Seoul Searching, Day 5 (Gyeongbokgung & Myeongdong)

It was my last full day in Seoul, and that meant one thing: closure. My Integrated Admission Ticket wasn’t completely used up, there were some foods I still haven’t tried, and I was in South Korea but I still hadn’t bought any cosmetics!

It was my last full day in Seoul, and that meant one thing: closure. My Integrated Admission Ticket wasn’t completely used up, there were some foods I still haven’t tried, and I was in South Korea but I still hadn’t bought any cosmetics!

The last palace on my ticket was Gyeongbokgung Palace, and, guys, it isn’t only the largest among all the five palaces, it’s the best. If you’re not interested or don’t have time to visit all five palaces, go to Gyeongbokgung.

SeoulRead More »

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Seoul Searching, Day 4 (Petite France, Best Korean Food and Cow Intestines)

Day 4 started with gimbap for breakfast in a car to Gapyeong County. I was with a friend and two people I just met. The friend and I had decided to meet, and she brought her boyfriend (who brought his car) and a friend (who brought her humor) along. Since they could all speak English, the hour-long drive was filled with fun and interesting conversations.

Before I continue, an admission: I may not be one of the fans of K-Pop and Drama in the Philippines, but I love Running Man and ever since I saw a theme park based on The Little Prince on the show, the bookworm and child in me had been wanting to visit. Luckily, everyone wanted to just go along with my plan so the first destination for the day was Petite France.

Petite France Seoul

The park was as adorable as I thought it would be, but most of the buildings and activities weren’t really related to The Little Prince. There is a building filled with old European Dolls in glass cases. Some of the dolls had creepy expressions but there were pretty ones too. There is also a building filled with antiques and a French traditional house gallery, which I really liked.Read More »

Seoul Searching, Day 3 (Touring with a Tour Guide)

My third day in Seoul was somewhat like a blurry line in my organized list; an empty patch from my well-thought-out plan. After I arrived in Seoul and uploaded one of my first pictures of the city on social media, a guy I previously taught English and then kept in touch with sent me a message asking if we could meet.

I already had a well-researched plan and carefully written schedule for this day, but even my occasionally fussy and methodical self would have been crazy to say no to that. At the same time, I was a little relieved when he said he couldn’t meet me until the later part of the afternoon because that meant I could at least do something from my original plan, so I went to Ihwa Mural Village.

Ihwa Mural Village entrance

I knew there would be a lot of people, but I completely underestimated its popularity; there were crowds everywhere. The constant stream of bodies and feet made it difficult to appreciate the paintings on the walls and on the famous concrete steps.Read More »

Seoul Searching, Day 2 (Palaces, Villages, and the Best French Restaurant)

Day 2 in Seoul was going to be busy and tiring, and it was going to be more exhausting than I thought. But I didn’t know it when I left my AirBNB that morning and energetically took the train to Namsangol Hanok Village, my first stop of the day.

Day 2 (1)

It was already a bit crowded when I arrived, but there were still a lot of moments when I enjoyed the architecture of the traditional Korean houses all to myself, and I liked what I saw: knee-level tables in between colorful floor cushions, wooden furniture with simple but arresting details, and scroll paintings that might have been influenced by Japanese art.

Seoul Hanok

I liked the view outside too. The stone walls and wooden lattice windows looked distinctly Korean and yet reminded me of Japanese traditional houses in their structure and form. But the huge traditional kimchi jars that caught my attention were definitely uniquely Korean as the food they once preserved.Read More »

Seoul Searching, Day 1 (DMZ, JSA)

A gigantic city of gray where you can visit sets of Korean Dramas and wait outside buildings for K-Pop artists to show up. This was the image I had of Seoul from the countless K-Pop and Drama fanatics in the Philippines.

But my research for my itinerary and lead me to a discovery: Seoul is more than just a concrete jungle. My plan for Day 1 especially made me excited because I was going on a tour to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) right by the border of North Korea.

DMZ

The tour began at President Hotel, the meeting point.Read More »