Buda Castle Disctrict
Here we are at the last stop of my journey: Budapest - the capital and the most populous city of Hungary. After 10 days of traveling from Prague, Salzburg and Vienna, I decided to explore this city at a slow pace for the remaining 6 days...
Buda Castle Disctrict
I took public bus up to Castle Hill and wandered around the district on foot. Two of the must-visit tourist attractions are Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion, which are just side by side. There are many cafés (Starbucks as well) and restaurants to stop for some refreshment. I loved checking out some Hungarian art and design shops, and also went in the Hungarian National Gallery before going down to cross the Chain Bridge back to the Pest side.
Leaving Salzburg, I took Westbahn train to the capital city of Austria - Vienna. However, I'll do a quick recap for Vienna trip since I only have 2 short days to explore this artistic city (which I regret, should have added another day here!). Same as in the previous two cities, I bought Vienna Pass which gives us free entry to over 60 top attractions. I had a tight schedule for such limited time, so I decided to chose these places for my first time visit: Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere, Leopold Museum, Time Travel Vienna, Sisi Museum, Albertina, House of Music, and Natural History Museum Vienna. Btw, it's getting hot in Vienna near the last week of May... ☀️
Schönbrunn Palace and its surrounding
Schönbrunn Palace was the former summer residence of the Habsburgs. To be honest, I never fond of history, but listening to the audio guide while touring through each room at the palace makes me curious about the story of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth.
Not only the palace, there are other sightseeing around this area as well, such as: Apple Strudel Show, Imperial Carriage Museum, Children's Museum, Marionetten Theater, Maze & Labyrinth, Gloriette, Schonbrunner Gardens, Desert House, Zoo Vienna, etc, etc...
From Prague, I took a train to Salzburg and fell in love with this city from the first time I arrived the station. Salzburg is widely known as the City of Mozart & The Sound of Music, where every gift shop offers souvenirs that relate to both icons. I had two full days to feel Salzburg, and here are some hot places that I went: Mirabell Palace, Mozart's Birthplace, Mozart's Residence, Mozart Statue, DomQuartier Salzburg, Hohensalzburg Fortress, Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains, Folklore Museum, Museum of Modern Art - Mönchsberg, and Museum of Nature and Technology.
Mirabell Palace & Mirabell Gardens (Schloss Mirabell & Mirabellgarten)
Mirabell Gardens is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical movie “The Sound of Music”.
There is a Chinese idiom "休息是為了走更長的路" which means: "Taking a break is for accomplishing a longer journey".. 💃💃
So this year as well, I took a two-week solo holiday went to 4 beautiful cities in Europe: Prague - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest 🛫
Let's discover my first stop: Prague - the capital and the largest city in Czech Republic. Once I arrived at the airport, I purchased a 3 Days Prague Card. It is a sightseeing pass which gives you an outstanding way to explore everything the city has to offer with free entry to major attractions. Because of jet lag, I woke up early the next morning and started exploring the city center. I hop on the free bus city tour and went up to Prague Castle.
Prague Castle and its surrounding
One of must-visit places in Prague is of course... the castle! I got my ticket which includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane (my favorite!), Daliborka Tower, and a nice view overlooking Prague city. After spending the whole afternoon strolling around castle area, I walked down to Charles Bridge (Karlův most), the famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. It was a pouring day, yet beautiful views on both sides the bridge are still mesmerizing!
In this diary I'm going to write a quick recap of my Seoul trip in autumn 2017 for my personal record, but of course, you are very welcome to read through and enjoy every pic of them!
Seoul Fashion Week
It was a bright Saturday and also the last day of 18S/S Seoul Fashion Week, which is held two times a year in DDP. The venue was packed with people, Korean, foreigners and visitors, always crowded, but it's interesting to feel the vibe and see all well-dressed fashionistas gathered, and photographers hunted for perfect model shots. 📸 This was my third times visiting Seoul Fashion Week and never get bored to see what's new in the world of fashion.
Not far from Seoul, Lucia and I went to Paju 파주 by bus and it only takes about 40 minutes. Paju Book City is a cultural complex entirely devoted to the creation, publication, merchandising and sales of Korean books. See how amazing with the number of books they have!
After that, we went to Heyri Art Valley 헤이리 예술마을. Korean artists of various field of work such as writers, painters, actors, architects and musicians constructed the cultural town of Heyri. Within this community, there are residences, workrooms, art galleries and museums. Paju is also a popular filming location for a number of K-dramas, music videos and movies. In fact, there was a drama shooting going on in a coffee shop when we were strolling around the village.
White Table Art Fair
Our friend, Mr. Jang Hyeong Sun 장형순 just released a new book "Arus on the Hill" 언덕위의아루스. He is a paper model artist with numerous years of experience. I see a child with full of great imagination inside Mr. Jang that allows him to create the strong character of Arus. During 10 days, he exhibits his works in a pop up show - White Table Art Fair, along with other beautiful creations of Korean artists.
