Spicy Ramen Battle – Korea’s Samyang vs Singapore’s Nissin

Hello, on this post I want to compare these two fried noodle brand from different regions. On the west side we have samyang’s spicy chicken fried noodle from South Korea. On the other side is Nissin’s tom yum fried noodle. The similarities of these two brands are their spicy and hot flavor and  they are dry based. I got the recommendation for Nissin’s instant noodle from my older cousin who lived in Singapore. I visited her apartment and she gave me 5 packs of it as a gift. She said that it was one of the tastiest fried instant noodle in Singapore.

When I lived in South Korea for 2 months, I tasted Buldalkbokkeummyeon for several times. My Korean friend, Kang Kyung-taek bought me 5 packs of it and cooked it at our dorm for lunch. I fell in love with the flavor of it on the first time. Let’s see the head to head battle:

Food portion

The packaging does not impersonate the spicyness of it, yet it had basic color in black. The portion is mild, just proper for snack food which not too much. The texture has Korea’s ramen trademark which big and chewy. Nissin has the opposites, it’s thin and delicate. This does affect your sense of full after eating Nissin, you would demand for second portion because one is just not enough. For Samyang the sense feels just right for your stomach.

Winner: Samyang

The taste

Actually it is not fair enough to compare the taste because they are completely different in cuisine style. One is tom yum and the other is korean chicken sauce. But if I have to choose, I agree that Samyang has better taste than the rather mild Nissin. I heard Singapore limits the usage of MSG, and may be applied to the instand noodle too. Maybe the MSG factor included there but for taste I enjoy Samyang more than Nissin.

Winner: Samyang again

Spicyness

If you cannot withstand high level of spicyness, I would not recommend to taste the Samyang. They say Buldalkbukeum has 3210 SHU level that could make burn sensation on your tongue. The after burn sensation will come after several seconds you stop eating. Otherwise, Nissin has very delicate level of spicyness that made it more edible that Samyang.

Winner: Nissin

Truthfully, it is very hard to choose the winner because they two have each plus point. But I choose Samyang if there were two of them served and I got tho choose one. Samyang noodle is very tempting when served, even though you might feel little regret when the after burn reacts on your tongue.

 

 

Internship at Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH

Even this is late post, I hope you can benefitted from this post whether you are interested to join the internship or the graduate program at Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology at Postech.

GIFT mates
GIFT mates

I finished my internship exactly one year ago, at the early day of February 2014. I departed to Korea at several days after New Year, the internship itself took almost two months. Two months felt very short, time flew so fast back there. Common relativity law applies here, time felt so fast when you enjoy something and vice versa. In short, I really enjoyed my internship in GIFT matter two months just passed without notice.

 

How to apply?

GIFT opens internship program semi annually every summer and winter. You can access their page viahttp://gift.postech.ac.kr to find out actual information about the program. Documents required are english proficient certificate (TOEIC, IELTS, or TOEFL IBT), academic transcripts, letter of motivation and research plan, and internship form. I used TOEFL ITP year ago but later I found out that ITP TOEFL is not recognized anymore. GIFT only accept documents sent via air mail, online document submission will not be processed. The announcement of successful applicant will appeared at website and successful candidate received personal email.

In the internship form and research plan, you must submit which laboratory you would attend during the internship.  You can choose 3 alternatives of laboratory with your respective priority. I entered Surface Engineering Laboratory, Material Mechanic Laboratory, and Material Reliability Laboratory as my priority subsequently. Later I was accepted at MML because SEL was no longer available for new student. People said the lab would be shut down soon. MML’s activities were the most mutual to my field, Mechanical Engineering. They did research upon mechanical properties of material during stamping and forming process. Some PhD students even studied microstructure effects to material properties via Finite Element Method. The head professor on MML is a famous person in his field. I did not that he was famous but later I founded out he was celebrity in his field. Unfortunately I only met him for 1 days because one day after my arrival, he went to Switzerland for his sabbatical period.

Material Mechanics Laboratory
Material Mechanics Laboratory

Learning opportunities

Pohang University of Science and Technology is one of leading research institute in South Korea. In engineering field, they main rival is KAIST.  They provide advance technology for research activity besides good benefit to students. Master students on GIFT will received 1 million KRW per month for monthly stipend. It was more than enough to life in Korea with student lifestyle. The motive of their generosity is no other than pushing their research activities to produce more published paper and patent. As you can see in THE, POSTECH has good industry outcome and citation score which make them as rank 66 in the world. For you who seek for good academic and research experience, POSTECH is excellent for you.

