Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reminiscing my Koreanobela trip of a lifetime

KOREA (noun) is an East Asian geographic region and which happens to be my BF's hometown; equivalent to "mecca or holy land" for most Kpop and Koreanobela addicts; for tin (me), it is equivalent to Peter Pan's NEVERLAND! :)
It is a nice place and culture to begin with. A 1st world country with very disciplined citizens…not to mention kutis artista talaga! Talo ang Silka, Likas, Eskinol or Maxipeel!! Wahaha just kidding. But really, they’re so beautiful—as if they’re the bida-kontrabida in a Korean drama series.
We went to different areas in Seoul…everyday was a long long day for us. Hard to move (and take a bath) though because it’s freezing like hell once you step out of your hotel—imagine peeing and you get a tingle after it diba? Parang ganun…nakakanginig literally from the inside! :)) But the cold was fun! It makes you appreciate Pinas’ hot weather haha and sometimes it’s fun to wear 4 layers of clothes with matching boots-wid-da-fur!
We went to some key destinations of Koreanobela spots within Seoul. Thanks to my newly found chingoos (friends) who are all Kpop addicts, we were able to really feel KORRREEAAA to the maximum level hahaha Oh and mind you! They can recall every line, spot, or episode number in a KDrama! Oha!
So here are some places we visited as part of our Koreanobela itinerary:
1) Gyeongbukgung Palace (Jewel in the Palace)

This is one of the most popular and must see palaces for tourists. If you plan to save on some time going around the tourist spots, I suggest you pick one palace because usually the interiors are the same and Gyeongbukgung is more than enough to satisfy your royalty cravings aka feeling like Jewel in the Palace. BTW, you can borrow some Hanbok (Korean costumes) for FREE! but only for around 5 mins. so take advantage of this and avoid paying additional fee for hanbok fitting which can be done too around Meyongdong area :) Furthermore, the Korean tourism said that Gyeongbukgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces. Therefore, you should not miss visiting this palace anyway entrance fee is just about 3,000 KWN (around Php 115) for adults and it is open every day 9am-6pm except Tuesdays.

2) Bukchon Hanuk Village (Sanggojae House from Perfect Match Korean Drama)

Hanuk Village is a Korean Traditional Village preserved to show 600 year old urban environment. This village is not hard to spot because it is near Gyeongbukgung Palace. However, what's hard to locate is the exact shooting place of THE Sanggojae House :O My goodness, it took us forever to spot this house! We asked the residents around the area and they too have no clue where the Sanggjoae house is located. So tip! Zoom in the picture and take not of the address of the house :) There are no fees or schedule to follow because this is basically just a village. In fact, you cannot enter the Sanggojae house because it is a private property and did you know that the inside of the house was shot in a different house pala?! Humm...tricky! haha

3) Namsan Tower (Boys over Flowers)

I went gaga over Namsan Tower! This is probably one of the best tourist spots in Korea for me because you can do a lot of things in this place fit for all ages! It is located at the heart of Seoul and once your at the top of the digital observatory, you can see the entire city in a 360 degrees view. You can ride the cable car going up the mountains (the famous cable car scene where Gu Jun Pyo and Geum Jan Di got locked out ayyy :)) !!!), visit the Teddy Bear Museum, eat the famous Big Boss Burger, watch the light show or cultural show, buy "couple" trinkets, and profess your love and promises to your one and only at the Locks of Love located at the roof deck or immortalize your couple pic on a "love tile" and stick em on the "love wall" haha! Truly, N Tower is a place for romantic couples who feels like "it's us against the world" plus families who just want to chill and feel the lovely breeze ;) For rates and schedule, click here.

4) Han River Cruise (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho)

"Nomo nomo chuwayo!" (I really really like it) is Gumiho's favorite line. Gumiho or Miho is the lead actress in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho KDrama and this is my favorite so far aside from Full House. Miho is very pretty and cute and we often drink Chilsung Cider in Korea just because this is her favorite drink wahahha talk about addicts :)

We went to the famous Han River in the afternoon going to Apgujeong or the Rodeo Drive. Sadly, we didn't get to see the Banpo bridge's rainbow fountain show at night because we were pressed by time. But if you plan to go here, check the exact schedule of the show in this site (I think the show starts 7 onward..not sure). It operates from Monday to Sunday and the show airs 5 to 8 times a day except if there's a bad weather. There are river cruise packages with matching dinner or water taxis that you can rent to go around the river but then again, we weren't able to catch the cruise (and it's a bit expensive) so we rode a private water taxi instead which cost us about 70,000 KWN divided by 9 people therefore, we paid around 7,777 KWN each. It's a bit pricey though, but we couldn't resist the kind Ahjussi who toured us around the river with matching very loud KPop songs in the background haha. The view from the water taxi includes various bridges of the river, parks, the National Assembly, the 63 Building, and the cruise ship where Miho was left by Dae Woong in one of its episodes :)

5) Coffee Prince

And finally tadaaah! we went to the famous Coffee Prince Cafe--the first shop and the actual filming location of the KDrama in Hongdae area. The cafe looks exactly as it is in the korean drama (DUH!) from the wall painting, to the bar area, garden, the cutesy window doodles and the baristas...well.. minus the CUTE baristas!

When going to the coffee prince cafe, be prepared to spend a minimum of 7,000 KWN because food and drinks here are over priced and nothing special. We planned to buy a few drinks then chill for a while just like what we usually do in Starbucks :))...but the Ahjusshi scolded us because they have a 1 person 1 drink policy :O. Probably, they know that tourists visit their cafe just to take pictures haha nalulugi sila :)) so with that policy, we have no choice but to force ourselves to buy at least the cheapest drink in the list haha. I bought the green tea latte and honestly, I was's not worth my money for an ordinary drink but that's okay because at least I was able to visit the coffee prince cafe :) For other people who plans to visit the cafe I don't highly recommend this place UNLESS you are willing to shell out some moolah or you're a hardcore KDrama fanatic :D If you choose the second, then go ahead and visit coffee prince...take advantage of the place and camwhore all the way!


  1. Hi Tin,

    Is it recommended to stay in only 1 hotel (like in Myeongdong area) if you're planning to visit all these places?

    Thanks! :)

    Gianne C.


    1. YES! :) for me, best area to stay is in Myeongdong since it's very near the shopping center :) No need to book a lot of hotels because the train station is very accessible and efficient! You can visit all these places but you just have to plan your itinerary very well.

  2. Ms Tin, anung hotel po kau nag-stay ? Thanks.

    1. For our 1st Korea trip, we stayed in 41st Hotel in Hongdae area for the 2nd time, we stayed in Namsan Guesthouse :)


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