Friday, December 28, 2012

End-of-Year Winter Holiday in South Korea in December 2012 ~ Section 2

Welcome to the second segment of my end-of-year winter vacation in South Korea in December 2012. There will be a total of four focus topics that will be covered in this section of the trip report. They will mainly be spending the first day of premium shopping at the Yeoju Premium Outlets, Christmas shopping at the Shinsegae Department Store, a Christmas Eve day trip to Everland Resort and Christmas shopping at the Hyundai Department Store.

Part 1 ~ Yeoju Premium Outlets


Early the next morning, which was Saturday (22 December), we all woke up at around 8.30 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Having a nice, hot shower in the bathrooms, we changed into our attire to start the day on a bright note. According to my parents, we would be heading over to the Yeoju Premium Outlets to do some shopping for the day. Once we had prepared our necessar
y belongings for the day, we were officially ready to go by ten o' clock.


My parents had also arranged for a cab to take us to the Yeoju Premium Outlets at 10.30 a.m. the previous day. Finishing the necessary preparations for the shopping trip, my younger brother and I took the elevator to the second floor hotel buffet restaurant for a quick breakfast. During breakfast, I had a small plate of scrambled eggs with ham and potato puff. Though the buffet breakfast enough to sustain me for the trip, everything tasted rather bland and dry
.


The interior of the second floor restaurant of the Fraser Suites Insadong

Some of the many buffet dishes at the second floor restaurant of the Fraser Suites Insadong

A small plate of scrambled eggs with ham and potato puffs for myself

After both my younger brother and I finished breakfast at the second floor hotel restaurant, the clock was already showing 10.30 a.m.. Grabbing our belongings, my younger brother and I went down towards the main hotel lobby, where our parents were waiting for us. A black luxury cab was then waiting for us outside the entrance to the hotel. In the hotel lobby, we sorted out our day's necessities and bags before we boarded the luxury cab.


Outside the hotel entrance itself, the taxi driver, by the name of Mr. Bae, loaded our necessary belongings into the rear of his cab. Mr. Bae was kind, and offered to be around the Yeoju Premium Outlets to wait for us while we shopped around there. Finally, with everything loaded into the cab boot, we departed the Fraser Suites Insadong at 10.35 a.m. for a road journey duration of two hours over the Gyeongbu Expressway to the Yeoju Premium Outlets
.


Sorting out our winter coats in the hotel lobby

The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong in the early afternoon hours

The black luxurious cab which would soon take us to the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Along the Jongno-gu roadway by the Fraser Suites Insadong

Bypassing the Han Suites Serviced Residences, where we stayed at in December 2008

Some office buildings by the roadway towards Namsan Tunnel

Crossing the Banpo Bridge over the Han River towards the Gyeongbu Expressway

The Han River as seen from our luxury cab while crossing the Banpo Bridge

Entering the first phase of the busy Gyeongbu Expressway

The busy right-hand road traffic on the Gyeongbu Expressway

Passing by a not-so-snowy hill and field by the Gyeongbu Expressway

A red and white expressway bus ahead of us on the Gyeongbu Expressway

On the larger stretch of the Gyeongbu Expressway closer to Seoul

A hill with snow and leafless trees by the Gyeongbu Expressway

A snow forest by the Gyeongbu Expressway

Passing by a sparser settlement by the Gyeongbu Expressway

Passing by a power station by the Gyeongbu Expressway

On the Gyeongbu Expressway between Seoul and Suwon

Approaching the Maseong Tunnel on the Gyeongbu Expressway

About to enter the Maseong Tunnel

On the expressway towards the city of Yongin

On the Seoul-Yongin Expressway while approaching a tunnel

About to enter another road tunnel between the cities of Seoul and Yongin

Bypassing a rest area along the Seoul-Yongin Expressway

Travelling on the Gyeongbu Expressway as we near Yeoju

Little snow cover by a forest

On another expressway towards Yeoju

A not-so-snowy field as we approach Yeoju

Approaching the toll gate area towards Yeoju

Travelling down a windy road in Yeoju

A deserted roadway by some roadside shops in Yeoju

The logo of the Yeoju Premium Outlets

The rear exterior view of the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Bypassing the main entrance to the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Entering the car parking area of the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Finding an empty parking space at the Yeoju Premium Outlets car parking area

After a relatively long road early afternoon journey duration of approximately two hours from hustle and bustle of the Seoul Metropolitan Area across the Gyeongbu Expressway, we finally arrived at the car parking area at the Yeoju Premium Outlets at 12.35 p.m.. Paying up our cab fare and unloading all our necessary belongings from Mr. Bae's cab boot, we promptly walked over to the main entrance to the Yeoju Premium Outlets.


Mr. Bae went to have a drink around the outlet mall while waiting for us to do our shopping. Once we stepped into the Yeoju Premium Outlets, there were lots of retailer shops selling mainly branded bags, clothes and footwear, but none of them seemed to suit my tastes and preferences. The outlet mall also had some food outlets, including a large food court hall by one of the main entrances to the outlet mall.


One of the entrances to the Yeoju Premium Outlets

A promotional Mini Cooper Car in the Yeoju Premium Outlets. Note that there are two miniature red deer antlers mounted on its roof

A large Christmas Tree in one of the shopping areas in the Yeoju Premium Outlets

A lineup of shops in the Yeoju Premium Outlets

A massive Christmas Tree by the food court building in the Yeoju Premium Outlets

After we looked through the many shops at the Yeoju Premium Outlets, we were getting very hungry, having insufficient to eat for breakfast previously. We found a large food court by one of the entrances to the premium outlet. In the food court, there were lots of food stores selling wide varieties of food, such as local Korean and fast-food. 
Having a good look through the various food outlets, we finally decided what to eat for lunch.

We placed an order for some various Japanese dishes at a Japanese food outlet. There was nothing special about it, but it was filling, though. Upon finishing lunch in the food court, our parents decided to go and do their shopping around the outlet. Prior to leaving the food court for their shopping trip, they instructed my brother and I to look after our belongings. While our parents were out shopping, my younger brother went to purchase more snacks while I was left to my electronic gadgets to relieve my boredom.


