Air Asia D7 505 from Seoul to Kuala Lumpur

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D7 505 flight path (source:

I sat at one of seats near gate 112 belonging to Satellite Concourse Building Incheon International Airport after a few minutes before being transferred by shuttle train from Terminal 1. Boarding time was only half an hour away, so I couldn’t take the risk to explore the entire airport terminal building.

I prefered to watch airplanes fly by. Some of them seemed to focus in landing their wheels at airport’s runway and others seemed to be queuing up to get permission from Air Traffic Controller (ATC) to fly. I often did this habit because of my interest in aircraft and aviation industry. From this habit of observing, it wasn’t uncommon for me to find the names of new airlines which in the future I usually targeted them to enjoy their services in traveling around world.

For me, that day was very special in my travel history, because Air Asia D7 505 would be my first trip using a large aircraft. If in previous flights I had always ridden a small aircraft, such as an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, but that time I would ride an Airbus A330 with 9 columns of seats…. That afternoon really created curiosity and impatience.

Half an hour later, the gate actually opened. I started to take a position in the right column of queue.

“Just give duty free shopping to mom, let mom hold it,” a male passenger shouted in Indonesian language to his son who was carrying two large bottles of alcoholic drinks. Hearing the language of my nation while in another country was indeed a special gift that could help raise the mood to always feel close to home. That time at my left was an Indonesian citizens of Chinese descent who also seemed to be on their way home.

“Which city are you come from, Sir?”, I ventured to ask.

“Oh, you’re from Indonesia too? I’m from Bekasi, Sir.”

“Oh, I’m from East Jakarta, Sir”.

“Oh, our home are close. What kind of business do you do, Sir in Jakarta?”

“I just work in a company, sir, in Jakarta. Not doing business”

“Oh, is that so, are you alone, Sir?”

“Yes, Sir”

“Wow cool….cool…”

Our conversation didn’t last long because our meeting had to end when a ground staff checked our tickets and passports. After that we were separated in a long aerobridge.

At the end of aerobridge, I was greeted by a Malay-looking flight attendant at plane door and I was directed to turn towards front cabin. According to my boarding pass, I looked for seat numbered 14K which turned out to be positioned in  right side of window seat. That was the seat which I had to enjoy during the long flight later.

Oh yes, my flight number that time was D7 505. Do you want to know the meaning of code?….

If QZ was the flight code operated by Indonesia Air Asia and AK was the flight code for Air Asia Malaysia, then D7 was the flight code belonging to Air Asia X specifically for long-haul flights.

D7 505 itself was a flight of 5,000 kilometers with a travel time of 5 hours 50 minutes. The flight started from Incheon International Airport, South Korea and would end at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Malaysia.

Hmmm…..During the flight….

Turns out, the window seat I was in was uncomfortable because the curve of airplane cabin limited my comfort during the flight. While flying in economy class, I could only pass the time by flipping through Travel 360, which was Air Asia’s inflight magazine. When my eyes get tired of reading, then I continued to spend time with closing my eyes. Luckily, the packaged almonds I bought at Namdaemun Market a day before made my flight a little less boring.

Half of the flights in light conditions allowed me to freely enjoy the views of Yellow Sea and East China Sea, while the rest of the flights continued in complete darkness where I couldn’t do much. Until finally the plane arrived in Kuala Lumpur around ten at night.

After the flight, I still had to go through the last leg of my journey to explore East Asia by staying for 9 hours at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 before returning to my homeland on the next day using Air Asia AK 382 connecting flight.

To get flight tickets from Seoul to Kuala Lumpur, you can search for them on 12go Asia with the following link:

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Giving up in Myeong-dong

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A side at Myeongdong 8-gil.

Unlike before, now I was so frantic looking for a bus from Namdaemun Market to get to my next destination, Myeong-dong.

Looking for all route boards at bus stops around Namdaemun Market, I still couldn’t find any clues. The cold wind finally brought me to underground. Yup, I was now stepping down the corridors of Hoehyeon Station, looking for a platform to get to Myeong-dong Station. I got it easily. At the edge of platform, my face continued to face left to look up the appearance of Seoul Metro Line 4.

The increasingly bright light slowly approached the platform, a sign that the train was ready to arrive. In an instant I was crammed to stand holding the carriage pole so as not to be hit by the flow of passengers. Shortly after all passengers were carried away, the Seoul Metro began to creep away from platform.

Not through for any station, I then got off at Myeong-dong Station, leaving all passengers who were still crowded in the carriage. I couldn’t wait to get away from the carriage when I got off because I wanted to see the bustle of Myeong-dong, a popular cosmetic shopping center in Seoul. Of course not to buy a lipstick, masks or face whiteners, but just wanted to see beautiful auras of Ginseng Country girl….Oops.

