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Korea Bokanyeong -> Shinchon Shopping Street&Ehwa Woman's university-> Hello Kitty Cafe -> Local Produce Convenience Store -> Incheon International Airport -> Spore Changi Airport

Our last day in Korea and in Seoul! :( 8 days just passed by in the blink of an eye.
Sheraton room card
hotel corridor
We checked out at around 7.40am and We were supposed to gather at 8am at the lobby. We checked out earlier as we needa pass our tips of (USD 56*4 pax) to Colin at the lobby while we passed him our room cards. If you happen to follow ASA tours or any other tours, be sure to prepare exact of the tips amount if you dont intend to give extra tips. As the tour guide will not be giving change to anyone. 

Bye Sheraton D Cube City hotel!
Hotel lobby at level 41!
Last few glimpse of the early morning in Seoul!

View from lobby
We realised during our days in Seoul, we seem to observe fog in the early morning.

Our last breakfast in Seoul is congee feast! Due to the morning crowd jam since we are in the town area, we reached around 30 minutes later. the bus ride should take only around 10 minutes.

Congee feast!
Once again they accept refill and most if not all of us in my tour group ask for more of the abalone congee. The abalone congee is extremely tasty!

So we were served kimchi congee ( orange colour), pumpkin congee (yellow colour), seaweed congee ( green colour) and abalone congee ( wheat colour). We were also served with soya bean drink (white colour) and given 'you tiao' as accompaniment. But sadly the 'you tiao' is non refillable. The soya bean drink is unsweetHowever if you love pumpkin, you will love the extremely rich taste of the pumpkin. Koreans seem too love pumpkin congee/broth. We saw this dish at Jeju and in Seoul during our breakfasts on the other days. 

We love our breakfast of congee! :)

That morning, just beside our breakfast place there's a provision shop and Colin went to buy peaches for us!

Pardon the bad quality of the image!
He bought a big box of peaches and distributed to us, 1 per pax. He said that theres only 2 boxes left and the other box is not very appealing. We tried it on the flight back to Singapore and we really enjoy the peaches! So juicy and sweet. One regret is not being able to buy a box of peaches back as we didn't come across any stores/shops selling peaches already.

After breakfast, we head to Korea Bokanyeong for some "brainwashing" time again. 

It's a tablet form pill ( but they say theres no western medicine content ), and by consuming it, it can help to maintain a healthier liver. The sales personnel, a malaysian, was illustrating how Singapore food are all oily, deep fried and Singapore working adults tend to love to drink coffee ( 3 in 1). All these contain bad fatty chemicals that cannot be digested easily by our liver and over prolonged period, it will damage our liver.  So by adding the tablet into our drink or taking it after you consume the food, it can help you divide the bad fats. He did an experiment using coke, and we do see that the fats got divided and can be absorbed by the body easily.

Once again they did some hard selling despite us saying multiple times that we are non smokers and do not have the habit of drinking coffee. We believe in the effects however the thought of consuming tablets give us the impression that we are sick and on medication. In addition the price is not cheap. 4 bottles of tablets - last for half a year, cost around USD 400++, which is around SGD$500++. 

In the end, we did not purchase anything and we took the opportunity to leave when we see another tour group coming. Only one person in my tour group bought the bokanyeong.

Since we have a flight to catch, our itinerary for the morning is pretty pack. We left Korea bokanyeong after  around 20 minutes. Next up is shopping at Ehwa university street! Warning, we love this street! Cheap affordable clothes and material is of tip top quality, most importantly, they carry the tag of - Made in Korea!

Sinchon Subway station
Ehwa University street is located near Sinchon Subway station. Surprisingly we did not see a lot of people exiting or entering the gantry and it was around 10am. 

ticketing machine
Ehwa University shopping street! A shopper's paradise.

According to Colin,  they start operating from 10.30am. When we reached, some of the stores were still setting up.

They are streets lined up with boutique shops. This make shopping easier as compared to the messy Dongdaemun. We thought that the boutique shops are pretty expensive, but when we went in, we see shirts/dress going at KRW5000 (SGD$5.80) or KRW 10,000 (SGD$ 11.50). And its not on offer. We even entered this shop selling all sorts of bags( ladies handbag/clutch/backpack), at KRW10,000 only. We aren't too sure about the country of manufacture but the quality is good!

One major regret is that we didn't have enough time to shop the whole university street. We practically entered every boutique shops we see and those at the back of the street we didn't manage to shop due to time constraint. we were given only around 1.5 hours to shop. Most of the sales person seem to understand basic english, when we asked them for new piece they sort of understand!

So since we are near Ehwa University, we decided to take a tour around the campus. We love the lush greenery in the campus!

Ehwa Women university campus
Ewha womans university was Korea’s first educational institute for women and the history of the school dates back to 1886. We saw a mixture of visitors and university students going back to campus.

Our next stop is food @ Hello Kitty Cafe! As included in our package, we will be given tea/coffee and biscuits. Colin took our beverage orders on the bus previously. Colin told us that we have to walk over to the cafe, as its only a 15 minutes walk.

