Category Archives: Babywearing

Our 1st Royal Caribbean Adventure – Voyager of the Seas (4-8 June 2018)

Everything is uploaded except videos as they need editing. 🙂

It’s a LOOOONG post because there’s so many things I wanna tell everyone!
And BIG THANK YOU to the lovely mummies who provided me with so much information before & during my cruise!!! We had so much fun!

What’s in this post:
(1) Important information to ensure you don’t look swakoo (well, I was so swakoo lah) and also to help you plan your trip well.
(2) Photos (to tempt you if you haven’t already booked your trip).
(3) Tips on how to maximize your holiday.
(4) My personal opinions of the cruise. I will also share on how you can enjoy it on LOW BUDGET. And of cos if you have big budget, it will be even better!
(5) Comparison between Costa Victoria & Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas.

Do look through the album on Facebook for more info too!
I will post more tips at the description of photos & videos!

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

Who went?
Initially when I booked the trip, we booked 3 rooms. It was for us (Ahjussi, Myself, 2 kids), my parents (Mum, Dad, Sis & 1 kid) and my bro (Him, my SIL, 1 teen counted as adult price & 1 baby).
BUT, we had to cancel 1 room 2 weeks after we booked because my SIL found out she was preggy with #3 🙂
Cruises have very very very strict policy about preggers on board. Please take note!
If you are more than 24 weeks or will turn more than 24 weeks preggy during the cruise, they will reject! Just nice my SIL will be 25 weeks during our cruise dates so end up they can’t go.
So the trip proceeded with just 2 rooms (total 5 adults and 3 kids).

Which ship?
We booked Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas.

Which ports?
Ours was a 5D4N cruise covering Penang & Phuket.

Type of cabin?
We took Oceanview Stateroom on Deck 3 (front of ship).
RC Day 1-15.jpg

Price?
It was slightly more expensive due to school holidays.
We booked under kids & seniors get 50% off. I heard my cousin who went 2 weeks earlier (not school holiday yet) than us got a better deal. When I compared prices, it was significantly different too, so if you don’t have primary school kids, please book off peak period to save $$$!

Total for our 3 rooms was SGD7110.10. Round off is around $2400 per room of 4 pax. Do note for RC, this price is inclusive of gratuity, which is not the case for another cruise we took last Nov (Costa Victoria). This is an ALL INCLUSIVE PRICE. Which means if you did not make any onboard purchases, you do not need to pay anything more. And don’t forget whatever pricing you see onboard, it is in USD and you need to ADD 18% to it!
1st deposit $2400 and balance can split payment (read on to find out why I split payment).
(Compared with Costa Victoria which I paid $2100 for 2 Oceanview Staterooms with 5 adults and 3 kids + a compulsory SGD$600+++ gratuity at the end of the trip which was billed to my credit card. So that worked out to be SGD1350 per room for 4D3N compared with VoS SGD2400 for 5D4N. But really, you pay peanuts you get monkeys lah! Costa Victoria was acceptable for me cos it was cheap and I managed my expectations, but if you want to compare the 2 cruises then it sucks! #oops!)

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

PART 1: BOOKING THE TRIP
While I was searching for pricing & promotional deals, I saw that many travel agents had promotions. RC’s website also had promotions and you can book online or via phone. The prices are ALL THE SAME to be honest, just that some travel agents have credit card tie ups to offer free luggage or other freebies if you pay using certain credit cards. So it is really up to you. 🙂  If you love freebies, keep a lookout for those travel agents!

For us, I wanted convenience. Someone to do the booking for me. Someone I can blame if the booking went wrong :p
So we decided to check out WTS Travel at Waterway Point (walking distance from my place). And being typical auntie, I was aiming for the Fraser Mall Reward points.
I mean… Since I’m going to pay for it, then I might as well try to get some freebies out of it right?
Plus Waterway Point had promotion if you spent $100 you can get $10 credit! Sometimes they have other freebies too! Anyway Fraser Mall Rewards membership is FREE. Just download their app and sign up!

So I did the most incredibly cheapskate thing… I requested for split payment at WTS and they were so nice to say OK! (You don’t have to do this if you are rich and don’t like trouble :p)
Why split payment?
– Fraser Mall limit 500 points per day ($500 spent = 500 points). I recently redeemed 7000 points and got a $35 credit!
– Can claim many many $10 credit if I split the payment! This is while promo lasts though. Check with them on latest promotions!
– I enjoy walking to WWP daily anyway, Ahjussi and I treat it as couple time to walk over together.
WhatsApp Image 2018-06-08 at 23.21.27

The staff are super nice at WTS! They calculated the minimum deposit first, then the balance split into $500/day to pay. Ahjussi is also a Fraser Mall Rewards member so we split the deposit into 2 payments on the same day to get the mall points. Anyway, we cleared the payments within a few trips since each of us paid $500/day.
Details on Fraser Mall Rewards here: http://www.frasersrewards.com/fr-home.php?CategoryID=649 (They have more than 1 mall and you can accumulate from all the different malls, so why not?)

When we had to cancel 1 room, WTS staff were super prompt and awesome again! They helped us with the whole process.

They also guided us through important details and how to login to pre-book anything we needed. They printed out all our tickets, luggage tags, etc too! Very good service!

Important tip when booking: Choose your meal time wisely! Ours was 8pm slot so we had to watch later show times (9.30pm start) which may not be suitable if your kids are early sleepers. Mine are fine with sleeping late and I’m not fussy about their bedtime. They are trained to be flexible and adapt, so I didn’t get grumpy kids due to changes in bed time.

Important tip when booking: Book early if you want connecting rooms!

We took Oceanview Stateroom on Deck 3. This is the ‘second-cheapest cabin type’. If you have bigger budgets, can go try their balcony staterooms. I was worried about balcony as Meimei is very active and I was worried about the safety factor (we didn’t even allow her to walk on her own at the open decks). My kids loved looking out at passing ships, so Oceanview was the best option for us without a big dent in our pockets.
RC Day 1-19

We saw the Interior Staterooms on board and they looked cool too! You can actually view the Royal Promenade which is the main activity area (the Dreamworks character appearances and mass dances happen here).

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

PART 2: BEFORE YOUR TRIP
(1) Login to RC’s website to manage your trip! You can upgrade your dining options, book internet packages & drink packages or book shore excursions. And you can link your credit card for easy check out!

  • Link your credit card to your room. You can link for multiple rooms too. This makes the check out process very convenient because you don’t have to queue up to settle payment in cash. Cash payment is in USD, they accept SGD at unfavourable rates. So it is best to link a credit card with good exchange rates & doesn’t charge you for overseas charges. You can select to be billed in your local currency or in USD. I opted to be charged in USD. They will leave the bill outside your door once it is ready, for you to check.

Total Bill

  • If you like GOOD COFFEE, I suggest that you book their drink package with coffee… OR bring your own 3-in-1 coffee packs. My parents said the coffee at the free cafes are diluted and not nice… Or if you are a soft drink junkie like Ahjussi, you can consider the soft-drinks package too. I didn’t allow it because we were getting off at Penang & Phuket where he can buy cheap soft drinks. LOL!
  • If you MUST be connected to internet at all times, do take a look at the Voom Wi-Fi packages (price list uploaded). It is rather expensive as it goes by number of devices. If you book it for the whole cruise, it is around USD80 for 1 device. This is the basic one, not enough to stream YouTube or movie hor! Too expensive for me!
    We didn’t get it because I’m alright with being not-connected for a while.
    Day 1 we had Singapore network till around 6pm. Then after that no network till we were near Penang the next morning (Day 2) around 9+am. We had Malaysia SIM cards so we switched and used our Malaysia lines. No network again while we slept, then we had Thailand network the next morning (Day 3) till 9pm. Then no network for 24 hours (Day 4), followed by some Malaysia network at night (Day 4) and then back in SG (Day 5) in the morning.
    For those who do not already have Malaysia & Thai SIM cards like we do or hate having to change SIM cards, my sis used a very convenient pre-paid Data Sim card by Starhub: http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobile/mobile-phones-plans/value-added-services/roaming/postpaid-roaming/data-plans/datatravel.html
    I found this super affordable too. SGD15 for 2GB!
    Ours was SGD5.50 for the Thai card (SIM + Data) & RM3 for the Malaysia card’s data usage (existing Malaysia pre-paid SIM). Ahjussi got for Big Boy a Malaysia 30-day Data SIM for SGD7.99, unlimited data! First 5GB is fast then after that is low.
    If you are tech-savvy enough, you can buy your own Wi-Fi egg and put the SIM card in to share the data! Or use Hotspot 🙂
    You can shop around for good deals!

(2) Read through the program sheet I’ve uploaded and plan your activities wisely. Time is precious on board!

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

Print out and highlight what you wanna do!

Highly recommended:
– Magic Show by John Taylor (comedy + magic show)
– Ice Skating Show: Ice Odyssey
– Flow Rider (there’s minimum height, but adults please make time to try!)
– Dreamworks Parade & appearances (some are free for you to pose for photos with them like Gloria from Madagascar, some are paid type like Kungfu Panda)
– Join in all the dances at Royal Promenade & Poolside! Don’t be shy! No one will recognize you anyway!
– Dine at Main Dining Room because the food quality is good. Then eat more at Level 5 24 hour café. LOL!
* Do note that program may change. Check again when onboard with our updated Cruise Compass! I’ve uploaded the Cruise Compass from 2 different sail dates, so you can compare.

