The last day in Seoul continues, as the the memories start to fade. No, not really. I was so sentimental that day that I tried to remember everything. Everything. Haha. It’s actually quite embarrassing that I’m still done blogging about my Korya trip. How busy could I be! I think a part of me is slowing it down. I guess writing about the last day means my Korean trip is officially over, I’m even done writing about it! I don’t know, I just want to keep going back to those five days. But alas, everything has to come to an end, so thus this Korya thing. I can’t keep dragging it on or else I’d really forget the details!
From the Gyeongbokgung Palaca, our next destination is just right across the street: Gwanghwamun Square!
I waited and waited and waited for the soldier to leave so I could take a stupid photo but he wouldn’t. Haha! You can still see the front gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace at the background.
Anyway, my sister and I had a pretty good reason why we wanted to go to the Square, the King Sejong statue is located at Gwanghwamun Square, and if you’re a true Kdrama buff, you’d know that City Hunter and Kim Nana’s first meeting took place at the fountain in the square! Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit because I only learned that during my research on places to visit with the filming sets in mind. Heh.
Like everywhere in Seoul that time, the place is just filled with all these pretty Spring flowers. The place was incredibly pretty mainly because of the fog hanging around in Seoul. It was the first clear day after two straight days of rain so it was still pretty foggy. But I loved the weather as I’ve said in the previous post. The place just looked so cold and gloomy and the atmosphere’s just amazing, okay.
It’s probably our lucky day, too, since we saw another celebrity! This time, it’s an actress and we know her! I’ve seen some of her works, and I may not be the biggest fan but it was still pretty exciting to see her in person! Wanna know who she is? I’ve seen her in Three Dads and One Momand Wonderful Life!
Here’s a photo:
HAHAHA. It was unintentional okay.
It was Eugene! Pretty doesn’t do her justice. She’s not wearing much makeup and she looked amazing! But it’s quite obvious that she’s tired! Still so beautiful, though.
I reached her first because my sister and parents aren’t fans of fast walking. And when I realized who she is, I shouted, “Si Eugene!” And all the Koreans watching the shooting stared at me. Maybe because I pronounced her name wrong? I am so sorry native speakers, I’m just a Kdrama fan who can’t differentiate “o” from “eo” and “eu” from “oo”.
The wind was pretty harsh that day so to say that she had a pretty hard time projecting is an understatement. Also, no one should wear something like that in that weather! I was wearing layers of clothing and still felt cold and she’s wearing
a drape or something a gown.
We stayed until the end of the shoot. It’s not everyday that I see a photoshoot of a celebrity, and Korean actress at that! We wanted to have our picture taken with her but no one’s approaching her! An autograph would be nice but again, people were only standing on the sidelines. There were also tons of staff surrounding her. Once the shoot ended, her personal assistants immediately wrapped her in think blankets and guided her across the street. We didn’t bother chasing after her, though. It’s too bad really but we didn’t have any choice. I’m just really glad to see her in person!
We were so busy watching her that we forgot our purpose besides visiting the King Sejong statue which is trying on king costumes for free! (Also, we ended up passing the statue! Haha!)
The little booth that allows to tourist to try on the costume was not noticeable at all. I was on the lookout for it but I still had a hard time spotting it. It’s near the underground entrance way (to I don’t know where, a mall I think) in the middle of Gwanghwamun Square. So if you want to try it out, too, just look for an ahjumma and ajusshi wearing hanbok!
It seemed as if they were waiting for people to approach the booth since they seemed pretty happy to see us. We were the only ones there. When we were already wearing the costumes, there were more tourists asking to try the costumes. A lot of sizes were available so there’s one for everyone.
Obviously, we had fun with the costume. It was just so fun to wear! Heh.
Unlike in the Tourist Information Center in Insadong, they were pretty specific which hanbok one should wear. But for this one, girls could wear the king’s clothes and no one would mind. In fact, only king’s clothes were available! I still had tons of fun with the costume, though.