The interior of the food court at the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Three fast-food outlets by the seating areas in the food court of the Yeoju Premium Outlets

An overall view of our lunch trays

A plate of cheese-coated fried pork cutlet served with steamed rice and salad for myself

The interior of the food court at the Yeoju Premium Outlets from our seating table

A bakery selling many pastries in the Yeoju Premium Outlets Food Court

A fast-food outlet, known as Johnny Rockets, selling various famous fast-food

After looking after all our necessity bags in the food court at the Yeoju Premium Outlets, my parents finally returned to the food court at around 3.40 p.m. from their shopping. Since there was nothing much left to do around the outlet itself, we decided to prepare to head back to the Fraser Suites Insadong in Mr. Bae's black luxury cab. Having our belongings prepared, we headed out to the Yeoju Premium Outlets car parking area towards Mr. Bae's cab.


As soon as Mr. Bae met up with us, he helped to load all of our purchases and belongings into the back of his cab. We then got onto the cab for the journey back to Seoul, with my seat at the front. By 4.10 p.m., we finally left the Yeoju Premium Outlets, and were on our way for a journey time of 1 hour 40 minutes back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong in the hustle and bustle of downtown Jongno-gu, Seoul
.


The main shopping arena at the Yeoju Premium Outlets

A small plantation of orange-coloured leaf trees near the entrance

More shops at the Yeoju Premium Outlets

The car parking lot at the Yeoju Premium Outlets

The exterior of the Yeoju Premium Outlets from the parking lot

Mr. Bae's black luxury cab parked at the car parking lot of the Yeoju Premium Outlets

The road that leads to the little town of Yeoju from the Yeoju Premium Outlets

The Seoul-Wonju Highway as we head down from the Yeoju Premium Outlets

Several shophouses in Yeoju

Approaching a road junction in the little town of Yeoju

On the Seoul-Wonju Highway in the direction towards Seoul after entering the highway

Bypassing the shophouses in Yeoju on the Seoul-Wonju Highway

Bypassing a small and quiet settlement in Yeoju

About to cross under another road bridge on the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

The sun beginning to set over the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Bypassing a field near the small town of Yeoju on the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

The Seoul-Wonju Expressway in the direction towards Incheon, Yongin and Seoul

The Seoul-Wonju Expressway in the direction towards Yongin and Seoul

A snow forest near the little town of Yeoju

Two tunnels on the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Approaching a tunnel on the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Travelling inside a tunnel on the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

A snow forest located beside the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Travelling along the Seoul-Wonju Expressway with the city of Yongin a couple of kilometres just ahead of us

The sunset closing in over the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Approaching the Maseong Tunnel towards Seoul

Travelling within the Maseong Tunnel towards Seoul

Turning towards the Gyeongbu Expressway towards downtown Seoul

Travelling on the Gyeongbu Expressway towards a toll gate towards Seoul

An overhead sign on the Gyeongbu Expressway indicating that a toll gate is ahead

Approaching the toll gate towards Seoul

The Gyeongbu Expressway beginning to get crowded with vehicles during the early evening rush hour

The Gyeongbu Expressway during the early evening rush hour

Approaching the Banpo Bridge over the Han River towards downtown Seoul

Crossing the Han River at dusk

Crossing the Banpo Bridge over the Han River towards downtown Seoul

Climbing up a road bridge towards the Namsan Tunnel towards downtown Seoul

Approaching the Namsan Tunnel

Dusk falling over a quiet settlement near downtown Seoul

Bypassing the Han Suites Serviced Residences, where we previously stayed at in December 2008

About to cross a downtown Seoul traffic junction near Namsan Park

About to make a U-turn at Nakwon-dong near our hotel

Finally approaching the Fraser Suites Insadong

The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong in the evening

After a journey time of 1 hour 40 minutes from the Yeoju Premium Outlets, we finally arrived back at the Fraser Suites Insadong in the bustling city of Seoul at 6.50 p.m.. We paid our fare and thanked Mr. Bae for his services, and promised to contact him should we ever be in need for his services. With that, we went into the hotel lobby and took the elevator back up to our hotel suite Room No. 1001 located on the tenth level. Returning to our hotel room suite just before seven o' clock, we had a well-earned rest after quite a busy day of shopping at the Yeoju Premium Outlets.

At around 7.45 p.m., we were beginning to feel hungry. As we had not bought any groceries at the Yeoju Premium Outlets, we decided to order in-room dining for dinner. Knowing that the in-room dining service would end at 8.30 p.m., we ordered some meat and fried dishes for dinner. They were then brought up to us by 8.15 p.m.. The meal delivery staff then told us that we could simply leave our meal trays outside our doorstep, so that they could come and collect it the next morning. The in-room dining was satisfying enough for my liking.


The room where my brother and I slept

The living room in our hotel suite at night

My grilled rib eye steak with salad, potato, yam rice and mushroom sauce

My brother's grilled rib eye steak with salad, potato, yam rice and mushroom sauce

A side order of french fries and onion rings

A side order of buffalo wings

An overall of our dinner courses

After a hearty in-room dinner, we put our meal trays just outside our doorstep, as shown to us by the in-room dining delivery service. We then had a nice, long shower before settling in for the remainder of the night. 
For the rest of the night, I simply surfed on my laptop before we were all in bed by around two o' clock later that night. 
To summarise, I can't say that the Yeoju Premium Outlets has changed much; in this way, nothing special.

The Gotemba Premium Outlets in Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan may seem better in my opinion when I went there in May and June 2010. I am confident that it will still be that way when I go there again somewhere in June 2013 for my younger brother's 13th birthday, and a day-out to Hakone with my old Japanese tutor, Miss Yuko Yasuda. I have also read and heard of some other outlets in Japan, like the Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets, though hopefully, I can pay a visit there one day.

Part 2 ~ Shopping at the Shinsegae Department Store in Downtown Seoul


The next day, which was a Sunday (23 December), I woke up relatively late at around 10.30 a.m. after having a good night's sleep. As always, I had a nice, hot shower and changed into my day's attire to commence the day. 
Since my parents and younger brother were still asleep, I decided to do my own personal stuff on my laptop quietly first. 
By the time the clock struck slightly past noon, all of us were finally awake. After having our showers to commence the day, we pondered on where to go to for the day.

