Sunday, July 20, 2014

#OOTD no. 3: Lee Cooper Spring Summer 2014!

Part 3 and also the final #ootd for my Lee Cooper Spring Summer 2014 Campaign! If you missed my previous 2 posts, you can read it HERE and HERE. 2 months ago, i picked 3 outfits (top and bottom) from the Lee Cooper Spring Summer 2014 collection at their latest outlet which is at Orchard Gateway, level 2 and each month i will do up a #ootd coordinate blog post and show you guys what i picked! Unknowingly it's the 3rd month and, here's a recap of the previous 2 #ootds!
 photo leecooper.jpg
I posted the above "teaser" on my instagram last month
 photo pick.jpg
For my 3rd #ootd. I decided to pick a casual graphic tee and classic denim jeans!
 photo ootd3.jpg I don't know if you noticed but my 3rd #ootd is somewhat similar to the first! (I bet some of you will scroll up and look back at the first photo! HAHAHHAH) The first #ootd look was supposed to be a buttoned up shirt and paired along with the denim jeans but i decided to go for a casual look and use the shirt as a outer wear instead so i had to find an inner shirt and casually picked the tee that was supposed to be for this #ootd! If i didn't say, would you have notice it? LOLOL
 photo tee1.jpg
 photo jean1.jpg
You know how sometimes you are in a rush and you need to pick a random tee and paired it up with a jeans in order not to look too shabby? Well, that's basically my 3rd #ootd! A very simple coordinate for school or just a simple dinner. Not bad right! By the way, the grey leather shoes that you see in the #ootd are from Lee Cooper too (Retail at $89.90) :D

Hope you enjoyed reading my 3 Lee Cooper #ootd post! Special mention to Lee Cooper for the sponsor.
 photo SAM_7803.jpg
Find your nearest Lee Cooper Store at Queensway shopping Centre, Jurong Point or Orchard Gateway!
Lee Cooper Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Travelogue Day 1: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Hongdae, Trickeye Museum, Ice Museum and Dongdaemun!

Annyeonghaseyo! Officially day 1 of my Korea travelogue even though technically i arrived the night before. For whatever reason you missed the previous Day 0 post, you can read it before you start on this post: http://www.imandystorm.com/2014/07/travelogue-day-0-seoul-scoot-wifi-egg.html Day 1 in the land of Hallyu - as much as i can't wait to visit the oh so famous theme parks, i felt that the first day should be spent getting into the momentum of being in Korea, if you get what i mean. I wanted to roam the streets, eat their street food, spend some Korean wons, basically getting into the mood of being in another country and the best place to start would definitely be one of the more popular tourist area in Seoul - Hongdae! At the same time, visit the ever famous trick eye museum! :D
 photo SAM_8373.jpg
Accommodation for this trip: Seoul Tower Hotel. Had a pretty good sleep the night before, the bed was comfy, temperature just nice. Skipped the hostel breakfast because it was nothing much, basically just jam and bread i think.
 photo SAM_8374.jpg
#ootd in the middle of the road outside the hostel. 
 Love how my copper/orange adds vibrance into the photo. The photo probably won't be as vibrant if my hair was black.
 photo issactoast.jpg
On the way downhill towards Myeondong subway station, i spotted this little store selling toast bread. Took the menu and decided on something on the safe side - Ham Cheese Toast. Little did i expect it to have a omelette inside as well with the ham and cheese! Not only that, the egg was mixed with corn before pan-frying. The first bite was HEAVENLY. It's like the perfect breakfast and in my head i was like, "I can totally have this everyday!!!" In front of the counter (bottom right hand corner pic) is a couple of baskets which i soon realized it's for the payment. Basically you pay by putting the money into the baskets - coins and notes separately and if you are supposed to get change, just take from baskets accordingly. It's all based on integrity since the 2 ahjummas are pretty busy preparing the orders. 맛있어요!
 photo SAM_8383.jpg
The taste of the toast still lingers in my head till today and i wish i can have one of it right now! :(
 photo SAM_8385.jpg
Traveling on the subway requires the T-money card, just like our Ezlink in SG. So we went to the T-money machine to purchase one each, selected English language and was given a choice of getting the normal card (2500won) or the token (5000won) The token looked pretty unique and makes a nice souvenir so i got the token for myself and topped it up! $$
Talking about traveling on the subway. Do download this "Subway Korea" app by Broong, Inc. This app is the must-have app a tourist in Korea should have. It has the latest subway map and provides you with essential information that you need such as time table, transfer information, cost and more. I referred to this app wherever i go because it gives me the route that takes the shortest time and the stations to transit to get to my destination. Oh ya, the app is FREE! 대박
 photo SAM_8387.jpg
To get to Hongdae, take the subway (Line 2) to Hongik University station (홍대입구역) Approx 26 mins from Myeondong.
 photo trickeyeentrance.jpg
Instead of roaming the streets, we decided to head to Trickeye Museum directly. To get to Trickeye Museum, take exit 9. Go straight for about 150m and turn left onto Hongik Street. Go straight 120m and turn right down the second side street (between TonyMoly and Holika Holika) Continue for about 100m and Trickeye museum will just be on your right.

