Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Oct: South Korea: Itinerary

Hotel Name: 24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style
Address: 57-17 Changcheon-dong (24 Yonsei-ro 5na-gil), Seodaemun-gu, Shinchon / Hongdae/Seoul/South Korea

Express Bus Terminal Exit 1 or 2, 
06:25 Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal (every :00,:30 minutes) 
10:00AM Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal (Seoraksan Sogongwon Stop) 20-30 minute intervals; approx. 30 minutes
04:00PM Departure at Seoraksan
07:00PM Arrival in Seoul
Optional: Visit King Sejong, Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5).

Walk along Yonsei Univ.
Reach Ewha Womans Univ. Station (Line 2), Exit 2 or 3.
Ewha Womans University Museum
Go to Hongkik University
Haha Restaurant
Hongdae Market
City Hall - Deoksugung Doldam-gil (Deoksugung Stone-Wall Road)

  • Go to Anguk Station - Walk along the Streets of Samcheong-dong Line 3, Exit 1
  • Luden Loquen SPACE (Cafe LN), 5, Bukchon-ro 5na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul - 10:00-22:00
  • Temple Night Lights -  Gyeongbokgung 2014.10.22~11.03 (10/28 closure)

  • Sunday
    Sunday Mass - Yeoksam Station, Exit ½ - Yeoksam Catholic Church - Roman Catholic
    Nakseongdae's Garosu-gil Road / Gangnam
    Rubber Ducky at Jamsil
    Ace Pizza Club
    DDP - Dongdaenum Design Plaza

    Optional: Banpo Bridge


    City Hall - Deoksugung Doldam-gil (Deoksugung Stone-Wall Road)
    Hongdae - Trick Eye Museum

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Gyeonggi: My Love from the Star at Kintex

    You think it’s over?!  It ended last August 15, 2014 in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Jung-gu, but the star will continue to shine from Kintex, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do until August 31, 2015.

    On a personal note, not much of the bloggers have been posting about the movement of the exhibition to Kintex. I learned about it from a small shop in DDP that it was moved.  So on our last day before departure, we choose to suddenly change our itinerary and skip:
    -Bukchon for the palace walls, art paintings and breakfast at LN cafe
    -Trick Eye and Ice Museum at Hongdae

    It took us an hour to reach Daehwa station from Sinchon.  And another 30 minutes to reach the Outdoor Special Exhibition (near Kintex 2, Hall 8).  Don’t worry about getting lost as there will be a lot of signs and direction pointing to the star’s location. 

    Exhibition Period: 2014.9.5 - 2015.8.31
    Exhibition Time: 10:00 - 19:00
    Admission: 15,000krw (Adult)
    How to get there? [Google MapsLine 3 (Ilsan Line), Daehwa Station, Exit 1 (750m for Kintex)

    The Story
    My Love from the Star (You Who Came from the Stars) is a South Korean television series about an alien who landed on Earth in the Joseon Dynasty and, 400 years later, falls in love with a top actress in the modern era. 

    The fantasy romance stars Kim Soo-hyun (Do Min-joon, DMJ) and Jun Ji-hyun (Cheon Song-yi, CSY) (who is the famous Sassy Girl and her small screen comeback after 14 years). They are the very first male and female lead to win the Grand Prize ("Daesang") with a same drama. [Reference]

    The Experience
    We were welcomed by Lyn's song as we give our tickets to the staff.  

    You’re my destiny, you are
    You’re my everything,
    The thing that hasn’t changed is my love for you

    Then the exhibit started as we push the wall, just like DMJ in his unit when he gets into the library.

    Zone 1 - Exhibition of the black robes used by the aliens, palanquin (sedan chair) used on the cliff, costumes, umbrella and hairpin from Joseon Dynasty

    I can consider it interactive since some of those exhibited can be touched, you'll be allowed to carry traditional umbrellas, seat on CSY bed, photo shoot on the library, and others.

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Jamsil: Rubber Duck Project

    Rubber Duck is any of several giant floating sculptures designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_Duck_(sculpture)

    The world tour project named "Spreading joy around the world" was established in 2007, and have visited several cities, to name a few:
    • 2010 Osaka
    • 2013 Tsim Sha Tsui, Beijing 2013, Taoyuan 
    • 2014 Ho Chi Minh, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai

    Glad to see it during my visit as it being held in Seokchon Lake in Seoul Korea from 14 October 2014 to 14 November 2014.

    How to get there: Jamsil Station, Exit 1

    Per blogs.wsj.com, the project’s official website describes the duck as intended to “heal wounds” and “relieve tension.”

    Controversies Behind:

    Construction of extended are in Lotte complex has come under intense scrutiny by Seoul city, which demanded additional safety and transport measures before allowing it to open. Public unease was fanned by the appearance of sink holes in Seokchon Lake and a drop in the water level in the lake. No proof has been found that the holes or water decline are linked to the construction of the complex. [Reference]

    Giant duck 'passes out' on Seoul Lake as it lost some air and seen drowning. [Reference]

    Now you'll understand why there is tight security around rubber ducky.  There are almost 3 officers doing rounds and the viewing deck is closed to public.

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Doeksugung Palace Night Lights

    During spring and autumn, 2 grand palaces in Seoul offers special open night tickets, where tourists and locals can get inside until late night.

    Since the website is limited to korean language, getting tickets is just so hard.  Even I tried calling the number, they told me they will call me back with someone who speaks in English, but I have not received any.  From Facebook, I knew that tickets are already sold out after its availability just within 3 hours.

