Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Downtown Calgary

Calgary Tower from Olympic Plaza

Went to Calgary for 2 nights for a shopping trip. Did not get to buy everything that were not on my list. Did not get to go to every places that were on my list but my heart felt full. So full that it almost burst out with joy. It was funny for me to feel that that way cause I am not a fan of big city. I guess living at the Rockies has taken a toll on me eh.

I'll see you next time, Calgary? :)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

COMMON GROUND (커먼그라운드)

I started one of my days in South Korea by going to the COMMON GROUND (커먼그라운드). Again, I never know the existence of this place until I landed in South Korea. Thanks to the Instagram (again!), I found out about this place. From the Instagram pictures, I can see that this place is so Instagrammable. It will be easily slipped into one of the must visit places in Seoul if you like all the hispter places. (I'm using the hipster word the way the youngsters in Malaysia use it).

COMMON GROUND 커먼그라운드

From my brief reading, COMMON GROUND is South Korea's first and world's largest container shopping mall built with prefabricated 200 containers. (I totally googled prefabricated after my reading - man, how I wish I had an expansive vocabulary). It is also a result of the experiment of revitalizing unused land in the middle of city. I guess the South Korean government had this idea, "Why waste a piece of land when you can build something and generate money?" Just kidding! You can see how impactful COMMON GROUND is when you compare it to the surrounding buildings. It is definitely eye-catching and attention-grabbing.

COMMON GROUND 커먼그라운드

COMMON GROUND is divided into two sections; Street Market and Market Hall. Pretty sure they tried to emphasize the difference in the space designs and the vibes between the Street Market and Market Hall as that the only difference between that two that I remembered. Plus, as far as I remember, the items sold at both sections are quite similar like clothes, shoes, make-up products, phone cases, and few food & beverage establishments.



As COMMON GROUND is not that big though it is the world's largest container shopping mall, I spent about 3 hours here just to fully satisfy the desire of photographer in me. I also had fun people watching here. The people there were so interesting and fascinating.

COMMON GROUND 커먼그라운드

During my visit, Levi's actually had a pop-up store there. While I am not really sure what and how many products they carried at the pop-up store, I have to say that I really like the marketing idea of Levi's. They knew the target market and fully utilized what COMMON GROUND has to offer. As you can see, they had props with relevant hashtags - which I am pretty sure will make one's pictures look Instagrammable. I actually saw few girls spent almost two hours just to take OOTD around there. Crazy eh.

Tip: Wear your fashionable casual street style outfit if you want to take your best OOTD here.

COMMON GROUND 커먼그라운드

Is COMMON GROUND worth visiting?
It depends as it will be a hit or miss for some people. For me, I think COMMON GROUND is worth visiting because I like seeing something new. Well, I have never been to container shopping mall before, let alone the world's largest one, so there's that. I also like taking pictures and people watching, which what I did at the COMMON GROUND during my visit.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lac Beauvert

Lac Beauvert

Went to Jasper National Park for few days after my short stint at Lake Louise and before settling down at the Town of Banff. Went for a walk around the ever beautiful Lac Beauver (do you guys still remember this lake?) and it brought back all my past memories. Jasper still feels like home after all these years, but it would never be the same without my girlfriends :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Can't help but to miss this beautiful place. Though I only get to call this place home just for over a week, the memories that I made over there will last for a lifetime. Lake Louise, I miss you! Will definitely visit you again once I get used to my working life here and once I have a longer days off. :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Haneul Park (하늘공원)

The first post of what would be an endless posts about South Korea is about one of my favourite parks in South Korea; Haneul Park or Sky Park or known as Haneul Gongwon (하늘공원) among the locals.

I did not know the existence of Haneul Park until I landed in South Korea. I was looking for other interesting places to be visited in South Korea because I did not feel like going to the places listed on the list that I made prior to the trip. Accidentally, I found this place on Instagram. Oh my, you have to see the pictures. They were so pretty!

