Daejon, City of Science & Technology

Daejon is located in the middle of South Korea map, 5th largest metropolis. Living up with the name as city of Science & Technology, this city has 18 universities which included KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) which ranked 63rd overall in the world, coming 24th in Engineering and Technology. And also the best university in Korea ..emhhh… how about Seoul National University? Not sure myself. And also place for Daedeok Innopolis (Daedeok Research and Development Special Zone).

Huh, so what else you can expect from this city, a science tour!!!!! Hahahah…of course this kind of tour not suited either me or my friend Julian who is the exchange student with Chungnam University, here at Daejon.

I took an early bus from Express Terminal bus in Seoul, around 8.10 am to Daejon. As I’m on budget, I choosed general bus which cost lower than others. It took almost 2 hours ride or around 150KM to reach Daejon Express Bus Terminal. As it was early and to give Julian a time to rest as she had a farewell party with her classmate the night before and the party lasted till 5.30 am, I had my breakfast at a coffee shop near the bus station.

Around 12 noon after Julian rest assured that she already woke up, I took a taxi to Chungnam University. Met Julian at the main gate of the university, finding a motel near the university area, which Julian help to secure the cheapest around 30,000 won and off we had lunch and try to catch Daejon city tour bus around 2.00 pm. But we missed it!!!! South Korea is soooo  punctual regards to time management. We was late for about 5 minutes!! As Julian who spent almost 4 months here also has no idea where to go, we end up went to daily market (My idea, my favourite thing to do) and also Julian’s favourite place in Daejon, underground shopping complex.

Later, we met Julian’s classmate, Nadine, a German’s student who also in the exchange program for my first Pitbingsu experience!!! Pitbingsu is the most famous desert during summer!!! How should I compare it with….emhhhh..like our own ABC …hehehehe…only with more variety of topping. Almost every coffee shop will have Pitbingsu menu during summer season. We had chocolate Pitbingsu for that afternoon and later had our dinner.

As both me and Julian will has a trip to Busan early tomorrow morning, I ended my Daejon tour around 7.00 pm and back to my motel (which I scared I can’t find it in the dark)…and that place is kinda spooky.

It was a short trip but at least I’m already here…Not my kind of city, but for science & technology lover, Daejon city is definitely your kind of interest!

How to go to Daejon:

By Bus                                                                                                                                                      I. Seoul Express Bus Terminal: Express Bus Terminal Station, Line 3 @ 7                                                   ii. Seoul Sangbong Terminal: Sangbong Station, Line 7, exit 2, walk straight for    about 5 min.Right across e-mart

By Train                                                                                                                                                 The truth is I’m still confuse from which station should we take but most of KTX (high speed) train will start from Seoul station but as for normal train, it will start from different station. Please check the available station and also type of train available in South Korea. http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_1_2.jsp. But you can book the ticket online which the ticket will show you which station you should board. http://info.korail.com/2007/eng/eng_index.jsp

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Goshiwon/Gositel and Haksujib ???

Where are you staying in Seoul? People asking. It’s hard to explain especially when i told them that i’m now staying at goshiwon coz i believe we do not have that kind of long term rental place in Malaysia. Usually in Malaysia, student will stay at University dormitory, or rent a house with friends or rent a room with other tenant. But here, they have another type of accommodation called goshiwon/Gositel or Haksujib.

Goshiwon/Gositel or Haksujib is almost the same as dormitory but each person will be given a small room with basic necessity such us bed, study table, refrigerator, and if the price is higher, you will be given a bathroom, kitchen and sink, even washing machine which usually need to be shared, tv, internet etc . It sounds good but imagines that all of the items crammed inside a veryyyy small room!!! huhuhuhuh.. and do i tell you that the room has no window???aikssss ….once i enter the room, i don’t even know what happening outside or has idea either its day or night … and this type of room cost you around 300,000 won – 600,000 won (RM900 – RM1800) permonth. The difference between Goshiwon/gositel and haksujib is haksujib will provide you with at least 2 meals cook by Ahjumma running the place. You can find more info about type of accommodation in Seoul from this link http://www.exploringkorea.com/goshiwon-hasuk-jip-and-one-rooms-in-korea/

After a few days staying here, I realized that goshiwon is not the type of place i’m going to spend my life for another 9 months. I need to live with people, socialize …and i need more fresh air!!! and space…I am now searching for a house where i can rent a room and stay together with other tenant and have some interaction…i wish… and definitely it’s going to make the hole on my pocket getting bigger than its already is.

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My First Step in Seoul

My first step in Seoul started with my early arrival at Incheon airport on 30th May 2013. Mingle around at the airport for internet connection. Sent messages to my family that i safely arrived. Took taxi to my pre-book goshiwon in considering i brought 3 heavy bags with me. Realized that my farther locked 1 of my bag but left the key at Malaysia. Paid 60,000 won for my taxi ride (~RM170)..yikessss…arrived in front of my goshiwon (in blur mode). Met a guy who also wanted to look for a room at the same goshiwon and i can say my first day was a lucky day for the next 10 hours.

Happened the guy i met was a fellow Malaysian. A chinese guy who also on his first day in Seoul. Has the same objective with me, taking a break from work while studying korean language and travelling. He enrols at Sogang University but mine at Yonsei University. Didn’t realized how bad my korean language had been after a year quitting the class, he helped a lot in our communication with the manager of the goshiwon who cannot speak english. He can leave after he saw the room as he was there to just look around but he stayed during the process of introduction and explaining by Goshiwon manager. And after that we decided to have lunch together, went to his university to open local bank account, went to immigration office to do our Alien Card Registration and later having our dinner.

I was blessed that my first day went easy with the help of my new friend. This is what I loved being out from my normal life, an encounter with someone new at foreign country definitely make you appreciate it more than usual and of course thankful. We may not meeting again but thank you!!!

Nervous? Yes I am. I ‘m not sure what is waiting for me for the next 10 months i’m here. As my class yet to start and I just staying at my room doing some revision..ahakss..and I’m too lazy to go out alone for sightseeing considering that I have a tight budget and I’ve been here in Seoul several times…  and hell I’m too bored…But I have nothing now except plenty of time!!! How irony when you keep telling that you are so busy with your life previously. hahaha… I guess spending time is the best I can do now!!!

For next 10 months, good or bad it will be…at the end I’m sure that I’m not going to regret this decision coz not doing this will be a greater regret for me. What important now is to do the best out of this opportunity. And excitedly waiting to experience this new life of mine. 2nd step, 3rd step and many more….