Saturday, September 13, 2014

Visits Busan Korea 2014 - Local Food Special Songjeong3dae Gukbap

On the first day of arrival to Busan, we managed to reach Seomyeom from airport in about a 30 mins. We left airport around 5.40 pm and managed to reach our hostel about 6.30 pm - trying to locate the hostel after we got down from the bus in front of Lotte Department Store. We were so tired and hungry.

Upon check-in, we were recommended by the hotel manager Jay to try out the popular Gukbap in Busan. We were told that many people in other parts of Korea travel to Busan to enjoy this special local food. We were told that the Gukbap is rice and pork in soup. Without any hesitation, we followed the direction given by Jay to locate the Gukbap in Jungang-Daero area.

We walked along Jungang-Daero road at at the junction of a Nike store, we turned to the left. The streets has many small stores that sells snacks. We we go further, we reached the Gukbap restaurant.
 There were a few of the Gukbap restaurants. We have chosen the 2nd restaurant which is the one with the signage saying 3rd generation. I am just another typical consumer who thinks that a longer history place and still many are dinning there, something has to be right. So, we decided to go for it.
See the small English wording saying "third-generation", not that we know how to read Korean.
The menu with English, something that we love to see when we enter a restaurant in Busan. It just solve all the problem in ordering :) We ordered the original Dwaejigukbap (Pork Soup with Rice) for 6,000won.
Look left.
Look right, they are all Korean. I guess we were the only Malaysian...which I think they all could have thought that we are from China....tsk tsk tsk!
Here comes out dinner. A complete meal with many side dishes for free. The boss told us that we can refill the soup and side dishes, and no charges if we wish to add more rice. He even teach us how to match the side dishes for the best taste of their gukbap. He sounded very friendly but don't look friendly..hahaha, a busy man maybe.
Pork, pork, lots of pork!!!! Thumb up to the chef, the lady who cook all these at the entrance. 
Being a fan of rice and pork, I give this 10 out of 10. Never tasted pork with such taste, when you combined the sauce, and other dishes together in the soup. 'Like'!!!!
Satisfied until the last drop of the soup! I will be back!!!
A highly recommended restaurant and one of the must try local special food in Busan. For only 6,000won per pax, at first I thought it is expensive but hanging out in Busan for a few days, I find that this restaurant is very reasonable. A tall size Starbucks coffee already cost 6,100won!!! Gukbap can satisfy hunger and thirst better then.

Address: 부산광역시 부산진구 부전동 (Busan Busanjin Bujeon) 255-15

Monday, September 1, 2014

Visits Busan Korea 2014 - Uniqstay Hostel & Suites

We first came across this hostel through AirAsiaGo.com travel package. We did some research on Tripadvisor.com and found the the review for this hostel were quite good. So, we decided to give it a try.

The Location
Soemyeon is located about 10km from the Gimhae International Airport, within 30 minuites  (depending on the traffic condition).. Hence, it is very near and save our time and money to travel from airport to hotel. By bus, it cost 6,000won per person and if by taxi (any color except black - higher charges), it cost around 13,000won per trip (all are metered taxi).

The Uniqstay hostel is just behind Lotte Hotel. As long as you can locate Lotte Hotel, you will never failed to find your way back to the hostel. It is about 3 minutes walk from Metro Subway Soemyeon station and 2 minutes walk away from Lotte Hotel. From the bus stop, we just walk towards the back street along Lotte Hotel, Uniqstay hostel is then within your visibility.
The main entrance of Lotte Hotel facing the main road
The walk way at the side of Lotte Hotel (right)
You can easily spot the building as it is quite outstanding along the street.
The street view





