Autumn, the most beautiful season in South Korea

If Japan is popular with its cherry blossom season in Spring, then South Korea’s main attraction is their golden fallen leaves and autumn flowers in Fall.

Have you wondered what to do in South Korea this October? If you are planning for your autumn’s vacation, then I highly recommend you to choose South Korea for your next destination this Autumn. The most beautiful places to enjoy the fall season are Jade Garden, Mount Seorak, and Nami Island.

Jade Garden
jade 2
Picture taken from source

Many of popular Korean dramas are shot in Jade Garden, such as ‘That Winter, the Wind Blows’ actored by Jo In Sung & Song Hye Kyo, also the famous ‘Love Rain’ by Jang Geun Suk & Yoona.

IMG_0100
Picture taken from Jade Garden Greenhouse

Jade Garden is designed from the theme ‘Small Europe in the Forest’, and you may choose from three different walking courses, 2 hours in length each around it.

IMG_0093
The admission fee is around W8,500 for adult. You definitely should add Jade Garden to your itinerary if you want to see beautiful maples and ginkgo, autumn flowers in South Korea this season.

direction
The direction is taken from visitkorea website

The opening hours are 09:00-Sunset, and the last admission is 1 hour before closing. Please aware that the hours may change depending on weather condition.

Mount Seorak
seoraksan-national-park-6
Picture taken from source

In Korea, we call this mountain as Seoraksan, also usually referred to as Seolsan and Seolbongsan. According to source, ‘Seol’ meaning ‘snow’ and ‘Ak’ meaning ‘big mountain’ (Seorak) because the snow would not melt for a long time keeping the rocks in a permanent state of white.

IMG_0129
Picture of Buddha Statue in Sinheungsa, Seoraksan

There is a big Buddha Statue here in the park as well, named Sinheungsa, sometimes spelled Shinheungsa. Sinheungsa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism located in Seoraksan National Park. While you are here, you can burnt some incense and have your prayers. You can take a cable car to reach the mountain across, and if you keep on climbing, you will reach the Top of Seoraksan.

IMG_0157
Picture taken from the Top of Seoraksan

If you are from Seoul, you can take Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Sokcho, it takes around 2hr 30min of travel time. you can click here for bus schedule. Then, took Sokcho Express / Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus no. 7 or 7-1, get off at Sogongwon bus stop (45min travel time).

Nami Island
nami_island_autumn
Picture taken from the source

Can you resist this kind of beauty? I can’t! Yes, Nami Island is popular with its golden fallen leaves, which was shown in most dramas. However, these golden leaves and fiery red leaves could only be found in the late October or early November.

Here is some instruction if you travel to Nami Island from Seoul:
nami direc
The direction is taken from source

IMG_0078
After you arrive at the entrance gate, you need to take a ferry to across Nami Island. Here is the Ferry Schedule
07:30-09:00 (30min intervals)
09:00-18:00 (10-20min intervals)
18:00-21:40 (30min intervals)

There are restaurants and cafe in the island also statues, so you could chill out while enjoying the view and Nami Island atmosphere. There are pretty much nothing to do in Nami Island, but to enjoy the scenery and fresh breeze.

I hope you could witness the beauty of Autumn in South Korea.

Hello Kitty Café located at Hongdae Street in Seoul, South Korea

Are you a fan of Hello Kitty? Why not celebrating the happiest moment with Hello Kitty while in Seoul?

Kitty White or Hello Kitty is a fictional character produced by Sanrio. It was first introduced in Japan around 1975, and was brought to United States a year later. Hello Kitty was pictured as a white kitty-cat with a red bow. Although it was designed to target on pre-adolescent female at first, but then it had received numerous of popularity on young adult consumer as well.


Hello Kitty Cafe, from hellokittycafe.co.kr

Ever since, Hello Kitty could be found on variety of products. From school bags and stationary, fashion accessories and apparel, and even Hello Kitty themed cafe are opened for business as well. The cafes are opened in many countries, such as Taiwan, Bangkok, and currently four of them are located in Seoul, South Korea.
upload20150114_102705_0683117
Hello Kitty Cafe main gate, from hellokittycafe.co.kr

The café is easily recognized because the interior and exterior design. From the main gate, cashier, and even the washrooms are Hello Kitty Themed.

