Saturday, February 2, 2013

Unforgettable Vacation: Welcome to Korea! January 15-21 2013

Okay, I know this is supposed to be a personal post. But since I would like to remember this moment in my life, I chose to write it here on my blog. For those who are not interested, you can just skip this post. ㅋㅋㅋ

If you noticed, I haven't been able to post some updates during the said dates. It was because I had a vacation in Seoul, South Korea that I was too busy to check my computer for any latest updates. But let me share to you this wonderful experience that I had.

Let me start on the time when I was applying for a visa. The original plan was me, and my two other friends here in our country decided to apply. We were so scared since there was no interview to be done, only passing the needed requirements and the result will be given after a week. Me and my other friend applied on the same day, while the other one still needs to renew her passport. So when the day came to get the result, some bad news came. But the bottom line is, ends up it was only gonna be me who will be able to travel to Korea. I felt mixed emotions. My dream was to visit Korea and to see snow since we never had snow in our country. I was stressed and depressed at the same time. I was thinking,'What will I do there all by myself? How will I survive living in a foreign country for 7 days?' All these things came to my mind. And as the date comes nearer, so many unexpected things happened. 2 days before I left, My ATM debit card was not working. I need to go to the bank the next day only to find out I need a replacement and the card will not be activated after 2 business days. >.< A day before my flight, my credit card company told me that there was unauthorized charging on my card and that it needed to be blocked. They will send a replacement after 7 business days. >.< I was not sure if the money I have on my hand is enough for my travel. I was so mad that my sister even told me, 'Don't you think there are so many hindrances in your plans going overseas? Maybe you need to cancel your flight' I was thinking of listening to my sister. But still, I told myself 'Make your dreams come true.'

Suddenly, my friend from Alaska told me she will be able to come with me. That lifted my spirit a lot. ^^ She's also a Triple S so no wonder we'll definitely have a blast talking with a lot of things. ^^ She'll be at the airport earlier than me so I was a bit shy but excited at the same time to see her for the first time after being friends for almost a year. ^^

At the NAIA Airport Terminal 3, there were a lot of questions asked to me by the immigration officer. He asked whom am I traveling with, what's the job of my father, my sister, why am I traveling alone, from what school I graduated, how many siblings do I have, where am I working, what course I took during college, where do I plan to stay in Korea, how many days I'll be staying, what's the purpose of my travel..... so many questions that I thought I was in a police precint being investigated. >.< But thank God, he approved my papers.

 The night of my flight January 15, 2013 1:15am Philippine time, the plane left heading to Korea. I wasn't able to sleep during the flight since I'm scared being alone on my seat and probably because of excitement too. ^^ Suddenly, the pilot announced that we are arriving Korea earlier than scheduled, 5:46am KST. He also announced that the temperature at that time was -7 degrees. Whew~! Pretty cold! Then, the plane landed.

Wearing a jacket and boots, I alight the plane and followed the passengers to ride a train taking us to the immigration dept.

I thought, 'This is so cool! A train to take us? In the Philippines you will only be escorted. But here? A train?' ^^ Only proves how advanced the technology and the economy there. After getting to the immigration, they only looked at my passport, captured my picture and got my fingerprint with a scanner, then off to get my luggage and enter Korea officially! ^^ I went out at Gate E and saw my friend there waiting for me. ^^ We greeted and was happy to see each other! It's also her first time in Korea so it will be a big adventure for both of us. Then we decided to go to the guesthouse where we will be staying for the next couple of days. We rode a subway train heading to Hongik station where the place is near. The funny thing is, they never used coins for train, instead they used a T-Money. It's like a card that you swipe it then you can enter already the entrance going to the subway train. If the money rans out, you just have to reload it with a reloading machine. ^^ High Technology! ^^ 

