Annyeonghasaeyo Korea!

The writer enjoying the winter of Korea.

Part 2

By Raja Erina Soraya Raja Mohd Firdaus

Kimchi is a traditional food in Korea, and is regularly mentioned and shown in Korean series, and for a fan of Korean television series, a trip to the Kimchi Making School was inevitable. However, not everyone can be a cook and this is what I discovered as I tried my hand at making Kimchi. It was fun, and funny at some points but I failed to make a perfect kimchi. In fact “my” kimchi did not look edible event to me!

The Hanbok Centre, where I got to wear the traditional Korean costume was another story altogether. Indeed my time at the centre with my family become one of the best memories of my trip to Korea.

Dressed up in the colourful costumes of Korea, my family and I got to take lovely pictures of ourselves amid interesting backgrounds. We also got help from the professional photographers who got us all in for some good shots. A visit to this centre is a must for those who love the traditional clothes of Korea. Quite an experience.

Another cherished memory from Korea is my first time experience of skiing in the Korean winter
season. The cold and heavy snow made the skiing experience truly enjoyable.

My first lesson on skiing was right in the Pyeongchang province, which is famed for its winter sports and where the 2018 Winter Olympics was held. Heavy snow fills up the place all year round making it ideal for skiing. I struggled throughout my first lesson in skiing because of the heavy apparatus that I had to carry around. Worse, I had to climb back up the hill with after skiing down. But overall the experience was fun as I got to learn something new and the fact that skiing in the snow was possible only in a cold place like Korea and not in Malaysia where the sun shines all year, made it even more memorable.

Of course, how could I end my Korea trip without some shopping and a visit to the Lotte Indoor
Theme Park! One tip to those wishing to go to a theme park — start early in the morning. Not many people will be at these parks in the morning but the crowd grows towards the afternoon, especially after
business and school hours. It is better to be early as the lining up for rides will be
faster and shorter.

There were all kinds of rides in the Lotte Indoor Theme Park but I did not have the
chance to try all of it. Being there itself felt like I was already in Disneyland with the setting
and environment as it is set right in a mall.

Finally, it was shopping time. We found that it is always best to go around five in the evening especially at the Myeongdong street where there is a night market along the shop lots.

My favourite wares at the Myeongdong street was K-Pop albums and merchandise. They cost so much less than the ones I had bought in Malaysia.

Walking around the Myeongdong street was a treat by itself. There were rows of shops displaying various branded items of definitely higher quality. I didn’t really buy many things but I did buy two bowls of Korean rice cakes, Toppoki, which was really tasty. In fact, I discovered that Korea’s street food is really tasty.

For those who wish to travel, post COVID-19 issues, I would like to certainly urge them to keep Korea in their list. In fact I think people should find their time to visit Korea at least once in their lifetime as it provides a variety of things to do and there is so much to learn about their culture.

Apart from the capital city of Seoul, there is Pyeongchang, Busan or the beautiful island of Jeju that people can choose to visit.

Raja Erina Soraya is a big time fan of K-Pop and all things Korean. A college student, who is used to travelling overseas with her mother and a younger sister, she has been to various places but Korea is almost a “second home” for her, having been there numerous times. While the travelling has stopped for a while due to the COVID-19, she recollects in this travel report her time with her family in Korea.

P.S. Annyeonghasaeyo means Hello in the Korean language.