The Lobby
Once reach the Unistay hostel, we use the left side entrance to go up to the lobby at 2nd Floor. The 1st level (ground floor) is the Da Garage Cafe.
Once inside, we can take the lift to 2nd Floor, which is the reception desk for check in.
At 2F, there is a very cool reception desk. We were very happy with the hospitality by Mr Jay, the owner/general manager of Uniqstay.
The Room
We were so delighted to stay in this cozy environment for our 3 nights stay. The place is so clean and feel like home. Mr Jay helped us on the check-in and he was so nice to upgrade our stay to the Junior Suite, 'Big Kahuna'. Let me share with you some pictures of the room:
This suite got a large LG TV - awesome!!!
We were so happy when we entered the room...so nice!!! I Started to miss this room already...
Got a work area and sofa to chill and relax in the room
There is a closet room with hangers, make up table and bath room with rain shower. The hostel also provides body and hair shampoo, soap and conditioner. There were towels and hair dryer too. Basically everything except toothbrush.
This suite comes with a washing machine in the toilet.
If can even plug your Ipod to the clock speaker in the room for your favorite music - sadly, I am Lumia user :P
By the way, upon check-in, Jay gave us the complimentary mineral water. 
A unique card holder for the door access card. I should have keep the holder as souvenir instead of returning it during check out :( 
The Facilities
Before we came, we were told that most hotel do not provide drinking water, so we are prepared for that. However, Uniqstay provide drinking water for free. Also, there is a laundry room at the basement for the quests and it is free of charged. Meanwhile, a shared chiller is there at the basement too so we can buy lots of banana milk from the convenient shops and enjoy it during our stay :)
Left: Walkway down to the basement
Right: The shared chiller and water dispenser machine
The basement can be used by guest to hangout during the stay.
The Da Garage Cade - Free Breakfast
The free breakfast is included with the stay. Everyday, there will be a special breakfast by two lovely lady. Also, there are fruits, cereals, yogurts, breads, milks, and coffee. Simple breakfast, exactly what we need to kick start our day before we go for more local delights.
Chefs in Da Garage :P
Some guest from all different countries. Cool!
Daily special
I love the SPAM!!!!
The stay at Uniqstay Hostel & Suites was fantastic. If I got a chance to return to Busan for holidays, I will definitely stay here again. A highly recommended place to stay in the city area of Busan.

More food and places in Busan to share...soon!

Visits Busan Korea 2014 - Departing from KLIA2 to Gimhae

Our visits to Busan Korea on the 28-31 August 2014, a 4 Days 3 Nights holidays journey started very early in the morning as my flight is at 8.30am from Kuala Lumpur to Busan (arrive at 3.45pm). It was a 6 hours flight with AirAsia X. We headed to the new KLIA2 on a Thursday morning in good traffic - that's because it was around 5.00am.

KLIA2
A very big airport for the budget airlines. Too big until tired of walking from one point to another. No doubt, it is much better and portrait a better image of Malaysia as compared to LCCT. However, you decide yourself on its practicality of having a big airport as a travelers....
My advise to you at KLIA2, be ready to keep walking!
Knowing that 6 hours flight was quite long, more room leg is a must. Hence, we got ourselves 'Hot Seats' which promised to have more space.
However, I have learned a lesson from this. Never book a hot seat that is in the middle of the aircraft as people will not bother about the 'no crossing' sign and keep walking across in front of you. If you want a hot seat, make sure you choose the seats on the side.

Gimhae International Airport Busan
Finally, we landed safefly at the Gimhae International Airport at 3.10pm. Weather was cloudy but the feeling was great! The airport is quite small and only a few counter at the immigration checkpoint. It took us about 20 mins to get out from there. Meanwhile, some screening were in place due to Ebola outbreak.
From the airport, we need to get to Soemyeon, the new downtown of Busan. To do so, we need to walk out from the main entrance of the airport (same floor from the arrivals) and turn to the right. There is a bus station there - #2 is for the bus heading to our destination. The fare for the bus - 6,000won per person.
We got down at the bus stop just right in from of the Lotte Hotel, it is the 2nd stop after the bus left the airport.
Okay, we didn't booked to stay in Lotte Hotel but we are staying around here. The Uniqstay hostel is located behind the Lotte Hotel. So, we need to walk for about 3 minutes to the hostel.

Next: Check in at Uniqstay Hostel & Suites




Visits Busan Korea 2014 - AirAsia and Uniqstay Hostel

It has been a busy year so far. With many changes happening around our workplace and family, we have decided to take a short break to Korea and continue to strive for the final quarter of the year. My wife initiated the holidays for us and she did all the research and comparison for this trip as I was busy completing my semester with lots of exam scripts marking work T.T

AirAsiaGo.com
We managed to book a free & easy package from AirAsiaGo.com website (flight & accommodation) in July 2014 for our trip on 28-31 August 2014. A very used friendly website with many options of different packages. I think it much cheaper to book for a package than buying the flight and accommodation separately. The flight and accommodation package only cost us around RM1,200 before all the upgrades like meal, baggage, insurance and premium seats.


Uniqstay Hostel & Suite
We have chosen to stay in a hostel instead of hotel. Since we are going for a free and easy holidays and trying to work within our budget, we thought of giving it a try. We read a lot of reviews from Tripadvisor.com and finally, we have decided to stay in Uniqstay Hostel & Suite - currently ranked #3 out of 79 on Tripadvisor.com (1/9/14).
It was a great experience staying in this hostel, which I feel it is like a hotel instead of hostel. Very comfortable and great hospitality. A highly recommended place to stay if you are planning to go to Busan for a free & easy holiday.
>>> Click to read on to find out more about my stay at Uniqstay

Next: The Journey begin: Departing from KLIA2