Other artist's works that caught my eyes are the photo gallery showcased by Mr. Kim Dae Nam 김대남, a Korean photographer whom 6 years ago came to Yogyakarta and took over 100+ pictures of "Pos Kamling". He said: "There is no such post in Korea, it is something different yet interesting". He even filed up the history and origin of Pos Kamling. At the other day, we visited his gallery in Bang Bae, and when I listened to his story about his trip to Indonesia, I know he loves Indonesia people and our culture.
Ilsan Lake Park
Autumn in Ilsan Lake Park 일산호수공원 is really amazing! 🍁🌾🍂 It was a super windy day when I arrived in the late afternoon. There is a small size Rose Garden as part of the park (big size is in Million Rose Blossom Garden in Bucheon), so I took the advantage of these beautiful roses and did a mini collection shot for these new druzy necklaces. Love how the colors match each other!
Stone 303 Studio
Was just intended to visit and take a look at friend's studio in Gangnam area, Choi In-ho 최인호 from Stone 303 who is a professional scene & stage photographer, ended up I have some new prof pics to choose now haha! 😆 I surely had a great time in your studio!
I think autumn is the best time to travel to South Korea. The above slideshow explains it all!
Together with my artist friends Ahn Yun-hye 안윤혜 & Yun Sang-ji 윤상지, we went for a one full day healing tour to Damyang 담양. We booked a bus tour departed from Seoul and took us nearly 4 hours to Damyang. Here are the 3 major tourist sites that we visited, plus that yummy Tteokgalbi lunch! ㅋㅋ
1. Metasequoia Forest 메타세콰이어 숲 길
2. Bamboo Forest 죽녹원
3. Gangcheonsan County Park 순창 강천산
Seriously incredible to see the trees and leaves in autumn color hue! 🌳🍂🍁
After spending one week at Melbourne, my next destination is Sydney for another week!
The weather in Sydney is apparently much warmer than Melbourne 🌞. On my first day, of course, went to the famous Sydney Opera House overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge, and fresh Royal Botanic Garden which located just beside the Opera House. I brought some of my jewelry pieces with me that day, was intended to take nice outdoor pictures with leafy garden background, but sadly it was raining and I forgot to bring my umbrella! Aaaa....☔️
On the other side of Circular Quay, there is The Rocks market, another must-visit place if you're in town! Besides cafes and food stalls, there you'll find passionate people selling things such as dresses and bags designed by the stallholder, one-off jewelry, original artworks and prints in a cool, relaxed environment.
The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in color. I booked a tour to Blue Mountain, but actually, it's not difficult to get here by yourself (via public transportation). There are hop on and off buses which take you to several tourist spots in Blue Mountains area without hassle. Once there, you should take the Scenic Skyway, Scenicsender and the Steepest Railway to see the breathtaking views of Katoomba mountain villages and the famous Three Sisters Rocks. Such a fresh mountain air!
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting
First, I'm not a drinker, but I was so curious for this wine-tasting tour and before I knew it, I booked this super memorable tour. We traveled down to Hunter Valley about 2 hours drive from Sydney CBD. It is one of Australia's best wine regions (another one is Yarra Valley in Melbourne), known for its internationally acclaimed Semillon, family-owned wineries, innovative young winemakers, delicious restaurants and fresh produce. We visited 3 different boutique wineries and tasted over 20 wine varieties.. Semillon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho (read: red wine, white wine, sparkling wine and sweet wine 😆). OK I almost drunk! 🍸🍾😵
The Finders Keepers Sydney
Besides Markit in Melbourne, this is the second handmade market I visited in Australia.
The Finders Keepers is a design market that features the works of independent makers from across Australia, with new sellers being showcased at each event. Every time I scrolled their posts on Instagram, I always thought how nice would it be if I can go and check out myself, and now I did it!
The Finders Keepers is more of a festival than a market. The event combines design, art, good food, live music and a fun community spirit under one awesome roof. Each stalls with their amazing product presentations are well-prepared and so professional which inspired me even more!
Bondi Beach & Art Gallery
These are the last two stops in Sydney before going back to Jakarta: Bondi Beach - Australia's most famous beach, and Art Gallery NSW - one of the most popular art museums in Australia, featuring modern and contemporary works.
And that concludes my 2-weeks beautiful journey to Australia. I'm so pleased and full of joy to feel the atmosphere of Melbourne and Sydney. Australian people are so so friendly and always greet each other with smiles 😊. Other than that, I also made new friends from Thailand, Vietnam, India, France, Malaysia and Singapore during the tours. I cherish every moment I travel to new places I've never visited before, as I can learn new things, gain fresh insight and refresh my mind. The experience is priceless!
Above all, thank you for reading! I really appreciate it! 😊
P.S. If you're planning a vacation to Australia, why don't you check out this comprehensive guide: 100 Best Things to Do in Australia by Your RV Lifestyle.
I'm writing this diary as my personal record for my 2-weeks solo trip to Australia early this month. If you're my Instagram follower, you'd probably scrolled through some of my posts on those days.
