[School] Weekends – 29th to 30th March

On 29th March, we went to the Jimjibang at night as it was raining heavily in the afternoon. ON our way down we saw the fully bloomed Cherry Blossom! So pretty, even in the rain ~

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We took a train to the next station (oncheonjeon station). we just had to walk down one block form the back of Home Plus to get to the Hot Spring Park, which was on the 4 floor of a mini shopping centre.

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There was a bit of culture shock for the other girls as they haven’t been into a spa in Korea or Japan, but they were okie after a while (:

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There is 3 different rooms in the Jimjibang section. 11degrees, 45 degrees and 65 degrees ^^ We even played “Guess the word (SG version)”  there. However I bet we mad a lot of noise 😛

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I managed to do the “meh meh” towel ^^ so cute 😛

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The next day (30th March), we headed to Taejeongdae Park. We managed to take much clearer pictures of the Cherry Blossom! Super super pretty. But sad that it only last for 10 days >.<

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Selfie is a definite ❤
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Oh we have a cat that lives near our dorm. Some kind soul provided it with a house as it has been raining really heavy these few days  😦

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We ate curry rice which was near school. A bit expensive but very worth it (:

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After an 1/2 hour train ride and an hour bus ride, we finally reached Taejeongdae Park!!!!!! Because the distance to walk is really long, we decided to take a tram @1,500 won. Even the Koreans say it is far and we should take the tram 😛

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Let me explain the next two pictures. The first one is the information board that shows is what we should be able to find. However when I look up, all I can find it the “Tea Island” 😛

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We looked down form the observation platform and show people on the rocks below. Then the next thing that we thought was … how on earth did they get onto the rocks when there is sea surrounding them. i really wonder how 😛

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Yeah we made it !!! We had to climb quite a number of steps down to reach the famous Circles and the Lighthouse. Enjoy the pictures ^^

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I was pretty lazy so I didn’t join Samantha, Sing Yee and Sim Ai, when they climbed down to the rocks. I waited for them upstairs to take their picture. However they didn’t really look up long enough. I guess it is had to spot us 😛 But I did managed to get a pic or two of them (:

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[Updated] Adminstrative matters for exchange

[Updated] 20th Feb 15 ~~ changed details about NTUC student exchange insurance plans

[Updated] 3rd Mar 15 ~~ added Vietnam Air for flight options

 

 

I decided to type down what I can remember for my preparation for my exchange in PNU (:

1. Korea Visa

Korea Embassy only opens from 9.30am till 12pm  and the last timing to get a ticket number is 11.30am. You need to be there early in case of long queue and to avoid coming another day if you miss the timing.

The address of the Korean Embassy is:
47 Scotts Road #08-00 Goldbell Tower Singapore 228233

Alight at Newton MRT station.

It usually takes 4-5 days for your visa to be ready. Single visa would suffice as you will have to make an Alien card in Korea and that would allow you to leave Korea and continue your visa when you return to Korea.

*do not be alarm if the dates indicated in your visa is not the number of months that you applied for. This is a regulation set by the authorities in Korea, where you are only allowed to stay for another 1 more month after your studies have ended. This means that you will to return your alien registration card to the Immigration Office  or if you leave before the date is up, you can also return at the immigration counter at the airport. The officers will then change your visa to a visitor pass for 90 days.

These are what you need for visa making:

1. Letter of Admission from the exchange school
2. Visa Letter from SMU
3. Download the application letter here: http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/InfoDetailR_en.pt?categoryId=2&parentId=382&catSeq=385&showMenuId=374&visaId=D2

If the above link doesn’t work, you can get the form here as well: http://www.mofat.go.kr/english/visa/images/res/visakorean.pdf

4. Passport
5. Coloured passport size photo taken within 6 months
6. Your bank book with transactions of the latest 3 months. Note: If you are using your parents’ account, you are required to bring your parent/parents birth cert and your own birth cert as well as their bank book. At least S$5000 is needed to be reflected on the bank book. You probably need to submit a brief letter from your parent stating that they will be sponsoring you for your exchange. They do not allow ibanking e-statements, so if you do not have transactions of 3 months, you will have to go straight to the bank to ask them for official statements if I’m not wrong. This is the most troublesome aspect, so do make sure you get this right, if not you may just make a wasted trip.