If you think the instructions is confusing, fret not. There will be signages along the way to guide you to the Museum. Don't expect a grand entrance because the entrance is only a stairway leading to the Museum at the basement. Admission fee is 15,000 won but do PRINT OUT THIS COUPON (link) which will entitle you to pay only 12,000 won! ($15)
 photo trickeye1.jpg
Practically took photo with every single artwork but i'm not gonna flood all the photos here plus it's gonna spoil all the fun if you know everything that's inside. Actually few days before i was about to fly to Korea, i received an invite for the opening of Trick eye Museum at RWS but the date was during my trip but never mind, i visited the real deal in Korea! :D
 photo trickeye2.jpg
Inside the museum, there is actually "photo spots" stickers on the floor which your photographer should stand on so that he/she can have the best angle to take the photo in order to achieve the best result of each artwork. There are also examples pasted at the side so you can reference it in case you have no idea how to pose! Think out of the box!

The ticket also includes admission to the Ice Museum located on the same level! Before you enter the sub temperature museum, the staff will pass you this ridiculous looking vest which you are supposed to wear it inside (i have no idea what's the purpose of it) but you won't see the "vest" in the photos below because it's so ugly and it will definitely ruin the photos lor. Wore the vest in and took it off upon entering. Just ta-han the cold, take all the photos and leave!
 photo SAM_8599.jpg
You know how we have the 2 degree ice art exhibition in SG? It's like the same thing lor, only smaller. It's really really cold inside till i exited the museum after going in for about 15 mins, then hang out outside at normal temperature before attempting to go in again for more photos. I was wearing short sleeves and shorts some more! Totally freezing.
 photo SAM_8592.jpg
 photo icemuseum2.jpg
 photo icemuseum.jpg
Good experience nevertheless and i really enjoyed both the trick eye and ice museum. Spent close to 2.5 hours in total i think. There's also free WiFi at the main area so you can upload your photos online on the spot to show your friends! Then again, now that the trick eye museum is opened in RWS, it might not be that unique anymore... Nonetheless, it's still a must visit attraction for tourist! You tell me, how can you go to Seoul and not visit the famous trick eye museum?!