I had a VERY exciting moments in Melbourne and Sydney. I stayed (love Airbnb!) and ate locals, went to two local artisan handmade markets, joined sightseeing tours to suburbs areas, and of course, be friends with koalas and kangaroos.. 😆
Great Ocean Road
I booked a 1-day-tour to Great Ocean Road to see these breathtaking panoramic coastal views! Our tour guide was very friendly and informative, he stopped many times along the way and let us enjoyed some famous spots to take pictures. We traveled down to the Great Ocean Road, passed along Victoria's southwest coast, long golden beach, Lorne and Apollo Bay, Cape Otway Lighthouse, eucalyptus trees rainforest, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles in one day! I definitely recommend this road tour especially if you're attached with beach and ocean. 🌊🌊🌊
Churchill & Phillip Island
It's another day-tour I took and it was a perfect day! Depart from Melbourne city in the morning, we first visited Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for a hands-on wildlife experience. I cuddled the superstar koala (named Blue Gum) and hand-fed the kangaroos! It's just not enough time for me to enjoy all of this exciting wildlife experience, as we need to depart to another destination - Churchill Island before visiting the Koala Conservation Centre. As dusk falls, we enjoyed the main highlight event at Summerland Beach. Witnessed the little penguin parade as they return home from a day of fishing at sea, waddling their way up the sands to their burrows on Phillip Island. We're not allowed to take any pictures of these penguins, but I swear, they are SUPER CUTE! 🐧🐧🐧
Australia's handmade market - Markit is a one-day shopping extravaganza held twice a year in The Atrium and Deakin Edge theatre at Federation Square. It was such a coincidence that they're holding their 8th year event when I was in Melbourne. I was thrilled to see the work of over 80 Australian designer stalls including ceramicists, jewellers, fashion designers, illustrators, and more while sampling some of Melbourne's best food and coffee from the new BakeSale pop-up cafe. Plus, the location is perfectly right at the city center where we can walk along Yarra River after visiting the market.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
I got a free ticket to Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium and Eureka Skydeck 88 from the tour I booked to Great Ocean Road and Churchill Phillip Islands. So here I came to say hello with the fiiiishess, tooooadss, seaaaahorsess, staaaarfishess, tuuuurtless, jellyyyyfishess, peeeenguinss... 🐠🐟🐸🐢🐧
Lightning Ridge Opal Mines
As a gemstone jewelry designer, how can I miss to visit authentic Opal (the national gemstone of Australia) store, right? Lightning Ridge Opal Mines is a great place to buy Opals and learn about them. They have a wildlife section with snakes, spiders, blue tongue lizards, and other unique species the miners encountered. They also show you how to cut and polish Opals and teach about the different types of Opals you can buy and what to look for when buying. It's a family owned and operated business with great staff and service. Nick, the owner is very friendly! After an hour wandering around the store selecting some pieces, and before I left, I asked if it is okay to take a picture together with him. He was so pleased and so did I! 📸
P.S. It was like taking picture with a superstar, because Nick has been featured numerous time in newspapers and magazines, appeared on the TV shows, and published his first book "What You Think is What You Get!".
Sovereign Hill Ballarat
I must say this is my most favorite place in Melbourne! The Sovereign Hill at Ballarat.
It is where Australia’s history comes to life! Just like stepping back in time, from the hustle and bustle of Main Street where costumed ladies and gents parade their new-found wealth, to the excitement of the Red Hill Gully Diggings where you can pan for real gold and it’s yours to keep! There are many other activities at Sovereign Hill to enjoy: the spectacular $100,000 gold pour, venture underground on a fully-guided gold mine tour or catch a horse-drawn coach and tour the town. See steam-driven machinery in action and chat with candle-makers and confectioners as they ply their trades. All the beautiful old architectures and locals dressed in clothing from the era of 1850s. I spent 4+ hours to experience all the activities around! Seriously, I LOVE Sovereign Hill!! 😍
And NEXT, let's go to Sydney... ✈️
亞洲手創展 Pop Up Asia - the first 4-days handmade market fair held by Campobag in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Taipei - Taiwan, November 17th - 20th, 2016. There are 111 participated brands come from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and local Taiwan. Although I didn't set up this time, but I am amused and very excited to be here, visited old friends, made new friends and had a nice talk with the artists. After all, thank you 小麥 and Campobag for inviting me. :)
So here I share some creative brands along with their products that catch my eyes. Feel free to follow them and get to know the artists!
