Friend: Let’s go to Korea.
The next thing I know, we were already booking our ticket and preparing our requirements to apply for a Korean visa.
This is my most impulsive trip so far. I had no idea my friend was serious about it. I just went along. But, one morning of January, I was on my annual leave; we found ourselves traveling to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to catch our flight to Incheon International Airport in South Korea. Hours later, we already set foot in the land of KDramas and KPops.
I was never a fan of Korean Dramas. But, this trip excited me to the bones. I even planned my OOTDs months before the trip. Right even before my visa gets approved. When you have been staying in the Middle East for quite some time, traveling to a cold country is like a break from life. Yes, there is a winter season in this country but it doesn’t stay long and my annual leave usually falls on the winter season. I was so excited to see snow for the first time. We heard, it’s snowing in Korea on January.
Just like any tourist, after checking out from the airport and buying our T-Money card- the official card that you to pay for public transportation and other convenience store purchases – the first thing we did is to check into our hotel – K-Grand Hostel located in the shopping district of Myeongdong. The airport is quite far from the city so we had to take a long bus ride to our hotel. Our hotel is not that hard to find. It was a small hostel in the heart of the city. But, it has a home-y feeling. Not to mention that the receptionist is a K-Drama worthy handsome man. There’s a kitchen where we can prepare our breakfast before we head outside. Traveling abroad means less time sleeping and resting. You’ll be out most of the time. You’ll only go back to the hotel when it’s time to sleep so staying in a small and cheaper hotel is not a problem. K-Grand gives value to our money without compromising our comfort.
We didn’t even think about rest. Once we get into our hotel room, we immediately put on our thermal clothes, layered it with our winter clothes, and went out to explore the place right before the sun set.
Our first stop, the Ewha Mural Village. My friend has this thing for grafitti walls and there’s a mural of angel wings that she saw in the internet and our goal was to find it. You have to climb your way up to explore the village. You have no idea how tiring it was to go there right after a long flight without food in our tummy. We were hungry but our eyes were full. The view from up is amazing. You can see the whole city from where we were. Lights and buildings everywhere. We were even trying to guess which one is Lee Min Ho’s house. Being up there is just so calming. There really is so much to see in this world.
Here are some of the photos from Ewha Mural Village.
After walking around, we knew it was time to eat. We walked some more to check on the restaurants and cafes around. To our surprise, majority of the food establishments near the area are coffee shops. No matter how cute their interiors are, we were really planning to eat a heavy dinner. But, our energy only lasted until the nearest CU convenience store where we made our first purchase. You wouldn’t believe what we had for dinner on our first day in Korea. We had cup noodles! Well, it was just right for the cold breeze. Not very satisfying though.
If there is one thing I remember about Korea, it would be that the whole surrounding smells like pancake which makes us crave for it. There was this cute waffle/pancake stall near the convenience store so we decided to grab one along the way. The owner of the stall was kind enough to let us use their toilet. He even went an extra mile and prepared us free signature tea to make us feel warm. He told us how much he loves the Philippines and that he goes there as a part of their church mission. This leaves a lasting impression on us on how nice the Koreans are.
After dinner, we went straight to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park where the 25,000 LED roses are located. This one is on my Korean Bucket List and it is just so glad to checked it off the list on our first day. The place was so romantic. I pictured out a romantic date in my head. Walking hand in hand and just talking while walking along the shining roses. No wonder Korean Dramas are full of kilig moments because of places like this.
We ended our first day with a little stroll along Myeongdong Shopping District. It was a tiring day so we decided to call it a night to regenerate more energy for the next day.
I am leaving you with some random shots during our first day in Seoul. Stand by for photos of our amazing and rich in Korean culture second day. Anyeong!
Glad to share,