Monday, October 21, 2013

Into the Woods, Valleys & Countryside. Korea Day 3

Had a really good sleep the night before at Seonbichon Village's accommodation even though it wasn't like a proper room with air con, bed, toilet etc but still, the mattress was rather comfortable and even though it was cold at night, the floor was heated. Woke up quite early the next day, packed my bag and we are ready for Day 3 in Korea!
 photo meme.jpg
Morning selfie before "checking out" of my room. Plan for Day 3 would be to go over to take the O-train to Buncheon where i will be taking the "V" train the first time to explore the mountainous areas of Gangwon-do Province and Gyeondgsangbuk-do province,  will be ending up at Yeongwol 영월군 where i will be staying overnight there.
 photo noodles.jpg
Called for a cab to bring us back to Punggi station and while waiting for the cab, we managed to ask for hot water to cook our cup noodles that we bought the night before! At least we can have noodles (and apples, lol) for breakfast :D
 photo IMG_2775.jpg
Was right in the middle of the tracks when i took this picturesque photo. What a pretty sight.
 photo IMG_2783.jpg
Colourful train! Had to take a train from Punggi to Buncheon to board the V train! #korail
 photo IMG_2813.jpg
The kind of "i'm taking a photo of myself but don't want to look like i took it myself" shot, LOL

Journey from Punggi to Buncheon takes about an hour and 15 mins. If you notice, we spent quite a lot of time on the train in order to travel from places to places (if i remember correctly, the longest train ride we took was about 3 hours.) Even though the long hours, the journey would have been much more tedious and longer without the O/V train.
 photo IMG_2842.jpg
Arrived at Buncheon where we had a few hours to spare before the V train arrives...
 photo IMG_2823.jpg
You have to got to see it with your own eyes to appreciate how beautiful the scenery is.
 photo IMG_2845.jpg
At the train station, there is this huge white tiger soft toy under a tree (which i have no idea why is it there) but everyone/ tourists would take a photo with it. So i waited till everyone was gone and camwhore with it, LOL
 photo cafe.jpg
Chanced upon this cafe near the station (which is probably the only cafe in the area) and decided to have our lunch in there since they offer Doshirak 도시락 (lunch box) meal and drinks. Cute little cafe decorated with vintage toys :D
 photo IMG_2869.jpg  photo IMG_2873.jpg
Our simple Doshirak meal that comes with Kimchi, fried egg, spam (luncheon meat), ikan bilis with seasoning and rice, it was served in this old school metal lunch box. I was about to dig in when Elizabeth explained that there is a way to have doshirak. We had to put the lid over and shut the lunchbox tightly and shake the box to mix the contents of the box together. My first reaction was, "Seriously must like that?" and we went ahead to shake our tin boxes. LOL
 photo IMG_2878.jpg
This is an idea of how the end result should be like. Actually it's supposed to look much worse than this because in the above photo, the different side dishes are still recognizable. We were to supposed to shake until everything is mashed up and mixed nicely with the rice so that all the flavors are mixed together and every mouth will be flavorful ☺
 photo me.jpg
Camwhore with the natural lens flare while the girls are in the toilet. The effect not bad hor *flicks hair*
 photo IMG_2891.jpg