2. Insurance

There is quite a number of insurance companies that you can buy from. Just ensure that it covers you for medical and travel claims.  I only know a few and I have inserted the link below.

NTUC – **update** they have change their coverage for their policies, please search for the student exchange (or similar title).

Chartis & AIG – They have good coverage and relatively average pricing

MSIG – Has slight more coverage than Chartis & AIG, there is discount depending on the seasons.

3. Air ticket

There is quite a number of airlines that fly to Seoul (or Busan straight). You will need to look out for offers from different airline weekly. However I find Korea Air is the cheapest with good service. **update** I have indicated the rough cost of a round-trip plane trip, without any offers.

Korea Air ($970++) //Asiana ($950++) // Scoot ($970++) //SIA ($1100++) // Vietnam Air (transit at Vietnam for about 2 hours) ($500++) // Cathay Pacific ($990++)

If you are taking the flight to Seoul, you can take a KTX from Seoul to Busan for about 57,000 Won. I would advise you to book a seat rather than buy a one-day pass, as the one -day pass does not ensure you a seat on the ktx but you can take any timing. Moreover a one-day pass (youth) would cost you the same amount as a booked seat one-way ticket from Seoul to Busan.

4. PNU module biding

During my year, PNU changed and started using google form to help exchange students to register our modules. Do note that they have very small class size (17 – 25) and it it a 1st come 1st serve basis. It is okie if you are not able to get your first choice or start your semester at PNU with 2-4 modules. You can go to the first lesson and ask the prof to manually add you in (provided there is enough slot left or someone drop the class).

**update** It seems that PNU has added english translation to their course registration site since Fall 2014, hence it should make the registration a more smooth-sailing process (: I hope !!

Students in PNU usually buy new textbooks (cost is about 40,000 average) and it is hard to buy second hand textbooks. You can search online and print it at the printer shops just outside of PNU (cost about 12,000 won). Don’t print in school as the shop is relatively slow and if you want to photocopy the whole textbook you will need to leave the book there for almost a week.

The class in PNU are on Mon & Wed (1 hour 15 mins each), Tues & Thurs (1 hour 15 mins each) or 3 hour classes on one day. The location of your class is found after the timing of the class, e.g. 516203 means Blk 516, level 2 and room 3.  Below is the maps of PNU & it is a Mountain!! Do take note of where your classes are at and if you have enough time (only 15 mins in between classes). Please merge the maps together, as PNU gave us an outdated a map and I needed to get the latest one form my buddy. The one highlighted in blue is Blk 516 Global Studies School which is a new building in 2014.

PNU map

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5. Dorm

There are three kinds of dormitory in PNU:

Woongbee Hall [Mixed]: Twin room, Private toilet in your room [99.9% of exchange students get this as we have priority during selection process]
Jili Hall [Male only]: Twin room, Shared public toilet
Jayu Hall [Female Only]: Bunk room, Shared Public toilet
You can apply for either 2 or 3 dorm meals during application. Use google translate to know which is breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Only Jayu hall is at the entrance. The rest is around 20-30 mins upslope but Woongbee is the newest and BEST hall in PNU. It is apparently called Condo style dorm. The offset is that the dorm food will start to become worse after week 4. Hehe!

Woongbee Dorm Address:

Busandaehak-ro 63 beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Woongbee Dorm Blk (A or B), Room (level-number), Jangjeon-2-dong, Busan, South Korea. 

Postal code: 609735

Do remember to make payment on the first day of the payment period as transaction takes about 2-3 days. Do check the website regularly to see if you are successful. Later on, you will also be able to indicate your desired roommate.  Just follow the guidelines and everything should be fine ^^

Bedsheets may be available, if not you can go NC Dept (@ PNU Main Gate), Home Plus, Lotte or E-mart to buy. [FYI: Bedsheets that are thick and give you warm for winter is called spread.]

