Adventures of 나쁜남자 and Kancheong Girl

An informational one-stop blog that tells you everything about Korea, travel and music.

For those who love music (don't we all do), visit me at!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Buying Winter Jacket in Korea 2016 (Sale + Recommendations)

I have been eyeing Korea's winter jackets for quite some time. Winter in korea can be really chilly thus getting a good down jacket is quite important. That is also the reason why I think Korea's jacket can be trusted when it comes to keeping warm (and staying trendy). Some of the popular brands in Korea include North Face (Mcmurdo series) and Discovery (Milford series).

I went for a winter jacket hunt when I was in Korea in early October. I believe this was the best time to get good deals for winter jackets, many of the jackets (usually past models) were on sale. A good down jacket should be water resistant, light but still thick enough to keep warm, wind resistant, comes with hood and last but not least, fashionable and stylish enough.

I had set my eyes on Mcmurdo from North Face and have been searching about it online for the past 1 year. I have no doubts at all about its quality. This costs KRW 420,000 at Gimpo outlet mall, original price is around KRW600,000. It is definitely above my budget but my bf said it's cheap going by Korean's standard. True enough, I do see a couple of people buying it.

Since I was already at the outlet mall, might as well check out more options. The Bean Pole jacket got me wavering. I have never seen such nice camel coloured jacket. The fur doesn't look too shabby and the jacket is light and comfy. This jacket comes in 6 colours (black, navy, red, green, light blue, camel). Originally selling for KRW 418,000, it was going at KRW 209,000 (after tax) while I was there. A bargain too good to give up on. Tax can be refunded at the airport.

Decided to also check out K2 and Black Yak, both are well known Korean brands. I think those below ranged from KRW 300,000 to KRW 390,000.

These were of good quality as well but the design, cut and colour did not capture my interest as much as Bean Pole's. And so.... both me and my bf bought the super cheap camel coloured jacket from Bean Pole! Happy and contented. Love the colour and how the collar/hoodie fur stays up, shielding the neck from the cold.

By the way, I got my jeans from Uniqlo at Myeongdong, it seems like slim boyfriend fit is the trend in Korea in Autumn 2016.

Hope this guide will help you make a decision on Korea winter jacket investment.

Refer to my Recent travel to Jeju post for a photo of a coat I got from Korea (from a brand called Soup).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How to Make Korean Soybean Soup Doenjangjjigae (됀장찌개 만들기)

I have always been a fan of Baek Jong Won (백종원) and his recipe for 됀장찌개 didn't disappoint. It's a simple recipe worth trying even for noobs. Will definitely make this again.

Ingredients (for 2):
500ml rice water (soak rice in water till it turns milky, filter and collect the water)
100g shabu pork
2 slices of raddish about 0.5cm thick (ok to add more)
2 tbsp soybean paste (doenjang)
0.5 tbsp pepper paste (gochujang)
0.3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 zucchini
Chopped spring onion

1) Prepare the ingredients by cutting the pork slices into smaller pieces, cutting raddish into long stripes and cutting zucchini into quarter cube.

2) Add some oil to a pot and stir fry the pork until it is cooked. Then, add in raddish and cook till it wilts.

3) Pour in the rice water and continue boiling. When it starts to bubble, add in the soybean paste, pepper paste, sugar and garlic. Wait till it boils then add in zucchini. Continue boiling for another 5 minutes or until the zucchini softens. Add chopped spring onion.

Above photo is for a serving of 4 person

I have transferred the contents into a Korean pot, which I bought from a Korean mart at $6.90, and heating it up  just before serving. This step is optional. The original recipe that Mr Baek did was for 1 serving and he cooked it in this traditional Korean pot.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Seoul Summer 2016 - Latest Trend and Tips (Sheraton Walkerhill, rash guard, grapes, sparkling water, lotte duty free shopping)

The bf made a reservation at the Sheratin Grande Walkerhill hotel. For those familiar with kpop, you will know that many Korean artistes choose to hold their wedding here, at Astons house.

I had very high expectation of this hotel but was quite disappointed. There are still some pros about this hotel.

Our booking was at Douglous house which had a separate check-in area. The hotel receptionist was waiting at the lobby door and guided us on the hotel facilities and services. The check-in process was smooth and at the end of it, the bell boy helped us with our luggage. I would say that the service here is top notch.

The room is clean and comfortable however, the toilet is a little dated. They had free flow coffee at the lounge.

There are two pools, one indoor and one outdoor. We went to both but only managed to snap photo of the indoor one. If you are not a hotel guest, you have to spend more than SGD100 to get in to their outdoor riverpark. It consists of a lazy river (water is quite still though), a jaccuzzi (crowded), kids pool (with slides and all) and a main pool (filled with people playing beach balls). It was the worst pool I have ever visited and until now, I can't comprehend the high entrace fees. Worst of all, if you need to use the sunbed, you need to pay krw50,000. We had no choice but to place our belongings on the floor beside the sunbed. We got out in less than 30 minutes and headed to the indoor pool which was much better. But the pool was quite small and we were under the watchful eyes of hotel staff who had to explain the rules (if you are not swimming, keep to lane 1 etc) to every guest entering the area.

