I’ll let you in on a secret. More than a decade ago, when I was a huge K-Pop fangirl (raise your hand if you started fangirling K-pop and K-drama oppas in the early 2000’s!), I really wanted to go to Korea to see my favorite Korean boyband, Shinhwa. While that didn’t happen, because I thought getting a visa was so hard, and basically because all my money went to merch, I made sure that now that I am a grownup, and I know that getting a South Korean visa is a breeze, that I would at least go there, if not to see my idols from the past, to at least do a DIY K-Drama tour.
I am not as hardcore a fangirl as I used to be, and I rarely ever watch K-dramas anymore (pffft, I just marathoned Black on Netflix. Teehee), but I thought it would be a great experience to check out some of the famous TV drama locations in Seoul on my second trip to South Korea.
Before traveling, one of the things I do is research on local transportation. It gives me a sense of confidence getting around Seoul, or tackling the streets of a foreign country knowing I know even just a little bit about what modes of transportation are available to me and how much they usually cost. This also allows me to set aside a more realistic budget and plan a more hassle-free trip. I was particularly more thorough during my South Korea trip, because OMG SEOUL! I felt like this was a long overdue trip (like, a decade overdue), and I wanted to be prepared for it as much as I could.
Hate crowds? Don’t go to MyeongDong. It is one of the major shopping districts in Seoul where tourists and locals flock to get some serious shopping done. But. If you love shopping and would want to experience Korean street food and get souvenirs on the cheap (and not-so-cheap), MyeongDong is heaven on earth.
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.
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.
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!)
One thing I don’t like about traveling is the logistics involved. All that planning! Which hotel should I book? Which airline should I use? How much money should I bring? And dun dun dun dun, how do I friggin’ get a visa?! It’s such a daunting task that sometimes, I wish I could just magically transport myself to another country without having to go through all the hassle. But such is a traveler’s life, and if a girl wants to travel, a girl’s gotta get that visa.