Food Diary―Korea

 

Food Diary! This is just a photo-filled post of food I’ve eaten. WTF, RIGHT? Anyway there are short reviews on each food. I thought it’d be nice to do something with all the pictures I’ve taken over the past months. This also serves as a reference for things I will never eat again, or things that I should definitely make or try again.

During my exile in Korea (May-August 2015)

First up: food I cooked at my dorm.

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This was my go-to quick lunch or dinner. Basically the pasta sauce is just garlic, olives, capers, tomatoes (either canned or fresh cherries). I couldn’t find any canned anchovies, but it was still really good. Chicken breast was pan-seared, covered in an herb mix I got from the grocery.

Made-up tomato-egg dish + Yoghurt, nutz, and berries

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Made up egg dish + yoghurt and berries 

This is how I make my scrambled eggs: Put eggs in a hot pan, stir around without breaking the yolk.

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Soft-boiled egg on toast
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Cherry tomato pasta
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Kamote + Spam

This quickly became boring

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Crammed homework + Omelette and Toast and Maxim Cawffee
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Sesame-dressed salad, Chicken, cheese strings. A+
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Spamwich. A+

My breakfasts

 

PANCAKES. A+

yoghurt and fruit. YES.

eating ramen and mandu is one of the most satisfying things but you’re gonna feel really fat afterwards

On to the food I didn’t cook/make.

Donkatsu. Each one is worth P200 only so A+

Samgyetang / Ginseng Chicken. Delicious, hearty wow o wow. Koreans usually eat this in the summer because the ginseng gives you energy. But I could eat this hot bowl of slow-cooked chicken all year round. That’s rice, jujubes, ginseng, and garlic inside the chicken. It’s stuffed there to cook along with the chicken so obvs the flavor is MAXIMUM.

This is tteokbokki. Rice cake, fish cake, noodles cooked in a spicy sauce. After eating most of the ingredients, there would be sauce left and that’s meant to be mixed with rice afterwards. So yes, it’s a carb overload, but it’s very delicious.IMG_5592This is naengmyeon with fried dumplings. Naengmyeon is delicious but don’t get them in Han’s deli like I did. Go to Korean restaurants for this. It’s a cold noodle dish with a kimchi + vinegary soup base.IMG_5411This is Soondubuchiggae / Soft tofu stew. Beside is Kimchi and Meat, forgot if it was beef or pork. Soft tofu stew is my favorite but this specific place didn’t deliver.IMG_6345This is bulgogi (most left) Everything else on the right comes with it. That’s dwaenjangchiggae (Fermented bean paste stew) and delicious side dishes!! This is one of the best meals I had in Korea. ❤

This is Jokbal from a jokbal place in Hongdae. This was absolutely delicious. Everything from the starter soup to the salad to the main pork dish. That’s really soft and tasty pork. The best part was eating the skin and tendons off the knuckles.

Korean fried chicken from Way Side Chicken and Mymy Chicken. Ok, Korean Fried Chicken is as Korean as any of their other food. I ate ‘KFC’ at least once a week… or more. My favorite is Kyochon’s spicy fried chicken.

music festival food. That was the spiciest tteokbokki of my life.

and others

First row, store-bougt cookie 😦 better than I expected. Second row, my chocolate milk birthday cake and a chocolate and creamcheese bread from Paris Baguette (!!!). Third row, things that failed me. That’s geranppang (egg bread) which would’ve been great if the yolk was runny. The rest are just treats. :–)

Macaron Ice cream from the store. And Fish pancake with vanilla ice cream, honeycomb and matcha powder (!!!!). I got mine in Myeongdong but it’s a street stall which is a thing all over Seoul.

Genmaicha green tea. It tasted like the earth. Ossulloc is a beautiful tea shop with branches across Korea. Their store has the perfect, non-intimidating ambience.

Churros and Ice cream. Sobok Healthy ice cream. It’s a soy bean ice cream. The place is very normcore. Must go. I wish I tried their whole menu tho. It’s a bit pricy but worth it.

