Here’s another (extremely late) travel post!
First, video. I realized while making this video that (1) I AM INCREDIBLY VAIN AND SELF-APPRECIATIVE, but there seriously can be no harm in that, (2) I am not a natural video or audio editor; I apologize, the volume might be too much, and (3) I OWE SO MUCH to my mother (I LOVE YOU), to my sister (I LOVE YOU TOO), to my brother (YES YOU), Tita Fely, Ate Risa, friends and family… life wouldn’t be as beautiful without you guys.
Korean Experience: 10/10, would recommend.
Tips, tricks and sights-to-see for Korea in November:
- Bring a jacket! Being a tourist or a traveller means hunting for places to go to, even when the temperature drops below zero —so bundle up for the wind. Layer up to appreciate the cold air and wintry sun.
- Commute wisely. We had the pleasure of trying out almost all modes of transportation in Seoul like the airport limo bus, bus, subway and taxi, but not always successfully. Gauge the distance of those map markers in reality; we almost took the subway to N Seoul Tower (but it was only a ten-minute leisure walk away). The cab’s fine to take if you need to go over the water. The bus can be confusing sometimes, since the waiting sheds don’t always have updated information on bus routes. But all-in-all it was easy to go around Seoul, and the deposit-card system + automated system (which I think we’ll be adopting here in RP) for the train’s awesome.
- Cultural touring. Top of my list of things I really loved visiting were the old palaces, preserved towns and temples found in Seoul. And most of them can be walked from where we stayed (a hotel near the edge of Myeongdong area)! So: Gyeounbokgung Palace and the National Folk Museum beside it (free admission), Samcheongdong neighborhood & Bukchon Hanok Village for some dramatic Koreanovela-style strolling, and Insadong area to enjoy more modern tastes. We went to Bongeunsa Temple, which was a relaxing site (and there’re shopping sites near it).
- Shopping. Possible, but not very recommended —that is, you don’t need to go to South Korea to buy clothes, since the pieces are fine but not much cheaper. Places to go to: Myeongdong area for brands, Lotte World etc for the experience, and Namdaemun Market for Divisoria-like fares. But Korean make-up products are incredibly cheap (!!), so there is that. ;)
- City atmosphere. Beautiful. As in literally; most people looked like they stepped out from a winter catalogue. Beautification of the city is a thing, so be sure to check out the art pieces about Cheonggyecheon Stream (we were lucky to happen upon a festival!) and places like Hangang Park inserted between office buildings. The atmosphere is very “young professional”, work in the day and unwinding at night. Important to note is the fact that they don’t usually do breakfast (I know), and there seems to be a fascination with Parisian tastes (baguettes everywhere, bakeries and coffee shops in every corner).
- Food. Street food everywhere! And not the scary, hygienically-dubious street fare here in PH. Try all of them! I love the fried or grilled ones most; not much the ones which have a sauce. If you’d notice, I have no idea what any of them are called, haha! The sit-down restaurants can also be very very surprising. There’re some familiar options, like McDonald’s and Burger King, and then kimchi and bibimbap… but when you can’t read Korean or converse with the waiter well, you might just end up with intenstines! (Like we did). Recommended.
- Expenses. It was okay…? I was the one who tracked our expenses during our trip, and, looking back, my system in spreadsheet-making can be really confusing.
Bonus: The highlight of my trip may have been that English-speaking police man. Wow. Yes.
Progress post for the Fail!Vlog.