Published 8/31/2011 by

From Beijing to Seoul ~

August 31st, Wednesday

My bf had prepared the alarm for 4.30am so when we woke up we were both feeling like zombies
We checked out of the hotel at around 5am (and had to pay for the two pink colored towels btw) and luckily they had prepared a taxi for us.
The drive to the airport took only 40min but at the check-in we waited around 1h.
After entering the duty free area we hung around at Starbucks waiting for our flight to Seoul at 8.20am.

The flight was pretty short, specially because I nearly slept while listening to some Kpop songs.
We arrived at Seoul Gimpo airport at 11am, I drew around 1'500'000won (because now that we're in korea it's my turn to pay for everything/hotel) and then took a special "airport limousine" for 7'000 won/person which was really spacious and nice and drove us till Yeoksam Station in Gangnam district, which is in the southern part of Seoul and the other side of the Han River.

My boyfriends first remark when we got out off the flight:
"There's a blue sky!! ...and the colors are shining!"
(meaning there isn't a grey coat of pollution on everything like in China)
and then we took the airport limousine and he continued:
"Everything is so clean! ...have you thought about a language stay in Korea?"
...and I was like.... ( ̄▽ ̄;)~  

We were a bit concerned if we'd find the hotel and if we could check in because it was only 1pm when we arrived at the bus station. We asked some people on the way and they were so nice to google map for us the direction.
Then we finally found our hotel - the outside looked a bit…shady and I started doubting my choice but when we checked in (and there were no problems even though there were only two nice staff who hardly spoke English) I was really satisfied. The room is small but comfy, has a biiiig TV screen, a WINDOW!, a pc, wlan, a big washroom with a jacuzzi and one of the staff was so nice as to show us everything in the room (for example how to open/close air-conditioning).

We stayed in the hotel room, took a shower and browsed facebook/blogger (finally!!) till around 3-4pm, then we left to explore the area. Seoul is pretty complicated, because as soon as you leave the main streets you will get lost in all the nice side streets which are full of small shops/restaurants.

My boyfriend was hungry but all the restaurant were empty so we couldn't decide which one was good. We even found a cat cafe but decided not to visit since my bf wanted something "real" to eat…. in the end we landed in T.G.I. Friday…(lol) anyway, we don't have that store in Switzerland and I had eaten there before and really, really loved their ribs and my bf was really satisfied with the food and the staff who was wearing mouse/rabbit ears… (´・ω・`)

After stuffing dinner we tried to find our way back, taking lots of pictures. The streets were fuller now, there were lots of couples and young people and the small restaurants were all filled with some middle aged men eating and drinking. We even found an Artbox store (my favourite kitch store, full of agendas, plushies, tshirts and other CUUUTE stuff). ♥ ♥ 

We got back at the hotel toward 8-9pm and then I browsed the internet some more and now I'm really tired.
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Published 8/31/2011 by

J-Magazines (October 2011) ~

Here are (exclusively for my beloved readers) some of the newest Japanese magazines,
this is part 10 of my monthly series, featuring all October issues ^_^

Hope you enjoy reading and please comment if you download! ❤ ❤
I'll keep updating this page as long as there's some interesting October 2011 issues ~
- so make sure to check back often! ~

last update: november: 5th: Pichi Lemon

Vivi Zipper Kera JJ
Popsister Seventeen Popteen Ray
Ageha Nuts Jelly Scawaii
Egg Sweet PichiLemon

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Published 8/31/2011 by

Back to Blogger ~

Bye-bye Beijing - Hello Seoul, hi Facebook + Blogger again! ^_^
I moved my blog exactly at the wrong time; I had completely forgotten that Facebook, Youtube and Blogger are banned in China... so I had access to my blog and to the Disqus comments but couldn't access my Blogger Interface... ~_~ (well, it worked for the first blog post but then it got blocked >.< )
I prepared most of the posts already, though... so I'll be posting them  during my stay in Korea. ^_^

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Published 8/30/2011 by

Badaling Great Wall ~

August 30th, Tuesday

My bf had prepared an alarm for 8.30am so when it rang I was still totally tired… we prepared and left the hotel towards 9.15am and tried to get a cab while the hotel personal was laughing at us XD
We drove to Jishuitan and waited at the 919 station. (Remember the last time we did?) We queued up with some other puzzled tourists and the "security guards" kept telling us that the bus would arrive soon but if we paid "a bit extra" we could get a special car for 4 people for around 400-600rmb together.

