Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seoul - Summary Of Day 10

One section of Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon.

  • The plan for today is to go to Suwon to visit the famous fortress in that city, which is located in the outskirts of Seoul. Since we slept late the previous night, all of us woke up quite late and only went out just before noon. Wei Guang wanted to join me initially but due to his school workloads, he couldn't make it and Lionel joined Heng Chiang and me. Had lunch at the nearby bento shop where all three of us had the same thing - chicken mayonnaise rice.
  • Took the 80-minute train ride from Anam station all the way to Suwon station with a couple of transfer halfway. This is when I went through some cultural shock during the train ride. Well, maybe the term "cultural shock" is kinda exaggerating, nevertheless it was something I have never come across in Japan. At least two guys came in pulling their luggage and was promoting some stuff to the commuters; one of them was some facial cream.
  • However, the one which I find it most interesting was when one guy in a shabby and messy condition. Judging from his untidiness, I bet he haven't bathed for like days already, came in and had a luggage behind him. There were so many dirty plastic bags stuck in between his luggage, still with some leftover food. As he pulled his bag, those plastic bags dropped onto the floor. I could hardly breath when he walked pass me and he continued walking towards the space in between the coaches to smoke. That is like so dangerous thing to do.
  • One lady who was sitting down said something to Heng Chiang and Lionel and they told me that that apparently, that lady was kinda like advising us not to follow that guy's example. Another guy who was selling his stuff then shouted so loudly as if he was trying to start a quarrel at that shabby guy and I kinda figured out that he was chasing him out of the train as soon as possible. That prompted some weird stares from the other commuters in the train. Anyway, that dirty guy got off from the train at the next station and the station master dealt with him immediately, I guess. That incident was indeed something new to me.
  • While we continued our journey, Heng Chiang came out with an idea to shot a video and later make it something like a documentary during our trip at Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon and we sort of planned what we would do at the locations while we were still in the train.
  • We finally reached the city after a long train ride and the city looked nowhere like what we had thought initially. It was much more developed beyond our expectations as there were quite a number of high-raised buildings in the city. Went to the tourist information counter to get some direction to the fortress before boarding the bus there. The road was super jammed, maybe because it was a weekend and people were flocking there to visit the place which was designated as one of the World Heritage site more than a decade ago.
  • We began our shooting as soon as we reached the first gate and it took quite a while before we get everything done nicely. Heng Chiang was struggling in front of the camera initially but he finally got everything right after four or five takes.
  • The next location was the palace and since it looked pretty much like any other palaces in Seoul, we decided to give it a skip and continued walking along the fortress. There is a train ride which goes around the main spots of the fortress but too bad the tickets were snapped up so fast the we got to wait for almost two more hours before we got to ride on them; so again, we decided to explore the place by walking. Along the way, bought a packet of snack to fill our stomach while we walked though those hilly area, which was quite tiring actually.
  • There came one spot where a lady stopped us and asked for our tickets. It was only that time that we realised all the places we walked through earlier required an entrance ticket but we didn't know about it. So, we just told her that we would get a ticket down there but as soon as we were at the ticket counter, we walked to somewhere else when she wasn't looking at us. But come to think of it, the fortress is like it cut through the middle of the city and there isn't really any gate around it, so how are they supposed to distinguish who are visitng the fortress and who aren't? It is something like collecting entrance fees to people who are visiting the A'Famosa Fort in Malacca.
  • Walked a little bit more around the fortress and we decided to call it a day. Took the long train ride back and we were so exhausted that we slept for almost the whole journey. Lionel left us to attend his gathering and I had dinner with Heng Chiang at some Chinese restaurant. There were a group of Korean University students having some gatherings there and the place was just havoc. We ordered jajangmyeon, a Korean dish derived from the Chinese dish. It consists of wheat noodle topped with a thick sauce made of salty black soybean paste, diced meat and vegetables.
  • Came back and Skype with baby for the last time maybe from Seoul as I will be flying back to Japan tomorrow evening. No plan in particular for tomorrow; maybe I will just go out and grab some Korean food to be brought back and have a lunch together with the rest before heading to the airport. Finally the ten days I had in Seoul will be ending and it has been a great vacation - my first solo vacation in a country which I don't speak their language. Might join Heng Chiang to edit the documentary we did today after this and off to bed later afterwards.


Kae Vin said...

so fast. haha 10 days just passed

=chuan guan= said...

y u everyday skype 1...

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
yea, time flies when we're having a great time =\

calvin said...

@ =chuan guan=:
why not? xD

D-Tourist said...

wow... can't believe i lasted thru all 10 days.. ahahhaha!! real heavy reading..:)

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
wow! i am really impressed that you had gone through my jottings during my time in south korea. hope you had enjoyed reading them, although i must say they are quite long ones xD

until today, i have not blogged on that trip yet, and it is already one-and-a-half years since i went there. nevertheless, i believe the time will come, for me to sit down and blog on that because there were thousands of shots i took during my time in south korea =D

D-Tourist said...

wah... tat one not consider blog ar... ? dun scare me with the prospect of having to read a novel leh :P hahahahha... it's been some years since i had such heavy duty reading :)

with ur exams behind ur back.. i guess its time to do some partying ya ;)

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
haha, my friends used to say that as well. but once you know me, you will realise that i am kinda long-winded person lol!

yes, i am just lazing around for a few days, before the real party starts next week! =D