Gi Jane in South Korea: Day three 

So after a very lavish affair we were all pretty excited for day three of our exciting tour in South Korea!

After our usual croissant breakfast, we were ready to set off on a tour of Kia’s Hwaseong plant. We were SO excited to go see where all of our amazing cars were made. I don’t think I had imagined it would be so big. It was massive. To think this is just one of their factories. This is the second biggest automobile plant in Korea. We were treated to an introduction and history of the Hwaseong Plant and taken on a tour through the production assembly line. It was so fascinating seeing men actually putting in certain parts in the assembly line. They have something like 70secs (if memory serves me) to put their part on before it travels on to the next person. It was super cool! There are also these amazing robots that go around doing certain parts as well. I feel like that is definitely the future right there. Seeing how much care they take with each car, and watching them take each car out and test drive it, makes you so aware of everything that goes into the vehicle we use every day. They have a whole track outside with various obstacles that we could encounter each day and they test each car there. These range from cones to test the breaks, to pot holes to water and so many more. I didn’t expect a lot of them when we were in the back of a car testing it out, which is evident in the video I took! Be sure to watch it on youtube because it is HILARIOUS! I totally had the nervous giggles. You’re then taken on a 3km track which goes around the testing area and it curves on the sides like the Daytona track. We went SO fast I actually felt ill, again check the video for that one! It was so fun going in the cars and testing out the various elements.

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For me a highlight was obviously seeing and sitting in the new Sportage, which launches soon! I have been wanting a Sportage since I was 16, and had decided that this is the one I want. So it was very exciting for me! I am sure you can see by my huge smile. I love the sporty shape and the fact that it’s bum matches mine 😉 It was also cool to see the Sedan cars that we unfortunately won’t get here. They are SO fancy inside with so many features, that for the price of a BMW or a little above, it really puts them to shame! But sadly, we won’t be getting them here.

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We had lunch at the Hwaseong Plant with awesome views looking out over the area. While we were sitting there we started planning a little shopping adventure to town for the Friday because FOREVER21! We kind of mapped out the journey, but I’ll leave that story for Day 5 😉

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After lunch we headed to do the Hyundai Steel Tour. This factory is located in Chungcheongnam-do, Dangjin. We got to tour the factory that produces the steel plate components for Kia Motors, and had an introduction of Hyundai’s iron manufacturing history and witnessed the steel production process. Let me just say, that steel gets HOT! We were quite far away, walking above, and you could FEEL the heat. It was red hot and the heat given off was insane. It made you sweat straight away. It was so interesting seeing how they heat and then cool it with water, and then it gets rolled out and they repeat that until its this looooooong flat metal sheet. Quite impressive!

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Straight from there we went for a special dinner at Samwon Garden. This was a traditional Korean barbecue. Me and cooking meat, not amazing, so luckily the waitress comes around and turns it for you, so that was a help! It was so good though. You end up putting all of your toppings into a lettuce leaf and making a little parcel and eating it like that. I even did a little Kimchee (Kimchi) in some of my parcels! Kimchee (has other spellings too) is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with different seasonings. Basically it is their staple food in Winter when the frost would wipe out their crops. They can make it in Summer and it ferments and is ready for Winter. It has quite a strong smell, and can be very garlicky, so many homes would have a whole fridge dedicated to Kimchee. Nation was loving the Kimchee!

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After dinner we headed back to the hotel to chill. I showered, washed my hair and got into my onesie to chill. Then all of a sudden a message on our whatsapp group. Please imagine me in my onesie, with a towel wrapped on my head, in the bed about to watch tv. Oh no, the boys were heading to the mall and I should come, if I feel like it. Obviously it was the furtherest thing from my mind, but then again you are in South Korea. I threw on some clothes and went out with my hair SOPPING. It was against everything we have ever been taught, and I looked ridiculous, but I got a second wind and even did dancer leaps across the zebra crossing. The looks we got were priceless! Sorry boys 😉 We walked around, and saw some amazing shops, Gavin got some coffee (of course) and I got some Krispy Kreme donuts (of course). It was so fun to just get out with the guys and walk around chatting and having a laugh.