Hello Kitty Cafe

They have a couple of branch: Hongik University store, Shinchon station ( the Hello Kitty cafe that we went to) and at Incheon International airport.

entrance of the cafe
Hello Kitty fans, be sure to visit! 

Hello Kitty cafe interior
Even the stairs have Hello kitty!

Signs/notice are all in Korean and they have hello kitty characters in it!

It's basically a two storey cafe, with level 2 just seats for customers and level 1 selling food and beverages and a small corner for some seats.
Level 1 - Huge hello kitty at the ordering counter
Basic Hello Kitty menu
souvenirs and cafe counter
Do you bear to sink your teeth into the cute hello kitty cakes?

We were seated at level 2 since its the only place where theres sufficient seats for all 19 of us.
Even the seat mat is Hello Kitty themed!

our beverages and cookies !
We ordered 2 orange juice and 2 iced coffee latte. The orange juice tasted like syrup while for coffee lovers, I am sure, you wouldn't like the coffee latte served here. The coffee essence is very mild. Cookies wise, it  is a little too hard. I would like to declare that we are not Hello Kitty fans, neutral towards the Sanrio characters. We feel that it is not too worth it to hike 15 minutes to this cafe, and stay for just 15 minutes only. To our dismay, the Hello Kitty cafe is also quite small. We expected it to be bigger as seen in the photos prior to our trip. As we are quite behind schedule and still have a souvenir shop to go before we head to Incheon International airport by 2pm. Our flight is due for departure at 4pm.

On a side note, for Hello Kitty fans out there, the cafe operates from 11am-11pm.

operating hours of Hello Kitty Cafe
posters of artiste outside some shops near Hello Kitty cafe
This time round our bus fetch us from the main road. We reached the souvenir shop  (our last itinerary) at around 11.45am.

Souvenir shop
This shop is pretty near Incheon International Airport. We were told to get any food stuffs that we want to buy back Singapore, over here. They will have personnels helping us pack the food stuff in carton box for easy check in.

Once we reach the store, we saw a counter advertising seaweed. Previously, we were told by Colin that if we want to buy seaweed with 100% seaweed content - in another words (better quality ones), we can get it here. We actually thought so and bought 6 packets. But to our dismay, when we went back to Singapore, we realised that there's only 52% content. Come to think of it, it's true, how can seaweed have 100% seaweed content when there's still other ingredients like salt. However we thought we might be able to get 90+% seaweed content given the price. It is priced at KRW 10,000 (SGD$ 11.40) per packet. FYI we checked with Singapore's korean supermarket (West mall branch) and they were selling similar Korean seaweed with 52% seaweed content at around SGD$9.70 only!

Earlier on at the provision shop beside our breakfast place, we saw seaweed selling at KRW 4900 (SGD $5.60) which is around half priced off. They have the same seaweed content.

Provision store beside our breakfast place
These are our loots from the Souvenir store!

our loots from the souvenir store
Okay so here's an explanation of the prices:
  1. Big packet of seaweed ( with 5 individual packets inside ) * 6 qty - They have a variety of flavour and we took 2 packets of olive, 1 packets of original and 2 packets of bamboo salt. Each individual packet contains around 8 pieces of seaweed. + One big packet of seaweed with around 30 small packets of seaweed inside KRW 10,000 (SGD$11.50)/ big packet
  2. Crown layer wafer biscuit KRW 5300 (SGD $6.10)
  3. Nong Shim Instant Noodles (with 5 individual packets inside) KRW 3900 (SGD $4.50)
  4. Market O Choco Real Cracker KRW3000 (SGD $3.45)
  5. one carton of 6 banana milk KRW 9000 (SGD $10.35)
After we paid for our purchases, we just head to another room where there will be a person doing the packing into a carton box and sealing it up. No extra cost!

carton box with goodies!
One must purchase Nong Shim noodles in Korea! You may see that the price is somewhat similar to Singapore's retail price but the country of manufactured is different! Take a walk in local supermarket and you will realise Singaapore's Nong Shim noodles is made in China while those bought in Korea is authentically made in Korea! Korea's taste is better too!

We have yet to try to market O choco real cracker but it seem quite popular in Korea. We have been seeing its advertisment everywhere n Korea - may it be Seoul or Jeju.

As for the carton of banana milk, we feel a bit heart pain spending KRW 9000 for it. We remembered purchasing banana milk contained in vitagen type bottles and it cost only around KRW 1200-1300. It seems fresher too as compared to this carton which contains of milk in packets. No doubt there should be a higher level of preservatives. And since its KRW 9000, meaning KRW 1500 / packet! I wouldn't mind paying higher for 'vitagen' bottled banana milk but for banana milk in packets, may have to consider? We oversee the price when we were at the souvenir store :(

We spent around 1 hour there and headed to Incheon International Airport thereafter to catch our flight! We reached Incheon at around 2pm. 

