Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Korea 2003

These travel photos are re-posted in blog due to this.

It was our honeymoon trip…. technically. We traveled after our marriage registration but before our reception in Dec 2003, simply because it was a better time to travel then.

We booked our trip during the first evening of the Matta Fair that year. Being a newly wed couple planning on their honeymoon trip, we were not that of a picky customer. Actually we are not a real picky customer all along la :p.

We did not survey much nor compare prices with other travel agency. Like we said, we were not picky. We placed deposit for a hot-spring package only to be told some two weeks later that, that particular trip was all bought up by a company for their employees’ annual trip. We were given the option of a full refund or add in some additional RM168 per pax for another non-hot-spring Korea package. We opted for the later.

It was not a very worthwhile package. We had to pay extra to travel down to Kuala Lumpur as there was no direct trip from Penang that year. And we were the only Penang travelers.
The package that we bought also excluded any tips for the tour guides. The so-called tips were more like admin fees as they were compulsory and fixed at ~RM35 per day to be paid to our Travel Guide. :O

So, the package alone ended up costing us close to RM3K per pax for a 6 days trip to Korea. And that was in year 2003.
Double : O

Anyway, that was not the most memorable part of our trip.
For me, it was the imaginary stares from my fellow travel-mates when I made a blunder when we arrived at Incheon Airport.

I took the wrong luggage from baggage belt, happily lugged it to our coach but luckily realized it in nick of time before we left the airport.
Else, it would be a different story altogether ....
on how to retrieve my luggage ....
or how would I survive the cold weather there without my clothes ...
or would I be wearing the poor gal’s clothes which I had accidentally took :p.

Though there were little grunts from my travel-mates or from what I remember, I still felt uncomfortable because the Korean travel guide spent quite a bit of time and effort and used his connections to get back my luggage. On the other hand, the owner of the luggage that I mistakenly took, already left the airport after failing to locate her luggage. She was from another travel group. Poor gal, I dreaded to think how she survived without her clothes.

The rest of the trip was smooth and enjoyable enough.

We remembered we were struggling with the weather and wore many layers underneath our warm jacket. It was mid-autumn then but still too cold for us. The temperature for some of the days was below 10C.

The first day we reached Korea.
We went to some cave and a ChungJu lake.

The second day, we think we went to a theme park. The Everland owned by Korea giant, Samsung. The tour guide was beaming with pride when he was introducing this place.

We couldn’t remember the itinerary exactly but for the rest of the third, fourth and fifth day, we went to Mount Sorak, the island where they filmed the popular Korean drama, Winter Sonata, the World Cup Stadium, some museum and some small attractions.

In the cable car to the mountain

At the peak of the mountain.
We hiked a short distance

Familiar pose eh?

Some official buildings at the background

World Cup Stadium

Oh ya, some of the photos were purchased from the photographer that traveled together with us. He was a Korean undergraduate that was doing some partime photography work.
They did not tell us the arrangement before hand; this guy snapped pictures of us, printed them all and organized them properly in separate envelopes. We only need to pay if we want the photos and we could choose which we do not want though the guy had already printed them out.

Well, again being the un-picky customer, we bought ‘em all. This guy had offered us his best service; he actually served us all when we had our meal, waited for us patiently when all the 35-odd of us convened and was very courteous all the time.
Errr... did we meniotned that he was very cute too? ;p

So we did not mind to tip him then.
A generous one we would say. The photos were priced at 5000 won a piece. And this guy snapped more than a dozen of us. The most among our travel-mates perhaps knowing that we were on our honeymoon :p

Overall, we were happy with the trip.

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