    But that experience did not stop me from looking around.  As an alternative, we have visited: 

    Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁)
    Address: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul  서울 중구 세종대로 99
    Direction: Get off at City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 – Exit 2 / Seoul Subway Line 2 – Exit 12, turn left at the exit and walk straight for 30 meters)
    Website: http://www.deoksugung.go.kr/default.asp

    *What I really like in these set of night photos, having it taken without tripod.

    2014 Oct: South Korea: English Catholic Mass

    Church goers normally go to Myeongdong Cathedral for mass, since it is easily accessible, known to many tourists, located in shopping area, visible on blogs and websites.

    Last February, I’ve been to Yakhyeon Church, but there is no formal mass and no English mass.

    This October, we have visited Yeoksam Catholic Church - Roman Catholic.

    Yeoksam Catholic Church - Roman Catholic
    Where: Yeoksam-dong 722-9, Kangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea 02-553-0801. 
    How to go there: Line #2 (green line) Yeoksam Station, Exit 1
    Mass Schedule: English Mass on Sundays 9:00 at Basement 2 (KyungHwan-dang Chapel)  

    The main church holds Korean mass. Ask around or go to basement 2 and find the main door (KyungHwan-dang Chapel) for the English mass at around 9:00-9:30am Sundays.

    Below is the list of other English Catholic Mass around Seoul.

    There is another English mass at Sogang University on Sun. 7:30 P.M at subway DaeHeung station line 6

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Shopping Zone

    Apologies to my readers...
    I'm still preparing for my next trip and 
    will not be able to post update on this entry soon.

    Will try to finish by end of December.  

    Keep traveling!

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Campus Tour

    Apologies to my readers...
    I'm still preparing for my next trip and 
    will not be able to post update on this entry soon.

    Will try to finish by end of December.  

    Keep traveling!

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Gangwon-Do: Seoraksan

    Apologies to my readers...
    I'm still preparing for my next trip and 
    will not be able to post update on this entry soon.

    Will try to finish by end of December.  

    Keep traveling!

    2014 Oct: South Korea: Seoulful Taste

    2014 Oct: South Korea: 24 Guesthouse Sinchon Style

    On this fourth trip in Seoul, we wanted to move out of comfort zone - Myeongdong. Thus, we are rooting to stay in university area. Our choice in Ehwa is a bit near the bars, staying in Hongkik is a bit crazy-chaotic experience.  So, we decided to stay in the middle, Sinchon station.

    24 Guesthouse - Sinchon Style (24게스트하우스-신촌스타일)
    Address: 24, Yonsei-ro 5na-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (Changcheon-dong)
    서울특별시 서대문구 연세로5나길 24 (창천동)
    Email: sinchonstyle@naver.com
    Website: http://sinchonstyle.24guesthouse.co.kr/
    Booking at agoda.com

    Price: Affordable: (PHP 8,856.70 (USD 199.32) for 4 nights on Twin Bed Room - Double Deck)
    Compared to Myeongdong (Exit 8) guesthouses, this is a bit cheaper. 

    Location: Good. Accessible by airport bus. Lot of restaurants nearby, but there are those that will require you to select meals (15000) each, no sharing. There are a couple of bars and drinking sessions around. It is also close to 2 convenient stores - 7/11 and CU. Across the main road is Hanaro (Hana Mart) where you can buy your returning presents (omiyage/pasalubong). It is also just walking distance (15-20 minutes) to Yonsei and Ehwa universities. 

    Check-in Experience: There is a misunderstanding between me and auntie on mail as she requires me to pay additional fee of 28000 krw (for the taxi fare when she returns home) if we arrive at the hostel beyond 11pm. Good thing, she took it back when we were there 10 minutes before 11pm. So we did not pay any additional fee. I read the same experience from tripadvisor.

    The guesthouse has no elevator and we were assigned to 3rd floor. 

    Room: I chose the double deck compared to pulled-bed due to space. The room facilities include comforter, small towels, television and water thermos. However, they don't provide glasses. 

    On our first night (beyond 2am), in the kitchen at basement 1, I can't find the lights but got 2 mugs going to our room. The following morning we had a warning note. 

    Going to the basement the following morning, I finally saw the notice saying, "Don't bring mugs to your room". I was wondering how contradicting the service they have, what's the use of the thermos in the room, when glasses are not allowed?

    The next thing I did is to ask the uncle everytime I get the mugs, then return it the following morning.

    Culinary Experience: They offer simple breakfast like bread, jam, cofee and tea. It is a self service so you have to wash your dishes. There is also a schedule on when can you wash them, since there are also private rooms in the basement.


    • No washing of socks or clothes in the room.
    • No foundation or make-up in bed.
    • Turn-off lights, fan, aircon as you go out of the room.

    Comments & Tips:

    • No digital lock in the room. It is using traditional keys.
    • There is drinking water thermos, but cups and spoons are available from B1.
    • There are more than 4 power sockets, make sure to prepare your adaptors.
    • LCD TV is also provided with selected HD cable and English channels (e.g. CNN, History, Discovery, National Geographic, Arirang) with of course unlimited non-sub local channels.
    • Water heater is very much working.
    • They provide toiletries at basic shampoo, rinse and bath.
    • They have toilet slippers and room slippers - bring your own to be hygenic.

    2014 August: Singapore and Malaysia: Itinerary

    2014 August: Malaysia: Malacca

    2014 August: Singapore: Philatelic Museum

    2014 August: Singapore: Mint Museum

    Apologies to my readers...
    I'm still preparing for my next trip and 
    will not be able to post update on this entry soon.

    Will try to finish by end of December.  

    Keep traveling!

    2014 August: Singapore: Sentosa: Maritime Museum