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If you haven’t watched the video of day 3 watch it here!

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Gi Jane in South Korea: Day Two! 

Our South Korea trip for Kia continues!

Let me just say that the hotel we stayed in was amazing! We stayed in the Lotte Hotel World in the Jamsil area of Seoul. It has been recognised as Koreans’ favourite hotel, and I know why! It was so beautiful, and right in the heart of town where we could walk to the most amazing shopping mall.

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After arriving and settling in, we went downstairs for dinner. It was such a nice way to get to know each other and chat about the week we were expecting to have. It was so surreal for all of us, we still couldn’t believe it.

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Day two started with breakfast at the hotel, which is a buffet. If you know me you will know that a buffet breakfast is my BEST! Hard to believe for a trainer, I know, but the poor boys. Shame. I have a bit of an obsession with pastries, so I totally had pastries every morning. Sorry, not sorry. We were all about coffee every morning too! Luckily Gavin is a wannabe barista so we eventually had him making us cappuccinos 😉

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From breakfast we enjoyed a Conference at Kia Motors Global Headquarters. The Program included an Introduction to Kia Motors, a brief explanation of Korean culture, a Photo session and an HQ Lobby tour. It was so interesting learning all about Kia and the history behind this incredible company. My biggest takeaway was how much they genuinely care about their customers. You really can feel it.

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Lunch was at DioDia, which is an International buffet. Yup, you had me at buffet! It was amazing trying out all of the Korean food, as well as the most AMAZING sushi. The boys got more adventurous than me. Pink sushi?! A yes from me.

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After lunch we went to the Korean Folk Village. This is a Korean folk village where you can experience traditional Korean culture, including their lifestyles, beliefs, and customs. We were able to view traditional architecture, watch traditional ceremonies and participate in traditional folk games. It was so fascinating to see how their houses were built back in the day, how they cooked and how they lived as families.

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After the Korean folk village we went back to the hotel and got ready for the welcome dinner! The Welcome Dinner was at Lotte Hotel World and it was an official welcoming dinner party for all participants. WOW! We were told to dress smart, but I didn’t expect a proper fancy gala evening. It was incredible. It was so nice to mingle at the cocktail portion of the event, and then we found our table in the hall. We were mixed around which was nice. We were seated with out friends from Israel as well as a Director from Kia. It was so nice getting to know the team from Israel and break the ice for the rest of the trip as they were on our bus. We were treated to a vast amount of courses and they were incredible! There were a few speeches and then some awesome Korean dancing. All in all it was a fantastic evening.

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You see! #AlwaysCharging

And then onto the FOOD! Nation and I kept having to remind each other to take pics before we ate! My soup wasn’t so lucky as you can see.

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Can we just have a moment for that dessert? Right up my sweet tooth alley.

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All of us all together! Such an amazing bunch of people from so many different countries.

 

Off to bed tired but excited for day number 3!

Watch the highlights of Day Two here

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My week in pictures 

My week started off in Seoul, South Korea. I know right?! Ridiculous!
It was one of the best weeks’ of my life! I wish I could go back and do it all over again
Thank you to Kia Motors South Africa and Kia Motors Global for the most incredible opportunity! I’ll be doing separate blogposts for each day I was away

The first night was a great dinner with the SA boys and this is the view from my room!

Tuesday vibes

I mean this sunrise from my room… Come on!

Team SA at the Kia Manufacturing plant!

This car though…. K5 hotness

Thursday vibes

So Korean right now. We visited the Korean Folk Village

We had the most amazing welcome dinner!

Getting to sit in the brand new Kia Sportage! AMAZING!

