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My First Solo Trip to South Korea: Day 4

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2016 Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival (Spring Flower Festival)

This is it! The culmination of my 4-day #Seoul-0 adventure in the land of kimchi. Time flew so fast and I couldn’t help but wish for it stop. I wasn’t ready to go home yet. Hindi ko pa nakikita si Taeyang! T_T

Day 4: Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival, Myeongdong

On the morning of my last day, I went to Myeongdong first to take pictures of my favorite restaurants. I actually enjoyed walking the streets of Myeongdong without the huge crowd. It was a nice breather.

I revisited the center of the shopping haven which was the Myeongdong Theater. I also passed by my favorite mart, the Myeongdong Supermarket (aka mart mart). It took us a long time to locate this mart 2 years ago and when I came back last year, I spotted this right after I got off the bus from the airport. Haha! I love this mart because the food pasalubong like chips, Pepero, noodles, and chocolates were cheaper.

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Myeongdong Theater

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My favorite mart in Myeongdong

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My First Solo Trip to South Korea: Day 3

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Palace grounds during spring

As I was traveling alone, I realized that while I felt lonely at times, I still had so much liberty to do what I want to do, go where I want to go, and eat what I want to eat without worrying about anybody else. I was my own limit. I checked my health meter and I actually walked at the average, 20 km everyday. Literal na walk till you drop. I remembered sitting in the subway for about 30 minutes because I was so tired from walking. First time kong sumuko sa lakaran. Hehe!

Day 3: Itaewon, Deoksugung Palace, Gwanghwamun, Tongin Market, Samcheondong, Insadong, Gwangjang Market, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Dongdaemun

On my third day of #Seouloflight, I decided to head first to Itaewon. Itaewon is a special tourism district where most international residents in Seoul can enjoy diverse culture, dining experience, shopping and entertainment. The restaurants showed influences from other countries through their design and menu. A lot of the shops sold imported goods as well. If you want to meet expats, they said that Itaewon is the place to go.

I arrived in Itaewon quite early so most shops were still closed. I just walked around and observed. Baka makita ko rin yung cafe ni Jo In Sung, eh. Accidentally, ang nakita ko yung isa sa mga locations ng Descendants of the Sun.😀

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Welcome sign in Itaewon

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Greek-inspired restaurant

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Pub where some scenes in Descendants of the Sun were taken

After a quick stroll around Itaewon, I went to the City Hall area to pay a visit to the Deoksugung Palace. I’ve heard of this palace before but gained more interest when it was featured in Infinity Challenge. What amazed me about this palace was the mixture of traditional Korean design and Western architecture.

The palace is also known for its Doldam-gil or stone wall road which is one of the famous roads in Korea. There was also myth that the wall was cursed and lovers who walked along the walls would eventually break up. Dare to try? 😉

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Seokjojeon – Western-style building inside the palace

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My First Solo Trip to South Korea: Day 2

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Cherry Blossoms near KBS Hall

Day 2: Songdo Incheon, Yeouido, YG Entertainment, Hongdae, Sinchon 

On my second day of #SeoulSearching, I went to the Song Triplet’s turf in Songdo, Incheon. I know it sounds crazy, traveling by subway for 2 hours just to see a building where three little kids live. But hey, they were like sunshine on a gloomy Monday to me (They show Return of Superman in Korea every Sunday but the subbed version is posted every Monday. haha). And RoS is actually the only Korean show that both my brother and I watch❤.

It took me about 38 stations and a few transfers before I reached Incheon Central Park station. Songdo, Incheon has a more “community” and laid-back feel to it. There’s a vast space for children to play, animals like deer and rabbit, exercise equipment, picnic tables, and a lot more. I relived the triplets’ moments while I was there. I event went near their apartment complex and playground. Nakakaiyak! I super miss our Song triplets!

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Songdo Central Park apartments

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Song Triplets’ Playground. Nasaan kayo Daehanie, Mingukie at Manseya?😀

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Herd of deers in the middle of the park

After my short trip to Incheon, I went back to Seoul and headed straight to Yeouido to visit KBS and the National Assembly. I was so glad to see that the cherry blossoms were already in full bloom.

I was having fun taking photos and eating street food when I noticed that I already reached KBS Hall. I got lucky when there was an ongoing radio show and got to listen to a live performance. There was also a man singing and playing guitar in front of a small audience at the building’s steps. Kung wala sila dun sisigaw sana ako, “il bag i il! (trans: 1 night 2 days). Normally, 2D1N casts would start their show in this area.

I went in to take a tour and get to know more about KBS’s history as a broadcasting station – from their variety shows like Happy Together and 2 Days 1 Night to Kdramas like Boys Over Flowers and Endless Love to their public affairs shows and a lot more.

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KBS Mascot beside the KBS Hall

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My First Solo Trip to South Korea: Day 1

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On my way to the K-Star Road

Armed with just a backpack and a sling bag, I went to the airport to fulfill one of the items in my bucket list: To travel to another country alone.