Important Tip: Many of the shows & sign up queues start around 20-30min before the actual time stated! So plan enough walking time and queue time! Go early to avoid disappointment!

(3) Make your kids watch Dreamworks movies like Madagascar & Kungfu Panda so that they will recognize the characters on board. Meimei went bonkers when she saw Kungfu Panda!

(4) Decide if you wanna get off at Penang & Phuket. Then decide if you prefer to follow RC’s shore excursions (price & what’s available uploaded) or go on your own.
PENANG: You can just stroll off the cruise. It is easy to just head out of the pier and get a taxi (tonnes of them there), or book a GRAB, or just walk around on your own. We hired a driver to bring us around. RM250 in a MPV (we squeezed a little) for the duration of the stopover of our cruise (3pm to 8pm). More details about where we went and what we did in Penang later in this post!
PHUKET: You need to take a smaller shuttle boat to the pier or beach (depending on season). More info about the port when you scroll down to read.
We decided to book GRAB because the drivers we contacted quoted us quite high price and Ahjussi only had 1 word for the price: SIAO!
They quoted us 4000baht for 8 of us, just bring us to shopping area and pick us up after we are done. We checked Grab and decided Grab is cheaper.
If your cruise docks at Patong Bay, you don’t need a driver at all. Check with them when you book.

(5) Download all your kiddo’s fave YouTube videos. I almost went crazy because Meimei kept asking for YouTube before bed (while the adults took turns to shower). Thankfully Ahjussi used VIU to download Pink Fong Baby Shark songs to entertain her. And the boys were so helpful in playing with her too.
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Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

PART 3: PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
Due to our bad experience drinking SALTY ‘plain water’ on board Costa Victoria, we were very determined to bring our own drinking water on board. However, the water on board Voyager of the Seas (VoS) was alright! With slight chlorine smell which is very similar to our normal tap water in Singapore.

But we still brought water because we didn’t know the water on VoS would be drinkable unlike Costa Victoria.

What we packed:
(1) Casual clothes for 4 days + 1 spare
(2) Formal attire (dress for ladies, long pants & shirt for guys) for formal dinner night. And yes, they reject if you are not properly attired. We saw it happen to an old uncle in front of us.
(3) Mozzie repellent & sunblock
(4) Toiletries
(5) Own towels (their towels are super clean, but I’m very fussy about this and never let my kids use the hotel towels when we travel)
(6) Slippers & good walking shoes (preferably something that can double up as nice shoes for formal night)
(7) Drinking water (5 x 2L bottles spread into 4 luggage). We bought 5 more bottles when we were in Penang.
We used the drinking water for Meimei’s water bottle refills, to make milk for her, and for the kids to brush their teeth. My parents also used some of the water we bought to take their vitamins in the morning.
(8) Swimwear if you intend to swim or try the Flow Rider!
(9) Backpack to bring the kids’ stuff around easily (we had to make sure we had milk & diapers ready at all times with Meimei). I brought a small sling bag & Ahjussi had his usual waist pouch for our credit cards, cash, and phones (more for when leaving the ship in Penang & Phuket).
(10) LANYARDS FOR EVERYONE including the kids! Because you need to have the SeaPass cards (your room access cards) with you at all times. You can choose one to hang around the neck or as like a wristlet. It’s your preference 🙂
(11) Hot water flask (NO KETTLES ALLOWED – They provided but again I don’t dare to use.) & some bottles to refill water to bring to the room for convenience. We used the hot water to wash & sterilize the milk bottles & water bottles daily.
(12) Your chargers for your devices! Do note that EXTENSION CABLES ARE NOT ALLOWED! They will be confiscated! So, if you have multiple devices like us, then make sure you have something that can plug many USB cables like ours.
Ahjussi got ours from Lazada. There are many brands and they have different number of USB ports. Take your pick! Link here: Click here to see the charger!
Tip from Ahjussi: Buy the one for use in Singapore. On board just add on a travel adaptor (2 pin round style) will do. Then you can still use it in Singapore. Not wasteful at all.
RC Day 1-80.jpg
(13) Carrier/Stroller if you need. Carrier was my choice as it was easier to manage than stroller. Many families had strollers on board.
(14) Bring PORTABLE FANS! Because during the compulsory drill, it is HOT and STUFFY. Be prepared! We also used it while we were in Penang & Phuket! Ahjussi the genius daddy used them to blow the milk bottles to dry (cos we lazy, dry bottles means you can put the milk powder in first so when the girl asks for milk we just need to pour water in).
(15) Pencil case with HIGHLIGHTER. So you can highlight on the Cruise Compass! It’s very helpful!

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

PART 4: THE ACTUAL CRUISE!
Sorry we don’t have much info for the kids’ club other than the info sheet I’ve uploaded. The boys said they were not keen and Meimei didn’t qualify as she is not fully toilet trained yet.
Requirements: Must be 3yo and above. Must be toilet trained.  

DAY 1: Boarding!
Though our tickets said our boarding time is 3pm, my parents insisted that ‘can go early and eat lunch on board one’… And I checked with the nice staff at WTS, she also said no issues to go earlier.
So, we arrived at Marina Cruise Centre at 9am! Agreed to meet my parents at 9.30am, we were worried about traffic and left home earlier.

The whole check in process is super simple!
(1) Make sure your luggage is locked and secured.
(2) Staple the luggage tag. If you forgot to bring it or don’t have a staple, don’t worry! They have 2 counters with staff to assist you.
(3) Hand the luggage over to the staff and they will handle it for you. Do note that it takes quite a while before you get your luggage back, so pack your necessary items into your backpack or handcarry bags.
(4) Head on in! Make sure you have your ticket & passport on hand. The staff will check and direct you to the correct place.
(5) CHECK IN! The staff will check your tickets, passports and issue you with your SeaPass! If you had linked your credit card, they will need the actual card to swipe and confirm.
(6) Scan your belongings and pass immigration, then you can BOARD!

While waiting to board, take a good look at your SeaPass. Memorise the room number and check against the layout of the ship to familiarize yourself. I’ve uploaded it for you, take your time to analyse when choosing rooms too!
When taking photos with the official photographers, remember to give the room number so you can view & purchase the photos (if you want).
Also take note on your dining time and dining room level.

Upon boarding, your room will not be ready till 1pm. They will announce over the PA system once the rooms are ready.
What to do while waiting? Head straight to level 11 at the back of the ship to enjoy free buffet lunch! It’s quite crowded, so be fast and send 1 or 2 reps to go grab seats first.
The kids need to be tagged, but you can do it later. Go grab lunch first because it is hard to get a table. At the fire drill, the staff will check and issue the tag on the spot.

At 1pm, you can head to the room and relax. Or drop off your handcarry & explore the ship before it gets crowded! Flow Rider opens at 2pm! Go try before the crowd comes in!

At 4pm, the MOST IMPORTANT THING will happen. Which is the Muster Assembly Drill. If you don’t turn up, the ship can’t sail!!!
On your SeaPass there’s a Muster Number, SUPER BIG. You have to assemble in the correct area. The staff will direct you.
Don’t go too early, esp with kids & old folks. You end up standing there in the hot sun. They will start to chase you out of the room, so start walking over at 4pm.

After you are dismissed from the drill, head straight to LEVEL 5 to get a good spot to watch the DreamWorks Parade (5pm). This only happens ONCE on the entire cruise. So don’t miss it! Somewhere near the popcorn machine will be a good spot!

Then you can hang around and check out the ship or go for your early dinner if your timeslot is 5.30pm.
For us, we hung around and went to watch a little of Jumanji at the poolside, snacked a little at L11 Windjammer’s buffet dinner before our actual dinner at 8pm.

Day 1’s show is ice skating show, they are quite strict about the ice skating show due to super limited seats, and it goes by your main dining allocation. 5.30pm dining people get a guaranteed seat at either 8.30pm or 10.30pm show (check again for details depending on your dining deck). BUT, you can go half hour earlier to queue/wait. If there’s enough seats, they will let those on the standby queue head in to watch.

DAY 2: Penang!
Baby Oppa wanted to skate and 10am was the sign ups for skating, but we were too slow and there was a crazy long queue. So I told him it’s OK, I will bring him ice skating in Singapore.
Do try to come down earlier to queue for slots. At around 9.30am the queue started. Make sure you and the kids are already in long pants and you have socks with you.

Tip: Don’t promise your kids anything. Explain to them that there are many people on the cruise too. If they are cooperative and fast, high chance they can do the activities. If they drag time, they will miss it. After this, Baby Oppa learnt to MOVE FAST & the kids were cooperative.

There’s loads of activities but my kids ended up wanting to play golf! It was fun but very hot under the sun! Bring caps/hats & sunblock!