My research

It was not a true research anyway, I just helped my senior there for little regression work. I did a comparative study on predicting high temperature flow stress in 22MnB5 alloy steel using Johnson-Cook and Arrhenius constitutive equation models. The 22MnB5 material commonly used as body pillar material of automobile. Its characteristic of strong yet low in weight made this material used. Because the manufacturing conducted at high temperature to form the material easily and quench is applied (cooling of high temperature material with fast cooling rate) we need to know its behaviour for accurate forming process. I also witnessed and participated while obtained the data through experiment. We were using Gleeble quenching machine, and it was my first time experiencing research works. Kinda frustrating when your speciment fail due to small mistake.

Live in Pohang

Pohang is number 9th most populated city in South Korea. Albeit it does not have high modernity compared to Seoul, it was really a nice city to live. Postech located on sub-urban area apart from downtown and crowded city part. Still the downtown and famous city part are easy to reach via bus transportation. Postech has complete facilites for student including football field, gymnasium, swimming pool, library (really cool library though), and student cafetaria. You can buy your daily needs at convenience store inside campus area but big convenience store like HomePlus is also easy to reach, only one bus ride to reach. Final say, location of POSTECH is convenient for students.

The internship offers valuable experience on steel related research which you can really benefit of, specially for you who intend to apply for GIFT graduate program. Internship alumni has better chance of acceptance for the graduate program.

Exploring Beautiful Gyeongju

 

Anapji pond scenery at night
Anapji pond scenery at night

This post will give you brief guide to exploring Gyeongju, a city of numerous historical scenery. If you follow this post, it may guide you for an effective journey to explore Gyeongju in one day. Of course it covers most popular spots in Gyeongju for tourist and foreign visitors. Take a peek of what Gyeongju looks like (Courtesy of Arina Gabe Pandiangan):

 

I had the opportunity to explore Gyeongju on the middle of January of 2014. Back there I was in the middle of my internship program in POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea. I went there together with my intern-mate whom also from same university with me. Credit to her for some photographs she took that published in my blog. She is a prolific traveler so it was her idea to visit Gyeongju for our spare time, and she made the itinerary. Lucky me! For your information, that was on chilly winter when we traveled there. Actually winter is not a good season to visit Gyeongju, you will know why in the following post.

Location and How to reach Gyeongju

Pohang and Gyeongju are located on same province on east Korea, Gyeongsangbuk. From Pohang bus station to Gyeongju bus station takes +- 1 hour travel by bus. You can find the bus to Gyeongju departs from station every one hour. It costs 3400 won for one trip and vice versa for Gyeongju departure. Gyeongju also can be reached from nearby cities like Daegu, Busan, and of course from Seoul which far away located in the north.

Arrive at Gyeongju, you can find tourist information centre there to get some brochure about famous location for tourist in Gyeongju. My itinerary back there was: Bus station – Bulguksa temple -Seokguram grotto – Teddybear museum – Cheomseongdae – Anapji pond – Bus station – Pohang.

  1. Bulguksa and Seokguram grotto

Old couple were ahead of us on hiking
Old couple were ahead of us on hiking

Bulguksa and Seokguram are located on same neighbourhood but Seokguram is located in the top of Toham-san (Mountain Toham). If you want to reach the grotto from Bulguksa there are two alternatives there. First is using bus and the second is by hike the trail on foot. I chose the latter though and it was worthed nearly forty minutes of walk on the hiking path on cold winter. Be sure to choose this alternative on winter season because the heavy and thick cloth can burden your journey and that was what actually happened to me. If you use Long John, you will covered in sweat from the effect of climb moderate steepness mountain path. FYI, Long John does not absorb sweat so you will drenched in sweat with chilly winter wind blowing into your body. You could catch a flu later, so try to mind my advice if you want to follow the hiking path on foot.

Drinking water reservoar
Drinking water reservoar

About Bulguksa: literally there is not much thing to see here. Mostly you will see old building which constructed with Buddhism architecture influence with some statue figuring Chinese-Buddhism gods. Be sure to visit the drink the water from water basin and window shopping at souvenir store.

About Seokguram: there is only one thing to consider here. The Buddha statue is stored inside an enclosed room with surrounding glasses. Visitors only can see from outside the glasses and photograph is strictly prohibited. You should not expect massive statue there like I did back there. Truthfully, the statue is kinda small for world heritage scale. The Buddha statue was built using Chinese Buddha style. Buddha statue has many kind of style depends on location where Buddhism grows. Major style of Buddha statue type are Chinese, India, Thailand, Western, and Indonesia style.

  1. Teddybear Museum

    Teddybear Museum
    Teddybear Museum

“Four human-sized teddy bear posed with one Korean litte girl inside the museum. Which one was the cutest?”