According to my parents, we would be shopping in the Shinsegae Department Store located near the Myeongdong shopping district. As we would be doing our grocery shopping at Shinsegae Department Store, we would also be having lunch there as we had no food in the kitchen. With that, we took the elevator to the main lobby at 1.10 p.m.. At the hotel reception, we managed to arrange for a cab to transport to Shinsegae Department Store.

Soon enough, at around 1.15 p.m., a black taxi arrived outside the entrance to the Fraser Suites Insadong. We then told the taxi driver on where we wanted to go shopping at the Shinsegae Department Store near Myeongdong. With that, we left the hotel at 1.20 p.m. for a short taxi ride of no more than 10 minutes towards the Shinsegae Department Store in the Myeongdong Shopping District of downtown Jung-gu, Seoul
.


The view of my bedroom at midday

The view of downtown Seoul in Jongno-gu on a bright winter's afternoon from my room

The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong in the mid-afternoon hours

Several plants by the entrance to the basement car parking area of the Fraser Suites Insadong

The black taxi that would soon take us to the Shinsegae Department Store near Myeongdong

Driving along the streets of Jongno-gu, Seoul

Along the streets near Myeongdong with Shinsegae Department Store just up ahead

After a short and bright early afternoon cab ride of just 10 minutes from the Fraser Suites Insadong in downtown Jongno-gu, Seoul, we finally arrived at the main entrance to the Shinsegae Department Store at 1.30 p.m.. Checking that we had our belongings with us, we paid our cab fare the taxi driver and thanked him for his services prior to heading into the department store to commence our day of shopping.


Given that we were feeling rather hungry as we did not have breakfast earlier, we decided to look for a good restaurant for lunch first before commencing our shopping day for groceries at the supermarket. Entering the department store itself, we passed by a lot of stores selling branded bags, clothes, footwear and perfumes. There was also a large Christmas Tree standing tall in the shopping hall, stretching up a few floors of the store
.


A large advertisement poster about Shinsegae above the entrance to the department store

The busy and crowded roads outside Shinsegae Department Store in Jung-gu, Seoul

The tall and massive Christmas Tree in the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul

The main floor of the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul selling cosmetics

After riding on the escalators for a few minutes, we finally found the restaurant floor somewhere on the tenth floor of the Shinsegae Department Store. On that particular floor, there were many varieties of restaurants catering to western and local cuisines. 
Upon looking through the many restaurants surrounding that floor, we finally managed to discover a local Korean hot pot restaurant, known as Garim Steamboat Restaurant (가림).


Feeling hungry already, we immediately requested for a table for the four of us. In the restaurant, we looked through the menus of Garim Steamboat Restaurant to see what was available for today. Just a few moments later after making our reviews through the food and beverage menus, a waitress came by to our table to take down our main meal orders for the upcoming local Korean steamboat lunch. 

We ordered several platters of thinly-sliced beef, with several normal hot pot accompaniments and soft drinks. Our table was then set up with a shared bottle of local Korean tea and two hot pots for the upcoming lunch. Once our orders were delivered to us, we quickly tucked in to our huge local Korean steamboat lunch. Nothing special came, as I find the way my mum does steamboats to be much better, and that I am confident that I might find some good shabu-shabu, sukiyaki or barbecue restaurants in Japan, particularly in Hokkaido or Kobe, in the near future.


The logo and dish advertisement display outside Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

The cover page for the food menu in Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

The interior of Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

Looking through the food menu of Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

My dad waiting for the table pot setup at Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

A set of appetizers at our table at Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

The first platter of sliced beef ready to be cooked in the hot pot

Another platter of sliced beef by my hot pot

One of the sliced beef platters by my hot pot

Most of the vegetables and a few beef slices being cooked on my dad and brother's side

The sliced beef and vegetables being boiled in the hot pot

The soup bubbling vigorously in the hot pot

My dad and brother's side of the steamboat

An overall view of our steamboat meals

Sharing my steamboat with my mum

One of the sliced beef platters to be shared among us

A bowl of udon noodles ready to be cooked in the hot pot

The interior of Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant during the busy lunch hours

After a huge steamboat lunch at Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant, we paid up our bill and went further all the way down to the first basement floor. Feeling very cold, we found a nice little cafeteria by the entrance, known as Starbucks Coffee. At Starbucks Coffee, we found a place to sit down and my brother and I enjoyed nice warm cups of hot chocolate while my parents went to shop at the supermarket nearby.


After having some nice and warm hot cocoa at Starbucks Coffee, my dad met up with my younger brother and I again at the Starbucks Coffee cafeteria. As soon as we had all our belongings with us, we went into the supermarket to meet my mum. While at the supermarket, we purchased a sufficient amount of groceries so that we could have our own in-room dining at our very own convenience for our remaining days of our winter vacation in South Korea
.


The entrance to Garim Korean Steamboat Restaurant

The tall and massive Christmas Tree in the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul as we head all the way down to the first basement floor

The outer seating areas of Starbucks Coffee inside Shisegae Department Store

The main refreshments counter at Starbucks Coffee Shinsegae Department Store

After spending
 the entire afternoon of purchasing groceries at the Shinsegae Department Store for the holiday, the clock was finally showing 3.50 p.m.. Since we were getting very tired from shopping at Shinsegae, we decided to head back to the Fraser Suites Insadong. With that, at around four o' clock, we went to the taxi stand located just outside the department store to hail a taxi back to the Fraser Suites Insadong.


Soon enough, at 4.10 p.m., we successfully managed to get a taxi just outside the Shinsegae Department Store. We then piled our groceries and belongings in the boot of the taxi at the rear just before we boarded the taxi for the short ride back to the Fraser Suites Insadong. With that, we were on our way for a short 10-minute road journey back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong in downtown Jongno-gu, Seoul
.