In the previous post, i introduced the O train. Now it's time to share with you guys about the V train. The "V" in V-train actually stands for "Valley" and this train travels through the remote mountainous areas of Gangwon-do Province and Gyeondgsangbuk-do province. It's also know as the "Baby Baekho" (white tiger) train due to it's exterior motif.
 photo IMG_2883.jpg
On the V train, you realised you are able to get clear views of cliffs and valleys along the way because a large portion of the train walls excluding the ceiling have been made into glass windows. You can choose to open the windows too!
 photo IMG_2950.jpg
The V-train has 3 cars that can accommodate up to 158 people, and includes a observatory space and cafe.
 photo IMG_2919.jpg
 photo IMG_2921.jpg
 photo glow.jpg
Nobody really notice the motif prints on the ceiling until... we entered a tunnel and everyone started going like "Woahhhhh" because the prints were glow in the dark and it was a rather pretty sight in the tunnel. #cheapthrill
 photo trainride.jpg
One way trip on the V train takes about an hour and 10 mins and unlike the O train, the V-train is non stop and makes a 5 to 10 mins stops at only 2 stations - Yangwon station, the smallest train station in Korea and Seungbu Station that offers beautiful scenery for passengers to alight and take pictures and the last stop would be Cheoram station.
 photo vtrain.jpg
I realised we are taking photos with the twist sign in a lot of our photos. ONLY IN KOREA. Lol
 photo IMG_2978.jpg
Arrived in Cheoram. Our objective here was to look for the Sambang Wall Mural Village - an abandoned residential village that has been repainted and transformed into one of the many mural villages in Korea. What are murals?
 photo IMG_2980.jpg
If you are wondering what are murals, "A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface." so we are expecting to find random drawings on the walls of the abandoned village.
 photo IMG_2988.jpg
A view of the mining facility at Cheoram that was built in the 1930s and has been running for over 70 years.
 photo IMG_3006.jpg
Finally found the village after asking for directions from the locals.
 photo IMG_3008.jpg
Chanced upon several murals and in my head i was thinking - "who are the people who drew these?"
 photo murals.jpg
Some like the above were drawn really well and there's like a meaning/ story behind each mural.
 photo IMG_3003.jpg
When i saw this tree mural i was like, "Wah, this will definitely make a nice background for a selfie shot!" LOL
 photo titbits.jpg
Went to their convenient store to grab some food while waiting for the O train to our next destination.
 photo IMG_3014.jpg
Throughout my 6 days in Korea, i was always on a look out for interesting snacks or food which i can never find or hard to find in Singapore. Just want to see how it taste like so you can see me always eating random food items :|
 photo icecream.jpg
One of the interesting food that i tried was this cookies and cream sandwich ice cream! I know we can get the almost the same thing from those ice cream motor cart in SG but this is pre-packed and the bread is so soft and every mouth was so delightful! I wish this was sold in SG. The only ice cream i saw that SG has would be the green melon one...
 photo IMG_2793.jpg
Boarded the O train to Yeongwol 영월군 where i'll be staying there overnight!
 photo IMG_3027.jpg
This time we were at another car on the O train and the design/layout of the train is different!
 photo IMG_3026.jpg
Went to checkout the "cafe" on board the train to see what they offer. Mainly snacks and drinks...
 photo IMG_3051.jpg
On the way to Yeongwol, the trains stops for about 10 mins at Chujeon station, which is the highest station in Korea. For that 10 mins, you get to get of the train to look down the magnificent scenery but do take note of the time limit!
 photo IMG_3054.jpg
Chujeon Station, Korea’s highest train station at 855m above sea level.
 photo IMG_3061.jpg
You can pay 500 won to use their binoculars to look further into the scenery. Erm, who really does that?
 photo IMG_3071.jpg
The skies were already dark when we arrived at Yeongwol. Even though the skies may be already dark, it might just be 7pm in Korea, which is only 6pm in Singapore... It makes you feel as if it's really late already -_-
 photo IMG_3075.jpg
Accommodation for the night at Donggang Cistar, a golf resort-spa-condominium.
 photo room.jpg
Totally wasn't expecting to have a one bedroom apartment for myself. It has a mini full equipped kitchenette, dining area, a living room, huge toilet and one bedroom - for myself. You could literally a party in such an apartment!
 photo IMG_3086.jpg
Ordered Fried Chicken delivery for dinner. - Endorsed by FT island.
 photo IMG_3087.jpg
Apparently Koreans like to have fried chicken for their supper and in Korea, there is a lot of fried chicken delivery franchises, each with their own secret recipe and menus and they deliver almost anywhere in Korea, even outdoors! I heard from Elizabeth that delivery in Korea even includes providing you with plates, cutlery and such which they will come back to collect after you are done! If only there is such service in Singapore, we could order this for example at a picnic in Marina Barrage! Anyway, we ordered 1 whole fried chicken and had a good dinner over drinks and chat for the rest of the night before the girls proceed back to their own room. Wait, or i should say apartment? LOL

That's it for Day 3 in Korea. Next day, i will be exploring the areas of Yeongwol for the whole day before heading back to Seoul! Special mention to Korea Tourism Organization Singapore for this sponsored trip:

Pre-trip | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6