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since 04/06/2002


Pug 17/08/2002

Pugs- a great pet

Pug When Nicole ( my fiancee) and I were looking for a dog, we wrote down our needs and wants in regards to a breed- * a small dog- we live in an apartment. * quite- as above! * needed to be able to be left alone- we both work a lot. * fun- we wanted a dog that would want some attention. * different- one that isn't too common. There was one stand out breed that matched what we wanted, and that was the Pug. So off we went, looking at the various pet stores here in Ulsan, Korea, where we live to try and find a healthy little pug puppy. After a few days of looking ( even though it is considered an Asian dog breed, they are not at all common here in Asia!)we found a breeder who owned a pet store, and amongst the many dogs there, were two little fawn puupies. We took the little boy home with us. Spencer fit all of the items on our list- he is small, cute, different and fun. In general pugs are quiet dogs- there is very little barking at all, which is great for people in apartments. They don't really NEED to be exercised everyday- once a week is all that you have to give, but they LOVE to go for a short to mid length walk everyday! Spencer is a fussy eater, though I think that many small dogs tend to be. Health-wise they are fairly sturdy little dogs, though because thwy have pushed in muzzles, they overheat quickly. No long walks in summer, and because it is humid in the Korean Summer Spencer has the Air Conditioning running 24/7 at his favourite setting, of 23C ...

Moet & Chandon Champagne 17/08/2002

For everyday champagne

Moet & Chandon Champagne My fiancee and I enjoy drinking champagne, and our regular choice ( not for any events or treats) is Moet Chandon Brut Imperial. This classic champagne is the perfect drink at any time, from brunch, though to late in the evening, though it seems to be best at brunch on a Sunday! It is a mid priced drink in most places, though here in Korea where we live, it costs a little more than at home in Australia because of the extra tax on it. It costs about 50-60US$ a bottle here, but in Australia is about 35-40US$. A chilled glass of Moet with caviar and crepes- a great way to start off your Sunday! Try it and I think you'll be pleased!

Incheon International Airport, Seoul (ICN) 17/08/2002

A great new airport

Incheon International Airport, Seoul (ICN) As an Australian living in Korea, and traveling around Asia, I have used the old Gimpo International, and the new Inchon International Airports in Seoul, as well as Gimhae Airport in Busan, though that is another posting! Inchon Airport is just over a year and a half old, and it is great. The Korean Government wants to turn Seoul in the transport and logistics hub of North Asia, and the huge new development area that included the airport at Inchon is part of the plan. Getting to the airport from Seoul is not as easy as it was when the international terminal was at Gimpo (which is still the domestic airport), with the convenient subway link. There are currently two main options for people without a car in Korea- a taxi or the airport bus. The train link wont open until 2005! Of the two, the airport bus is much cheaper, and very comfortable, but for people with a lot of luggage, a taxi is better. The fare for the bus is about 6000Won, which is about 5US$. The bus routes operate from various 4 and 5 star hotels in the city or from Gimpo Airport, for those connceting from domestic to International flights, and takes from 45mins-2 hours depending on the traffic. A taxi ( make sure you get a regular and not a deluxe!) takes a similar amount of time, but costs up to 65000Won or 50US$ You also have to pay the toll on the airport freeway- the driver asked us for the toll at the toll booth! In the airport everything is still shiny and new, with a lot of signage and ...

Korean Air Lines - KAL 07/08/2002

International and Domestic Travel with Korean Air

Korean Air Lines - KAL We have flown a number of times in the last 18 months with Korean Air, both internationally- short and long haul- and domestically. Internationally, we usually travel buisness class, though we have used economy plus for one trip, from Busan to Shangahi, as there is no business class on that sector. Business class on long haul legs ( Seoul to Sydney/Brisbane) is not too bad, but it doesn't really compare to Singapore Airlines or even Garuda, both of whom we have flown with. The planes seem a little old cpmpared to other Asian airlines, which menas the facilities are up to standard, but service is always fantastic, and the inflight Duty Free has a really good selection. Domestically in Korea, there are no flights of more that about 45 mins, so there is not too much that the airline can do wrong! There is no meal service, which Qantas serves on flights of the same length in Australia, but coffee, tea and juice is served. The seating is a little cramped, but the recently intriduced business class for domestic travel has quite good legroom, but still no meal or lounge access. B/C is only about $10US more than economy, and all you get is the extra leg room and luggage allowance, though we have never had any problems getting on a lot of extra checked baggage for free (sometimes up to 50kgs extra). However, on every international flight and more that 50% of domestic flights we have had flight delays of 10mins to over 1 hour, and never with any annoucement of the ...

Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Shanghai 07/08/2002

Grand Hyatt Time in Shanghai

Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Shanghai My fiancee and I stayed for 3 nights at the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai at the begining of August. It was fantastic! We were met at Pudong Airport ( which is so modern and efficient) by a new Buick, then taken to the Hotel. That took 45 mins. The luggage was taken on the ground floor, and as we had a Grand Club room, our check-in was on the 83rd Floor. Our room was on the 80th floor, and the view was amazing! We had a corner room, and views of the Bund and Pudong. The attention to detail was everywhere, and the double sided entry to the robe is a great idea. The Grand Club Lounge serves Breakfast, Afternoon Tea and Cocktails included in the room rate, which for us was $228US a night, plus 15% service charge. We used several of the F&B venues in the hotel- the cafe on the 54th floor, which had good food, but slow service; Club Jin Mao, the Shanghainese restaraunt on the 86th floor- try the Twice boiled baby duck soup!; and Cloud 9, the bar on the 87th floor. Dinner for two in Club Jin Mao cost RMB900, which is about $110US. The subway is close by, though we didn't use it. There is a lot of interesting things to see around the hotel,and the old side of town is only a $4 cab ride away! All in all a great hotel. ...

Singapore Airlines - SIA 07/06/2002

First Class Trip-Revised version

Singapore Airlines - SIA In December last year, my fiancee and I went from Seoul to Australia, with Singapore Airlines. I went to Melbourne and she went to Perth. We both flew in First class to Singapore, and then I went on in 1st to Melbourne and she went in Raffles to Perth, as there was no 1st on that leg. Well, the Sky Suite service was great, it was like being in your own small cabin. It was private, quiet and comfortable. The choice and quality of the food was like better than most airlines, and the Champagne flowed freely. There were three choices for starters and four choices for mains. Dessert was great too. Want a coffee? There is a huge choice of beans and styles, from Blue Mountain Jamacian to Latte. With a maximum of only 12 people in the Sky Suite cabin, and four or five staff ( it was hard to keep track of them all!) you can be assured that you will be attended too. On our flight to Singapore there were only 5 other passengers in 1st class, and on my flight to Melbourne there were only 3 others, so it was almost one cabin staff member to one passenger. The huge TV monitor in each suite was great, but the real advantage of course is VOD, being able to stop a movie when the meal is being served, and then starting where you left off! My fiancee's onward flight to Perth was a real let down after First Class, but Raffles was still better than Korean Air's Prestige Class. The downside was the price of course- it was 6x more that economy to fly first class, and 50% than 1st on ...
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