Pyeongchang (평창), a county of Gangwon Province located some 3 hours’ drive away from Seoul, known as the ski and snowboard capital of South Korea. It is the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics and a top winter destination thanks to its beautiful Taebaek Mountain range that stretches from North Korea. We’ve seen numerous blogs talking about this beautiful, sparkling, whitened landscape of Pyeongchang during winter. The vast ski slopes and fairytale-looking resorts continue to draw visitors today.
It is indeed an excellent place for winter vacation. But I’d like to cast light on the summer in Pyeongchang. The summer temperature in Pyeongchang is claimed to be 6 degrees Celsius lower than in Seoul, makes it a perfect getaway to escape the sweltering summer heat in Korea. If you are planning a summer vacation to South Korea, Pyeongchang is worth checking out, especially for those who would like to explore beyond Seoul.
The sheep ranches in Daegwallyeong are one of the best places to check out while in Pyeongchang. The 3 sheep ranches that are open for public visits in Daegwallyeong are Yangtte Sheep Farm (양떼 목장), Samyang Sheep Farm (삼양 목장) and Sky Sheep Farm (하늘 목장). They are all one-of-its-kind, so it’s hard to select just one farm to visit. For this post, we’ll be talking about Yangtte Sheep Farm, and I’ll come back to the rest in future.
Yangtte Sheep Farm is South Korea’s first and the only ranch that raises sheep. The owner started building the farm in 1988, and it gained popularity after a few TV dramas and commercial took place here. The barn and fences were painstakingly built by the owner and his team.
Yangtte Sheep Farm gets foggy after the rain.
One thing you should probably note when travelling to Pyeongchang in summer is that the season is usually shorter compared to other provinces. We visited Pyeongchang in the 2nd week of August. While Seoul was still in the dead heat of summer, the maple trees in this region were starting to turn red. Rain is frequent during the transitional season so a poncho will be handy.
It rained on and off all day during our visit, and a thick fog enveloped the ranch. Though inconvenient, the sight of the foggy farm was a true sight to behold.
Down the slope across the ranch is a feeding barn, where visitors would be able to get up close with these fluffy creatures. Just show your entrance ticket in exchange for a small basket of hay – I bet kids would enjoy this activity!
The sheep in the feeding barn. | Photo courtesy of Kim Jiho, KTO.
Feeding time. | Photo courtesy of Kim Jiho, KTO.
Yangtte Sheep Farm. | Photo courtesy of Kim Jiho, KTO.
We were lucky as it was a brief shower and by the time we finished feeding the sheep, the rain stopped, and the sheep were out again. Isn’t it soothing to see the fluffy creatures roaming freely on the green fields? Please do not forget to visit the wooden shack in the middle of the ranch on your way up or down the feeding barn. It is an iconic sight in Daegwalleong that is certainly not to be missed.
Photo courtesy of Kim Jiho, KTO.
A smiling Sheep. | Photo courtesy of Kim Jiho, KTO.
Yangtte Sheep Farm in Autumn. | Photo Courtesy of Myeong Jun-uk.
Writer’s Note: Daegwallyeong Yangtte Sheep Farm is great place to check out in Pyeongchang. I love the rustic and natural landscape, and the long circular walkway that surrounds the entire ranch. I went there for that beautiful wooden shack though, but I’d say it is a destination suitable for all seasons: You’ll see about 300 sheep graze on the vast field from March to late October and a magical winter wonderland in the winter. However, the sheep will go indoor during winter.
It is not exactly convenient to go to the farm using public transport, but it is not entirely impossible.
Take the subway Line No.2 to Gangbyeon Station (강변 역), and take exit 4.
This will bring you to the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울 터미널), where you can take an intercity bus to Hoenggye (횡계) Intercity Bus Terminal. The bus journey will take about 2hr and 30 minutes, and the ticket cost KRW 14,500 per pax.
Once arrived at Hoenggye Intercity Bus Terminal, you may take a red colour shuttle bus to the farm, OR take a taxi to Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm. The taxi will cost you about KRW 12,000, and it takes about 10 minutes.)
Hello everyone! It’s been awhile, isn’t it? I am finally back to blogging after a long hiatus. Today I am writing about a handmade jewellery studio owned by a friend, a studio where you can make your very own custom jewellery in Seoul. I have developed a great interest in jewellery and accessories ever since I stepped foot into the lifestyle and fashion industry. My collection of fashion jewellery has expanded over the years and trust me, it shows no signs of slowing down.
So when my friend, Mong, told me about her new venture called UDUL Studio, where she conducts DIY custom jewellery workshops and even invited me for a studio tour, I got really excited. I thought it would be fun to find out how is it like to make jewellery entirely by hand.
NOTE: Udul studio has moved from Seoul to Daejeon as of Dec 2018. Below was written based on my experience at their then Seoul studio. Her latest info was updated at the end of the article.
Located in the Gangnam district, this cozy little heaven of all-things-handmade will bring out the inner designer in you. Classes are conducted at an underground studio where she shares with other artists. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun. You get to learn all the jewellery making basics before creating one you can proudly call it your work.
