The Land of the Morning Calm – Day 5 (Last Day)

Our last day in South Korea was spent being traditional. For our last tourist destination before shopping for souvenirs was the Gyeongbokgung Palace/National Folk Museum! We learned and experienced traditional Korean culture from birth to death.

We also saw a traditional Korean village where most Koreanovelas were shot!!!! ❤

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Yes, my eyes are closed. 😐

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Okay, I think it’s about time that I reveal the infamous Bruce Lee The Tour Guide. He’s this great English speaking tour guide who’s funny and caring and he actually cried when we boarded our plane back home. 😦

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That’s us, doing the Filipino peace sign pose!

Goodbye Korea 😦

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Summer 2013 adventures next! So very sorry for making you readers wait for soooo long. 😦

❤ C

 

The Land of the Morning Calm – Day 4

 

 

For our fourth day in South Korea, we trekked to their most famous and largest theme park, Everland! Everland is famous for their highest wooden roller coaster (yes, it’s made of wood!) called the T-Express. Because it’s the winter season, we didn’t get to ride it since it’s closed. 😦 Oh well, I guess that gives me the perfect excuse to go back, right? 😀

 

Here are some pictures of our fun Everland experience! Due to the time constraints, we only got to ride two rides, the Jungle Safari ride, where we saw white tigers, normal tigers (lol), big brown bears and the only living Liger (lion + tiger). The lines were crazy long and the last ride we went to was the Double Rock Spin where we were flung (not gently, in fact) around and around in the air like dolls.

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After Everland, we went shopping to the most famous (and cheapest) shopping destination in South Korea: Myeongdong 🙂 Such great great finds!!!

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Can you spot me in these two pictures above? Lol

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Since Everland was a disappointing experience (long lines + short time allotted), the next Korean attraction we went to was by far the best! It was my favorite one in the whole trip. 🙂 Let me reveal what it is: THE NANTA SHOW!  

The musical has a simple back story of three cooks attempting to finish preparing a wedding banquet within a strict time limit while the manager installs his incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime and audience participation. The unifying element throughout the musical is the use of traditional Korean samul nori music, which in this case in performed with improvised instruments, such as cutting boards, water canisters and kitchen knives. The performance is almost completely non-verbal. (c) Wikipedia

I truly had fun laughing and clapping and cheering!

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(Sneaked this shot, sshh!)

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The Nephew ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Last day in Korea tomorrow!!!!

❤ C

Land of the Morning Calm – Day 3

For our third day, we were headed to somewhere warmer. The heart of South Korea – Seoul! It was nice to see the actual city, the city lights, the crowded streets, and real residents. The city was alive and thriving, you would get sucked right in and never want to come back.

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The day started out good because due to the fact that we actually HAD breakfast that day, it was also snowing!!! Actual snowfall were err.. falling when we checked out of the hotel. Of course everyone was happy and cheerful that we got to experience something we never could have back home.

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For our first destination, we visited KTO or the Korean Tourism Organization. Since we were Tourism majors, we attended a seminar about Korea’s future plans in terms of increasing the tourism influx in their country. Not that they needed it, though. They were attracting tourists from the get go!

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After that, we went to lunch at the Korea Samgetang Restaurant for their specialty: Ginseng Chicken Soup. The warmth from the hot soup was very welcome, since I was freezing my ass off, even though Seoul was supposed to be “warmer”.

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My gorgeous, gorgeous friend, Jean Marie!

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And now this is where the fun starts. This day was a mixture of something traditional and modern Korean culture. For our taste (literally) of something traditional, we went to this KimChi making school to actually learn how they made their traditional dish!

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The ingredients for KimChi!

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Ta-daaa! That’s not actually the finished product, but only halfway. They stored these somewhere until the KimChi inside the bag was ready 🙂

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More KimChi! These are different types of KimChi that they made us try and eat.  Did you know that KimChi was one of the healthiest food in the world? Apparently, there was an virus spreading around the world (I think it was SARS or something like that), and South Korea was the only country who wasn’t affected by it.

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So do I look like a legit Korean girl now? 🙂 Just kidding. After making the KimChi, another taste of something traditional was we also got to try their traditional clothing: Hanboks!

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After feeling like dolls, we headed to a bunch of different tourist destinations (they were actually mandatory for tourists to drop by to) like The Blue House (Korea’s White House equivalent) and a Ginseng Shop and a Cosmetics Shop.