Laundry is 500 won (50 mins) while the  dryer is 1000 won (40 mins). My advice… do your laundry on weekdays as the washing machine is usually full on weekends and the whole day >.<

You can purchase a Lan cable @ GS25. 2 metre would be sufficient. If you are using Mac book, you can just on your Airport. For windows, you will need to download Connectivity. However you need to pay an amount of money to us it more than one day. If you have friends who can code it, then you can get it for free (:

6. Bank account
Your buddy should bring you to create a bank account after your orientation because you will need to submit it to office of International Services so that you can get your refund from dorm fees (if there is any). There is a Hana Bank at NC and you only need your passport to open an account. If you choose to open an account in other banks, you will need to wait for your Alien card to arrive first.

If you want to apply for your internet banking for your Hana bank account, you will need to wait for your Alien card. As for me, I choose to just withdrawn and pay by cash as much as possible.

7. Alien Registration Card
You will need to make this card when you get to Busan, and the immigration centre is located near Jungang station, your buddy should know where it is. It costs 30, 000 won and you should receive it 2-3 weeks later. You can deliver it to your dorm at 4,000 won.

8. Phone line

I bought EG sim card during my stay in Korea. You can purchase it online and get it delivered to your guest house/specific collection point or purchase it at GS25 at Incheon Airport. I did the latter, however the sim cards sold at convenient stores are now mostly short term (meaning one-month usage and it will expire even if there is still value in it). If you are lucky, you might get the ones that you can extend the validity (10,000 won top-up will add 30 days usage to you sim card)

After you purchase your card at GS25 at Incheon Airport, Insert the sim card into your handphone and configure your phone to the settings in the booklet if you purchase it offline. If there is any issues you can FB message the EG Sim card page.

**IMPT** Do remember to register online at http://m.egsimcard.co.kr/ and input the last 3 digit of your sim card and a clear copy of your passport. This is extremely important because your data gets cut off if you don’t register!  [I was data-less for 1-2 days >.<] It will take about 12 hours. After you are done with the registration, you would have to activate the data plan.

There are 3 options available for the data plan. 100MB, 500MB and 1GB. So for example, if you choice 1GB worth of data, EG would deduct 16,500 KRW from your voice balance.

You can either top-up your data from your voice balance or use your credit card to top-up. To top-up your voice balance you can purchase top-up amount from GS25 stores but they are mostly available in Seoul and some other cities, unfortunately Busan does not have such services. Hence during your trip to Seoul or before you head to Busan, you can purchase the top-up the amount at GS25 store. If not, you will need to top-up using your credit card.  You can monitor your usage and balance from their mobile app (search EG sim card on Google Playstore or App store. The app should be the first link with black and pink words on white background) or from their website at https://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/index.asp

And don’t worry about exceeding your data because there is also free WIFI available for EG Sim Card. Just drop them a Facebook message with your WIFI MAC address and  phone number. You will have access to olleh WIFI shortly! You can access the olleh WIFI in subway stations, buses and selected restaurants and streets.

9. Transportation

There is many different types of transportation cards, like T-money & Cashbee. Even though both cards are accepted in buses and subways across the whole of Korea, only Cashbee has a much easier process of topping up the value for students living in cities outside of Seoul. I would encourage PNU students to get Casebee card as they can easily top-up the card at the top-up machines in the subway stations. T-money can only be topped-up at the GS25 at the PNU station Exit 3 and most of the GS25 stores only in Busan. I am not entirely sure about other cities so ensure that you have enough value in your transportation card before travelling there.

You can download the subway map from Google Playstore or App store, by simply typing in Korea Subway and search. It is usually the first app. The name of the app is  Subway and had a white train with blue background. It allows you to view the maps for 4-5 majors cities and check the travelling time & schedules of the trains daily.