The exterior view of Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul

The busy roadways outside the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul

The busy streets of Seoul's Central District in the late afternoon

Crossing a downtown Seoul traffic junction near Namsan Park

Crossing through another traffic junction in downtown Seoul

Seoul Station located just in front of us

Nearing the area around our hotel

Bypassing an old Korean castle temple in Seoul

Passing by the Jongno Tower

Driving along an alley near the Fraser Suites Insadong

Approaching the main entrance of the Fraser Suites Insadong

The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong just after we returned

Having the time of our lives in our bedroom

After a short road trip of 10 minutes from the Shinsegae Department Store in downtown Jung-gu, Seoul, we finally arrived back at the front entrance to the Fraser Suites Insadong at 4.25 p.m.. Feeling very tired after a busy afternoon of grocery shopping, we took the elevator back up to our tenth floor suite and had a rest for the entire afternoon. 
Later that night, we had a very sumptuous meat dinner from the groceries we had purchased from Shinsegae Department Store.

Upon having dinner, we then had a nice, hot shower and changed up into our pyjamas prior to settling in for the night. My parents then informed us that we would be spending a day at Korea's largest theme park, Everland Resort, the next day, thus advising us against having a late night. At the same time, they also contacted Mr. Bae to take us to Everland Resort at 10.30 a.m. the next morning. With that, we all went to bed by around one o' clock late that night.

Part 3 ~ Spending Christmas Eve at Everland Resort


On the chilly early morning of Monday (24 December), which was Christmas Eve, I woke up at around nine o' clock after a good night's rest. After whipping something to eat, I had a nice, hot shower and changed into my day's attire before settling down quietly to do anything else before the rest of my family members were awake. Soon enough, before 9.30 a.m., all of us were awake and had our showers before we started off the day.


Upon having a shower, we spent the rest of the morning preparing our needed baggage for the day. Once we had prepared our necessary belongings for the day, we knew that Mr. Bae would be arriving in his cab to pick us up at 10.30 a.m. later that morning, with the arrangements made the previous night. While waiting, I did a bit more stuff on my laptop until we were officially ready to go for our Christmas Eve day trip to Everland Resort
.


My bedroom shortly after we all woke up

Our living room suite in the late morning hours

After we had finished our preparations and preparing our necessary belongings for the day, the clock was finally showing ten o' clock. Checking to see that we had left nothing behind in our room, we departed our room suite at 10.05 a.m.. Proceeding to the elevator lobby, we took the elevator all the way down to the hotel lobby, reaching there by 10.10 a.m.. In the main hotel lobby, we waited for Mr. Bae to arrive in his black luxury cab.


Sorting our our necessary belongings in the main hotel lobby for approximately 10 minutes, Mr. Bae finally arrived in his black luxury cab at 10.20 a.m. outside the main hotel entrance. With the black luxury cab doors automatically opened for us, we stowed our belongings in the boot of Mr. Bae's cab and climbed on board. Soon enough, once the clock struck exactly 10.30 a.m. sharp, we were on our way for a journey time of 1¼ hours to Everland Resort
.


The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong with some guests about to leave the hotel

Driving just below a video arcade centre located just beside our hotel

Driving along the busy roads of Jongno-gu in the late morning

Bypassing the Han Suites Serviced Residences again

Climbing up Namsan Hill

Reaching the toll gate towards Namsan Tunnel

Climbing down the Namsan Hill after exiting the Namsan Tunnel

Passing by an unfamiliar street in Seoul

Crossing the Han River on the Banpo Bridge, with a railway bridge located in the background

The busy early afternoon traffic on the Banpo Bridge

Bypassing the Gangnam-gu area in Seoul

Bypassing an underground road tunnel near Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Bypassing some housing residential areas in Gangnam-gu, Seoul

The first phase of the busy right-hand road traffic on the Gyeongbu Expressway on a bright winter's day

More busy right-hand road traffic on the Gyeongbu Expressway on a bright winter's day

Overtaking a red and white coach bus before crossing underneath another road bridge

About to cross underneath another road bridge

Crossing a flyover bridge between the Gyeongbu and Seoul-Wonju Expressways

Nearing the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Finally driving along the Seoul-Wonju Expressway towards the city of Yongin

Climbing up a hilly roadway towards Everland Resort

A mountain near Everland Resort

Approaching the toll gate towards Everland Resort

Approaching a road junction near Everland Resort

Passing by a quiet residential area in the city of Yongin

Entering the resort area of Everland Resort

Approaching the car parking area outside Everland Resort

Finally arriving at the main entrance to Everland Resort

After a journey time of approximately 1
¼ hours from downtown Seoul, we finally arrived at the main car parking area at Everland Resort at 11.45 a.m.. As soon as we had all our belongings with us, we arranged to contact Mr. Bae to come and fetch us when we felt like heading back to our hotel. Once Mr. Bae left us to enjoy our day, we went towards the ticket booth to obtain our one-day passes for the afternoon, entering the main theme park by noon, and passed by many goodie shops.


Everland Resort (에버랜드 리조트) is a large theme park located within the city of Yongin, Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea. Managed by Samsung Everland, a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, it is the largest and most popular theme park in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). A Korean version of Disneyland Resort, the park is one of the most popular and fastest-growing tourist destinations in the country, with approximately 6.6 million visitors visiting the park annually.


Opened in 1976, the park mostly attracts a lot of local tourists from Seoul and Yongin, with foreign visitors also visiting the theme park as well. Along with its main attractions, Everland also includes Zoo-Topia and a water park, known as Carribean Bay. Everland will also be served by the upcoming Jeondae–Everland Station when the future Everline light metro line commences operations on 26 April 2013, allowing the park to have railway access
in its 37 years of operation.


Some shops by the main entrance to Everland Resort

The main entrance to Everland Resort

Walking in the main area near the entrance at Everland Resort

Bypassing the Oriental Restaurant at Everland Resort

One of the main areas in Everland by restaurants and towards ride attractions

The Everland Human Skyway Station by the moving walkways towards the lower portion of Everland

After passing by many of the shops and restaurants located in the upper area of Everland Resort, we went to the Everland Skyway Station to get to the lower areas of the resort theme park. Once we were in the Skyway platform, we had to stand on the foot pads for the skyway to come and pick us on the seats. 
We were then riding down the skyway all the way down towards the lower plateau of Everland Resort.


