How would you like to wake up to this every morning? Simply gorgeous, I tell you.
Our ACCE camp was held primarily at Pyeongsan Academy, in the mountainous region of Mount Palgong. Away from the bustling city of Daegu, the academy was much like a holiday resort, completed with meeting facilities, cafeterias, sports facilities and even a ballroom.
We realized that companies tend to book this place for cohesion and team-building functions, as we saw different groups of people checking in and out throughout our stay. One of the wall photos revealed that the Ms Korea participants even had their training camp here before!
For me, its scenery and tranquility were definitely major draws. Mountains were almost unheard of on our island, as indulging in such surreal surroundings with the freshest air ever were priceless treats for both eyes and mind.
At our time of arrival, we missed the country's heaviest snowfall in a century by a week. As Koreans rejoiced the forthcoming of Spring, I was slightly disappointed that witnessing real snow still remained an undone task. The streams outside the campus, however, were beautifully frozen over.
The campsite was supposedly guarded by fierce dogs, but the few fluffy pups we met had nothing but enthusiasm for our visits. Okay he looked rather sulky here but was tail-wagging excited when we got closer.
Hope they had enough warmth in the 6 degrees weather?
The ballroom, where we had our welcome and farewell dinner, had a large stage for performances and even more space at the back to hold the buffet lines.
Prepared by their in-house kitchen, the spread consisted of both traditional Korean staples and western dishes. Had our first contact with local Kimchi (countless to come) and colourful korean rice cake, Tteok.
First shot by Zadine Ebrid
The usual meals took place in the less glam, but nonetheless cosy cafeteria that was just outside our rooms. Also presented in buffet-style, there were always plenty of side dishes with soup of the day.
Korean rice, I realised, tend to be mixed with a little wheat grains and though not as chewy and sticky like Japanese rice, it was still rather tasty for my palette.
To be fair, the cafeteria food wasn't really bad although it was getting increasingly repetitive. After eating that red fermented veggies for 3 meals a day, 4 consecutive days and with a slightly feverish body, my diet became more fruit, meat and bread based. Kimchi disappeared altogether from my plate on the 6th day onwards.
Being usually deprived of clean, mud-less grass to lie on and the ability to sunbath without sweating, dozing off at the open area was such a simple yet unforgettable pleasure.
Team Singapore simply lived the moments to act like carefree kids. Our "atas campus in an angmo country", we called it!