Taxis are relatively cheap in Korea as they have a flat rate of 2800 Won for about 5 mins whenever you board a taxi. For example, to travel from PNU Station to Woongbee dorm only cost you an average of 3000 Won. Sharing cab can cost lesser than taking the public transport, especially in cities that do not have subways.

[School] Week four – 24th to 28th March

Wei Fang and I went grocery shopping to get our toilet rolls, toothpaste, containers, etc. Since the items were not that bulky, we took the train back. Wei Fang and I took turns to lug the 30 rolls of toilet papers back to our dorm. I bet people must be looking at us and thinking why do we need so many toilet rolls 😛 hahahahhaha ^^

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We bought snacks from a street stall. The kind snacks that Koreans eat. super nice *grin*2014-03-24 17.08.18

 

 

 

I spotted Cherry Blossom!!! Spring is here ^^ Can’t wait to see all the Cherry Blossom bloom (:
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We were crossing from 514 Business School to 516 Global Studies School, when we notice this construction looking machine & a lot of people wearing black down coat. After Weiqi asked her classmate, we found out that it was part of the engineering school’s Freshmen Orientation. They make two strangers stand in the platform, exchange numbers and do a “jiao bei jiu”. Their version of “jiao bei jiu” is not just crossing of hands… they have to go around the neck as well 😛 So Open Ah ~~

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That day Weiqi was really angry with her group mate so Samantha, Siew Yee, Weiqi and I decided to go out at night and just wonder along the streets. We end up buying a shirt/pants each 😛 We also had some street snack as the dorm dinner was really bad that night >.< We also wonder into a arcade and realised that we are one of the few girls there. There was really a lot of guys playing  arcade games. We played basketball but only made it into the 2nd quarter >.< We also played the dance revolution and I accidentally chose hard. So Sam, Weiqi and I were frantically jumping as there was a lot of notes like right after one another 😛

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Oh my alien card finally came! I am offically an “Alien” now. ^^ 2014-03-27 22.41.15

[School] Weekend – 21st to 23rd March

2nd weekend to Seoul again ^^ This time it is for SHINHWA Concert!!!!!!! But before that I shall post about our Noraebang Session on 20th March Night ^^ We found out what kind of songs all of us sing. So now we know what songs to sing for for our next session.  Oh and we got to listen to Samantha singing her now infamous “I’m a barbie girl” song ! LOL! but she got sore throat the next day 😛 Karaoke was really cheap. 4300 won per person for 3 hours ++ (the uncle gave us 20 to 30 more minutes)

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Selca on our way back ^^

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After we arrived in Seoul and check into our guest house (Korea Central Backpackers at Hyehwa Station), we went to Myeongdong to meet Doreen and the rest. We finally have meat for a meal. haha^^ we like deprive of meal in the dorm 😛

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After dinner and some shopping along the streets ( oh I bought 5 earings @ 1000 won each and a blusher from etude. like a finally ~), we headed to Holly’s Cafe. They are so advance in technology! The buzzer has a small screen to entertain us with some advertisements.

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The next day we met Whey all for lunch and went to check out the Backpackers Korea Dongdaemun for our stay in June. After that we had to head to Olympic park as Wei Fang needed to purchase the official lightstick. (I purchased mine after the concert as I only wanted it after the concert :P)

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As we walk along the bridge to the Olympic Gymnastic Stadium, we saw all the congratulatory flowers with rice donated by the fans. They was seriously alot ~~

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SHINHWA 16th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT: HERE ❤

After I watched this concert, Hyesung totally became my new bias ^^ OMG~~ the ballad was really so moving  ((: I really like singers who sing and can communicate a lot of their emotions through the songs, like Taeyeon, Yesung and Junsu.