We got off at Penang at 2.30pm. A lot earlier than the expected 3pm (probably due to the good weather and quiet sea).
Head down to Level 1 (follow the announcements) and step off the ship!
Stop 1: Peranakan Museum (Entrance Fees Payable total RM120 for us). My parents enjoyed seeing all the antiques! Not very suitable for active kids as loads of breakables in the area. I was prepared to wait outside with Meimei but thankfully she fell asleep and took a long nap so I managed to walk and take photos too!
Stop 2: Penang Coffee. To be honest, the coffee is a little exp. I’m not a coffee person so I don’t know how to appreciate. But Ahjussi loves it. So indulge him and let him buy.
Stop 3: Bak Kut Teh – RM120 (paid by my dad – Thank you Papa!) We love this place! For intestines loving people, the intestines here are super good! Big Boy loved the pork knuckle. Baby Oppa loved the golden mushroom, youtiao and gravy! Meimei was happy eating plain rice. Zzzz
Stop 4: Convenience store shopping! I know it sounds crazy but I had to grab chips, chocolates and water. Whatever makes my kids happy! Ahjussi needed his Coke too.
Stop 5: Pharmacy. To replenish my medication stock and my sis had to buy more contact lens solution (because she didn’t bring enough).
Then we headed back before the crowd came back. Went to our room, showered and had dinner at the main dining room and went to watch the show at 9.30pm.

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

DAY 3: Phuket!
Had to start the day EARLY because we were KIASU. I heard that it is a long wait for the tenderboats and we should queue early. So we had breakfast at 7.30am and went to join the queue for tickets at 8.15am.

TIP: You can send 1 representative to queue. But that person needs to be holding all the SeaPass.

If the whole group is ready and are in the queue, they will let you board the 1st tender immediately!

Thanks to my kiasu-ness, we managed to get queue #1! And we headed to shore. The tenderboat ride was around 20min. Very pleasant as that boat was air-conditioned. Enough seats for all. RC staff were very experienced and organized! Instructions are clear too.

Upon arrival at shore, there were loads of taxi/van drivers… So we didn’t notice the road side stalls as the drivers totally blocked all our view.
We kaypo ask for a quote to decide if use them or get a GRAB as per our original plan and it was 4000baht to bring us to eat seafood, shopping in the same area and head back to the pier.

So we took a Grab to Phuket Old Town (the Central Market). 490baht, we gave 500 baht. It is MPV, so sit 7-8 pax (squeeze a little) is OK. If the group is bigger you really need to hire van and pay the 4000baht (or you can try to bargain).

At that area we walked around to see street art. Then settled down at a nice old café run by an old lady and we chit chat with her.
Then we continued walking around and found a massage place! 250baht for 1h of foot massage (Thank You Mummy!). It was so so so good! Baby Oppa had a massage too! My mum tried their oil massage.
After that we continued walking and found a small chicken rice place. Very hungry and my mum was happy to see Chinese food after eating western meals on board for the past 2 days. After that we went to a convenience store (again) to shop. Bought some cup noodles because we wanted supper but too lazy to walk to the 24h café to get food. Ahjussi bought soft drinks again and was a happy man.

If you don’t wanna go anywhere else, you can come out later to the pier (around 1-2pm) and just shop & eat at the roadside stalls just beside the pier. At least try the tenderboat experience!
My boys loved the BBQ food there. There’s local street food (sit under a tent and eat) too, but we only saw it on our way back, and we were too full! We bought some souvenirs for the boys’ friends here. Cute little magnets!

And the service by RC is really awesome. On our way back, we noticed a huge table with 3 ice water dispensers and loads of cups. And a familiar looking uniform. It was a RC staff standing there waiting to give us water to drink!
The weather was really scorching hot so we were happy to see him. 3 dispensers had different type of water. Plain iced water, cucumber ice water, lemon ice water. The cucumber iced water was the best to cool down!

The tenderboat arrived just as we strolled into the pier, so we boarded after 5min (to allow the passengers to get off). But this tenderboat was different from what we took to shore. It was older and no aircon. Just fans. But because it wasn’t crowded, we had good seats and managed to take crazy amazing photos of the ship!!!
We headed back at around 2pm to enjoy the facilities on the cruise.

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Do note that due to tide/sea level, the port may change. Some nice mummies told me their Nov/Dec cruises docked at Patong Bay (and the tenderboats will drop you off smack in the middle of Patong Beach). From there you can just walk around and there’s no need for driver unless you want to go to other places.
For us, it docked at Deep Sea Port and the pier was Phuket Marine Customs Pier.

As the next day was my mum’s birthday, I sent her for a facial on board the cruise as a treat.
To be honest, I found their prices steep. My mum too. She kept telling me so expensive. But it’s worth it to make my mum happy! Anyway, we used a coupon which was in the room. $50 off if you book spa/facial services during docking days (Day 2 & 3). So it worked to be quite alright. USD150 after the discount for her facial (which the staff said is some super good anti-aging treatment).
Receipts

The rest of us went round the ship taking photos, watching people try the Flow Rider, letting the kids play golf, hung around at the café to eat (again).

As mentioned earlier, our dinner time at the main dining is 8pm. But we wanted to catch the 7.30pm magic show as we were worried the kids might be too tired to enjoy the 2nd show at 9.30pm. So we tried our luck!
I approached the staff at the main dining and asked if we could eat earlier as my mum was hungry (she was cos she went to have her facial while the rest of us snacked). And they were so nice! Took them a minute to double confirm they had an empty table for 8 and could take us in. So we sat down and enjoyed our dinner very much! Yay!

So we finished dinner on time and went early to grab good seats to watch the magic show! We didn’t want to sit to near the stage as we had to run out in case Meimei cried (which she did because she wanted to sleep). But our seats had a good view, so we were happy. And our room was just outside the theatre, very convenient for us to head back to our room to rest.

We had our cup noodles for supper in our room. Heehee! Hurray to Ahjussi who brought 2 huge thermal flasks kept them filled with hot water daily!
You can easily refill plain water & hot water at L11 Windjammer or L5 Café. So, choose your room/deck carefully!

DAY 4: Cruise All Day Long!
Chillax day for us! Woke up late, lazed around! Went around the ship to let the kids play and take photos. Watched people at the Flow Rider again (it’s addictive and fun to watch)!

Had early lunch because we wanted to catch the ice skating show at 2pm.
By right, our allocated slot was the 4pm show but we wanted to try our luck and we got into the standby queue at 1.40pm. We managed to get a good seat for the 2pm show! It’s quite cold inside, wear something warm!

As it was our last dinner, I think my sis went all out.
So did Ahjussi. They ordered like multiple sets of starters because the food was just too good. And multiple sets of mains too!

And it was my mum’s birthday! Ahjussi secretly went to tell the staff and they came over with cake and a candle lit up! Sang Happy Birthday to my mun and wished her too!
And funniest was Meimei wanting to blow the candle but too sudden and she was too far away. By the time she ran over, my mum blow it already!
The staff saw it and he was so so so nice, simply re-lit the candle and told Meimei to blow it! Small little attention to such details made us so so so happy!

Then we went to watch the finale show. Meimei loved it so much! Applauded a lot and smile non-stop. But the show was marred by an inconsiderate family sitting behind us. Talked so loudly. We turned behind to glare so many times but they talked EVEN LOUDER. Even Meimei turned around and ‘shhhh!’ them! Until someone behind them couldn’t take it and said, “CAN YOU SHUT UP OR NOT?” then it stopped.

Most people on the cruise were nice and friendly. Especially the family that kept giving up their seats to us at Windjammer! Thank you so much!

Overview & Comparison
There are definitely a lot more activities I didn’t mention. Don’t miss out on the fun! Check the Cruise Compass I’ve uploaded and see what may interest you & your family!

Basically, our expenses on this cruise was really minimal: Popcorn to make my kids happy. & a facial treatment for my mum. Plus the driver/Grab, food, massage & shopping when you go to shore (which you can choose not to and enjoy the deserted cruise all to yourself). I’ve posted our total bill earlier 🙂

The bags & items on board for sale had really attractive discounts. If you are a shopaholic, you may like to spend some time there. We saw a lady grabbing the handbags (she had 4 on each arm) as if they were free. LOL! My mum said maybe she has many daughters and 1 handbag for each of them.

And you have no idea how many times my dad said, “This cruise is way better than Costa Victoria!”
I was very bad lah, I impatiently told him this cruise is a lot more exp, so quality sure better. But really, you pay peanuts you get monkey. RC hospitality and service is really top top top!

My friend Whatsapp me to tell me… Once you hav tried RC, you won’t wanna try anything else! I really wanna go again, without the kids. Just me and Ahjussi because the poor man was so so so good with the kids I think he barely enjoyed himself.

Psst… We heard Ovation of the Seas is even better with more activities! But I heard it’s not back in Singapore anytime soon… That’s the one I’m aiming next! 

Click THIS to get to the FB album with more photos & tips!

Click THIS to view PDF files of the Cruise Compass (daily schedules), Kid’s Club details, etc!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 11yo, 6yo, and 3yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 13: Day 10 – Saemaul Sikdang 새마을 식당, Seoul Forest (Great for Kids), Wangsimni Station (Cheap dinner & Indoor Playground)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 10 – 10th September 2016 

We started the day with breakfast in our Gangnam apartment as the kids slept in. We ate very juicy grapes which our host bought for us!

First stop when we headed out was for lunch. This restaurant was highly recommended online when we were searching for food near our Gangnam apartment. Thankfully, it was just a few steps away from our apartment, on the way to the train station.

Saemaul Sikdang  새마을 식당 has many outlets around Seoul. You can simply Google for the outlet nearest to you. 🙂

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Non spicy pork soup for the boys!

Food was affordable if you order the one dish sets. Grilled meat can get pricey.
Ahjussi ordered a stew and I ordered the 7min Pork Stew. It was superb! We kept coming back for more.

