01 April 2009

Everyday is a kimchi day

Whenever I went abroad or traveling a bit further from our beloved Bolehland, there are always something new that I picked up or learned which at the end of the day enriching my knowledge and nurturing my experience. Some could be a very inspiring and mind boggling encounter , and some could be a not-to-be remembered one. No doubt about it. It just like a larvae coming out from the cocoon and having a taste of fresh air and come face to face with a new life.

During our recent trip to Korea I observed and experienced many interesting things. One of the thing I learned was whenever you want to buy something or anything from a shop, never never lay even a finger on the item for your viewing pleasure. Just point at the item and pay the money. Only then you will have your first 'feeling' on that item. When I ask the rationale behind this super hygienic behaviour, the tour guide told me that, Korean products are always of the highest quality. No thorough inspection needed and satisfaction guaranteed (Have not verified on the item that I bought yet). If you 'ransack' the items before you decide to buy them (just like our itchy hands normally do when going out for shopping), then the seller will stare at you like your mathematics teacher or even pinched you hand (that was exactly what happened to one of the 'rombongan Cik Kiah' member during one of their shopping spree). I think the Korean knows very well how dirty Malaysian hands can be!

Korean are generally quite short in their physical (and probably in other departments too:) as compared to us. But of late I see many of them are very tall, nice pointed nose, ideal features that can easily landed them a role as a model. I asked our tour tour guide (she is Korean) and she told me that those new breeds actually consumed the much-talk-about Koren ginseng since their childhood and some even going to the extend of injecting the saponin (active ingredient) into themselves. Did I say injecting? I thought silicon implant was the main culprit, but it was not.

One thing good about their establishment is that they know how to package entertainment industries and tourism as their national product, with good advertisement thrown in. One third of the trip was visiting the many scenic locations of popular TV dramas that were sold and aired in many foreign countries. For example, 'Winter Sonata' in Nami Island, 'All In' in Seopjikoji, Jeju Island, 'The hourglass' at Jeongdonjing beach (the train station closest tot he sea), 'Stairway to Heaven' at the theme parks in Seoul and many more that I can't remember simply because I don't watch any of them :)

And of course kimchi, the pickled vegetables that is a must in all the meals. Korean girls have to learn the art of making kimchi before they get married.

So having to travel abroad is all about invoking all your senses - the sight, the smell, the taste, the sound and the feel.

an nyung ha seyo!

The reminder is so loud and clear. Even with this packed strawberry!

Notice the look on the shopkeeper's face when one of the uninitiated tourist is trying to reach for one of the souvenirs.

In Nami Island you can see these flags. The flag resemble the country that is airing or used to air the popular TV drama 'Winter Sonata'.

Staple diet during the whole duration of the trip. Everyday is a kimchi day.

Vegetable steamboat with tofu. Kimchi is the red cabbage on a plate, the left-hand side of this photo.

The Korean are so obsessed with kimchi, they even have kimchi making class in most of the town. Portraying here was our kimchi students waiting eagerly the instruction from the masterchef to make their first kimchi.

Stall that sells tempura is a normal sight in the local market.

We have the opportunity to experience sleeping on the heated floor (ondol) in one of the hotels. I spent only ten minute getting myself comfortable under the blanket when my significant half called me from the other adjoining room for a more comfortable king size bed.

'Rombongan Cik Kiah' having their all-girls moment at The Everland theme park. These ladies especially the outgoing datin, really could not shut up their mouth and always making the trip full of laughter with their classical antics.

Tulips are also starting to bloom in the theme park.

The main attraction to this safari is actually a liger (lion mixed with tiger) but we were told that the liger was not available that time. This white tiger is one of the inhabitants in this safari.

Chocolate factory in Jeju Island. Notice the material used to build the factory are all made from the black stones which are abundant in the island.