My camera started malfunctioning after. It was quite scary since I was in Korea and my camera’s not working properly! I almost cried. There I was, in my dream country, and my camera won’t even let me finish my last day in Seoul. /sobs
It took forever to capture a photo and if it did, the photos would turn too bright because the exposure was too long! I thought it was over but then it started working again! Yay. It’s still messed up now. Anyway..
Presenting, the place where Kim Nana and City Hunter meets for the first time!
The infamous first scene of City Hunter and Kim Nana! Here’s a screencap of the said meeting. I sadly forgot to wear yellow! I re-watched the scene just now and OMG, SO MUCH FEELINGS I CAN’T. To think that I stood at the exact same place as Lee MinHo gives the chills. Hrhrhr.
There’s a group of Korean boys in the place. They asked us if we could take their photos and my father said that in return, they should take a photo with my sister and I, and the boys said then they should have a copy, too. Haha! I only talked to one of them and he spoke English pretty well! Here’s our entire conversation:
KORYAN: Where are you from?
ME: Philippines! *smiles* Are you Koreans?
KORYAN : Yes! *smiles*
Are you Koreans? Like wtf. See, I’m awful at making small talks. I just smiled at the others to not embarrass myself too much.
The one in the middle looked like Lee SeungGi, don’t you think? We were watching King 2 Hearts that time, too, so it was pretty special to see a look-a-like! He looks more like LSG in person, and less tan, too. Heh. I’m not sure if they’re in college or still in high school. Either way, our meeting was short-lived. I sadly didn’t talk much to kids during the entire trip. One of the things on my to-do list was to have a picture taken with high school students wearing uniforms. It’s been my dream since forever. Haha.
Our next stop was just across the street, too. We actually planned it this way to spend little time traveling since we had limited time and all. Kyobo Book Center is one of the best book store in Seoul, I think. You can also buy CDs and DVDs here. It has everything.
But I didn’t go to Kyobo Book Center for the books or for the CDs. I went there because the YongSeo couple went there, too! Obviously, I have a pretty shallow reason. But if you’re a Goguma, it’s perfectly understandable why it’s such a big deal. It’s the first official date of the couple. It’s the first time SeoHyun bought YongHwa books! Yeah okay, I have a pretty shallow reason. Haha.
Too bad it wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the store. It was so big that I got lost! I seriously had a hard time locating my sister (my parents hung out at Dunkin’ Donuts inside the store) so when I found her, I didn’t stray off somewhere else. I think it’ll be quite difficult to get lost in a foreign country.
I’m not sure what event was taking place but it probably has something to do with books or maybe literacy? There’s a program, though, and tons of cameras. I was waiting for a celebrity to appear but no one did so we just left.
We were pretty hungry by then since it was almost 2PM and we still hadn’t have lunch. We were so busy being tourist-y and stuff that we didn’t have much time left for a meal! We went back to Hyehwa( via taxi) for lunch. We just wanted to eat somewhere near our hostel. Also, we just want to have another look around the neighborhood we considered home for 5 days.
We wanted to try Korea’s fried chicken but all the places specializing on fried chicken didn’t serve rice! So we sadly failed to try their famous friend chicken and went to another restaurant instead. It wasn’t such a waste because we still ended up ordering good food!
I recommend samgyetang to everyone. It’s so heavenly! I watched a documentary on Ariran ages ago about this soup and wanted to try it since then. I learned that it’s best eaten during summer. But it was spring when I tried it and it’s still good! My father has pretty high standards when it comes to soups and he really liked it!
I ordered mandu, too! But I only ordered mandu because it looked like siopao in the photo so I was surprised when they served a siomai-looking dish. Turns out it’s really like siomai but with a different taste and ingredients. Still incredibly good, though.
For the nth time during the trip, my mother ordered tonkatsu! She always plays it safe when it comes to food, you see. She doesn’t like this one but I think it’s my favorite from the all the tonkatsus she ordered that time.