Haneul Park 하늘공원

Sold by the pictures that I saw on Instagram, I made a quick google search. I found out that those kind of pictures that I saw on Instagram were taken during Eulalia Festival that takes place sometime in October - that's when Haneul Park looks the prettiest. Too bad I was there during the shoulder season. But, Farah being Farah, I decided to visit the park. So, off I went on one of those days.

Getting to Haneul Park was a lil bit challenge for me cause the direction that I read was not detailed. Asking questions to locals were lil bit hard too cause all people that I bumped into over there were all old people. Thankfully, I managed to find the right direction. It took me 30 minutes from the nearest subway station to reach to the starting point of Haneul Park.

Tip: Please be fully prepared with detailed direction if you're visiting Haneul Park. Or at least know how to pronounce Haneul Park in Hangul. I believe most of the people that you will meet there are old people and they do not speak English.

Haneul Park 하늘공원

Once you reached the starting point of Haneul Park, you have two choices; to take a shuttle to the top or to hike to the top. As I was given wrong explanation by an ahjussi at the information counter, I actually hiked to the top cause I thought that's the only way to reach the top. I didn't really remember how long did I take to reach to the top but I remembered I was panting like crazy while hiking. I was also dehydrated in the middle of journey to the top.

But once I reached the top, the fatigue was gone! I was blown away by the view. Granted, it was not as pretty as during Eulalia Festival, but it was still pretty for me! Aside of the grass view, I was served by the view of Seoul! I can see Namsan Tower, Bukhansan Mountain, and Hangang River clearly from the top.

Haneul Park 하늘공원

There are also a few windmills at the Haneul Park. They make a pretty picture if you know the right angles. I obviously am not that good so all the windmills in my pictures looked like just regular poles. #kesian #nogoingtouploadthosepatheticpictures



As Haneul Park is very #aestheticallypleasing, there are many designated photo spots available around the park. I did not count the exact amount but pretty sure, there are a lot. So, if you are a noob in taking picture, just like me, just stand at the designated photo spots and you are good to go.

Haneul Park 하늘공원

I'll just call this thing postal boxes. I have no idea the real name of this thing. These postal boxes are one of the famous photo spots in Haneul Park, So, if you're visiting Haneul Park, do not forget to take pictures here :)

I spent a solid 5 hours at Haneul Park because it was suddenly raining heavily when I was about to hike down. The rain lasted about 1 hour, so I happily waited for the rain to stop with the view of beautiful Haneul Park. But I had to say, though I spent 4 hours walking around the park, I did not manage to walk around the whole park because the park is relatively big and it has a lot of small lanes that you can choose to walk to.

Tip: Always check the weather forecast and always bring umbrella if you're travelling during the shoulder season.

Haneul Park 하늘공원

Haneul Park also has this Slow Mailbox where you can send a letter or postcard to future yourself or anyone, really. I like this idea of Slow Mailbox cause I think it is pretty cool. I particularly love what was written on the sign,
"In this digital society where everything moves so fast, Slow Mailbox reminds us the meaning of patience and gives us a chance to handwrite a letter."
The Slow Mailbox will send the letter or postcard twice a year: during Seollal and Chuseok holidays. I wanted to send a postcard to future myself but was unable to do so because the tourist information centre was closed at that time. It was a real bummer but hopefully I can send one in the future.

To reiterate, Haneul Park is of my favourite parks that I have been in South Korea. I just wish I went there when the weather was pretty or when it was not too hot or when it was not raining. Oh, and how I wish I went there with someone so that said person can help me to take my pictures. lol! :D

Would I go back and visit Haneul Park in the future?
Definitely yes, in a heartbeat! Hope I can visit Haneul Park during the Eulalia Festival next time :)

p.s: Such a bittersweet coincidence that I am publishing this post on Kang Ha Neul's enlistment day. See you after 2 years, Kang Ha Neul! :)

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Reflection Of My 1-Month Trip To South Korea

This is a long time coming post. Meant to write this post few months after my trip but life happens - a depressing ones for the fact. So, here I am, finally writing and publishing this post after a year!