Coming out of Myeong-dong Station I kept muttering, “Why is today colder today than usual”. a gloves I was wearing couldn’t contain the cold that penetrated to outermost layer of my skin. As a result, I walked around enjoying Myeong-dong by occasionally gritting my teeth because I couldn’t stand in the cold air any longer.

It was true, tall, slender girls with white faces filled every alley in Myeong-dong. Cosmetic shops seemed full of shoppers. Meanwhile, some local culinary traders were starting to get busy setting up stalls at many points. Myeong-dong, which seemed to me already crowded, apparently hadn’t reached its peak point yet. Maybe in the night would be the culmination point.

Since that area was a cosmetic shopping center, it didn’t interest me to enter cosmetic outlets lined up along Myeongdong 8-gil. I just stood on the edge of Myeong-dong shopping corridor, enjoying the traffic of Seoul youth and the busy culinary traders who were busy preparing their wares. Meanwhile, several well-known cosmetic outlets such as Holika Holika, Aritaum, Missha and The Saem seemed to be flooded with visitors.

 Busy in Myeong-dong

Just standing still, made me an easy target for the cold air which blew in Myeong-dong. It was true, I could only endure the cold for half an hour. The rest I started shivering uncontrollably.

I gave up….

I started to move and was forced to enter one of outlets, as I remembered the outlet was called innisfree. Since most of the guests were women, I just pretended to be looking for cosmetic gifts so that I could freely enter the outlet. Of course I wouldn’t buy anything at the outlet. I just walked around while paying close attention to the various kinds of cosmetics sold at the outlet.

In order not to arouse suspicion, fifteen minutes later I decided to leave the oulet. Now I continued down the corridors in Myeng-dong while slowly moving away from the cosmetic center to make my way to the station.

Time to leaving Myeong-dong.

Yup, that time I intended to go back to the hotel first, put the groceries which I bought from Namdaemun Market before visiting Myeong-dong. For then I would continue to explore again to Gyeongbok Palace.

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Ginseng from Namdaemun Market

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Namdaemun Market, Seoul.

Moments after the last sip of coffee in my paper cup, the sky blue bus number 402 arrived. Didn’t go straight to bus stop platform. It turned out that the driver got off and hunted for coffee at G-25 minimarket, where I had gotten black coffee moments before.

I was already standing in front of the bus when he approached while holding his hot coffee.”*&^%$#@!()<>”, I didn’t know what he said while pointing at his coffee cup. But I understood what he means, “Wait a minute, bro, I’m drinking coffee for a while”. I smiled nodding and he held up his right thumb for me.

I leaned against the front of bus as I waited for him to finish his coffee behind the wheel. A few moments later, the sound of bus’ front door scraping was heard. Indicated that bus doors have been opened and I was welcome. Of course it was better to sit inside a warmer bus than cold out there.

A few moments after I sat in the middle seat, the bus moved to bus stop platform. Pick up passengers who have been waiting for a long time.

All passengers had taken their seats as bus slowly started to descend Namsan Mountain and exposed the beauty of Seoul through glass windows. The metropolis which seemed to be shrouded in a layer of fog below. I endlessly widened my eyes to stare at it from above.

Until not felt, the bus was speeding in city streets which were flat. Showing the busy streets of Seoul. Twenty minutes later I was dropped off at Toegye-ro Avenue right in front of Gate 5 of Namdaemun Market.

Seen from across the street, the aura of that 75-year-old traditional market was really tempting. The many stalls of traders in very clean floor of market were decorated with puffs of smoke indicating that traditional cuisine would be easy to find inside. It was said that there were 9,000 stalls in this market.

I started walking on the edge of market, taking a quick look at spice trade among local residents. Ginseng which was famous in that country was really tempting when it was displayed in every stretch of merchant stalls. And I didn’t know, how in an instant, I finally managed to have a pack of ginseng from a stall….. Wow, Hmmhhh.

Yuhuu…I bought ginseng…
Almond also.

Not quite up there. Now my eyes were attracted by souvenir display at a side of market alley. I approached and automatically started bidding at some cute and quirky keychains. Oh my God, the trade ended with the purchase of a dozen key chains which I planned to give to my office mates after returning from Seoul.

Wow, market aura really was really strong. Now I suddenly offered some almond snacks which in my mind, I would snack tomorrow during my long flight in the plane to Jakarta.

It took me a long time to walk around market, making my stomach hungry. Coupled with the exposure of culinary smoke which wafted through market alleys. Never mind, I decided to enter a tavern that was owned by an old woman who still radiated the remnants of her beauty aura, dressed neatly clean and full of smiles.

She just smiled and kept looking at me sitting at dining table. “Dangsin-eun eodieseo oneunga?”, she kept asking me who didn’t understand how to answer. Until a young man with a small laugh spoke to me. “She said, where are you coming from?”.

