Monday, May 9, 2011

Film Locations of Korean TV Series

Our trip summarized by film locations of Korean TV series.

Winter Sonata
Nami Island
Jewel in the Palace
Changdeok Palace
Kim Sam Soon
N Seoul Tower
Stairway to Heaven
Lotte World
 You're Beautiful
Myeong-dong

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Videos of Korea

Videos we took during our trip to South Korea last March 2011.
1. At Changdeokgung Palace
video
2. Inside the Forbidden / Secret Garden
video
3. Inside one of the Royal Government Residences during the Joseon Dynasty
video
4. At Chyeonggyecheon Stream
video
5. At Myeong-dong Shopping District
video






Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Video of ziplining from Gapyeong to Nami Island

You've read the blog.  Now watch the videos! : )
We had a great time.  If you find yourself visiting Namiseom, do consider taking the zipline, instead of the boring ferry, to the island.
Don't worry, it's not fast like a roller-coaster.  The ride down is actually just average speed.
If you're nervous because of the height of the tower, don't be.  It's built rock solid.  It won't sway.
Now, sit back, relax and enjoy these 2 video clips taken in March 2011.


Traditional Korean Hanbok Costumes

The whole time we were in Korea, Ria wanted to have a picture taken with a Korean woman in a Hanbok dress.  Unfortunately, we didn't see anyone in a Hanbok dress in Changdeok Palace or anywhere else in Seoul.
We thought all was lost, until we got to Incheon International Airport.  While looking for a place to have dinner, we discovered the Traditional Korean Cultural Experience Zone near one of the gates (West Wing, Gate 31).  Lo and behold, there were ladies in Hanbok costumes like this one!
Ria was ecstatic!!!  At last her Korean tour is complete!  
The Traditional Korean Cultural Experience Zone has a stage at one end, and all kinds of Hanbok clothes we could try on for FREE!  And so, the Korean tourism lady helped us in our Hanbok costumes and we clicked away!
Hanbok is the traditional korean dress associated with the Joseon Dynasty.  It is formal attire worn by Koreans during special and formal occassions like a child's first birthday, weddings and funerals. 
Here we are, Annette, Ria and I, pretending to be Korean Royalty.
Thanks, Incheon Airport!  You completed our Korean Experience!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Korea on a Budget (our expenses)

We stayed in Korea for 4 whole days.  These are our expenses (more or less, P50,000.00 for 2 people, shopping not included).  
The exchange rate we used was W 1.00 (Korean Won) = P 0.04 (Phil. Peso).
Item
Particulars
Individual Expense
Expense for Two
Plane fare
Cebu Pacific
Round-Trip Ticket
6,500.00
13,000.00

Terminal Fee
750.00
1,500.00

Travel Tax
1,620.00
3,240.00

SUB-TOTAL


8,870.00

17,740.00
Transportation
Round-Trip Airport Bus
1,120.00
2,240.00

Seoul City Pass
120.00
240.00
SUB-TOTAL

1,240.00
2,480.00
Hotel
Toyoko Inn
4D/3N (P3,080.00/day)

9,240.00

9,240.00
Meals
P280x2/day

2,240.00

4,480.00
Attractions
Changdeok Palace
360.00
720.00

Nami ZipRider
1,960.00
3,920.00

Nanta Theater
1,600.00
3,200.00

DMZ Tour
1,850.00
3,700.00

N Seoul Tower
620.00
1,240.00

Lotte World
1,360.00
2,720.00
SUB-TOTAL


7,750.00

15,500.00
GRAND TOTAL


29,340.00

49,440.00
Hope this helps you plan your own Korea trip.  Good luck!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What and Where We Ate

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?  So when we went to Korea, we ate what Koreans ate.  First up was Korean Street Food.  We had no idea what their names were, we just chose what looked delicious.

I chose this waffle in the shape of a fish with red bean filling for W500 (P20).  Oks lang siya.  It tasted like waffle with red bean filling.
EJ got the breaded kwek-kwek.  Ria and Annette bought mini-pancake in a cup.
Aside from waffles, Koreans are into sausages as well.
Tired after walking all day, we needed something heavier in the stomach.  Enter this dumpling place in an alley of Insadong.
W3,000 (P120) for 3 fried dumplings.
This is what they look like before being steamed and fried.
They actually taste good.  The 3 fried dumplings each had a different filling.  One had miswa noodles.  Another had ground meat.  And a third was spicy.
How can we visit Korea and not have traditional Korean dishes with kimchi?  I had no idea what I ordered, but it sure was spicy!  The meal cost a reasonable W7,000 (P280).
Onward to more western food.  Here's a Starbucks in Korean words.  Coffee here is more expensive than in the Philippines.  One tall cafe latte costs W4,500 (P180)!
Our first meal in Korea, believe it or not, was in Mcdonalds at the airport.  A breakfast meal (Mcmuffin and coffee) cost W3,900 (P160).
We noticed that Koreans take waste segregation very seriously.  For example, you have to dismantle your cup before disposing it.  The straw and plastic cover in the plastic bin; the paper cup in the paper bin; and the excess ice in the liquid bin.
Koreans love their waffles.  While in neighboring Japan naman, the people over there love crepe.  Di ba waffle and crepe belong to the same family?
Waffle from Lotteria.  Smoothie from Smoothie King.
Had hotdog and soda in Lotte World.  W6,300 (P250).  Expensive, but the rule applies for all amusement parks.  Mahal din naman pagkain sa Disneyland.
Aside from Mcdonalds, we ate at their version of Jollibee--Lotteria.  It's like any other burger fast food chain with burgers, fries and soda, but they also have unique Korean food products like Bulgogi burger.  And their drink is called Lotte Ria, so Ria had me take a photo.
EJ and I had a glass of beer each to toast to a successful Korea trip. 
Gan Bae!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lotte World

We went to Lotte World on our last day in Korea.  Built in 1989, it is allegedly the largest indoor theme park in the world.  There are 2 kinds of entrance fees.  The General Admission ticket, which has no riding privileges, cost W26,000.00 (P 1,040.00).  And the Special Pass, which allows you to ride all the attractions, cost W38,000.00 (P 1,520.00).  We were able to get a discount after I presented a coupon I got at a tourist information kiosk in Insadong. We got the Special Pass for W32,000.00 (P 1,280.00)!

The park is divided into 2 major parts: Lotte World Adventure (indoor) and Magic Island (outdoor).  In the middle of Adventure is a large ice rink where ice skaters train.  The rides in Adventure is geared towards the family and children.
This is the map of Magic Island.  It is outdoor and features rides geared towards older and more adventurous visitors.
In SM MOA, there's a marching band going around the mall playing show tunes to entertain the shoppers.  They have this too in Lotte World, but using an all-female marching band.  It's so cool!
I like a woman who knows how to blow... a trumpet.
This is Magic Island.  You'd have to cross a bridge over Lake Seokchon to get there.
Hmmm, that castle looks awfully familiar...  They don't call Lotte World Korea's Disneyland for nothing.
Lotte World was also a film location for another Korean TV Series, Stairway to Heaven, starring Choi Ji-woo and Kwon Sang-woo.

Ria and I rode the Monorail to get a better view of the amusement park.
Outside.
Inside
When we visited in March 2011, it was Lotte World's Masquerade Festival.
One of the unique rides in Lotte World.

Lotte World can be reached by subway, taking the green line (Line 2) to Jamsil Station.  One way ticket should cost you W1,000.00 (P 40.00).

Budget:

Round-trip subway ride            P 80.00
Lotte World Special Pass     P1,280.00
TOTAL                               P 1,360.00