The scenery from the skyway was decent enough, but was not as good as the Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway and mountain top where we could view the Sea of Japan in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan. As soon as we were on the lower plateau of Everland Resort by 12.20 p.m., we stopped by several animal enclosures to view some animals before heading further down the theme park. We saw several animals, including polar bears, sea lions and tigers around the animal park.


The upper Everland Human Skyway Station with lots of skyway lifts rolling up for their passengers

Snow by the platform of the Everland Skyway

Travelling on the skyway towards the lower plateau of Everland by some trees

Approaching the Lower Skyway Station at Everland Resort

The animal enclosure signs indicating the polar bears' enclosure at Everland Resort

Two polar bears in their enclosure

The enclosure of the Siberian Tiger at Everland Resort

A Siberian tiger resting lazily in its enclosure

The enclosure of the Steller Sea Lion and the Harbor Seal

A steller sea lion taking some breath on a dry rock before swimming again

Two Steller sea lions swimming in their enclosure

Three Steller Sea Lions doing their favourite styles in their enclosure

Another Steller Sea Lion sunbathing before swimming again

Some people by the Steller Sea Lion and Harbor Seal enclosure

Two macaques in their enclosure

Three spiny porcupines in their enclosure

A pathway by the spiny porcupine enclosures in Everland Resort

A school of fancy carp koi fish swimming in their warm enclosure

The passageway to the animal park at Everland Resort

After looking at the various animal enclosures at Everland Resort, we walked further along the areas of the lower plateau of Everland Resort. Eventually, we arrived at the main area of the lower plateau. There was a Safari World bus ride attraction, which consisted of a tour bus ride around the Everland Resort Safari World. 
Wanting to take a tour bus ride around Safari World, we entered the Safari World Bus station and walked along a wooden bridge way towards the Safari Bus platform.

After walking through the Safari World Walkway Bridge, we finally arrived at the Safari Bus departure stop by one o' clock. There were lots of people rolling up to take the Safari Bus at the departure bus station. We then managed to get on a bus for the tour ride by 1.10 p.m., approximately ten minutes later. The bus interior had red seats arranged in a 1-1 configuration, which can seat about a maximum of two people each. Just a few minutes later, we were on our way for a brief tour through Safari World in Everland Resort.


The areas around the lower plateau of Everland Resort

The entrance to Safari World at Everland Resort

Walking along the passageway towards the Safari Bus in Safari World Everland Resort

The interior of the Safari World Tour Bus at Everland Resort

About to pull out of the departure station for the Safari World tour

A river flowing past the roads of the Safari World attraction

A herd of lions resting lazily on the rocks and gazing at tourists in the Safari buses

Passing by more lions during the Safari tour

A snowy cluster of trees by the Safari bus trail in Safari World

A white tiger wondering about on its own in Safari World

Two white tigers resting lazily on a large rock

A lion and a tiger resting on a large rock in the Safari World

An owl resting on its tree branch in its enclosure

Two bears resting lazily in their layout in Safari World

A field by some trees in Safari World with partial snow cover

After a quick tour on the bus in Safari World and seeing many wild carnivorous mammals, the bus finally arrived at the terminal stop, a little souvenir shop selling animal goodies and treats. We all alighted the bus, and went through the souvenir shop to exit the attraction. Feeling quite hungry after the Safari Tour around Safari World, we decided to find a good restaurant to eat at.


With that, we walked along the lower plateau of Everland Resort, only to find a school cafeteria-like restaurant, named Alpine Food Fair. Upon stumbling on Alpine Food Fair, we went into the restaurant canteen counters to place our orders for our meals. I ordered myself a platter of deep-fried pork cutlets with salad and steamed rice. That afternoon, we had a decent canteen lunch at Alpine Food Fair
.


Arriving at the final stop, the Safari World souvenir shop

The Safari Bus that took us around Safari World

Passing by a cafeteria by the name of Grill Haus & Deli Express

The inside of Alpine Food Fair

A set of deep-fried pork cutlets with steamed rice, salad and corn soup

Another set meal being enjoyed by my brother

After having a decent lunch at the Alpine Food Fair restaurant, we headed over to the rifle token shooting area, where my brother had a few goes, but without success. We also went onto the daring Snow Buster, in which, you have to get an individual round red sled, and slide down the slope. You then return the sled at the exit counter for the use of the next player.


After my brother did some shooting at the totem shooting arcade, my dad and I, along with my brother decided to go on the Snow Buster. Before the ride, my dad gloated to my brother and I that he was the champion of Snow Busters, which only served to make us both angry, claiming that he was just a bratty show-off. Nevertheless, we took our sleds at the entrance to the Snow Buster slope and travelled up the moving passageway towards the top of the slope.


With the call to slide down going off, all three of us slid down the Snow Buster slope, with me being the first one to reach down first, outshining my dad in a long time. After going on the snow buster for one time, we headed to the indoor cafeteria of Grill Haus & Deli Express. There, we had a few sips of hot chocolate and rested there for close to three hours. During our break, I went for two more rounds on the Snow Buster to pass the time
.


Walking towards more attractions near Grill Haus & Deli Express

The main sled claiming house at the Snow Buster attraction

The exit area from the Snow Buster with lots of people sliding down the slope in the background

Some people warming themselves up from the cold weather at a heating pole

At the totem shooting arcade

Lots of people rolling up to go on the snow buster

The Snow Buster and shooting arcade game area in Everland Resort

Many people crowding the areas around the souvenir shops near Grill Haus & Deli Express

The interior of the indoor cafeteria of Grill Haus & Deli Express

Many people crowding around the entrance to the Snow Buster to go for a slide

The Snow Buster snowy sliding slope for sledders to slide down to the bottom

The exterior of the warm indoor cafeteria at Grill Haus & Deli Express

My mum and brother having their rests inside the indoor cafeteria at Grill Haus & Deli Express

The outdoor cafeteria at Grill Haus & Deli Express

The outdoor cafeteria at Grill Haus & Deli Express with several plush souvenir stalls

Several people sliding down the snowy slope along their sleds in the Snow Buster

Standing by a hot drink stall near the Snow Buster

Finally walking back towards the main lower plateau area

After resting at the indoor cafeteria and riding the Snow Buster for almost three hours, we finally decided to walk along the plateau more to see what attractions had in stall for us. Passing by all the other attractions, we stumbled upon a mysterious attraction known as Mystery Mansion Shooting Adventure.