“Oh, just say to her, I am from Indonesia….Jakarta….yes, Jakarta”, I answered with a light laugh. “Hooo. Indunesiaaaa…. yes yes yes”, the old woman nodded as she continued to smile. She approached me and handed me a menu.

It didn’t take long, I immediately pointed to a menu. Not that I understoodd what the menu looked like. I just saw in right column of the menu that it was the cheapest food I could find. “Hoooo, sundubu-jjigae …OK”, the old woman gave a thumbs up and went to prepare the menu.

After waiting a while. The food was served on the table. Wanted to know the shape of that food:

Huh…. Hahahaha, that was what you pay for only rice and tofu… The rest of the menu was free.

My trip at Namdaemun Market finally ended at that simple eatery. Now I have left the market from original gate and I was ready to leave that four-hectare market.

Hahahaha, that was what you pay for only rice and tofu… The rest of the menu was free.

My trip at Namdaemun Market finally ended at that simple eatery. Now I have left the market from original gate and I was ready to leave that four-hectare market.

Next Story—->

Namsan Tower Without Love Padlock

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After returning from Banpo Bridge in Seocho District, I immediately rushed to bed to prepare myself for tomorrow’s adventure. Tomorrow was my last chance to enjoy Seoul because the day after tomorrow I had to leave to my homeland.



The morning sun shone through the window in the sloping wall of hotel’s room. The hour hand had passed eight number. After morning prayer, I slipped back under blanket, refusing cold morning air which was able to penetrate window pane.

Realizing that I overslept, I jumped out of the bunk bed, grabbed a toiletries bag and an orange microfiber towel, then wet my body with a warm shower of Kimchee Guesthouse Sinchon. The other occupants were still asleep, continuing their respective dreams, faint light snoring could be heard from the inn corridor. Lucky me, that was an opportunity to linger in the shared bathroom.

Actually, my habit of lingering in the bathroom when traveling always has an excuse. That consistent warm showers hit my calf muscles is the most effective fatigue-relieving therapy. No need to look for the services of a masseuse to make the body fresh again.

After showering and fully dressed in winter equipments, I went down to the first floor and chose to sit for a while in the shared-lobby. Joined by some diligent tourists, they were the first to get up and ate their breakfast which they had prepared in the inn’s refrigerator. Several beautiful tourists from “Land of Red Bears” and a group of travelers from “Matador Country” looked solemn with their own homemade breakfast.

I? ….Yup, I was just a little busy opening the map and trying to make a visitation pattern that day. As soon as they finished their breakfast and started to leave the shared-lobby, I also left the inn. I didn’t know where they were going, but I had determined myself to go to the “Tower of Love”, especially if not Namsan Tower, a television transmitter tower as high as 237 meters and 52 years old.

Before entering Hongik University Station, I carried out my morning ritual, which was breakfast with the same menu formula, cup noodles and packaged white rice, bored but had no choice.

Can you afford to eat like this for four days?….Hahaha.

Repeating the habit of fighting boredom, I shouted “Kamsahamnida” to the cashier before exiting 7-Eleven. Usually I always waited for the cashier to wave before exiting convenience store’s door. Getting the wave I meant, I finally got out of the convenience store and fast stepped towards Seoul Metro Line 2 platform.

A few seconds after Seoul Metro stopped at the platform, I jumped in. The quiet morning atmosphere made the Seoul Metro line of carriages looked deserted. The iron snake began to exploring the underground passages. Station after station I quickly passed until finally I got off at Euljiro sam (3)-ga Station to change to Seoul Metro Line 3. Now my last destination was Chungmuro ​​Station.

It took almost thirty minutes to arrive at Chungmuro ​​Station. At the final destination, I exited the gate, then rushed to find a bus stop which would be passed by bus number two to get to Namsan Tower.

Not even five minutes of waiting, the bus arrived. I took a seat in the middle and in an instant dissolved following the groans of bus engines as I climbed the road about two kilometers from Chungmuro ​​Station.

Slowly but surely, the bus arrived at Namsan Tower courtyard. The bus stops at a long bus stop to share with other numbered buses.

The distance between Namsan Tower and bus stop, which was around 600 meters, must be taken with a swing of my steps. Finally I had to be willing to pant for the rest of path to Namsan Tower. In the middle of my step, I didn’t have time to feel the gasping because I often stopped and was fascinated by the scenery below which showed the beauty of Seoul from the height of Mount Namsan. I could imagine if the night comes….How beautiful.

In front of Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower as its official name.

Climbing Namsan Tower is indeed synonymous with lovebirds’ love. At the top of tower, lovers will buy a padlock, then naming the padlock with their names, which are then marked with a red heart. Then the couple will lock the padlock on a long display case which displays various love locks from several periods of time.

