Mindanao Mission – Day 1: Hello Mindanao!

My colleagues and I were supposed to meet at exactly 1:00 AM in NAIA Terminal 3. I had to drop by the apartment in Makati to pack my things, but as I had to do chores before doing so, Mon and I found ourselves in Pasay, then to Glorietta, and back to Pasay just to pick up my office laptop. I did my best to pack only the essentials, but as we will be moving from one place to another within a day, I had to bring as many shirts as possible. I also decided to finally buy a new luggage from SM for about Php 1,700 and hopefully it will hold up well.This shot of arrival in NAIA Terminal 3 looks verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry familiar

Sunrise viewed from the plane

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Yay for 4Y6M!

Today, Mon and I celebrated our 4th year and 6th month together. Six months more and half a decade will have already passed. But because we were already on leave last Monday, we just had our dinner in Ayala Triangle and tried a place, from which we have never eaten from before.

Ayala Triangle on a windy, Wednesday eveningMon wanted to eat in Wee Nam Kee, located in that strip of restaurants in Ayala Triangle. He had been itching to try their Hainanese chicken and I was also curious to see how good their dish would be. There were not a lot of people dining, though, because most of them were outside Banapple waiting for their turn to be seated. LOL I love their interior, especially the arch on the way to the kitchen, because it reminded me of a garden I visited with Mon and Ikle in Macau in 2010.

Wee Nam Kee in Ayala TriangleBird cage lamps hanging from the ceiling

I'm wearing the same color as the seatsAs for the menu, our eyes beelined to their Hainanese chicken because it was a non-negotiable option. But we ordered two varities, one steamed and the other roasted, so that we could taste both and judge which one was better. Their chicken rice smelled extremely good and I was thinking that they might have used chicken broth in cooking it. We ended up ordering two more extra cups they go really well with the chicken. =D Their eggplant with minced pork in hot pot was really delicious as well. I immediately thought of Tempura‘s mapo tofu, but served with eggplant.

Steamed Hainanese Chicken - Wee Nam Kee

Roasted Hainanese Chicken - Wee Nam Kee

Eggplant with Minced Pork in Hot Pot - Wee Nam Kee

Of course, Mon was very eager to try their dessert. I was already full but I agreed to eat one of the three flavor buchis he ordered. The dessert was daintily plated: whipped cream and cherry, with colorful dots all over. I did not know that the three flavors went beyond the buchi themselves, as each one were filled with different chocolate filling. I had the one with white chocolate. I then had an idea and took consecutive shots (which I turned to an animated gif) of the last buchi as it was being punctured by the fork. =D

Three Flavor Buchi - Wee Nam Kee

Having fun with the buchi filling - Wee Nam Kee

Happy 4Y6M again Mon and love you so much! =D

Leaving Seoul behind

It has been days since I last posted on my blog because I found it extremely hard to open WordPress without going into too much detail of the things we did for a particular day.

First three days in Seoul, South Korea: : Gyeongbokgung, Namsangol Hanok Village, Nami Island and Namsan Guesthouse 2

As expected, we had a blast in Seoul, notwithstanding the amount of mishaps that happened to Mon and I within four days (like leaving my earmuffs in the guesthouse before going to Nami Island, and eventually losing them in COEX Mall on our last night before heading home! I almost cried).

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Guesthouse in Korea: A Review

*There were not a lot of online reviews about “Guesthouse in Korea” in Jongno and I decided to re-post this one I made a year ago for a forum. I think it was a good call since the link of the pictures in that post has been already broken and I don’t know why. So hopefully, the pictures would be ‘permanent’ here. (Also, I will be translating the content as it was written in mixed English and FIlipino).