Time to roam the streets of Hongdae! Hongdae is known for its urban arts and indie music culture. I heard that it gets really crowded during the weekends and you can find freelance singers and musicians showcasing their talents along the street! There is also lots of cafes and fashion stores, catering to the students from the nearby Hongik University. Nice!
 photo hondae.jpg
Spotted a cat cafe as well as the famous Hello Kitty cafe too! I really love how the fashion stores display their apparels and accessories, makes me just wanna buy everything! One thing you can notice about the apparels is the quality! 좋은
 photo lunch.jpg
After spending the afternoon at the museums and roaming the streets, we realized we did not have our lunch. So we popped by a random steak restaurant called - "Roscoco" and had set meal each. Mine was a teriyaki chicken steak set!
 photo fishyogurt.jpg
Before lunch, we past by several street stalls selling street snacks but we told ourselves to have something decent for lunch before trying them all, LOL Was so tempted to buy and eat along the way while looking for a place to have lunch!!! 2 highlights snacks was this fish waffle filled with yogurt and a chocolate covered fruit stick (3000 won) Delicious but i think the yogurt filling inside was too much for me, couldn't finish it. The waffle was nice and crispy!

Have always been a fan of Churros and when i saw this stall selling made to order Churros, i knew i had to get one! The ahjumma will squeeze out the dough and put it into the fryer and it takes about 7 mins for an order to be ready. Piping hot churros with chocolate dip (2500 won) One word - Awesome! Why is it so difficult to find good Churros in Singapore?
 photo stylenanda.jpg
Spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Hongdae and when Don mentioned that the flagship store of the famous women's fashion store StyleNanda is located in Hongdae, we decided to hunt for it since we had to buy some stuffs back for our friends. Took us awhile to find the store since there was no directions, almost wanted to on our wifi egg so that i can use my GPS but just as i was about to search on my phone, the store was just to our left! So lucky us.

While don was making payment, i came across the famous Stylenanda photo booth which i remember seeing girls on my FB and Instagram taking a photo as a "proof of visit" and since it was empty, i just went in and started taking photos (it's free by the way, lol) Ended up taking twice, one in B&W and 1 in colour. #freethrill #kiasu #singaporean HAHAHHAHAHA
 photo IMG_2195.jpg
Random #ootd shot along the street. The photo turned out pretty nice!
 photo SAM_8673.jpg
After Hongdae, we decided to head to Dongdaemun to see if we can do some shopping. On the way there, we passed by this stream which i think is the famous 11km Cheonggyecheon (청계천) stream that runs through downtown Seoul. There is a history behind this stream (go read if online if you are interested) but now it's a good hangout place for couples to rest and relax. In the photo above, there's actually ducks on the middle platform! I have no idea where they come from.
 photo IMG_2201.jpg
Taking the subway during the peak period is seriously no joke. Just when you are entering the train upon the door opening, people from behind will just push you all the way in and when it's time for you to alight, you have no choice but to push your way out because it's so squeezy! Just when you think the peak hour crowd in SG is bad. Oh my tians...
 photo dongdaemun.jpg
Dongdaemun is a popular shopping and tourist destination. Definitely one of the must-go because there's so many shopping malls in the area and they are opened up to 5am! YES, 5AM! You did not read wrongly! Even though it's a shopping haven, the stuff for guys are quite limited or should i say they are selling almost the same thing. Couldn't really enjoy shopping because the shop keeper will come and "pester" you and do some hard selling, so annoying. Anyway the apparels at Dongdaemun are not really cheap but again one thing you can be sure is definitely the quality.

Outside along the streets are these stalls that sells Korean street snacks like the famous spicy rice cake (Tteokbokki) and my all time favourite corndog covered with french fries on the outside! Super delicious with the tomato sauce!!
 photo SAM_8707.jpg
Saw a shop in one of the malls selling a whole range of one of my favourite brand - Boy London! Oh my god, i want to buy the whole store down!!! I want all the singlets, tee and pullovers, not forgetting the caps!!! Some limited edition!
 photo streetfood.jpg
Stalls along the pavement selling all sorts of street snacks! After looking closely at the photos above, i realized they do sell churros too! (or is it not?) Now i kinda regret not trying a bit of everything. Everything must have taste delicious :(
 photo SAM_8702.jpg
Once again we were too busy roaming around that we totally forgotten about our dinner. Decided to have Fried Chicken! Korean Fried Chicken or Seasoned Chicken (yangnyeom chicken) is really popular in Korea and it's one of most popular food item to have for supper for Korean! It's normally consumed with Beer and recently this "chicken and beer" got really famous because of the hit Korean drama - My love from the Star" as it's the favourite supper of Cheon Songyi
 photo SAM_8724.jpg
On the way back to the hotel, i saw a street stall at Myeondong street selling my all time favourite egg bread (Gyeran Bbang 계란빵)! It's like this sweet muffin with a slightly salted whole egg on top of it! SUPER DELICIOUS, especially when it's just out from the oven!!! You have no idea how good it is until you taste it for yourself! So craving for one right now!

