Taiwan Travel Guide

It has been almost a year since I went to Taiwan. My apologies for this extremely late post. 😦 My old lappy got damaged so I bought a new one just few weeks ago. However, I’ve been quite busy with public service these past few days. Wow. Public service! 😀 Well, enough with all my excuses. HAHAHA

If you ask a Filipino where would s/he like to go, Taiwan would surely be a very unusual answer. Within Asia, most Filipinos prefer Hongkong, Japan or Korea. Taiwan is actually the 8th country in Asia I’ve been to because I honestly thought it doesn’t have much to offer. It’s a very small country and before I went there, the only thing I know or I can associate with Taiwan is… (drum roll please) Meteor Garden! (singing) Oh baby baby baby, my baby baby. Wo jue bu neng shi qu ni. Ni shou xin, ni sheng ying. Hai zhan lin wo de xin zen neng wang ji. Xiang ni jiu xiang shi hu xi. Bet you just sang it! HAHAHA 😀

AIRLINE. The following are the airlines that offer direct flights from Manila to Taiwan and vv:
air asiaPalCeb Pac

Eva airchina airlines logo

While from Cebu to Taiwan and vv:

air asiaCeb PacEva air

Lastly, from Puerto Prinsesa to Taiwan and vv:

Pal

Among these airlines, the cheapest one is Air Asia but I wasn’t able to catch the promo fare for Taiwan because I was on another trip that time and mobile data sucks so I lost the battle. LOL But Cebu Pacific announced their seat sale weeks later and as luck would have it, I grabbed four seats for P21,000 something so that’s roughly P5,250 each for a round-trip ticket. Not bad, right?

Our departure flight was 5J310 which embarks at 10:00 pm while our return flight was 5J311 which departs from Taiwan at 01:25 am. Approximate travel time from Manila to Taiwan is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

VISA APPLICATION.

Starting from November 1, 2017, Philippine passport holders who intend to visit Taiwan for the purpose of tourism, business, visiting relatives, attending functions or events can enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan for a duration of stay up to 14 days. This visa-free initiative shall undergo a 9-month trial period until July 31, 2018 as part of Taiwan’s goodwill and efforts of the “New Southbound Policy” to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between Taiwan and the Philippines. (Source)

Upon the implementation of the foregoing, Visa-Exempt Certificate (Travel Authorization Certificate – holders of visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States ) and E-Visa (Online visa) are no longer applicable for Filipinos.

To enjoy the visa-free entry, a Filipino visitor must have a passport with remaining validity of at least six months (diplomatic and official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment); a return ticket or a ticket with visa if needed for the next destination; no criminal record in Taiwan; and a proof of accommodation. If I may add, you should not also have a criminal record here in the Philippines because you might be in the Watch List Order (WLO) or Hold Departure Order (HDO) list of the Philippine Immigration. Duhh, obviously. 😀

Those who intend to stay for more than 14 days to study, work or do other activities are required to obtain the appropriate visas before entering Taiwan. For more details, visit the official website of Taiwan Cultural and Economic Office in the Philippines.

TRANSPORTATION. Taipei, for me, has the most tourist-friendly transportation. Majority of their train stations are named after nearby tourist spots. For example, if you wanna go to Taipei Zoo, just alight at Taipei Zoo station. Or if you wanna visit Longshan Temple, simply take the train to Longshan Temple station. Highly impossible for you to get lost, right? LOL
Metro Taipei Map

I suggest you download Taiwan or Taipei train apps or use Google Maps. 😉

TIME.  UTC/GMT +8 hours. Taiwan has the same time zone with Philippines.

SEASONS. Winter: December to February; Spring: March to May; Summer: June to September and Autumn: October to November. April is the best month to visit Taiwan because it’s not so humid and not as hot as it gets during summer. Furthermore, it is when Taiwanese celebrate one of their major festivals: the birthday of goddess Mazu who is the Chinese patron goddess of the sea. Nonetheless, if you want to witness Lantern Festival which is celebrated annually to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations, February should be your choice (exact date varies every year, kindly tap Google). On this month, you’ll also be able to experience the  internationally famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

sky lantern festival

(Photo credit)

ACCOMMODATION. I always prefer AirBnb over hotels because of its convenient location, cheaper rate, household amenities and interaction with the host or owner. Also, it lets me live like a local. 🙂

Our host for Taipei was Henry. He was very helpful and friendly. The price of the room per night is around P2,500 and it can already accommodate 4 adults. The building is kinda old but the room is cozy and squeaky-clean. It’s conveniently located near Zhongshan Elementary School Station (Exit 4). But the best thing here is the free pocket wifi! We brought it with us during our entire trip in Taiwan. I gave Henry five stars for that! HAHA Check his space here.