Paik’s coffee everyday.

That’s it for Korea. There would be more from the Philippinesssssss! If you have any questions or any feels, just let it out in the comments box. ^_^~

Wandering around Jongno District


My visual creativity is running low… I’m starting to question my new ventures in the realm of video blogging. Jeez! I was so chill, I didn’t even think about blogging or anything about this trip. (Yes, I just packed my bags and left) I think the iPhone5 is doing a good job on the photos but my videos lack the cool umph that I want. I can’t seem to put things in a clear perspective and produce an output that has an identity. I’m not lazy about it, I’m just lost. I’m constantly reassuring myself that it’s okay since I’m just starting and I have room for improvement. Luckily, someone’s bringing our family’s SLR, so I’m bound to have better output! I’m also going to think things through, have a proper vision in mind of how I want things to be.

Speaking of bad output, here’s my 2nd vlog. I can’t even remember how that video goes but I know that it sucked. While I was editing on Windows movie maker (kill me), my files went bonkers on me and I had to delete several footages. Meh. Last night though, I think I crafted a better video for my 3rd Vlog.

My third vlog featured Changdeokgung (Palace) and a few establishments along the infamous Insadong street. As you have guessed, I wandered alone. It was great. I’m quite used to going around alone, even in the Philippines. (I lack adventurous & spontaneous friends 😟)

How to go to Changdeokgung: Anguk Station exit 3, walk straight ahead

This filter from VscoCam is officially my Palace filter. It looks so badass, no?
I’m imagining Beatrix Kiddo will appear with a katana.
The bridge I was standing on was built in the 15th century

  

Changdeokgung was okay. I like Gyeongbokgung better because it’s more vast and I like the gardens and Pavilions around it. I went to the Gyeongbok palace last year with my dad and sister. I think it’s on my blog somewhere. I’ll probably go there again, sometime. in Changdeokgung, I went around on my own because I wasn’t feeling earnest to listen to tour guides. There was a separate “Secret garden” tour beside Changdeokgung but I didn’t want to wait for an hour, so I went to Insadong instead.

Anguk station art

First stop in Insadong is Osulloc (어 설록). A tea shop with a café on the 2nd floor.

Wide selection of Jeju teas.

  

Insane. I wonder how it is. I didn’t buy it though…
They have a wide array of teas. All beautifully packed.

Green tea tiramisu
Green tea frappe/milkshake with soft serve

I had a beautiful time at Osulloc. I bought a Cherry Blossom box of tea. The green tea tiramisu did not please. The cream part was bland and that didn’t go well with the bitter matcha powder on top. The green tea frappe was as glorious at it looks. It was smooth like a milkshake. The ice cream was on point with matcha flavor.

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Next stop was Beautiful Tea Museum (아름다운 차  박물관) 

    

tea rice cake

I chose the Beautiful Tea Museum as one of my stops because I wanted to try some traditional Korea tea. I thought that the place would be a little intimidating but all my expectations were taken over. It was the perfect place for tranquility and calm happiness. The place was quiet, it was well-lit with natural light, and it was very minimalistic. The place resembles a Korean courtyard, bedecked with wooden tables and chairs.

Afterwards, I had nothing else to do. I looked at my map and spotted an art museum with a view. Every floor had different exhibits.

These were my favorites:

cute couple, please stay where you are
not tissue paper

  

end

Malja

Solo Flight: Arrival in Incheon

Arrival in INCHEON

Well here I am… In Korea… For 3 months.