Hello-Kitty-Cafe-7
Picture of Hello Kitty Cheesecake

The price of their drinks and patisseries are affordable, price range from W3,000 onward. The desserts are standard, so don’t expect too much. The café opens daily from 09.30 until 22.30. Don’t forget to try their new menu while you are here.

hello kitty new menu
Ice Flakes: Red Bean Pink, Cookie Chocolate, Mango Cheese

The most visited Hello Kitty Café in Seoul is located on an uphill alley off Eoulmadang-ro. However, the cafe recently moved to 18, Wausan-ro 19-gil, here is the map of the new Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae.

upload20141105_083942_0929226-600x315
Picture taken from hellokittycafe.co.kr

This blog is dedicated to my beloved friend. ‘Dear Susi, Have a nice trip!

Travel and Photo Shoots to Australia at the Same Time with Pixioo Photography

If you and your love one are considering for wedding or engagement photo shoots, why not do it in Australia? Australia is considered as Top Wedding Photography Destination because of its astonishing scenery. City and Skyscrapers, Mountains and Rivers, Ocean and Seas, Australia certainly got it all.

One of my favorite photos from Pixioo is their recent photo shoots in Tesselaar Tulip Festival and Great Ocean Road in Melbourne.

IMG_5190
Tesselaar Tulip Festival from Pixioo Photography

IMG_5191
Great Ocean Road from Pixioo Photography

There are plenty of great wedding photographers out there, and undeniable Pixioo is one of them! The young and talented photographer of Pixioo, Samuel has started his photography for most weddings in Singapore, and after he gained his reputation, Pixioo began for photo shooting abroad.

IMG_5198
Marina Bay Barrage from Pixioo Photography

Pixioo is a wedding photographer based in Singapore. If you are interested to have your photo shoots there, you could have them under the famous Skypark of Marina Bay Sands, Old Houses in Joo Chiat Road, and many more.

IMG_5199
Joo Chiat Road from Pixioo Photography

You can have more details and information about Pixioo Photography by following their instagram @pixioo or visit their website on www.pixioo-diary.com

But if you are considering to travel abroad, why not doing it together with Pixioo?

How Ice Cream Help Lose Your Weight?

So, is the ice cream diet true?

The idea of losing weight is to burn out the extra fat in your body with exercising and consume less calories healthy meal into your body. According to Bartell, diet comes down to caloric restriction, so “Anyone who eats 1,200 calories per day will lose weight in the short term, because the body will be in caloric deficit,” she says.

IMG_5183
Picture is taken from helloeskimomo instagram

The ice cream diet is based on a book of Holly McCord. Her idea is simple; ice cream do not have the power to weight loss, but because you’re having healthy meals and limit your calories intake, then you can add the ice cream treat to your daily plan and still lose weight. However, you have to keep in mind that not all ice cream is on the list.

Eskimomo is a handcraft ice cream gourmet company based in Jakarta; the ice cream made uses the finest local ingredients, all naturals, with no flavorings, stabilizer, or emulsifier. It is also Philadelphia-style ice creams that contain No Eggyolk, which means less fat in the ice cream as the fatty yolk has been excluded from the treat. Most ice cream company‘s ice cream contain more than 400 of calories of every 100gr of serving, while Eskimomo’s Ice Cream on the other hand has only half of them.

Nutritional+Facts_Coffee+with+Honey+Almond
Picture is taken from helloeskimomo website

Besides less calories and healthier, each of every ice cream made have their own unique flavors, such as their famous Apple Pie, Sweet Corn with Beryl Swirl, Choco Mint Cookies, Choco Orange, Coffee with Honey Almond, Salted Caramel Popcorn. So, why not adding a scoop of Eskimomo’s Ice Cream to your diet plan today?

You could visit helloeskimomo.com for more information and order or follow @helloeskimomo on instagram!

Nasi Uduk Ice Cream & Kunyit Asem Sorbet by Eskimomo, the Ice Tinkers

I know you are curious, with the ice cream and the ice tinkers, Eskimomo.
Yes, Eskimomo has made a new breakthrough in creating new ice cream flavors, and this time the flavors are definitely new in the Ice Cream World and also represent Indonesia traditional dishes.
IMG_5181
Picture taken from eskimomo instagram
The ice cream degustation was held as Eskimomo 2nd anniversary celebration with menu inspired by traditional Indonesian food.

