My South Korea Tour Day 4 – Seoul City Tour


Busan ==> Myeongdong ==> Lotte World (Duty Free) ==> Heo Joon Jae’s House (Lee Min Ho’s house in Legend of the Blue Sea) ==> N Seoul Tower ==> Myeongdong Street Food & more shopping ==> Jimjilbang experience


Accommodation:  Khaosan Seoul Insadong Guesthouse. 56 Gwansu-dong, Jongro, Seoul, South Korea.


Fresh Ginseng and Souvenir at Lotte Duty Free

We left Busan with a heavy heart. We felt that we could have had more fun had it not for the weather. After breakfast, we fixed our things and went to Busan KTX station. We arrived earlier than our schedule in the station so asked the ticketing officer if we could change it for an earlier schedule, and they allowed. By the way, we booked our hostel (Khaosan) for April 10 and 11, 2017, thinking that we have enough time to leave some of our luggage but we were not able to do it as we went straight away to the Seoult KTX station to wait for our train to Busan.

This is basically our first day around Seoul because we mostly went to places outside the metro. Our first stop of the day was in Myeongdong tourist information center. Hehe  We were not very familiar with the area, and we didnt want to waste time searching for places without any hint. In the tourist information center they gave us instruction and map… several maps of Seoul and Myeongdong, actually.

Myeongdong was like a wonderland to us. Indeed, it’s a shopping haven.  There’s sale everywhere! (However, my student told me that products are always on sale there.)  LOL The shopping district was still busy despite the news on fewer number of tourist after the ban on group packages from China.

To be able to explore this urban jungle, we filled our stomach with several servings of samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) and some soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew). Then, we went around to look for a ginseng store but we could not find a store that sells ginseng in the bottle. Then we headed to Lotte Duty Free… and we found a ginseng store. It’s just that it’s not in the bottle. The sales manager instructed us how to make our own ginseng inside a liquor bottle. I did not buy anything yet as I will be staying longer than them. Plus I’d like to stroll around with my hands free. My phone, camera and shoulder bag was enough. I bought my ginseng on my 7th day. I placed it in a bottle with wine instead of soju and gave it to my parents. I’ll take pictures of them when I go my parent’s house.


Heo Joon Jae’s House (Legend of the Blue Sea)

Did I mention that my cousin is an avid Lee Min Ho fan? Well, she is and she is recently watching LOTBS. I remember I was tagged by my younger sister of a blog. This was seen by my cousin and she particularly saved it. Thanks to it, we were like teenagers in front of their crush’s house. It was very accessible. It’s just on the nearest stair on your right when you go to Namsan Tower.

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Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

We reached N Seoul Tower by cable car. But, going up to the cable car station was like a Holy Week hike. It was a tough climb for us who are not used to hilly places. However, the perseverance paid off because we were just right before the time the influx of tourists arrived. There was a queue but it moves fast. After few minutes, we were already on top…to be surprised of several more climbs. LOL

The temperature was dropping, added to the fact that we were on a higher altitude.


Myeongdong Street Food

My being foodie enjoyed exploring Myeongdong Street food. My friends loved it too. In fact, we didn’t get to have dinner because we stuffed ourselves a lot from fruits to bread and spicy stuffs. I did not and I could not take pictures because my hands were full. While my friends were looking for more souvenirs, I stopped over several stalls and bought snacks for us. I love the bread with egg on top.

Some of my favorite Korean food. Fish cake & Fried Dumplings
We had a chitchat with the ajusshi selling fish cake and dumplings. It was fun and our laughter added to the noise of the district. The ajusshi was actually teasing me that I should not eat there with my friends because I bought my fish cake from another stall. LOL


Jimjilbang Experience

Tada! We just became a certified Korean fan.

When you finally had a chance to visit Korea as your dream tourist destination, you’ll probably regret not being able to visit a sauna. At this point in time, it was already like 11:30 in the evening. But, it was my cousin’s last night (My other friends already left for the airport. They had early morning flight and they could not risk missing the plane.) We decided to ask out hostel employee if there is a nearest sauna. We were just happy to know that there was one nearby… and so, off we go!

