September 24, 2011

Jeju-ing (Day 1, Sep 24)

Our APAC customer conference is just days away and here I am in Jeju, Korea making the final preparations.

It's been a week of overtime at work as we dealt with last minute registrations and sorting out rooming lists and logistic requirements...the rooming list was a real pain, changing every 5 minutes as attendees updated their itineraries and asked for all sorts of concessions.

Phil and I took the overnight flight from Singapore to Seoul last night, then took a train to Gimpo domestic terminal to board a Korean Air flight to Jeju. Before we checked in at Gimpo, I bought some Face Shop stuff, just in case we didn't come across anymore stores in Jeju.

Upon arrival at Jeju, we were met by Germaine and her crew member Shan. We all took the airport bus to our hotel, Hyatt Regency which is home for the next few days.

I have a really nice room, in fact it is a suite which faces the ocean and it's a pity no one tagged along to enjoy it with me. Hardly had time to freshen up before venturing out with Germaine and Shan to scout for souvenir chocolates and dol harubang statues for our guests.

Was reunited with Mr Won Mon, the driver we used last time and he took us to a hypermart called E-Mart near the World Cup stadium where we ended up having lunch. Didn't buy the chocolates there but proceeded to Jeongbang Waterfall where the Jeju mandarin chocolates were going at 3 for 10,000KRW. We bought over 100 boxes and also picked up the guardian statues.

Since there was a bit of time, Shan and I went to see the waterfall, it was my second time but the weather was nice and sunny today and Mr Won helped to take lots of pictures for us!

We went back to the hotel to pick Phil, had a food tasting session lined up at Mint, the restaurant on Phoenix Island we had earmarked for our gala dinner. Unfortunately, as our taxi sped along, it became evident that the journey would be too long for our customers considering we would be using coaches.

Mr Won took 1 hr 10 mins, a bus would be at least 90mins and Phil felt that would be too long. When we had initially booked the place, some people had told us it would take 45 mins but that's quite impossible unless you speed.

Nevertheless we proceeded with the food-tasting, arriving just in time as the sun was setting. It was really a lovely view and the colours were amazing but we could sense Phil getting edgy about the distance and timing and by the end of the main course, he had more or less decided to cancel the venue.

On to plan B which is to have dinner at Hyatt...thank goodness we know the space is available, just need to check on the kitchen's capacity because it's so last minute! Oh well, Murphy's law at work and I expect more curveballs in the coming days.

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