Well….What should I write when I buy a padlock?

Ups….Who’s in love?

Namsan Tower in addition to presenting an aerial landscape of Seoul, also offers several well-known restaurants which might be cheap for those who are intoxicated with romance, for me it makes no difference, restaurants are still expensive items.

Visiting Namsan Tower does feel bland if you do it alone. That’s the reason why I didn’t linger on top. I decided to get off and chose to sip coffee made by G-25 minimarket across from bus stop.

Entering the mini market, brewing a cup of hot coffee, then sipping it slowly. But I continued to be filled with curiosity with every sip. I continued to observe the passing of buses with different numbers, not just the number 2 bus like the one I was riding earlier.

“Is it possible if I can find a bus which can directly go to Namdaemun Market from here without having to return to Chungmuro ​​Station”, I critically thought with curiosity.

I decided to take a sip of black coffee while walking towards the long bus stop opposite the mini market. I was so solemn ‘combing one by one the route boards attached to the bus stop.

“Yes…I get it”, I cheerfully exclaimed when I found bus number 402 which could directly take me to Namdaemun Market from Namsan Tower.

So I just had to wait for the bus while I finish my coffee………

Next Story—->

Air Asia D7 505 dari Seoul ke Kuala Lumpur

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Jalur penerbangan D7 505 (sumber:

Aku terduduk di salah satu bangku dekat gate 112 milik Satellite Concourse Building Incheon International Airport setelah beberapa menit lalu dipindahkan oleh shuttle train dari Terminal 1. Waktu boarding yang tinggal setengah jam lagi, membuatku tak bisa mengambil resiko untuk mengeksplorasi seisi bangunan terminal bandara itu.

Aku lebih memilih mengamati lalu lalang pesawat terbang. Sebagian dari mereka tampak fokus mendaratkan roda di runway bandara dan sebagian yang lain tampak mengantri hingga mendapatkan izin dari Air Traffic Controller (ATC) untuk mengudara. Kebiasaan seperti itu memang sering aku lakukan karena ketertarikan diriku akan pesawat dan industri penerbangan. Dari kebiasaan melakukan pengamatan tersebut, tak jarang aku menemukan nama-nama maskapai baru yang dikemudian hari aku biasa menyasarnya demi menikmati jasanya dalam berkeliling dunia.

Bagiku, hari itu terasa sangat spesial dalam sejarah perjalananku, karena Air Asia D7 505 akan menjadi perjalanan pertamaku menggunakan pesawat berbadan besar. Jika pada penerbangan-penerbangan sebelumnya aku selalu menunggangi pesawat berbadan kecil, sejenis Airbus A320 ataupun Boeing 737, tetapi kini aku akan menunggangi Airbus A330 dengan 9 kolom bangku….Sore itu begitu benar-benar menciptakan rasa penasaran dan ketidaksabaran.

Setengah jam kemudian, gate benar-benar dibuka. Aku mulai mengambil posisi di kolom antrian kanan.

Belanjaan duty free kasih ke mama saja, biar mama yang pegang”, seorang penumpang pria berseru pada putranya yang menenteng dua botol besar minuman berlakohol. Mendengar bahasa bangsa saat berada di negeri orang memang menjadi kado istimewa yang bisa membantu menaikkan mood untuk selalu merasa dekat dengan rumah. Kini di sebelah kiriku ada seorang WNI keturunan Tiongoa yang tampaknya juga sedang dalam perjalanan pulang.

Dari kota mana, pak?”, aku memberanikan diri bertanya.

Loh, masnya dari Indonesia juga? Saya dari Bekasi, mas.

“Oh, saya dari Jakarta Timur, Pak”.

“Oh, deket ya kita. Ngerjain bisnis apa, mas di Jakarta?”

“Saya kerja aja kok, Pak di Jakarta. Ndak ada bisnis”.

“Oh gitu ya, sendirian ya mas?”

“Iya Pak”

“Wah keren….keren…”

Percakapan kami tak berlangsung lama karena pertemuan itu harus berakhir ketika ground staff memerikasa tiket dan paspor kami. Setelahnya kami terpisah di lorong panjang aerobridge.

Di ujung aerobridge, aku disambut oleh pramugari berwajah Melayu di pintu pesawat lalu aku diarahkan untuk berbelok ke arah kabin depan. Sesuai dengan boarding pass aku mencari kursi bernomor 14K yang ternyata berposisi di window seat sisi kanan. Itulah tempat duduk yang harus kunikmati selama penerbangan panjang nanti.

Oh ya, nomor penerbanganku kali ini adalah D7 505. Mau tau makna kodenya?….

