The trip to South Korea was another after effect of impulse buying. Our departure date coincided with Bersih rally and for the first time in my life, I was glad I was out of the country. I hailed a cab to Ampang Park station and waited for Danial at KL Sentral. By then my mother had arrived at LCCT since I had mistakenly booked a 7 a.m. flight for her.
Slightly after 1.00p.m., we were airborne to Seoul, South Korea. With enough tidbits and brochures on South Korea which were collected at Plaza Korea, we survived 7 hours journey to the largest metropolis in South Korea. Incheon airport was modern and technologically-ladden. Notwithstanding all that, the queue for immigration was intolerable and the immigration officers were better off with smiles. It took us approximately 45 minutes to pass.
The airport was empty and half-lighted. Ah, it was 10.30p.m. The only areas that seemed inhabited were the arrival and departure area as well as the path to the train station. In Korea, the train serving the airport to Seoul city centre is called AREX. There are two types of Arex; express that runs for 43 minutes every half an hour to Seoul City Station and commuter that runs for 53 minutes every 6 minutes to Seoul City Station.
We paid the tickets to Itaewon station for KWR12,900 for 3 person. (RM35.90)
We were lucky we happened to seat beside a Korean man who just came back from Kuala Lumpur. He showed us where to go from the Airport Railroad for our next transit. We got down at Digital Media Station to take the train to Itaewon station (Line 6). The train station was huge that in reaching the correct embarkment area, I literally dragged my feet and the heavy backpack (God knows I have not mastered the skill needed to go light-backpacking).
So came the train which slowly creeped into Seoul Downtown. My eyes darted into flouroscent-colored billboards, Hyundais, well-disciplined gamut of people with high street fashion and of course, colorful umbrellas. Arriving in Itaewon did not mean our tendency to get lost has been short-lived. There were many exits and a word of caution: one should know which one you are heading to. Ours was Exit 3.
As we climbed the staircase to Exit 3, the floors were wet and fashionable youngsters were taking shelter from what known to us later, a moderate rain. Clumsy me, packed my umbrella in the middle of my backpack. No chance of making it of use. In the rain, we fastened our pace in search of our guesthouse. Little was known to us that it was located at the other end of the road. Upon reaching the guesthouse, we were already soaking with water.
After doing the usual registration and giving a copy of our passports to the guesthouse owner, we settled with our respective dormitory rooms. The guesthouse was in deed, value for money. It was clean and well-managed by the owner albeit the lack of space in the dormitory room. Even my picky cleanliness-stricken mother had no point to critic the cleanliness of the guesthouse. IS@K Guesthouse is the name of the guesthouse if you are wondering.
Itaewon is like the most happening streets in Seoul with rows of international food eateries and pubs. Halal food is easily found here as there is a small Muslim community in the area. So now you know where to get Halal food, in the form of Arab food and kebabs.