It was seriously cold outside, I can even see a smoke coming out of my mouth due to coldness. Good thing my friend gave me a jacket which is suitable for winter. It kept me warm. ^^ I was wearing my shirt, then my jacket, then the jacket she gave. That's how cold it is! We arrived in BOA Guesthouse at 8:35am and they were kind enough to accept our luggage and bags while we are waiting for our check-in time which is 2pm. We ate breakfast at the nearest convenience store GS25 and had a spicy noodle. We were very tired as both of us haven't had sleep yet so we decided to go back to our guesthouse and just wait there until it is our time to check-in. They let us use the computer station while waiting. After a few minutes of staying, a staff came and told us we can check-in earlier. They are so very nice. They even gave us hot packs for free since it's winter. ^^ By 11:10am we were already inside our rooms. ^^ 

We rested for a couple of hours, then decided to go to Namsan Tower as our first stop. The staff at the Guesthouse provided us directions to go there.While heading to the subway train, we came across this food stand and we cannot resist of not trying the famous 떡볶기. ^^ It's delicious compared to the one I've tasted in our country but it is also spicy. ^^

After eating, we rode the train to go a certain place where we can ride a bus going to Namsan. While walking, we saw this park in the area and again we decided to take some pictures! ^^ There's even a snow laying on the ground! ^^

Few minutes came, then we saw the bus that we will be riding. ^^ 

Around 10-15minutes, we reached our destination... Namsan Tower. ^^

If you can recall a certain episode where Jun Pyo waited for Jandi in the cold winter day, this is where they shoot that scene. ^^

Top view... So many padlocks...

Around late in the afternoon, I said to my friend to call it a day since we are both tired and freezing cold. We rode again the bus. I forgot to mention, we also use T-Money to ride the bus. Just swipe it, and you're already paid! How cool isn't it? ^^

Day 2
The following morning, we woke up early and started making breakfast. Free breakfast was offered. We cooked eggs and toasted our bread. I was craving for noodles, and good thing they also offer noodles that you can cook using their ramen cooker.

An odd combination for breakfast? I actually don't care, I just want to eat this. ㅋㅋㅋ After eating, we washed our dishes and were talking when I suddenly saw outside that it's snowing! Oh my, it's my first time seeing a snow! So I hurried outside and looked at that sky, watching the snow fall. ^^ I asked my friend to take pictures of me while the snow is falling. She took it and I was so happy. It's amazing how similar it is with the drawings and pictures I saw in the internet. ^^ If only I could take home some of it so I can show it to my sister, I would. But of course, it would melt by the time I put it in a bag. ㅋㅋㅋ

By lunch time, we asked one of the staff where we can eat good food. She suggested a place near the area. As we went to the area, it's an authentic place where people don't know how to speak English. So with my little knowledge of Korean, we tried to order bibimbap (비빔밥). They served hot water since it's winter, and they even gave us a free kimchi stew (김치찌개). They were very accommodating and very nice people.

Next stop, we went to Lotte World. It was my first time seeing a theme park inside a mall! And there's also an ice skating rink.

We went inside this part, and whoalla! We were surprised to see that there's still an outside theme park awaiting for us!

Back inside is a parade going on.

After that, we went to Lotte Star Avenue. You know what's in store for us there? This! ^^

We've taken tons of pictures here but I couldn't share it all here. We even heard the song 'Lucky Guy' being played while we were taking pictures and my friend and I shouted by the time we heard it. ^^ It's as if we're seeing him there. ㅋㅋㅋ When we finished taking pictures and spending almost an hour there, we went to our next stop which is...... 작살치킨 in Jamsil. ^^

Day 3
Our original plan was to welcome Kim Hyun Joong back to Korea from his Japan Tour. We were waiting for some updates. One of my friends told me that he usually uses Gimpo Airport if he's coming back from Japan. So we decided to go to Gimpo Airport. 