Day 1: Agency hopping in Apgujeong Rodeo, COEX, Banpo Hangang Park

On April fools, I took the 7AM Airasia flight going to South Korea. After almost 4 hours of restlessness and one Jessica Zafra book, we landed at the Incheon International Airport. Touchdown Korea for the third time! First thing I noticed? Pinagpapawisan ako. No more freezing weather for me. Heh!

After going through the immigration, I immediately went out and looked for a money changer. I exchanged $20, just enough for my bus ride to Myeongdong. I decided to exchange the rest of my dollars near my guesthouse for better rates. As usual, I exited at gate 5 and bought my bus ticket.

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Backpacking 101

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Ticket for airport limousine

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South Korea DIY Solo Trip: 4D 3N Itinerary and Expenses

Having been to South Korea twice, a lot of people may think that I have already covered the must-see places especially in Seoul. But being a fan of the Korean culture and of course, the Hallyu wave (kdramas, kpop, kvariety), I know that there are still plenty of places to visit, food to try, and things to do. So when an opportunity knocked on my door, I immediately grabbed the chance and flew to SK with only Php9,000 on hand.

Background: I was supposed to fly to Sri Lanka last March but for some reason I felt I was not yet meant to see the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Luckily, Airasia offered full credit shell for my flights since they were changing the schedule from time to time. What I did after the refund were search for cheap Airasia flights for April and wait for the Yeouido Spring Festival announcement.

I also applied for a new visa. I had previous Korean visas so it was easier and faster for me. All my applications were done personally so I did not spend a lot of money except for the fare to and from the embassy and the bank certificate and statement. I have few passport-sized photos left when we applied less than 6 months ago so they came in very handy.

Luckily, two weeks before my intended departure, I found cheaper fares through Airasia (to Incheon) and Jejuair (to Manila). So I booked them immediately and used the remaining credit shell for my travel tax. I was also happy to see that the Php550.00 terminal fee that we normally pay at the airport is already covered in the airfare.

As for my accommodation, I searched using Booking.com for cheap but excellent places to stay near Myeongdong. I found the Namsam Guesthouse which was offered at around 25% off with free breakfast and no downpayment needed.

I carefully planned my trip and listed the places that I haven’t visited yet and buildings I NEED to at least see once as a Kpop fan – Entertainment Agencies! I also followed the restaurant/market/food recommendations of some TV shows that I watched. Pretty much everything in my itinerary was new. I was also intent on not spending too much since I’ll be traveling by myself, so I spread my funds wisely in order to cover many places and still eat delicious meals.🙂

So here it is, my Php9,000 4D 3N South Korea Itinerary and Expenses. (Disclaimer: Suggested to Kpop fans and those who have been to other famous tourist spots in SK. If you want to visit Nami Island, Petite France, Palaces, Everland, etc. you may visit my other itinerary here.)

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4D3N Itinerary and Expenses

Click here for better resolution: Itinerary Korea 2016

 

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Masungi Georeserve

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Masungi Georeserve 2016

Last February 13, 2016, I experienced a new adventure site located in Tanay, Rizal – the Masungi Georeserve.

“The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. Masungi’s name is derived from the word “masungki” which translates to “spiked” – an apt description for the sprawling limestone landscape found within.” (http://masungigeoreserve.com/)

At Masungi, guests can experience nature, get to know more about floras and fauna, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains while going up and down rock formations and passageways made of intricately designed ropes and steel structures. It is packed with fun and a whole lot of adventure.

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Sapot (Web)

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The Nanay from afar

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4 Days 3 Nights South Korea Itinerary

Annyeonghaseyo! It’s been 3 months since I last blogged and over a month since I came back from my vacation in Korea and everything felt just like yesterday. How time flies!

Anyhow, just dropped by a bit to share with everyone the itinerary and budget that we used for my family’s trip to Korea. Considering that Korea is an expensive country to visit, I think our expenses were not a lot. Also, it was around Christmas season so I had a bit of liberty to spend a little more on food and souvenirs but still I think they were all worth it since we dined at famous restaurants in Myeongdong and brought home nice gifts for family and friends.

So here’s the itinerary that my family and I used. We didn’t get to stay there long so I just maximized the days we had in visiting places that I think they should see as first time visitors of Korea – Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Insadong, Gyeongbukgong, N.Seoul Tower, Nami, Petite France and Everland. I wish we still had time for late night shopping in Dongdaemun or an evening party or stroll in Gangnam, Itaewon or Hongdae but those places can wait. And yes, how can I forget the snow parks and Lotte World? But for now, here’s our simple itinerary packed with lots of beautiful and exciting places that I keep on falling in love with time and time again.

Budget per person (exchange rate 1,000 won=Php43):

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Korea Itinerary 4D3N

All in all, we spent around Php15,000.00 for the 4 days and 3 nights that we stayed in Korea. As for the flight, you can get as low as Php5000-Php7000 on seatsales from Cebu Pacific and Airasia. I got my flight tickets to Incheon last 2014 from Cebu Pacific for just Php7200.00 with additional 20kls baggage.

See? It’s not really that expensive to visit Korea. So if you are dying to visit the places where your favorite Idols and Kdrama stars shot their MVs, CFs, films or dramas or just want to experience snow, cherry blossom or autumn, start preparing your visa requirements now and keep an eye on those seatsales. Fighting!