Lovely Ginny, our local tourist guide. She is so sweet and trying her best to accommodate our request. One time, the datin requested to stray a bit from our itinerary (which is strictly a big NO especially to the bus driver as their movement is monitored closely through GPS from the HQ). But with Ginny and her charm managed to persuade the driver to drop 'rombongan Cik Kiah' at their preferred stopover. Seoul Hard Rock Cafe and Korean Silk outlets are among the place they sidetracked.


gman said...

I actually think their beauty skin mostly come from surgeries and other beauty enhancements...

too bad, koreans are not my taste..


Anonymous said...

korean entertainment..i like their music industries a lot..maybe because of the way they present their musics..different..

MariaFaizal said...

I love the first shot! How romantic...

And, Korean are generally short peeps as compared to YOU perhaps? :)[You know how tall you are right Doc?] plus doesn't have to Korean y'all! he he....Errr..but what does it mean with 'other department' *scratches head*

As I've never been to Korea, I'd rather be thankful for the tips that you've shared here especially about itchy shoppers' hands to just touch everything in sight before even buying it!THANK YOU!

Nowadays, seems Korea is selling 'horror' movies and not beautiful sceneries (in movies).And I also realize that their entertainment industries are selling pretty, hot boys too! :D
They're not at all short! Thanks to saponin he he...

Been to Korean restaurant though, but never tried Kimchi as couldn't stand the strong smell (durian I suka pulak? :)

I get it when I saw "NO TOUCH,ONLY EYE SEE!" with drawn eye with heaviest/thickest lashes ever :D

Thanks for sharing Doc & I'll get my hubby to read this too!*hint-hint* - of where to go for our next trip :)

Rgds to sis Zayda.

Unknown said...

sure is interesting to go to Korea for a honeymoon.. gave me the idea to where to take my hubby next year... anyways... the part where u can't touch until u bought it.. is not really good.. there is no consumer's right there...

Hidup KOKA said...

You wrote "Korean are generally quite short in their physical (and probably in other departments too:)"......

Betul ke? You really go and measure ke agak agak aje?

hmmmm.... pagi pagi ni otak aku nal kena rendam ngan clorox!

Shimamon said...

oh tidak. sangat jealous di sini. sekian. tengkiu. huhu.

besi said...

dr sam...makanan halal mudah ke kat korea...

Encik Ariff said...

"no touch!! only eye"

dr itu! said...

ternganga mulut baca n3 nie...

seronoknye pergi jalan2..

Tny said...

Rombongan Cik Kiah pun.. boleh lah.. :D

Bestnya banyak merantau tempat orang.. boleh belajar pasal cultures.. sesuatu yg saya suka.. cultures & lifestyles :)

Zareda Norman said...

peluang ke negara asing memang memberi kita ilmu tentang sesuatau yang baru especially food and cultural..

No touch, eyes only seem.. kalau di Malaysia, lagilah orang nak picit picit kan..

Fly said...

hmmm bila lah diri ini dapat gi jalan2 luar negara cam doc hehe.

Anonymous said...

jangan sentuh....
wahhh berdisplinnyer orang2 korea yer Dr.Sam..

cantik juga yer gambar harimau putih tu?
kalau mampu rasa nak bela jer?
heheheh gurau jer Dr.Sam

DrSam said...

Maybe you should try kimchi first, probably you'll get the taste for Koreans after that :)

Al-Muallim Shah @ Dino,
Before going to Korea, I never turn to KBS channel. Now after one week sedating myself with Korean songs, the channel became quite popular in my house.

Yes you are quite right. It seems they are very good at promoting their horror movies as well, and the movies are mostly good ones.

About touching the goods - because we are so used with it most of the time we just could not help ourselves. A reflex.

I heard the same comments from our group on the superficial features of the actors and actress.

For the kimchi thing - we should organise a kimchi day one day in one of the Korean Restaurants here.

Yes, Korea is a very nice destination to visit and I strongly recommend it!

DrSam said...

Hidup KOKA,
ha...ha...no way man! That was however based on my simple arithmetic calculation and some wild imagination.

Banyak betul subjek untuk ditembak disana.