Summer is a good time to enjoy a dip in the pool. Almost everyone had rash guard on and many shops (including major brands like SPAO, who r u, 8seconds etc) were selling them as well. Got mine from who r u at krw29,000. Supposed to protect you from the harmful uv rays. I didn't stay in the sun long enough to test it out but feels great to have those belly fats covered.

Next, we visited one of the wedding venue, vista hall. There were many curious couples there. Without any deco, the place looked so average, different from their advertisement photos. The view from the ballroom was great though - overlooking han river.

Most artistes had their wedding at Astons house, outdoor wedding venue. Couldn't access the area, drove through the place instead and snapped some photos of their villa.

Our room came with free breakfast which was good and had great variety but still lost out to Conrad and Shilla.

If you are in Korea for summer, you have to try their grapes. One box like the one below costs krw9,900. It's seedless and really sweet. We usually eat the grapes without the skin; only popping out the flesh.

My other loots(honey butter chips, honey butter almond, market o cheese chips etc) from the supermarket. Stay away from the churros almond (bottom right).

Another trend in Korea is carbonated/sparkling water, to drink and to rinse. Due to its slightly acidic properties, it is said to be good for the skin and scalp. Many beauty programmes are introducing it as facial/scalp wash for detox. The brand below is quite popular in Korea, selling at krw1,000, cheaper than perrier.

After so many trips to Korea, found out that I have been purchasing cosmetics via the wrong channel. I used to purchase cosmetics off shelves in Myeongdong but the Lotte Duty Free app has changed my perception of duty free shopping. Lotte duty free shopping app is not just about purchasing products tax free. The discount coupons and discount events can reap substantial savings. Link to English version.

How cheap is it? Using the Laneige purchase below, waterbank gel cream is sold at KRW 37,000 and waterbank essence is sold at KRW 40,000 on Laneige official website. However, Lotte duty free is only selling it at KRW 29,886 and KRW 30,996 respectively, almost 20% discount. Other brands might have even higher discounts.
From Laneige website
From Laneige website
From Lotte duty free app
After you make your purchase, follow the instruction and collect it at the airport (after clearing immigration). Your products will be properly packed into a bag and once your number is called, the bag will be handed over to you. Simple and cheap. Be sure to click on every event to get discount coupons.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Must Go/See/Visit Places in Seoul

There are lots of travel guides on Seoul but here is a summary of a list of must-visit places in Seoul. The reason why I am excluding an itinerary is because the places are well within reach of subways and one can plan based on the subway maps depending on their personal preferences (shopping? sightseeing? etc).

Myeongdong (cosmetics and clothes)

Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall (sheltered thus good place to shop if raining)
Seoul Bus Express Terminal (underground shopping)

Ewha (University shopping street, mainly clothes and bag)
Hongdae (University shopping street, mainly clothes and bag)
Dongdaemun (open till late but I don't like shopping here as you need to haggle)
Namdaemun (more like a marketplace, for getting cutlery, souvenirs, idol stuff etc)

Lotte Supermarket at Seoul station (Korean groceries)

Nami Island

Namsan Tower (near Myeongdong)

Gyeongbokgung (near Gwanghwamun, rent a hanbok nearby and you can enter for free)

Cheonggyecheon stream (near Gwanghwamun)

Yeouido (good place to catch fireworks festival and cherry blossoms)

Banpo bridge rainbow fountain (take a cruise from Yeouido)

Gangchon rail bike

Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa (jjimjilbang located at Yongsan station)

Lotte World (theme park located at Jamsil station)
Yongin Everland (theme park located at outskirt of Seoul)

December/January is a good time to head to the ski resort in Gangwondo. You can consider Vivaldi ski park This ski park offers night time ski, good quality snow and the slope side condos are fantastic. It also offers free shuttle bus services for foreigners, from Seoul.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mozart Musical 모차르트 뮤지컬 (Info + how to buy tickets)

I have never watched a single musical because I am not a literature kind of person and thought I am bound to fall asleep. I don't think I will appreciate the very exaggerated way of expressing storylines. I am interested in music but am very selective when it comes to what kind of music. All in all, musical is nowhere near my to-do list.

Then I came across We Kid, a Korean variety show that features kids singing. It introduced me to this song "황금별" or better known as Gold Von den Sternen from the musical Mozart. Although it's a German production, this musical was repeatedly shown in Korea. Just this one song and it got me interested in musical. I was deciding whether to watch Les Miserables or Wicked which will be showing in Singapore. The songs from both musicals were not to my liking although I know that they are kind of popular. And then... I guess I was in luck to find out that it Mozart will be shown in Korea again in 2016!

So the decision is clear, no need for me to deliberate between the two anymore. I am going to watch Mozart due to that one song. But wait, doesn't sound right to go through a 175min musical just for one song. I tried to watch the Mozart musical concert which featured JYJ Junsu and fell in love with a few more songs. I must say that the songs from Mozart are superb. It got me interested in the life of Mozart (ashamed to say this because I grew up learning piano).