Jika QZ adalah kode penerbangan yang dioperasikan oleh Indonesia Air Asia dan AK adalah kode penerbangan untuk Air Asia Malaysia maka D7 adalah kode penerbangan milik Air Asia X khusus untuk penerbangan jarak jauh.

D7 505 sendiri adalah penerbangan berjarak 5.000 Kilometer dengan waktu tempuh 5 jam 50 menit. Penerbangan bermula dari Incheon International Airport, Korea Selatan dan akan berakhir di Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Malaysia.

Hmmhh…..Selama penerbangan….

Ternyata, window seat yang kutempati terasa tak nyaman karena lengkungan kabin pesawat membatasi kenyamananku selama penerbangan. Selama terbang di kelas ekonomi itu, aku hanya bisa mengisi waktu dengan membolak-balik majalah Travel 360 yang merupakan inflight magazine milik Air Asia. Ketika tatapku mulai lelah dalam membaca,  maka aku berlanjut  menghabiskan waktu dengan memejamkan mata. Beruntung almond kemasan yang kubeli di Namdaemun Market kemarin hari membuat penerbanganku sedikit tak membosankan.

Separuh penerbangan yang dalam kondisi terang  membuatku leluasa menikmati pemandangan Laut Kuning dan Laut China Timur, sedangkan selebihnya penerbangan berlanjut dalam gulita yang membuatku tak bisa berbuat banyak. Hingga akhirnya pesawat tiba di Kuala Lumpur sekitar pukul sepuluh malam.

Seusai penerbangan itu, aku masih harus melewati babak terakhir pejalananku menjelajah Asia Timur dengan bermalam selama 9 jam di Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 sebelum esok hari kembali ke tanah air menggunakan connecting flight Air Asia AK 382.

Untuk mendapatkan tiket penerbangan dari Seoul ke Kuala Lumpur, Anda bisa mencarinya di 12go Asia dengan link berikut:

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Menyerah di Myeong-dong

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Salah satu sisi di Myeongdong 8-gil.

Tak seperti sebelumnya, kini aku begitu ripuh mencari bus dari Namdaemun Market demi menuju destinasi berikutnya, Myeong-dong.

Mencari segenap papan rute di halte sekitaran Namdaemun Market, tetap saja aku tak menemukan petunjuk apapun. Terpaan angin dingin akhirnya menggiringku ke bawah tanah. Yup, aku kini berderap di koridor Stasiun Hoehyeon, mencari platform demi menuju ke Stasiun Myeong-dong. Dengan mudah aku mendapatkannya. Di pinggiran platform, wajahku terus menghadap ke kiri untuk menjemput penampakan Seoul Metro Line 4.

Cahaya yang semakin benderang perlahan mendekati platform, pertanda si ular besi siap merapat. Dalam sekejap aku sudah berdesakan berdiri memegangi tiang gerbong supaya tak terterjang arus penumpang. Tak lama setelah semua penumpang terangkut, Seoul Metro mulai merayap meninggalkan platform.

Tak berselang stasiun manapun, aku kemudian turun di Stasiun Myeong-dong, meninggalkan para penumpang yang tetap berjubal di dalam gerbong. Aku tak sabar menjauhi gerbong ketika turun karena ingin segera melihat wujud keramaian Myeong-dong, pusat perbelanjaan kosmetik populer di Seoul. Tentu bukan untuk membeli lipstik, masker ataupun pemutih wajah, melainkan hanya ingin melihat aura-aura cantik pemudi Negeri Ginseng itu….Duh, keceplosan.

Keluar dari Stasiun Myeong-dong aku terus saja menggerutu, “Kenapa hari ini suhu lebih dingin dari biasanya”. Gloves yang kupakai tak mampu membendung dingin yang meresap hingga lapisan kulit terluar. Alhasil, aku berjalan menikmati Myeong-dong dengan sesekali menggeretakkan gigi karena tak mampu menahan dingin lebih lama.

Benar adanya, para pemudi nan langsing, tinggi dengan wajah putih aduhai menjejali setiap gang di Myeong-dong. Toko-toko kosmetik tampak dipenuhi para pembeli. Sedangkan beberapa pedagang kuliner lokal mulai sibuk menyiapkan lapak di banyak titik. Myeong-dong yang bagiku sudah tampak ramai, rupanya belum juga mencapai titik puncak keramaiannya. Mungkin malam nanti akan menjadi titik kulminasinya.

Karena area ini adalah pusat perbelanjaan kosmetik, maka tak menarik minatku untuk memasuki outlet kosmetik yang berjajar di sepanjang Myeongdong 8-gil. Aku hanya berdiri di tepian koridor pertokoan Myeong-dong, asyik menikmati lalu lalang muda-mudi Seoul dan kesibukan para pedagang kuliner yang sibuk menyiapkan dagangannya. Sementara itu beberapa outlet kosmetik kenamaan seperti Holika Holika, Aritaum, Missha dan The Saem tampak kebanjiran pengunjung.