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After all those walking around, we finally headed to our dinner. And guess what? This time, it’s a buffet! And you know what that means..

FOOOOODPOOORN!

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My personal favorite! GREEN TEA CAKE!

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Korea’s streetfood was a step up from ours!

For a taste of modern Korean culture, we went to N Seoul Tower! The “N” meant “New” so it literally means “New” Seoul Tower. It’s a great place, especially for lovers, to go to and just soak in the culture and the ambiance of the gorgeous place. 
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Inside the N Seoul Tower, you can see the famous Teddy Bear Museum. I know of it because of the only Koreanovela I watched, Princess Hours. So you can just imagine my excitement that I get to see it in person!

The Teddy Bear Museum is actually divided into two parts: Traditional and Modern. Just like our day.

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Gangnam Teddy!

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After the museum, we headed on up to the highest floor where we got to see the whoooole city!

As well all know, N Seoul Tower is most famous for their Love Padlocks/Locks of Love. And of course I wouldn’t miss it for the world! My friend, Jean, and I immediately purchased padlocks (you can bring your own too) and wrote our names and the date on it and clipped it on a metal fence. Where it would stay forever (hopefully).

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Well, that’s about it for our third day! Tune in for more!

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Well, I definitely did!

Annyeong for now!

❤ C

Land of the Morning Calm – Day 2

I’m really, really scared to continue this post series about my travel to Korea because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t put it to justice. Words can never explain how truly wonderful the world (and God) is, the taste of fine and exotic cuisine in my mouth, how the freezing cold makes me want to run to the nearest fireplace. And all of it seems like an excellent dream, passing away through my fingers. If only I could relive each day, this time with the people who are special to me. 🙂

Enough about rambling, and on to the trip!

In my previous post, I left behind a cliffhanger pertaining to something about waking up. My roommate and I actually forgot to set our alarms one hour ahead (A BIG TRAVELLING NO NO!) so when my alarm woke us up at 6:00, it was actually 7 in the morning and check out starts at 8! We clearly don’t have time to shower, pack our things and eat breakfast.

So when we headed off to PhyongChang Phoenix Ski Resort, I could definitely eat a whole cow. But what we ate for lunch was definitely worth those long starving hours.

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This dish is called Osam Bulgogi or Cuttlefish and Pork Barbecue which we ate in a restaurant near the resort called Myeongseng.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m terribly hungry but THIS DISH IS THE BEST I’VE EVER TASTED MY WHOLE LIFE. Asked for another helping of rice (with seaweed!!!) and another.. and another..

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After lunch, we headed to the Phoenix Ski Resort, rented our BIG ASS ski boots that went up to my mid-calf and HEAVY skis that are longer than me. We actually had to WALK in those boots, ride an elevator while carrying those skis. I think I broke my back all of a sudden.

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Friends and I looking adorbs in our ski gear!

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I look like a pig. Or a sausage. A sausage-wrapped pig.

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Well if you guys think that basketball, volleyball, or soccer is hard, wait ’til you guys get a shot at SKIING. Just attaching those damned shoes to the skis take a lot of work (and concentrated balance). Falling is definitely not optional, but a requirement. It’s definitely not fun if you don’t fall!

(By the way, I’m glad one of my friends, Jean Marie, didn’t suffer any major concussions after her, um, accident. 😦 I love you babe!)

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Yay, look at me! Skiing is actually fun if we push around and just glide but the real challenge was learning how to STOP. And climb the steep hill. But I did it and managed to get a few bruises along the way!

For dinner, we went to Hanwoo Village and ate Pork Barbecue. It’s actually a specialty because they were served raw and we were in charge of cooking them according to our preferences. The pork was marinating in a special sauce and we ate them with lettuce and rice. Yuuum!

When we got back to the resort (HELLO WIFI!), we were given 2 hours to rest and enjoy the hotel amenities. We were called back to the lobby and headed to Bruce Lee’s hotel room for the Korean Noodle Cooking Demo. But that supposedly educational cooking lesson, we ended up having a great party with our tour guide and tour escorts!

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We played these party games called Baskin Robbins (the game, not the ice cream), and something called Find the Spy? Haha! It was fun, childish, and awesome and our class was the last to leave the hotel.