Taste wise it was yummy and the boys enjoyed their food. They serve dried seaweed (FREE FLOW) to the boy’s delight. Any restaurant with free slow dried seaweed, the boys will help themselves and flood their rice bowls. And they can finish 2 bowls of rice each when there’s seaweed around.

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They each finished almost a bucket of seaweed at every meal!

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Quick translation for the menu at the bottom:
(1) 7 Minute Pork Kimchi Stew 5,000 won
(2) Saemaul Bean Stew 6,000 won
(3) COLD Kimchi Noodles 4,000 won
(4) Anchovies Noodles 3,000 won
(5) Pork Noodles 6,000 won

After lunch, we headed over to Seoul Forest. This place is amazing! It’s a forest in the middle of the city. Loads to do and see!

How to go to Seoul Forest:
(1) Take the train to Seoul Forest Station
(2) Take EXIT 3
20160910_152300.jpg(3) Find the escalator
(4) You can use the elevator
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(5) You will see this once you are out of the station
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(6) See this sign? You can choose to go either ways and you will arrive at the forest. We chose the left side, which happened to be nearer to the Visitor’s Centre (where you can get maps). There’s a convenience store at the Visitor’s Centre and also you can hide there to escape the heat (during summer or hot days).
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(7) Just keep walking and follow the sign.
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We saw this along the way. Interesting rest stop and there’s a greenhouse next to it!

(8) Arrived!
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Visitor’s centre. Too bright for them to smile properly at me!

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Baby Oppa loved the piano! Insisted on waiting for everyone else to move off, then he ran back to play!

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First time seeing a real APPLE TREE!

While I admired the lovely butterflies, Meimei got her first taste of ICE CREAM! And she loves it!

Walking further into the forest, we chanced on the Butterfly Garden.
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Meimei gave us a weird look when we asked her to pose!

 

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Pouting because the boys went with Ahjussi into an insect place and “NO STROLLERS ALLOWED”. She refused to put on her shoes and get off the stroller, so we hung around outside.

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I managed to run in for a quick photo of the insect place.

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As we walked further in, there were rabbits!

And finally, we arrived at the main attraction! Our reason for all that walking!
The deers!

You can feed the deers here!

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Vending machine for deer food.

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Insert 1 x 1,000 won bill. Then press the button (both buttons are the same).

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Food being dispensed!

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Collect your cup of food.

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Looks like dried kibbles and some dried corn kennels.

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Took them a while to realised there were people here wanting to feed them!

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So near!

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Information poster on how to feed the deer!

Big Boy was so brave and he loved it! Baby Oppa wanted to try but he was afraid that the deer will bite him. A previous trip to the goat farm in Singapore didn’t help as the goat nibbled on him and how he has a weird fear of animals.

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My turn! But I was also afraid of them licking my hand. So… Direct from the cup!

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Sorry for the blurry photo. You-Know-Who took this. Anyway, they have stands for you to recycle the cup!

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And of course, please only feed them with the designated feed for their health. Feeding them human food may cause them to be sick!

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We continued our stroll and saw many interesting art fixtures!

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And a wonderful play area! Too bad we were in a rush to check out another place so the kids just had to admire the place instead of play here. We’ll be back again soon!

After a whole afternoon of walking, it was almost dinner time. We wanted to get out of the forest before it turned dark as we observed that there wasn’t much lamps in the forest itself, so getting out before it turns dark will be a better idea. Especially since we are not familiar with the place and needed to refer to the map quite often.

From Seoul Forest Station, we decided to head to Wangsimni Station for dinner and some shopping.

We love E-mart at Wangsimni! It’s our ‘must go’ place when we are in Seoul.

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I waited outside for him and happened to read an article on how others managed to travel in Seoul on tight budget and wanted to try it out too. So we looked around this building and decided on our dinner menu: Gimbab!

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Anyway, we found this really nice indoor playground here at Wangsimni Station. It’s super near the Gimbab place!

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Not a very huge place but good space planning allowed them to pack in a lot of different play areas and activities.

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Price is for 1.5h play. Kids 8,000 won. Adults 6,000 won.

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Such a fun day she fell asleep even before we started to head home!

Next up: Day 11 – Lazy Day! Coex Mall Duty Free, Andong JimDdak & MAD FRY CHICKEN (The BEST Fried Chicken EVER!)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 12: Day 9 – On The Grill (Lunch), Han River Cruise, Yeouido Hangang Park, Paddle Boating, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (SUPERB!)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 9 – 9th September 2016 
So we bought tickets online for a river cruise and MUST head there on time, otherwise, the cruise will not wait for us!

But since I knew we wouldn’t want to rush around, I book the cruise for 2pm, which means we had to reach by 1.30pm to exchange tickets and get ready for boarding. In case we got lost, we planned to reach there by 1pm, giving ourselves adequate buffer time if needed.

Since we were in no rush and we had to change apartment (to Gangnam area) the next day, we slept late and spent some time tidying up the room before we headed out. Ahjussi went to tabao pizza for breakfast!

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Awesome Bulgogi Pizza! It is made from Korean beef which is premium beef!

So we were too lazy to think of lunch ideas and decided to head back to On the Grill to say goodbye to the Singaporean chef before we left Myeongdong area.

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The boys had Pepper Beef Rice (minus the pepper at our request).

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I had Kimchi Pork Belly Stew (SUPERB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

After lunch, we headed out. The tickets came with specific instructions on where to go, so we took the train and followed the instructions.

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Screenshot of the confirmation email with instructions.

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Thank goodness we decided to leave early. There were 2 interchanges we had to walk through and we GOT LOST! We got off at the wrong station because I didn’t zoom into the app to check which station we were supposed to alight at and assumed. Correct route: Myeongdong to Seoul Station, then to Gongdeok. I saw it as Hyochang instead of Gongdeok and WHOOPSIE! Thankful that Koreans are generally helpful and their signages were clear. Wasted 15min on getting lost!

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At Exit 3 according to the instructions!

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This stall greeted us. Smell really good but er… Not our kind of snack! Pupa and sea snails.

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Left side is the train station exit. The right side is the path towards E-Land Cruise!

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We spotted the signage after walking for a few minutes.

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Head towards the river as per instructions.

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See that tall building? That’s 63 Building. We didn’t have time to pop over, though.

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Spotted a dock or something from far.

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Looks right!

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Yes, it is right!

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Looking for the ticket counter.

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Spotted a signage pointing to the ticket counter. It’s a FRIDAY and it is a hot afternoon, so there weren’t many people around.

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So nice to capture humanless photos because it is usually crowded in the city!

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Found the ticket counter!

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They required us to fill up a form. I guess that is the ‘passenger list’.

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There are fixtures with good photo opportunities!

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I’m loving this photo! Meimei was cranky in her stroller so she didn’t want to take a photo with the boys.

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Big Boy asked for a photo by himself 🙂

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And Baby Oppa wanted one too.

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How could we forget this cheeky Meimei? She’s enjoying the surroundings, pointing and yakking in baby talk.

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Heading towards the dock. Lovely bridge. I think it lights up with pretty lights at night!

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Another bridge with flowers instead.

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In the air conditioned area waiting to board! There are F&B outlets here, so you can come early and have lunch here. We ordered iced drinks as the sun was really scorching that day.

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The cruise arrived! It’s time to board!

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Wondering why the cruise looks so familiar? Because it has been featured on popular dramas like You Who Came from the Stars (My Love from the Stars).

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First thing that caught my eye once we boarded. Nursing room!

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Clean, comfy, well ventilated & private!

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Simple snack counter.

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And looking out of the windows, we saw SEAGULLS!

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Big Boy enjoying himself even before we start to move off!

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Perks of coming on a weekday. So quiet!

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We had the whole Level 1 (air con) to ourselves! They even had a singer perform live! And the only audience was a sleeping Meimei and me.

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And Ahjussi spotted anchovies being sold at the snack booth so that you can feed the seagulls. 2,000 won per cup (around 10 large anchovies).

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Finally moving off!

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The lone passenger who is paying attention…

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Travelling under the bridge!

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Ahjussi trying to feed seagulls in the middle of NOWHERE. LOL!

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Tried & tried but it doesn’t work this way!

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Finally the staff demo to us. We were supposed to stand by the side of the cruise.

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The very pretty and nice staff who entertained the boys! And she said my spoken Korean is very accurate! *ego boost* She also gave each of our kids a balloon! The kids were so happy with the balloons!

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The upper deck of the cruise!

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There’s a signage to inform tourists that you can feed the seagulls, but with anchovies only. Otherwise, the seagulls will be sick!

Feeding the seagulls really require a lot of patience and arm muscle. You have to hold your hand up up up and wait for them to zoom in! The video was sped up in the front part, then slow mo at the end for you to see clearly how the seagull comes here! It felt scary because I wondered if the seagull will bite my fingers off, but don’t worry! They are skilled and I didn’t even realized the anchovy was gone!

And just a tip: Do not wear sleeveless like I did. I was burnt like a lobster that day!

So after the cruise, we decided to stroll along the river. This park we are at is called Yeoeuido Han River Park

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Stairs art at a rest area under the bridge. There are a lot of Ahjummas here having a picnic with their friends!

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Tiles on the pillars of the bridge.

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We walked a little and came across this! Paddle boats!

