Thursday, January 10, 2019

Aside from Seoul, Here Are The 9 Things You Must Do When You’re in Korea

Happy New Year, 2019!

It's a brand new year and a brand new year often give us a sense of hope, renewed vision and new goals to achieve.

For me, one thing that I would love to do more in year 2019 is to explore and see the world more. I didn't get to do a lot of that the last year because of many reasons.. and indeed, 2018 was one of the most painful year for me (I will leave that to my next blogpost), but I want to encourage you - that 2019 will be a year of learning and re-learning about yourself and the world around you.

So today let's talk about Korea!
I've been to Korea, Seoul particularly many many times often for work (VERY BLESSED), but this trip to Korea has been different as we were exploring many different provinces out of Seoul.

I listed some of my personal favourite and I strongly think if you're planning to head to Korea, please please include these in your itinerary!

1. Stay in a Hanok Village Hotel Suite

Hanok (Traditional Korean House) are popular among both overseas tourists and Korean people. Located at the heart of Songdo, Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Hotel is a hidden gem in Seoul Incheon. The hotel is a delightful traditional style hank building and built as an ancient palace. There are only 30 guest rooms and suites available which equipped with WiFi service, free mini bar items, a Korean restaurant, 2 conference rooms, and a courtyard. These proudly made the hotel to be the country’s finest hanok hotel.

Look at the backyard! I wished I had more time to chill here! 

the living room, huge!

one of my favs, the traditional tea room 


The traditional wooden bath tub which claims to have some natural good stuff and if you soaked in it it will improve your blood circulation!

The experience of the Korean royal court palace-styled hanok was quite unique and great.
The granite surfaced private courtyard is a surprise to counting stars at night time and the wooden roof beams added to the feeling of authenticity.
The bed is big, soft and cosy.
The huge wooden bathtub had a warm feeling to recover a whole-day fatigue.
The immediate service attention and attention to details by the staffs.

If you are an avid fan of Korean drama, K2 and Goblin filmed in this hotel too! 

2. Enjoy a K-Live Hologram theatre! 

I absolutely enjoyed my visit to K-Live! Whilst in real concerts all you do is sit and watch holograms of big-name acts like PSY and BIGBANG performing onstage. The experience was very realistic, fun and interactive as you see 3-D images of Korea’s stars singing and dancing on stage to high-energy light effects. Also, when you first enter, a photo of your face can be taken in a booth and it will be superimposed on Korean stars’ bodies - great for a laugh. 

3. Aqua Planet in Yeosu

Aqua Planet is the second largest aquarium in Korea. It is a four-storey building located at the 63 square area in Yeosu. It features 3 main exhibitions on its 3rd floor. A 360-degree view tank, freshwater fish tanks, penguin, beluga and seal tanks are those main attractions of the aquarium. The aquarium also offers a lot more, for example, Aqua Fantasy Show, Piranha Ecology Presentation, Penguin Ecology Presentation, etc.
Not to mention, the scene of the fantasy romance drama “The Legend of the Blue Sea” cast by top hallyu stars Lee Min-ho and  Jeon Ji-hyeon is filmed in it!

Look at this picture perfect moment with Mr. Stingray :P 

4. Trick Eye Museum

Trick Eye Museum offers a new concept of culture and entertainment space, where combines art with hi-end technology - so-called AR (Augmented Reality) effect and 2D/3D illusions. Instead of merely viewing paintings (as in a typical art gallery), visitors can interact with the paintings and installations and create their own original stories. Paintings on museum ceilings, floors and walls come alive!

5. Bibimbap making

What is the first thing that will pop into your head when thinking about Korean food? Mine will definitely bibimbap! It is arguably one of the best-known Korean dished worldwide. I am more than delighted to have the opportunity to involve in Jeonju bibimbap making during the Korea trip. Just in case you guys do not know about this, the city of Jeonju is known for having the best bibimbap in Korea! Aesthetically balance in colour, texture and taste and colour is especially important when selecting ingredients to create a bowl of bibimbap.  Each ingredient has to be cut uniformly and be arranged in relation to what each colour symbolises.  

6. Hanbok Experience at Jeonju Hanok Village

Hanbok experience was definitely one of the most interesting things throughout the Korea trip.

Discovered South Korea’s culture in style! Jeonju Hanok Village provides the whole Korean cultural experience of wearing traditional Hanbok. Wearing a national costume seems such a lovely tradition when visiting important historic sites. Visitor can choose either a basic hanbok, or a hanbok with a theme. See…….I chose my favorite red! After choosing your hanbok, you can enjoy a complimentary hair styling. Once you’re dressed to perfection, take pictures at Jeonju Hanok Village and the city’s palaces. 

7. Tea experience at Myeongjae House

As you know, I am a coffee lover. But I don't mind a tea-session at an authentic 300 years old mansion, Myeongjae House. This old mansion offers comfort to us who lead a fast life in an unstable world. We can refresh both soul and body at one of these traditional mansions scattered across Korea.

Also, I learnt the steps to drink a cup tea as below:
1. Putting the tea in the pot and pouring the water
2. Pour the tea slowly into a cup
3. Holding a cup with two hands, observing the tea and tasting

8. Sipping Tea and having a Tea-Therapy foot bath! 

Relax and take a break! We were lead by the hosts to this healing wooden foot bath zone where our
feet enjoy relief from hours of walking the streets while spirit gets a lift from the many varieties of tea available.

9) Last but not least, you must pay a visit to the Mr. Sunshine set located in Non-san area if you are a huge K-Drama fans! 

The whole set was super beautiful, rustic and it really gives you the feeling as though you have entered into that era :) 

To me, Korea has always been known for it's beauty/skincare industry so this trip was really eye opening.. thank you to KTO once again for pampering us!