AirBnb taiwan

 

LANGUAGE. The struggle was undeniably real. HUHU Most of them can’t understand English. So as tourists, of course we have to adjust. 😀 Google translate to the rescue! Travel tip: there are many tsinoys in the Philippines and I’m pretty certain you have even just one tsinoy friend, so you might as well tag him along. Just make sure s/he speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese though. LOL

NEW TAIWAN DOLLAR. 1 New Taiwan Dollar equals 1.71 Philippine Peso. I bought my NTDs at NAIA Terminal 2 Currency Exchange (arrival area). Not sure though if it’s cheaper than others.

ELECTRICAL PLUGS OR SOCKETS. They are using types A and B. Type A is a two flat identical sized parallel prongs and this is what they mainly use while type B is a two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin.  In the Philippines, we also use Type A so you no longer need to bring an adapter. 🙂

WI-FI. During our entire trip, we weren’t able to connect to any Wi-Fi networks in public places such as malls or restaurants. But they have Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi Access where you have to apply or sign up for a free account before you may enjoy the free service. For more details, kindly visit their page. In our case, like I mentioned earlier, we have pocket Wi-Fi from our AirBnb so updating our followers was no biggie at all. LOL You may rent a 4G pocket wifi at the airport and for enhanced connectivity, purchase a 4G sim card. 

EASY CARD. EasyCard is a ‘touch-and-go’ IC ticketing system for Taipei Metro, bus services, designated car parks, convenience stores, zoos, museums, Ubikes, Maokong Gondola and government agencies. For a complete list of its accredited shops or services, visit their official website. An EasyCard can be used for years and any unused cash can be refunded. Its main goal is to allow locals and tourists to travel throughout Taiwan with only one card.  This card costs NTD100 (P100) and you can deposit an amount up to NTD10,000 (P17,100). EasyCard can be purchased at any convenience stores or any information counters in all Taipei Metro stations.

Easy Card

TAIPEI PASS. Taipei Pass is a “touch-and-go ” IC ticket for transport in Taipei. Holders of a valid Taipei Pass can use it for unlimited rides on Taipei Metro and on Taipei City and New Taipei City buses. One-day pass costs NTD180 (P308). This is available at any information counter in all Taipei Metro stations. For more details, visit their official page. 

taipei pass

taipei pass price

YOUBIKE (UBIKE). UBike uses an unmanned automated management system to provide a bike rental service. It allows commuters to rent from one station and return at another. You may use your EasyCard to rent a Ubike. The rates are the following: NTD10 (P17) per 30 mins. within the first 4 hours, NTD20 (P34) per 30 mins between 4 to 8 hours and NTD40 (P68) per 30min exceeding 8 hours.

ubikes

 

NIGHT MARKETS. Experience best nightlife in Taiwan in their food markets. There are more than 100 night markets in Taiwan where you can try their local specialty and street food, shop until you drop and buy great souvenir items. My favorite street food is TORCHED BEEF! Some of the famous night markets are Shilin, Raohe and Ximending.

 

That’s all for now, dearest! 😉 I will share my daily itineraries on my next posts. Xie xie! :*

Watch the teaser for our travel video by clicking the image/link below! 🙂

4ne1 teaser

Here’s our full travel video entitled “4ne1 in Taiwan”. 😀

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Xoxo,

Kulit.

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DAY 7 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Shibuya District, Don Quijote “Donki” and Narita International Airport

Minasan, konnichiwa! 🙂

I can’t believe it! It’s DAY 7 already! HAHAHA I just realized that it took me almost a year to finish blogging about my Japan trip. I’m not that busy! LOL

I mentioned in my previous post (DAY 6) that I’ll include Shibuya and Don Quijote on this post since DAY 6 is very lengthy already. LOL

DAY 6.2

Our last stop on our 6th day was actually in Shibuya District. And the photo below is the very famous Shibuya crossing which is tagged as the world’s busiest intersection or pedestrian crossing (not that obvious in this photo though haha)

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Hachiko is definitely one of my favorite movies. It’s a heartbreaking drama based on the true story of an abandoned dog named Hachiko which was eventually adopted by a college professor. Hachi would escort his master to the Shibuya station every morning and return every afternoon to greet him after work. Until one day, his master did not return from work. He suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died. However, this loyal dog still waited for his master at the train station for almost ten years and that only stopped when Hachi died. 😥 So as a tribute to this legendary dog, a statue was erected near the Shibuya station (Hachiko Exit).