My trip to South Korea last year was fun and good but it was not always butterflies and rainbows. And honestly, it left me so much to be desired. All these thanks to all the experience that I went through, the memories that I made, and the countless stupid rookie mistakes that I made. I was not entirely happy with the trip - I think I can do it better, but I was still grateful for all the life lessons that I gained during the trip.

Here are bunch of pointers that I realized after my 1-month trip to South Korea.

Farah at the KLIA

1. I am not good at managing my money/budget.
It hurts my pride to admit to this one fact cause most people around me keep telling me that I am good at managing my money but the truth is, I am not! I blew out a good portion of my money just for shopping. I can actually extend my stay in South Korea for another 2 months or I can even go for a 2-3 weeks Europe trip with the amount of money that I spent on shopping. This was something that I regretted the most from this trip!

2. I don't like fixed and inflexible itinerary.
I have always known that I do not like fixed and inflexible itinerary but South Korea really reminded me of this fact once again. I did not have an itinerary at all when I went to South Korea. The only thing that I had was a long list of places that I want to visit. Granted, I did not get to go to all the places due to the non-existence itinerary (ironic,eh) but I only regretted it a tiny bit. Next time, I should have a flexible itinerary, at the least!

3. Research! Research! Research!
I can't stress enough how important research is in planning your trip. Please do a lot of research before you hop on the plane to another country. I learnt my lesson in a hard way. I wasted a lot of money and time cause I did not enough research. The situation that often happened to me was like this, "Eh, A ni dekat je dengan B & C rupanya. Kalau tahu, pergi je A, B, C sekali semalam. Jimat duit. Jimat masa."


Incheon from above

4. I prefer slow travel.
Again, I have always known that I like to take my time at one place which is why I decided to spend 1 month is South Korea but 1 month is still not enough for me. I also know that I easily get overwhelmed by new and unfamiliar things, which is another reason why I prefer slow travel. I need time to soak the unfamiliarity and to enjoy it. 

5. There is still kindness in this cruel word.
I read a lot of blogposts mentioning how Koreans can be unfriendly, unwelcoming, and sometimes racist towards South East Asians and Muslims. But, I think I was lucky cause I met a lot of nice and helpful Koreans during my trip. So many people helped me - young & old, even though we do not speak the same language. I really felt this thing when I fell down and hurt myself in Busan. So many people helped me and were very concerned about me. I was truly touched by the kindness of Busanites. 



6. Set a theme for the trip.
I think having a theme for a trip to South Korea will definitely make your life easier as South Korea has so many things to offer. As for me, I did not have a set theme so I did a bit of everything and eventually felt so worn out by the end of my trip. It also left me so much to be desired as I felt I did not get to do all things that I originally planned. I tried to apply this on my recent long layover at South Korea and it worked wonders. On my recent long layover, my theme was about music. I attended Sweet Sorrow's concerts and got to enjoy busking scene at Hongdae. In fact, I did get to do few stuffs that originally were not on my plan.

7. Knowing few local phrases will definitely get you a long way.
I am so thankful for all the hours I spent on listening to K-music and watching K-dramas because they helped me a lot during my trip. I often used English whenever I communicated with the locals but I did communicate with some of them in Hangul whenever they had trouble in understanding me. I obviously used the basic phrases that I picked up from the dramas - nothing fancy, but you should see the reactions from the locals. It was priceless. Another example is I got a better treatment from a housekeeper Imu-nim (이모님). At first, she did not want to entertain my requests and kept repeating, "No English. No English" but once I asked her in Hangul, she replied me and fulfilled all my requests.

Farah at the LINE Store, Itaewon

8. Trust your instinct - sometimes.
I usually do not trust my instinct cause I know I can be somewhat dramatic and over imaginative but I learnt sometimes I need to trust my instinct. It will save me from a lot of hassle and trouble. For instance, I had a hunch not to reload my T-money with X amount but I ignored the hunch. Consequently, I lost my T-money with KRW 70,000 in it after a week. To put in context, I lost almost MYR 300 just like that. Another instance, I got a hunch to reload my T-money with KRW 5,000 but again, I ignored it. I put KRW 20,000 and lost the card after one trip. That was MYR 75 flew away just like that.

