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Gamcheon Culture Village of Busan, South Korea

Date Visited: 21st March 2014

Santorini of the East! That's what Gamcheon Culture Village claimed to be. With a panorama of endless rows of pretty pastel houses, cheeky art murals and curious sculptures, no doubt this has instantly becomes one of traveller's favourite destination in the city of Busan.

There are plenty of things to do and see in Busan but one thing for sure, I know I shouldn't miss out this place or else, I will regret for not visiting here. So on our second day in Busan, we took subway from Haeundau to Busan Station which the journey times took almost an hour.

In order to get to Gamcheon Culture Village, one can drop off at Toseong Station but then, we opted for cab to the top directly from Busan Station. Luckily I always well-prepared my itinerary in dual language (both English and Korean) for all the places I intended to visit cause the taxi driver didn't seem to understand when I mentioned in English. 

South Korea 2014 - Day 02 Busan Gamcheon Culture Village 01
#1: Gamcheon Culture Village, less than half hour away from Busan Station

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Haeundae Beach & Market of Busan, South Korea

Date Visited: 20th March 2014

From Seoul to Busan, it took two and half hours travelled via Korean Train eXpress (KTX) and the ride was exceptionally pleasant and comfortable. I just love bullet train like the one in Japan, Taiwan and Shanghai! Once we arrived Busan, the first thing we did is to check-in into the hotel I booked beforehand. From what I research, the most recommended areas are nearby Busan station and Haeundae Beach area. But do bear in mind as the journey times between these two areas takes over an hour by Busan subway. Hence, plan wisely to avoid wasting the travelling times. 

I chosen to stay nearby Hauendae Beach area mainly for one reason, for its pristine and notable sandy beach. There are ample of motels and guest houses can be found throughout Hauendae area and the one I picked, it was literally a love motel to be precise (will blog this in the upcoming post). 

South Korea 2014 - Day 01 Busan 01 Haeundae Area
#1: Buildings in Haeundae district
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To South Korea with Korean Air and From Seoul to Busan

Annyeong-haseyo once again!

I never thought I will going back to South Korea for the second time after my maiden trip to the "Land of The Morning Calm" back in year 2011. The reason I return was because my mom and sister who wish to go there but refused to join the organised tour guide. Therefore, they assigned me to become their personal tour guide since I've been there before. This trip is kinda last minute decision and because ran out of time, I simply amended my itinerary which I did for my previous trip.

Initially we decided to book Asiana Airlines or maybe Cathay Pacific but Asiana Airlines was relatively expensive whereas Cathay Pacific requires long transit in Hong Kong. After taking everything into account, we chosen Korean Air as our official flight to South Korea. 

Korean Air Flight KK to Seoul copy
#1: Overall, it was pleasant flight with Korean Air but slightly uncomfortable with the hard seat

The flight duration from Kota Kinabalu directly to Seoul took 5 hours, comparing from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul which took 7 and half hours. And because it was midnight flight, by the time we landed Seoul on the next morning, it was still dark and grooming when I woke up and looking outside the plane's window. 
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Myanmar - Brief Travel Guide & Summary of My 7D6N Travelogue

Flying In Myanmar
Malaysia Airlines only serves a direct route from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon International Airport (RGN) whereas AirAsia is flying into two different airports, Yangon International Airport (two flights daily) and Mandalay International Airport (with a stopover in Don Mueang International Airport of Bangkok). The flight duration from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon takes about 2 hours and 35 minutes. Time difference wise, Myanmar is 1 hour behind Malaysia.

Visa Required For Malaysian
An advance 28-days tourist visa is required before entering into Myanmar. In Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), visa can be applied at Ever Fine Services (M) Sdn Bhd located in Masjid Jamek LRT Station area (between 7-Eleven and Burger King). Total visa cost  is RM141.80, which included RM110 for visa and RM31.80 for service fee. Remember to bring along two passport photos with white background, a photocopy of valid passport and return ticket for visa application.

For more info about visa application, check out from these two of my favourite Malaysian travel bloggers - Kaki Berangan: Myanmar Visa Application and Supermeng Malaya: Tourist Visa Myanmar Di Kuala Lumpur (blog in Malay language)

Alternatively, you can apply through E-Visa which cost US$50 for a single-entry tourist visa.

Currency Exchange 
Myanmar/Burma's currency is known as Kyat. As it's not commonly found in any Malaysia's local money changer, hence it is advisable be prepared with US dollar. But then, ensure that your USD dollar is extremely clean with no marks, stamps or any ink, undamaged, fresh, crisps and as close to brand new as possible. There are number of times whereby our US dollar were being rejected.

US$1 (approx. to RM3.30) = 978 kyat

Here is the summary of my Myanmar Travelogue covering three different cities - Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake. 

