Tuesday 30 April 2024

Dubai Day 1: Gevora Hotel

We love to bring our kids for solo-kid trips so that they can enjoy quality time alone with us. It was the Littlest Girl's turn to travel without her siblings for the first time! We bought our Singapore Airlines tickets in Sep 2023; cost $618 per adult/child (inclusive of free seat selection), which was reasonable for a flight that's more than 7 hours.

I worked from home that morning before heading to Changi Airport Terminal 3 with the Hubby and Littlest Girl. We arrived at the airport and completed check-in with time to spare.

Our flight departed Singapore at 3.30pm as scheduled. Once in the air, the cabin crew served us our dinner. I ordered the chicken with noodles but I would much rather have had the kids meal that my girl had! 😆

We were also served ice-cream for dessert and a pizza as a snack before our arrival in Dubai. Food was good, no complaints there.

The flight time was about 7 hours and 15 minutes, which wasn't long by many standards but felt like an eternity to me as I had to find ways to entertain my girl who had refused to take a nap! I thought she would be well-occupied by the onboard entertainment system (she seems to love watching Paw Patrol The Movie more than once!) and the many activity kits I had brought. However, she soon got tired of watching, colouring, drawing and pasting stickers and we ran out of things for her to do! 😫 I was elated when the captain finally announced for the cabin crew to prepare the aircraft for landing! 😅

We arrived at Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 at 6.45pm, Dubai time (Dubai is 4 hours behind Singapore).

We cleared customs relatively quickly and collected our luggage. We headed to the taxi stand and realised that there was a super long queue! We joined the queue and I lamented to the hubby about not pre-booking an airport transfer so that we didn't have to wait (mental note for our next trip).

After waiting for about 30-45 minutes, we reached the front of the queue and got into a taxi. We were finally on our way to our first accommodation, Gevora Hotel, which has achieved the World Record for being the tallest hotel in the world! 

However, standing next to other extraordinarily tall skyscrapers, including the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa), Gevora can look rather meek. When brightly lit at night though, you can easily spot it from far away! 

From the photo above (taken in the taxi), Gevora Hotel is the building with a fully lit triangle at the top, while the Burj Khalifa is blue building on the left.

The taxi ran by the meter and we paid our driver AED 67 on arrival. Concierge took care of our luggage while the hubby checked in. 

We headed up to our Premium 1-Bedroom on the 39th floor. We booked it at $188.50 per room per night (inclusive of breakfast, details in the next post), which was value-for-money considering the room size, amenities and convenient location.

A large living area greeted us when we entered our room. We had more than enough space to lay out our luggage!

The hotel decorated our bed with towel swans as I had informed them that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary! 🤭

The room also came with a separate large fully-functional kitchen next to the main door. It even had a full size fridge, washing machine and stove!

In contrast, the toilet was small but it had a good size bathtub for soaking! 🛁

We had a great view of the famous 14-lane Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Khalifa from our room on Level 39!

It was only 8pm in Dubai even though it was already 12am in Singapore! No wonder we were exhausted and ready to call it a day! 😅 The girl and I enjoyed a warm bath while the hubby ordered room service as he was hungry 😀

Food was good and about the same price as in-room dining in Singapore hotels 😊

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I discovered that it was a memory pillow! As a side-sleeper who has hated all the mega-soft pillows that give me neck aches, this is the first time I've had a pillow with good support in a hotel! Needless to say, I slept really well that night! 😄

Continue to >> Dubai Day 2: Desert Adventure Day Tour


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
as well as other travel itineraries!

Please also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels!

Sunday 26 November 2023

Seoul II Day 9-10: Namdaemun Market, Sungnyemun & Back Home

Day 9: 

The Hubby, Eldest Girl and I decided to have buffet breakfast at our hotel's SOL Sky Lounge and Bar while the mum watched the younger kids in the room (buffet was not worth it for them). The breakfast costs 18k won per person, which was really affordable. 

We enjoyed our food and the beautiful view of Myeongdong from the window table!

After a good breakfast, we went back to our rooms to prepare before heading out to Namdaemun Market. We didn't have a lot of time to explore the last time we visited 10 years ago

We were pleased to find that the shops and make-shift stalls sold things that were generally cheaper than Myeongdong!

We were really lucky that it was quite a nice weather for shopping! 

As usual, the Hubby's food antenna was scanning the area for good food and he spotted a food cart with a very long queue. Apparently the food cart was very famous for vegetable hotteok (fried pancake).

I wasn't exactly a fan of the pancakes but my kids loved it! We ate them as we walked to Sungnyemun Gate, also known as Namdaemun Gate. One of eight gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, Sungnyemun is South Korea's National Treasure! 🪙

We enjoyed exploring the grounds as there were no crowds! 

When we were done taking pictures (and the kids were done running around!), we walked for about 5 minutes to Seoul Station. We took the train to Eulgiro 1-ga Station to shop at Lotte Departmental Store.

We thought we could do some shopping here but it turns out that there wasn't anything suitable for us to buy. I really needed a pair of UGG boots but simply couldn't find one I liked! The kids were tired of walking by now so we had a quick bite at Lotteria.

As our hotel was located nearby (within 10 minutes walking distance), we decided to walk back to our hotel instead of taking the train.

It was a very comfortable weather for a walk! When we arrived at our hotel, we rewarded the kids with ice-cream from the shop just opposite of our hotel.

It was also time for our last dinner at Seoul and we decided to splurge on BBQ beef again as we enjoyed it so much the first time!

Dinner was amazing! Can't believe that our Seoul trip was ending! Time flies when you're having fun! 🥲

After a last shopping hurrah at Myeongdong Shopping Street, we packed and went to bed in preparation for our morning flight the next day.

Day 10: 

We checked out early the next morning to get to the airport to catch our flight. We'll totally miss the beautiful view from the hotel's lobby!

We asked the hotel to book a jumbo taxi to the airport as it was more convenient and cost-effective for our large family of 6. The taxi cost 120k won, which might seem expensive but was just 20k won more than the cost of travelling by bus. It's definitely more worth it for us!

If you stay at Seoul Station, you can also consider taking the Express Airport Train to the airport.

The jumbo taxi was comfortable and the driver was very friendly! The journey was around 45 minutes and we arrived at Incheon International Airport at 9.15am.

It was pouring with rain when we arrived! It was the first time that we experienced wet weather since we arrived! I said a prayer to thank God for the amazing weather we had experienced for the 9 days of our trip! We were incredibly blessed!

After we had cleared customs, I proceeded to Tax Refund to claim our refunds. Don't forget to validate your receipts at the self-help machines before clearing customs!

We grabbed a quick bite from Paris Baguette before heading to the gate. On the way, we passed a very cool Pororo playground but didn't have enough time to let my youngest play! So sad!

We boarded our Singapore Airlines flight at 12.35pm.

I really love the kids meal on SQ flights! So yummy!

In comparison, the adult meals were dull but thankfully just as yummy 🤭

We were also given Korean red bean ice-cream sandwich for dessert! 😋

For the rest of the flight, the youngest entertained herself with crafts we bought from Daiso Myeongdong and a Disney Mini Travel Journal from SQ.

We arrived in Singapore at 6.20pm and had more than enough time to return home for a nice home-cooked dinner!

It was such an enjoyable trip that we are already planning our next visit to South Korea in 2025! This time, we intend to visit Jeonju and Busan! 😄

Alternative Attractions within/near Seoul:

Till we meet again! 😄

<< Back to Seoul II Day 8: Starfield Coex Mall & Library


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Seoul, South Korea 
as well as other travel itineraries

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)
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