You would think it’s an awesome thing and I do too. Going to a foreign land, studying their language and culture. But I’m not there yet. I’m still 2 weeks away from university and things are going remotely my way. I’m under my grandmother’s roof, so I have to obey whatever she tells me, or at least what I think she tells me. (e.g., eat a lot; don’t shower; wake up at 6AM to eat breakfast; Sleep with 6 layers of blankets; Drink warm water ALL THE TIME; eat Korean melon everyday) By the way, I’ve been eating a lot of rice since yesterday. Whereas back home, I wasn’t eating white rice; I was eating a normal amount of brown rice. Here, every meal means I have to eat 2 servings of white rice and I am only spared half servings occasionally. FAT GIRL FEELS. When I’m in my room, I can’t help but do a few exercise routines. I plan to lose a dramatic amount of weight this summer but this first week is already a big challenge. NGGHH

I don’t think I can do an apartment tour because my grandmother’s apartment is just dull. It’s really just functional–no design whatsoever. But here’s a look at the bathroom where it’s always a beautiful view whenever I take a shower. Charaught.


MNL – INC

It’s one of those memorable things in ones life where one travels alone for the first time. Being dropped off at Terminal 3 and saying words of goodbye to family members. Hugs, kind words… Seeing the car disappear into the distance.

OKAY that was too dramatic. Hehe. Our moment was pretty casual with a hint of rare emotion. I view this trip as more of an adventure than leaving home for a long time.

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Sit like a lady?
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Ge Se & Tuts
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Kat, Ges, Me, Tuts, Syd

So I went directly to check-in and I thought that I could get through this process without a hitch. WRONG. My mom told me that I didn’t need to pay travel tax, but as it turned out, I needed to. IMPORTANT: If it has been more than a year since you came back from a foreign country, you would have to pay travel tax. I think everyone knows that, no? Lelz mom. So I didn’t have enough pesos with me but fortunately my condo was near NAIA so Syd and Ge Jin were able to hand me money. (2nd good bye, lolz)

The flight was okay… I didn’t have enough pesos again to buy ramen noodles so I settled for a mogu-mogu (Baka mabusog sa nata, Char). I was envious of that Korean across my row who was having his ramen. The smell of the ramen was wafting around the air. Gutom naaa.

Upon arriving in Incheon airport, I was kind of apprehensive on where to go because my memory of the airport was complicated because I wasn’t paying attention the last time I was there. But I handled it like a pro. There were English signs and arrows everywhere. Towards the immigration part, I saw a long queue on the ‘Foreign Passport’ area. Lelz. I’m loving my Korean passport. Took me literally 7 seconds to get through without speaking a word.

Okay so if you’re going to Korea alone for the first time, and you’re feeling apprehensive.

LAND – GO DOWN ESCALATORS – TAKE TRAIN TO MAIN AIRPORT – GO UP ESCALATORS – IMMIGRATION – LUGGAGE – TURN OVER DECLARATION FORM – GO TO YOUR ACCOMMODATION VIA SUBWAY, BUS, OR TAXI 

But seriously, anyone who can read will get to where they want to go.

TIP: I always tell this to myself and EVERY TIME I violate this simple self-made rule, shit happens. Never put anything on the counter inside comfort room cubicles. Because you might forget about it when you go out and 5 seconds after you remember it, your name is already being announced in the airport. #MaljaFailsInKorea

After I got my luggage I immediately logged in to my social media apps. I was so compelled to vlog and snapchat everything because everything was so cool Hahaha. SO I bought my T-Money (card for subway, bus) and rode the subway going home! I still remembered where my grandma’s apartment was so it went pretty smoothly. Gained some muscle mass from carrying my luggage (Couldn’t find the elevator, lol). It was fun. I’m used to doing things alone and that was just a whole new level of my independence.

WHERE SHOULD I GO TOMORROW? COMMENT BELOW

PEACE,

Malja

Korea – Part 5

In our last few days in Korea we finally got to do what we want. SHOPPING.

We were so involved in shopping we didn’t get to take pictures on every place. First stop is Yeungdeungpo station. We went to Times Square mall which was so cool. It had 9 stories or more. I wanted to try the food at the first floor. They all look so appetizing but my sister’s being a KJ.

Next stop is Yongsan station to check out the Yongsan Electronics Market. It was marvelous. Yeah that’s the word for it because it’s literally overflowing with gadgets.

