Winter in Seoul – Day 4: Simone Handbag Museum

*extremely picture-heavy post*

For our last day in Seoul, we already have our itinerary in set and it was non-negotiable for us not to go to one of my must-see places. Back in October 2012, I previously expressed my anticipation of visiting Simone Handbag Museum and I could not believe that I finally had the chance to go and visit it. It was very uncommon for tourists to include a bag museum to their travel itineraries but I consider it a sin for sort-of bag lovers like myself not to drop by when in Seoul. So from Myeongdong Station, we travelled all the way to Sinsa station in the upscale Gangnam-gu to visit the museum (directions to this place can be found at the end of this post).

Simone Handbag Museum's building in Gangnam-gu - Simone Handbag Museum, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Simone Handbag Museum’s building in Gangnam-gu

Rainy winter - me on the bright side, while Mon in his neutral ensemble ---- and I love out transparent umbrellas we bought for only KRW 3,500!

Rainy winter – me on the bright side, while Mon in his neutral ensemble —- and I love our transparent umbrellas we bought for only KRW 3,500!

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Winter in Seoul – Day 3: Nami Island

Winter in Seoul - Day 3 Nami Island - BRYOLOGUE

*extremely picture-heavy post*

(Applying for a visa to South Korea? You might want to read here how to quickly check the status online!)

Since we have started travelling together, Mon and I have never woken up early for the following day’s activities. We usually leave at around 10:00 AM the earliest, or even almost lunch time the latest.

However, it was different for the third day of our trip. I set my alarm clock at 7:30 AM because we had to travel all the way to Gapyeong to visit Nami Island (although the title of the post is misleading because Gapyeong is NOT in Seoul. It’s just a a bit of work to edit all the backlinks, though). We were to originally go to Petite France but we have half-decided the night before that our first priority was Nami Island, and should we have more time, then we’d visit Petite France.

 Map of the distance between Seoul and Nami Island --- Winter in Seoul December 2012 - Day 3: Nami Island

(CLICK PHOTO TO ZOOM) See how far Nami Island (upper right) from Seoul (lower left) is?

I already knew that it was no good because it was more difficult to go to-and-from Petite France due to the limited (and expensive) transportation options.

Truth be told, my only motivation to visit Petite France was the supposed convenience of it being situated in the same train route to Nami Island. But since we had already half-planned going to the War Memorial of Korea after, I was honestly more excited for it.

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Day at the museum – the Mind Museum!

The Mind Museum at Taguig

It was Mon and I’s 4th year and 3rd month and we took the opportunity to go out with my family and visit the Mind Museum at Taguig. As we only have four gift cards from the raffle before, we purchased two more tickets online because apparently, Brie was over 2 feet. JB was extra excited because he hasn’t stopped asking me about this visit for a month or so. He just had his First Communion a few hours earlier and he only took off his white long sleeves and did not bother changing at all.

About to enter the Mind Museum

Family picture with the robot Aedi by the lobby

Black Chocoolate red flannel shirt, khaki shorts, salmon pink Jack Purcell sneakers, Burberry leather messenger bag 2

By the reception, we presented our ticket print-out and we were given wristbands with “All-Day pass” written on it. First impression was the place wasn’t as big as I expected, but not saying that it was small. But as the kids were already sprinting towards every exhibit they could get their little hands onto, I had no other choice but to chase after them. It was a hands-on museum, but caution must be exercised because some of the exhibits were not to be touched nor manipulated.

Brie sitting by the giant periodic table - The Mind Museum at Taguig

The giant brain - The Mind Museum at Taguig

And of course, an iconic device of science in action was the Van de Graaff generator. I did not touch the equipment, though, because I have short hair and the visuals would be much better on people with longer hair. So my sister went on to touch the generator and her hair literally raised right after it was turned on. We were wondering, though. Some of the people (women to be exact) who tried the device had almost non-reactive hair, to the point where it took a good 30-seconds before their hair started raising. But we have also noticed that they have treated hair, relaxed mostly, and maybe that was the reason why they had little reaction. LOL

My sister trying out the Van de Graaff generator - The Mind Museum at Taguig

I was just watching the other day on YouTube a documentary describing the time when both the Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sapiens lived on Earth at the same time, and how the skills of the latter had helped them, I mean US, to become the dominant species. The exhibit in the museum was impressive and so life-like that the lady looking at her child by the ground gave me the creeps. Hello Uncanny Valley!

