Travel Diary: Trip to South Korea Part 2 – N Seoul Tower

View of the N Seoul Tower from below.

Raise your hand if you’re watching Legend of the Blue Sea or have watched any Koreanovela before. I know I have, many times! They’re the best at creating romantic scenes with beautiful cinematography. This is partly the reason why I wanted to visit South Korea. Who wouldn’t? The places are just so pretty! Now I get double the ‘kilig’ when I watch a Korean series and they were shot in places I’ve already been to. One such place is the Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower.

How to get there

Going to Korea, I didn’t have a solid itinerary. What I did was listed a few places I really wanna go to and played the rest by ear. I did research, yes, but not obsessively like I had in my past travels. I felt like this was a trip I would enjoy regardless. And I knew, that I would come back a second, third, fourth, or even a fifth time, no matter what, so there was no pressure in that sense.

We decided to go to the N Seoul Tower on our second day. We initially went to MyeongDong and the place was still a bit dead as it was still early, so we thought it was best to change plans and go to the nearest destination that’s on our list. I pulled up Google Maps on my phone and saw that the tower was quite near, so we decided to walk.

Quite near, right? Wrong!

Hiking the Namsan Tower

About ten minutes into the walk, we found out it wasn’t really that near. We were starting to regret our decision but we felt like we’d already done half the work, so why not finish all the way through? So we set on foot up to top of the tower, which was a good decision, because hello SEOUL!

View of Seoul while walking up the Namsan Tower.

Autumn is really a good time to go there because the trees are just magnificent. The colors were just like what I’ve seen in pictures, just better!

We also saw these strings of colored paper hanging by a wall along the way.

Other ways to get there

Of course, if you’re not up for a long walk, there are other ways to get to the top:

  • By Bus: You can take shuttle buses 02, 03, or 05.
  • By Cable Car: Take the train and alight at MyeongDong Station. Take Exit 3 and walk 10-15 mins to the boarding station.
  • By Seoul City Tour Bus: The bus departs in front of the Gwanghwamun Donghwa Duty Free.
  • By Car: There are nearby parking lots where you can leave your car.

For more details on fares and ticket prices, you can check out this link.

It’s totally up to you, but I would really suggest to take a walk. It’s tiring, yes, but the views are magnificent.

Yes?

What to see up there

We didn’t go up the tower itself. But if you decide to, the admission ticket to the observatory is 10000 won for adults, and 8000 won for children. There are other attractions on the mountain. Some of them are:

  • Locks of Love

  • Love Tunnel

  • Galleries
  • Restaurants and coffee shops
  • Souvenir shops
  • And so much more.

It was getting dark, so after a cup of coffee, we decided to head back to the bus stop to take the shuttle bus back to MyeongDong.

To see more pictures from my travels, follow me on Instagram.

Check out Part 1 of my Seoul Blog Series here.

Travel Diary: Trip to South Korea Part 1 – Arrival

If I were to list all my dream destinations, South Korea would be up there in the top 5. I’d always wanted to go there but never really made it a reality because I thought the visa process was much too complicated (It’s totally the opposite though! I blogged about my visa application process here.)

A couple of months ago, on my birthday week, I finally realized my dream and spent 6 days in Korea. 6 days is too short to fully enjoy the place, but that’s all I had so I had to make do.

Day 1: Arrival

We (my friend and I) arrived through a Cebu Pacific flight at around 8:30 pm on October 30. Our first stop: renting a pocket wifi. We chose LG (there are other options) and the lady quoted us W39000 for our entire stay. They got our credit card information, but didn’t charge until after we returned the unit.

We hadn’t eaten dinner so we looked for somewhere to eat inside the airport and found a Korean restaurant where they served Bulgogi. After eating, we went to the information counter to ask how to get to the guesthouse we’re staying at which was in Gangnam.