Seoul banyak pilihan. Luar dari Seoul memang susah. Makan roti atau nasi dengan ikan aja. Kami bernasib baik sebab rombongan cik kiah bermurah hati membawa satu beg khas berbagai rendang, sardin dan makanan lain. Tempura dalam foto tu pun tak boleh makan walaupun ianya dari hasil laut dan sayuran. Hampir terkena (dah lah pakai bahasa isyarat sahaja), rupanya dalam cili goreng tu ada daging.

encik ariff,
janji faham je :)

cepat-cepat tutup mulut!

DrSam said...

rombongan cik kiah tu lah yang membuat kita tak sempat kering gusi. Dari mula sampai, sehingga balik dalam kapal terbang masih tak habis-habis ketawa - sampai 'cabin crew' terpaksa ingatkan supaya senyap sikit kerana mengganggu orang lain yang nak tidur :) Kenangan betul!

Oleh kerana dah serasi sangat tu, masuk hari keempat rombongan cik kiah dah ajak dan mula plan untuk buat rombongan lagi tahun hadapan! Haru betul!

Zareda Norman,
Memang betul. Lunyai barang-barang tu dibelek, belum tentu belipun.

Tunggu Catlina habis pantang!

fahmi latiff,
Nak kata disiplin tu mungkin lah juga. Atau sememangnya sikap dan cara kerja mereka yang tidak mengambil mudah didalam sesuatu pekerjaan. Hasil yang sempurna dan berkualiti?

Yang Benar, Kakak Perkara Rawak said...

lau cemtuh,tak beslah nak shopping2..
nampak gile muke penjual tu ketat semacam je..ahahaha..

ade tulip ye kat sane?
wow,.not bad jugak ye korea ni,no wonderlah ramai sangat ketagih nak pergi sana lately ni..
hish,jeles,kena menabung ni..hihi

nahmy said...

this is what they normally said - "different grasshopper, different field"...heh...heh. but one thing for sure...our ways will always be the more friendly ones!

PerantauSepi1306 said...

Lately korea has been a popular tourist destination, there's a group from my office going over there too this week... anyway thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful experiences and the valuable tips to us here...seronok membacanya :D

indeed a wild imagination huh dr.. hehe dah jadi topik panas nie ;p

Naddy said...

of all things the liger caught my eyes, i think they might be mandul like a mule.

JohnJenin said...

Best reading this entry. Full of info, pictures and 'poison' to visit Korea.

Adui... i need to say to myself, sabar sabar..ada rezeki tak ke mana.

Korea...tunggu! hehehehe

DrSam said...

memang psycho juga dah terbiasa membelek masa membeli. Orang Korea ni dah lah mata sepet, bila marah tu terus tertutup mata :)

Tulip dimana-mana.

Right on! Malaysia and Malaysian are still the best.

Really? Another 'rombongan Cik Kiah"? Must be hilarious!

mizzy N,
That one on the picture was not a liger. That was one of the white tigers in the Safari. I think they didn't let the liger roaming that day for some reason I've forgotten. Sterile liger (inter species)...high possibility!

Pak cik you have to start the 'tabung' now!

Memorable trails... said...

looks like rombongan cik kiah had a great time there.Had tasted Korean food from one of the army's wife kitchen before but never like it..Cik kiah mesti banyk borong korean silk, murah ke???next time bolehlah kirim doc..
Thnx 4 sharing the experience..

Leenoh said...

Masya Allah cantiknya, "makhalakta haza batila" tidak sia-sia Engkau jadikan.
Kenal alam akan kenal Allah. Wassalam.

Sally said...

best nye...teringin nih..

Faisal Admar said...

to me japanese is cuter than korean :P

hmm korean is famous with the silicon implant doc! no doubt.... no doubt! :D

ASH said...

....once upon a time I had a KOREAN friend. His name was ING..
His family name was PARK.

then the name was written like this PARK ING..

once I asked him, 'Do you take care of parking ticket?'

he he he

DrSam said...

madam gold,
As I was busy taking photographs, I was told rombongan cik kiah missed the junction and got lost while looking for the Korean silk outlets :) Heard our people from 'kedutaan' frequent the place. Must be cheap.