After our big and filling lunch, we had one last stop before we going back to the hostel. The Hello Kitty Cafe! We lived so near one and it would simply be a shame to miss it. How many times can you enter a place that’s just filled with so many Hello Kitty goodness? My father’s a man and he even appreciated it all! I think there’s another one in Hongdae but this one’s near the Hyehwa subway station.
From the wall decoration to table tops to sofas to signage to drinks to cakes to everything, it’s all Hello Kitty! It was interesting how they could squeeze so much Hello Kitty in one place, using different ways to showcase the most popular cat in the world. And of course, our visit wouldn’t be complete without having to order anything. It’s a good thing my family’s big on coffee that can we can drink it any time of they day.
I couldn’t leave Korea without trying the Sweet Potato Latte, so I did. It was… weird. It really tastes like Sweet Potato and I think it needs getting used to. My father and sister loved it, though. As for me, I’d try another drink next time. The coffee in the place was pricier than other coffee shops but I think you’re paying for the ambience anyway, and not just for the coffee. At least it’s not as expensive as the coffee at 1st Shop of Coffee Prince!
We snooped around the place and found out that even the toilet’s bursting with so many Hello Kitty goodness. If I were a student, I’d probably spend a lot of time in the place with my friends. Indeed, there were a handful of university students studying when we went there.
Sadly, it was also the time that I learned that something’s terribly wrong with my camera. If you would notice, most of the photos are grainy and the lights seem to have a hazy glare. It’s quite sad but from then on, most of my low-light photos are like that. Oh well.
We rushed back to our hostel after our quick coffee break. There’s a 20-minute interval for the bus that would take us to the airport. We didn’t want to miss the next one since we’re kind of running late already. So when we went back to the hostel, we just grabbed our bags and fled. Good thing we already checked out.
It was a long and sad bus ride. My sister and I didn’t talk much. I didn’t want to leave. Surprisingly, my parents also wanted to say. It was a much needed vacation for all of us and it was too damn short for our liking. But we had to get back to reality.
I tried to stay awake the entire bus ride but I was tired. As much as I wanted to spend my remaining time in Korea wide awake, I just couldn’t keep the eyelids from falling. (/sobs) When I opened my eyes again, we were already at Incheon Airport! I barely had time to slap myself awake and we were already going down the bus.
When we entered the terminal, I realized that I left (AGAIN!) my Yong Choding poster at the bus!!!!! So I dashed out of the terminal and went running after the bus. It was so cold and I’m out of shape so I was out of breathe in no time. But it was the fastest I had run in a long time (in forever, maybe). I felt as if I was SanChai, runnining after Dao MingSi’s bus. Lulz.
When the bus finally stopped, I learned that it was the wrong bus. I was crushed, torn, heartbroken. But chasing after the wrong bus should only happen in dramas! RIGHT?
I embarrassed myself and even lost my Yong Choding poster. It was the worst way to end the trip.
I wanted to keep my spirits up because I was in Korea, wth. I had no business of having low spirits! But I couldn’t help it. I sulked the entire night. Barely touched my dinner. Barely talked to people. Couldn’t even finish reading a page in the book I was reading. In the waiting area, I curled up in a ball, with no care for the world. It was so stupid. But just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in fetal position, too. Hahaha. Thankfully, my parents are the most understanding people in the world that they just let me be.
When we boarded, I realized that I already missed Korea even before take-off. I was still in Incheon, but my heart already misses the country. The fact that I’m once again surrounded by Filipinos was a reminder that I was back to reality.
I had a hard time accepting that it was time to leave and I wasn’t sure when I’d be back. I love Korea way too much, I guess. I waited for 8 years, and somehow, I felt as if I didn’t really make the most out of it.
I hate to end my Korea trip on such a sad note. I wanted to make it end up with a smile or with a striking sentence that will sum up the awesomeness of the trip. But it has been 4 months and I just want to go back. I do not know how to turn this post around and end with a sunny sentence, but I can’t!
So I’ll be coming back with more Korea feels. Hrhr
YAY I can’t wait to check out the Hello Kitty cafe! 🙂
Go go go! It’s definitely worth a visit even if you’re not a Hello Kitty fan. 🙂