Kesibukan di Myeong-dong

Dengan hanya berdiri terpaku begitu saja, menjadikanku sebagai  sasaran empuk udara dingin yang berhembus di Myeong-dong. Benar adanya, aku hanya bisa menahan hawa dingin itu dalam setengah jam saja. Selebihnya aku mulai menggigil tak terkendali.

Aku menyerah….

Aku mulai beranjak dan dengan terpaksa memasuki salah satu outlet, seingatku outlet itu bernama innisfree. Karena kebanyakan tamunya adalah kaum hawa, aku hanya berpura-pura mencari oleh-oleh kosmetik supaya bisa dengan leluasa masuk ke dalam outlet. Tentu aku tak akan membeli apapun di outlet tersebut. Aku hanya berkeliling sembari memperhatikan dengan seksama berbagai macam kosmetik yang dijual di outlet tersebut.

Demi tak menimbulkan kecurigaan, lima belas menit kemudian aku memutuskan keluar dari oulet. Kini aku berlanjut menyusuri kembali koridor-koridor di Myeng-dong sembari perlahan menjauhi pusat kosmetik itu untuk menuju ke stasiun.

Saatnya meninggalkan Myeong-dong.

Yup, kali ini aku berniat kembali dahulu ke hotel, menaruh belanjaan yang kubeli dari Namdaemun Market beberapa saat sebelum mengunjungi Myeong-dong. Untuk kemudian aku akan melanjutkan eksplorasi lagi  ke Istana Gyeongbok.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Ginseng dari Namdaemun Market

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Namdaemun Market, Seoul.

Beberapa saat setelah seruputan kopi terakhir di cangkir kertasku, bus biru langit bernomor 402 itu tiba. Tak langsung menuju platform halte. Ternyata sang sopir turun dan berburu kopi di G-25 minimarket, tempatku mendapatkan kopi hitam beberapa saat sebelumnya.

Aku sudah berdiri di depan bus ketika dia mendekat sembari memegang kopi panasnya.”*&^%$#@!()<>”, entah apa yang dia ucapkan sembari menunjuk cangkir kopinya. Tetapi aku paham maksudnya, “Tunggu dulu ya bang, saya minum kopi sebentar”. Aku tersenyum mengangguk dan dia mengacungkan jempol kanannya untukku.

Aku bersandar di bagian depan bus sembari menunggunya menghabiskan kopi di balik kemudi. Beberapa saat kemudian, bunyi gesekan pintu bagian depan terdengar. Menunjukkan bahwa pintu bus telah dibuka dan aku dipersilahkan masuk. Tentu lebih enak duduk di dalam bus yang lebih hangat ketimbang berdingin ria di luaran sana.

Beberapa saat setelah aku terduduk di bangku tengah, bus pun merapat ke platform halte. Menaikkan penumpang yang sudah menunggu sedari tadi.

Segenap penumpang telah menempati tempat duduknya masing-masing ketika bus perlahan mulai menuruni Gunung Namsan dan memperlihatkan keindahan Seoul dari balik jendela kaca. Kota metropolitan yang tampak dinaungi selaput kabut di bawah sana. Aku membelalakkan mata tanpa henti untuk menatapnya dari ketinggian.

Hingga tak terasa, bus sudah melaju kencang di jalanan kota yang datar. Menampilkan kesibukan jalanan kota Seoul. Dua puluh menit kemudian aku diturunkan di Toegye-ro Avenue tepat di depan Gate 5 Namdaemun Market.

Dilihat dari seberang jalan saja, aura pasar tradisional berusia 75 tahun itu sungguh menggoda. Ramainya lapak pedangang di atas lantai pasar yang sangat bersih dihiasi dengan kepulan asap yang mengisyaratkan bahwa kuliner tradisional akan mudah ditemukan di dalamnya. Konon ada 9.000 lapak di dalam pasar ini.

Aku mulai menapaki bibir pasar, mengamati sepintas lalu perniagaan rempah di antara warga lokal. Ginseng yang terkenal di negeri itu sungguh menggoda ketika dipamerkan di setiap hamparan lapak pedagang. Dan entahlah, bagaimana bisa dalam sekejap, akhirnya aku berhasil memiliki sebuah kemasan ginseng dari sebuah lapak…..Wah, gaswat.  

Yuhuu…Aku beli ginseng, dong….Wkwkwk.
Duh, ga ada logo halalnya euy…..Tapi terlanjur dibeli….Udahlah di cemil aza.

