May trip 2016 – Taiwan, SNSD Phantasia + South Korea

Hi everyone!

I don’t post frequently, but when I do it’s usually either short posts about otome games or kpop or massive posts like these ones, indicating a trip that I’ve just come back from. This time I went to see SNSD in Taipei and we had booked a trip to Hong Kong. Taipei is just an hour away so it made sense that we also visited another place closeby, ie, South Korea. It was a choice between Japan or Korea, and although I had really wanted to go, my family were more for Korea. Ahhh well, maybe next time yah?

So I’ve decided to split the whole entire trip into different posts. One post will be about Taiwan and the SNSD concert and a few more will be about the places we visited in South Korea. I probably won’t be able to cover much about the SNSD Phantasia concert, because taking photos or videos there were strongly forbidden so don’t expect much haha ^^””

I also won’t be writing about Hong Kong because I’ve been before and you can read up about it in the section labelled ‘Hong Kong’ anyway.

So let’s begin with Taiwan!
We were in Hong Kong initially for 2 weeks prior the concert. What a big mistake that was, considering we were on maniacal shopping sprees there and did so much walking. By the time it was for Taiwan I was exhausted. We flew by EVA air and arrived at Taoyuan airport. Never had I felt such a strong language barrier before. Taiwanese people don’t know Cantonese and have limited or no English speaking skills whatsoever. So imagine how useless I felt!

We got the Freego bus 5502 which ran every hour when we got there (a Saturday). The guy at the desk was helpful but because we had missed one earlier, he suggested we take another bus, then go to the underground and take a train and get off at a stop that was apparently close to our hotel then walk.We didn’t feel confident travelling that way especially because we didn’t know the language and generally just had no clue as to what the futwuck we were doing (because me and my sister are idiots abroad) and just decided to wait for the next bus.

Just to let you know, the bus had sofa seats. SOFA seats. Never had I seen sofa seats on a bus before in my entire life!

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When we arrived at our bus stop, we just crossed the street to arrive at Sunworld Dynasty Hotel.  Basically, we had bought a SM Town Global package for the SNSD concert. It cost about $1000 for the two of us so roughly $500 each. Considering that the concert was only $100 per ticket, we wondered if the hotel was worth the extra $400. PS we also saw online that Sunworld Dynasty room rates are actually roughly $100, so SM Town REALLY ripped us off. As much as I like all the SM Town artists – they ripped us off, plainly.

 

The hotel was nice though. It had a wide open space where you see rows and rows of balconies and you see doors where the rooms were. However, it was still a bit old and our room and carpet smelled a bit like pee but otherwise it was quite clean and roomy.

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Later on in the evening we got hungry so we headed to Taipei 101. It’s the massive tower where the popular restaurant Din Tai Fung is. We took the train there, changed trains from Da’an to Taipei 101 and arrived easily; so generally it’s quite easy to navigate the subway system but if you really have no clue, avoid it. Something I must point out is that Taiwan is a very relaxed country compared to Hong Kong. Going up or down an escalator took about 3 minutes because it was that slow.

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We arrived at Taipei 101 and there were already tonnes of people waiting for a seat in Din Tai Fung, at least an hour’s wait. But me and my sister thought it was best we waited it out by doing some sightseeing and walking around the plaza. We got some nifty souvenirs although they were quite expensive.

 

Finally we got our seats at Din Tai Fung. We returned after about 50 minutes and waited anxiously for our table number to be called and once it did, my god it was like winning a lottery. I think we were number 1233. Once the lady called us out we were jumping up and down on our spots with our ticket like “YES! 1233! That’s us! YESSSS!” before rushing up to the counter to claim our table.

 

We were shown quickly to our seats and immediately served some oolong cha. You receive an order sheet the moment you get your table ticket so the lady took it off us and took it to the kitchen and we were served really quickly. We got the infamous Din Tai Fung Xiaolong bao, steamed pot stickers, shrimp and pork shao mai and also some shrimp and pork fried rice.

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You can also watch the chefs cook!

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On the day of the concert, we got a buffet breakfast at the hotel and then went to the event hall to claim our tickets. There was only 1 SM Town representative who took our names, handed us our passes and also our ordered merchandise, which was only 2 glowsticks because we were cheap and couldn’t afford any other SM Town SNSD merchandise it was better to buy it from SM Town officially. Then we were given our tickets at random, which disappointed my sister considering she thought it was a lottery or something.

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We were given the fourth row at the front of the stage regardless!!!!

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Next we thought it was best to scout out the arena; it was already extremely busy with vendors outside the arena selling SNSD merchandise. We took quite a long time trying to decide what to buy and eventually  settled for two headbands and bags. I got a Taeyon wristband and my sister got a YoonA fan.

There was also a flashmob covering SNSD songs. Most of them were guys which was pretty awesome.

 

We returned to the hotel and waited until 1pm-ish to return to the event hall where apparently you convene with other global package folk and then head to the arena. We only saw 8 other people there and they were all standing. It was strange waiting for the others to arrive, everyone just sat in silence in the room until everyone was accounted for. Also, me and my sister were the only ones with seated tickets, the rest were standing, which made me believe the others in the Global Package had purchased 2 nights worth of SNSD concert tickets because we only bought Sunday concert tickets and there had been a concert on Saturday. The Global Package had Saturday, Sunday or BOTH Saturday and Sunday tickets available but these were Seated tickets for Saturday and standing tickets for Sunday. We were also told that we didn’t have to come down at 1pm because we were seated, we could go in later and then just sit down whereas the rest had to go early to get good spots to stand in.

Anyway, my sister and I went with the group and arrived at the concert venue. Our seats were really good! The bad thing is that you aren’t allowed to take photos or videos of SNSD when they are performing.

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Look at how close we were!!!

Below: Pink ocean!!!

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The concert experience was amazing. Everyone knew how to fanchant! SNSD were really happy! I actually don’t remember much but I do remember that Mister Mister, Catch me if You Can, Run Devil Run and Hoot were very good! They didn’t do “I got a Boy” though which made me sad L I also sat beside some guy who didn’t cheer at all during the entire concert, which made me wonder if he even was a SNSD fan! Also, because we were in the 4th row, we managed to see all the members up close!!!

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Ok I lied I managed to sneakily take a picture of Sooyung. Even though it’s quite a bad shot.

I remember there was a part when they throw signed balls from a basket into the crowd. I stood on a chair and screamed as YoonA went over to us. She stood for few seconds with her basket, uncomfortable. The rest of the crowd below me were also screaming for her but I think I creeped her out the most!!! I didn’t mean to! Oh lord I regret it now. Oh, and in terms of the signed balls, this tall huge guy got 3 balls. No-one wanted or was able to fight him for them of course, because he was so tall and huge.

Aside from that, we were really pleased with the concert. The last day we went to Taoyuan airport again and we were able to explore the aiport a lot better than last time. Let’s just say Taoyuan airport is the best airport I’ve been in so far!

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Below: Cinema style waiting seats!

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It even has a ninja escape sling!

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That’s all for now. Stay tuned for South Korea – Myeong Dong, Hongdae, SM Coex Artium, Iplehouse showroom and more!

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