DO DO HANDMADE
Do Do Handmade encourages people to love and protect the animals. They make ceramic bowls with hand drawn animal silhouettes whispering to each other. www.facebook.com/mydodohandmade
Anadou from Tainan makes these lovely wooden dolls with workable jointing system. They create really amazing products and designs made from wood. Do check their page: www.facebook.com/AnadouMuZuo
For you who love photography and travelling! Jouer8 creates assorted type of pattern straps and more others camera accessories. They produce all their products with great quality materials. I have one for myself! www.jouer8.com
MY MINI ME 我的迷你我
Pei Pei from Taichung hand-made all these whimsical plush toys with combination of fabrics, laces and other vintage findings. This was her very first handmade fair with carousel (merry-go-round) as her booth theme. Apparently, it is different with other common carousel which usually full of horses and other animals. Hers are empty! The animals are all escaped to the outside world in which you may see - her doll creations. www.facebook.com/myminime520
BJ ART VILLAGE 小房子装可愛手作村
So many cute little houses and mushrooms handmade from ceramics pottery, designed by Black and Jennifer. My favorite! www.facebook.com/bjartvillage
From and for dog lovers. Wei Ni, the artist, makes these detailed sculptures, figurines, candles, illustrations, postcards, pins, and many others related to bulldogs and friends. www.facebook.com/maggerdog
Mu Liang Zuo from Tainan provides interesting DIY classes to teach us the fusion materials between wood and brass. Look at those one-of-a-kind spoons! Next time I go to Tainan, I will definitely take their one-day experience class! www.facebook.com/muliangzuo
My friend, Nana from Singapore. She brings along Fio - the bunny and friends to meet their new owners. Not only amigurumi and plush toys, she also makes 3d printing bunny head rings in variety of colors. Hot and popular items! www.roomism.net
HANDMADE KOREA 핸드메이드코리아
12 creative artists from Korea came to Taiwan and made cultural exchange with the local. I'm very happy to meet Ms. Kim Urah 김유라 대표님, CEO of Handmade Korea whom I met when participating Handmade Korea Fair this past July. www.handmadekorea.co.kr
My new Korean friends, pop-up 3d book artist group: Yoon-Sangji 윤상지 with her carousel drawings and remarkable 11-pages 3d pop-up books. Kwon-Oin 권오인 with her happiness blue bird illustrations made to video tape-like book. Ahn-Yeunhea 안윤헤 who makes impressive changing masks and other Korean culture pop-up drawings. All works are purely hand-drawn and hand-cut! cafe.naver.com/chaekjitgi
Using natural ingredients, Hanaduri creates beautiful cake shape soaps a.k.a. cake for bathroom. Not only soaps, she also makes home decor related products, such as: candles, diffusers, souvenirs and gifts. www.hanaduri.net
Naldak by The Ceramic Studio was founded in Gyeonggi-do, Korea in 2003. Naldak sets goal to save others in danger as a hero. Naldak wears a magic cloak or masks, holds a shield and acts like all kinds of cool heroes in the world. Naldak always in the search of new possibility and dreams of creative challenges. www.naldak.kr
A corner that always full of people! They are Maker's Base from Japan, the No. 1 membership-based workshop in Tokyo which contains more than 100 kinds of equipment in a wide range of handmade fields. www.makers-base.com
The happy fluffy companions from Hong Kong. In the world of hopnbounce, it lives a group of lovely animals that are loved and spoiled. They are free to do anything and they always hop and bounce happily. Their life is all about eat, play, sleep and providing unconditional love. This is the world where pets live forever and accompany their owners for life. www.hopnbounce.com
LITTLE POUPEES & EVANGELIONE
"Every doll has a little piece of my heart, so they all have a little little tiny heart, to care and to love."
They are doll makers from Malaysia: Little Poupees www.littlepoupees.com and Evangelione www.evangelione.com
More brands can be browsed at Pop Up Asia website. It is the perfect platform to gather all handmade lovers. Take time to stop by and chat with the artists, and you can feel the enthusiasm and positive energy around them. Try to understand the meaning behind their stories and you can appreciate more their one-of-a-kind works. From handmade makers, to handmade lovers.
2 days after Handmade Korea Fair has ended, I began my short trip to Busan – a large port city in South Korea, known for its beaches, mountains and temples. It takes around 3 hours by KTX (Korea Train Express) to get to Busan Station.
After checking in to the guesthouse which is located a stone's throw from Gwangalli Beach 광안리해수욕장, I carried my laptop, searched for a nice beach-side cafe, took my time and started to do some works until dusk...
Gwangalli Beach afternoon and night view
The next morning, I hopped on Busan City Tour Bus for a loop tour to some of tourist attractions: Haeundae Beach 해운대해수욕장, Bexco, National Maritime of Museum and Yonggungsa Temple 해동 용궁사. Was intended to hop off to more places but I had not enough time... :(
P.S. It was the hottest period during the season! I got sunburnt around my neck and shoulder, top side of both arms and foot... You'll see the mark on my third day photos haha! XD
Third day in Busan was my highlight! I met international friends who stayed in the same guesthouse.
In the morning, Kenny (from The Netherlands) and I first went to the rooftop of Lotte Department Store in Nampo – a 13-floor big shopping mall with observation deck, where we can enjoy Busan city view. Next, we took a walk according to the guided map by our host and reached Jagalchi Market 자갈치 시장 – the biggest fish market in Busan. We chose a stall and had the freshest fish lunch together. Such a pleasant experience!
In the afternoon, I went to Gamcheon Culture Village 감천문화마을. Here I waited for Kait (from Canada) to come and we met at this beautiful village. Gamcheon Culture Village is formed by houses built in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain, earning this village the nickname of "Machu Picchu of Busan". The many alleys cutting through this community are vibrantly decorated with murals and sculptures created by the residents. I'm really happy to explore this place together with Kait as we can help each other took pictures! I highly recommend this place if you plan to visit Busan!