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They provided life vests and have many sizes available for the whole family!

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You can choose manual paddle boat or the electric boat at a higher price. Ahjussi chose the electric boat because he didn’t want to be the only one paddling. Meimei was asleep so I stayed on shore with her and chatted with the owner. He can speak Chinese very well.

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Pricing information. It’s 40 minutes per round. Electric ones are 20,000 won while the manual ones are 15,000 won.

The boys enjoyed themselves. Paddling for 40 minutes would have driven Ahjussi insane, so please choose the electric one like he did. They totally enjoyed it though Baby Oppa was a little frightened.

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Finally, Meimei woke up! It’s time to play in the vast park!

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Loads of cute and unique structures for photos. The boys really enjoyed posing!

And how can we forget to let the little girl have some fun of her own? She loves chasing pigeons and when there’s a flock of them, she couldn’t resist! The video was made fast, otherwise, you will have a really long video to watch.

We actually intended to head back to the train station and move off from the park to find dinner as there wasn’t much around the park (all residential area).

We walked a little and I got mildly excited thinking I could bump into my fave celebs!

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MBC!!!!! But too bad. Didn’t see any celebs at all.

Disappointed and hungry, I got tired and took a seat to rest. Then decided to ask Google for dinner suggestions around the area.

And something awesome popped up! It’s a NIGHT MARKET by the river, right at the park we were at! So we moved over to find the location of this night market.

It’s called Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market!
Do note this night market only operates on FRIDAY & SATURDAY, from March to October only. 

We were super lucky it was a FRIDAY and we happened to be there!

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Near the train exit, you will see this apartment.

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Turn around and face the river, this is what you will see. Loads of people hanging around as there was a performance at the park that evening.

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Turn left and walk towards the bridge.

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Baby Oppa pointing the direction you should walk to.

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Keep walking.

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Go under the bridge.

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Walk on.

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And a little more.

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You will see this water feature.

So this water feature is apparently very fun! Look at the daredevils!

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This is the place!

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Look out for this sign! We bought picnic mat for 4,000 won (you can get back 2,000 won if you return it). Settled the boys here and Ahjussi headed off to buy makan for us. I told him to get something for the boys first, then we can slowly find food for ourselves later.

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Chillaxing and watching kites in the sky…

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I know we looked strangely out of place but we chose a quiet spot. Who knew that just minutes after this photo, we were surrounded!

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As the sun started to set, the skies turned dark and the atmosphere was so nice!

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By the time we got all the food, it was so dark! Thankfully Ahjussi is like Doraemon! LOL! He dug into his pouch and out came a portable battery pack with a USB lamp!

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A better shot of the boys 🙂

There’re so many food choices, we almost went insane. But thankfully, we saw online reviews and narrowed down our makan choices to a few items.

(1) Steak!
(2) Pineapple Shrimps
(3) Japanese steak rice for the boys

Too many beautiful photos to share, so do click and slowly browse through!

Not to forget… After our dinner, we came across an Ah Ma selling toys. And she showed the boys how to play it, so we purchased from her. I guess playing is the universal language. She explained in Korean, yet Baby Oppa totally understood what she was saying.

We were really happy with the accidental find for dinner! If you are heading to Seoul between March to October, we highly recommend that you try out the river cruise (we took the cruise to nowhere), the paddle boat, just stroll along the river and enjoy the beautiful park, then end off the day with a wonderful pasar malam style dinner by the river!

Next up: Day 10 – Saemaul Sikdang  새마을 식당, Seoul Forest (Great for Kids), Wangsimni Station (Cheap dinner & Indoor Playground)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 11: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 8 – 8th September 2016 
Our original plan was to visit the various palaces (all within walking distances to each other), but it rained and we figured out that the palace grounds will be MUDDY. So we just went wherever we felt like today.

Breakfast + Shopping: Namdaemun Market
Want cheap and yummy breakfast? Check out Namdaemun market!

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There are street stalls!

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Our fave drink: Shikhye! It’s a fermented rice drink. Super nice!

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To find the really secret and affordable yummy food, walk slowly and peep into every alley! They are hidden in the alleys!

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Vege Bibimbap! Yummy! And large portion. Their rice is mixed with barley.

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And strangely, we thought we ordered just a bowl of rice but it came with noodle soup and bibimmyeon (noodle version of bibimbap)! Complementary! So for 7,000 won, it was a super filling meal!

And after eating, you can just jump into shopping! How perfect!

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When you see a crowd, GO KAYPO! This shop was selling very nice leather shoes for 10,000 won a pair. That explains the crowd!

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Many different buildings. Pricing varies by stalls. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN. No need to know Korean, just use calculator or phone to press prices back and forth!

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Every stall has something different. Similarly, every building has something different!

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Another building! It seems endless!

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Our fave PJ & home clothes store is in this building. Nice panties and undies for the kids too!

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Another of our fave!

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This is more like a mini department store. Many cheap stuff outside and inside.

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And my fave are these stalls along the street. 2,000 won for anything you can dig. We’ve gotten really nice dresses for Meimei here! Not to mention, Mickey Mouse pants for the boys and also Paul Frank skinnies for the boys!

Namdaemun market is just a short walk from Myeongdong Station. Or if you are already on the train, just stop at Hoehyeon station instead.

There are other buildings catered to other products (ladies wear, bags, watches, etc etc). But as parents, we were only focused on buying stuff for our kids. We seldom shop for ourselves anymore.

Once we finished our shopping, we walked back to our apartment to drop off the shopping before we headed out to Insadong. Insadong is near Gyeongbukgong. You can try to arrange Gyeongbukgong and Insadong on the same day.

Insadong: Traditional arts & souvenir shopping

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My first stop at Insadong is always to make these lovely stone stamps. The kids each have 2, one in their English names and one in their Chinese names. So this round, I got them as gifts for 2 beautiful newborns. There are many of such shops available along Insadong, we don’t have a fixed place we frequent but we noticed some places give nice book marks like this, and some don’t. So if you want it, do ask (show them this pic) before you commit.

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The stamp takes around 15 to 20min each, so we took a break at a cafe nearby. It was raining anyway, so hiding here for the time being. Enjoying Berries Sorbet while playing games on Ahjussi’s mobile phone.

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When the rain cleared we collected the stamps and went out walking. Looked for lunch and there are many nice restaurants hidden in the alleys. Some are high end really pricey ones while some are more affordable. Menus are usually displayed outside, so take your pick and browse.

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Ssamziegil is a building with many small stores dedicated to unique craft and merchandises.

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The “Poop Bread” always attracts my attention. But the filling is red bean which I wasn’t very keen in that day. They should have choc filling, I think that will sell well with the tourists!

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Nice big artistic space inside. Loads of photo opportunities! There’s a ‘love cafe’ at the rooftop. Ahjussi and I have written sweet nonsense there before and it is so fun to head back and find it every time we visit.

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Very cute displays. The boys got the hang of posing for photos this trip!

Baby Oppa enjoying the hopstotch in the building.

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Maracon ice cream along the way.

And after the nice stroll at Insadong, we headed over to Seoul Station for another round of hardcore shopping!

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Seoul Station: Lotte OUTLETS (loads of stuff to see & buy) & Lotte Mart (our fave). For those following Kdram “Shopping King Louis”, these are the very same steps Bok Sil found Louis (homeless beggar at that time)!

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Left building: Lotte Outlets. Extreme Right: Lotte Mall.

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My fave Choc Bana snack! Chocolate + Crunchy Bites of Dried Banana! HEAVEN!!!!!! I snagged 20 packets of this! *PROUD MOMENT*

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While shopping, if you want to visit the electronics mart, you will need to park your trolley as no trolleys are allowed into the electronics mart. They have large lockers for the trolleys! So cool!

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And with kids in tow, of course, we needed the diaper change room, right? Meimei gave us a mega leaky poonami while we were here. Check this out! They provide wet wipes and guess which brand it is? Of course the top brand in Korea: Organic Story!

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And after shopping and too lazy to carry your stuff back? You can arrange air shipping back to Singapore right here (just beside the cashiers). WARNING: The shipping prices here are a lot more expensive compared to shipping at the post office. Example: One of our 4kg boxes only cost around 25,000 won to be shipped at the post office.

If you like branded stuff, Lotte Outlets will be a good place to shop. If you prefer quality yet affordable, Lotte Mall is the right place for you! Toys, clothes, household items, etc. It is a huge hypermart with everything! We ended up with a lot of toys and clothes for the kids. And food!

We were too tired to head anywhere else for dinner, so we settled dinner at their food court then went back early to pack our now ridiculous amount of shopping (e-mart + Namdaemun + Lotte Mart = CRAZY AMOUNT OF STUFF). Plus we were going to change apartment again soon, so it is best to be as organized as we can!

And FYI: You CANNOT push the trolley to the taxi stand here, unlike what we did at e-mart. So pack your shopping well and be prepared to carry them to the taxi stand (back down that flight of steps).

*** ADD ON ***

Totally forgot about our sneak out for supper! LOL!
Big Boy can be trusted to stay in the apartment on his own and he didn’t want to come along anyway (busy watching his shows on the iPad). So we went out with a sleeping Meimei and an excited Baby Oppa!

 

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Premium sliced beef! 

 

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So we ordered for 2 of us (1 pot + fried rice) and the bill was 28,000 won.