We then went into the Mystery Mansion, which had round carriages with mini guns to shoot mysterious objects with. After the ride, we walked all the way back towards the Human Skyway station, passing by the resort hall, where major parades usually take place, along the way
.


Bypassing the Alpine Food Fair Restaurant again

The area around and near Grill Haus & Deli Express

Bypassing Snow Village in Everland Resort lower plateau

Bypassing Safari World again

Passing by the petting zoo at Everland Resort

The inner area of Snow Village at Everland Resort

The entrance towards the Mystery Mansion Shooting Adventure

The view of a very high wooden roller coaster ride in the lower plateau of Everland Resort

Several benches by a snow-frozen pond in Everland Resort

A snow-frozen pond in the lower plateau of Everland Resort

The town hall with a warming tent and a performance stage where festivals, parades and performances are held

The town hall with a warming tent and a performance stage where festivals, parades and performances are held as we near the Human Skyway station

After walking for about a few minutes, we managed to arrive at the nearest Everland Skyway Station at around 5.15 p.m.. There were a lot of people lining up at the queuing line, waiting to take the skyway back up to the upper plateau of Everland Resort. Approximately nearly 10 minutes later after a long line-up, we were finally on the Skyway lift towards the upper plateau of Everland Resort by 5.25 p.m..


Within just five minutes on the Everland Human Skyway, we were finally at the top of Everland Resort at 5.30 p.m.. Knowing that there was one more thing to ride and see in Everland, we decided to go on the Everland Sky Cruise cable car to see what the scenery was like. So, without wasting any more time, we headed to the Everland Sky Cruise cable car peak station, eventually arriving there by 5.35 p.m. after a short walk
.


Lining up to take the skyway back to the upper plateau of Everland Resort

The skyway lifts ready to transport people up to the upper plateau

Finally on the skyway lift towards the upper plateau

The Mystery Mansion Shooting Adventure as seen from the Everland Skyway

The pathway between the upper and lower plateaus of Everland Resort from the skyway lift

The town hall and a performance stage where festivals, parades and performances are held as seen from the Everland skyway lift

The skyway lifts midway towards the peak of Everland Resort

The skyway lifts on approach to the peak of Everland Resort

The view of Everland from the Skyway lift towards the top

Several ride attractions on the upper plateau of Everland

Approaching the Everland Sky Cruise peak station

One of the main concourses on the upper plateau of Everland Resort

The skyway station and walkway that lead to the lower plateau of Everland Resort

Several Everland Sky Cruise cable cars rolling up at the peak station to pick up their passengers

The interior the Everland Sky Cruise cable car peak station platform during sunset

After we had arrived at the Everland Sky Cruise cable car peak station, we walked along the queue-up walkway towards the station platform, where lots of cable cars were rolling up to take their guests. The inside of the Everland Sky Cruise station was not very crowded, so we managed to get towards the cable car platform in just good time.

Soon enough, a male station staff ushered us towards an empty Everland Sky Cruise cable car and we were on our down towards the lower stop of the Sky Cruise. Everything could be seen from the cable car, which sufficiently appeased me as a cheer-up for my dreads and doubts, but again, it was not that specialAfter a very short cable car ride from the upper plateau of Everland Resort, we arrived at the base station of the Everland Resort Sky Cruise Cable Car at 5.45 p.m..

Wanting to board the cable car back to the peak again, we had to exit through a souvenir shop and re-enter the station via the main entrance. Without wasting anymore time, we alighted the cable car, and looked through the souvenir shop, only to find nothing that interesting. On our way towards the main entrance to the station, we bypassed several shops and a ride and game attractions.


One of the video arcade attraction buildings at Everland Resort

A cafeteria and some goodie shops as seen from the Sky Cruise

The lower plateau of Everland Resort as seen from the Everland Sky Cruise Cable Car

The ride attractions of Everland Resort as seen from the Sky Cruise

Approaching the base station of the Everland Sky Cruise cable car

Bypassing a skating rink on the Sky Cruise

A goodie and souvenir shop below the base Sky Cruise Station

A restaurant called China Moon located just across the base Sky Cruise Station

The area around the base Sky Cruise Station with lots of visitors

The lower area of the plateau of Everland Resort with a merry-go-round ahead of us

The giant merry-go-round at Everland Resort

The exterior of the base Sky Cruise Station at nightfall

After walking around the surrounding areas nearby, we arrived at the main entrance to the Sky Cruise cable car base station at 5.50 p.m.. Soon, we went into the queue-up walkway towards the station platform to catch a cable car back to the peak of Everland Resort. There was a slight crowd inside the station.


Rolling up at the base Sky Cruise station, one of the station staff ushered us into an empty cable car cabin. By 5.55 p.m., we were on the Everland Resort Sky Cruise cable car back up to the peak station of the Sky Cruise on the upper plateau. After arriving at the peak station of the Sky Cruise at six o' clock, everywhere was lighted up. Night had already fallen by the time we arrived.


Feeling very tired after spending a very long day at Everland, we decided to stopover at a cafeteria called Venezia (Venice in the Italian language and after a coastal city) for some hot drinks and light bites. Venezia Cafeteria is located near the main entrance to Everland Resort. While resting at Venezia Cafeteria itself, I simply had a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa to keep myself warm from the very bitterly cold weather. Both my dad and younger brother also had some light bites for themselves.