From Ticketmonster website
Mozart is played by three different actors namely Lee Ji Hoon, Jeon Dong Suk and Super Junior's Kyuhyun. Of the three, I only know Kyuhyun so I thought I should attend his session as I like his singing. After reading reviews, it seems like most people are recommending Jeon Dong Suk. I can't find much information about him, only know that he is a musical actor, born in 1988, served as marine corps and has not failed a single audition. His singing skill is superb, you can listen to this. Not bad looking too. So far I enjoyed Junsu's version but heard from reviews that Park Eun Tae and Park Hyo Shin's one might be the best ones so far.

With regards to the musical this time round, saw some reviews which labelled it as disappointing mainly due to storyline (they did some changes), poor harmony by the ensemble, orchestra being too loud, poor performance by 홍록기 etc. There are also good reviews for it. Nevertheless, still determined that this will be my first ever musical due to the songs, which many agreed that this is one big plus for this musical.

For those who are interested, you can purchase tickets online at here (English version). Tickets are selling from ₩50,000 to ₩140,000. It is held at Sejong Center (nearest subway station is Gwanghwamun) from 10 Jun till 7 Aug 2016. There will be discounts if you are purchasing tickets for weekday afternoon, Sunday night or for more than 3 tickets. Ticketmonster is also offering the Cat A seats at 2 for ₩70,000 (50% discount, only for certain dates, all other dates at 40% discount). For more info click here (in Korean).

This is the casting schedule taken from Interpark website. The second column states the actor for Mozart. (이지훈 = Lee Ji Hoon, 전동숙 = Jeon Dong Suk, 규현 = Kyuhyun) The schedule is subject to changes without prior notice.

If you are just interested in meeting the artistes, you can wait outside the venue either before or after the musical. They are bound to appear.

Update: I went to watch Jeon Dong Suk's performance and it was really amazing. Would definitely want to watch this musical again.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Korean Boyfriend Comes to Visit Singapore

I have been really busy for the entire month of May. Early May my boyfriend came to visit for a week and mid May onwards, I was busy with two business trips.

I had a hard time planning where to bring my bf since it wasn't his first time here. His last visit was in 2014.

Hotel is the most challenging of them all. My bf does have high expectation of hotels, not that it has to be high end but it has definitely got to be clean, quiet and come with comfortable bed. We also enjoy hotel breakfast as well as the swimming pool. After considering all the above, along with price, I have settled for Park Royal Hotel Pickering Street.

Comfortable bed - checked
Great swimming experience - checked
Nice hotel buffet breakfast - checked
Read online that Lime restaurant in Park Royal Pickering is highly acclaimed. The food was good but we have had better ones in Korea. It fell a little below my expectation but nevertheless, nice environment.

Nice gesture from the hotel
Informed the hotel that it was our anniversary when booking through Agoda and was heartened that they really did send up an anniversary cake (came with a card). Definitely good customer service.

Welcome drink
Hotel also provides welcome drink (lime drink) for their guests when the check-in queue got too long. We were actually checking out on that day and didn't notice the fast check-out box placed opposite the counters. We went to queue instead and got ourselves the welcome drink (not a bad deal).

My parents treated us to Jumbo seafood at riverwalk. The food was really good and these cost us around SGD300 for a table of 5.

We also visited Imperial Treasure for the dim sum. This is a must visit restaurant for my bf because dim sum is so expensive in Korea, not only that, it is also hard to find nice ones there. I don't have any photo for this though. We are quite amazed by the taste of the pork bun (crispy ones).

Another surprise planned was buffet lunch at Shangri-la hotel. The day we went, the hotel was hosting some conferences thus it got really crowded. We love the oyster, satay and dessert.

When you make reservation online, it will entitle you to 15% discount. You can also select the occasion that you are celebrating and the restaurant will present you will a complimentary cake. Although it's nice of them to delight customers with complimentary cake, considering that this is already a buffet, it seems quite unnecessary. It would have been good if they can offer something different from what is already available in the buffet spread.

We also went to Clifford Pier, my favourite place, not only for the food but also the ambience. They have live band starting at around 8pm if I am not wrong.

My usual at Clifford Pier will be the lobster roll (S$32), love the truffle fries.

Do check with them on credit card discounts when paying the bill.

After dinner at Clifford Pier, we had a nice walk along the river to Esplanade.

As we were staying in Park Royal, it was a short walk to Satay Club at Lau Pa Sat. Another hot spot for Koreans.

Astons is another of our favourite. I am sure no introduction is required as all Singaporeans should know where to find this cheap and good restaurant.

I don't usually eat fish but I was feeling sick on that day
Last but not least, my bf's favourite will be the Bah Kut Teh. We spotted lots of Koreans, apparently Song Fa Bah Kut Teh is highly raved in Korea so remember to bring your beau there. My bf actually bought back the bottled Song Fa brand dark sauce. This place is just beside Park Royal hotel.

Crazy queue

I had complimentary tickets to River Safari and it was something that he is also interested in so we spent an entire morning at River Safari. Most of the time, we were at the panda enclosure lol. We were able to breeze through River Safari by going on a weekday.

So cute, he/she stole the limelight
For the sake of photos but it tasted not too bad too
The tickets came with free river cruise which was a complete waste of time.