[Travelogue] Korea Joa DAY 1 – Flying to Kimchi Land and Welcome Dinner

As you may have heard before, K-Popped! was invited by KOFICE for Korea Joa project 2015. It was such an honor for us to be a part of this project together with 14 others worldwide medias from 9 different countries. Korea Joa 2015 has successfully ended and from today onwards we will start sharing our experiences during the 10-day trip with our readers.
Korea Joa 2015 Day 1

For those who are wondering what is Korea Joa 2015, it is a Korean Culture Coverage Project by Korean Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) to cover 10 days experience in South Korea, especially in Busan and Seoul. Our coverage includes Korean culture, food, entertainment, film, drama, k-pop and more.
Korea Joa 2015
Korea Joa 2015 online media members
As the representatives for K-popped!, me (Rozy) and Ida started our journey on 29th September where we flew from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Incheon, Korea by Korean Air. Flying with Korean Air was a new and exciting experience by itself. In the flight we were served with food and drinks starting with peanuts, meals (we chose rice porridge), snacks, and more drinks. For Muslims, you don’t have to worry as the meals in Korean Air are Halal. Since they kept providing us with food and drink, I can’t even sleep in the flight (LOL), so I decided to watch 2 movies, Ode to My Father and Spy.
Inside Korean Air (1)
Very comfortable airlines
Inside Korean Air (2)
Airlines meals
We flew for 6 hours and at approximately 7 AM we landed at Incheon Airport. It took us around 20 minutes to pass the immigration, since there were a lot of people arrived at Incheon about the same time as we did. Once we were done at the immigration, we went to claim our luggage. Half an hour passed but our luggage were nowhere to be seen. While we were dumbfounded and confused, we realized that we had been waiting at the wrong belt the whole time! We took KE672, but we waited at KE5672 (both were Korean Air flight and departed from Malaysia). Thankfully some airport staff came to our rescue and we found our luggage with their help.
Landed at Incheon airport
Landed at Incheon airport
We took more than an hour just to come out from the arrival area (we felt very sorry to the KOFICE staff who waited for us for a long time). We were welcomed by two beautiful KOFICE staff wearing their brightest smiles, Ms. Minju (the Coordinator) and Ms. Jen (the Interpreter) holding a welcome board for us.

After a brief conversation, we went to claim my Korean sim card at one of the booths at the airport. Since we would be staying for 10 days in Korea, data roaming can be pretty expensive, so I decided to buy a Korean sim card. It’s priced at KRW 25,500 with 1GB data plan, valid for 1 month. You can check out this link if you’re interested. (http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/)

Korea SIm Card
My Korean sim card
From Incheon we took a taxi to Ritz Carlton Hotel in Seoul. Upon arriving at the hotel, we were mesmerized by the luxury interior of the hotel. We checked-in and freshen up and yes, we had some free time before the 2015 International Opinion Leader Invitation for Korean Culture Project: KOREA JOA Welcome Dinner at 6.00pm. So, we went out to Myeongdong for lunch and shopping! Yay!
Ritz Carlton
Ritz Carlton Seoul lobby
Ritz Carlton 2
Ritz Carlton Seoul lift lobby
Ritz Carlton room 2
Our hotel room before we messed it up ^_^
Ritz Carlton room
Twin beds room

At 6 PM, Korea Joa 2015 kicked off with a welcoming dinner, held by KOFICE staff. The hotel ballroom has been setup prettily for the welcome dinner. There were 15 members from 9 nations from various online media.  A brief introduction for each members and coverage schedule was presented by Ms. Minju, the coordinator of this project. The Korea Joa Project 2015 was officially launched by Mr. Kim Deok Jung, the KOFICE General Director.  In his speech he mentioned  about the importance of online media coverage in giving the impact on the Korean culture, hence leading to this program called Korea Joa. Korea Joa members’ representative Paul Quinn from Hangul Celluloid has been chosen to do the welcome toast. The dinner ended with group photos and Q&A session with the KOFICE General Director.

Korea Joa Photo Zone
Korea Joa tag
My tag on the table^^
All Korea Joa members and KOFICE staff met for the first time during welcome dinner. Pic credit to KOFICE
Welcome Dinner
Our menu for dinner! Top left : Grilled Vegetables with Green Salad Top right : Tomato Sauce Pasta with Seafood Bottom left : Raspberry Yogurt Cheese Cake Bottom right : Grilled Russian Halibut with Mash Potato
Our first group photo!^_^
Our first official schedule was to visit Busan & BIFF for the next day. Yeay! Stay tuned for our Day 2 coverage soon!

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