Let’s Welcome Nasi Uduk Ice Cream & Kunyit Asem Sorbet!
Nasi Uduk Ice Cream
IMG_5175
Picture taken from eskimomo instagram
‘The ice cream is soy sauce flavored, served with sweet chili jam, rice pudding, anchovy and peanuts, and also chips melinjo.’

Kunyit Asem Sorbet
IMG_5177
Picture taken from eskimomo instagram
‘Tamarind Sorbet served with Kunyit Merengue and Pomelo’

5-courses menu were presented in the degustation, which were the Nasi Uduk Ice Cream, Kunyit Asem Sorbet, also Pisang Goreng Ice Cream, Rujak Ice Cream, and Kopi Joss as the final dish.

According to Gupta, they have plans for Eskimomo outlets in the future, but their main focus now is the flavor innovation. Eskimomo would like to have more collaboration in producing unique flavors such as the previous Miso Caramel Cashew, Kinako, Tokyo Banana, and Mulled Wine Sorbet.

IMG_5186
Eskimomo Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream

Besides Nasi Uduk Ice Cream and Kunyit Asem Sorbet, Eskimomo has 6 unique flavors sold in the market, which are the famous Apple Pie, Sweet Corn with Beryl Swirl, Choco Mint Cookies, Choco Orange, Coffee with Honey Almond, and Salted Caramel Popcorn. You can place your order through helloeskimomo.com The ice creams are also available in Kemchicks Pacific Place and Koiki Eatery in Senopati Suites Apartment.

IMG_5187
Eskimomo Coffee with Honey Almond Ice Cream

Eskimomo is a Philadelphian-style ice cream, means no yolks are used in the process of ice cream making. In addition, the ice cream is made using the finest ingredients from local producers, all naturals, with no flavorings, stabilizer, or emulsifier.

IMG_5178
Picture taken from Eskimomo Instagram

It was not easy to create the recipes as the basic ingredients of nasi uduk and kunyit sorbet were never ice and cream. However, these two ice tinkers had successfully done something extraordinary by unleashing their boundless creativity, and it all happens because of their patience, innovativeness, and ‘desire to create something that can please as many people as possible’ quoted from Eskimomo’s story.

So, instead of Ice Cream Maker, I prefer calling them The Ice Tinkers.

How to travel to Japan with only USD1,000 including flightfare?


Picture taken by Ledia

Japan is considered as one of the highest living cost’s countries in the world, and because of that, many would not dream of travelling to Japan because they thought they could not afford it.
The cheapest tour travel in Jakarta to Japan cost approximately around USD 1,700 and what’s worst is you would only be given 4-5 days in Japan. Who would spend this much for only a couple of days in the land of rising sun?

Therefore, in this blog, I will teach you how to spend only USD 1,000 to Japan and might be even least than that.

1. Have yourself an E-Passport and apply for Visa Waiver Japan

If you are on a budget, I could be pretty sure you might not have much fund liquid in your bank account, and by only this, you would definitely have a very slight chance for your visa to be approved. So the deal now is to have yourself an E-Passport, then apply Visa Waiver Japan.

E-Passport is more expensive than the common one, it costs Rp655.000 or USD50. However, Visa Waiver Japan is free if you apply it youself. You don’t need to submit complicated documents and paperwork anymore, you will just need a valid E-Passport and complete the form.

The Visa Waiver Japan will be valid for 3 years and 15 days permit each visit. On the other hand, Visa would cost you around Rp 500.000, and need a bunch of documents and bank account information which definitely will become a boomerang for you instead, so why not try this one?

2. Airfare ticket, Hotel, Food

A. Airasia 

Yes budget airline might be a good option for you, but if your budget are not that tight and you want a more comfortable flight, then you can try search for a cheap flight from Garuda Indonesia. Usually in Garuda Fair, you could get a roundtrip ticket to Japan for only USD 599! However, Airasia is still the cheapest way to fly to Japan, it cost only around USD 400 for a roundtrip fare. I advice you to fly to Tokyo, and leave from Osaka.

