Best Apps for Seoul: Subway 지하철

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Korea’s subway system is kickass.

Trains that arrive on time, are clean, travel fast, have racks for you to put your bags on, segregated carriages for those who need seats – I was so impressed by their system while I was there. Taking the train no longer felt like a drag, I actually enjoyed my commute. (The bus system was something I didn’t try because it was mind-boggling to say the least) Their app is the cherry on top of the already delectable fresh cream cake, and it’s equally, if not more impressive.

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Best Apps for Seoul: Introduction

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WordPress.com has now officially implemented their paid plans – which means I have only 3GB of space for images on the free plan. What a bad time to be uploading image-heavy app posts!

In any case, all the apps pictured above are apps that I found immensely useful in Korea. I’ll be doing a quick introduction of Airbnb, Accuweather, XE Currency and Skyscanner in another post, but since they’re in English they should be simple to navigate. Daum Maps, Subway, and Yogiyo are apps that are in Korean, so I’ll be going into detail in the hopes that you’ll be able to use the app!

PS: Keeping the images on the post to a minimal to save space for the three Korean apps which will need more explanation! Bear with me.

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87 | French Villages

Over the holidays, Mum, Cowfu and I headed to the nearby Berjaya Hills resort for a 3D2N staycation. Sort of staycation, since it’s so near to home! Drove over from Kuantan and I slept all the way up the horrifying, spiralling hill. It’s as though I have a magical alarm clock that wakes me at all the right moments, because I was awake just five minutes before the distinctive silhouette of Colmar Tropicale began to loom over me. 

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Colmar Tropicale is a French-themed villa/resort in Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Hills. It’s beautiful. The weather up there is cooling, which explains the beanie. It’s not unlike Cameroon Highlands or Genting. I just have a very poor resistance to cold, especially when there are winds blowing. 

Of course, first on our agenda was exploring the villa.

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These swans were spotted at the front of the resort, and the black ones were separated from the white. I suppose this is because the white ones (contrary to expectations) were more hostile. The black ones were friendly, although they tried to peck me. I suppose it could be a show of affection.

We basically lazed our days around. I fully intended to write while I was there but I couldn’t concentrate. Things weren’t as dandy as they seem though. One of their power sockets scorched my laptop’s charger and the lights in the room, other than a few decorative bulbs, were non-existent. Sheesh. The nights there were sure unpleasant for someone so terrified of darkness, especially in a foreign place.

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The lights on the streets at night are pretty beautiful but hard to photograph. I enjoyed dinners both nights there, with the first night at the rotisserie and the second at the fine dining restaurant. Breakfast was decent but not spectacular. We had one lunch at the pizzeria and the lasagna (as with the quarter chicken at the rotisserie) is to DIE for. Food is gorgeous, fine dining’s not worth a try, neither is the coffee. I gorged myself on so much orange juice there!

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Staycations (or even short getaways) are hard to come by now that I’m in my second year, swamped with numerous projects and even more um, challenges, shall I say? I’m juggling many things at one go and trying not to drop any of them so let’s hope for the best. 

REVIEW: Travelling with Y5Buddy

Road trips can be an absolute bore, no matter how strong your wanderlust at the moment. That’s especially so if you’re in a passenger wilting in the backseat because there’s no entertainment, and every sitting position feels uncomfortable, but you’ve just gotten up from a nap. Dilemma of every single road trip to Kuantan.

This time, I decided to get a portable wifi device that would keep me connected all the way from Singapore to Kuantan and back!

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I got my wifi device from Y5Buddy and contacted them about a week before my trip. Thankfully, the day their staff replied me was the day their Malaysian wifi devices were released for use! What a stroke of luck. Christine of the Y5Buddy team rendered me almost impeccable service, even calling me to remind me that I could reserve the device online. Thank you, Christine! I was a little confused as it was my first time ordering with them but it turned out well thanks to Christine’s help.

The Malaysian wifi cost $9/day, which is an astonishingly reasonable sum to be forking out for a device that makes life so much easier for me. Of course, they have devices for other destinations such as Korea, USA, China, Taiwan, etc.  It can connect up to 10 devices and on this trip it accommodated everybody’s phones, iPods and laptops! I opted for the courier service, which entails pickup and delivery to your doorstep at $12. The device came in the above Y5Buddy pouch, containing the charging wires and the device itself.

 

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The device itself is pretty small, almost credit card sized. It will fit comfortably into your pocket so it’s definitely very convenient to carry around. The wires consist of two parts, the charging head and USB cable. This means that you can choose to charge your device from a wall socket or from your computer, whichever is more convenient. I charged the device overnight as per Christine’s recommendation and was able to use it 5-8 hours in the day, depending on how many devices were connected to it at one go.

This device functions like a hotspot, so don’t expect lightning connection. The connectivity of the device itself is pretty decent, although a little sketchy around rural areas, as to be expected. When in the city though, this provides for surfing that’s faster than the local 3G network. Impressive, is it not? It provided stable wifi connection even when crossing states! I must say though, the device can heat up pretty quickly – 5 minutes of use gets it warm to the touch, but it doesn’t get so hot that it’s scalding, even when used for extended periods of time. I kept it switched off when I wasn’t using it to preserve battery. The device is also safe from leeches since there’s an ID and secure password on the sticker that’s on the back of the device. Once you log in on your mobile gadget, you don’t have to worry about logging in again and again since it will remember the password, so that’s convenient as well.

