“Go-saeng Ggeut-eh naki eun-da.” (At the end of hardship comes happiness.) – Korean proverb
Indeed, the best things in life are free! :D
This South Korea trip was funded by our company and I am truly blessed to be a part of it, it’s a well-deserved break for all of us who worked hard meeting deadlines and having stressful weeks to attain our sales target for that year. And as an appreciation from our ever gracious employers, they were truly generous enough to take all of us for this all-expense trip!
South Korea is known to be the Land of the Morning Calm, because of its spellbinding natural beauty of picturesque high mountains and clear waters and its splendid tranquillity, particularly in the morning. So I guess, it’s a perfect choice for all of us after series of sleepless nights and battling with difficult vendors, and clients lol!
I’ve been dreaming of going to South Korea coz of my fascination with their good films (not to cite their cheesy telenovelas hehe) and their spicy healthy food (side dishes is what i love with korean meal!), so I’ll forever cherish the fun memories I had during this trip, especially the strong family-like relationship with my colleagues! I have been working for so many years now but this is only the time that I feel the warmth and sincerity among ALMOST ALL of the people you work with!
We went on a very good time of the year, end winter! It was not so cold that you could not explore and enjoy (5C) but cold enough to keep the SNOW! Big deal? Coz it was my FIRST TIME to see one! :P In as much as I want to see cherry blossoms, I think snow should comes first in my experience (pathetic haha!)
Though it was a free trip, I think we also spent so much in buying our winter clothes and “outfits” hahaha! For me, I have to start my scratch, I don’t even have a winter hat to begin with! Nevertheless, I am still grateful that this entire trip will be FREE! ;)
These are the places we went to:
1. Yongpyong Dragon Valley
It’s the filming site of the famous telenovela – “Winter Sonata”. This is where I first see and touch SNOW hahaha! Maybe I was expecting worst but it didn’t felt so cold for me, I was OK ;) We had short lesson for snow skiing but when we are just about to start skiing, I slipped and fractured my pinkie deymn! We stayed in the resort’s hotel and was surprised THERE WERE NO BEDS!!! We have to sleep on Tatami mats on a heated floor called Ondol, where they say is good for your body, hmmmm….it still felt uncomfortable for me though the next day haha!
2. Mount Seorak
It’s the 3rd highest peak in South Korea but most visited by tourist as the park at the entrance contains many beautiful sites, temple etc. We were taken on top by a cable train with a capacity of 20 people, and you will hike a bit more to get to the best panoramic scene of the area. If you go for the summit which is a bit steep, then touch the flag, you’ll get a medal in return…Well I was feeling lazy and didn’t go for it :D
3. Gyeongbok Palace
This is where the “Jewel in the Palace” was filmed), it’s the largest palace in Seoul. Here you can learn more about their rich culture and history.
4. Korean Traditional Centre
This is where we learned hands-on on how to make Kimchi. Then after making our own Kimchi, we went to dressed in the Korean Traditional Costume called Hanbok. I enjoyed this part coz I only see this in tv! :P
5. Deoksan Spa Castle
Indoor resort with a variety of Spa facilities, offering hot springs from all over the world and outdoor leisure activities. Its spa uses only pure Deoksan mineral water. Then Koreans are very strict with their swimcap policy, so all of us ladies have to wear one, it looks funny but we have to respect their culture of course. No photo taking is allowed of course :(
6. Lotte World Adventure Park
We spent our time enjoying the live entertainment, thrilling rides in both indoor and outdoor theme parks or simply explore quaint shops found through the vast grounds. It is said to be the film location of the “Carousel” used in the koreanovela “Stairway to Heaven” ^.^
7. Yongin Everland
It’s an amusement park with a magical world of natural beauty. There is a Safari drive where you have the chance to get close to endangered animals like giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, bears and “liger” (the offspring of a lion and tiger, rarely found elsewhere) During our visit, they are still making the world’s only wooden rollercoaster! I wouldn’t dare to experience it :P
8. Dongdaemun Market
Shopping! It’s Asia’s largest shopping district and has recently become the largest apparel shopping area for Koreans. It was so huge that we got lost going back to our tour bus hahaha! And it was so difficult to find someone who can direct us coz they refused to talk to us the moment they hear us talking in English! Good thing we saw one guy in corporate suit who can speak English! Oh my..
9. Myongdong Fashion Street
One of the most fashionable shopping streets in Seoul where you can shop and people watch.
10. Ginseng Monopoly Showroom
A place for the world’s best ancient tonic elixir and stamina builder – Korean Ginseng. We ate Chicken Porridge with Ginseng.
11. Amethyst Factory
Here is where you can find the locally produced purple gemstones at a bargain.
12. Face Shop
Oh yeah I really didn’t understand why we went here! Ok fine it’s a South Korean franchise, but as part of the trip and spending almost 2 hours in there??? Maybe I don’t have the money to shop haha!!! But I’d rather go to more museums than shop for 2 hours inside The Face Shop >:(
One thing i like about Korea is their food! Very healthy, I love the free side dishes hehehe . Another thing I like is the people! Girls are really pretty (most of them) and well dressed as expected, real head-turners! Guys are cute (even the vendors hihihi) and with a strong taste in fashion ;)
That sums up our company trip! It was very relaxing despite the exhausting list of activities we had every single day. Relaxing because you are not bothered about your work because you are with your colleagues and your bosses, so you know that no one is “working” while you’re having your well-deserved holiday hehe. Plus the fun I had with everyone, our relationship grew stronger than it already is.
And of course, there will always be someone in the group who always make it dificult to do your job, but on this trip, we are all just plain friends having fun, doing fun things together. At least, even just for a while, all of us are just calm… :)
I would be forever grateful about it. Truly blessed to have been a part of this company. I miss them already…