At night before we went back to our guesthouse, we made our way to Busan Cinema Center 영화의전당 – the official venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) – one of the most popular film festivals in Asia – and has become a symbol of the festival itself. The center ‘Big Roof’ is the largest roof in the world (2.6 times larger than a soccer field) and comes complete with full LED lights. So beautiful!
After a day full of sweat (gross!), we were actually intended to clean and soothe ourselves at Spaland which is located just around the cinema center, but unfortunately we were too late for that! So then we called our day...
Have you ever visited Busan? What are your recommended must-go places? Share your experience with me! :)
I stumbled upon this interesting article about crystals for travel from Happiest When Exploring blog written by Erica - a travel blogger based in Montreal.
Healing crystals are great travel companions and can be utilized in promoting a safe journey, arrival and adventure. Crystals radiate frequency and energy because they are living creatures, like you and me. I believe that crystals can be integrated into our daily lives and daily quests, and our travels. If you’re new to crystals, a great resource is Doreen Virtue’s Crystal Therapy pocket guide. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
✨ 7 Crystals for Travel: Protection, Grounding and Calming
Hibiscus Moon (an amazing resource for learning about crystals) explains that Turquoise is the traveler's companion and a good protector. It was traditionally given to people getting ready to go on a long journey.
Malachite is one of the stones most known and recognized for travel protection. Malachite is an especially powerful gemstone offering protection from accidents and protection for air travel. Besides being among the most powerful protection stones, Malachite makes for a great travel partner because it absorbs negative energy and pollutants, has soothing properties, and helps eliminate fear associated with flying. With Malachite taking care of the gross plane air, easing your tension and taking care of any fears you might have about flying, the stone will (as a result!) help with jet lag.
Hematite is a grounding stone and can help get rid of jet lag. Hibiscus Moon explains in a short video an effective way to be relieved of jet lag by using Hematite. Check out the link!
Angelite isn’t traditionally a travel stone but it is a protection stone. It promotes peace and helps in connecting with the higher self, your intuition, psychic abilities – whatever you want to call it. I believe that if you are connected to your highest self and intuition, then you are protected from harmful situations and interactions, as well as negative energies or encounters.
Amethyst is another go-to stone for travellers. Amethyst protects the wearer while traveling and even from thieves! If crystals are new to you (or even if they aren’t), this probably sounds a little far-fetched.
I like Howlite for travel because it is a calming stone. Howlite decreases stress or anxiety for the wearer and even helps with insomnia. If you tend to be a little more nervous or anxious, this is a great stone for you when you travel.
7. Blue Lace Agate
Blue Lace Agate is a more subtle, supportive stone. Blue Lace Agate has a harmonizing energy, balancing the emotions and natural forces, and encourages self-confidence – all important components in successful and safe travel!
You may find the above complete script on Happiest When Exploring blog.
Indonesia Hari Raya Idul Fitri holiday is fast approaching in less than three weeks! Do you have any vacation plan? Why don't you pick and bring one of these crystals, whether to wear as jewelry or to keep them inside your pouch, and feel the magic happen! ✨
V for Vacation, Part 2
After some healing retreats from the previous post, let's dive into these two hot destinations among locals and tourists: Jeonju Hanok Village and Suwon Hwaseong.
1. Jeonju Hanok Village 전주한옥마을
Jeonju Hanok Village is located in the city of Jeonju. There are over 800 traditional Korean 'hanok' houses. While the rest of city has been industrialized, Hanok Village retains its historical charms and traditions.
Jeonju Hanok Village is especially beautiful for its roof curves. The roof edges being slightly raised to the sky is unique.
My friend, Hye Min and I took direct bus to Jeonju from Express Bus Terminal. It takes around 2 hours 30 minutes to reach. Once we arrived, we took a cab to Hanok Village and had our most mouth-watering lunch: Ddeok-galbi and Kalguksu!
After lunch, we then headed to Jeondong Catholic Cathedral and walked through Nambu Traditional Market. There is a pathway to the second floor where we found Real New Town Youth Mall with craft stores. Unfortunately, most of the shops are closed on Monday. So we could only took some pictures outside these stores...
I was on vacation but also working at the same time... 😂 Always searching for good spots to take pictures of my products. #callmeworkaholic
We took a short break in a coffee shop, have a cup of yuja citron tea, and then continued our journey to Gyeonggijeon Shrine. I love this place full of trees, bamboos and fallen leaves! It was 6pm in the evening as the sky got darker. We climbed up to Omokdae, located on top of a steep hill, and lastly, enjoyed beautiful night view of Jeonju Hanok Village from the hill.🌙
We had a very tight schedule to explore Jeonju. Not to mention varieties of street food that we had yet to try! I feel half-day trip is never enough! I noticed there are several guesthouses around the village, so if you have free time, you may consider staying for a night or two.
While I'm writing this post, I found another blog post about Jeonju 3D2N Itinerary, wrote by an ex-journalist in Singapore who currently resides in Seoul. Hope it gives you more directions if you plan to visit Jeonju!