That's all for my Day 1 in Korea! While blogging about my trip, i realized i ate quite a lot along the way, especially those junk and street food instead of proper meals. Then again, i'm not really a fan of Korean food because good ones are mostly spicy or they are filled with lots of veggies, especially the side dishes that comes along with the meal you ordered, mostly are all greens and veggies. Oh wells, i'm perfectly fine with fried chicken and street food! HAHHAHAHA My Day 2 post would be a visit to one of the famous theme parks in Korea! Not mentioning which one so do stay tuned!


Kamsahaminda,                              
 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Travelogue Day 0: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Scoot, WIFI egg, AREX, Seoul tower Hostel and Black Hair Salon!

It has been close to 3 weeks since i returned from my Korea trip (probably a month by the time you read this post since i always take like forever to do up my travelogues, need to get the "feel" ma, LOL) This is my 3rd trip to land of Hallyu. First trip was in 2010 where i flew for the very first time, sponsored by LG. Second time was just last September which was sponsored by KTO. (very thankful for both opportunities!) This time even though i did not have to pay for the airfare, i still had to fork out for my own accommodation and expenses - not complaining. I also had the freedom to plan my own itinerary! (the itinerary for the first 2 trips were pretty much pre-determined...) Having visited the country twice, i thought i had it at the back of my hand and i would know the country pretty well but i was so wrong...

Planning the itinerary was not as easy as i thought it would be. Took me about 2 weeks to research and finalize the plan and if you always wanted to try planning your trip but have no idea where to start, i actually did a guide on how to do it! (http://www.imandystorm.com/2014/06/guide-to-planning-trip-101.html) This is gonna be 5 day Seoul travelogue, not counting the day i arrive as i took a Scoot flight in the afternoon and only arrived in Incheon airport at night due to a transit (which is why this post is Day 0 instead of Day 1.) My main objective for this trip would be to cover the places in Seoul that i have not been to in my previous 2 trips. Can you believe i have yet to visit any of the 2 famous theme parks! If you stumble upon my blog while searching for travelogues/ itinerary on Seoul, i hope this 5 day post would aid you in preparing for your trip! This is probably one of my more in-depth travelogues i have ever prepared! So enjoy! :D
 photo ootd.jpg
It's finally the day to depart for the land of Hallyu! Flight is scheduled in the noon at 1245H. If it was a direct flight to Seoul, it would probably take about 6 hours to reach Incheon Airport but Scoot included a transit stop over Taiwan for all their Seoul flight and the transit will usually take an hour so... you shall read on to see what time i arrived in Seoul.
 photo boring.jpg
2nd time flying Scoot and i love how spacious the seats are compared to other budget airlines! We were assigned the first row seats of our cabin which means unlimited leg room and they are the "yellow" seats which means if we were to choose these seats online beforehand, we would have to pay an additional fee! Yay to free seat "upgrade"! #freethrill
 photo IMG_2040.jpg

 photo IMG_2056.jpg
Mandatory window shot of the cloud formation every time i fly. Every time i see a plane take off, i can't help but be amazed at how such a heavy machine can get airborne and remain in the air for the longest time. #scienceissoamazing
 photo worldcupplane.jpg
On our way to Taoyuan airport for our transit, loud music (i think is the world cup theme song) suddenly blast from overhead and the next thing you know, the air crew were dancing down the aisle in their soccer jersey in view of the World Cup opening! The screw were wearing wigs and their faces were even painted with the flag of the country they were supporting and they wore the paint on their faces and serve the passengers throughout the whole flight, so crazy.

