tiistai 25. elokuuta 2015

Marble Temple & Wat Pho

Earlier this month I met up with my Japanese friend and also a French girl who is living on the same floor as me. We went to see two temples: Marble Temple and Wat Pho. I had visited Marble Temple already last October but I was happy to go there again since I hadn't seen the whole place. After a LOT of walking in the torturing heat and sun, we went to eat in a pier where we could watch the Chao Phraya river and a temple across the other side. We had a very fun day and it was nice to meet a new person and also make a new friend. 

Here's some pictures from that day: 



Marble Temple: 










Wat Pho 














Lastly a picture from the restaurant on the pier. Across on the other side of the river you can see Wat Arun which was under some kind of construction. Hopefully the maintenance work will end before I will go there with my friend :)


xoxo, Elina

maanantai 24. elokuuta 2015

2015 Dream Concert ♥

The 21st Dream Concert was held on 23rd of May and it was the first K-Pop concert I attended. I accidentally found a website called Lotte JTB where foreigners can buy tickets to some events including this year's Dream Concert. There were 3 kinds of tickets: VIP, R & S. I was going to get the VIP tickets but they were sold out so I bought the R ticket which was fine too because all of the Lotte JTB seats were near the stage. The ticket buying process was a bit different from what I have gotten used to because I couldn't choose my seat but it was given on the concert day based on a "first come, first serve" style. I received the ticket and some instructions by email about 1 week before the concert day. One of my biggest concerns was camera and is it allowed there. In the instructions there was in the prohibited list taking photographs but not camera. Although I have seen a lot of people taking pictures and videos when I have watched videos from several concerts, I was a bit concerned because I didn't want to get kicked out or leave my camera somewhere. I asked some people for example my Korean friends and in the concert's Facebook page what they thought about it and especially my friends thought I should take it and use it if other people are using it too. In the end I decided to take it and keep it hidden and if I see other people use their cameras I will too. 

During my trip in Seoul before the concert, I went to buy some light sticks, wrist bands and other accessories for the concert. You could easily see the upcoming concert in the K-Pop shops because there were a lot more light sticks, name tags etc than for example in December when we were in Seoul. 



Then finally the concert day came! I was far less nervous on that morning that I thought I would be. I had decided I would leave around 12 and 1 pm. I took the metro which had a lot of people who were definitely going to the concert. Already then I could see a few foreigners who were going there. Some time after 1 pm I got to the Seoul World Cup Stadium and when I got from the station to the stadium, I was quite shocked from the amount of people there :D But that got me even more excited about that evening! 

Firstly I went to change my voucher to my seat ticket and then went to walk around the area. There were many ticket booths and for example a Baskin Robbins booth. After I sat down and watched what everyone was doing for a while I went to a supermarket which was connected to the stadium and bought some snacks and went to sit outside and eat. After 4 pm the Lotte JTB ticket holders could start to go in to the stadium. So a bit before 4 pm I started to look for the place where I should go and it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. I went around the stadium and after asking one staff person I ended up on the ticket booth area and from there I walked up a lot of stairs. Once I got up there it was quite easy to find the S-Gate although when I got there I didn't know in which line I should be in. Because there a lot of lines which were numbered and I ended up asking quite many staff members because some of them didn't speak English or didn't know where should I go. Finally after a "supervisor" told the staff make a new line for those whose number line had already left so I went to that line also because number 7 had already left. As we waited to start our way inside the stadium we had to stand quite a while which was horrible because that day was VERY hot and sunny. But I just kept thinking it's worth it and soon we started heading down stairs and in to the stadium. 


Those stairs I had to climb and from there I headed to the S-Gate. 


During our walk to the stadium I got a bit worried because there were 2 fire trucks trying to get passed all the lines and in to the stadium. I don't know what they did but it was nice to see how well the "supervisor staff" handled the tricky situation with all the other concert staff. The place leading inside to the stadium was full people going there and it was already very small so they had some problems with the big fire trucks. In the end they left very soon and I didn't even get in to the stadium yet. Once I got in there it was easy to find my place because there were these big number signs so I just went where was number 7 and found my seat. 


The lines outside had those number signs also so you could easily find
your line and inside the stadium you could find your seating area very easily.
Good job! 
Before the concert started and while people were getting to their seats, you could see the bands & artists arriving the red carpet and being photographed from 2 big screen beside the main stage. They also showed some commercials which was quite funny because they showed 3 times a Baskin Robbins commercial that included EXO and every time the screaming in the stadium got louder and louder :D That definitely raised my excitement because I'm a big EXO fan so it was awesome to notice how many fans there were and how much they screamed already for a commercial. 
Then finally the concert began (about 30 minutes late but at least I didn't care because I was having so much fun!)! And a girl next to me took her camera and started shooting so did I :D 


The performances went according to this:

(I didn't take pictures/videos of all the performances and I took only videos of some of the bands but I won't put them here. SORRY!)


1. Red Velvet - Ice Cream Cake



2. 9Muses - Drama



3. Boys Republic - The Real One

4. CLC


5. SPEED - What U

6. Monsta X - Trespass


7. LaBoum - Sugar, Sugar



8. Romeo

9. Lovelyz - Hi


10. Berry Good



11. Oh! My Girl


12. Halo 


13. 24K - Hey You


14. Got7 - Stop, Stop It & Girls,Girls,Girls



15. BTS - I Need U & Fun Boys





16. Sonamoo - Deja Voo







17. Elsie (T-ARA's Eungjung)

18. Hyosung

19. MFBTY

20. EXID - Ah Yeah & Up&Down





21. T-ARA - Little Apple

22. Secret - Magic & Madonna

23. BTOB - Wow & Beep Beep

24. VIXX - Love Equation & Error

25. 4Minute - Crazy & What's Your Name




26. Cho Young Nam


27. SISTAR - Touch My Body & I Swear






28. B1A4 - Solo Day & Lonely



29. KARA - Cupid & Mamma Mia & Step





30. INFINITE - Back & Paradise 






31. EXO - Call Me Baby & Growl 







32. SHINee - View & Love Sick





Lastly some pros and cons that I noticed and experienced: 

+ amount of artists and bands
+ around the stadium there were people giving free water bottle which was very good as it was a very hot day 
+ performances & special effects 
+ non-rookie and most popular groups performed 2 songs 
+ easy to find your seat 
+ easy to access the stadium by metro 
+ some rookie groups also performed 
+ a lot of light sticks, signs & active/loud fans 
+ people selling K-pop merchandise before and after the concert in the stadium area
+ ending stage when all the artists/bands came to the stage together


- English skills of the staff (should be better for the large amount of foreigners)
- staff blocking the view while making sure people weren't blocking each others view or behaving wrongly 
- Lotte JTB's bus transfer to Myeongdong (the bus left us not near the metro station and I ended up walking with a local to the station which had already closed so I had to take a taxi)
- signs, announcements and everything the MC Leeteuk said was only in Korean 
- quite poor instructions from Lotte JTB about where to go before entering the stadium especially if you went there for the first time 


Overall this year's Dream Concert was everything I wished for and a bit more. It was a real dream come true for me and I wish I could also attend next year's Dream Concert if they will hold it then. But I don't where I will be and what will I do at that time of the year so we'll see what happens! If you are a K-Pop fan and have a chance to attend Dream Concert in the future, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT :)

xoxo, Elina