We waited for a few minutes but it seems he's not gonna use Gimpo. So we decided to stroll around Lotte Mall first while waiting for updates. We came across this nice treat and he gave us a free taste. Seriously it was so delicious that we ended up buying it. ^^

We went to Hello Kitty Cafe after. ^^ My friend is a super duper fan of Hello Kitty items so being there is heaven for her. ^^

After a few minutes, we were rushing to go to Incheon Airport since we heard that Hyun Joong will be using Incheon. We were both hoping we'll be able to catch him exiting the airport. By the time we reached there, we saw some teenagers running through the way of arrival so we followed them. By the time we reached the Gate F where he is schedule to exit, only a few minutes after, we were running again towards the door. We saw his bodyguard and we knew he's already there. Unfortunately the bodyguard said he used a different gate, which is Gate E! He then said Hyun Joong already left the airport. I was like 'What?!' After all our hardships, ends up we went back to the subway to finally ride our way home. No Hyun Joong. T_T

Because it was still early, we tried to experience the night life in Seoul. And we were not disappointed. It is such a good place to stay up late. ^^ You can see a lot of things and eat a lot of food on the street. ^^

Day 4
Next Day, we woke up late. We were supposed to visit different locations related to SS501 but we only ended up going to KeyEast Agency just to take a look what's it like. ^^ Then off we got to do our shopping day which is Myeongdeong Day! ^^ I bought some things to give out to my family. My friend bought a lot, since she wanted to get that free calendar from The Face Shop. ^^

And while in Myeongdong, we found our heaven... ♥

We were frantic the moment we saw these in the shelves and we couldn't figure out what to buy. It's because our pocket does not permit us to buy everything we want. T_T Still, we made sure to bring home any SS501 album. ^^

Day 5
The day when we will be meeting my other Triple S friend and her friend. ^^ She was the one who helped me prepare the itinerary for my whole stay. ^^ We are scheduled to meet Gangnam station (Yes, it's Gangnam! ^^) by noon. While waiting, my friend and I strolled around the underground mall. And we came across this thing that caught our attention. I thought it was just simply an ad, but it turns out it was a huge touch screen where you can take your picture and edit it. Wow! I was seriously amazed how advanced their technology! 

After a few minutes of waiting, my other Triple S friend came and we were heading of to our next destination. But since we haven't eaten our luch, we happen to pass by this food cart tent where we ate some nice food. ^^

After eating, we rode a bus and the travel time is 1hour. Our destination? Well, it's another theme park. But guess what it is... ^^

 Yes, you are right! We've reached Everland! ^^ I was so happy. ^^ Brings back memories of 'We Got Married' days when Hyun Joong went here with Hwangbo. ^^ I won't be posting all the pictures I've taken here because there are a lot. But those area that I need to share are these.

The restaurant where they eat Jajangmyeon, when Hyun Joong called Kyu Jong to invite him and Hyung Jun for dinner.

The ride where they played a 'no expression' game. Hyun Joong was really funny because he was able to have his composure entirely during the scary ride but got afraid of the bug after. ㅋㅋㅋ

By 3:30pm we decided to leave since we need to catch up a 5pm appointment. On our way, I was told that our guest has arrived earlier than expected. He was there by 4pm. Gosh! We need to hurry. We even had trouble finding the right exit on the subway. Good thing a lot of Korean people were very helpful to us. ^^ When we got there, it's already 6pm. We were hoping he hasn't left yet. Good thing he was still there,.... playing. ^^ The guest I'm talking about is.... 

Yes! You are seeing it right! We finally saw SS501's 막내 김형준!!!!! ^^ This is my first time seeing him in person! Though it was very cold that night, but I was able to tolerate the coldness since Hyung Jun was there playing soccer. ^^ It was very entertaining to watch him play. You could easily recognize him from afar because you could hear his laughter. ^^ Same laughter I was hearing on youtube videos. ㅋㅋ The same 막내 who is very playful and adorable and cute and funny. ^^ He keeps shouting '안돼~!!!' whenever the opponent is trying to make a goal. And based on what I have noticed, he is really very friendly to fans. He talks to them as if they were friends and not celebrity to fans. He was asking them what's the score, what is the time, etc. ^^ Probably if I was living in Korea, I'd be following every game he attends to. ^^ During their break time, he sits and checks his phone or drinks gatorade. He made goals during that night. ^^ When the game ended, he grabbed his coat, and steps down to the fans. Silly me, he stood right in front of me, and all I was able to say was 'Hello Kim Hyung Jun, I'm from the Philippines.' ^^ Then he replied back 'Hello~'. I forgot to take a fancam of that moment. Maybe that's what every fangirl feels whenever they have their first encounter with their idol.... totally forgets everything. >.< I should've recorded that moment so I can watch it over and over again. >.< The time I was only able to do a fancam was when he was about to leave. Here's my fancam. Enjoy! ^^