 

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From Myeongdong Station, go to Exit 4. You will see a small road between Paris Baguette & MacDonalds. Walk straight in (you will see an art school building that looks like a boat) and the restaurant is just beside it!

 

Sorry to make you hungry! Blogging about this also made me hungry~~

This is our MUST GO place every trip and we didn’t manage to plan it in this round as the food served are mostly spicy, but we were thrilled to manage to eat it still!

Next up: Day 9 – On The Grill (Lunch), Han River Cruise, Yeouido River Park, Paddle Boating, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (SUPERB!)

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 10: Day 7 – Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕), Dragon Hill Spa (AGAIN), E-Mart @ Yongsan Station, Sinpo Woori Mandu (신보우리만두)

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 7 – 7th September 2016 
We loved our trip to the jjimjilbang so much just a few days before and since it was originally planned for today, we decided to head out early so that we can have a full day at the jjimjilbang for R&R!

First location: Late Breakfast!

We initially wanted to take a train and walk, but the kids woke up late, so we decided to cab over from Myeongdong (our apartment). It cost us 7,000 won (the old driver got slightly lost).

This is a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists, so be prepared for table sharing and a bit of a crowd.

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The place isn’t along the main road. You will need to look out for this traditional looking house while walking in.

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Prominent signage you can’t miss!

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Traditional seating on the floor. You will need to remove your shoes, so wear presentable socks. There’s no baby chair, so we opted to sit in the corner where she can play on her own without disturbing others.

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Even their napkins are souvenir worthy!

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Menu

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In the menu, they have a ‘quick guide’ on how to enjoy your meal!

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We ordered the regular Ginseng Chicken Soup and Ginseng Black Chicken Soup. They were superb. The portion is just right for 1 person per bowl.

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Look at that thick ginseng hidden inside with glutinous rice!

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Take your order chit and head to the cashier counter for payment after your meal.

Address: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)
They are open every day from 10am to 10pm.
Check their website for map: http://tosokchon.com/sub/sub0301.php?lug=en&mcnt=301

 

Was this place worth the hype? YES!
We’ve heard that queues can run up to 1-2 hours during peak meal times, so we decided that having it at 10am was a good idea because we got seats immediately and even got a good spot for the kids to enjoy resting while we feasted.

And after breakfast, we took a cab over to Dragon Hill Spa @ Yongsan. Basically, we explored the place in greater detail which I’ve shared in an earlier post, so I’ll skip them. You can read about it again here if you missed it: Korea Travel Series Part 7: Day 4 – Abalone Porridge, Dragon Hill Spa Jjimjilbang [Nudity Alert!], Hanilkwan (Traditional Korean Food)

But I’ll share about the massage I managed to get! Learning from our first visit, this round, I managed to persuade Ahjussi to take all 3 kids with him. Then I went off on my own to enjoy my shower, scrubbed myself super squeaky clean (I thought – wait till I share about my real scrubbing session later on!), and went for a nice oil massage & nap!

So we agreed that I will have 2 hours to myself while he handled 3 kids on his own, then I will join them in the common area and Ahjussi can go off for his massage and nap.

So again, strip totally naked (I got used to it already). I was worried that you will need an appointment for a massage so I asked the Ahjumma at the massage centre first. She didn’t have any appointments that afternoon (perks of heading over on a weekday), so she told me to shower then come back.

This time, I was ‘armed’. I bought shampoo packet, conditioner packet, a scrub and a shower gel packet. I found a nice spot at the shower area, sat down and started taking a slow, warm and enjoyable shower. For mummies, this is pure heaven. No one yelling for your attention, no worries about someone being up to some trouble while you are in the shower. Mummies, you really must try this and deserve to have a shower in peace!

Once I was done cleaning myself, it was time to head into the warm baths waiting for me. There are instructions on recommended durations for each bath, so just follow the instructions and it was fun alternating the warm and cold baths.

Finally, I had enough fun. My body was nicely warmed up by the bath and my muscles didn’t feel as sore as before. I dried myself and went to get my clothing (provided). The massage Ahjumma helped me place my clothes and towel aside and I lay down on the massage bed. She started off with simple stretching and kneading of the muscles. Then came the oil. Strangely, the massage was a lot nicer compared to what I had in Singapore. I think the warm soak before the massage did the trick. Very soon, I drifted off into dreamland.

My massage lasted for slightly more than an hour. Full body massage including legs, hands, scalp and face. It cost me 60,000 won. Worth it!

As my body was really relaxed, I slipped into the next room which happens to be the ladies’ nap room. Took a nap before I went to join the kiddos!

Ahjussi also managed to get a massage. I guess massage for guys at the common area is cheaper as it costs 40,000 won for 1 hour of massage. Ahjussi enjoyed his massage too. Came back to the common area and napped the afternoon away.

The jjimjilbang is really a great experience. And a wonderful place for a mid-trip recharge. For those travelling without kids, you can even consider this place as a cheap accommodation! You can lock your luggage at the lockers easily available at the train station, then simply bring a small backpack for your overnight stay!

And since we were at Yongsan, how can we miss out on our fave shopping spot right at Yongsan Station?

Dinner & Shopping: I Park Mall & E-Mart

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After a whole afternoon of ‘nua-ing’, we decided not to be fussy and simply filled up our tummies with whatever we can find. So we stepped into the first restaurant we saw.

This place is well known for their mandu (dumplings). And yes, they were good!
Big Boy had pork tonkatsu (with sweet curry) which he loves. Ahjussi and I shared spicy stir fried octopus with rice and the mandus. Baby Oppa had seafood-katsu. Total bill: 28,000 won. Not expensive!

Address:
I’Park Mall, Level 4, Store #24
서울특별시 용산구 한강로 3가 용산민자역사 아이파크쇼핑몰 동관4층 24호
And within the same building is our fave hypermart! E-Mart!
It has many many items under their own house brands (NO BRAND, JAJU, DAIZ, etc). Cheap and good quality!
This auntie here chiongs for their lelong stuff. We’ve gotten set of 3 ORGANIC COTTON undies for the boys at just 2,000 won! This is the reason we go home with the crazy amount of shopping.

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During our trip, we heard that there was a Zika outbreak in SG and insect repellents were sold out in Singapore. Being typical kiasu Singaporean, we headed to the right section straightaway. AND SWIPED THESE OFF THE SHELVES.

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Hahaha… The Ahjummas there were very helpful when I explained about Zika in Singapore and they helped us to get more stock from their storeroom. *YEAH*

 

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And of course, from our previous trips, Meimei was fallen madly in love with organic baby rice crackers. Nothing similar in Singapore, so guess what these crazy parents have to resort to? We’ve previously begged suppliers to purchase and send them to us when we ran out of stock. So when we saw the supermarket well stocked up, we couldn’t resist. Total: 20 cartons x 6 packs. Meimei can easily finish 1 pack a day if we don’t control her.

We also bought many other stuff. Do note that they have a strict policy of charging for plastic/paper bags. Bring your own bags. Or use their recycled carton boxes to pack your shopping back. We always use their cartons and try to find sturdy ones we can use to check in our shopping if needed. Masking tapes & ribbons are all provided at their packing stations.

Scarily, we managed to lug all our shopping back to the apartment. Of course, we took a taxi back! Squeezed cartons into the boot and with us in front.

Next up: Day 8 – Namdaemun Shopping (babies & kids clothing), Insadong (custom name stamps), even more shopping @ Lotte Outlets (Seoul Station), Octopus & Beef for supper

Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

 

Korea Travel Series Part 6: Day 3 – Noryangin Fisheries (THE NEW NORYANGIN!) & Seoul Restaurant, Namsangol Hanok Village, Ssamsarang Restaurant, Chungmuro Pet Street, Juicy

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 3 – 3rd September 2016 
Apartment changing day!

I planned the entire morning dedicated to apartment changing as I expected we would have a lot to pack and it would take some effort to shift the luggage and kids over. But we ended up faster than we expected as the boys helped to pack their own clothes & stuff, thus we had more time to walk around.

Breakfast was Isaac Toast, again. The boys really loved it. I tabao (Koreans call it “Take Out”) so that they could eat their sandwiches while waiting for us to check the new apartment and unpack our stuff.

Our next apartment is still in Myeongdong, just 5 min walk away. With luggage and kids, it took us 15min. Nothing surprising, so, factor in more time if you are intending to pack your day full. My expectations when traveling with the kids is that we will allocate a lot of ‘wasted time’.

From our apartment, we easily got to Myeongdong Station within a minute to catch the train to Chungmuro Station, which is just 1 stop away from Myeongdong. It is within walking distance actually, but we were conserving our energy for the long walk at Namsangol Hanok Village. Since we anticipated a lot of walking today, we brought the stroller along.

We planned our day by AREA to cut down on traveling time from one location to another. So today is Chungmuro day!

First stop: Namsangol Hanok Village

The beauty of Korea is having their historical buildings right smack in the city. There’s no need to travel to some ulu countryside just to enjoy their beautiful traditional architecture.

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Great weather with clear blue skies! And can you spot the modern building just behind?

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They have cute cut outs which you can hide behind and take photos. They come with stands, but Baby Oppa was still a little too short. Ahjussi had to carry him. Can you spot his carrier?

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Stroller friendly with slopes & ramps.

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And there’s loads of space for the kids to run around and play. There are traditional game stalls (some free, some payable) which are open to the public.