Nothing like finding this beauty in the mall. Wednesday night walkabout with my boys

Visiting the palace

Team SA at the palace

Friday morning subway missions to get to Forever21

So that happened…

Thank you to my new friend Gav for going with me! We may have gotten lost, but I probably would’ve been more lost without you

The last team selfie! Landed in Joburg on Saturday morning

Such perfect weather to try get my body clock on track Sunday

The way to get over jet lag

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Snapchat is also @gijane_zn

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Gi Jane in South Korea: Day One

So one year ago today, I was on the biggest adventure of my life! I won a trip to South Korea with Kia and I was at the airport!

I had been so excited leading up to today, that I literally couldn’t sleep. I think I started packing a week before! I was wondering what it would be like, would I like it, would I like the 3 other people, have I packed the right things?!

Turns out I didn’t have to worry about any of those things.

  1. South Korea is amazing!!
  2. I packed perfectly
  3. The boys were amazing and we became friends from the minute we met
  4. I loved the culture
  5. We were taken care of every second of the day

This was obviously very exciting for me

Best news ever!!!

The calm before the storm. (The butterflies in my stomach were the storm)

This album was basically on repeat. Ask the boys!

Randy gave us some Kia merch at the airport!

Of course i did Hello Kitty nails!

Plane selfie, because plane

 

Considering we had just met at the airport in Joburg, this sneaky selfie was a bit too soon Gavin!

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So the boys decided to mock me the whole time saying I’m always charging my phone, which isn’t entirely false since I was snap chatting everything. They called me #AlwaysCharging from then on.

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Myself, Gavin and Sechaba (aka Nation) met in Joburg, and we met Herman (aka Junior) in Singapore because his flight went directly from Cape Town. I must say, for someone travelling out of SA for the first time, Junior did SO well travelling by himself to Singapore! Especially as a 19 year old. We all waited for him as we exited the plane in Singapore and again, there wasn’t a moment of awkwardness between us. We were so lucky with our little team!

Team SA!

From the moment we arrived in Seoul, we were treated like Royalty. They are the most incredible people living in the most incredible city. I can’t wait to return!

I loved learning about the culture as well as how our amazing Kia vehicles are made. Huge thanks to Kia South Africa for the amazing opportunity!

I made a little highlights video of Day one last year if you haven’t watched it have a click!

See you tomorrow for Gi Jane in Korea Day 2

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How to win a trip to South Korea 

I recently won a trip to South Korea with Kia! I still can’t believe it really, but it happened!
Basically you had to post a picture on social media with #LoveKia and show why or how much you love your Kia.
That’s easy, because I LOVE MY CAR! Like LOVE LOVE. It was everything I wanted in a car, and the reason I bought a new car when I was looking for a secondhand one!

So I went about thinking of some ideas for pictures. The problem was, my car was getting fixed and it was booked in from Monday until Friday. The competition ended the following Monday. So I basically had two days to pull this off.

 

Picture one: Attempt a handstand against my car 

That didn’t go so well because Boston and Harley didn’t know what was going on and they were VERY excited. So excited that they felt the need to lick my entire mouth. Harley really got stuck in there!

They then got locked inside so I could be slobber free! Much better


Picture two: Boston and Harley love their Kia
  

This wasn’t hard to do because they love going in the car! As soon as you open a door they’re inside it. Even when you don’t want them to be.

 

Picture three: Boston let’s Harley take the wheel

Harley is quite bossy and a bully so no surprise here

 

Picture four: Share your cake with your car


It’s the right thing to do…

 

Picture five: Take your car for coffee

This was my favourite pic. It was also the only one where my hair wasn’t plastered across my face due to the rain and wind that was happening. I’m totally calm right?!

 

Picture six: Enjoy your coffee at the beach with your car 

It is especially important to pretend you are not cold and your leg is not shaking and the rain drops are not hitting your eyes.
There you have it! Also, hold the hope that they will love it and make you one of the winners.


HUGE THANK YOU TO KIA! I am so excited to go on this trip of a lifetime.
I’m also so excited to spam you all on social media with videos and pictures of my adventures.

 

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