Evolution of Man - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Uncanny valley kicking in, this lady looked so life-like  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

I was also very excited to visit the Geology section because I’m also such a sucker for anything tectonic-related. They have interesting earthquake-magnitude simulators, fossils of trilobites, ginkgo biloba, ants trapped inside an amber and of course, the hard-to-miss Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton

Close up of the Tyrannosaurus rex skull - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Ants trapped inside an amber - very Jurassic park  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

And lastly, I was so excited to go to the Universe section of the museum because I obviously love astronomy. The star-strewn section had a lot of exhibits that the kids can manipulate, and they even had a replica of the Mars Pathfinder next to the phases of the Moon model and the astronaut. They also present a 30-minute show in a planetarium dome next to the life-cycle of a star exhibit. I can’t remember watching anything like it before and I was heavily anticipating it. While we were on queue, we we alongside this group of very uncivilized high school students who kept on letting some of their friends fall in line with them. As the dome can only accommodate 40 people, we had to shut them and give them the stink eye so as to make them stop. It momentarily worked because once we were inside watching the show, we can’t believe how unruly they were that they began hitting each other with their cushions. O_O It was extremely appalling and these people had no place inside the museum. Yuck.

The Universe section  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

My sister and her kids with this astronaut -  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

JB and Mon trying out the solar system model - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Mama below the life cycle of a star exhibit - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Anyway, the projection of the film was horrible. First, as they are using fish-eye projection, they should have put the projector in the middle in order to maximize the dome-shaped ceiling. Second, I think the projection might be probably good early in the morning because they did not bother adjusting the focus of the lens that you can barely see the supposedly amazing details of the heavenly bodies. Personally, I had high hopes and it was such a waste of time.

It was actually tiring to walk around and chase after the kids and by a few minutes after 3:00 PM, we decided to eat by the Jollibee inside the Mind Musuem complex. I still haven’t drunk coffee for the day and we ordered two cups for both Mon and I, because apparently, they refused to brew just for a single cup. But it was disappointing as well because it had no coffee taste whatsoever and I suspect that they did not bother using new ground coffee and utilized the ones used for serving breakfast earlier that day. Boo Jollibee!

Waiting for our food in Jollibee - The Mind Museum at Taguig

It was a quick snack because JB and Brie were both itching to go to the Science-in-the-Park, the playground next to Jollibee. If I were a kid, I’d go mad with the cool stuff they had in it. They have acoustic-based playthings, as well as the bubble makers and a group of animal heads with viewfinders simulating their vision. I didn’t even know that the King Cobra was colorblind as well, which was ironic because I have a great fear of snakes. We share something together.

Science in the Park  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Giant bubble maker  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

The king cobra-vision simulator - The Mind Museum at Taguig

About to go down the slide - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Mother, daughter and grandmother  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

After eating and playing, we headed straight back to the second level of the museum to look at what was in store for us. The things there were more technology and innovation-based, chronicling achievement of men in terms of transportation, optics, space technology as well as languages.

Our only complete group shot - thanks to the 10-second timer  - The Mind Museum at Taguig

A model of the International Space Station, which JB recognized right away - The Mind Museum at Taguig

A model of the Hubble Space Telescope - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Looking at Uranus LOL - The Mind Museum at Taguig
Of course, a mandatory photo with something French - The Mind Museum at Taguig