Baby Oppa and Big Boy enjoyed this simple traditional game a lot. We spent an hour waiting for them to play! And I was so proud of them because once they saw other children approaching to play, they will hand over the sticks and wait for their turn to play.

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They had a bow making workshop which was payable. Instructions were in Korean though. We didn’t pay for the bow making as Big Boy said he didn’t want to sit there to make the bow but he only wanted to try playing with it. These 2 Korean boys overheard him and offered to let him try using their bows. No communication issues as these boys spoke English. Big Boy had loads of fun and requested for archery lessons when we are back in Singapore.

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So after almost 1.5 hours of letting the boys run around while Meimei sat in her stroller watching them and snacking, we walked around for photos! I saw some panorama photos recently in which the person appeared 5 times in the same photo and thought it would be fun to give it a try! And this is the result! Ahjussi ran too slowly, so I only captured him twice. It was really fun running and running to capture a shot like this! Give it a try! Remember, the person must run in the opposite direction from the camera and must pause to pose before running again! Requires a lot of teamwork & coordination!

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Final photo before we leave this place. There are also performances (dance, taekwando, etc) at the parade square but we missed it.

There are rental shops which rent hanbok by the hour so you can dress up and walk around Namsangol Hanok Village to take photos. However, be warned, they are quite pricey with packages starting at 20,000 won per person. There are other tourist attractions offering free hanbok rental for photo taking (like at Namsam Tower & many other tourist centers in Hongdae & Myeongdong). Do your research on this if you intend to have photos taken in hanbok. I would like to have a family photo taken but not this trip and I foresee Meimei tearing the hanbok apart. This will be planned for at a professional studio in Korea during our next trip.

Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골 한옥마을)
Chungmuro Line 4 Exit #4
U-turn, then take a right turn onto Toegye-ro-34-gil (퇴게로34길)
Keep walking straight (be careful, there are many large tour buses)
Generally stroller friendly

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After all that walking, we got hungry! So off for lunch!

Lunch nearby: Ssamsarang Restaurant

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Address in English: 207 Toegye-ro, Junggu, Seoul. Chungmuro Station (Lines 3 & 4), Exit 7 or 8.

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Google came up with this restaurant as highly recommended when I asked it for ‘good food near Chungmuro’.

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The moment they saw us with kids, they recommended sitting on the floor (that was what most restaurants we went to do). It was really a lot easier to have Meimei on the floor with us, either she sleeps or she will just play on her own (with some utensils and tissue paper).

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Their menu. Pricing was a little high if we compare with what we had the day before at On The Grill, so we only ordered 2 sets to share and intended to snack on street food later on. We ordered Set A and Set C. Then added on Bamboo Rice for the boys.

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Bamboo Rice was their specialty and what makes them unique. 5-grain rice and a few other ingredients like red dates, gingko nuts, and bracket fungus were steamed together in a bamboo container. The rice was really fragrant and Meimei loved it a lot!

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The side dishes were good too. Nice variety!

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The grilled meat was good. Portions were smaller than we expected for the price.

The boys were not very hungry because they had their sandwiches rather late, so thankfully we didn’t order more. The store was not very crowded as we arrived after the lunch crowd and we took our time to rest here, enjoying the aircon and free flow of cold barley tea.

Nearby sightseeing: Chungmuro Pet Street
(1 min short walk from Ssamsarang Restaurant)

We totally forgot to take photos of the Pet Street because there were many signages stating ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY’. Being typical obedient Singaporeans, if the sign says no, then no lor.

The boys enjoyed looking at all the puppies and kittens on sale. We were tempted to purchase some doggy items for our pet dog, Joy, but we decided not to in the end as we can’t really remember her collar size? She has grown pretty fat and we’ve not put on a collar on her for years!

Meimei enjoyed yelling “DOG DOG” with every step I took. Even the kittens were ‘dog dog’. We didn’t see any small pets for sale, we only walked along the main street and didn’t step into the building.

Nearby there’s Chungbyu Market which specialized in dried fish and dried seafood. It was my initial intention to head over to get some dried oysters but we realised it was getting late and we didn’t want to end up in the after-work squash on the train, so we left Chungmuro area to head for Noryangin Fisheries.

Dinner (another location): Noryangin Fisheries

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View from level 2 at the old Noryangin Fisheries. It was a typical wet market environment. Wet, smelly and dirty. But the seafood was fresh and cheap!

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The variety available was really crazy. Every stall has something different!

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Our favourite restaurant, Seoul Restaurant, at the old Noryangin Fisheries. We were very upset when we found the placed closed during our family trip in June 2015. We settled for another random restaurant and it was frankly not as nice as Seoul Restaurant.

Ever since my 1st trip to Seoul with my sister, Noryangin has been a must go place for every trip to Seoul. Noryangin is a wholesale market with retail sections. Seafood is all alive and swimming. You take your pick, bargain, and pay. Then bring your fresh seafood to the restaurant of your choice. Tell them how you want it to be cooked and wait for your food.

Depending on what you choose, this meal can be a good deal or a really expensive meal.

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The new place is a lot more spacious, fully air-conditioned, clean and bright. There are escalators & elevators/lifts too! Stroller friendly, just that you may need to park your stroller outside the restaurant while dining. Ours was a compact travel stroller, so we easily folded it up and brought it in with us.

Tips on dining at Noryangin:
(1) At level 1: Take your time to walk, browse and choose your seafood.
(2) Bargain, bargain, bargain. Don’t let language be an issue. They will use the calculator to show you the price. Just price your offered price and they will know what you mean. Most of them speak CHINESE. But I will highly recommend moving on and not buying from them. I have a personal preference for nice Korean halmoenie (grandmother).

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Ahjussi got our seafood from this stall. There are many other stalls you can try and they have many other seafood items. Good to go in a large group so that you can order a little of everything.

(3) There are people from the restaurants (on level 2) on the selling floor at level 1 to pull customers to their restaurants. Follow them at your own risk. Some are out to fleece you, especially if they know that you are a tourist. Most of them can speak Chinese very well, so if you don’t mind being fleeced and would rather have someone you can speak to in Chinese, you can follow them.

Some simple words for you to tell the Ahjumma how you want your seafood to be cooked:
to cook – 요리하다 (you-ri-ha-da)
to cut – 썰다 (ssol-da)
to dice – 다지다 (da-ji-da)
to fry – 볶다 (bbok-da)
to deep-fry – 튀기다 (tui-gi-da)
to mix/whisk – 섞다 (sok-da)
to bake – 굽다 (gob-da)
to steam – 찌다 (ji-da)
to boil – 삶다 (sam-da)

*** WARNING: Do not take anything RAW like sashimi there. Though seafood is fresh, my sis and I got a nasty bout of food poisoning when they served us raw abalone. I’ve heard from friends who tried raw dishes at Noryangin and all had food poisoning too. ***

Now, it helps if there’s a recommended trusted restaurant right? We hunted down our favourite restaurant from the old Noryangin Fisheries as we thought that they might have moved over. Head up to level 2 where the restaurants are…

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Tadah!!! We found it! I was screaming like a mad woman to Ahjussi once I spotted it!

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It is directly opposite this MG Bank, so you won’t miss it.

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Located on Level 2 of Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market (THE NEW BUILDING).

As we were too excited and anxious to find our fave restaurant, we totally skipped buying the seafood first. I settled down in the restaurant with Meimei while Ahjussi brought the boys to choose what they wanted to have.

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The hum was HUGE. Really HUGE. Each was the size of golf balls! These were FREE from the nice Ahjumma whom Ahjussi bought the crab and scallops from. In Korea, if they say ‘service’, it means it is free gift lah! She packed in extra free gifts for Ahjussi. He must have brought out his ‘Auntie-killer’ skills lah.

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Our absolute fave! Scallops! These are really HUGE scallops. If they sit on your palm, they will occupy your entire palm! They are usually stringed up and sold as a bundle. We love they way they stir fry it with veg. I am especially in love with their green pumpkin!  It was 18,000 won for 5 large scallops.

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That’s Baby Oppa’s hand versus the huge crab we bought. This crab was a little over 1kg and Ahjussi paid 50,000 won for it. In Singapore, this crab would have cost us S$280-320! Depending on the season, certain types of crabs will be cheaper. The cheapest we’ve gotten was 30,000 won per kg for snow crabs. And 3,000 won per kg for blue flower crabs.

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As Ahjussi was playing with Meimei, I took charge of the crab and got the meat out for everyone. The boys were so in love with this I wasn’t fast enough for them and there were 2 pairs of scary eyes watching my every move! The best way to eat them is to snap off the legs first, try to snap at the join and pull out as much meat as possible from the body. Cut up the sections of the legs and slit open, pulling out the entire crab meat fully intact. (Oh gosh, these photos and thinking back about it makes me crave for them right now!

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When you tear open the crab shell, make sure the crab is belly and do it gently. Why? Because the juice can be used for fried rice! To order this, tell them “bo-kem-bap” and hand over the crab shell with all the juice!

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And of course, don’t forget to save some crab meat to enjoy with your fried rice! The boys went absolutely crazy over this. I’ve never seen them slurp food up like that before. And we had an early dinner, so I wasn’t expecting them to eat a lot!