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There was still some time before the concert began, so Wei Fang and I walked to the famous Olympic Peace Centre (: & we spotted the Singapore Flag ^^

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I had to quickly take a snap shot before they discover me 😛

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Took this at the end of the concert, but too bad I closed my eyes >.<

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We had a late dinner. We initially wanted to eat ramen but we were really hungry after the concert >.< After this meal, we really had our fill our meal for the week ((:

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On Sunday night, I went to meet up with Valerie and her friend. We walked the Haeundae International Market street and ate Ginseng Chicken ^^ We brought some chicken dish, like popcorn chicken but with teokboki sauce, to eat while watching 300:Rise of an empire (:

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Thanks to Valerie, I got laksa instant noodles !!!!!! So happy ((: Will ration my laksa noodles 😛2014-03-23 23.58.33

[School] Week three: 17th – 20th March

OMG! The LAN connection didn’t work for the whole weekend. I was super pissed because the person came, said it was fixed but my computer still didn’t have any internet access.

Miraculously it worked the next day after I came back from class. Wei Fang thinks it has something to do with the rain. As it was too heavy, it might have affected the LAN connection. Haix. Just pray hard that it doesn’t happen so often >.<

Oh oh! I had to change my Shampoo and Conditioner as the current one is making my hair drop :O Decided to change to Pantene, as I am more familiar with that and there is better review for it on the net for Korean Shampoo.

I also managed to settled most of the guestrooms for my trip with Gwen! EXCITED X infinity (: hehe^^ Left one more guestroom to settle.

[School] Week two: 10th – 16th March

I can foresee how my weekday will be like. haha. using all the time to complete my homework (and any homework in advance), as well as search information for our short travelling trips ^^

I even made reminders for assignment deadlines on my study table, with all the polaroids (and future polaroids to come) & message from Lixia, Fiona and Valerie. 2014-03-19 12.11.26

But the highlight for this week is the weekend! SNSD COMEBACK (:


After Wei Fang’s class, we headed to Busan Station to take the KTX to Seoul.  At first, we were thinking “who is that crazy fella jumping up and down” haha. Then I notice the camera, so I thought it was just someone filming some show 😛 But Wei Fang realised one of her favourite comedian filming ^^

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Once we arrived at Seoul, we checked into Kimchee Guesthouse Dongdaemun. Then I took a train to MBC Dream Centre, while Wei Fang went to meet Doreen they all. I managed to find the paper for SNSD and took a pic of me with the paper, before sending to the person in charge.

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When he replied, I realised I need to stay till 11pm for headcount. So I had my dinner and bought a cup of caramel macchiato and stayed in the Zoo Cafe. The stuff toys were s0 cute ~~~ Wish I can bring them home 😛

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I met Carine and the rest at 10+am. I also found out that there was 2 pre-recording as they would be going abroad the next week to Vietnam. 1st lucky thing that happened to me. As I only had the album with me, I belong to G5 (the last group of fans for pre-recording). Since the music hall is huge, they can allow about 300-400 ppl and moreover MBC Dream Center is in Ilsan, outside of Seoul.

2nd lucky thing that happened was that I got to see Toheart performance as there was still space in the music hall.  So I got to see Key and Woohyun’s performance!!! I quickly snapped a shot before they saw me >.<

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After the 1st pre-recording, we went for lunch at the lunch box shop. As they only gave Soo Yoong, Yoona & Seo Hyun’s posters, I could only snap a shot of Taeyeon’s one from my friend. Apparently they gave Taeyeon’s poster the week before.

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Then we headed back and realised that they are still allowing some more sones to attend the live as not all the G1 fans went back and queue.

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I got to see quite a number of artists, like Lunafly, B.A.P, Sunmi and Ladies Code. Too bad 2ne1 and cnblue didn’t come 😦  At least I finally got to see what a live recording is like. As each artist’s performance is one after another, artists only perform about 2 verses and 1 chorus during the live recording. So they enter while their music is playing, get into position, then the camera will switch to live. Towards the end, the producers will thank them, while the rest of the crew will clean the stage for the next performance.

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SNSD won this week’s MUSIC CORE ❤ ❤ ❤ with a small margin >.<

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I managed to snap a shot of Toheart fan meeting!! and sent to Wei Fang haha. Coz she “threatened” me that I cant go back that night, as I managed to get into Toheart’s pre-recording.

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I went to Express bus terminal to meet Rynn they all at around 7pm. I am super surprised that they can shop the whole afternoon. okie well they woke up late and started around 1pm.