Philippines do not have a public bath culture. More so, naked people in the same place. I have expected this but still it shocked me. We just want to experience the culture. However, since it was already late at night, some places were already dark, the lights were turned off. So, kept on looking for a good place just to have our picture taken. We also searched Youtube for a video instruction on how to fold the towel. LOL

Korean Sports Massage

It was one of the most memorable experience I had in Korea. I love having a massage. In fact, I make it a habit to have it at least once a month. Massage is perfect to loosen up our muscle. And sports massage was perfect for me that that time. My entire body, particularly my feet were basically tired. The massage therapist was very good at hitting the right point. It felt really relaxing that I was able to sleep well. I’m definitely going to try it again when I go back. (I just wish I can find it here in my City.)


Travel Tips:

1. From our guesthouse we took the subway to Myeongdong. We went to Lotte Duty free to buy Ginseng and “pasalubong”. To get there, we went to a tourist information office and got free maps. Yes, maps are free and detailed. I got plenty of them. Myeongdong’s pretty big and there are many cosmetics shops. Actually, there are similar shops in every corner. Tourist information offices made our tour a bit easier.

2. Since we want to go to N Seoul Tower while there is still sun, we decided to stop shopping first and walked from Myeongdng to N Seoul tower cable car station. Just head to the direction of Pacific hotel. There is a bus going there from Myeongdong but since we were short of time, we just walked uphill…It was like a Holy Week sacrifice for us! LOL

3. Our exhausting climb seemed nothing when we came across Heo Joon Hae’s house. Yes, you read it right! it’s just near the stairs before you reach the N Seoul cable car station.

4. Since this is a popular tourist destination, expect long queue. We just got lucky because when we arrived there weren’t much tourist before us. But after few minutes, the station was already full.

5. If you expect all the climbing stops when you take the cable car, forget about it. LOL. There’s more climb to the get to the top. Plus, it’s unexpectedly chilly too.

6. Back to Myeongdong, we didn’t have dinner because we had so much of gastronomic delight from all the street foods.

7. There is tax refund. So, if you want to get it, you have to make sure that you inform the salesperson and request for a receipt you can use to claim it in the airport. In my case, I had regular receipt. I wasn’t aware that I had to exchange it for another one. So, it cant be scanned in the airport.

8. There was a jimjilbang near our guesthouse so, of course, my cousin and I took chance to experience it.

9. We had sports massage there for like 30,000W. I am not sure if it is cheap or not. hehe all I know was that it was a relaxing experience after all the walk.


My South Korea Tour – Day 1 Suwon & Yeouido)


Arrival   ->  Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung   -> Yeouido Cherry Blossom Picnic Festival  ->  LG Headquarters (LG twin Towers) -> Han River

Touchdown at Incheon International Airport. Cannot contain my happiness ^^.

Philippines and South Korea has 1 hour difference. We left Kalibo International Airport (KLA) in a red eye flight (around 1:50am) Philippine time and arrived at Incheon International Airport a bit earlier than scheduled. Unfortunately, this was also the time when the influx of international tourist arrived so we spent over 30 minutes to around 1 hour in the immigration.

ICN to Jongno 3(sam) ga
Incheon International Airport Jongno 3(sam) ga via Gongdeok Station

HOSTEL. Khaosan Seoul Insadong Guesthouse, Gwansu-dong, Seoul, South Korea. According to the instruction sent by our hotel it is just 30 steps away from Jongno 3(sam) ga station, which is true indeed. From the airport, we went to our hostel directly. We have contacted them for early check-in and they were OK. However, as it would be Saturday morning, our hostel emailed us that it’s going to be difficult to have a vacant room to leave our luggage.. They told us to just leave our luggage in the receiving area, and the valuables in their office. (With emphasis on “We have CCTV.” LOL) And, it was safe indeed. The Staffs were very accommodating. In this trip, we basically planned to spend most of our time outside and just go home to sleep. Our room was comforting for me so I have no complains.

Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung

Jongno 3 (sam) ga to Suwon Station
Jongno 3(sam) ga going to Suwon Station

Traveling to Suwon City. From our hostel, it was very convenient to go to Suwon because it took us only 1 ride.

Please see below for more information from Subway Korea Mobile Application.

Fastest Route: Line 1, Blue Line
Time Required: 1hr 9mins

Stations: 25 stations
Transfer: None
Fare: 1950 KRW (Tap Card); 2050KRW (Cash)

Suwon is a beautiful City located in Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi-Province), and there are so many places to visit there but we were only able to visit the Hwaseong Haenggung.

