Everytime I visit South Korea, it’s mandatory to try on a hanbok and pretend to be a sophisticated lady from the Joseon period. Out of all my hanbok experiences in Seoul, the most recent one had to be my favorite. We usually just rent hanbok for free in tourist centers in Seoul, but I got offered the chance to roam around Seoul wearing the traditional clothing. It’s an experience that I just couldn’t pass up. I mean, how can you say no to wearing pretty traditional dresses, right? [Read more…]
Lunch at Bok Chicken: Weightlifting Fairy Kim BokJoo’s Filming Location
No trip to South Korea will be complete without visiting a K-drama filming location. With so many dramas released every year, pretty much every tourist spot in Seoul is a shooting location. However, there are still some hole-in-the-wall spots that you really have to go out of your way just to reach. Such is the restaurant used in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo, and it was the first spot we visited for our South Korea trip last spring.
But out of all the Weightlifting Fairy filming locations used for the drama, this was my priority! Watching the show, I could hardly believe that a chicken restaurant could look so pretty so I was surprised to learn that it’s a real restaurant in Seoul. I just had to visit it, and I was glad my sister agreed. So far, it’s my favorite 2017 K-drama, and it was the one that pulled me out of my drama slump. (You can read all about it here if you want, hehe.) I couldn’t visit all its filming sites, but I could fit in at least one. It was more than enough for me because at least a fourth of the series was filmed here!
When I said that it’s out of the way, it’s really out of the way. It’s not a tourist spot and it’s near Kookmin University. However, it’s still pretty easy to reach, and we didn’t even get lost looking for it. But I guess I just have to attribute that to my killer sense of direction, or I can just really sniff out K-drama spots. (Seriously though, every corner in Seoul is fit to be a K-drama filming spot. The city is just that photogenic.)
After quickly dropping off our bags at Hotel Maui DDM, we went straight to Bok Chicken. But of course, it wasn’t really called Bok Chicken but Jak-eun Ma-eul, which I think means Small Town. But please don’t quote me on that. [Read more…]
South Korea Itinerary: Seoul and Busan for 7 Days During Spring
After n months of dawdling and procrastinating, I finally got the time to compile my South Korea itinerary for Spring 2017. Images of falling cherry blossoms, sizzling samgyupsal, and piping hot odeng were starting to haunt me so I decided that it’s finally time to stop watching Kdramas (for a few hours) and try to get something done for once. Hey, I have a chronic case of blogging laziness, and it’s not something that can be fixed easily. But I try, and here’s a little show of trying.
Unlike my previous travels in South Korea, our trip last April was impulsive. It wasn’t in my plan to go back early this year, because I wanted to go back right when Changmin gets discharged from the army, lol. But once my sister asked me if I wanted to go, I answered a definite and resounding YAAAAAS. It had been two years and five months since my last visit, and I was itching to roam the streets of Seoul and to hear KPOP anywhere I go. My sister hadn’t been back in Korea since our first visit in 2012. I was just 22 and wore ugly ugg boots even though it was Spring.
This time, we booked a trip for seven days to explore both Seoul and Busan. I probably won’t be able to blog about each day like in my previous visits, so I’ll share our seven-day itinerary in Busan and Seoul instead. If time permits, I would love to rave about the new places I got to visit this time!
Please note that this wasn’t our first time visiting, so we avoid the usual tourist spots and focused on visiting Kdrama filming locations, hehe. This is a rather relaxed trip and we really tried to enjoy each location. We also spent too much time hanging out at Korean-style gazebos, which seem to be abundant anywhere in Seoul. Also, I didn’t bother including the travel time in the itinerary. Let’s just say that it takes us approximately an hour to get to each location, with a lot of convenience store and street food stopovers.
Enough with my rambling. Here’s our Seoul to Busan itinerary.
Seoul Budget Hostel: Hotel Maui in Dongdaemun
After two long years, I was finally able to go back to Korea and fulfill my Kdrama dreams. I’m pretty you can imagine how happy I was to be back. It was my fourth time in Seoul, and instead of staying in the same hostel, I decided to try a new budget hostel in the middle of the bustling city. There are tons of affordable accommodations in Seoul, and I’m glad my sister and I ended up staying in one of the bests!
Hotel Maui in Dongdaemun is relatively new, but I have to say that they definitely set the bar when it comes to budget accommodations. It has everything I am looking for in a budget hostel and then some. Seriously though, they offer quite a lot more than the other accommodations stayed in did.
How do I even start raving about this hostel? From the location to the rooms to the host to everything–we loved every minute we spent in it. [Read more…]
Fall in Korea Day 6: Sundown at Bukchon Hanok Village
We arrived at Bukchon Hanok Village just when the sun was about to set. Normally, I would freak out because this meant lesser time for strolling and seeing everything. But it bathed everything in yellow light. Hooray for the magic hour! How can you not love it?
We couldn’t have picked a better place to visit. It was our last destination before we retire for the day and spend our last hours in Seoul exploring Hongdae–our home away from home for the past six days.
Bukchon Hanok Village is a residential community with traditional Korean houses called Hanok. The government has helped the residents restore and maintain the houses, which is an integral part of Korean culture. Real people live in the houses, and it’s the tourists’ responsibility to be respectful when strolling the streets. Though there’s no strict guidelines, visitors are advised to keep the noise down as much as possible. I’ve visited the community two years prior, and it has pretty much stayed the same.
We headed straight to the tourist information center to get a map. It’s a pretty large, and you can easily get lost navigating the streets and alleys. But we really just ended up wherever our feet would take us. While we were rushing to beat the sunset, we also leisurely moved around to savor everything. [Read more…]