7 Days Seoul Tour – Day 1 Singapore to Seoul

7 Days Seoul Tour

In October last year, Jetstar launched a super sale again. We managed to book return air tickets to Taipei at around $62 to spend 6 nights in May this year. So we planned our itinerary to visit Taipei, Taichung, Cingjing and Sun Moon Lake. However, we changed our mind in February. Since we had visited Taiwan a few times these past few years, we decided to change our destination.

As Seoul is not very far from Taiwan and we had not visited Seoul before, we thought it might be a good idea to visit Seoul instead. We found a low cost carrier Jin Air and the flight timings were perfect for our connection from Taipei to Incheon and back. We managed to book return air tickets from Taipei to Incheon at around $282. So total airfares from Singapore to Incheon transiting at Taipei came up to be around $344. Flights timings are as follows:

Singapore to Taipei 3K723 0110 to 0600

Taipei to Incheon LJ082 1035 to 1400

Incheon to Taipei LJ081 0750 to 0925

Taipei to Singapore 3K724 1535 to 2010

Having cancelled all our bookings for accommodations in Taiwan, we planned our itinerary for our six nights stay in Seoul. We also purchased a 48 Hour Discover Seoul Pass from Klook. This pass allows us to visit many attractions within 48 hours of first use in Seoul. The card can also be used as a travel card for transportation in Seoul where we could top up T-money on the card. We also used promo code TTIKLOOK to get $5 off as first time customer.

For the first three nights, we would stay at ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Myeongdong to visit city attractions. The next two nights, we used our Accor member’s free stay at a five-star property Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan – Seoul Dragon City in Yongsan. The last night would be spent in Hotel AirRelax Incheon Airport near Incheon Airport since our flight the following morning was 7.50 am. In addition, this hotel provides free shuttle service to the airport.

Besides accommodations and the 48 Hour Discovery Seoul Pass, we also booked ITX train tickets from Yongsan Station to Gapyeong Station to visit Nami Island and surrounding attractions. We were worried train tickets might be sold out so we booked online in advance where we could simply print out our train tickets. The Nami Island day tour was planned on the fifth day while staying at Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan – Seoul Dragon City where Yongsan Station is within easy walking distance for us to take the ITX train to Gapyeong Station.

7 Days Seoul Itinerary

So our tentative itinerary subject to change as we travelled in Seoul was as follows:

Day 1 Hotel: ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Myeongdong

Singapore to Incheon transit in Taipei

Collect 48 Hour Discover Seoul Pass at Incheon Airport at International Taxi information Desk (EAST) (Next to Gate 5)
Top up T-money in card
Take Airport Train to Seoul Station
Walk 5 minutes to Light Blue Line 4
Change train to Myeongdong Station (2 stations away)
Walk 270 m about 4 minutes to hotel
Explore Myeongdong area for shopping and dining

Day 2 Hotel: ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Myeongdong

Use 48 Hour Discover Seoul Pass to visit city attractions
Walk to Chungmuro Station Line 3
Take train to Seoul National University Station (9 stations away)
Change to Line 2 take train to Samseong Station (4 stations away)
Exit 5 & 6 Head to Starfield Coex Mall Theatre on 5th floor
SM Town Hologram Musical at 10 am

Go for lunch
Take Bus 401 to Gyeongbokgung Palace (22 stops away)
Change of Guards at 2 pm

Visit Grevin Museum
Take Bus from Gyeongbokgung Palace (25 Minutes)

Visit N Seoul Tower
Exit 3 at Myeongdong Station follow right side of Pacific Hotel walk 10-15 minutes
Take cable car to the Tower (8500 Won return ticket) Continue reading 7 Days Seoul Tour – Day 1 Singapore to Seoul

4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 4 Phnom Penh to Singapore

Helicopter Service in Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

While still sleeping soundly and peacefully, we heard rumbling noises outside our room. It got louder and louder. Upon checking out the source of the noise from the balcony, we saw a helicopter circling around the hotel and flew away. It then headed back.

Looking down further away from the swimming pool, a man was standing on the field. Gradually, the helicopter flew over the field, hovered a while and then landed on the grass field. The man out there was guiding the helicopter pilot to land safely on the field. The man then approached the helicopter before walking away.