Next is Myeongdong! My favorite! Regretting that we didn’t go around too much because we spent too much time eating and relaxing. 😦

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Next stop is Dongdaemun. I was kind of puzzled. We only went to 1 mall. I can’t seem to find the mall we’re looking for so that’s sad for us. After that, we went home already. SO much regrets. Next time I travel, I’ll plan my itinerary carefully and properly so we won’t waste any more time.

The next day we planned to go to  a lot of places and we even thought of going back to Myeongdong BUT our plan was ruined-ish. My grandmother took us to a park and we roamed around for FOUR freaking hours well she’s our grandma, we can’t really do anything.. I kinda enjoyed walking around but we could’ve done more productive things.

This park is a really nice place to just chill. It’s so huge.

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Our grandma being a kid. So cute!

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Bought my first pair of Doc Martens in Korea. I thought my aunt bought me the black one but this came on our doorstep. I realized something.. It looks like a clown’s boots with the red laces.

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After the park, we went all the way to Gangnam station to check out Gangnam (duh). It looks like a cleaner Makati. We lack thrift shop skills. We failed to look for a shopping place.

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We had lunch then we went to Samseong station for COEX Mall. It still has a lot of vacant places for stores so we just basically went around. It’s a huge mall. I found the Doc Martens shop and I bought new laces for my boots. Looks a lot better in black. Whatcha think?

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I also found Nemo and Dory

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So there, our day ended quickly. We didn’t go to all the places I listed because we wasted so much time in the park and after COEX we were dead tired.

The next day was a Sunday. WWe went to a Korean church in Socheo-gu in Gangnam. Little did I know I was going to meet my cousins and aunt too. I haven’t seen them for exactly a decade and my spirits lifted when I saw them. By the way I didn’t understand anything from the mass aside from “God” and “Jesus” and “Amen”.

After church we went to Seoul Arts Center with Yuri, our cousin and with our aunt.

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After that we spent the whole afternoon til sunset at the Hanggang Park. We had a great picnic. It’s such a cool park. Everyone’s just laying in their tents and on their mats, eating.

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We had 4 boxes of fried chicken a.k.a LOVE

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Like grandma like granddaughter

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That’s my cousin Dongyong. Seriously shocked at how big he is now. The last time I saw him he was still a little crying child 10 years ago.

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This cutie!IMG_0631 IMG_0633

Kat and Yuri looking homeless

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What we were waiting for. The beautiful fountain. Thumbs down to low quality pictures.

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Miss my cousins!

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The next day we went all the way to Children’s Grand Park station to see my aunts in Sejong University. They work there. While my aunts were all busy we went around Children Grand’s Park. We finally felt the harsh heat of the sun

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Back at Sejong University writing down on my travel journal

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That night we had our last dinner in Korea with my aunt. We had Samgyeopsal (pork belly), Galbi (pork rib), and pork skin. Yum!

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ON OUR LAST DAY. We went to Garosugil. Such a cute cozy shopping place! If we had more time I would shop here all day. BUT we don’t. There were galleries on little aisles too. Fun and chill place.

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At a cafe. Need a wifi break

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Happy to see Cara

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Hurrying to Insadong. REALLY no time left. We just went around Insadong to buy some last minute gifts. I badly wanted to go to Changdeokgung Palace which was just around the corner but we had no time left. 😦

AWESOME ART. Would love to do this on my wall

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SERIOUSLY RUSHED HOME. We were so far from home so we had to run. Then we still had to fix our luggages.

With halmoni and apa’s cousin. Look closely at the NOEYES people

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Heading to Incheon International Airport

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RUSHING RUSHING. Didn’t get to take a pic of the airport.

SO when we got to the check-in we had a problem with my passing. MY sister’s cleared and all but I wasn’t. See, my Filipino passport was expired and I used my Korean passport but the clerk was still asking for another document as a proof. I didn’t have any aside from my plane ticket. I wouldn’t be having a problem if the embassy stamped my passport upon arriving in Korea but they didn’t. How stupid. Luckily another guy clerk helped me through it all. It was so tiring. We were going up and down the airport. Doing this and that. Yada yada.