I was given a small tray upon arrival, with all things needed – several tweezers and a wooden holder where I can put all my selected materials in the later part of the class. The class covers basic skills like how to make simple jewellery clasps, closures, and connectors. By the 1 hour mark, I have got the basics and started working on my wood earring.
It wasn’t easy. The thin, fine wires are delicate. You’ll need to stay focus for a very long time, tweezing them to the correct size and to close the tiny loop tight. This requires so much patience and an excessive amount of attention. Twisting them too much will cause breakage and I destroyed several connectors before finally connecting the wooden piece together. Super hard work, but it is all worth it!
The wood earring I made during the class.
The classes are conducted either in group or solo, depending on the total amount of guests who signed up at one time. I’d say it is a great way to spend your time in Seoul, if you’re up to creating something unique and meaningful for yourself (or even for a friend)!
Writer’s Note: I made a wood earring and a sky blue colour suede bracelet during the session. I do not have photos of the bracelet but I do have photos of me wearing the lovely wood earrings. The dangling wood pieces somehow make my face looks smaller. It makes a perfect accessory for my summer dresses! I matched it with my LIE SS18 stripped dress with ribbon when I met up with the designer of the dress, Mr. Chung Chung Lee when he was in Seoul.
I really enjoyed the whole DIY Jewellery making session with Mong. It just feels like having a cup of tea with a friend while having a jewellery making party at an underground studio. Mong speaks English so you’ll be able to follow the class. Hit her IG up to arrange a class if you’re interested!
Single Class (one-off class suitable for travellers)
Participants will bring back 2 types of jewellery (1 pair of earring + 1 bracelet/ 2 bracelets/ 2 pairs of earrings).
Class Price: KRW 45,000
Class Duration: 2-3 hours
Other classes suitable for Seoulites: Class Pack A – 6 times, KRW350,000
Class Pack B – 10 times, KRW 700,000
Jewellery Making Certification Class – 14 times, KRW2,800,000
You may contact Mong via her official Instagram prior to your arrival in Daejeon. Kakaotalk users may contact her via her Kakao ID: jimong20
Udul Studio (Daejeon)
Daejon-si, Seo-gu, Mannyeon-ro 12-21, No. 302.
대전 서구 만년로 12번길 21, 302호
Tangsuyuk 탕수육 and Jjajjangmyun 짜장면 are my favourite Korean fast food fix. They don’t cost a bomb and are very filling. I think they are the perfect comfort food if you love Korean cuisine. Speaking of Jjajjangmyun, I believe many visitors to Seoul or even Busan are familiar with the Hong Kong Banjum 홍콩반점, one of the most popular Jjajjangmyun chains in Korea. Well, Hong Kong Banjum is certainly the biggest player in the market. However, I have recently concluded that this small little restaurant in Daegwallyeong, a county located northeastern part of Gangwon-do Province maybe even better than Hong Kong Banjum. They serve the best Tangsuyuk. If you are wondering where to eat in Gangwon-do, this is the place you should go.
So we were checking out Daegwallyeong sheep farms, and our guesthouse host recommended this place for lunch. Though it was summer, it was a rainy day and the temperature dropped to 18 degrees Celcius, perfect weather for Jjajjangmyun and Tangsuyuk!
One can feel the old school vibe almost instantly when they step into the restaurant.
Upon entering Jintaewon Restaurant, we were greeted by the friendly Korean ajumma. Some Chinese paintings adorned the dated wallpapers, and we were led to the very traditional Korean seating where everyone has to sit on the floor. The restaurant has only 6 tables, and the premise is rather old and unassuming, but no one seemed to care. Now when I think about it, it was the food that draws attention.
A quick background for those who’re interested: Jjajjangmyun, according to Wikipedia is a Chinese Korean noodle dish topped with a savoury and sweet, black gravy made of a Korean condiment Chunjang, diced pork and veggies. It is often consumed with Tangsuyuk, a Korean Chinese version of Sweet & Sour Pork.
Fried dumplings are the “free-of-charge” dish (서비스) here.
We were taken aback by the boss’s generosity when they served us fried dumplings before serving the rest of the dishes. It was fried pork dumplings (퇴김만두). It is common that most Korean restaurants offer free items (often called as “Service”서비스), BUT I have never encountered any Korean Chinese restaurants that offer fried dumplings, not one but 12 dumplings all together.
These dumplings are in the most luscious golden brown colour, and is juicy and crispy that keep us wanting for more.
Next up was the Tangsuyuk. Jintaewon’s tangsuyuk was lightly coated with a layer of extra crispy skin, then coated with sweet and sour sauce, with fresh veggies to add that extra crunch. The light, fluffy yet robustly crispy Tangsuyuk was one of the best I had in my entire life. The pork was fresh and very tender, no funky smell at all. You’ll hear the crackling sound of the skin echoes as you chew, and the sweet and sour flavour kicks in… definitely one of the best tangsuyuk in South Korea.
Crispy on the outside, soft inside that guarantees a Tangsuyuk orgasm.