B. Airbnb

Now, our budget is USD 550 left, you could stay in one of Airbnb’s, which would only cost you USD 20 per night. I recommend you to stay in the city, such as Shinjuku or Harajuku in Tokyo, Gion in Kyoto, Dotonbori-Namba in Osaka. Search for the one that have the closest access to Metro. The more the positive reviews, the better the room is. If you stay for a week, you will spend around USD 140. Click here to transfer to Airbnb website.

C. Food in Japan

Food in Japan is affordable, if you have them in high end restaurant then it will cost you to hundred bucks, but if you have your meal in ordinary restaurants, it costs you not more than USD 5 each meal. You should search for restaurant that uses meals ordering machine, as usually they are cheaper. I mostly ordered udon with beef slice sold in most station for around 600 yen. Foods in 7-11 or Family Mart are cheap as well, but Fresh food from restaurant are better. Three times daily for a week cost USD 105.

Now we have used USD 695. Okay, next challenge is the transportation. One day used metro ticket costs us 1000 yen everyday which means 7000 yen, train from airport to city and city to airport cost us 2000 yen, we will be needing 9000 yen. Train fare tokyo to osaka and kyoto would cost us 20.000 yen in total, which means we have to pay USD 300. I recommend you to buy a 7 day JR Pass so you can explore the whole Japan as many times as you could.

Yes, USD 995 has been spent, and these are budget to travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and sidetrip to Nara if you would like to. You can also travel to see Mount Fuji by paying just a little more, which is around USD50 for the Fuji Railway train that is not included in JR Pass. You could look through my Japan Page for more information about the travel also the JR Pass details. If you want to travel only in Tokyo, then you will save the USD300 for transportation. Do not buy 7 Day JR Pass but Kanto Pass instead if you only stay in Tokyo, which cost least than USD100 for the pass.

If you want to buy gifts to friends, buy them in airports, all airports sell Tokyo Banana fyi. You will get the same tokyo banana with more expiration date. Also No Admission is needed to enter shrines and temples, you would only need to pay admission if you wish to enter theme parks.

If you travel more than 4 persons, want to travel Osaka and Kyoto from Tokyo, tight budget, you should try and search Seishun 18 Kippu instead of JR Pass, click here for Seishun 18 Kippu details.


So, have you decided to travel to Japan this Winter?

How to Lose 10 Pounds with Tomatoes?


Homegrown tomatoes grow in yard.

Do you want to lose 10 pounds within 3 weeks in a healthy way? It is a very popular diet method in Japan, which is The Night Tomato Diet. Firstly, aren’t we supposed to skip our dinner if we are on a diet, but why do we have tomatoes instead? Secondly, what exactly tomatoes do to our health? What are the nutritions inside these little red plants? And lastly, is there a maximum consumption? Will there be side effects and risk towards our body if we have them too much? Well, keep on reading then you would find your answers.

1. Why Night Tomato Diet?

When on a diet, it is recommended skip dinner. However, to maintain your body metabolism system, it is better to replace with a healthy meal than having none, such as having fruits and veggie salad, also plain tofu would do! However, another effective diet method had been found, which is Night Tomato Diet.

According to sources, tomatoes contain a substance that is said to be able to activate DNA associated with the burning of fat in your body namely (13-oxo-ODA) a special type of unsaturated fatty acid. The substance is said to help decrease the amount of neutral fat in your body and prevent metabolic syndrome from setting in.

Research shows that within 4 weeks of experiment, which showed dramatic changes in blood sugar, neutral fat, rectum temperature that indicate an increase in fat burning abilities after consumption, and the amount of 13-oxo-ODA given to the mice in people terms makes up about a small glass (200ml) of tomato juice each meal.

Therefore, if you drink 3 glasses of tomato juice a day your body has all the 13-oxo-ODA it needs to promote steady fat burning without exercise. What? A steady fat burning without exercise, why not?

Tomatoes vitamins and minerals could also encourage healthy excretion of growth hormones in your body, and since they are only released while you are asleep, this is exactly the reason why you want to eat tomatoes before going to bed at night.

2. What are the nutritions in Tomatoes?

Outstanding antioxidant content, especially lycopene. Many reported that after 3-6 months of tomatoes consumption, they have fairer and smoother skin, and it is due lycopene. Lycopene could help promoting Melanin, an antioxidant which is connected to antiaging.