TIRED and ready to fly.

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I look like an ice cream here and I am seriously bothered at how weird-looking my eyes are. It’s like my right eye is Filipino and my left eye is Korean. It’s so weird. And most of the time I look weird in pictures because of my eyes. Don’t wanna get an eye surgery though!

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Creeper face

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The whole trip was a collection of ups and downs. A lot of unexpected things happened. I had my bad experiences and I also had my good ones. One thing I can say is I’ve learned a lot of things from this trip. Things that aren’t taught in school. Things taught only by experience.

Looking forward to my next visit!

Anyeong! 🙂

 

Korea – Part 4 (Everland)

After my 5-day trip to the province with my dad, he planned for us to go to Everland with my 2nd cousin. Well that was surprising because we didn’t really plan to go there. Also, this 2nd cousin of ours is just off with appropriateness.

RANT: My sister and I was just culture-shocked with this guy. I completely want  to forget about him but here I am about to blog with pictures and he’s included in it, great. So why am I annoyed with him? 1. He’s so f-ing immature. He’s 23 and my 10 y.o. brother is more mature than him maybe it’s because 2. He hasn’t gone to college and he has no job maybe because 3. He’s really stupid and all he cares about is going to clubs. Yes he always tells us that he goes to clubs like he’s bragging about it. Puh lease!! 4. He can’t speak proper english and then he freaks out when he can’t say what he wants to say 5. Just really inappropriate. Of course our Everland trip is all covered by us but this guy doesn’t have a single idea on how to handle these matters. He contradicts us on what we want to buy, he points at things he wants us to buy FOR HIM. The F! It’s our money let us handle this. 6. Lastly, his face. His attire and his face. I can’t even bear to look at him in our pictures for 5 seconds. Call me mean but I really had a hard time with this guy. If ever we go to Korea again I would never dare see him again. Besides, he’s our 2nd cousin, or third, or whatever. Only the first cousins matter. BTW, all my first cousins are perfectly normal and they are so nice! I told my rant to my parents already. My mom was just laughing on my meanness. OKAY. Moving on.

We didn’t go to Everland the next day. We went first to Sinchang, to my aunt and my cousin. It’s a very far place from us. We are from Juan and we went all the way to Sinchang at the end. It took us 3 hours by subway to go there.

1 subway

 

We were rushing and we forgot to bring a camera. *Facepalm* Anyway, I had my phone with me. So we met out aunt and our cousin. Took a stolen shot of them. Hihi. It’s my first time to see them. Her brother wasn’t there though. We went to a cathedral. You can see more of my pictures from this trip in my instagram. Honestly, we kind of wasted a whole day here. The day after we came, we just stayed at their house the whole day and waited for my aunt to come back from work. We could’ve just left earlier and used our time going around Seoul.

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And after that it was the day for Everland. Everland is Korea’s no. 1 theme park. It is famous for its wooden roller coaster which is the world’s steepest roller coaster. We didn’t get to ride it because it was raining but I don’t think I can ride it too. It looks so scary.

Everland was so beautiful with all the flowers. Such a girl.

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Sorry my 2nd cousin doesn’t know how to focus the camera.

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We rode the viking.

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ME, 2nd cuz, first cousin!, and Kat

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I was all oohs and aahs. It’s so pretty!!

Meh 😐 Oh look at the wooden roller coaster

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Safari!

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I saw Mirana :p Siberian tiger!

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And Aslan

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I just love tigers.

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First time to see a bear in real life.

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Hate the rain. Poncho life.

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Then we went to see an animal show. Actually we just rode the viking, a roller coaster, cable car, and a spinning swinging ride. There wasn’t much rides to ride because the others were too intense for me! It was okay. But the after part wasn’t.

