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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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Snowvivor Korea Day -1 – Seoulmates

Group shot at Nami Island

Group shot at Nami Island

“So, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh, darling, place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
Oh, baby, we found love right where we are”

Napakanta ka no? That was my LSS for one week. What’s with this song? Nothing actually. Haha. I just can’t find the right words to start blogging about our trip. It felt like the counterpart of Free during our Indochina adventure. This song was on repeat mode on Mark’s laptop ever since I arrived in Seoul – for 4 nights!. 😛

Anyway, I think part of me was having a hard time because I wasn’t there on the first day of the tour – I know, SAYANG! Good thing I still got to have my own mini city tour. 🙂 So I’ll leave Day 0 and Day 1 to Mevin and start this post with Day -1 instead. Because the weather in Korea during our visit was negative, might as well start the blog with Day -1.

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10

To Travel is To Live

Strike a pose!

Strike a pose!

I was looking for travel inspirations across the internet when I stumbled upon a quotation by Ernest Hemingway. He said “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love”. But what if, you get a chance to travel with people you do not know? Will you grab the chance? It was a particularly hard question to answer. I always get the notion that traveling with strangers is such a bad idea. What are you going to talk about? What if you don’t have the same wavelength? There are just too many questions that need answers, but you will never know the answers until you try.

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Backpacking Indochina Day 7 – Blood, Sweat, and Tears

For the endless bus rides

For the endless bus rides. (c) Stef Carandang

Day 0: Manila to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1: Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and MBK

Day 2: Songkran and Khao San Road

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pub Street and Night Market

Day 4: Angkor Wat Heritage Complex and Apsara Show

Day 5: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Preah Sisowath Quay

Day 6 Part 1: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Central Market

Day 6 Part 2: Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

At 6:00 in the morning, we went downstairs to have breakfast. I honestly thought we will be the first ones but I didn’t know what kind of people are the others because they woke up so early. We ordered breakfast from the hotel restaurant. Kat seemed to have a rift with breakfast. Ang malas malas nya. She ordered bread with jam and butter while Shiela ordered bread with egg and butter then I had bread with egg and cheese. I had an entire entree when the waiter served my food, Shiela’s wasn’t bad at all. But when Kat got her breakfast, she had what she asked for: jam and butter. Yun naman pala by default lahat ay may jam and butter. Hahaha. Naawa nalang si Kat sa sarili niya.

At Golden Wind

At Golden Wind (c) Stef Carandang

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Hometown Hotel, Phnom Penh Cambodia

Lobby of Hometown Hotel

Lobby of Hometown Hotel

Location

Hometown hotel is located several blocks away from the famous Preah Sisowath Quay. Its neighborhood is composed of private houses, restaurants, bars and a mini mart.

In front of Hometown Hotel

In front of Hometown Hotel

Transportation

Just like in Siem Reap, the most popular mode of transportation in Phnom Penh are the tuktuks and motorcycles. It is very easy to roam around Phnom Penh because there are many tuktuks plying in the area. Bicycles are also popular which I think can also be rented by tourists.

If you are going on a tour, there are mini buses for tours going to S21 and the Killing Fields. On our way to the Mekong Express terminal, a small bus also fetched us from the hotel.

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Bou Savy Guesthouse, Siem Reap Cambodia

Our home in Siem Reap Cambodia

Our home in Siem Reap Cambodia

Outside Bou Savy, preparing to leave for Phnom Penh.

Outside Bou Savy, preparing to leave for Phnom Penh.

Here’s my short review of Bou Savy Guesthouse.

Location:

Bou Savy is located in a small alley just along Airport Road. It is near several establishments like a mini mart, gasoline station, laundry house and restaurants. The Night Market is also few minutes away. You can enjoy Siem Reap’s vibe while walking to the Night Market and Pub Street.

I think almost everything you will need at Siem Reap is within walking distance. It is very convenient to walk and enjoy the beautiful structures along Airport Road. What I liked most about the location of Bou Savy is that it is not really along the road so you can get peaceful sleep when the traffic at the road gets terrible during the Khmer New Year or just to be away from the noise of the vehicles on the street.

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