Transited at Taiwan for about an hour before boarding the aircraft again, this time finally heading towards Seoul! So the total flight was 4 hours to Taipei + 1 hour transit + 3 hours to Seoul = 8 hours in total. By the time we reached Incheon Airport, it was already past 10pm and there were no more airport bus so the alternative would be to take the Airport Express train (AREX) to Seoul City Hall. I would say the Airport bus would be a better choice if you reach Incheon during the day because you wouldn't want to be squeezing through the crowd with your luggage during peak hour... bad idea.
 photo IMG_2078.jpg
Before that, we rented the WIFI device with unlimited data and full coverage for a total of 6 days at the LG U+ Counter (exit 9-10) Total cost was 46,200 won (SGD$58 which is about $10 per day) Then again, wifi is available free almost everywhere in Seoul (especially cafes) so the only time we really need the "egg" was when traveling on public transport.
 photo IMG_2070.jpg
After which we followed the sign towards the AREX (airport express) and bought the single trip ticket (4000 won) heading towards Seoul City Hall station. The trip took about 45 mins. In the train, there's a map with LED lights (like in SG) indicating where you are currently so you can use it to gauge whether you are reaching your destination or not :D
 photo IMG_2111.jpg
The train ride was quite boring but luckily we had our wifi egg so we get to update our social media and i took out my selfie rod and started camwhor-ing on the train. When you are overseas, you don't really care if you are being judged.
 photo train.jpg
Arrived at Seoul City Hall and there wasn't any train heading to Myeondong because it was already so late so we took a cab to our hostel. Was quite surprised that it was cold when i stepped out of the station, turns out it was 19 degrees that night. Heng i wore my pullover! Got onto a cab and despite showing the driver the address of our hostel, he had no idea where it was so i ended up telling him to head to Myeondong station instead. Just nice when we alighted, there was a McDonalds outlet so we grabbed Macs for late dinner and headed to our hostel with the help of my iPhone's GPS.
 photo IMG_2151.jpg
Seoul Tower Hostel 
27-6, Nansam-dong2ga, Jung-gu
Tel: 02-318-0055
 photo room.jpg
Just a simple room with 2 single beds, bathroom and the basics like a small fridge and TV. The WIFI was awesome (super fast!) because each room had its own dedicated router. Had to leave our shoes at the shoe cabinet on the first level and change to their slippers before heading up. All in all it was a good stay, the bed was comfortable, the counter staffs were friendly and the hostel is just a 5 mins walk to Myeondong station. Paid about $420 in total for 5 nights of stay...

Unpacked a bit, showered and went to sleep. Before i end this post, let me bring you a couple of days back where i visited BlackHairSalon to get my hair done prior to this trip! As you can see in this post, my hair is of a copper/ orange colour and it was done by the people at Black Hair Salon. It's been a long while since i got my hair coloured so i thought might as well do something to it then i can have chio photos just for the trip! Even though i would have to dye it back :(
 photo blacksalon.jpg
The whole process took close to 2 hours i think which includes cutting, washing a few times and bleaching twice. I had no preference on the colour choice but requested to keep my sides short and black so my hair stylist, Cat suggested copper for the top which would be rather striking so we went ahead with it! She was really friendly and chatted with me throughout the whole process, about bags (lol) and sharing tips on how i should ask to cut my hair in the future etc.
 photo hair2.jpg
The final outcome! I really love it even though it took me awhile (and my friends) to get used to it! How often do you see someone with copper/ orange hair! LOL Thank you Black Hair Salon for the sponsor and if you would are looking for a place to get your hair done, do try out Black Hair Salon. They are located near bugis at The Bencoolen, 180 Bencoolen street, #01-28 S(189646) Call 68359976 or 62423945 for an appointment! Stay tuned for my Day 1 Seoul Travelogue!