August 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Posted below are the photos of the places I have visited in Seoul during the last leg of our
stormy stay. First, let’s revisit my beloved Insadong.
How to get there: Take the Subway Orange line (Line 3) to Anguk station. Go to exit 6 and walk straight for about 500 meters.
The first place I like to highlight in Insadong for this post would be Ssamziegil, which is a place rich in art and young pop culture. Imagine big art/vandalism walls and crafts and art shops. I could have posted more photos of the boutiques inside but picture-taking in some of them are prohibited.
Between Pages Cafe, Ssamziegil
Location: 4th level, Ssamziegil, Insadong
Between Pages Cafe is a perfect place to unleash creativity and just relax. The place’s ambiance is perfect for artists who want to find inspiration and peace from the loud Insadong crowd. What attracted us about this cafe is the fact that We Got Married couple Seohyun and Yonghwa had a date here where they left notes. All customers have access to papers and pens for them to leave posts within the cafe.
Going back to Insadong, we saw various shops and food stalls including this one (see photo below). They are selling sweets made of glycerin in a form of hairy strands that cover various flavors of nuts and other flavored goodies. In Insadong alone, I think there were 4-5 shops who sold these. Funny thing though, is their special way of attracting customers. They would randomly call anyone crossing the street and start chanting how they are able to make the sweets.
I seriously could not stop myself from laughing while I was watching them.
Still in Insadong, we opted to have lunch in a traditional Korean restaurant where people sat on floors and ate on short-legged tables.
YES. That’s makkeolli, a Korean rice wine. It’s funny a young Korean couple on a table beside us were looking at us after we ordered this alcoholic drink. I assume they were worried we didn’t know what’s inside it.
Nearby Hongdae (Hongik University Station) are a few interesting cafes one must visit! How about some cute stuff at Hello Kitty Cafe? This ultimately
cute and pink cafe will be a nice feast for the eyes for tourists.
We stayed and ate at the 2nd shop of Coffee Prince ran by MBC.
I will also take this opportunity to announce that I will be living in Taiwan for 2 years starting this September so if my succeeding posts will all be in Taiwan, there would be no surprise. Here’s to life!
July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
It has been almost a month since I visited Seoul, Korea. While I do admit that I’m sad about leaving the country after staying for a few days, I also feel happy and blessed to have been able to experience it. If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you must have noticed that I divided them into portions because I don’t like making lengthy posts.
I especially made this post for what is for me the best part of my stay in Korea, meeting the Mobile Futurists. From my previous post, I have mentioned meeting them in Insadong. A cute girl named Sunny approached us and asked us if my cousin and I were foreigners and if we have plans for the weekend. At first, we had to turn her down because it’s the very same day of our flight back home in Manila.
And so we parted ways.
After a while my cousin and I realized that if they were to give us the tour that very day, we’d oblige to go with them. We scoured the long street of Insadong to look for students in red shirts. After finding them, we came to an agreement to have the tour that very moment. We started off by passing by the Coffee Alley which I already featured from my Seoul, Korea post a few days back. After a few photos, we headed off to Bukchon Hanok Village. This place is very nice because it shows how well preserved ancient houses are in Korea.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Korea’s 1950’s street
Museum of Korea
This is where ancient tools, clothes, and other culturally significant materials are showcased. Below you can find clay pots where they prepare their famous kimchi; as well as their traditional hanbok and bed.
Did you know?
After a few hours of walking, the M.F. guys decided to take us at the Olleh Square where they bought us coffee. Such sweet people! Another cool thing about visiting the place is the fact that we saw Olleh’s CEO. Olleh is one of Korea’s telecom companies.
Because we had so much fun with Sunny, Rene, Jake, Martin and Jinny, we decided to go out again, this time, just to hang out and have fun! They decided to take us to Hongdae, a buzzling spot for the fun-seeking youth of Seoul.
This is a traditional Korean rice wine called makkeolli. It fits so well with spicy foods!
The effects of the makkeolli is this:
After we had our dinner, they invited us to sing in a noreabang, a Korean term for a karaoke room.
Even though our stay in Korea and our time with the Mobile Futurists was short, it was a truly memorable time. Having met them during the trip made our Seoul experience all the more fun and exciting. Good food, nice sceneries are some of the wonderful things Seoul has to offer but the people we met and shared time with, are definitely worth coming back for.
Thank you to the Mobile Futurists: Sunny, Rene, Jake, Martin and Jinny, for sharing your time with us. Konbe!
Credits to the Mobile Futurists (Sunny, Rene, Jake, Martin, and Jinny) for all the videos. Thank you for allowing me to share them here in my blog. Kamsahamnida!
July 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
One of the best things about going to a different place is the experience of trying a different culture and cuisine.
For this short post, I am going to feature a few of the snacks I have tried while I was in Seoul. As we were touring, our Korean friends suggested a Ttukbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes) place for us to try. We also tried Sundae (Noodles stuffed in pig intestines- think of isaw) and Tigim (Fried stuff- includes squid and sweet potatoes).