A bench rest area by a video arcade in the lower plateau of Everland Resort

Lining up outside the platform entrance for the Sky Cruise cable car

Several Everland Sky Cruise cable cars rolling up at the base station to pick up their passengers

The view of the lower plateau of Everland Resort from the Sky Cruise cable car at night

A roller coaster ride attraction at night at Everland Resort

Star Fastfood Restaurant on the upper plateau of Everland Resort

The main surroundings of restaurants, shops and rides at Everland Resort at night

Many visitors heading towards the Sky Cruise station and roller coaster at Everland Resort at night

The interior of Venezia Cafeteria at Everland Resort

A nice warm cup of hot chocolate for myself at Venezia Cafeteria

The Christmas decorations at Everland Resort shining at night

A warming pole decorated with Christmas decorations at Everland Resort at night

The entrance to Venezia Cafeteria at Everland Resort at night

The lights of Everland Resort shining on the buildings near the main entrance

Some Christmas shining on some trees at night

After spending one whole afternoon at Everland Resort and having a short break at Venezia Cafeteria, the clock was finally showing 6.35 p.m.. Feeling very tired already, we decided to head back to the Fraser Suites Insadong. With that, we took all of our belongings and proceeded to the main resort exit before we were finally out of Everland Resort Theme Park at 6.45 p.m..


We also contacted Mr. Bae to come and fetch us in his cab back to the Fraser Suites Insadong, eventually finding him waiting for us at the car parking area at 6.50 p.m.. Once all our belongings were loaded into the boot of Mr. Bae's cab, we were finally on our way back for a short road journey of just an hour back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong located in downtown Jongno-gu, Seoul.


A lineup of convenience shops located near the exit from Everland Resort

Several areas by the main exit from Everland Resort at night

Finally leaving Everland Resort

Driving down a well-lit Everland Resort boulevard at night towards downtown Seoul

Bypassing the little town near Everland Resort again

Climbing down a steep and bumpy roadway by Everland Resort

A quiet and steep roadway near Everland Resort at night

Approaching the Everland Toll Gate again

Snaking onto the Seoul-Wonju Expressway at night

Turning towards the Gyeongbu Expressway from the Seoul-Wonju Expressway

Travelling along the Gyeongbu Expressway towards downtown Seoul at night

Arriving at the toll gate towards Seoul on the Gyeongbu Expressway

Driving midway through the Gyeongbu Expressway towards downtown Seoul

The busy evening traffic along the Gyeongbu Expressway at night

Many vehicles filling the Gyeongbu Expressway with hundreds of motorists trying to get home

Approaching the Seoul Metropolitan Area along the Gyeongbu Expressway

Crossing the Banpo Bridge at night

The Han River at night while crossing the Banpo Bridge

Approaching the end of the Banpo Bridge near the Namsan Tunnel flyover

Travelling along the flyover bridge with the Namsan Tunnel just ahead of us

Approaching the Namsan Tunnel again at night on the way back to Seoul

Travelling through the Namsan Tunnel in the direction towards downtown Seoul

Approaching the toll gate towards downtown Seoul just after exiting the Namsan Tunnel

The Han Suites Serviced Residences ahead of us, just as we are about to pass it again

Finally approaching a road junction near the Sejong Hotel Seoul

Bypassing several office buildings in downtown Seoul

The Central Business District of Seoul at night with lots of downtown traffic

The Fraser Suites Insadong shining ahead of us

The busy evening traffic along the roads of Jongno-gu near the Fraser Suites Insadong at night

Finally entering the alleyway towards the Fraser Suites Insadong

After a short one-hour road journey from Everland Resort, we finally arrived back at the Fraser Suites Insadong at 7.50 p.m.. Before we left Mr. Bae's cab, we paid our fare and claimed our belongings from the boot of his cab. We then thanked Mr. Bae for all his services, of which, he replied that he had enjoyed taking us around. 
From the main hotel lobby, we took the elevator back up to our hotel room suite on the tenth floor.


Upon arrival back into our room suite at eight o' clock, we unpacked all our belongings and had a nice, hot shower before having dinner in the living room. For the rest of the night, there was not anything much for us left to do, other that surfing our own electronic gadgets. We then went to bed by around one or two o' clock later that night. To summarise about Everland Resort, there is nothing much I can say about it, other than it has not changed very much.


Part 4 ~ Christmas Shopping Around Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong


The next morning, which was Tuesday (25 December), I woke up relatively late at around 10.30 a.m.. Being 25 December, I knew that it was already Christmas Day, one of my most favourite times of the year. 
To start off Christmas morning, I had a nice, hot shower and changed up into my day's attire before doing anything else.


Just before the clock struck noon, we were all up and ready to commence Christmas Day. After preparing all our necessary belongings for the day, my parents told us that we would be doing Christmas shopping around Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong District. We then took the elevator down to the main lobby of our hotel, eventually arriving at the lobby at 2.15 p.m..


At the reception counter, we asked the staff to call for a cab to come and take us to the Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong District. Soon enough, a black taxi finally arrived at the main entrance to the Fraser Suites Insadong at 2.20 p.m.. Immediately, we stored our belongings into the boot of the taxi and got in for the journey. By 2.25 p.m., we were on our way for a 20-minute taxi drive to the Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong District
.


The view of my room in the late morning hours shortly after waking up

The view of downtown Seoul from my hotel room on a sunny Christmas Day

The view of the living room in our suite on a sunny Christmas Day

The main hotel lobby of the Fraser Suites Insadong on a bright Christmas Day

Driving just below a video arcade centre located just beside our hotel again

Driving along the relatively crowded roads of Jongno-gu on a sunny Christmas Day

Driving along the road surrounded by a lineup of shophouses on a bright Christmas Day

Bypassing a busy roadway towards downtown Seoul on a clear Christmas Day

More vehicles crowding on the other side of the road on a clear Christmas Day

Approaching another road junction towards Oksu Tunnel

About to cross a busy road crossing in downtown Seoul on a bright Christmas Day

Approaching the Oksu Tunnel

Crossing the Dongho Bridge beside the Seoul Subway Line 3

The view of Han River as seen from the Dongho Bridge on a sunny Christmas afternoon

Finally approaching the Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong District

After a 20-minute taxi ride from the Fraser Suites Insadong, we finally arrived at the main entrance of Hyundai Department Store at 2.45 p.m.. The main entrance was located just adjacent to Apgujeong Subway Station. We then paid the taxi driver and went into the shopping mall to commence our Christmas shopping.

