversation with you in korean, knowing very well you don’t speak it, but they are still very happy to chat you up about the kids. i always get gestured to sit down in the trains since i’m babycarrying baby a. sometimes i politely decline because baby a is cranky and i need to sway her but i’ll get pushed to sit. so nice kan they all? hahahhaha.
anyways, after lunch, we walked back to the palace and took a bit more pictures and then we headed back to airbnb because my sister had migraine. she slept and i was more than happy to let baby a off my shoulders. after isya’ which was very early since it was winter, we went out to the neighbourhood and ate at the halal guys for dinner.
shopped a bit at Loh-B for my heimish balm make up remover and then headed back home.
day 3 – woke up super early because we had to take train and bus to nami island. by this day, i was already done with the train transfers. their train is well connected but to transfer to the next line will take you legit 10 minutes or more if you’re carrying a baby like me. it was super tiring ok hahahaha.
i whined a lot about the distance and my sister insist their train systems are already good. i cannot expect their transfers to be like the ones in city hall or even doby ghaut given the size of their country.
with strollers, is even worse because some stations do have elevators and some do not. and when you get into one, you will get squashed with their fit ahjummas and ahjushis. one thing i learn about them is that, you do not press the elevatos buttons! not even to press it close or open. i wonder why?
anyway, nami island was about 2 hours away by a chartered bus. we got the ticket via klook. when we reached there, we found the line of trees much like the ones in winter sonata and took lots of pictures. had lunch at their halal restaurant. i had jjampong which is the spicy seafood noodle. was so delicious yummmmm.
toddler a had fun with the playgrounds although just a while because we had to leave for the ferry by 4pm because the bus will be leaving on the dot back at 5pm. he didn’t want to leave and had to bribed him with banana milk.
that night we had yang good bbq for dinner. it was delicious and very worth it. we paid about 133,000 won which is about $160 for 5 adults? went back via taxi and it was our only weird experience with the taxis there.
we had 3 adults and 2 kids so naturally my mum wanted to sit next to the driver. he told us, in korean, 4 person then 1 can sit in front. which was very puzzling because we have 2 kids ya is so cramp at the back.
next, we were from gangnam and to head back to hongdae was about 15 mins tops. he took us on a trip on the highways, entering and exiting at least 3 times and half an hour later before we reached hongdae. once we were at hongdae, he insisted to drop up directly infront of hongik university.
i swear at this point my heart was palpitating already. my wifi egg battery went flat and none of us had auto-roam. i was so scared! he asked for directions from a local guy. he was kind enough to read our direction which was in english to the driver and he got a location on his gps. i was so happy but it was shortlived because as he drove down, the location was not even near to our accommodation la sei.
luckily i recognised a few buildings and it was the same street we were at yesterday for shopping after the halal guys. i told him to drop us there and we walked all the way home. phew. the cab fare was the most expensive out of the many cab trip we took.
decided to learn how to say hongdae station exit 3 (which was the nearest exit) in broken korean and abused it greatly after this night lol.