Our friends suggested for us to try this drink, a Rice Juice Drink. It was refreshing!
I would like to thank Sunny, Rene, Martin, Jake and Jinny for allowing me to share this video to my subscribers. I love you guys!
Please watch out for the rest of my travel posts about Korea. Thank you!
July 13, 2011 § 4 Comments
Naminara Republic/ Nami Island became widely known by tourists because of the Korean drama, Winter Sonata. Although I personally haven’t watched the show, I still wanted to visit the place because of the relaxing scenery. My cousin and I purchased a package tour to Nami at Insadong,Seoul.
Tour Fee: 21,000 KRW
Package Inclusion: (Roundtrip)
1.)Bus fare from Tapgol Park,Seoul to Nami Wharf
2.)Ferry fare from Nami Wharf to Nami Island
My favorite spot would have to be the Sequoia Lane. The perfectly lined trees is such a good place to take photos.
July 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
Ever since I’ve become a fangirl, one of my goals in life was to visit Seoul, Korea, the melting pot of K-Pop, trendy fashion, and pretty boys. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to have a break from work and fly to Seoul.
There are so many things to love and adore about Seoul. First, they are technologically advanced but still have a very well preserved culture. It’s a place with a perfect mix of modernity and tradition. Second, the Korean people are friendly and helpful. I was amazed about how caring the Korean people are. Truthfully, there are just too many words that I need to explain why I love Seoul but at this point, I guess I should let the photos do the talking.
Where we stayed: Seoul Backpackers MyeongDong (Walking distance from line 2’s Euljiro Il-Ga) The rates range from 55,000-65,000 won per night.
I have divided my blog entry about Seoul into a couple of entries because there’s just so much to put in. For this post I will be sharing the spots I have visited within the first 2 days I stayed in the city. Here are the places we visited:
1. Incheon>Downtown Seoul
Fare: 3,500 KRW (500 KRW is refundable upon the return of card)
From the Incheon Airport, we took the commuter’s train heading to Seoul station. I was so cool because I got a good 1 hour sleep and a free wi-fi to keep me up to date with my social feeds.
2. Mt.Namsan/ N Seoul Tower
This is Mt. Namsan’s Cable Car service going to the N Seoul Tower. We waited for a couple of minutes before our turn. A roundtrip Cable Car ride costs about 8,000 won.
It has been a tradition for Korean couples to place locks atop Mt. Namsan. It was said that whoever does so will have a good and lasting relationship. (I wonder if any couple could attest to this? – I kid.)
3. Teddy Bear Museum (N Seoul Tower)
Entrance Fee: 8,00 KRW
Apart from N Seoul Tower’s captivating lights at night, there are also other places to visit in the area. The teddy bear museum shows hundreds of cute and cuddly bears dressed up in traditional Korean Hanok. I believe the museum tells about Korea’s history using bears as the role players.
4. MyeongDong’s Street Food
As we were heading back to out hotel, we came across a couple of food stands along the sidewalk. My cousin and I knew we didn’t want to miss authentic Korean street food.
For dinner, we ordered Spicy Ramyun, Pajeon (Veggie and Squid Pancake) and a viand made with spicy squid.
5. Myeongdong Cathedral
If you’re familiar with the Korean Drama, You’re beautiful, then you’re probably aware that this is the church where the heroin (Go Mi Nam/ Go Mi Nyu) grew up as a nun. The church’s interior were simply stunning.
6. Myeongdong Shopping Area
7. Changdeokgung / Changdeok Palace
- April~October: 09:00~18:30 (admission until 5:30pm)
- November and March: 09:00~17:30 (admission until 4:30pm)
- December~February: 09:00~17:00 (admission until 4:00pm)
- * Closed Mondays
- Admission Fee
- Adults (19yrs~64yrs) 3,000 won
- Children (7yrs~18yrs) 1,500 won
This Palace is one of the 5 great palaces of the Joseon Era in Korea. It was added as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
I will never get tired of saying that Insadong is my favorite street in Seoul. It just houses so many things that I love: food, art, culture, and wonderful people.
From stall to stall you will encounter a lot of traditional Korean stuff like paintings, writing tools, pottery, clothes, accessories, etc. You can ever get a bundle of souvenirs for a very good price!
As if Insadong wasn’t already interesting enough, we came across Sunny and the Mobile Futurists. We met them while walking along the shops of Insadong. She approached us and asked if she and her team can take us on a free Tour. So what happened in the tour? I’ll have to save that for the next post. Please wait for it.
9. Coffee Alley
As my we walked towards our tour spots, our group passed by this street. Almost every single establishment in this area is a coffee shop. This is definitely a caffeine-heaven for all the coffee lovers!
I have to cut through until this point for a breather. Our next stops include the Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbuk Palace, Korean Museum, and more. Please watch out for these places on my next post soon. Take care! Annyeong!