We were wondering what the helicopter was doing here early in the morning. Was there an emergency? It was barely 7 am and we had no intention to wake up so early. Continue reading 4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 4 Phnom Penh to Singapore

4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 3 NagaWorld and Aeon Mall

Morning at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel

By the time we woke up, it was near 10 am. Everywhere was already so bright. From our balcony, the swimming pool and the surrounding area were pretty picturesque on such a good day. Our breakfast was rather simple. Those bakery stuff we bought from Aeon Bakery were sufficient together with coffee we made in our room.

Around 10.30 am, we went out to explore Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel on the side of the swimming pool area. The corridor leading to the swimming pool was very neat and clean. The Italian Restaurant in front of the swimming wasn’t open yet. Walking to the open area, the pool area was very peaceful. The hotel building glowed stunningly behind the pool area. This is really a resort style hotel in a quiet and peaceful part of Phnom Penh City.

After this outdoor walk around, we went into the restaurant for a look. The restaurant was closing the buffet breakfast service. Ambience in the restaurant was great. No doubt food quality must be good. Unfortunately, restaurants in Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel are not participating in Accor member’s discount scheme. Continue reading 4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 3 NagaWorld and Aeon Mall

4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 2 Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Phnom Penh Sunrise from Okay Boutique Hotel

The first thing after getting up from bed was to head out to the balcony to check for sunrise. The sun was already rising on the left side from the balcony. It was barely 5.45 am. I won’t be able to capture the entire sunrise moments from the balcony so I rushed up to the rooftop on the 14th floor.

The restaurant was closed. Breakfast would be held on the 15th floor which wasn’t ready yet. So I took some pictures from inside the restaurant and enjoyed some moments of this splendid first excitement of the morning. The sun was rising from behind a tall building on the east and not long after, darkness varnished from Phnom Penh and the city came to live.

Outside the restaurant, the swimming pool area was brightening. The skies were turning light blue. It was so peaceful up here without a single soul in sight. It was going to be a great day here in Phnom Penh. Soon I returned to the room to sleep a little while more.

Breakfast with a view from Okay Boutique Hotel

Near 7 am, my wife and I went up to the rooftop level on the 14th floor. Breakfast was served on the 15th floor. We had to remove our shoes and walked up a flight of wooden stairs to the restaurant. The whole restaurant is completely furnished in wood from the floor to the ceiling. The floor was very clean and hence no shoes were allowed to be worn up here.

Some sitting areas are low tables where guests have to sit on the wooden floor. Proper tables and chairs are placed in other parts of the restaurant, in particular near the windows. Some hotel guests were already having breakfast up here so early in the morning. Another guest was using professional equipment to capture the scenes inside the restaurant and the outside views from here. Continue reading 4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 2 Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 1 Singapore to Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Itinerary

Cambodia is a country we had yet to visit for a long time. Other than Phnom Penh and Siem Reap we have read about and heard of, Cambodia doesn’t seem to be a very attractive destination for us. Transport infrastructure is also not very advance in Cambodia and this is another reason we put off visiting the country.

However in June this year, we finally planned a visit to the capital city Phnom Penh. As Accor members, we have free night stay to use and moreover, a five-star property Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is located in the city centre. Hence, we decided to take a short three nights break in Phnom Penh.

For the first night, we would stay in a cheaper hotel, Okay Boutique Hotel located near the National Museum and Royal Palace. The last two nights would be spent in Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel. We used Jetstar for this short flight to save cost. Flight timing was pretty ideal too departing Singapore at 1.30 pm arriving Phnom Penh at 2.40 pm.

Singapore to Phnom Penh

On the day of departure, we went to Terminal 2 and had a nice lunch at the Swensen’s. We went early to avoid lunch crowd. The ambience at restaurant was very pleasant and service staff very approachable. The western lunch was great as we began our holiday even before landing in Phnom Penh.

Shortly after we cleared immigration and checked some stores inside the airport before our flight. Hari Raya Puasa was around the corner so Terminal 1 was decked up for this celebration. Not long after, we boarded our flight and arrived Phnom Penh without incident.