Tak cukup sampai di situ. Kini mataku tertarik dengan pajangan souvenir di salah satu sisi gang. Aku mendekat dan secara otomatis mulai menawar beberapa gantungan kunci yang lucu dan unik. Oh Tuhan, perniagaan itu berakhir dengan terbelinya selusin gantungan kunci yang rencananya akan kuberikan ke beberapa teman kantor sepulang dari Seoul nanti.

Wah, setan pasar itu memang benar-benar ada. Kini aku mendadak menawar beberapa snack almond yang dalam fikiranku, akan kucemil esok selama perjalanan panjang di pesawat menuju Jakarta.

Cukup lama berkeliling pasar, membuat perutku lapar. Ditambah dengan paparan asap kuliner yang menyeruap di gang-gang pasar. Sudahlah, aku memutuskan untuk memasuki sebuah kedai yang diempui seorang perempuan tua yang masih terpancar sisa-sisa aura kecantikannya, berpakaian rapi bersih dan penuh senyum.

Dia hanya tersenyum terus melihatku yang terduduk di meja makan. “Dangsin-eun eodieseo oneunga?”, dia terus menanyaiku yang tak faham bagaimana menjawabnya. Hingga seorang pemuda dengan tertawa kecil berbicara kepadaku. “She said, where are you come from?”.

Oh, just say to her, I am from Indonesia….Jakarta….ya, Jakarta”, aku menjawabnya sembari tertawa ringan. “Hoooo. Indunesiaaaa….ya ya ya”, perempuan tua itu mengangguk sembari terus melempar senyum. Dia mendekatiku dan memberikan selembar menu.

Tak perlu waktu lama, aku segera menunjuk sebuah menu. Bukannya aku faham apa wujud menu itu. Aku hanya melihat di kolom kanan menu bahwa itulah harga makanan paling murah yang bisa kutemukan. “Hoooo, sundubu-jjigae …OK”, perempuan tua itu mengacungkan jempol dan pergi mempersiapkan menu.

Setelah menunggu beberapa saat. Makanan itu pun di sajikan ke atas meja. Mau tahu bentuk makanannya:

Tuh….Hahahaha, itu yang dibayar cuma nasi ama tahunya duankk…Sisanya menu pembuka gratisan.

Perjalananku di Namdaemun Market akhirnya berakhir di kedai makan sederhana itu.  Kini aku sudah keluar pasar dari gate semula masuk dan bersiap meninggalkan pasar seluas empat hektar itu.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Namsan Tower Tanpa Gembok Cinta

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Sepulang dari Banpo Bridge di Distrik Seocho, aku langsung bergegas tidur demi menyiapkan diri untuk petualangan esok hari. Esok adalah kesempatanku terakhir kali untuk menikmati Seoul karena lusa hari aku harus bertolak ke tanah air.



Sinar matahari pagi menyeruak melewati jendela di tembok miring kamar. Jarum jam telah melewati angka delapan. Usai shalat subuh tadi, aku kembali menyelinap di balik selimut, menolak dinginnya udara pagi yang mampu menembus kaca jendela.

Sadar diri kesiangan, aku melompat dari bunk bed, menyambar toiletries bag dan microfiber towel warna oranye, lalu membasahi badan dengan guyuran hangat shower Kimchee Guesthouse Sinchon. Penghuni lain masih terlelap melanjutkan mimpinya masing-masing, dengkuran-dengkuran ringan sayup terdengar dari koridor penginapan. Beruntunglah aku, inilah kesempatan untuk berlama-lama di shared bathroom. Sebetulnya kebiasaanku berlama-lama di kamar mandi saat bertraveling selalu menyimpan sebuah alasan. Bahwa siraman air hangat yang konsisten menghantam otot betis adalah terapi penghilang lelah terefektif. Tak perlu mencari jasa tukang pijat untuk membuat badan kembali segar.

Usai mandi dan berpakaian musim dingin dengan lengkap,  aku turun ke lantai satu dan memilih duduk sejenak di shared-lobby. Bergabung dengan beberapa turis yang rajin, merekalah yang sudah terlebih dahulu bangun dan menyantap sarapan yang sudah mereka siapkan di kulkas penginapan. Beberapa turis cantik “Negeri Beruang Merah” dan sekelompok traveler “Negeri Matador” tampak khusyu’dengan sarapan pagi buatan mereka masing-masing.

Aku? ….Yups, aku hanya sedikit sibuk membuka peta dan mencoba membuat pola visitasi hari itu. Begitu mereka usai bersarapan dan mulai meninggalkan ruangan, maka aku pun ikut meninggalkan penginapan. Entah mereka mau kemana tetapi aku telah memantapkan diri menuju “Menara Cinta”, apalagi kalau bukan Namsan Tower, julangan pemancar televisi setinggi 237 meter dan telah berusia 52 tahun.