RANT: Our 2nd cousin drove us and when we were about to go home, we didn’t know he’s taking us to Seoul Tower. But we already went there before. It was late when I realized he drove us there. He didn’t even tell us beforehand. So we were at the parking and I told him that we already went there. Then he was freaking out! I was telling him to calm down and just drive us home to Incheon. I was so pissed and weirded out by him. Seoul Tower is really far from Incheon. Then when we finally reached home, I was itching to just go inside and get it over with but he went out of the car too and asked me for money for the gas in a very impolite way. Wow couldn’t he be any more pleasing. I don’t know maybe it was just me but he was to only person I met in Korea that annoyed me that much. He was the only person who we had a problem with. He’s 23 and he needs an f-ing job.

 

My next blog post will be the last part of my Korea trip posts. Can’t write a decent concluding message because I was mad writing my rant. Bye.

Korea – Part 3 (Gangwon-do)

This is the last 2 days with apa in our adventure. Here, we explore the beautiful Gangwon province.

After Gyeongju, we slept at my dad’s friend’s house. The next day, we travel with them. They are a couple who loves having adventures on mountain ridges and great places of Korea. These days we haven’t been sleeping enough. We always wake up early. This time we woke up at 3AM. Plus I’m having an issue with my iPhone charger. It’s kind of broken inside. I need to plug and unplug many times til the charging icon appears. It’s because of my adapter, it’s loose on the outlet. I wasn’t briefed that the outlet would be different. Haha! Anyway this is about the adventure not the wifi.

We had a 2-hour drive from Suwon to Gangwon province. The first place we went to is a mountain. I don’t know the name of the mountain. It’s just a random mountain, I think. I was amazed at the sight of it. It’s in my bucket list to see a foggy mountain in real life and it was there right in front of me. Surrounding me.

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We walked and walked until we saw this long sign blocking the way that tells us not to pass because we are not allowed to get something, I forgot, something like food or a produce that can be found the further we go. So we had to turn around. I was always behind them taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. They had no idea how awed I was inside. I was just using Canon G11 here. Everyone deserves to see this live.

This is the Skywalk

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I have to say it’s pricey for the short moment you have here. It wasn’t long but I think it’s pretty worth it. Look at that view.

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Photo ops by the flowered trees

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We went to ‘Jeongseon Auraji Rail Bike’ to buy our tickets for the rail bike but we had to wait for 2 hours. So while waiting, we had lunch and we went by the waterfalls.

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Cherry blossoms

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My dad decided to go down the rocky path to the stream. And he asked me to join. We washed our hands on the ice-cold water.

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Waited around the rail bike area. This rail is no longer used by trains that’s why they turned it into something useful and profitable.

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Our friends picking vegetables for our dinner. In this province, food is everywhere. You might just be stepping on it.

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And so we rode. It took us about 1 hour to finish and at the end, we all rode a cute train.

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I pedalled for about 90% of the time. Apa just slept and Kat biked for the last few minutes. It was really cold inside the tunnel. It wasn’t tiring. It was relaxing and at the same time pumps you because it’s so fun!

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AWESOME experience. Rail biking was my favorite. While biking, you will pass by a lot of beautiful sceneries. Farm fields, rivers, mountains. Simply breathtaking.

After that, we stayed in a small cottage. It’s a small place yet it’s very expensive and apa said it’s the cheapest because it’s more expensive if it’s seasonal. Whatever, I’m not paying. Hahaha!

So this is our dinner. Various vegetables picked and packed. The beef was so good!

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I didn’t bring a lot of clothes on this trip to the province because I don’t want my shoulders to ache from bringing a lot of stuff and I’m using a longchamp shoulder bag. I badly needed a backpack. So we had to reuse some clothes (except under garments, duh). I think it’s okay cause you don’t really sweat in this temperature. Also my keds sneakers has a hole underneath. Really didn’t know what to bring. I just grabbed whatever warms me. Lesson learned. Next time, I know what to bring. (This place had wifi, extra awesome)

This is what I woke up to the next morning.

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We’re now off to Seoraksan. It’s a rock mountain also in Gyeongju but far from this place. Our last destination for this trip to the province.

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Ice cream sandwich. It’s getting warm.

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Very very huge Buddha.

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A bit blurry. Dad doesn’t care about the focus.