Also check this site for complete information about Jeonju Hanok Village.
2. Suwon Hwaseong 수원 화성
The next day, my calligraphy writer friend - Lucia and I went to Suwon Hwaseong. We took express train that only takes 30 minutes to Suwon station. There's a tourist information next to the station if you need help on directions.
The city of Suwon, located in Gyeonggi-do just south of Seoul, is known for Hwaseong Fortress, an iconic wall that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This area is full of popular tourist attractions. Places like streets, museums, and other unique destinations are all nearby, making the city great for day trips to enjoy one's vacation.
Let's take a look at some of the enticing attractions of Suwon, a city filled to the brim with both old and new:
- Farmer's market near Paldalmun
- Gongbang Street, Temporary Palace Road full of shops selling pretty and cute items ❤️
- Haenggung Palace, a temporary palace where the king and royal family retreated to during a war
- Nearby there is Suwon Ipark Museum of Art which was newly opened on Oct. 8, 2015 to be the new cultural shelter for citizens
- Hwaseong Train is something that you do not want to miss out on when visiting Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. Walking along the trails in the fortress is uplifting enough, but riding on the train delivers a much more interesting experience, where one can appreciate the fortress from a different perspective. The train travels from Paldalsan Mountain to Yeonmudae Post and takes about 30 minutes.
When we took Hwaseong Train, we passed by this bed of reeds. We just couldn't took our eyes off of them, so we walked back through the cold weather to take closer look. They're so beautiful~ 🌿🌿🌿
V for Vacation, Part 1
In spite of promoting my creations through handmade fair in Seoul. Here I will be sharing three recommended calming natural places that I went: The Garden of Morning Calm, Million Rose Blossom Garden, and Soyang Dam.
1. The Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요수목원
This large (read: huge) garden is located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, houses about 5,000 kinds of plants. Flowers are in bloom from March to November. In addition to the beautiful foliage of the garden, there are a variety of festivals and displays held throughout the year:
* Spring: Spring Garden Festival
* Summer: Festival of Roses, Hydrangeas and Roses of Sharon
* Autumn: Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints
* Winter: Lighting Festival
To my opinion, it's not hard to reach this place. Travel time takes around 2 hours or so from Seoul.
By subway, go to Cheongpyeong Station, exit 1. Go left until you reach the 3-way intersection and turn right. Continue straight toward the Cheongpyeong Catholic Church. Pass by Cheongpyeong Elementary School, turn left, and you will see Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal.
From Cheongpyeong Terminal, take Bus 31-7 bound to The Garden of Morning Calm.
If you have hard time looking for the bus terminal (as the sign is written in Korean), just ask the local people and they will gladly point the way. You may check the time table from bus terminal to the garden. If you have plenty of waiting time, you may get some tit-bits in the convenient store at the bus terminal. I had a noodle cup to fill up my belly before departing. XD
I think the garden's view is vary from season to season. As these pictures were taken in October, so there are maple fallen leaves and beautiful dried red autumn foliage. It was a fine breezy sunny day when I went there. 🍃🌷🍁 It is one of Korea's attractions that makes it possible for you to not only appreciate the beauty of flowers and plants, but also enjoy special displays and festivities every month.
Visit this page for complete information about The Garden of Morning Calm. It's sure a recommended healing place to go!
2. Million Rose Blossom Garden 백만송이 장미공원
Trust me, when you reach this garden, you'll hear your voice screaming "WHOA"! 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹
Located in Dodang Park, Bucheon. Not a very large garden (not small as well), but it holds million roses with variety of colors. There are cotton pink, hot pink, blush pink, red, peach, white and yellow color of roses everywhere. And you just can't take enough pictures of roses here and there!
To reach Million Rose Blossom Garden, you may take subway to either Chunui or Bucheon City Hall station. I arrived at Chunui station and walked for 20-30 minutes to reach this place, but departed from Bucheon City Hall station to go back to Seoul. I couldn't find the official English site for tourist about the direction of getting into Dodang Park, so I turned on my GPS and followed the path. It's kinda far to reach, but it's so worth it!
I will suggest to have full meal before going here, because there is no cafe or restaurant nearby. I was starving for hours but didn't want to leave these beds of roses for food! 😆
3. Soyang Dam 소양댐
Soyang Dam is Asia's largest and the world's fourth largest rock-fill dam. Located in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, it holds 29 million ㎥ of water, which has become Soyangho Lake, Korea's largest man-made lake. Spanning a large area that borders the Gangwon-do cities and districts of Chuncheon, Hongcheon, Yanggu and Inje, the lake is often referred to as an "inland sea".
There is long bridge that divides the dam where you can cross over and then take a walk (read: hike) to Octagonal Pavilion (팔각정). Mind you it's tiring, but the view up there is fantastic!
There's also a ferry from Soyang Dam dock to go to Cheongpyeongsa Temple. Such a waste that I couldn't manage to have enough time to go there!
To go to Soyang Dam, take subway to Chuncheon station (final stop), cross the road and take Bus 11 or 12 to Soyanggang River Dam. It's the final destination of the bus route so you can easily recognize the place.