Going to Gangnam from the airport

The easiest route (not the fastest) was taking the 6009 bus. We were told to hop off at the Nonhyun station and walk about five minutes to the guesthouse location. We purchased our tickets through the vending machines which only took credit cards (no cash). Our tickets were at W15000 each. The estimated travel time was 1hr and some minutes, but because it was late at night, there was very little traffic, so the trip took less than an hour.

Walking at night in Gangnam

I was hesitant to take the trip and really was considering spending the night at the airport instead because I didn’t want to walk at night with all my luggage. I didn’t have any idea what kind of neighborhood our guesthouse was in, no matter how many times I tried looking at it through Google maps. But I was pleasantly surprised that even at past 11, the streets of Gangnam were dotted with people hanging out after a drinking session. Aside from the really cold weather, our short walk was enjoyable. I was giddy with excitement!

Halloween scare?!

Our guesthouse’s reception was only up until 11pm. We got there at 11:30pm and the door was closed and there were no people in the lobby. As the doors were glass, we could see what’s inside, there were blood splatters on the floor and there was a bit of a mess. Moments later, a police car arrived and out came the owner (?) of the guesthouse and his face was all messed up. It was obvious he took a serious beating and the blood on the floor was most probably his. He was escorted by two policemen. He checked us in, and then went out again together with the police. It was bizarre and scary and we almost wanted to back out but it was late and we were too tired to care.

First night, done.

All in all, it was an eventful first night. We took a shower as soon as we settled in our room and called it a day.

2017 Itinerary

Since I have acquired a new job, one that requires me to report at an actual office, my longer travels will significantly become less frequent. No more staying abroad for months. At most, I can spend two weeks away, but that is if I decide to take my vacation leaves all in one go, which is kind of not possible. Now before I regret my decision of leaving my work-from-home job, I give you the list of places I want to visit this year.

Local Travel (Philippines)

  • Siargao
  • Magalawa Island
  • Siquijor
  • La Union
  • Ilocos Norte

International Travel

  • Japan
  • South Korea (yes, again!!!)

 

Hello, 2017! I’m Ready.

Argh! I was supposed to have a week-long break. I was supposed to be doing nothing, getting a much-needed rest before going back to being a corporate slave. Except for my long afternoon nap from the other day, I haven’t done much resting at all. I’ve been busy getting a new job, processing employment requirements, the holidays, working on the THS website, and catching up on blog posts. Sigh.

But with that said, I know I’m doing all this to make way for a better 2017, so I’m pretty much fine with it. After months of feeling inadequate, I found myself some much-needed motivation to become a better me in the coming year. And as 2016 comes to an end, I am writing down my resolutions for 2017. It’s a rather short list this time as I’m trying to set realistic goals.

Move.

Dance. Workout. Anything! I spent the last 6 years holed up in my house because of my job. And as I am one lazy girl, that meant less walking and less exercise. I’m at my fattest right now, and hell, I am going to get fit in 2017. There’s a gym near my new workplace, I might try that. Or maybe sign up for dance classes.

Save.

I recently just acquired new property, and as I am not rich (yet), that meant that I’ve also acquired debt, also known as mortgage. I didn’t realize that moving in to a new place could be so expensive. The expenses do not end with the monthly dues, there’s grocery, utility bills, ahhhh, the non-perks of being an adult.

Create.

One of the things that I vowed to do before 2016 was to create more things. Explore calligraphy and watercolor painting. Somehow though, none of that happened. Yes, I dabbled from time to time, but not enough to acquire a higher level of skill. I’m still where I started, no advancement whatsoever. If there was, it’s so minute I can barely see it.

Grow.

My 2016 sucked so bad in this sense. I need to make use of my talents and skill and share what I can do to the world. I owe it to myself. I know I have so much to offer, and for a while I never really tried. No more hindered growth this time, not if I can help it.

2017 will be a year of exploration, growth, thinking, health, and success. I just know it.

PS

All pictures used in this post are from Unsplash.