Sebelum memasuki Stasiun Hongik University, aku melaksanakan ritual pagi, yaitu sarapan dengan rumus menu yang itu-itu saja, cup noodle dan nasi putih kemasan, bosan tapi tak ada pilihan.

Mampu ga kamu, empat hari makan beginian melulu?….Saran terbaik, jangan nggembel ke Korea kek guweh.

Mengulang-ulang kebiasaan untuk melawan kebosanan, aku berteriak “Kamsahamnida” kepada kasir sebelum keluar dari 7-Eleven. Biasanya aku selalu menunggu sang kasir melambaikan tangan sebelum keluar dari pintu minimarket. Mendapatkan lambaian tangan yang kumaksud, akhirnya aku benar-benar keluar dari minimarket dan berderap menuju platform Seoul Metro Line 2.

Beberapa detik setelah Seoul Metro singgah di platform,aku melompat masuk. Nuansa pagi yang sepi membuat barisan gerbong Seoul Metro tampak lengang. Ular besi itu mulai menelusuri lorong-lorong bawah tanah. Stasiun demi stasiun kulewati dengan cepat hingga akhirnya aku turun di Stasiun Euljiro sam (3)-ga untuk berpindah menuju Seoul Metro Line 3. Kini sasaran terakhirku adalah Stasiun Chungmuro.

Memerlukan waktu hampir tiga puluh menit untuk tiba di Stasiun Chungmuro. Di tujuan akhir itu, aku keluar dari gate, lalu bergegas mencari halte yang akan dilewati oleh bus bernomor dua untuk menuju Namsan  Tower.

Belum juga lima menit menunggu, bus itu tiba. Aku mengambil tempat duduk di tengah dan dalam sekejap larut mengikuti erangan mesin bus kala menanjaki jalanan berjarak sekitar dua kilometer dari Stasiun Chungmuro.

Perlahan tapi pasti, bus itu sampai juga di pelataran Namsan Tower. Bus berhenti pada sebuah halte nan panjang untuk berbagi dengan bus bernomor lain.

Jarak Namsan Tower dan halte bus yang berkisar 600 meter harus ditempuh dengan ayunan langkah. Akhirnya aku harus rela terengah-engah menanjaki jalur sisa menuju Namsan Tower. Di pertengahan langkah, engahan itu ternyata tak sempat kurasakan karena aku justru sering berhenti dan terpesona melihati pemandangan di bawah sana yang memamerkan keindahan Seoul dari ketinggian Gunung Namsan. Bisa dibayangkan jika malam tiba….Betapa indahnya.

Di depan Namsan Tower atau N Seoul Tower nama resminya.

Menaiki Namsan Tower memang identik dengan percintaan pasangan kekasih. Di atas tower, pasangan kekasih akan membeli sebuah gembok, lalu menamai gembok itu dengan nama mereka berdua yang kemudian dibubuhi tanda hati berwarna merah. Kemudian pasangan tersebut akan menguncikan gemboknya pada sebuah etalase panjang yang memajang beragam gembok cinta dari beberapa kurun waktu.

Yah….Aku nulis apa dong kalau beli gembok?

Duh….Siapa saja tuh yang jatoh cinta?

Namsan Tower selain menyajikan lansekap aerial kota Seoul, juga menawarkan beberapa resto kenamaan yang mungkin akan terasa murah bagi mereka yang dimabuk asmara, kalau buat saya ya ndak ada bedanya, tetap aja restoran adalah barang mahal.

Kunjungan di Namsan Tower memang terasa hambar jika dilakukan sendirian. Itulah alasan mengapa aku tak berlama-lama di atas. Aku memutuskan turun dan memilih menyeruput kopi buatan G-25 minimarket di seberang halte.

Memasuki minimarket, menyeduh secangkir kopi panas, lalu menyeruputnya perlahan. Tetapi aku terus diliputi rasa penasaran di setiap seruputan. Aku terus mengamati lalu lalang bus dengan nomor yang berbeda-beda, bukan bus no.2  saja seperti yang kutunggangi tadi.

Apa mungkin aku bisa mencari bus yang bisa langsung menuju Namdaemun Market  dari sini tanpa harus kembali ke Stasiun Chungmuro”, batinku kritis penuh rasa ingin tahu.

Kuputuskan menyeruput kopi hitam sambil berjalan menuju halte panjang di seberang minimarket. Aku begitu khusyu’ menyisir satu demi satu papan rute yang tertempel di halte. “Yes…I get it”, aku berseru riang ketika menemukan bus bernomor 402 yang secara langsung dapat membawaku menuju Namdaemun Market dari Namsan Tower.

Jadi aku hanya perlu menunggu bus saja sembari menghabiskan kopi………

Kisah Selanjutnya—->