For more information regarding hiking course, walking trails and ferry tour, check out this official page.
Next, let's dive into historic and culture places to Jeonju and Suwon. :)
I recap six places I have visited in Jeju Island, South Korea last October. Most of the places are located in the east part of Jeju with natural scenery and healing essential. An addition to add, fall is the perfect season to travel! 🌼
1. U-Do Island 우도 / 牛島
Situated on the eastern end of Jeju Island, Udo Island was named because it resembles a lying cow. It boasts fertile soils, abundant schools of fish, and scenic sights; local heritage (female divers, stone walls, and stone tombs) as well as natural attractions abound on the island, making it a miniature of Jeju Island. The island is also full of amenities and tourism outlets: fishing, bike trails, sand massaging, tour submarines and cruises.
I walked around one third of the island for few hours and seriously enjoyed my walking accompanied by sea breeze along the way. If you don't feel to walk that much, you can also rent a bicycle upon arriving the island. Click here for more information on how to get there.
2. Seongsan Ilchubong Peak 성산일출봉
From Seongsan Harbour (ferry terminal to Udo Island), I headed to Seongsan Ilchubong by taxi since it is near. It is one of the popular tourist attractions in Jeju and designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago. Located on the eastern end of Jeju Island, there is a huge crater at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak which looks like a gigantic crown. While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a verdant grassy hill that is connected to the Seongsan Village. The ridge provides an ideal spot for walks and for horse riding as well. The sunrise from the crater is magnificent. Also the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak surrounded by bright yellow colored rapeseed flowers in the spring is truly a sight to behold.
Visit here to get more information.
3. Bijarim Forest 비자림
I visited Bijarim the next morning. Designated as a natural monument, Bijarim Forest has a group of about 2,800 nutmeg trees between 500 and 800 years old. The evergreen trees emit a lot of Phytoncide, which is said to strengthen immune system and natural healing ability of human body. Actually, nutmeg tree blossoms and the oil are said to be used as insecticides in the past. There are also rare orchids and plants growing in the forest and walkway in the forest renovated for visitors to enjoy forest walks through the wonderful forest. 🌲
It was a good experience to walk through the forest where you'll be surrounded by trees and the fresh fragrance. If you love nature especially trees, you'll love this place. I do love trees! That is why I use the word on my brand name. XD Click here for more information on how to get to Bijarim Forest.
4. Maze Land 메이즈랜드
Maze Land is a themed park boasting the world’s longest stone maze, measuring roughly 5.3km in total length. The maze is made mainly using stone and wood found on Jeju and is created to reflect the Jeju principle of "three somethings" (Samda), which describes the things abundant on Jeju Island: rocks, wind, and women. It is said that the maze is good for your health, as the stone emits high levels of far-infrared radiation. The park, with its variety of trees several decades old, is the perfect place for what Koreans term “forest bathing,” in which people surround themselves with nature (particularly trees) to soak in their natural benefits.
From Bijarim, I rode a public bus to get to Maze Land. It is a large park with two main mazes. Upon going in, you will get a paper with map of the mazes. Do not assume it will be easy to get out from the maze even when you have the map! I lost my way several times haha! It is a fun activity to get in the maze with friends. I went there alone but luckily there were many high school students on their school trip, so I was having fun saw them playing around (and stalking their way to get out the maze XD).
Visit Maze Land!
5. Hamdeok Beach 함덕 서우봉해변
From Maze Land, I took another bus to Hamdeok Beach, enjoyed the breeze and sunset before I ended my day. Located 14 km east of Jeju City, Hamdeok Beach is famous for its clean and shallow water, attracting many family visitors during summer vacations. The beach offers great scenery with its emerald-blue water, an arched bridge over black basalt and a red lighthouse. It boasts excellent amenities including dressing and shower rooms, guesthouses, hotels, and a camping site. In addition, motorboats, on-board fishing, water skiing, and banana boats are available.
Click here for more information.
6. Woljeong-ri Beach 월정리 해변
It was my last day in Jeju and I decided to visit one more interesting place before I flew back to Seoul. My AirBnB host recommended this place to me. Woljeong-ri is known for the clean white sand beach scenery with beautiful cafes in the area. I went to one of the coffee shops opposite the beach, ordered a cup of hot cappuccino and had my time in the rooftop outdoor area for an hour and half. The coffee does taste different when all you see is a wide calm beach... 🌴🌴🌴
It was an unforgettable trip I have ever had and I hope one day I will be visiting Jeju Island again!