9. Make sure you are fit enough.
I had a trouble with my fitness when I first landed at South Korea. I walked too slow and I panted whenever I need to take stairs or walk the hilly roads. Do you know how many stairs - subway stairs especially, that I need to tackle and how many hilly roads that I need to walk for the whole trip? A. LOT. But then, I can't blame anyone else except myself cause I lived such a sedentary life for a good 5 months T__T.

10. South Korea is a safe and solo-friendly country - at most parts
I think most people know and acknowledge that South Korea is very safe for solo travelers - female solo travelers included. It is also solo-friendly - at most parts. You can see from the endless walking tours catered for solo travelers offered at big cities. However, do not some of the places are not solo-friendly i.e. famous and busy restaurants. lol! I was denied entry to restaurants twice, once in Seoul and once in Busan just because I  was on my own. #notahappytourist

I learnt a lot more than what I listed from this trip. Most of them were lessons that I learnt in a hard way. But one thing for sure, I did not regret going to this 1-month trip! I also realized that I will never get enough of South Korea! I will definitely visit this country again if I have another chance. 💖

p.s: With this post up and running, I can finally start updating about places that I went during this trip! Can't wait to jog my memories about this trip :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Too Much Information Tag

I was tagged by Misaki (I'm so sorry, I forgot your real name! T__T) and I figure I'll do this tag cause I feel like taking a break from another post that I am currently working on. 

Without further ado, let's start.

1. What are you wearing?
Clothes

2. Ever been in love?
Ever since I was born.

3. Ever had a terrible breakup?
None.

4. How tall are you?
Not that tall considering I need to lift up my head whenever I communicate with my colleagues

5. How much do you weight?
Heavy enough to be considered overweight T___T

6. Any tattoos?
No

7. Any piercings?
No

8. OTP?
Don't really have any cause I am not emotionally invested with any pairings.

9. Favorite show?
I have a few but on top of my mind right now is 2 Days 1 Night.

2 Days 1 Night
I like this week episode and the previous one :) #chataehyunmydreamnampyeon

10. Favorite bands?
Do Super Junior and Sweet Sorrow count?

11. Something you miss?
 Asian food specifically Malaysian food! T____T

12. Favorite song?
I know I am supposed to put one but I'll just put three just because :)

Sweet Sorrow - Beautiful

Sweet Sorrow - I Love You

Sweet Sorrow - Happy New Year
13. How old are you?
 Definitely old enough to vote.

14. Zodiac sign?
 Aries

15. Quality you look for in a partner?
I don't know. I have never think about this thing.

16. Favorite quote?
I have a lot of favorite quotes but the one speaks to me the most is this one.
"Whoever you are, there is some younger person who think you are perfect. There is some works that will never be done if you don't do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill." - Jacob M. Braude

17. Favorite actor?
Kang Ha Neul.

Kang Ha Neul
Love this fine guy's smile and laugh.

18. Favorite color?
Always blue but not all shades of blue :)

19. Loud music or soft?
Depends on my mood but I usually listen to soft music specifically acoustic songs or something like Sweet Sorrow :)

20. Where do you go when you're sad?
My bedroom - wherever my bedroom is.

21. How long does it take you to shower?
I don't know. Never pay attention to how long I take to shower but pretty sure around 15 minutes.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Minus showering time, I think I usually take 15 minutes to get ready.

23. Ever been in a physical fight?
Yeah, with my sisters but that was zillion years ago.

24. Turn on?
Smart and kind people.

25. Turn off?
Stupid and ignorant people.

26. The reason I joined blog?
I first joined blog cause I needed a medium to express my feeling. But now, I use blog to jot down my valuable memories.

