Winter (again!) in Korea – the arrival

*extremely picture-heavy post

After four years, I can’t believe that we are traveling again to South Korea! Especially after the passport and visa drama from a week ago!

Mon and I have a soft spot for Seoul. We have been twice there before (summer of 2011 and winter of 2012), and we look forward to see what changes there might be. The country is to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it will be interesting to note of any preparations that they have (if there is).

Before anything else, I will be traveling with a very sore throat. Just imagine my horror waking up on Thursday barely able to speak. But this has been planned already and I packed a bottle of Bactidol for extra measure.

Sore throat!

Our flight left the Philippines at around 3:00 pm. We will be arriving four hours after in Incheon International Airport. I was feeling a bit feverish during the flight, but somehow, my excitement to be back eclipsed my predicament.

It is no secret that I love winter so much. However, I was anxious that I might not even see snow when we arrive. Global warming is real. I have been monitoring the weather for days before we arrive and not a single snowfall took place in Seoul. Sure we can go to Seoraksan just to see snow, but we do not have time for that.

Night about to fall

Continue Reading

Winter in Seoul: Food, food and food!

*extremely picture-heavy post

Before we visited Seoul in 2011, I was really worried over our food, as well as the amount of money we had to allocate just for it. However, we were surprised that we were able to survive that first time without having to tighten our belts and pinch the penny, and we were actually very liberal with the food we ate. So for 2012’s vacation, I did my best to take note of every food we had, as well as their prices, especially for those who might be worried about surviving in Seoul and not having to eat from convenience stores every single meal.

DAY 1

Arriving in Incheon International Airport, we had our first meal of the day from McDonald’s, right next to the heavily-decorated fountain. KFC was located on the other side BUT wow, their menu was really expensive. An average meal costs at almost KRW 10,000 for an all-chicken meal. But in McDonald’s, you can have a good breakfast in less than KRW 4,000 and that will include a cup of coffee. Yey!

Day 1 - Bacon McMuffin, hashbrown and coffee from McDonald's Incheon International Airport

Day 1 - Coffee from McDonald's Incheon International Airport

Continue Reading

Winter in Seoul – Day 4: Lotte World and leaving Seoul

*extremely picture-heavy post

It has been three weeks since I last wrote a post regarding our trip to Seoul, and it did not help that this post concerned two things that made me unenthusiastic: Lotte World and leaving South Korea. From Simone Handbag Museum, we took the traingfrom Sinsa Station going to Jamsil station, which is connected directly to Lotte World.

BK Hospital plastic surgery advertisement in Sinsa Station

BK Hospital plastic surgery advertisement in Sinsa Station 2

Fountain with people sitting around it - Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea

 

Continue Reading

Winter in Seoul – Day 1: Testing out the winter breeze

*extremely picture-heavy post

So, here starts the strenuous “Winter in Seoul 2012” series. As earlier mentioned, I will not be doing the typical day by day account of our trip, rather complement it with thematic and specific posts that can’t be elaborately explained within a ‘daily’ post, and that will include the breakdown of our budget for the trip (note: like all-in-all, with the tickets, accommodation and dues we paid in the Philipine airport, I have personally shelled out less than Php 25,000 for the whole trip. =D)

Our flight to Incheon International Airport wasn’t until 1:30 AM but we were already in NAIA Terminal 3 before 10:00 PM. When the check-in counters opened by 10:30 PM, we immediately rushed to present our itinerary ticket and paid for the Php 1,620 travel tax. The staff manning the counter also weighed in our baggages to check-in and even if they were already quite heavy, we were still almost 7 kilos short of our combined 30kg limit as we have already paid for 15kg each. It was actually our first time to check-in luggages because since we started travelling together, we only have two carry-ons each and has been used to travelling light. But as we were obviously travelling to a wintery place, our usual baggage won’t cut it.

Mon and I waiting for check-in at NAIA Terminal 3 for our flight to Incheon

Mon and I waiting for check-in at NAIA Terminal 3 for our flight to IncheonAt around quarter to 1:00 AM, we decided to head for the boarding gate. Going there, we had to first pay for the terminal fee, which was already lowered from Php 750 to Php 550. Then next to the immigration officer who had to take a look at our passports and ask questions on how long we will be out of the country, as well as our employment record. It took me only three minutes to finish the whole thing over, but Mon took a longer time. The immigration officer even mistook him for a Korean and immediately talked to him in English. LOL One more thing, they no longer made us remove our shoes, which wasn’t the case when we travelled last year. Good thing because I was already unknotting my laces when the security personnel stopped me.

Cebu Pacific weighing our check-in baggages and we were almost 7kg short of the combined 30kg limit

Cebu Pacific weighing our check-in baggages and we were almost 7kg short of the combined 30kg limit

Continue Reading