Incheon International Airport
Incheon airport departure timing
Those that have ordered kimchi during our Hanbok and kimchi making experience received their kimchi in white styrofoam boxes. We were told by the teacher who taught us to make kimchi, that once we reach home we have to open the kimchi and place them inside tupperware, and put in the fridge. Instead of just putting the whole packet in the fridge. This is because kimchi is a fermented food and it is still undergoing the process of fermentation, by not taking it out from its sealed packaging, it will keep on producing fermented gases and eventually explode, within your fridge!

data roaming counter
You can buy olleh data prepaid cards at the data roaming counter which is situated just beside the departure chart.

Colin helped us with all the necessary check ins and issued us our boarding pass and we bade farewell to him!

That's colin, our korean tour Guide for 7 days (Day 2-8)! Grateful for him bringing us around and has always been very helpful in answering our questions regarding Korea. 

Colin name card
He gave us his name card, in case we need to contact him in the future about Korea. He do come Singapore during Natas fair to advertise Korea to visitors. He is married to his wife who was a tour guide in the same company and has a super cute son that he likes to show off to us!

We entered the departure gantry at around 3pm. 

Airline crew on the travellator
playground in airport
We did last minute shopping in the airport duty free store and bought a box of crown waffles biscuit. It has a fixed retail price of KRW 2500 ( SGD$ 2.90). It pretty good and I recommend people to buy! Typically 'Crown' waffles biscuit tasted not bad!

Crown waffles at KRW 2500

We bought chocolate pie and Pepero at Lotte Duty free store. Yup, both are Lotte branded products. Prices at Incheon Departure hall - duty free shops are all priced in USD. The pepero cost USD 3(SGD$ 3.90) while the chocolate pie comes in a bundle pack of 2 boxes at USD 7 (SGD$9.00)

Lotte duty free receipt
We did not have to wait long and the boarding gate was opened at around 3.45pm.

Bye Seoul ! :(
There's no delay in the flight this time round and we departed on time. This time round food on board are: chicken pasta and bibimbap. Apparently most of the people onboard this flight are non Koreans. There is also this group of Singaporeans with Chan Brothers seated right behind us. While they were distributing the food, most of the people chose chicken pasta. I guess they underestimated the number of chicken pasta. Most of us were quite sick of Korean food already :(

Chicken Pasta
In the end, 2 of my family members got chicken pasta and 2 got bibimbap. They do not even have any more vegetarian choices left. The chicken pasta tasted heavenly good! It feels good to taste something that is non-pork!

Bibimbap - without the prawns and chicken pasta 
They included Sesame oil and Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). As the rice wasn't hot enough, it does not taste as nice as the bibimbap we had the other time in Korea. However the soup given together with Bibimbap tasted good!

Sesame oil and gochujang
A while later, we were served ice cream ~ 

It was so freezing cold and the ice cream is totally frozen like a rock!
At around 9pm we received a sandwich. It consist of egg  and lettuce, tasted good too! But when we left the plane later on, we saw that a lot of people left behind this sandwich. I guess its quite a wierd timing to eat since most people were sleeping then.

We safely touched down at Changi international Airport at Singapore time around 9.30pm and that concluded our 8 days Korea trip with ASA tours. As expected, we find the pace of the whole tour quite rush and we are unable to customise it to our liking. It is also more of a planned shopping trip - and our stay at Seoul is quite shop. We didnt even get to visit Myeongdong, Namsan tower.. In addition, all of our hotels are 4/5 stars. Honestly we do not see the need to stay at such a good hotel since we only stay at the hotel for a few hours to sleep before we start the day again. In addition, the meals in Korea that we had are not typical of what Koreans eat. In another words, Koreans tend to eat lighter than what we eat - wide spread of dishes for every meal. However still, if you are hoping to travel around Korea, and experience different activities, join tour as transportation is settled!


Restaurant grading in Korea
We happened to see that Korea's has a different set of restaurant rating as compared to Singapore. Opposite the Hello Kitty cafe which we went earlier, we saw a vietnamese cafe with the sign saying that it is a "good restaurant" with "AA" grade. We aren't too sure whether AA is the best or worse but its definitely a little different from Singapore's food stores rating of A,B,C!


Anonymous said...

hihi, thanks for the wonderful and detailed information, i will be travelling to Busan, Jeju and seoul on 8 dec with ASA tour too. (9 Days 7 nights)
May i know roughly how much you spent with a family of 4 for the whole trip?

All-4-Travel said...

Hi! Thank you for visiting our travel blog too! ^^ Most of the meals expenses are covered under the tour package, For transport it is also fully covered in the trip cost. You can go to to see our package and tipping cost :) As for the rest of the expenses its mainly personal expenses like shopping for cosmetics, ginseng and souvenirs. Prices of some of the product have also been indicated in our blog, mainly Day 7 and 8 :)

小敏 said...

hello, I am doing a search on Korea package tour where I found your blog. Thanks for sharing such detailed trip with ASA. So coincident I have signed for the similar 8 days tour with ASA this end march and your sharing really helps for some advance preparation and thots. Not sure if my tour guide is Colin too?! Hope the Korea tour guide is good!

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