Day 1: Arrived Yangon and Took Overnight Bus To Bagan
Mingalar Yangon & Shwedagon Pagoda
Myanmar, Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda 03
Shwedagon Pagoda
Opening Hours: 6.30am to 10.00pm
Entrance Fee for Foreigner: US$8 or 8,000 kyat

From Yangon, we took overnight air-conditioner VIP bus to Bagan for 18,000 kyats.

Day 2: Arrived Bagan
Awe-Inspiring & Magical Sunrise View of Bagan
Bagan Sunrise 09

Temples & Pagodas Hopping in Bagan (Part 1)
Day 2 of Myanmar

On the second day, we visited these following:
  • Thatbyinnyu Phaya
  • Shwezigon Paya
  • Gu Byauk Gyi Temple
  • Phya That Gyi Pagoda
  • Nyaung U Market
Day 3: Bagan
Temples & Pagodas Hopping in Bagan (Part 2)
Day 3 of Myanmar

As for the third day, we went and visited these:
  • Soemingyi Pagoda
  • Nanpaya Temple
  • Manuha Phaya
  • MahaBodhi Temple
  • Ananda Temple
  • Dhammayangyi Temple
How To Get Around Bagan: 
1) Rental of horse chart with a driver cost us 25,000 kyats for a full day (approx. to US$26 or RM100). It's not the ideal way to travel with as it is tends to be slower, shaky, bumpy and uncomfortable with. However, passengers are sheltered away from both sun and rain as Myanmar's weather can be scorching hot.
2) As for rented bikes, it cost us 2,500 kyats each (approx. to US$2.50 or RM10). Don't forget to wear mask as the roads were relatively dusty.

Day 4: From Bagan to Inle Lake 

We bought the 7.30 am bus tickets and the journey from Bagan to Nyaung Shwe of Inle Lake took more than eight hours bus ride. It cost as low as 11,000 kip only (approx. to US$11 or RM45). Overnight bus is available but my friends and I opted the morning one so that we able to enjoy the awesome scenery and landscape.

Myanmar, Inle Lake

Stay: Inle Star Motel
Inle Lake - Inle Star Motel 02

Day 5: Inle Lake Boat Tour and Overnight Bus Back To Yangon 
Impressive Inle Lake Boat Tour
Myanmar, Inle Lake 06
We managed to bargain at the agreed price of 25,000 kyats for the six of us on a wooden longtail boat with padded chairs (approx. to US$25 or RM100) and we're requested to pay upfront fee of 5,000 kyats first whereas the remaining can be paid at the end of the trip. Our boat tour started as early as 7 am 

Day 6: Back to Yangon Again 
From Inle Lake to Yangon 
Myanmar, Yangon Bogyoke Aung San Market 01

In order to get back to Yangon, we took the overnight bus which depart around 6.30 pm at Nyaungshwe Bus Station. The journey from Inle Lake to Yangon took more than 11 hours and one bus ride cost 22,000 kyats (approx. to US$23 or RM90). The bus journey was extremely one stomach-churning bus ride. My friend who sat next to me keep throwing up throughout the expedition. Therefore, remember to take motion sickness medication before embarking on this long journey.

Stay: Myint Myat Guest House
Yangon Myint Myat Guest House 01

Day 7: Goodbye Myanmar 
Myanmar, Yangon International Airport 02

And the following are the details of travel expenses breakdown my friends and I spent throughout our 7 days and 6 nights in Myanmar. As for the group, there are six of us. For this time around, I excluded my return airfares from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur cause I want to keep track and mainly focus on Myanmar spending. 

Per Group
Per Pax
Air Fares
KL-Yangon-KL via AirAsia
Add: Luggage allowance

Thiri Marlar Hotel, Bagan (2 nights)
Inle Star Motel, Inle Lake (1 night)
Myint Myat Guest House, Yangon (1 night)

VIP bus Yangon to Bagan
Public bus Bagan to Inle Lake
VIP bus Inle Lake to Yangon
Taxi around Yangon & to airport

Admission Fee
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon
Inle Zone Entrance Fee

Ground Tour
Half day tour around Yangon
Bagan – Mini Van
Bagan – Horse cart & bicycle
Boat tour in Inle Lake

Foods & Beverages
Foods & Beverages

Tourist Visa
Souvenirs, postcards & stamps






24,000 kyats


50,000 kyats
32,500 kyats
25,000 kyats





18,000 kyats
11,000 kyats
22,000 kyats



49,770 kyats

52,500 kyats








Exchange Rate:
US$1 = RM3.30
US$1 = 978 kyats

1. 20kg baggage allowance shared among 4 of us.
2. For more details, you can check out here.
3. Souvenirs including T-shirts, painting, postcards, stamps, fridge magnets and lacquerwear.

Bagan Lacquerwear
If you plan to buy lacquerwear, it is advisable to buy in Bagan cause it's cheaper.

With this blogspot, I am officially completed my travelogue of the majestic and prestigious "Golden Land". 
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