Hello all! I am back from Japan! 🌸
What an unforgettable experience I had during the past 9 days! We are thrilled to see so many creative artisans with variety of talents in different fields. Couldn't take my eyes off of the unique goods that we can't easily find outside. They are beyond extraordinary! This is the biggest art event I have ever visited and of course will plan to come again next other season. On the other hand, I am so happy to meet my old friend from Taiwan whom I met in Macau craft fair back on 2013, and an illustrator artist whom I met 5 years ago in Singapore but rarely contacted each other since then, but he managed to come and find my booth! Most artisans know that one of the joyous thing for us to join an exhibition is that we could have a small reunion with other artist friends, have a little chit-chat on how we are doing lately and getting some valuable information that we've probably missed. Yes? ✌
After the weekend show in Tokyo is finished, my friend and I went to Yokohama for a sightseeing. We went to the port (the view is superb!), and then head to Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse / Aka-Renga Soko 横浜赤レンガ倉庫 (many souvenirs shopping here), Jiyugaoka, Motomachi and Toy Museum. Finished with Yokohama, my friend flew back to Taiwan while I traveled back to Tokyo by myself. On my last 4 days, I went to some must-go interesting places such as Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku area. Walked to Tokyo Tower to see the city view from daytime till sunset. Couldn't forget that sparkling city night view. I also went to Roppongi Hills, what a spectacular architecture buildings design over there! Thanks to my host who recommended this place to me. On my last day, I went to Kichijoji park and accidentally walked into a small zoo named Inokashira Park Zoo 井の頭恩賜公園. It is a lovely park fills with pond, trees and all that nature (yes, I love nature!). 🌲🌷
And now, I am back to my work space, still tidying up materials I bought from Japan (the last picture below is my newest raw stones and crystals collections). On these few days, I'll be busy preparing items for my new stockist, and after that, I will create more fresh items with ideas and inspirations I got during the trip!
Thank you, Japan! ❤️
It's been 3 weeks since my last post.
Some of you might had realized that I put away notification last week on the front page, Etsy and Instagram. Thank you for all of your orders and understanding for the late delivery! Well, I actually went to South Korea last week to conduct a short meeting and discussion. Besides, I watched concert (work hard, play hard! Yay! ;p), gained unforgettable experiences, received many fresh insights and suggestions from friends and people I met in Seoul. Hope to come back again soon!
And tomorrow, I am flying to Tokyo to attend the biggest international art event in Japan - Design Festa Vol.41, which will be held on 16-17 May 2015, at Tokyo Big Sight Hall. The plan has been made 6 months before and I am really excited to join this phenomenal event! I'll be going together with my good friend from Taiwan, a full-time creator and artist who makes unique leather accessories under her individual brand - TzaBa.
So I have no other choice but to put another away notification... (sorry for that! >.<)
All orders that is placed between 13-24 May 2015, will be shipped on 25 May 2015. Any questions feel free to shoot me an email. I will respond to you asap. Sorry for another shipping delay and thank you for your understanding! :)
Anyhow, if you live or in vacation to Tokyo this weekend, come to Tokyo Big Sight Hall and enjoy the crowd full of creative artisans! Of course, you are very welcome to pay a visit to our booth at F-73/74.
See you there!
Quote of the day: “You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" -【 有失才有得 】
I had few days break on the past weekend, went to Singapore with my family and I visited one of my talented artist friends - Nana, who I've known for 5 years (as long as I can remember). She is based in Singapore and makes character design under her brand Roomism and recently expand to 3D printing under the label Build It Full. Early this year, she opened up a store and I came by to have a chit-chat, girl's talk, exchanged our experiences, and also to place Tree Craft Diary items to sell at her store: Roomism x Build It Full. I put some of my popular one-of-a-kind druzy collections (necklaces and rings), to share the love of natural resources from Indonesia to Singapore. ♥
No matter if you're jewelry addict or stone lover, feel free to come and take a look at these druzy crystals! I am pretty sure you'll love their uniqueness!
Roomism x Build It Full
Shop Address: 470 North Bridge Road, #05-21 Bugis Cube, Singapore
Hours: Mon - Sat, 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This was my third time visited Gardens by the Bay, but also my first time enjoyed the view at night time. I love Flower Dome so much as they keep changing the theme every season. This time they have the theme about fairy tales: Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and the story goes on and on... All colors of Tulips plant everywhere to match the story color. They are absolutely beautiful!
P.S. If you are planning to go to Gardens by the Bay (Flower Dome + Cloud Forest), I have 4 extra adult tickets that still can be used until September 9th, 2015. Surely worth the price and it is cheaper than purchasing at the counter. Contact me if you are interested! ❀
"The air is fragrant with the smell of lavender fields
while enjoying the view of flying hot air balloons
all over the meadows"
Lavender is my most favorite flower of all time!
I have my soap, body oil, body lotion, room spray, room fragrance all in the scent of lavender. L-O-V-E!
While I am searching for inspiration, I came across this site: 15 Stunning Photos of Lavender Fields Around the World. Thought you might love it too!
In Asia, there is one must-visit place: Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 located in Taiwan. Up to now, there are 3 branches around Taiwan and the biggest is the one located in Taichung Xinshe 台中新社店. If you are planning to go to Taiwan for your next vacation, don't forget to include this nature field to your itinerary! I have been to the main branch in Taichung and another one in Hsinchu Jianshi 新竹尖石店. Really love the fresh air and fragrance all over the fields! This is the link for Lavender Cottage.
P.S. Share your experience below if you have been to Lavender Cottage!
Hello and welcome!