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

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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 ❤

McCoy’s Brick Oven Pizza

For our second night in Palawan, we saw this restaurant that sells “brick oven pizzas” and it immediately caught our eye, not to mention our appetites.

Stepping inside the restaurant, the smell already got to us. It smells so amazing!! Fresh bread baking, and different kinds of herbs lingers in the air. We were so hungry that we could have ordered everything off the menu!! It was a pretty tiring day, after all.

Cute and cozy interiors!! Feels like hooome. ❤ Each table is different, by the way! 🙂

Even the plates are cute!! I swear I spazzed out when I saw these and immediately called dibs on the pink one with two flowers. Each one of us has a unique plate! ❤

Three pitchers of iced tea for the 12 of us! This was actually insufficient, and we had to order another pitcher.

Mojos for our appetizer! Perfectly crisp, though the gravy was forgettable. 🙂

Seafood Marinara! Too salty, blech. :p

Creamy Beef and Mushroom pasta!! This was heaven on a plate!!

What amazed me most was their pizzas!!! Their pizza sizes are THE SAME as Yellow Cab, but half the price! Their most expensive 18″ pizza is priced at P490 php only! Gaaah, can I live at Palawan now?

Hands. Down. The. Best. Pizza. I. Have. Ever. Eaten.
Their McCoy’s Special! Craaving for this! ❤

Had blueberry cheesecake for dessert, though we were too excited to eat to take a picture. 😦

Downsides: SERVICE WAS TERRIBLE. They just placed the plates of food on one side of the table, and just waited for us to move it to a free space. When we also asked for an additional pitcher of iced tea, there was no room on the table. She just stared at us while we moved the empty dishes that they were supposed to remove already. We had to call a waitress about 4 times before she got to our table. 😐

Last night in Palawan!

❤ Cae

Balinsasayaw Chicken Grill and Restaurant

For our first night in Palawan, we were craving for fresh seafood! After asking the hotel’s caretaker, we went to Balinsasayaw Chicken Grill, just a few minutes away from our hotel.

My initial reaction upon entering the restaurant was amazement. The ambiance was so romantic! The restaurant was a huge fairy-lighted garden with nipa huts that ranges from small (two people pax) and large (it can house about 8 people). Since we had a large company (we were 12 in all), we settled for a large table instead of the cute nipa huts.

With Cito and Gold!

Look at my baby brother looking all adorable! That shirt he was wearing was one of my favorites! The baseball was exactly on top of his biiiiig tummy (which I think was the point of the design)! ❤

Shakes all around! The names of the shakes were actually pretty funny. There was Macorn, which was a combination of mango and corn. It’s weird, but good!

Their specialty shake – Balinsasayaw Shake.

Bird’s Nest soup, or Nido Soup. The green and red pieces there were actually bell peppers, not carrots and chives.


Two big bilaos which consisted of heaven on banana leaves! Seafood galore!!! There’s lumpia, grilled chicken, and liempo for non-seafood eaters (like my dad. Boooo!) and grilled squid, crab, and shrimp for the seafood lovers (like everyone else on the planet). Seafood is, and always will be, my ultimate weakness. Dieting was long forgotten after this has been served!!

Fresh fruit for dessert! 🙂

The whole crew with big, happy tummies! 🙂