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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 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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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!

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Windstruck – Life Hacks from My Adventure in Korea

Snowvivor Korea 2014

Snowvivor Korea 2014

I was cleaning my old college files when I stumbled upon a reflection paper that my Communications professor asked us to write after watching A Walk to Remember. Though I can vaguely recall what I wrote, I felt that the what I have learned from the movie stayed with me until now. Then I realized that I needed to do my own reflection of the Korea trip before it was long gone. So I asked myself, did I bring home anything special aside from the boxes of Pepero? What has changed since I came back?

Everland

Everland

Life Hacks

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What Traveling in a Smaller Group Made Me Realize

The Many Faces of Melvin

The Many Faces of Melvin

Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought that there would come a time that I will be tagged in a same picture for five to six times. I honestly couldn’t believe that the people who were once strangers to me became some of my good friends.

City Tour

City Tour

April 9th early morning, I arrived at NAIA after an epic backpacking trip across Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. And since then, there was no stopping me. I felt that I needed to go on another trip. When Tikoy told us about a seat sale. I was hesitant. But I know one thing, I’d like to do another trip with Tikoy. So we booked a flight to Korea even without the assurance of an approved visa.

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Snowvivor Korea Day 5 – Serendipity

N. Seoul Tower

N. Seoul Tower

Day -1: Seoulmates

Day 0: Fire and Ice

Day 1: The Heir

Day 2: Finding Everland

Day 3: That Winter the Wind Blows

Day 4: Frozen

It was 6 in the morning. I couldn’t quite explain what I was feeling inside. Either I was sick or just too sad that it will be our final day in Korea. The days have gone too fast and I will be saving goodbye to this place that I only used to see in Korean dramas. I will be bidding goodbye to the people I met unsure of when I’ll see them again. It was bittersweet but I must move forward.

Locked in Love

Locked in Love

Tikoy knocked on our door and reminded us of the check out time. Mel and I were almost done with our preparation as we head out to Namsan Tower. I was really not feeling well. I guess the three of us in our room. I asked Tyx for medicine but she didn’t have any so I settled on what was on my medicine kit. I think we were able to consume whatever was left there. After we gave last-minute instructions to Mark and settled our plans for the rest of the day, we head out for the train station.

It was a cold morning. But not as cold as the previous days. The weather in Seoul might have felt that we needed warmth as we will soon bid goodbye to this lovely place – warmth to suppress all the cold feelings away.

We took the train to Myeongdong and it was an easy ride. We waited for bus 5 that took us all the way up to the N. Seoul Tower also known as Namsan Tower. We were dropped of at the bus stop and from there we hiked up to the entrance of the observatory. The observatory opens at 10am and we were there an hour earlier so I looked around and took a couple of shots of Seoul’s skyline. Seoul has captured my heart despite my short stay in the city. While we cannot understand most of what people were saying or what were written on the signs and billboards, I felt a connection that I did not feel in any other countries that I visited before. I felt at home. I guess this happens if part of your everyday life consists of Korean culture. It becomes a part of you somehow.

Seoul Skyline

Seoul Skyline

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Snowvivor Korea Day 4 – Frozen

Travel Factor Snowvivor Korea 2014

Travel Factor Snowvivor Korea 2014

Snowvivor Korea

Snowvivor Korea

Day -1: Seoulmates

Day 0: Fire and Ice

Day 1: The Heir

Day 2: Finding Everland

Day 3: That Winter the Wind Blows

I felt sick the moment I opened my eyes on our fourth day. Our room was unbelievably hot. When I decided to get up, Shiela was already finished with everything. Ang husay! I then decided to have a quick coffee and take a bath. After everything, I went out of the bathroom and as always, Mark was still in bed (consistent ka bro! Iba ka!). When he got out of bed, he had his breakfast and asked for coffee (e di tinanong ko, Kopiko o Nescafe?, he chose one of them, I won’t tell–bro code).

Few minutes later, Tikoy entered our room and asked if we were all set. When everyone was downstairs, we were off to the Ski Resort.

Ready na?

Ready na?

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