Sahih...sahih...Jamiiilan jayyidan.

Selamat kembali Jutawan Batam. Nanti kita nak buat pinjaman tabung 'holiday' tahun depan boleh?

Faisal Admar,
Ha..ha... did you watched Korean Movie "200 pounds beauty"? Guess most beauty in Korea are like Hannah in the movie.

hi...hi...kesian keluarga PARK! What to do...those are the very common names in Korea.

Anonymous said...

DrCool, Korea tourism should paid you $$$ for a very good write up to promote their country, make me also want to go to find my sonata! lol!

I am actually kind of respect the "eye see only" attitude, if one country can be so proud to said that their product have the highest quality and satisfaction is guarantee, it must be something, this is why Korea can become the strong leaders in electronic, IT & Automobile industries, our country should learn from them.

btw, love all the cool pics man!

*SiRibenMerah said...

wahaha.. saje je kan post pic choc factory tuh.. da la mention jeju choc da basi..
waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... neh yg sedey neh.. hikhikhikk...

teringin la nak g holiday kat Korea.. wahh.. verangannnn~

PeZaL H.E.O said...

wah very nice experience bro....nice blog

DrSam said...

Daniel Ng,
Looking at the more brighter side, I think you have a point there. We should be proud of ourselves, thus making sure everything that we do must be of the highest quality too.

As looking for your sonata, make sure you pay first, then only you can touch :)

Tu lah dia... cepat sangat balik disinun. Ni mesti sibuk berkempen kot?

Salam singgah and thank you.

Sally said...

hik..hik..hik..jutawan Batam?? bole..bole..start collecting for next year's trip..sehari simpan 100,000Rp pun dah cukup..*wink..

Memorable trails... said...

I havent visited many asian countries.So why dont our cyber friend group form rombongan cik kiah somewhere around asia...well , just an idea but I think it can be very interesting.

DrSam said...

sehari 100,000Rp memang pak cik kayo!

madam gold,
What a brilliant idea! We have to start somewhere right. If there are other blogger friends out there who are interested and like your idea, then we have to start our 'tabung jalan-jalan cari makan' righ away. Short trip, affordable package and nice destination (don't have to be very far from our Bolehland - ASEAN countries etc). Sounds like a plan already :)

Memorable trails... said...

OK doc, kira plan dh strt dah ni.So, my dear blogger friends out there,suggestions for first destination are welcomed..hope to get some responses from you all.As u said doc,moderate packages yg everyone can afford..Padang?Phuket?Chiangmai?...

pal7 said...

sampai begitu sekali tahap penjagaan kebersihan mereka?..bgs2..

nak join rombongan cik kiah la kalo berkesempatan..hehe..*boleh ker ni.

ndrh edzn said...

besh nyer...
mau pegi jugakkk

cik_mimie said...

cedapnye g korea..
sedap ke kimchi tu

ndrh edzn said...

andainya semudah yang dikata wahai dr sam..
hakikatnya, penyelesaian masih teraba-raba...

DrSam said...

madam gold,
those are all nice destinations and not very far from our Bolehland. Will do some fact finding mission on those places (cost, itinerary, possible dates etc.)

sedih tengok keadaan negera sendiri bab kebersihan ni.

Rombongan Cik Kiah kalau kena geng memang meriah. Keahlian belum pasti pula bila nak dibuka. Kena tanya Cik Kiah :)

the more the merrier

kimchi bergantung kepada citarasa masing-masing. Saya yang tak memilih makanan ni, pertama kali makan kimchi tu tak tengok kiri kanan. Berhenti makan pun sebab perut tak sedap lepas tu :)

Sally said...

Doc..100,000Rp baru +-RM35...pak cik tak berape kayo lagi tuh!! hehehe

CAHAYA said...

Wow! Glad that you and Sis Zayda back in one piece. :)

Korea looks fun and nice. Will go InsyaAllah somewhere in 2010. What's the best time to go eh?