We stayed in “Guesthouse Korea” (or “Guesthouse in Korea“) for 4 days. We rented a Twin Room which costs KRW 40,000/day. Their check-in time was at 1:00 PM and check-out time at 11:00 AM. We arrived around 9:00 AM in the Guesthouse but since their check-in time is at  1:00 PM and we also had a tour by 10:30 AM, we just left our things by the reception area. But on our 4th day, since the check-out was at 11:00 am, we decided that it was best to just pay for the whole day stay because our flight back to Manila was still at 9:30 PM.

Map of Guesthouse Korea or Guesthouse in Korea in Jongno, Seoul, South Korea

Reservation: We emailed the guesthouse more than a month before our arrival and they generally reply within the day. But unlike other guesthouses, they ask for 30% deposit and it should be via PayPal. They will send an invoice quoted in USD so be ready for the conversion. The rest of the balance will be paid once you check-in.

Directions: They have airport transfer but we opted not to in order to save monet and it was of course cheaper to reach the guesthouse through mass transportation. From the airport, we took the Commuter Train until Seoul Station: KRW 3,800 + KRW 500 refundable deposit = KRW 4,300. It took us around 50 minutes of travel time. Then from Seoul Station, we walked to the subway proper to take the train until Jogno(3)sam-ga (KRW 1,000 + KRW 500 refundable deposit, if you are using T-Money, it costs KRW 900). From EXIT 7, we then walked the length of Donhwamun (the blue lines in the map) until the road in front of Changdeokgung Palace. From there, you can see the Hyundai Gas Station. Enter the street/alley directly next to the and you will immediately see the “Guesthouse Korea” sign.

Donhwamun Road leading to Changdeokgung, Seoul, South Korea
Donhwamun road, lined with trees and stores
Changdeokgung from Hyundai Gas Station, Seoul, South Korea
View of the Changdeokgung Palace from Hyundai Gas Station
Guesthouse Korea sign - Jongno, Seoul, South Korea
Outside of “Guesthouse Korea”, farthest lisghtpost from the Gas Station. The red or brown (LOL) is actually a convenience store.

Breakfast: They serve free breakfast from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, consisting of toasts, butter and jam and they also have a coffee maker you can use 24/7. They also have tea available for non-coffee drinkers. You can use their mugs, plates and utensils as long as you wash them after. Of course, hot and cold water are free of charge fot hose who want to eat instant noodles and refill their water bottles before leaving for the day.

Free Breakfast from "Guesthouse in Korea" - Jongno, Seoul, South Korea

Computer and WiFi: They have a common area with cable TV and three computers. You can use them for free and they also have free WiFi connection. However, the WiFi signal reaching our room wasn’t that strong on the second floor, most probably because of the but it was tolerable with 2-bar signal.

Room: I can’t speak for other rooms especially the dorms. Most bad reviews we read about Guesthouse Korea concern the dorms and reservation,  but good thing we had no such problems. Again, we took a Twin Room with two single beds. I was not expecting a lot and we were not exactly picky with the places we sleep in but the room was more than okay. When we went to our room, the bed was fine, we had cement walls, the air-conditioning was in excellent shape, we had a TV (with local channels), hair dryer and mini-ref (which we never used). The hot and cold shower was functioning properly as well. The floor area was enough for out things, with extra space to walk around. Towels were also provided but you would have to ask for them first in the reception.

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - beds

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - Airconditioner

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - TV, mini-ref and dryer

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - entrance (right) and bathroom door (left)

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - bathroom, Jongno, Seoul, South Korea

Twin Room Guesthouse in Korea - bathroom, Jongno, Seoul, South Korea

At night, however, it was quite difficult to move around the common area because some of the guests were quite fond of bonding with each other over drinks but they were usually friendly, though. LOL We were generally satisfied with our stay, especially we only spent around Php 1,600/night, where it was difficult to find a place with an ensuite bathroom (because most Filipinos are aversed of shared bathrooms LOL). We also saw Yim Guesthouse and Mama’s Guesthouse in the same area.

Their contact details:

URL: http://www.guesthouseinkorea.com/eng_map
Email: webmaster@guesthouseinkorea.com