Till then, 

Friday, October 05, 2018

Six Months Into Marriage I Realized that...

 Hello everyone!

It's October 2018, Q4 :) 
I can’t believe October is the seventh month into my marriage.
Just want to quickly pen down my thoughts as a "newly-wed" :P

Honestly, one of the questions I received the most is, "How's marriage life?"
Yes, marriage life has been great - we get to wake up everyday lying next to each other and coming home to him has been the best feeling ever... BUT, there are indeed some underlying truth behind the big M word - Marriage.

If I can be completely honest, the first three months of my marriage isn't easy. It is more like a probation period of Lex and I because it is our first time living together. There are just so much to adjust to - one of it is our working time.

We both run our own businesses but we both work harder than anyone else hence both of us have to follow through our business working hours.

My working time is 9.30AM - 6.30PM while his is 11AM-8PM.
We both learned that compromising is the key so he had to sacrifice his beauty sleep and wakes up at 7AM daily when he can actually sleep in till 10AM easily?
While I can do dinner at 7PM but I will always wait till he is done so we can do dinner at 8.30PM.

This is just one of the many example of the compromises we have to do for each other, for our marriage.

I guess it is safe for us to say - Marriage has never been easy.
You have to constantly explore, communicate, compromise and never stop learning from one another.
And know that despite it all, this very person is the person you chose and you commit to love for the rest of your lives. :)

Of course, If I get to choose again, I will definitely pick Lex again and again.
He is indeed the biggest blesssing in my life. :')

Throughout these months, I have learned these few things and I just want to jot it down for my remembrance sake and perhaps share with you guys:

1. LOWER your EXPECTATIONS, do not enter marriage with unsaid expectations.

Always remember that you are entering into this marriage not because of what your partner can do for you but position it and look at what you can do for your partner. Having a giving attitude is the core of all relationships.
Yes, I know men should always hold bigger responsibilities in the household but always remember we women should never held them fully accountable on our emotions. Be responsible on our own female hormones and never just point fingers on them.
Always remember that both of you came from different families and backgrounds, different learnings and has went through different life experiences to shape the current you.

2. Always learn to COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY, don't just communicate without listening.

When I say communicate EFFECTIVELY, it does not mean that you just throw out whatever words that's in your head just wanting him to know exactly how you feel WITHOUT putting yourself in his shoes. Every single human in this world has their own sets of receptiveness when it comes to communicating.

Having effective communication with your partner simply means you have to ensure that the person is receptive toward the message you are trying to deliver. It might require more effort that you think. I always tell the people around me that if you can master the art of communication, you can easily conquer the world.
In the case of Lex and I, being an extrovert myself, I prefer saying things out and settle the problems on the spot; while Lex is more of a process-orientated person, he often needs his time and space to process his thoughts that obviously leads to a much delayed action - hence the friction between us but over the months, we have learned that we are both TWO individuals hence we cannot expect each other to read minds hence communicating HAS TO BE the NUMBER ONE effort in our marriage.

3. NEVER FORGET the "WHY" - like why did you both decided to get married in the first place?
Admit it, it is quite overwhelming sometimes when you are dealing with so much on your plate day in and out and you REALLY have to consciously remind each other WHY did you guys get married in the first place?

Marriage is a consistent commitment from two person. It is far more than just two of you enjoying each other’s existence and companionship, it is about merging the values that you both carry and form a new value and culture together in your family.

I admit, there are times where our opinions are different.
We just have to remind ourselves WHY this person? WHY committing to this marriage? WHY did you fell in love so much with this man in the first place?

Beyond just THINKING of the reason, FEEL IT with your heart.
Be reminded of how attractive THIS personality and character that your partner has which made you head over heels, isn't it?

Thinking of how you both started the bond will help you stay grounded. There are times when we get carried away by the current situations, just remember why did you marry the person in front of you when you first sealed the commitment. It works magic, every-single-time.

4. Understand that each of you have certain ROLES to play, it is NOT a solo game.
I see marriage as one of the most beautiful thing in life because I believe it’s an union where two single individuals becoming ONE.

This is more than just sleeping, traveling together or even signing a piece of paper.
Think about this for a moment, you are going be with him/her for the rest of your life, we are talking about 50 years, AT LEAST. When two person are attached with each other for such long time, there are going to be tons of things we need to tolerate and adjust to. Change needs to happen.

I won’t lie - there are times we had arguments and conflicts with each other because of expectations of what a husband or wife "Should Do".

For instance, he is a guy so I always have this expectation of him driving me around.
In return, I am a girl hence he often expects me to do the laundry or dishes.

So, the core is, we need to know both of us has different roles to play.
Let each other know and adjust accordingly :)
We have the same faith so we often just go back to the Bible and we believe that wife should always submit to the husband - of course when I say submit it does not mean fully laying down my life for him but it mean being fully supportive, respecting him and trusting him that he would lead us, both of us to make things happen for the family.

5. NEVER GIVE UP no matter how hard it may seem when argument happens.

Of course, NEVER GIVE UP.
I have to admit that there are times where disagreements happen it always seemed easier to walk away because during heated argument it just seemed like the whole world is crushing down BUT, you know it is just temporary so never say things you don't mean.
Here's a tip: When you are really in a terrible fight, try to put this image in your head - a picture of your partner lying down in a coffin in a funeral.
I know it's a horrible thing to think of but trust me, it works all the time.
Don't wait till it's too late to mend the fight because in the end, you know the love is true.


In short, I just want to encourage all of you who's reading -
those who are having hardships or arguments in your marriage, never stop trying to fall in love again and again, because marriage is beautiful and it's meant to be bonded forever.

Till then,