I accidentally lost our room key though and had to pay 7,000 KRW (roughly less than $10). Boo. So that caps off my second day (and night) in the Land of the Morning Calm. Tomorrow, we’re heading off to SEOUL! Aaah, I can imagine the city lights, people and SHOPS already.

❤ C

The Land of the Morning Calm – Day 1

 

 

Since my major is Tourism, my college organizes international tours as part of the curriculum for every third year student. For our batch, South Korea won by a landslide against a cruise ship to three countries, Australia and Japan. The trip was then called “enSEOULed in Korea”, with the word ensouled meaning to endow with a soul. And what a SEOULful adventure it was!
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Our trip was hosted by Asiana Airlines (OZ), and here we are, with my blockmates and friends, waiting to board the 3-hour flight. Incheon International Airport was by far, the best airport I have ever seen.

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Exchanged my dollars for Korean Won! Felt stinking rich for saying that I have more than 100,000 KRW, (around $250) lol. Excuse my disgusting nail polish.

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After meeting our tour guide (Bruce Lee, you’ll see him in later posts), we headed straight from the airport to breakfast. My first Korean dish didn’t disappoint! This is called U-dong Noodle served at Poonglim Restaurant. Though the soup was a bit lukewarm when we arrived, but we’re so disappointed in the airplane food that we could eat anything they served us!

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Outfit for the day!

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For our first tourist destination, we headed to Nami Island. You might find this familiar, because this was the place where the famous Koreanovela, Winter Sonata, was shot. It was definitely a place for couples because romance is thick in the air! The place was lovely, calm, and serene. Not to mention cold and slippery.

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To fight the cold, this sign caught our eyes (and noses) so we shelled out 1,000 KRW (roughly $1) to buy this intriguing Snowman Pancake.

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…And it was by far the best pancake I have ever had! IHOP couldn’t create something like this. Ever! It was warm, crispy, and has a sort of coconut-ish jam at the middle. All for the price of less than $1!

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After freezing our butts off (and an almost lost bag of yours truly), we headed to lunch, and it was AMAZEBALLS! We had to cook everything ourselves. This dish is called Takalbi, or chicken barbeque at Dongnamu Restaurant. We had to wrap the chicken in lettuce or choose to eat it with rice. My mouth is watering at the sight of it!

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Our next stop: Mt. Sorak! It’s one of Korea’s highest mountains and most beautiful, in my opinion. Just look at that snow! It’s a miracle my toes are still intact after trekking through that slope.

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To get to the top, we had to ride a cable car then trek halfway. Some of my friends did it, but others (like me), were too chicken shit to climb because of the VERY SLIPPERY SNOW. We actually slid downwards, being unable to walk properly. Yes, we SLID.

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Happy happy girls! We’re actually the ones who were left behind while the others climbed to the top.

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For dinner, we headed to restaurant called Sanmaru, where we had the Seafood Steamboat. Look at all those side dishes! The dish includes all kinds of seafood you can imagine, from oysters, to squid, shrimp and fish cakes!

This is the restaurant where I actually had my first “culture shock” because of the traditional bathroom that they have. It’s the kind of bathroom where you have to SQUAT at a HOLE in the GROUND. So yeah, surprise was actually an understatement.

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This day was a tribute to all things traditional, so we checked in at Sorak Daemyeong Resort where the bedrooms we had to sleep in are on the floor. It was nice and cozy and not the mention WARM. I was actually sweating when I woke up!

And speaking of waking up.. there was actually an incident which includes breakfast. Lol. But that’s a story for next time! Annyeong (“goodbye”)!

C ❤

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.

This post is all about me, so I suggest you better click that pretty little ‘back’ button once you get too umay, okay? Hehe 😉

First day:

White sheer top with black sheer detail (Venom)
Black sheer skirt with white lace lining (Venom)
Bayo bag
Red flats
Band aid. Lol. Unfortunately, I had a burn on my right foot days before our vacation!

Second day:

God is cool shirt (Ukay-ukay)
White denim shorts
Havaianas
Pink bikini

Beach outfit:

 Floral straw hat (Palawan)
White lace top (Bazaar)
Mullet skirt (tailored)
Red bangle (Palawan)
Pink bikini

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Ph 4:13

Favorite Bible verse!

Last Day:

It’s More Fun in Palawan shirt!

Unfortunately, this will be my last post about our trip. So goodbye for now, Palawan, and hello reality! 🙂

❤ Cae