So summer has officially started in the PH and the best thing to do is to make the most out of it. I’ve been hanging around the beach for the past couple of days and I’ve been Netflix-binging to make my days fast! Realizing I was forgetting something, I opened my WordPress account and there it was! This post sitting as a draft for the last 15 days!!! I completely forgot about this. My apologies.
Our stay in Korea was not that long, but it wasn’t that short as well. During our third day, we stayed at a French-inspired hotel called La Vie D’Or in Suwon (remembering my little mishap of falling on the heated floor as I was fixing my luggage the night before. Gained a huge bump on my forehead and it’s still here up to this date. What a remembrance!) From Suwon, we traveled our way to Bucheon City to experience ski slopes and the views around.
I could still remember that feel on my skin when it was sunny and yet freezing at the same time. Our tour guide brought us to Woongjin Play C at Bucheon City to experience indoor rubber skiing. It was a first for me to slide down a slope covered in ice. Well, it was amusing I must say! Mum and I actually skid our ways down the slope, uhuh! Mum is a perfect example of the quote “Age is just a number.”
Our next destination was this amazing barbecue place just in the outskirts of Seoul (we’re almost there). The restaurant was out of the ordinary. Mum and I kept wondering what it was on the coals beneath the grills. They were pieces of something covered in foil, and since the server does not understand and speak English quite well, I had to translate “May I know what these are?” in Korean. As I’ve said on my travel tips post, learn some basics of the language, works all the time. So I took all my courage to communicate in their language hoping that the waitress would understand what I was saying. She simply smiled and tried her best to reply. “Yam.” she said. Whoa! She did understood my then “fluent” basic korean. Mum and I finally knew what those thingies in foils were. We took them out for our bus rides and those were the sweetest yams we’ve ever tasted so far.
After a few moments (and a few stops) we finally reached Seoul. I could still remember how astounded I was while I observed Seoul’s traffic system. I can never be too amazed with how disciplined the Koreans are when it comes to traffic rules. I would always be so intimidated when crossing the street as they follow each sign and signals on the road. (Yes my dear Filipino citizens, it’s just about discipline. Let’s start building our roads like this. If we can follow road signs abroad, why not in our own country, right?)
Our first stop in Seoul was a gem shop just near Dongdaemun. I’ve never been a fan of jewelries, but it’s always a pleasure to see and visit new things in person that you could only just imagine (or see in korean dramas).
Mum and I took the liberty of wandering Seoul’s shopping mecca, Dongdaemun. There are underground stores where you can buy cheap finds like scarves, shirts, and accessories. Don’t be afraid to explore what’s at the end of those steps. Also, you can buy cool Korean souvenirs which you could take home from this shop/mall called Cerestar. The Face Shop, if you love cosmetics, is in every corner of Dongdaemun. I must suggest, buy your cosmetics and moisturizing products there. Don’t go into thinking that we also have The Face Shop in Manila because it is way way cheaper when you buy it in Korea (tax fee and shipping cost free, just saying). Souvenir shirts, Korean products like chopsticks and silver spoons, fans, and key chains are all over the place. I could remember those tiny little bear key chains wearing Hanboks, I hoarded about tens of them. Hihihi. Also, another thing… please stop converting. You can never shop with a happy heart if you keep on converting Korean Won to Philippine Peso. LOL. A lot easier said than done.
After a daunting shopping experience in Dongdaemun, Mum and I were in search of Western Cuisine for dinner. We’ve had kimchi, kimchi, and kimchi, oh and barbecue with kimchi for the last few days, so can you just imagine our cravings for a different cuisine. Any cuisine actually, aside from Korean. Haha.
We found Tony Roma’s located just below an office building in Seoul. I was too hungry to take a photo of the building facade. I kept on observing the surroundings as we crossed the busy streets of Seoul. It was winter alright! I was actually wrapped under three layers of clothing, plus a bonnie on my head, a scarf on my neck, and gloves on my hands. But, there they were. Korean office ladies, walking in high-heels and mini-skirts as they cross the streets with bare legs and necks. I only get to see those scenes in Korean dramas, but there they were in front of my hankering eyeballs. Don’t they ever get cold? It’s definitely a single digit weather degree on my watch. OK. So back to Tony Roma’s.
I could just remember how I sunk my teeth and indulged myself in that marvelous turkey plate. No kimchi for that night.
After dinner, about 9:00 PM, we watched this live martial arts comedy called JUMP in one of Seoul’s theaters. It lasted for about two hours with breaks in between. It was my first time to see mixed martial arts as a theater performance with a LOT of comedy on the side. I got to shake hands with one of the actors as I “accidentally” got lost on my way to the main exit.
That was indeed an eventful Day 3. It was tad tiring, but I will always remember my excitement each time I go into our hotel room, checking out the new stuff that I bought for that day. That was just a mini glimpse of Seoul… Lemme take you there on my next post. To be continued…
Explore Korea (Part 4): Of Dancing Teddy Bears and Love Locks
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