Wednesday February 13, 2013 & Thursday February 14, 2013
Today started off super early of course. We wanted to catch the first flight to Vancouver. There were 3 flights we could take in order to catch our 11:50AM flight to Seoul but 1) the loads were better for the first flight and 2) no point in chancing it.
We got on our Vancouver flight smoothly and as a plus…well 2 plusses, Chantelle knew one of the crew and more importantly we both got first class seats. Woohoo! Flat beds rule! Watched 21 Jump Street which was hilarious for those that haven’t seem it and got through half of Lincoln before I fell asleep.
Once in Vancouver we had a lot of time to kill so we slowly made our way to D55. Man I have to say that the Vancouver airport is simply well done. Pearson could learn a thing or two. It has a homely, down to earth and natural sense to it all. One of the halls even has a stream going through it that leads to a giant fish tank which I aptly ruined in some photos below.
Since my Elite membership expires Feb 28 *insert collective sigh* I thought I’d give the Maple Leaf Lounge one last try even though our chances were pretty low since these were flight attendant standby seats. Luck was on our side though and we both got in! We grabbed some lunch and a glass of wine.
At 11:15AM it was already time to board so we made our way over. What really shocked us when we got there was that apparently because of extra cargo or whatever they decided to bring on the plane, they reduced the number of passengers on the plane for weight balancing reasons. What we thought was pretty certain for us to get on immediately turned to “so what do you want to do in Vancouver today?” We waited and at the very last minute they lady at the counter called “Fong and Tang please come to the front desk”. Phew close call. We made it! We got one seat in First Class and another in Economy. Chantelle was awesome enough to let me sit J class which is where I’m writing this opening part of the blog. 5 more hours to go! I’ve been so pampered so far that I don’t know if I could go back to economy haha.
- Safe House – Denzel is his amazing type-casted self and Ryan Reynolds is pretty bad ass
- Lincoln – Finally finished. It’s slow and sometimes hard to follow if you don’t know the history. Time to wiki this later.
- Ah Wei Wei: Never Say Sorry – A Sundance selection we never got to watch 2 years ago. Stellar! Recommended to everyone. Note to self – my parents need to watch this.
- Wir wollten auf Meer- Interesting German movie about East Germany and the Stasi. Not the greatest though.
- Man on a Ledge – Heist with a twist. Average.
Welcome to Korea
Fast forward to Seoul. We landed a bit delayed (4:50 instead of 4:25). After waiting forever at customs since they seemed to be very thorough with each person, we got out of the luggage area and went straight to the money changer. Chantelle and I each exchanged 100 USD to hold us over for a few days. We then found Bus 6011 that we needed to take to meet Farrah and her boyfriend Joel.
The weather outside wasn’t too chilly and reminded me of what Toronto was like before we left. There was also some snow accumulated in certain places.
After around 45 minutes and taking a super long bridge to get from Incheon to Seoul we finally made it to our bus stop with Farrah and Joel to greet us. We quickly settled in and got a quick tour of the apartment. Farrah’s place is actually pretty nice and way larger than I was picturing in my head. The kitchen part is really cool. It actually looks like a closet storage wall but when you open it, some reveal the sink and stove while others would open the fridge or freezer. Total incognito.
So Do Deok K-BBQ
For dinner we canned to nearby Sincheon and ate at a mom and pop type k BBQ place called So Do Deok. Small place and really only does 3 plates of meat but simplicity serves them well. Yum!
After that we stopped by a Baskin Robbins of all places which is surprisingly super happening. Weird since its pretty nippy outside but I guess BR is a premium brand over here and plus people love to go to cafes to hang out. I found a green tea ice cream mochi so I knew right away what I wanted ;). By the time we finished ordering there were no more seats so we ended up eating our ice cream outside and on our way home. We took the bus this time.
The Sinchon area was reminiscent of some neighbourhoods in Japan with its neon lights. This area is accented by a lot of young people since its close to Ewha University, there are a lot of street food vendors at night and there must be a gazillion cafes. To wrap it all up there’s also a mega cross walk kind of like Shibuya but on a much smaller scale.
Tips & Tricks
- Airport Limousine bus – make sure you use a coupon if you’re taking one of these to save 1,000 Won.
- 4:30AM wake up
- 6:50AM YYZ – YVR 9:00AM (AC103)
- Roam around Vancouver airport and lounge
- 11:50AM YVR – ICN 4:50PM +1 day (AC063)
- Take Bus 6011 at 6:07PM to Former Location of Seongsan Hall – Arrive at 6:45PM
- Settle into Farrah’s apartment
- Dinner at So Do Jeok in Sinchon
- Baskin Robbins
- Exhausted and crashed
Check out the next day
On our own, Chantelle and I explored Ehwa District, Sinchon, and Myeongdong. Check it out here: Day 2 – Seoul – Shopping Frenzy