Don't !!! trust this sign, the bus 919 doesn't drive to the Great Wall, it's bus 877

The lucky ones who got on the bus (after 2 attempts) and n00bies that are still waiting at the 919 stop

After 30min of waiting and not seeing any 919 bus that showed the direction of Badaling we went to a kiosk and bought magazines and then looked around. I discovered a bus number 877 whose destination was "badaling", so we followed it and found the "real" bus station for badaling and it was like…12rmb per person… >_<' so lucky we didn't get kidded… I guess the whole security guard thing are organised to let us wait at that place till we get sick of waiting and take a "private" car… last time we went to Jishuitan was around 11.50am and they told us we'd missed the bus but there 877 badaling busses till 12.30…. grrrR!! even the lady who sold tickets and recharched ICcards didn't give us any info… we feel soo played here in Beijing!! (_ ̄■ ̄_) 

our bus and the view... finally seeing the Great Wall!

Yay, we've arrived!

Anyway, we took the 877 badaling bus which took around 70min and then arrived at there. We bought some Yangrouchuan and Chadan and tickets for the so-called gliding car to the wall. First we walked up another path till we met our bus tour guide who told us we'd taken the wrong way XD
...so we walked back and took that gliding car .

jumping happily

This is... the gliding car... you just sit in it like in a soapbox and let it glide you up to the Great Wall

When we arrived it was really hot and we were really tired so we took a stroll,  took many photos, let some random chinese pple take photos with me and then took the gliding car back and queued up for a back-to-beijing 877 bus.

The beautiful view

"I climbed the Great Wall!" (well, it's like my... 4th time? ^^')

老婆 & 老公 @ Great Wall

enough camwhoring / btw the people there are queuing up to take a photo at the edge - the signs on the rock say "True man"
There's a saying "Unless you have climbed on the Great Wall you aren't a true man" so everyone has to prove that they did it!

From Jishuitan we took a cab till Wangfujing and tried to find a school bag for laogong but didn't find any, then we spontaneously decided to have Beijing Duck (kaoya) for dinner so we went to the famous restaurant Quanjude (which originated in 1864) and spent a LOT of money there… but we had a nice last meal in Beijing and went home really really full XD Actually we were pretty lucky to arrive there at around 4-5pm, before 'official' dinner time, because last time we tried to go to that restaurant (a few days before at around 8pm) it was STUFFED and you had to queue up to take the elevator to the restaurant and take a seat (there were at least 40 of them - waiting for a table to get free! ^0^ (that's how popular that restaurant is)

waiting impatiently for the food... look at these CUTE chopstick holder!

the luxurious restaurant // cook slicing the duck for us ^^


The entrance
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Published 8/29/2011 by

Temple of Heaven ~

AUG 29th (Monday)

Today I wasn't feeling well so I slept late and then I went to discover the nearby surroundings with my boyfriend. I also bought some comfy shoes because the blue platform sandals had started hurting my feet. We "discovered" a very nice park and then walked towards south, crossed several cute dogs on our way and finally reached the Temple of Heaven (tiantan), where the emperor used to bow and thank heaven.

there was a small sign with the inscription: "refuse to feed

love how the red bridge stand out! 

the new comfy shoes I bought... chinese style of course

Small decoration details at the tiantan Park

Entrance to the tiantan

So pretty! And a vast space as always!

View from above

Chinese kitsch at its best

The Temple of Heaven, situated in southeastern Beijing, is the largest extant sacrificial temple in China. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was the site of imperial sacrifices to Heaven. It was here that the emperor conducted the elaborate and most exalted sacrifices addressed to "the Supreme Ruler of the Universe." (...)
On the day before sacrifices were to be conducted, the emperor came to the temple to perform preliminary rituals. He spent the night fasting in the Hall of Abstinence, directly east of the Bridge of Cinnabar Steps. This square hall is surrounded by a moat and high wall. Aside from the main hall, sleeping quarters, watch room and bell tower, there is a small stone pavilion with a bronze statue. 

The statue holds a plaque inscribed with "Rules of the Fast" to remind the emperor of his task. 
Legend holds that the statue is modeled after a Tang Dynasty official who was once bold enough to point out the emperor's faults. (...) 

The Temple of Heaven also had an office of divine music to train musicians for the rituals as well as a sacrifice chamber where animals were prepared for sacrifice.  

*Nomnom* (。・ρ・)o━<コ:彡━ イカヤキタベル?

Shanghainese must-eats: xiaolongbao and kaofu (according to laogong)

When we got back to the hotel it was already around 4pm. I ate cookies and slept for some hours. In the evening we just took a stroll around Wangfujing again, enjoyed some bubble tea, ate in a "Shanghai-style restaurant" (laogong misses Shanghainese cuisine in Beijing and that was the only affordable Shanghai-'restaurant') and bought more Azona A02 clothes ( the winter collection was out ).
Towards 10-11pm we got back home and I watched a special reportage about Rain and the "Hallyu Wave" ~ I was super excited to be watching a reportage about how Korean popular culture is spreading rapidly and Seoul as some kinda Mekka knowing that in 2 days we'd be there! 

"失败过后总有成功" - quote from the reportage I liked so much that I wrote it down XD
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