DrSam said...

kayo nombor zero pun tak mengapa

Thank you. I think the best time to go to Korea is in the Autumn (September/November) or Spring (Late March/May).

anntaj said...


Unknown said...

besh x kimchi tu?.
slame ejam hidup x penah merase pun...

DrSam said...


Pertama kali rasa kimchi memang lah teruja. Ikutkan lidah saya, boleh tahan sedap juga. cuma 'cleansing effect' dia tu kuat sangat. Lepas hari pertama, terus pantang tak makan kimchi lagi.

Unknown said...

cleasing wht?..
so.. that mean x besh ek?..

tpi tempura mmg besh..

GC said...

Bro, you never fail to amaze me with your post, every visit here is full of inspiration and motivation ... hopefully i'll be able to meet you someday.

i enjoy reading every article posted here, amazing.

Thanks for sharing.

cheers :D

arsaili said...

salam..again bestnya pic...best2..show me the album later k..ahaha

DrSam said...

my tummy...

tempura memang best, tapi tak boleh makan juga.

Greg, I know what to do when we have the chance to meet one day. We hang-out somewhere having kopi O kaw-kaw.

Have a great weekend Greg!

Waiting for you to come back here bro. Unless 'Rombongan Cik Kiah' wanted to gatecrash Down-under!

whatever said...

wow, bestnye dpt merantau negara org. Jauh perjalanan luas pandangan. Hopefully i will go there oneday

Faisal Admar said...

haha yes i watched that one! hannah is cutie tho! don't you think doc?

Zendra-Maria said...

Doc, I went to Korea 10 years ago for about 2 weeks and got used to eating kimchi. I brought home a few packs and served it at dinner every night until it finished. My hubby loved it rupanya. Nasib baik he didn't come with me to Korea, otherwise it might be more than kimchi he will love, hahaha.

CATZ said...

nice photo..
haa..kimchi...wajib gitu kan..during my trip i was thinking that kimchi is more like sambal belacan kat tempat kita..semua org mesti tau buat..dan dihidang setiap kali makan..i call it sambal belacan korea..hahahahah..
tapi saya tak lalu...

DrSam said...

sambil merantau melihat keindahan alam dan keunikan tempat baru- disitu ada kebesaranNYA.

Faisal Admar,
Hannah lookalike is everywhere. Who knows, you will find your 'Hannah' there Faisal!

Just come back from J.Jusco OU and stumbled upon Korean foods promotion. My sons like the kimchi very much, but I didn't even want to smell it!

Hi...hi...luckily it was just kimchi that your hubby fancied:)

You are right! kimchi is more like our 'sambal belacan'.

I was told that Everland is bigger and much nicer than the Disneyland in Hong Kong/Japan!

skatype said...

salam doc.
bler la agknye leh ke sna..
best jerk.
mmg best nnembak kat snr..
uhuk uhuks.

NikonSniper said...

great photography here. food looks great.

DrSam said...

Stephen Baird,
Nice of you to peek into my blog. Thank you very much.

DrSam said...

salam bro. memang betul banyak subjek untuk ditembak disana. Pakar micro macam kamu...pasti hasilnya memukau!

Anggerik Hutan said...

erm kimchi mmg dh jadi mcm mkanan ruji dieorg..setiap menu akan disertakan dgn kimchi..mase mula2 sampai sini sy mmg tak leh telan kimchi..sbb kesedapan kimchi ni terletak pada sipembuatnya..kalo tak pandai tu mmg tak sedap langsung..

pasal wanita2 korea pula..berdasarkan pengalaman sy disini..orang korean sendr cakap yang kebanyakan mereka ni..banyak buat plastic surgery specialy bahagian mata (sbb nak ade kelopak),lepas tu hidung then bhgian dahi(nak sedikit jendol)kerana kata mereka nampak cantik..hehehe..mmg kat sini bole nampak banyak klinik surgery ni..specialy kat busan..

geraugebang said...

Stairways to Heaven? Winter sonata? Hu hu hu. Gerau like.

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