Forgot to add: There are cooking charges at the restaurants and the charges are written clearly on the wall for Seoul Restaurant. We paid 75,000 won for cooking fee, soft drinks and rice for this meals. So total damage was 50,000 + 18,000 + 75,000 = Apx S $175. Cheap considering how much you have to pay for the same crab here in Singapore! An occasional indulgence for us. 🙂

After dinner, we let the kids run around a little. On the 2nd level, there’s an air-conditioned empty space and they ran around a little (we wanted to burn off their energy so that they will sleep early when we reach the apartment).

We were quite tired at the end of the day and decided to take a taxi back to our Myeongdong apartment. Cost us around 10,000 won from Noryangin to Myeongdong.

How to get there?
Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market
674 Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea

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Take the train from Chungmuro to Noryangin. Want this app I’m using? Check out my earlier post regarding the app here.

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At Noryangin Station, keep a lookout for Exit 7. It seems like this part of the train station is really new as I’ve been to this station so many times but this is our first time realising that there is an underground extension of the station!

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Once you exit, keep walking straight and you will need the logo for Noryangin Fisheries. Then turn right into the underground tunnel. The tunnel is amazing, there are vegetable stalls here!

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Once you exit the tunnel, you will see this. Turn right, then turn left to enter the building. Follow the crowd and you won’t go wrong!

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Decided to get snacks and a drink before we headed into our apartment. Got these from JUICY. They are a chain of juice stores. They are really ALL OVER, no need for an address. You are bound to pass by one while in Seoul. Mango Juice 5,000 won and Choco Churros 3,000 won each.

Satisfying day as we slept well with crab and scallops in our tummy.

Next up: Day 4 – Abalone Porridge, Dragon Hill Spa Jjimjilbang [Nudity Alert!], Hanilgwon (Traditional Korean Food)
Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Korea Travel Series Part 4: Day 1 – Myeongdong, Namsam Tower (Seoul N Tower), Two Two Chicken & Imsil Cheese Pizza

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 0 – 31st August 2016 

Time for our flight!

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Checked in and waiting to board! They are all pumped up and excited!

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Once on board, they both started on the in-flight entertainment. To prevent them from not getting enough rest and disrupting our schedule for the first day (it starts once we arrive), we promised them just 1 show and they will need to sleep. They were good boys and followed our instructions.

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As mentioned earlier, the child meals for Korean Air were very easy to order and Baby Oppa definitely enjoyed his Hotdog Bun with Nuggets!

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Big Boy’s was pizza. Looked like it was a mess but it was superbly yummy that he ate it up although he has a full dinner!

Day 1 – 1 September 2016

Arrival and exploration after check in!
(No stroller day. You won’t want to carry up the crazy flight of stairs at Namsan.)

Anyeonghasaeyo!

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Landed safely at Incheon and waiting for our stroller to be returned to us.

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The first thing we must have when we arrive! Our favourite yogurt! It is easily available and usually, there is a promotion for it (2+1 = Buy 2 get 1 Free).

Our usual route is to purchase yogurt and milk for the boys. Then get the boys settled into the seats near the nursery room so that we can change Meimei’s diapers, wash & sterilise her bottles used on the flight. Yes! They have sterilisers available in the nurseries at the airport! They are well maintained and clean! There is also a cubicle for nursing. A breastfeeding pillow is also available inside!

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Head over to the Airport Bus counter. There are several of them all at the airport near the exits or outside (near the bus stops). Let them know your destination and they will be able to help you. It is best that you know the bus number in advance just in case they advise you on the wrong number. Announcements on the bus are in 4 languages (Korean, Japanese, English & Chinese). You won’t miss your stop, don’t worry. Just in case, do let the driver know where you intend to stop when you board. He will yell at you when it is your stop. 🙂

So we took the bus and there was a massive jam. A 50min ride became a 2-hour ride and our poor host actually stood at the bus stop to wait for us!

As mentioned in the earlier post, our apartment was in Myeongdong. Follow the instructions to reach On The Grill here and you will find it. We communicated with the host many times and indicated that our flight arrives early and that we would prefer to check in early if possible. If not possible, we hope to be able to at least drop off our luggage first. Thankfully, he was able to allow early check in for us and we settled in to have a late breakfast!

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Loads of food options just below the apartment. We were famished as we have not taken breakfast and got stuck in a 2-hour traffic jam. Ahjussi bought Omelet Rice for the boys, Two Two Chicken for us and Abalone Porridge for Meimei! To be honest, though I was really hungry, Two Two Chicken wasn’t appealing to me, so I’ll skip the address. It is all over Korea anyway. I’ll introduce another more appealing one when we arrived at Gangnam.

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Yummy Abalone Porridge! Pardon, the ugly looking fringe. I decided to chop off her unruly hair just before the trip!

We let the kids rest while we continued to unpack and got ready their stuff in the apartment. We finally got our butts moving and headed out.

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Heading up to this tower! This is a very old photo from my first trip in 2013. This is the view of Namsam Tower from our hotel room in Hotel Prince Seoul!

 

We were within walking distance from Namsan Tower and decided to head up. There is this special elevator that goes diagonally up the hill to save you a steep climb to the cable car centre!

Do note that there are other ways to head up (bus or taxi), but we found this experience most fun and happen to be convenient for us. The kids really enjoy the special elevator (we took it up and down several times)!

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Can you see the shelter and the queue at the bottom? That is where you will need to queue up to take the elevator up to the cable car centre. See the people climbing at the bottom right of the photo? If you choose to climb, there are well-built stairs for you. We’ve tried climbing while baby wearing Meimei and I got really hungry very fast that day. Burns a lot of calories!

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The is where you will reach, the Cable Car Centre!

Pricing for the cable car up to N Seoul Tower

Type Individuals Groups (over 30 people)
Adult return ticket 8,500 won 7,000 won
Adult one-way ticket 6,000 won 5,000 won
Children return ticket 5,500 won 4,500 won
Children’s one-way ticket 3,500 won 3,000 won

We paid 28,000 won. It was free for Meimei.

Upon entering the plaza area, we were greeted with traditional performances! During our trip here in June, they had free Hanbok rental and you could wear a Hanbok and take photos with the guards in traditional costumes! Super cool! My parents and sis took the photos, I’ll share them here later if they allow.

Walk further in and you will see the Locks of Love.

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This was the boys during our earlier trip in June 2016, trying to find the lock Ahjussi and I left there in 2013! We didn’t get to find the lock this time due to the strong sun and crazy strong winds!

 

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Checked in and waiting to board! They are all pumped up and excited!

 

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Forced to take a photo but can’t open his eyes due to the scorching sun!

 

We were hungry after all that walking, so we settled down for lunch.

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We chose to dine at N Burger. There were other options there like the food court and other restaurants but we just wanted to try something new. And thankfully we did! The food was nice! I was craving for Nachos (5,000 won) so that’s mine. The boys had burgers (8,000 won each) and they refused to share because the burgers were so good! Their fries (3,000 won) were most awesome with a touch of spice and super crispy!

 

While we were there, there were strong winds!

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We really had a lot of fun playing in the wind. Watch my hair and Meimei’s hair go crazy!

 

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It’s so hard to get decent photos of them, but so worth it when I finally do! Love their laughter and smiles.

 

We then proceeded down from Namsan as the winds were really getting too strong and we were worried about the ride down the cable car. I have never asked what will happen if weather conditions stop the cable car, but I assumed that they will have bus services to bring us down if that really happens.

We crossed the road from the special elevator and headed into Myeongdong Street. Again, we got hungry and chanced on this place so we settled down to get a quick snack.

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This is a whole chain of kimbap place selling only plain kimbap served with spicy squid. We spotted this all over Seoul, so there’s no need to hunt for this. You can really find it easily!

 

Anyways, the address for 충무김밥 Chungmu Gimbap is Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, 10, 19-gil OR 3-12, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. There are 2 outlets within Myeongdong Street area.

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Each set is 7,000 won. And you have to pay at the machine for your order. The nice Ahjummas will help you when they spot a clueless tourist. Don’t worry!

 

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So this is it! 1 portion (7,000 won). The boys and Meimei ate the plain rice wrapped in seaweed while Ahjussi and I ate the spicy marinated squid. It was really good! They gave free seaweed soup which the boys liked too! Water is free, but self-service.

 

We walked around Myeongdong Street. Did some shopping for my sister. I’m not a cosmetic or skincare crazy person. I just buy the basics like face wash and toner for myself only. My sister had a very specific list, thus we had to walk around to hunt for her.

After all the walking, plus the lack of sleep on the flight as I had to carry Meimei all the way (she hate the bassinet), we decided to head back to the apartment early to rest. Also because we had a full day at Everland the next day, thus we wanted the boys to sleep early.

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And we bought dinner on our way back. Pizza because the boys wanted pizza. 15,000 won for a medium size pizza. The boys finished 1 pizza on their own. This is “Hanwoo” which is Korean beef pizza.

I was quite shocked at how simple the pizza looked. But we were very happy with the taste. It was crispy and soft and the textures simply blended very well together. The boys didn’t even bother to ask for the capsicum to be picked out. They enjoyed the entire taste with the capsicum! This is the website for the pizza: http://www.imsilcheesepizza.com/.

Address for Imsil Pizza:
서울특별시 중구 남산동2가 16-3
16-3 Namsandong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Next up: Day 2 – Everland, Isaac Toast & On The Grill
Keep a lookout!

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Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product.