Travel Diary: Hanis Zalikha’s Girls Getaway To Nami Island And Seoul
The K obsession has shown no signs of abetting. From Korean beauty products to the K-pop craze and all the way to the love-laced Winter Sonata-esque TV series, enough is never enough. In 2017 alone, a total of 1.8 million Malaysian tourists visited South Korea and the winter months between October and December are tremendously popular with travellers.
Here, local celebrity, mum-preneur and former travel show host Hanis Zalikha shares with us the highlights of her recent girlie trip to the breathtaking Nami Island and Seoul.
What made you pick South Korea as your recent holiday destination with your girlfriends?
I personally have been to South Korea a few times and have grown to love it! When my girlfriends and I voted for our next holiday destination for a hen’s getaway, South Korea made the cut because not only the bride-to-be loves all things Korea, she has never been there.
How was it different from your previous visits to South Korea?
It was a bachelorette trip and that reason alone made the itinerary completely different. This trip was mainly focused on beauty binging and shopping; it was oh-so fulfilling.
You also included a day trip Nami Island in the itinerary, what was the experience like?
Nami Island is a must-visit when you’re in South Korea. It has so much to offer in terms of outdoor activities (zipline, ATV ride, bicycle ride around the island and bungee jumping), and the bonus: it’s aesthetically pleasing for all our photography needs! Girls trip means lots and lots of photos. The bridesmaids and the bride-to-be sure had countless photos to remember the trip by.
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What did you love most about Nami Island?
The scenery, without a doubt. Try to be there during the least crowded time of the day, perhaps in the evening. Not only there are few halal eateries to choose from, they also provide spacious prayer room and we all felt very welcome.
What are some of the things you’d recommend visitors to do in Nami Island?
All the outdoor activities I mentioned earlier and one must also try the dosirak. It’s basically sardine served with steaming white rice in a metal box and you must wear gloves to shake it and mix it well before digging in.
Tell us more about the South Korean food you had the pleasure of trying.
Watching all the K-dramas have made us really familiar (and curious) with Korean cuisine. To be able to finally taste the original version just felt so good! From kimchi pancake to dakgangjeong, it truly didn’t disappoint. And now we know the actors didn’t fake it when they made it seem extremely appetising on TV!
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How about shopping? What would you recommend?
I would recommend focusing your shopping activities in Myeongdong if you have limited time in Seoul. It has everything from food, skincare and fashion to toys.
Where did you stay on this trip?
We chose to stay at Oriens Hotel & Residences Myeongdong which we made sure beforehand was big enough to fit all six of us. It comes with a spacious living room, perfect for our girls’ night! We also love the fact that it was really near the train station which was our main mode of transportation during our stay.
Any challenges you faced during your travels, and how did you overcome them?
I need to remind you that their train station has lots of stairs, please wear comfy shoes. Otherwise, South Korea is a very popular destination for Muslim travellers and halal food is available at almost every famous area.