Even though the ticket price is costly (9000 won per adult), we went in anyway. The reason is maybe that time is our one and only time to visit Teddy bear museum. In the world, there are only a few of teddy bear museum. USA, UK, and South Korea are the only place to spot this museum.

About TB Museum:

Parade of showcase showing famous scenery and teddybears as the actor on it. Jurassic park famous scene showed many teddybears were catching dinosaurs as we saw on movie Jurassic Park I. On different museum section, there are some famous art works acted by teddy. There is eve Teddy bear version of PSY “Gangnam Style”. At the end of museum tour you can enter the 3D cinema showing short film about dinosaurs. Of course there is a souvenir shop for teddy-thing handicraft for gifts.

  1. Cheomseongdae

Star gazing place
Star gazing place

Place of observation activities for old Korean astronomer. You can watch the history of astronomy study in Korea inside the multimedia room there.

This place is free of charge. Feel free to visit this scenery. It looks good on night so make sure to list cheomseongdae as late place to visit in your itinerary.

Near this neighborhood you could find store selling Gyeongju bread. You cannot find this on other city aside Gyeongju so  do not forget to buy this classic bread.

 

  1. Anapji Pond

Anapji at night
Anapji at night

Make Anapji as your last destination because it looks better in the night. Located not far from Cheomseongdae so you can reach it on foot from there. This picture below is one of famous spot for photo-taking. The pond reflected the building of Silla dynasty beautifully like a mirror reflection. There is ticket fee for entering this place but in a very reasonable price. Around 2000 won I think, I forgot the exact amounts. The end of my journey was when we went back to the bus station to seek our bus to Pohang. In one day we have seen the most common and nicest place to visit in Gyeongju. I hope my story will give insight for you to explore the beautiful Gyeongju. See you on other post.

Korean Facts – Do You Know that They Brush Three Times a Day?

I have ever lived in South Korea for two months and I met enormous facts about Koreans (and I think they’re very unique):

  1. Koreans brush their teeth after every meal in one day! It’s more likely to be a such lifestyle in Korea to maintain your oral hygiene. All of my colleagues here always brush their teeth after they eat the meal (applied for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). This facts amazes me because it’s a very rare activity to be done for me, ordinary Indonesian. I just do my regular teethbrushing (night and morning) everyday.
  2. Korean likes ramyeon (instant noodle) and they have a specific pot for cooking ramyeon. Let’s call it Ramen Pot. It looks very nice for a boil pot, because it colored as gold, medium size, and it is perfect for ramen cooking. From my experience for cooking ramyeon, it can fit up to 4 ramyeon each time.
  3. Korean likes to eat soup (tang, gug, and jigae) very much and they eat it together with acquaintances from one big pot. Usually korean soup served in large pot so we could eat it together with friends or family. Here is my opinion about korean soup:

– Korean soup has magic effect, I feel very healthy after eating Korean soup. – Korean soup (almost) always had red pepper in it. – Korean soup doesn’t contain much salt, yeah it’s healthy though! – Korean soup always served at very hot level (literally very hot). – Korean soup always better served with rice. And if you are travelling to Korea, I suggest you to try this Sundae Gug or the soup of sundae. I like this food very much, it was addicting.

  1. Korean loves their country so much, they have pride of the nation in their heart. They use Samsung, Hyundai, KIA, LG, Lotte products which are Korea’s national product.
  2. Korean really likes to drink, specially Soju. Soju is Korea’s national liquor which have incredibly cheap price. Priced 1000 Won each bottle. Compare to milk which worth 2000 won, soju can be categorized as cheap drinks.
  3. Korean has modern queen, Queen Yuna. Actually it’s Kim Yuna, the famous world figure skating athlete. They love Yuna very much.
  4. Korean food has so many side dishes. Even if you only order one portion of beef soup, you will get kimchi, vegetables, dumplings, garlic, etc for the side dishes.
  5. There is one ramyoen that tastes very hot, buldak bokkeum myeon. I like spicy and hot food but still this ramyeon is worth to try. You must taste the after burn sensation! It was the most hot ramyun I’ve ever tasted.
  6. Korean students study very much. No wonder their country has developed so fast.
  7. Koreans often avoid to speak in English even they can speak.
  8. Sashimi and korean beef BBQ are considered as luxury foods.
  9. Future bride have to “pay” the groom family a compensation for a wedding. Contrary to what happens at my country, Indonesia. Being man in Korea is benefitting though!
  10. Koreans like to eat alive octopus because of they give much stamina for men. I did not really feel the stamina effect, maybe because I ate the roasted one not the raw and alive one. Yeah, that’s a few facts about Korea and still plenty of that actually that I cannot recall. If you plan to travel to Korea, make sure you taste all of the food because they are amazing.