At AK Food Hall we had Bokkeumbap with beef patty on top (I forgot the exact name.)  for KRW9,000

Lunch at AK Food Hall. We arrived in the Suwon around lunchtime so we were limited in our activities. Plus, we were also thinking of going to Yeouido afterwards so we can’t really stay longer. Meanwhile, we opted to have a lunch at AK Plaza. The food hall of this shopping center can be accessed from the Suwon Station.  There are a lot of food selection but it was hard to find a table for four of us.

Bus to Hwaseong Haenggung. After lunch we decided to go to Hwaseong Haenggung. From Suwon Station, don’t forget to go to the tourist information center. They have a very helpful tourism officer there. He advised us to take bus numbers 11, 13, 36 or 39. The fare was around 1300KRW

What is Hwaseong Haenggung?

Hwaseong Haenggung is the palace where King Jeongjo used to stay when he paid respects at Hyollungwon (Present day Yungneung). It is the largest Haenggung (Temporary palace) in the Joseon Dynasty with 576 rooms, and was normally used for government office. We went to every nook and cranny inside partly out of curiosity and partly looking for our friends ^^. Prepare your feet.


(Top) Park just in front of Hwaseong Haenggung (Bottom Left) Front gate of Hwaseong Haenggung (Bottom Right) A picture with some Korean students.


I love that the park was filled with families enjoying their time together in a beautiful spring weather. This was the first historical landmark that we visited so I was very amazed. The busy people in the palace rehearsing for the next day’s activity, and these beautiful ladies in Hanbok here brings me back to the past. For sageuk drama fan, it was really an achievement for me.


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Remembering Prince Sado

While strolling around the palace, I came across this rice chest. It instantly reminded me of Prince Sado who was imprisoned and made to starve by his father (King). He died inside this chest. It was too small that I wondered how he could fit in here. Such a sad story of an estranged father and son relationship.

Make A Wish.

Zelkova Tree. Don’t forget to make a wish.  According to them, this tree is more than 600 years old and very sacred. It has stood and protected Suwon City since before the construction of Hwaseong Fortress.



Yeouido Cherry Blossom Picnic Festival

Yeouido Cherry Blossom Picnic Festival. This was one of the most culturally shocking experience for us. We are used to enjoying festivals in my country but this one is different because the main and the most convenient (inconvenient at that time) form of transportation was subway. We took the Yeouinaru Station route from Suwon so we could get to the festival much closer but we didn’t expect the number of tourist in the area.  The place is enough for the number of tourist but the entry and exit points of the subway were not. We were shocked and scared that there might be a stampede as it was very difficult to exit on the subway stairs and people keep pushing us. Good thing I had enough strength against falling, otherwise people might just step on me. Nonetheless, it was a memorable experience for us.

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Cherry Blossom Picnic Festival, April 8, 2017

Yeouido is home to KBS station, National Assembly, IFC Mall and YG Republique restaurant but I was not able to go there.  We arrived in the area around 5:30PM and the temperature was dropping. We opted to enjoy the street food, cherry blossom and the Han River.

For this day, we also found a sort of traveler’s treasure (well, that’s just for me)… the LG Twin Towers (LG Electronics Headquarters!) We were just in search for a place to freshen ourselves. At first, I was hesitant to ask if my friends and I could use their toilet. Gosh! It’s for our survival, unless we want to embarrass ourselves in the crowd. Anyway, upon entering the building, we found a big LED monitor advertising LG. We didn’t mind it because after all LG is a Korean brand. However, I just could not stop wondering. I thought I had to speak my mind and and ask my question to the security so I could sleep well.  LOL Indeed, it was LG’s building… and we were at the back (^_^) So, we didn’t miss a chance to take pictures.



A sculpture (left) and a bas-relief (right) at the back of LG Twin Towers.
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In front of LG Twin Towers

Han River Experience

I Seoul U ❤

To complete the evening, how about a walk in the area and be amazed by the different randoms street acts of aspiring singers and dancers… maybe future K-pop stars! Who knows you could also experience the fireworks display we saw ala Cheong Song Yi style. LOL

Travel Tips:

1. We bought T money Card for 4000W and have it reloaded with 50000W. We paid a total of 54000W (This is refundable) It saves time from reloading. You can use this tap card when taking a subway (Seoul & Busan) & Taxi.

2. Download Subway Korea App. It’s very helpful!

3. SK is tourist friendly. There are many tourist information centers in the area. Never hesitate to ask them questions.

What do you think of this post? I hope it could help you. Just message me for questions!