Feeling very hungry since we woke up, we decided to have lunch first before commencing our Christmas shopping. Without wasting anymore time, we went inside the department store and took the elevator all the way up to the fifth floor, where a majority the restaurants were located. We then looked around the many restaurants to look for a good place to have a sumptuous lunch
.


The busy roads of Gangnam-gu outside the Hyundai Department Store by Apgujeong Subway Station

The exterior view of the Hyundai Department Store Flagship Mall near Apgujeong Station

The fifth floor of the Hyundai Department Store, where all the restaurants are located

The exterior of an Italian restaurant by the name of Il Cipriani Bistro

A crowded restaurant with loads of people having Christmas Tea

After looking through the many restaurants available, we finally stumbled upon an Italian restaurant by the name of Il Cipriani Bistro. We then requested for a table for the four of us and were directed to an empty table by a waitress. She then handed us the food and drink menus to allow us to take a review before placing our Christmas lunch orders.


After a quick review through the food and beverage menus, a waitress came by to take our orders for Christmas Lunch. We ordered several of the food items that might be to our tastes and preferences such as steak, pasta, and two nice cheese pizzas. That afternoon, we had a big Christmas lunch meal at Il Cipriani Bistro Italian Restaurant
.


The cover page for the food and beverage menu of Il Cipriani Bistro

Reviewing the food and beverage menu of Il Cipriani Bistro

Several diners having Christmas Lunch in Il Cipriani Bistro

The interior towards the main entrance of Il Cipriani Bistro


A bowl of unnamed flavour delicious soup for myself

My mum holding up the empty white champagne bottle named Bernini Classic Grape

A platter of salad to be shared among us

A platter of salad with brown sauce and lemon

Our first platter of cream cheese pizza

A platter of grilled marinated t-bone steak for my brother

A plate of spaghetti alla carbonara for myself

A plate of assorted fresh seafood risotto for my mum

Our second platter of cream cheese pizza

After having a large Christmas lunch at Il Cipriani Bistro Italian Restaurant, we were finally stuffed to the brim. Ready to begin our Christmas shopping, we paid up our bill and headed all the way down towards the second basement of the department store. There, we purchased our new school bags in preparation for the soon-to-come school year 2013.


Once we had purchased our new school bags from the second basement, we went to the Food Market supermarket on the first basement floor. to purchase several meat and seafood items. After purchasing our necessary groceries for our Christmas shopping, we were feeling a bit cold. We then found a chocolate cafeteria called Godiva Chocolatier cafeteria, where we sat down to have a drink, particularly some nice, warm hot chocolate to warm up.


The escalators heading down to the lower floors of Hyundai Department Store

The logo of Il Cipriani Bistro Italian Restaurant

The bags and shoes stores located on the second basement of Hyundai Department Store

The food market crowded with shoppers who are buying food for Christmas meals

The meat and seafood stores in Food Market

The cashiers at the Food Market in Hyundai Department Store

The interior of Godiva Chocolatier cafeteria in Hyundai Department Store

Our three cups of hot chocolate in Godiva Chocolatier cafeteria

A nice cup of ice chocolate for myself

After spending the entire afternoon doing our Christmas shopping around the Hyundai Department Store in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, the clock was finally showing 6.30 p.m.. Feeling pretty exhausted after a really busy afternoon of Christmas shopping, we decided to head back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong.


With that, we went back towards the taxi stand located by the main entrance near Apgujeong Subway Station to get a taxi back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong. Soon enough, by 6.40 p.m., we were on our way for a short ¼-hour journey back towards the Fraser Suites Insadong located in downtown Jongno-gu, Seoul
.


Finally driving along the busy roads of Gangnam-gu after leaving the Hyundai Department Store

Heading down the Seoul highway on Christmas night

Approaching the Banpo Bridge on Christmas night

Crossing the Han River again on Christmas night

Crossing the Banpo Bridge over the Han River on Christmas night

About to climb the Namsan Bridge towards downtown Seoul

Approaching the Namsan Tunnel again

The Namsan toll gate towards downtown Seoul

Climbing down the Namsan Hill roadway again towards downtown Seoul

Travelling along the busy roads of downtown Seoul on a busy Christmas night

About to cross underneath the arcade and shopping centre again

Finally arriving back at the main entrance to the Fraser Suites Insadong

After a quick 
¼-hour taxi ride from Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong in Gangnam District, we finally arrived back at the Fraser Suites Insadong at 6.55 p.m., which was just before seven o' clock. With that, we paid the taxi driver and claimed all our belongings from the boot of his cab. 
Feeling very tired already, we took the elevator back up to our room suite on the tenth floor.

We then had a nice, hot shower and changed up for the night. While my parents prepared for the home-made Christmas dinner, we simply did our own personal stuff in our room. After having a well-earned rest in our room, my parents called out that dinner has already been prepared. With that, we went into the dining area by the living room, where we had a sumptuous home-made barbecue Christmas dinner.

In addition, we even had some Moscato Sweet Champagne to accompany the Christmas meal. We then had a filling and sumptuous home-made Christmas grill, where we made a toast in preparation for the upcoming New Year 2013. This was a somewhat decent Christmas, but it never beats the one we had in Hokkaido, Japan back in December 2010.


My newly-purchased Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300/ER Herpa Wings aircraft model for Christmas

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (507158)

The view of my room shortly after we had returned from our Christmas shopping

The view of our living room shortly before commencing our Christmas barbecue

The view of our Christmas barbecue dinner on the dining table in our suite

The view of our living room suite shortly before we finished dinner

After having a huge Christmas barbecue dinner, we were finally stuffed to the brim. We cleared the dining table and washed all of the dishes in the kitchen before doing any of our own personal stuff. There wasn't anything much to do for the rest of the night. We then went to bed at around one or two o' clock later that night.

This officially brings the second section of my winter vacation in South Korea in December 2012 to a close. The remaining two sections will be published as soon as the best quality images and videos have been selected for this blog.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I came arcoss your blog and saw that you have engaged Mr Bae to bring you around to places like Yeoju Premium Outlet. Am interested in engaging him. Could I have his contact from you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok. His mobile number is: +82 10-8008-5831.

      Delete