Saturday, March 22, 2014

South Korea: Jade Garden

The reason I wanted to go back to Korea, to see this place from That Winter, The Wind Blows, SBS and Love Rain, KBS.

On my way to Incheon last month, I was able to finish the movie, You are My Pet (last scene is also taken there).  

English Boarder and Italian Garden:
Love Rain - KBS 2012; That Winter, The Wind Blows - SBS 2013

South Korea: Former Seoul Station

Former Seoul Station

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Feb: South Korea: Seoul Food

There is nothing to worry when it comes to food – I did not plan anything for lunch or dinner, since good food is anywhere in Seoul.
Restaurant found on the second floor open until 2am (near GS25, Myeongdong Exit 8)
Food: 9 out of 10
Value: Affordable
Atmosphere: 9 out of 10
Location: near GS25, Myeongdong Exit 8

Glad that this decent restaurant is still open to welcome us on our first midnight in Myeongdong.  I love the man-made cherry blossom tree inside. 

Underground Hole in the Wall Japanese Restaurant
Food: 9 out of 10
Value: Affordable
Atmosphere: 9 out of 10
Location: Seolleung station Exit 1, turn left before Posco, on the third block, take the stairs to go underground of Italian Bistro (along Teheran-ro 78-gil, Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu)

Unique experience that reminds me of Gion, Kyoto - we were actually seating on the floor while eating.  I miss it.

2014 Feb: South Korea: Seoul: Drama Cafes

It’s been two years when I last stepped at Korean peninsula, and with that I have gathered the places I wanted to visit from the dramas and realities I have been watching.  Let’s start with coffee shops I wanted to try.

Café De Chocolate
Food: 9 out of 10
Value: Average
Atmosphere: 9 out of 10
Orders: Orders= White hot chocolate (5,200 KRW = 208 PHP), Real dark hot chocolate (5,800 KRW = 232 PHP), Hotdog (7600 KRW = 304 PHP)
Location: Chungmuro Station Exit 3
Drama: That Winter, The Wind Blows (2013).

I did not bother to research on which store they used on the drama, but the one I visited is in Chungmuro Station Exit 3.  We got inside still a bit dark, welcomed our orders and but the service strictly started at 9:00am. 

Cozy and offers a lot of magazines and books to read.  They also have a separate room for the smokers.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 Feb: South Korea: Seoul: K-pop Residence

My fouth time in South Korea, third time in Seoul and third time to have the base camp in Myeongdong.

Taking an AREX for the second time is less expensive than taking a bus, but I personally prefer the bus since I don’t want line transfers and its hard to bring luggage in stairs (2011-2012).  Unexpectedly, the plane is delayed on its arrival fro 2 hours to pick-up passengers in Manila hub.  That makes our arrival in Incheon delayed from 20:05 to past 22:20.  We still need to take the shuttle train going to main terminal, queue at the Immigration, wait for the luggage, and we can no longer take the airport bus 6015 going Myeongdong.

I still wonder for a while if there is a possibility to take a night bus, until with a snap I got to process my thoughts immediately - "I need 10000 each (thanks to the extra won we have from our previous trips), I need our old T-money." Rushed to 7-11 to top-up, get down to lower ground take the connecting walkalator, rushed to the train entrance (not sure if I did take AREX, but looks like not, it is an all-stop train going to Seoul Station.  We were able to find our way out and we were literally running, Im pushing our 2 4-wheel luggage to speed us up.  When we get on the station entrance, there are already guards, I said "to Myeongdong Station", and they let us pass - this is the last trip from Seoul Station for Line 4 going to Myeongdong.

This year (2014) on Exit 8, there is already an escalator, but because it already passed the operating hours it is no longer moving, we still have to take the stairs.  After crossing 3 sub streets, we were able to find our hostel.

K Pop Residence II Myeongdong
4-2, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

Price: Average for an accommodation in the middle of Myeongdong.  If you prefer cheaper accommodation outside shopping district, there are lot to choose from. 

Location: Good – On the side street of Myeongdong, it is the 4th and 5th level of the building, just above Kang Ho Dong’s Baekjeong BBQ restaurant.  Just outside the main street, you’ll immediately see Etude, Face Shop, farther left, you have Forever 21, and GS25 (25-hour convenient store).

2014 Feb: Philippines: Manila: Travel Expo

Philippines: Manila: Wicked

I learned Wicked from Chico who flew to Singapore just to watch the musical sometime in its showing dates on Dec 6 2011 til Feb 26, 2012.

As it is in Manila this early 2014, we bought in at an early bird discount and able to watched it on its first weekend.  Tomorrow is the last night of its showing, be Galindafied with the Ozians!

"Defying Gravity" 
– Elphaba, Glinda, Guards and Citizens of Oz
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo

At least I'm flying free

"As Long as You're Mine" 
– Elphaba and Fiyero
I've lost all resistance
And crossed some borderline
And if it turns out
It's over too fast
I'll make ev'ry last moment last

As long as you're mine

"For Good" - Galinda
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

A story of friendship, love and forgiving - a must see musical!

March 9, 2014 is the last showing day of Wicked in Manila.  On my recent trip to Korea, it is also being shown in Charlotte Theatre (

Date Watched: 2014 Jan