It was such a memorable night for me! ^^ After that, we ate dinner at Hwangbo's restaurant. My friend was able to take pictures of the food. ^^

Day 6
Started our day meeting my Triple S friend and accompanied us to one of the agencies of our boys. B2M Entertainment. Too bad it was a Sunday so the office was closed but we were able still to take some pictures. 

After a few mintues, we decided to eat our lunch. My Triple S friend suggested we eat to a good place she has been which is located at Seoul station. ^^ There we found a treasure of food. ^^

Their serving is good for 2-3 persons so we ended up ordering 3 variety. Shrimp and bacon rice, Jajangmyeon, Ramyun. I was hesitant to eat the Jajangmyeon because I've tasted it here in our country and I didn't liked it. But my friend keeps insisting that I should taste it first. After trying, I realized that it tastes different from the ones I've tasted here in our country. It was delicious! ^^ I realized it tastes better if done in Korea. ^^ No wonder Kyu Jong loves this. ㅋㅋㅋ After our meal, we headed to Myeongdong again because we forgot to buy some merch there. So you know already that our pockets are empty once again. By evening, we went to our last stop which is 작살치킨 in Ilsan. 

The moment we chose our table, the song being played was 'Smile' by Kim Hyun Joong! I was so happy to be there. I's as if he was there too. ^^ then after a few minutes, the song 'Do You Like That' was played, then 'Please' then 'Lucky guy' too! Feels like heaven again! ^^ Too bad he wasn't there, nor his brother, or even his mother. T_T But still we enjoyed eating our last dinner in Seoul. ^^

Day 7
The day we are scheduled to be back home. It was raining that day. Probably the weather can feel our hesitation to go back to our own country since we are enjoying Korea already. My friend and I bought food from Paris Baguette for lunch. While eating, we were discussing our happy moments there and how sad we are to leave. We thought 7 days was too long, but it was actually too short for us to enjoy more. We plan to be back by next year and hopefully we could stay longer. I wouldn't include anymore the pictures I took from the airport since it will be a sad memory for me. T_T

Bottom line... I had fun. Not only because it was the country where SS501 members is staying, but because of the experiences, the people who were very kind and respectful, the snow, the food... almost everything. It feels like my second home, where I'm very comfortable living at. For those who are planning to go on a vacation, I will recommend Korea for you to visit. It's worth it! And I promise to be back! ^^  

*special thanks to my friend for the pictures



  1. Thank you for sharing your interesting trip to Korean. I wish I could go too. Hope you get to go again.

    1. Your welcome ^^ I thought no one is interested to read my post. But thank you for visiting my blog. ^^ You can go to Korea. Have faith. ^^

  2. Wow. This is quite a long post but I definitely enjoyed reading it. Nice to know you enjoyed our country. Maybe we could follow each other on Bloglovin and/or GFC?

    Please leave me a comment on my blog and I will follow you!


  3. Such a great experience!! I read everything** btw , this year I'll go to Seoul, and i want to ask you, where does he play soccer? sorry for my english >.<

    1. wow! good to know you're gonna visit too. ^^ i am positive you will enjoy your stay! ^^

      I don't know the name of the exact location because we rode a subway and we almost got lost because we dont know which exit to go to. >.< my advice to you, if ever there is a soccer schedule of Hyung Jun, he usually announce it on twitter then from there you would know where he's gonna play. ^^ hope that helps. ^^


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