Tag Archives: Travel

The Princess wannabe in the Land of the Brave!

As promised in my previous blog, I will share how beautiful Scotland is during my visit in July 2011. Scotland does not exist in my Dream Destination list, and I still don’t understand why God keep sending me to Europe (I am not complaining hehe I’m just wondering ;)).

So there, on July 6 we flew to Edinburgh. We allotted three days before the start of the World Conference for the tour around Scotland. We arrived at night, but it was my first time ever to see the sun around 8pm. Cool, eh? Europe was telling me “This is really the other side of the world.”

On our first day, the first agenda was to see Loch Lomond, which is the biggest lake in Great Britain by surface area.

This is a postcard-ish photo which I took after being captivated by the beauty of the landscape:

As you can see the sky was on the verge of crying. But we’re fortunate that it was after we left that the rain started to pour. We stayed in a Fish N’ Chips restaurant during the downpour and enjoyed the lunch.

Next stop was Stirling! I love the place because it was only that day that I first saw a castle.

Tanaaaaan!

The Doune Castle!

And the Stirling Castle from a far! (With my big face hahaha)

The next day, we headed to St. Andrews, a small town but now a famous spot because of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

St. Andrews University

Just across the university is the coffee shop where the two met (So giddy because I always want to meet “my man” in a coffee shop haha ;))

One of the Tita’s asked us single ladies if we want to stay longer and wait for our “Prince”. We already finished our coffee, but no one came. 🙁

St. Andrews is a small town but the it is very vibrant with happy people roaming around.

The rest of our days was spent in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. There are bagpipers on the street, red telephone booths, and those buildings with unique architecture.

 

 

I always love to go to different places to appreciate God’s wonders. His creation is beyond any explanation. But every time I go outside the country, I see it as an opportunity to appreciate my beloved country more. I may not have all these riches, but our culture is still deemed with high respect. Proud akong sa Pilipinas ako pinanganak.

These are memories painted to last forever. One day, I will show show this photos to my children and proudly say “God brought me there.”

P.S #1: It was an inter-generational trip. Not your usual barkada gimmick. I was with Tita’s from the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. Kyla and I were the only bagets, as you may say. But it didn’t spoil the fun, it actually made the entire trip a happy experience. During the trip, I often find myself laughing with their jokes, and they are as energetic as youngsters walking and walking around. In every trip having a cool and fun company makes all the difference.

P.S #2: Tita Inday has a friend there in Edinburgh, a couple with a 6 year-old son named Michael. For two days, Michael became my “boyfriend” 😀 and didn’t let me walk alone because he wanted to always hold my hand. Hahaha! Such a cutie and bibo boy!

 

 

 

Spring has arrived in Korea (finally!)

Since December, I’ve been hoping that time would fly and April would arrive quickly. Yes, I really thought I would die because of winter. I was looking forward to a warmer weather, since I am a lady from a tropical country where the season is just hot, and hotter.

Now, I am so giddy because of the blooming flowers and wonderful colors. Spring has finally arrived! A must during this season- a photo with the cherry blossoms!

Last week, I’ve been monitoring if the cherry trees in Yeouido are already blooming. According to the Korea Tourism Organization website, the Spring Festival was scheduled from April 13-17. I called my bestfriend here :D, 1330, and asked for update. The lady said it is quite late this year. So we had to wait until Wednesday. After class, we headed to Yeouido Park!

To get to the place where the cherry trees are lined, called Yunjungno, we had to stop at the National Assembly station. So photo-ops first with the house of the Parliament!

Yeah, I can finally  wear a skirt, and sunglasses! It was so warm that day, the temperature reached 22 degrees celsius!

Yunjungno lies at the back of the National Assembly. So we had to walk for 10 minutes to get there. We started seeing a lot of people and then the trees with white blossoms!

Beautiful. Wala nito sa Pilipinas eh!

There was a traditional dance at the center of the road. Good thing was they actually closed the road for vehicles, so the people can actually enjoy.

One thing I noticed there was that majority of the people were actually Koreans. So eventhough they see this every year, they still look forward to seeing the cherry blossoms.