The ripple machine wasn't actually working - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Trying out the printing press  - The Mind Museum at Taguig
And for our last stop, we went to two 3D showing: “Ang Simula” and “Birthplace” A Natural History of the Earth“. Of course we had to fall in line again for the latter and we had poor seats compare to the one we had for the former. “Ang Simula” was directed by Chito S. Roño and chronicles the geological history of the Philippines. I was actually quite ashamed of myself because I have already watched loads of documentaries on geology but not one of them has discussed the Philippines’ origin. It was only there that I knew that the island of Palawan was once part of the Eurasian plate as a product of the continental draft. This show had a narration while “Birthplace” had none. “Birthplace” began with a depiction of the birth of Earth, followed by the formation of the first amino acids comprising the primordial soup of life. Then the stunning visualization of how the single-celled organisms evolved into multicellular to more complex ones. Each of the shows run for about 15-minutes.
Ang Simula - The Mind Museum at Taguig
Birthplace - A Natural History of the Earth - The Mind Museum at Taguig
Waiting for the 3D show to start - The Mind Museum at Taguig
After the 3D show - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Overall, it was an awesome experience. Granted that I did not have time to actually tinker with each one of the exhibits with the curiosity of a little kid but as my nephew and niece already had a great time, I was fine with it. I initially thought that the Bio-Rhythm exhibit was also available for us to see but turned out that we have to pay about Php 200 more for that.

About to leave the Mind Museum - The Mind Museum at Taguig

Christmas Lunch with the team at Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino

Wonderful Wednesday and it was a perfect day for a lunch with the team. Technically, they are not my team but since I spend most of my work time with them, it did not even matter. As we were not familiar with the area, Mon and I even printed a map of the Fort area just to make sure we won’t get lost. We were already running late but fortunately, the roads were not that congested and we arrived in the venue in just about 15 minutes. The first thing I’ve noticed was this giant cutout of two chefs by the door. It was then I realized that Laudico was actually Chef Lau from the Pinoy Masterchef on TV. As I usually watch the show every morning because I wake up at around 10:00 AM, I suddenly remembered that he was extra critical of Filipino dishes prepared by the contestants. Now it made full sense.

A very prominent picture of Chef Laudico in the menu

The leather-bound menu of Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino

The 4-course set was actually very good and its price - Ched Laudico's Bistro Fiipino

We were the last person to arrive and everybody we’re already eating their pica-picas or appetizers, so we also immediately ordered ours. It was actually a 4-course set and I was a bit taken aback by the serving size of the appetizer but maybe I was not really used to eating course meals. LOL

Pica-pica -Sisig Basket, Lumpia Cone and Wagyu Salpicao - Chef Laudico's Bistro FilipinoNext was the soup and we ordered this Molo Binakol. It tastes almost like the traditional tinola, with the siling labuyo leaves and all.

Molo Binakol - Chef Laudico's Bistro FilipinoAnd the part I was waiting for, the Main Course. I tried this Crispy Tilapia Cocoloco and it has the most amazing tomato curry sauce on it. It was so lovely that I did not even eat the breaded fish and just went straight away to the curry and rice.

Crispy Tilapia Cocoloco with Tomato Curry Sauce - Chef Laudico's Bistro FilipinoMy teammates ordered other dishes as well:

Adobo Trilogy - Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino

Kare-Kare - Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino

But expectedly, the part where Mon was most excited of was the desserts! Similar to the the pica-pica, we were to choose three out of the list. We chose Sans Rival Moderne, Yema Bicho-Bicho and Tsokolate Oh! They also have Halo-Halo sherbet served on little shot glasses.

Sans Rival Moderne, Yema Bicho-Bicho and Tsokolate Oh - Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino

Yema Bicho-Bicho - Chef Laudico's Bistro FilipinoHalo-halo sherbet - Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino

While eating, we also proceeded with our little exchange gift and I got a coffee maker! ^_^ Thank you so much Rev for giving me that lovely gift! We were also planning a day in Enchanted Kingdom this January and hopefully we will push through with it because it has been years since Mon and I went there.

Photo with the whole team

With Ayen

Mon and I

Surprisingly, the Mind Museum was just across the restaurant and it won’t be long before we go back to the area. Tomorrow, we will be using the tickets that my dear nephew won two months ago at a company event and I’m very excited to see the exhibit inside the museum!