27. Fears?
I have a lot of fears.

28. The last thing that made you cry?
The performance expectations that my previous employer and I had and how I did not manage to achieve the expectations despite doing my best.

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
I don't really remember but pretty sure I don't really say I love you that often cause I am not that expressive.

30. Meaning behind your blog url?
The name of my new blog. I observed myself and I noticed that I usually write about things that I don't really talk about in my real life - things that are I am kind of shy to share with my friends.

31. Last book you read?
I don't really remember but I think it is one my Jemari Seni's novels.

32. The book you're currently reading?
None. I don't have any book with me currently.

33. Last show you watched?
Episode 15 of School of 2017.

School of 2017
I giggled so hard during this scene. #mudahterhibur

34. Last person you talked to?
My housemate.

35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

Junior-senior and/or adik-kakak.

36. Favorite food?
Mostly Asian food :D

37. Place you want to visit?
Again, I know I should just put one but I'll list a few. Switzerland, Austria, Macau, South Korea & Makkah.

38. Last place you were?
Kitchen - a girl gotta eat.

39. Do you have a crush?
Yes, if you're talking about celebrity crush. Forever swooning over Siwon :)

Siwon & Heechul
Siwon & Heechul

40. Last time you kissed someone?
Two months ago?

41. Last time you were insulted?
Last night?

42. Favorite flavor of sweet?
Strawberry and yam flavored ice-cream.

43. What instruments do you play?
I don't play any instruments, not even recorder. lol

44. Favorite piece of jewelry?
None? I don't really like jewelry or accessories. The only accessories that I wear on daily basis are my watch and Fitbit.

45. Last sport you played?
I don't remember. It was ages ago.

46. Last song you sang?

Sweet Sorrow - Sign

47. Favorite chat up line?
I don't really understand the question.

48. Have you ever used it?
Can't answer cause it is related to the previous question.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone?
A week ago, I think. Went hiking with my friends at Lake Louise.

50. Who should answer these questions next?
You, you, and you.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sulbing (설빙), Hongdae (홍대)

It was very hot and humid during my recent long layover in South Korea. In one of those days, all I wanted was to sit in an air conditioned space and have something sweet. I particularly craved for anything mango that day. 

Honestly, Sulbing (설빙) did not instantly come to my mind. I was initially heading to Mango Six but decided to change my mind and go to Sulbing instead. The main reason why I decided to go to Sulbing instead was to give Sulbing a second chance. Let's just say, I was not impressed with the first Sulbing bingsu that I had during my first visit to South Korea.

Sulbing, Hongdae
Sulbing (설빙), Hongdae (홍대)

Sulbing, Hongdae was jam-packed during my visit. I was so lucky that I got a seat but obviously, it was not the best seat in the house. Cannot blame the other customers for having the same idea as me to go to Sulbing, cause it was really hot and humid that day. But then, Sulbing, Hongdae is quite small. So, there's that.


A note for myself, I felt a little bit out of place at that time cause everyone came with his/her boyfriends/girlfriends/friends, while I came alone. #foreveralone

Mango Cheese Snowflakes Sorbet
Mango Cheese Snowflakes Sorbet

I ordered Mango Cheese Snowflakes Sorbet cause I was craving for anything mango. But I have to say, if I did not crave for anything mango, I might order Yogurt Tong Tong Melon cause they only serve melon bingsu in summer. Anyway, I was glad I decided to give Sulbing a second chance cause Mango Cheese Snowflakes Sorbet was quite okay! It was not as sweet as I expected. Maybe because I did not pour the condensed milk. The cheese also did not make me feel nauseous, which was a plus point :)

The only thing that I did not really like was the choice of mango. lol! I read somewhere they used apple mango. I am not used to eating apple mango so it was quite hard for me to eat the mango chunks at first. But fret not, the apple mango tasted okay and just nice :) It was just my personal preference.

I personally might go to Sulbing again if I had a chance, just for the sake of trying other bingsu flavors. Hopefully, I will not go alone in the future, insya Allah. haha! :D
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