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Look at that rock mountain on the upper left. Beauty.

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Walked around for bout an hour while waiting for our cable car.

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Aw my dad was just washing his feet. Haha.

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So we rode the cable car then climbed the Seoraksan to its peak.

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If you fall off then you fall off. Bit scary but it’s super awesome. Be adventurous. It was very windy on top. Extra thrill.

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Behind him is a mountain with bits of ice.

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Going back.

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That was it. We had sashimi and seafood by the East Sea then we went home to Incheon. The next day, we went for a quick shop at Namdaemun Market and then we went to Incheon International Airport to bring my dad because he’s going home already. My sister and I stayed longer.

This was in Namdaemun Market. I didn’t buy anything except for food because I can’t find a cheap backpack that I like. Also it’s so weird to shop with my dad.

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We rode the Seoul Metro going to Seoul Station then we rode the express subway going to Incheon International Airport. The express subway was so cool and it took us 48 minutes to reach the airport. When we reached the airport I met my dad’s cousin and halmoni(grandmother), and our 2nd cousin who is very annoying. I’ll tell the story on my next blog post–Still in Korea. We went to Everland. And I met all of my Korean cousins I’ve never met before.  

This is the Incheon Bridge. It was very beautiful and I wish I saw during the day but I didn’t get the chance to.

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It has been awesome. We were independent and free when dad left us to explore by ourselves. Wait for my next blog post. 🙂

xx

Korea – Part 2 (Gyeongju)

Part 2!!!! This is my favorite because I absolutely loved the province. Every place we go is just breathtaking! Alright I’m so excited to share this.

Woke up at 6AM. Rode the KTX(bullet train) at 8AM. 2 hours later, we arrived at Gyeongju province.

(Seoul Station)

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(Gyeongju) Beautiful. We were literally surrounded with mountains. If you turn 360 degrees all you see are mountains.

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The bullet train we rode runs 300Km/h. It was really nice inside. It’s my first time to ride a train like that. Just like riding a plane, only it’s more comfortable.

This is the port or the station in Gyeongju. We rented a taxi to go around at all the tourist spots.

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The first place we went to is the Royal Tomb of King Taejong Muyeol. At first I thought they just had a lot of small hills around the place but that hill is a tomb.

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Next stop: Tomb of General Kim Yu-Sin

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Lunch

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Next: Seokguram – the most famous landmark in Gyeongju

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Walking up to the grotto that houses a buddha structure that was built in the year 751. Taking pictures aren’t allowed inside the grotto. We stayed for a good 5mins. There were buddhists who were bowing and chanting to the Buddha. There was an air of serenity inside. It was really beautiful.

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The Great Bell for Unification. We struck this huge bell three times.

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Bulguksa

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This pagoda is called the Dabotap. There’s another pagoda called Seokgatap near it but it’s being reconstructed/fixed. Behind the pagoda is the Great Enlightenment Hall which houses a huge Buddha made out of gold. Again, no picture taking..

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Poseokjeongji. Small remains of the Royal Silla Dynasty Villa.

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Cheomseongdae Observatory. The oldest observatory in East Asia.

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Last! I’m not sure if this is the Gyerim Forest but it was a really nice forest with lots of pine trees and maple trees.

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My dad told us to do this pose. Funny! Ignore the wet patch on my jacket.

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The tombs were a pair nature mammaries.

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First time to see a squirrel jumping around.

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Amazing how we went to so many places and we finished at 5PM. We went back to Gyeongju station. We bought dried persimmons. They are the bomb. I regret not buying enough to bring home.

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And here I am waiting for the bullet train. Again, my dad did this. Hahaha! My dad is not the photo op type of person except in Korea. He’s so patriotic and nationalistic in a lot of ways. We saw his other side that we’ve never seen before. He’s an awesome dad.

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Here we are off to my dad’s friend’s house to spend the night there and then the next day we went to Kangwon province. I was planning to put that in this post too but I don’t want this post to be super long and that’s another great adventure. I’ll be posting it tomorrow.