The homemade noodles were springy. Give it a good stir and slurp it up — the chewy texture, together with the salty gravy, with bits of potato cubes and green beans in it, it was so good. Especially so when you eat it with the sliced radish. The slight sweetness emits from the radish balanced the palate and the crunchy texture compliment the chewy noodles so well. I figured this is the reason why I enjoy eating jjajjangmyun and tangsuyuk. They are so simple yet highly addictive, nothing fancy but true luxury.
325-18 Hoenggye-ri, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-730pm| Sun: 12:30pm-7:30pm 진태원
강원도 평창군 대관령면 횡계길 19
Note: It is an extremely popular restaurant at Pyeongchang, you’ll be prompt to leave your mobile number with them. If you do not have a local number, it is best to stay around and wait.
If you are currently located in South Korea, you may use the below map to navigate:
Happy 2019! I am back, and this time I am going to review two of the Biker Starlet’s latest bags collection. I believe most of you are no stranger to this South Korean designer bag label because I have been raving about it since my very first purchase years ago. Fast forward 5 years and today, I am still very much in love with their designs.
The kind ladies behind Biker Starlet sent two of their bags from the latest collection, and it arrived right before Christmas. Just in time for the pre-Christmas brunch date with K at the SKAI bar.
Left: The Noelle Small in Khaki; Right: Winnie in Black.
I brought the Noelle Bag out for the day. It comes in two sizes, the small and the original. Being a small bags collector, of course, I chose the small one. This design debuted in Spring 2018, and now it comes with a brand new, sophisticated Khaki colour to suit the late winter mood. The deep and solid green colour complements the slip dress from Klarra so very well, it lifted the holiday mood almost instantly.
We had our brunch at the newly revamped SKAI bar tucked away on the 70th level of Swissotel The Stamford. Focuses on contemporary grills on regular days, the restaurant now also serves fancy brunch on weekends, guarantees your weekend start and end on a high note.
You can opt for the SKAI Brunch ($118++) with unlimited plated dishes served at the table, which includes free flow soft drinks, coffee and house red and white, or splurge on the SKAI Champagne & Cocktail Brunch ($168++). I like the idea of starting the brunch with the elegant French Champagne Taittinger, then move on to the delicious cocktails.
The Strawberry Shortcake Tart with Berry Sorbet was a delightful and refreshing combination I almost wanted to order a 2nd serving.
I love the beautiful space, not to mention the warm and impeccable service. Most of the food were pretty up to satisfaction. I can’t recommend another place as great to kickstart your weekend brunch in 2019!
Speaking of the size of the small Noelle, I didn’t think it is an issue. It could be that I am used to mini bags or that they fit my lifestyle. I usually use mini bags on a date, a wedding or even gatherings, which generally only lasted a few hours before returning home. This particular bag may look small, but it could load up my wallet, a BB cushion, house keys, lipsticks and a packet of tissue papers. I’d say the size is pretty decent – just nice to fill up the essentials that could last me for half a day.
The cow leather bag is soft yet sturdy – It feels soft, but the bag stays in its oval, elegant shape even when its empty. I love the flap design and vintage buckle opening. It ensures easy accessibility yet very secure.
The other bag I got was the Winnie bag from the latest collection. I like it because it is a timeless and classic sling bag that would fit almost everything from your wardrobe.
One thing that I think Biker Starlet should improve on is the quality of their buckle for Winnie. The vintage outlook certainly looks classy, but it doesn’t withstand the daily wear and tear. I barely wear it about 5 times and starting to see noticeable scratches at the buckle. I didn’t encounter any problems with my Noelle bag though. Probably it is just the closing mechanism that causes the scratches inevitably.
They have some terrific deal on their official website. Some of the designs are having a 50% discount, a great time to get a new bag!
Note to International Shoppers
I did receive some feedback about having problems purchasing their bag. I figured it is because you’ve visited their Korean site. They do have an English site cater to international customers. Head here to access their English site for international customers. All you need to do is to add the bag to the cart and select “check out all” at the bottom of your cart page. If you do not wish to sign up as a member, you may select “Guest Checkout”, and continue to pay by credit card or PayPal. However, using guest checkout means you won’t be able to accumulate points for any future purchase.
Biker Starlet x Pheuron Tay – Exclusive Promotion
I’ve partnered with Biker Starlet for some awesome promotion only for you! Simply DM them the code “Pheuron2019” on their official Instagram right after you’ve done purchasing your bag and you will receive a Poppy Canvas Bag of your choice worth SGD 47++! For members who spend more than KRW 200,000 (USD 179++ or SGD 243++), upon DM them the code, you’ll be given a Poppy Canvas Bag of your choice and a super cute Champagne Clutch! They’re having up to 50% sale on their site now so just click away!
Main Store 1F 96-1 Chungdam-Dong Gangnam-Gu Seoul
Opening Hours : Mon-Fri 9:30am-6:30pm / Sat 11:30am-6:30pm
Address: 10-6 Yeonhui-r0 11Ra-gil Seodaemun-gu Seoul
Opening Hours : Tue-Sun 11:00am-8:00pm
Tel.02 336 1446