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Before I got this device, I was pretty upbeat about simply testing it to see what magic it was, but I ended up relying on it for most of the trip. I preferred using this over the sluggish hotel wifi and even used this to load dramas to watch in the car. The connectivity has not disappointed, so it’s reliable even for working adults who need stable wifi for work. I’ll highly recommend this for jetsetters who can’t keep their hands off their phones!

78 | Elderflower Gin

IMG_4070   So somewhere in the holidays a crazy idea struck me. I was due at China Court in the afternoon, so why not wake up early, walk around Tiong Bahru and collect a book from Kenny. Good idea right? Wrong. Things went topsy-turvy when (surprise surprise) I woke up late. Made it to Tiong Bahru for breakfast (@ 1PM) of iced mocha with a pork cheek and gruyere sandwich. Not my favourite, but they took my three cheese sandwich off the menu 😦 IMG_4078 Bringing Cynthia around Tiong Bahru in the sweltering sun. I love going there on weekdays and just soaking in the quiet atmosphere. I’m glad I have my little escapades. IMG_4120 Very pretty pavement speckled with bottlecaps outside one of the restaurants along Kim Pong Road. Was it Heart of House? I can’t quite remember.. Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Headed to China Court (which we took ages to find) where we finished everything we had to do. China Court is a very pretty place to work in but terrible to find. No building in this place looks like an office. Oh boy, we definitely had an adventure looking for it. Left China Court and decided to visit a cafe we saw on Mothership’s list, My Awesome Cafe, just across the road from us to Telok Ayer. Cynthia was so besotted with the place, she was literally drunk on the atmosphere here. IMG_4122 IMG_4116   Before we left, the waiter showed us some gin that they had and enticed me to try their elderflower gin. Just thinking about elderflower gin in a mixer tempts me. Mm, perhaps time to go back there soon?

TAG: Wanderlust & A Place I’d Like to Visit

In keeping with the 30 Day Live For Tomorrow Challenge and the Wanderlust tag: here are my voyages across the seas!

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I have taken a keen interest in Tibetan culture after watching Chinese Idol so Tibet is pretty straightforward. Korea – even more straightforward. Greece because who doesn’t like posh white houses on cliffs that hang over beautiful blue seas? And Bora Bora – for the sunshine-sand-sea girl in me.

1. Your most treasured passport stamp?

I think my most treasured passport stamp would be the one to Cairns, and I had a blast there. I was actually young enough to have the energy to try every single thing, but old enough to remember all that I did. I mean, I went to the Great Barrier Reef and spent a day snorkelling, as well as took a hot air balloon and ate the most exquisite outback steak in my life ever. I cannot forget that.

2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?

I could probably do half of the numbers, but I think I have better things to remember!
3. Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or automobiles?

I think any mode works. I don’t mind, in fact, I love long-haul flights, road trips. I haven’t properly taken a train before but I can’t imagine it’ll be bad. By the way, am I the only one around who loves airplane food? I love how compartmentalized everything is. I’ve always loved compartmentalized food! Or it could be just me being strange.

4. Top 3 travel items?

I would feel very handicapped overseas without my phone. I will not travel without my trusty chapstick/lip balm. And some identification because let’s be honest, if I ever run out of cash, I could always sing on the streets and be a busker, right? Yep, people would actually pay me to shut up.
5. Hostel or hotel?

Oddly enough I have always felt terribly afraid of staying in hostel or hotels. Too many stories of such haunted places and so many rituals to observe, such as knock the door, occupy the whole bed, don’t talk trash, etc. I’m probably being superstitious but I suppose it might be better to err on the side of caution. If I honestly had to choose, not the hostel. The last time I stayed in a hostel in Lake District I had to lug my almost 20kg suitcase up the stairs. Not enjoyable at all!
6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I am.. a repeat visitor. I always miss the places I have visited and have rarely or never felt an inclination to go explore some godforsaken corner of the globe before. I am just not the adventurous type. Oh, and I hate anything and everything plant-related, so that means no tropical rainforest trekking for me, no matter how people try to make it sound exotic.
7. Do you read up on your destination (culture,history,safety) or do you wing it?

The places I’ve visited have been pretty familiar. I mean, Singapore is a global cosmopolitan city so we pretty much have experienced a large number of world cultures. I have read up extensively on a few countries I’d like to visit: Tibet, Alaska and Nordic countries!
8. Favorite travel website?

None. I usually find out about travel experiences from my favourite youtubers’ vlogs or @pameloho on twitter, who’s my friend 🙂
9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city & why.

Stratford-upon-Avon. Other than it being the birthplace of the Bard, which makes it fantastic for literary geeks, it is also a really quaint town. I remember enjoying a good meal of English fish and chips and buying Beatrix Potter books for 2 pounds each. What a steal! They also have cobble-stone paths, which I absolutely adore.
10, You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?

I’m hightailing it to Tibet! It’s a dimension of its own entirely, the rooftop of the world. I have been so fascinated with the culture there and I would really like to visit! Second choice would be Greece, simply because it is breathtakingly beautiful (from the pictures I’ve seen of it). It seems that the city is mostly white and surrounded by blue seas and it’s like a dream come true for me.