Tomatoes consist of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus.

3. What if you have them too much

Nothing is good when it is too much, and believe me, so do tomatoes. Generally, tomatoes are safe to eat, but they can also cause dietary complications for some people. Since they are naturally high in acid, tomatoes can cause heartburn for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.

According to source, people with a food intolerance to tomatoes may have difficulty digesting large quantities of tomato, and canned tomatoes can contain a lot of sodium, which may also cause health complications.

Lycopendodermia also happens when you consume an excessive amount of red foods like beets, tomatoes, chili beans and other fruits and berries. You will suffer from a reddish discoloration of your skin. Some people report seeing this after drinking large amounts of concentrated tomato juice.

Intake of Lycopene may result in lowered blood pressure as well. Caution is advised if you are already taking medicines to lower your blood pressure. So it is advisable to add less salt to your other dishes if you intake plenty of tomatoes, because by just consuming tomatoes, you are already intake a certain amount of sodium.

You could try to homegrown tomatoes in your home, as they are easy to plant. My homegrown tomatoes grew by accident, I usually throw all the juice leftover in the yard, as a natural fertilizer. But who would have thought my tomatoes leftover grow up and bear me these cherry tomatoes! They grow more and more these days, so why don’t you try homegrown it? It’s safer for both health and money.

Severe back pain, hardly moved neck lasted for years, it might be Ankylosing Spondylitis

zmhbkswltowhgx3dnvcv
Many of you would have thought it probably just because of high cholesterols, or wrong sleeping position. It possibly be true, but it might also be something else. My fiancé suffers from a severe back pain and losing its neck flexibility of moving left and right. These symptoms happened for a couple of weeks and he decided to see a therapist.
He felt better every time therapy ends, but soon the pain came back again, and the pain had occurred for almost two years. One day I urged him to see a real doctor, an orthopedic, and so he followed my instruction. After a full body and medical checkup and MRI, doctor said that his back pain occurred because of inflammation. The inflammation was due to an excess protein produced in between bones, which then causes the bones to fuse time by time. The fusion affects patient flexibility to move, as well as pain in a long term.
h9991602_001
The excess protein produced was due to internal factor, which is the gene, HLA-B. This gene was mostly found in Caucasians, but only those with an active HLA-B will get Ankylosing Spondylits. This disease only occurs to man and do no harm to woman. The worst part of having this disease is it can be treated, but not be cured. Doctors said that this disease is inherited, but my fiancé parents had insisted that nobody in their families had ever had this disease.
Jay-Chou-周杰倫-like-young-girls-pervert-pimp
Personally, I denied calling it a disease, but I prefer to call it as an abnormality. A well-known Taiwan celebrity also has Ankylosing Spondylitis, he is the famous Jay Zhou. Jay said that he needed to take 7 pills each time he was in pain. If you happen to be an Ankylosingers, please do not feel embarrassed to it, because you are not alone.
Research has found that Biologics could help in fighting the inflammation, as well as slowing the fusion, however, the treatment is more expensive.
Medical Doctor Parade
Affordable NSAIDS drug, such as Voltaren and Arcoxia can be consumed if you are in a severe pain. It stops the pain, but it does not cure the fusion. However, using this drug in a long run could cause damage and side effect to your health and kidney. So, the only solution is to endure the pain and use the drug only when you really need it.
images
We went to well-known orthopedic in Johor, rheumatologist in Singapore, but all of them said the same thing, which is to exercise and stay healthy. The best exercise for Ankylosingers is swimming. It enables us to move our whole body, movement reduces stiffness, and so it could reduce the pain and slower the fusion of the bones.
If you stay in Jakarta, Indonesia, I would recommend you to Prof. Dr. Harry Isbagio, you could click here for more information about the doctors. Please do not see Chiropractic without your doctor’s approval. My fiance went to see a chiropractic last week, he felt better after the therapy, but it hurt him much more tomorrow afterwards. Mistreatment might lead to severity, such as bone breaking, and many more. So I suggest you to please have your own personal rheumatologist and consult only to him, because nobody would know your body better than yourself and your personal doctor.

This writing is made so that you Ankylosingers do not feel alone, and I sincerely hope somehow it can be a help for you.