My 2016 in Pictures

There’s just a couple more days before we officially say goodbye to 2016. This year has been crazy! I’ve had a lot of memories, good and bad. My year-end blues came early this year which resulted to hard decisions being made. It was such a depressing time but I am happy that I’m leaving some things behind in 2016. It’s impossible to tell you all of the great stories in one post, so I’m posting pictures instead. (This would’ve been easier had I been a diligent blogger!)

January

Started the year by meeting up with old friends.

February

Tried my hand at digital sketching. I’ve always been fascinated by architectural and travel sketches by artists I follow on Instagram.

March

My parents (particularly my Dad) love to fish. They’d been bugging me to go with them but I always refused because I really didn’t like fishing. But one Sunday morning, for the sake of taking pictures, I finally agreed.

April

In April, my friends from work decided to finally visit me in Zamboanga City. We went on a road trip to nearby cities in Mindanao. It was so tiring but so much fun. I wrote about our experience here.

May

Clouds!
Sydney Airport

I hopped on a plane to Australia to make use of the remaining months I had on my tourist visa. My flight took me to Sydney, and then I took a domestic flight to Melbourne where I stayed for more than two months.

June

Watched the Sound of Music
Visited the Great Ocean Road for the second time
At Mount Buller. First time seeing snow!

June was a fun month! My brother and his family flew to Melbourne from Singapore to spend a couple of weeks during school holidays. We went to see my favorite musical of all time, the Sound of Music, which had me tearing up. I couldn’t help it, the songs were just too beautiful! *sniff*. We also went on a road trip to see the sights on amazing Great Ocean Road. Before they left, we went up to Mount Buller to ski. It was the start of the winter season so there wasn’t much snow yet.

July

The city of Melbourne at night

I bought a tripod to try long exposure shots of the city at night. I wasn’t able to do this on my first trip to Melbourne. It’s always my favorite thing to explore a foreign city alone.

This was also the month I sold Jagger, my car.

August

Went back to Mount Buller alone
Visited my friend in Manly (not the guy in picture. lol)

It was time to go back to the Philippines as my three months was almost up. But before doing that, I just had to go to Sydney for a quick visit. I wasn’t able to do this during my first trip to Australia, so I really wanted to make this happen. I contacted my aunt who lived there and they graciously welcomed me into their home (despite the fact that I hadn’t really seen them in like ever!). I made a side trip to visit a friend in Manly where I stayed for two days.

When I got back to the Philippines, I moved in to my new place in Manila. Yay!

September

The view from the KCC Mall
La Vista del Mar: One of my favorite places to watch sunsets in Zamboanga City

Went to my home town with my sister to spend a week with them before they fly to Singapore.

October

The parents and sister went to Manila for a quick visit
Completed the design for my first-ever wedding invitation gig.

My parents and my sister went to Singapore for a quick trip and they stayed at my new place when they got back to the Philippines.

I also started working on the website of my design business (which is still in the works as I had been sidetracked by other things.)

November

Me at Petite France
N Seoul Tower!!!

Birthday month! I fulfilled one of my long-time dreams: visiting South Korea! I spent my birthday there. I was sick and coughing the entire time, but I still got to enjoy most of it. 6 days certainly wasn’t enough and I will definitely go back.

December

Captured my first-ever Pikachu. Lol.
Hello, plant!

Today’s the second to the last day of December. It has only been 30 days, but so much have happened! First, I got the worst case of year-end blues. It was a tough time and I knew it was time to make a change. After 5 years and 7 months, I quit my job. The work-from-home sitch was no longer working for me. I wasn’t socializing, I wasn’t meeting or talking to people. I needed to get away from it all and just start living my life. I know at some point I’m going to regret this decision, but I am hoping for the best.

There are a hundred and one things that I wasn’t able to include in this post. (Like that travel to Pangasinan in August, and that Tagaytay trip in September.) I vow to blog more regularly in the coming year. I may not have as many overseas trips as I will be once again tied to an office job, but I still have the weekends and all the long weekends to explore the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. I can’t wait!