I won’t have any beach photos this summer, like what my friends are posting in Facebook. But I’ve got photos with the Spring blossoms. I will never forget this. I only saw those trees in movies, but I this year I had the chance to see them closely. I am blessed! 🙂

P.S. On our way back to the subway station, I saw this that made me miss home!

Yes, they also have “dirty ice cream”. We call this “sorbetes” in the Philippines, which roam around almost everywhere around this time of the year. It is Summer back home.

Jeonju: Where Tradition meets Modernity

I am really into an intensive Master’s program that’s why I don’t always have the luxury to go to FAR places here in Korea. Far means somewhere outside Seoul (actually I even seldom go around Seoul). But when I have the very rare opportunity, I seize it!

In between the end of Fall semester and the start of the Winter sem last December, my friends and I were able to plan a trip outside Seoul! Yay! 😀 Actually, being a hardcore planner, I managed to prepare our DIY tour. Our destination—JEONJU!

According to my really helpful Korea Travel Guide (I suggest you grab this at any tourist information center as it is REALLY helpful), Jeonju is in southwestern area. It is in Jeollabuk-do which is 3 hours away from Seoul.

The first thing we did was to buy bus tickets. We opted to go there by bus since it is cheaper (11,000 won for one way) and also the time difference with KTX is not that big. You can buy the tickets at Nambu Bus Terminal, subway line 3.

I was the one assigned to booking our accommodation and making daily itinerary. Searching through the web was not difficult, because the city website was helpful and I actually found everything in there. You can check http://tour-eng.jeonju.go.kr for more details on what to visit and where to stay.

And there, we’re all set for an adventure!

Our day started really early, as we left our dorm around 6 a.m. We arrived at the Nambu Bus terminal around 7:00 and had to wait. When you’re travelling in Korea, you need to be keen on time. They are very strict on schedule and they left on time. Our bus departed at exactly 8:00 a.m.

We arrived at Jeonju around 11am, and went straight to the Hanok Village. We chose to ride the bus, which was a wrong move because we didn’t know where to get off. So we ended up walking, then finally rode the cab. Tip: Just take the cab from the bus terminal going to your accommodation.

The first thing we did was to EAT at the famous Bibimbap restaurant, Gajok Hwegwan 가족 회관. They claim to have the best bibimbap in Korea, and that is really true. You just need to shell out around 12,000 won for a sumptuous treat.

We headed to our accommodation after lunch. The main reason why we went to Jeonju was to experience the traditional Hanok (Korean house). I personally chose a room that has an “Ondol” or floor heating system. We ended up in Buyonghyeon, in which a room for 5 costs 150,000 won per night. There was a free breakfast served as well!

Our cozy room! It has Hanji (traditional Korean paper) wallpaper, and an LCD TV! We also have our own toilet and bath!

After resting for some time, the strolling around Hanok Village begun. Most of the places to visit are around the Hanok Village, so it is not hard and costly to check the tourist sites.

Here are some of the places you should not miss in Jeonju:

1. Jeondong Cathedral – It was established to uphold the precious will of the first Korean martyr, and is counted as the most beautiful Catholic church in Korea.

2. Pungnammun Gate – This is the most prominent cultural asset of Jeonju, which used to be one the the four gates of Jeonju city.

3.  Jeonju Hyanggyo- This used to be a Confucian school that was believed to be built up in Goryo dynasty.

4. Deokjin Park – This is centered upon the Deokjin Lake, and has lotus flowers during spring. A fountain show is also set around that time.

5. Gyeonggijeon – It is a historic site in Jeonju, which was built to enshrine the royal portrait of Taejo Seonggae Lee, the king that found the Joseon dynasty.

6. Hanokmaeul- The Jeonju Hanok Village

Just being at the Hanokmaeul made our trip already worth it. The serenity of the place, the convergence of tradition and modernity and the richness of culture preserved made the visit to the province worth remembering.

Jeonju was a great escape from the noise and stress in the city.

Have I mentioned that everything was fun during the trip because I had great friends with me? A must in every travel is a jovial spirit to keep good vibes all the way!

P.S. If you are a coffee lover (like ME!:)) you will enjoy in the Hanokmaeul because there are so many coffee shops there! We were able to try two of them and the coffee served was really good! Plus, you’ll love the antiques and interiors of the shops.