Clearing custom and immigration didn’t take very long. So we exited the airport quite quickly. Once outside the terminal building, we approached the taxi counter and was immediately given a voucher. A staff member showed us to one of the taxis waiting at the airport and soon we were on our way to the city centre. Continue reading 4 Days Phnom Penh City Break – Day 1 Singapore to Phnom Penh

4 Days Hua Hin Vacation Day 4 – Hua Hin to Bangkok for flight to Singapore

Sunrise at Cha Am Beach

This was our final day here in Cha Am Beach, Hua Hin. By the time we got up and went to to balcony, the far horizon was already turning golden orange below a dark patch of cloudy skies. This perked our interest. So we rushed over to the beach hoping to catch the rest of the sunrise here in Veranda Resort Hua Hin – Cha Am – MGallery by Sofitel.

Unlike Sofitel Sanya Leeman Resort in Sanya Haitang Bay, the property here is not very big, so we reached the beach within minutes. Unfortunately by the time we reached the beach area, the earlier beautiful golden canvas stretched across the skies was no longer there. Nevertheless with a soft wind blowing, it was still pleasant. It appeared the dark clouds out there had prevailed and the sun became temporarily hidden.

So we loitered at the beach area and enjoyed this morning stroll with barely any guests here. Although this sunrise experience didn’t turn out to be memorable, we were glad to be here nonetheless. In particular, the viewing platform above the ISEA Restaurant by the beach was a great place to hang out. With the many cushions and seats here, we could just relax for a while till breakfast time.

Continue reading 4 Days Hua Hin Vacation Day 4 – Hua Hin to Bangkok for flight to Singapore

4 Days Hua Hin Vacation – Day 3 Veranda Resort Hua Hin – Cha Am – MGallery by Sofitel

Sunrise in Cha Am Hua Hin

We would be transferring to another resort slightly north of Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort after lunch. Since our resort is facing east looking out to the Gulf of Thailand, we could conveniently head out to the balcony to catch another sunrise this morning. It was just 6.15 am. We were just in time to spot the sun rising slowly from the horizon.

It was a less cloudy compared to the day before. So this sunrise experience was much better.  A soft breeze was blowing. It was a rather cool morning. We enjoyed the sun illuminating a path on the sea lighting up the vicinity here in Hua Hin Beach.

The dark skies gradually turning light blue and orangey. The scene here was a joy to behold. We waited at the balcony to witness Hua Hin come alive as the beach surrounding became completely brightened to welcomed us to another wonderful day.

Early Breakfast at Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort

Since we would be moving to Veranda Resort Hua Hin – Cha Am – MGallery by Sofitel later in the day, we didn’t go back to bed and then have a late breakfast. Our time left here at the resort was just the morning. Continue reading 4 Days Hua Hin Vacation – Day 3 Veranda Resort Hua Hin – Cha Am – MGallery by Sofitel

4 Days Hua Hin Vacation – Day 2 Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort

Sunrise from Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort

Since we were going to spend the whole day in Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort, there was no need to wake up early and rush for breakfast. However, some of us did get up early to head out to the balcony to catch sunrise over the Gulf of Thailand. It was barely 6.10 am. The skies were not bright yet.

Soon, a golden blob appeared on the horizon. It was a little cloudy as well. From time to time this small illuminating blob was obscured by the clouds. It became a hide and seek game.

Notwithstanding, the sea received sunlight and became partially brightened. Some parts of the skies turned pink. Gradually, the resort area became brighter. We reckoned it was going to be a lovely day.

We could now see the swimming pool and garden of Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort. When we arrived so late the previous night we didn’t have the chance to to explore this resort. Anyway, we would enjoy ourselves here on this second day of our Hua Hin vacation.

After this short first activity of the day, we went back to bed. The bed was very comfy and the resort was very quiet on the beach. Needless to say our sleep was sweet. About two hours later, we finally all woke up.

Breakfast at Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort

One of our rooms was upgraded to the executive floor where we could have breakfast at the executive lounge. This upgrade also entitled us to have drinks and snacks at the lounge. So some of our children went to the lounge for breakfast while the rest of us went to the main restaurant. Continue reading 4 Days Hua Hin Vacation – Day 2 Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort

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