Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guesthouses in Seoul, Korea

When it comes to booking accommodation for our trips, it has to fulfill some requirements like the location must be in a safe district, clean room with attached bathroom and lastly, fits within our budget. While I'm always tempted to stay at posh hotels, I can't bring myself to pay the hefty price tag. The money saved can go into our funding for more shopping or activities. During our recent visits to Korea, we opted to stay in guesthouses instead. Most of these guesthouses are located to major tourist attractions and conveniently accessible by public transportation. Best of all, they fit into our budget for being reasonably priced and come equipped with basic amenities. 
 Namsan Guest House
Namsan Guesthouse consists of 5 guesthouses which are within walking distance from one another. Every room is equipped with private bathroom, air-conditioner, cable TV and ondol system (Korean floor heating system). Conveniently located in Myeongdong, the guesthouse is located around 150m (up-slope) from the subway station and 10 min walk to Namsam Tower. Starting price of 55,000 Won for 2 pax.
Suitcasers is located at City Hall station, one of the best location that you can ever find. You can walk to Deoksugang Palace, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Namdaemun and many others. You can reserve the portal wifi egg from them (complimentary) when you confirmed your reservation. The basic services includes breakfast, international calls, printing, cable TV etc - all free of charge as long as you are a staying guest. Starting price of 70,000 Won for 2 pax. 
Banana Backpackers
The Banana Backpackers is easily recognizable from the windmill outside the building. This guesthouse is strategically located to tourist sites like Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village and Changdeokgung Palace. The staff are friendly and very helpful when we wanted to order Chinese takeout from the nearby restaurants. Starting price of 50,000 Won for 2 pax.
Haemil Guest House
 A traditional Korean house (Hanok) situated close to Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo, both of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. At Haemil, you will get to experience sleeping on their ondol heated floor, with traditional korean blankets & mattress. In addition, guests get to start the new day with either traditional Korean or Western breakfast prepared by the lovely hosts. Starting price of 100,000 Won for a room.
 Mago Guest House
Mago Guest House is centrally located near Chungmuro subway station and Namsangol Hanok Village. The place is designed to feel like a traditional home but with modern amenities. Offering a mixture of korean ondol rooms and modern rooms, this is the place to go if you like to experience the different styles without moving to another location. Starting price of 62,000 Won for 2 pax.

Psst .... detailed posts will be linked once completed, stay tuned! 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jang Won Korean Restaurant & Just Want Coffee, The Garden

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Whenever the convoy heads to JB, we'll end up going to Jang Won Korean Restaurant for a hearty meal (previous visit here). We have yet to come across another place that can rival the wide selection of banchan (반찬) at Jang Won. As usual, Joseph is our defacto order-guy, so we just need to concentrate on filling up our mouths with food while he shouts out the order list in the background. 
The Sisters untie! You can probably tell that this is a backdated entry given that I was still spotting my bangs, lol! Seriously trying to catch up on lost time heh.  While the others went for a "break", we spent time taking pictures, lol! Joycelyn is now a mummy to a sweet baby Valerie while Eunice has upgraded to Mrs Lik :) Will blog about their overseas wedding in another post when I sort out the pictures. 
 The mandatory group picture. As I coined it, this is attendance taking - proof of who joined for the gatherings.
Jang Won Restaurant
K3-211, 2nd Floor, Block C
Kompleks Perniagaan, Taman Stulang Laut
Jalan Ibrahim
Johor Bahru 80300
Joseph, being the 地头蛇, brought us to a cafe to chill. Before we departed Jang Won, Joe gave his smug look that the Sisters will love this cafe. We didn't believe him initially, but when Eunice also gave her nod of approval, we became excited. Sorry bro, we have more faith in your wife's taste.
Located in a residential estate, the cafe is housed in an actual housing unit with its own garden! As soon as we got off the car, all the phones/cameras came out and the girls kept snapping away. Eunice showed me a picture of the exterior during day-time and mentioned that this cafe reminded her of our love nest, lol! 
Googled for the day picture (credits to owner of pic). OK, I want to go back again during day time and re-take all the pictures. Little did I know that this was just one of the JWC theme cafe outlets in JB. When I have the time to sort out pictures from the SD card, I shall blog about the JWC visit in another entry. 
Welcome to my The Garden. Both indoor and outdoor seats are available; given that it was a rather cooling night, we decided on outdoor seats to soak in the atmosphere. What a pity Leecher didn't join us for this outing~ I snapped lots of pictures & tapped on their free wifi to send those across to Leecher. 
 No one helped us to arrange the tables, so we had to self-service. Since too many cooks (will) spoil the broth, we decided to make ourselves useful by snapping pictures/looking at the menu first. Eye-power at its best! 
Love the simple floral arrangement :)  
They serve mainly desserts, pastries and beverages like coffee/tea. The sisters headed indoors to look at the cakes on display. However, there wasn't much choices left, so we can only make do with what they had to offer. Meanwhile, we spotted the hardworking barista at work. 
 The guys mass-ordered cappuccino (RM$11) for their caffeine fix.
 You can either order the original latte (RM$9.50) or pick a flavour from the list provided at RM$11.50 per cup. The flavour includes rose, roasted almond, masala chai and passion fruit. We didn't want to be adventurous, so we stick to the original latte.
For the non-coffee drinkers, I had to opt for pot tea (RM$18) which contains french rose and hibiscus. There is also a weekly selection of gourmet leaf tea at RM$11.50 each.
Blueberry scone (RM$10.50). This comes in cranberry as well, but it was sold out so we couldn't get to try. 
Cheesecake (RM$9) which was average at best. 
Lastly, presenting 2 of their recommended items - Tiramisu (RM$13) and homemade waffles (RM$12). Waffles was average, nothing particular caught my tastebuds. I had my own share of hit-and-misses with tiramisu. I really dislike those with extremely soggy base. The Garden's version was almost my ideal type - not-so-soggy base, the ideal proportion of coffee, mascarpone and sponge fingers. The serving is just nice for one pax, but food always taste better when shared.
Just Want Coffee, The Garden 
Jalan Persiaran Jaya Putra, 
Taman JP Perdana,  
Johor Bahru 81100
Tel: 07-2966530
Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays
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