On Sunday, Wei Fang and I went Seoul station to put luggage and we ate Macs. Wei Fang was like, “finally something that is not rice”. I saw Taeyeon’s Happy Birthday poster and SNSD’s Casio advertisement in the Metro at Honggik University Station.

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After that we went to Hongdae. Both of us walked almost the entire street while waiting for the 3 of them. I finally got to eat the 32cm ice cream! so shiok 😛

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We saw a panda dancing and mingling in the crowd outside the exit. Apparently is an advertisement for a Epson’s Black and White ink. So cute! haha. The person inside was trying to scare some girls who didn’t notice it.

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While waiting we realised that the people  waiting at the station were waiting for friends. They would hug and shout when they meet one another, so Wei Fang and I wanted to try with Doreen they all but they went like “no~ no thanks”. Hahahaha.

Zhu wei they wanted to go Trick Eye Museum but there was a lot of people and the museum is much smaller compared to Jeju’s one.  I didn’t want to go as I been there before and most of it was similar paintings. They also wanted to go to the sheep cafe, but the sheep was not there as they were giving birth to baby sheep!!!! Next time I guess.

In the end, we went to Hello Kitty Cafe for a drink and a snack ((:
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[School] Weekends – 8th & 9th March

 

Had dorm orientation in the morning. They had very weird translation for English so I had to occasionally hear the Chinese translation to understand what they were saying. But most of the time … I zoned out as there was a dorm rule book 😛

Went to Hot Tracks at Seomyeon to get the albums that Valerie, Sam and I wanted ^^ 2x SNSD’s Mr.Mr, 2x 2NE1’s Crush and Exo’s Growl. I will have to head back this Wednesday to get my other albums 😛 There wasn’t much to shop at Seomyeon, even thought there is suppose to be a one of the famous street. I think maybe we shall wait till Spring then there will be all the street performances ^^

On our way back we walked along the streets of PNU again (not sure how many times le. haha!) I finally get to eat the pancake with brown sugar and nuts. so nice~~ but now still have a bit of cough so can’t eat too much T.T

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We wanted to increase the amount of moist in the room so we placed a cup of water on the floor, as the heater is under the floor. However Wei Fang scared it will spill so she placed it in a pail. But it didn’t work 😦 The air is still dry.

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We went travelling on Sunday! We went to the Jagalchi Fish Market and Gamcheon Cultural Village.

***Warning: Media Heavy!!! ^^

My outfit for the day ❤


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Omg! there is so many strawberries but didn’t get to buy as we are still walking around before heading back to the dorm.

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We reached the entrance of the famous Jagalchi Fish Market. The market had really narrow pathway and everyone seem to be selling the same things. I rarely go to the wet market in Singapore, but this is slightly different as there are tables at almost all the stores for customers to eat the seafood on the spot O.o We didn’t know which store was better, so we just chose a random store and went in for lunch. We ordered BBQ fish and we didn’t realise that the proportion is huge for 4 girls. Was super full after the meal.

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Next time I want to head back and try BBQ squid mixed with rice ^^

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The jetty!

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We took one stop down to Toseong station and a bus up to the entrance of Gamcheon Village. We bought a map @2000 won so that we will know where to walk and what we can look out for! It is really colourful and picture.

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We found this machine at one of the photo-taking station. We turn out so fair ~ hahaha

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We tried to take a pic with all of us, but my face is cut off 😛2014-03-09 15.46.20

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Group Selfie ^^

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We arrive at a temple near the bottom of the hill. We couldn’t really read Korean words, so we didnlt know if we could enter or not. When walking in an ahjussi talked to us and told us that about the temple. Apparently it has been here since Korea war and it is 100 years old. The temple hang all the mini flags of the various countries all around the temple. We managed to spot the Singapore Flag (:

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This is one of the rare station that was not gated. Unlike in Singapore, we can see the train when it arrives.

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Downloaded the Countdown counter, like Gwen^^ Haha. Can’t wait for her arrival (:

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