Being a fan of this dog, a photo with his statue is definitely a must! 😀

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Don Quijote “Donki” is a very famous shop in Tokyo with over 160 stores. The one we visited is in Shibuya, just in front of H&M store. Donki sells almost everything! It’s a great place for souvenir items, chocolates and snacks like Kitkat and Oreo matcha, cosmetics, bags, shoes, gadgets, liquors and so much more. And I’m very sure you’ll like this, they are TAX FREE!!! 🙂 Just present your passport and pay at their cashier designated for foreigners. Prices indicated below are the prices per item. 🙂

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Oreo matcha soft cookies 148 yen (P65)

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Kitkat green tea 298 yen  (P130)

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Oreo matcha bar 298 yen (P130)

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Cheapest one costs 97 yen (P43) and the most expensive one costs 199 yen (P90)

I honestly don’t know what these dried snacks are hahaha But I guess they’re all squid. LOL Slices, coated, shredded and strips! HAHAHA

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Seasoned seaweed 98 yen (P44)

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1 kg of chocolate pair (This is YUMMY! ) 1,300 yen (P580)

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Doritos Mix 129 yen (P58)

Disney pens 99 yen (P45)

Japanese lady pen 648 yen (P290)

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Pores Cream 980 yen (P440)

Side ami supporter 600 yen (P270)

Masks 100 yen (P45)

I saw a lot of beautiful items in Shibuya and I really wanted to buy  ’em all!!! BUT. There was no enough money left in my pocket. 😥 HAHAHA

On our way to our AirBnB, we saw a mini resto and decided to try their ramen.

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DAY 7

Kotake to  Ikibukuro 170 yen (P75)

Ikubukuro to Nippori 170 yen (P75)

Nippori to Narita International Airport 1,030 yen (P460)

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Obviously, my favorite. 😀 Takuyaki!!! 550 yen (P245)

Bought these from a souvenir shop at the airport.

Ref magnet trio 486 yen (P220) 

Shot glass for a friend 540 yen (P240)

And the famous Tokyo Banana! 🙂 Click the left photo for the prices.

That’s all for our last day in Japan. 😦 Thank you for reading! 🙂 I’ll upload our Tokyo travel video in my Youtube account very soon! :*

Sayonara and domo arigato, Japan! 🙂

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 6 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Akihabara “Akiba” and Ueno Zoo

Hello everyone! 🙂

FINALLY!!! You’re now reading my Day 6 itinerary in the Land of the Rising Sun! 😀 Some of my friends have been waiting for this post because they are certified OTAKU. Hahaha

Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom. (Wikipedia)

So I guess you already have an idea on where did we spend our 6th day in Japan. 😉 But since we really wanted to see a panda, we decided to also include Ueno Zoo on this trip.

DAY 6

We started this day with a quick visit to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The nearest stations to this place are:

  • Otemachi Station (Exit C13B): 5-minute walk
  • Takebashi Station (Exit 1A): 5-minute walk

From Kotake-mukaihara station, which is the nearest one to our accommodation, to Takebashi, the following would be the route and total fare.

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200 yen (P90) – 27 minutes

The Japanese Imperial Palace Gardens are open to the public daily except Mondays and Friday. Admission is free. Yey! 😀

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“Be careful of heat stroke” We didn’t take this warning seriously. We were so unprepared. Hahaha We felt we were being roasted while walking through that very huge park!!! We went there last August 2016 so ’twas summer.

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We did a lot of walking because the place is really big. Look how dead tired my companions were. HAHAHA We all slept for 30 minutes. I strongly suggest you wear light clothes and comfy shoes. And don’t visit this place during summer. 😀

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That lady with ‘ella was obviously the only girl scout in our group. HAHA

Next stop was the Anime and Manga capital of the world – Akihabara or popularly known as “Akiba”. This district located in Central Tokyo is also famous for its many electrical shops, hence it’s also called Tokyo’s “Electronic Town”.

Takebashi Station – Kayabacho Station – Akihabara Station (Exit 5)

170 yen (P75) – 25 minutes

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Time to refuel. HAHAHA

Long beef sandwich – 490 yen (P220)

Cheese bites – 100 yen (P45)

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We walked for almost ten minutes before we reached the center of Akiba.

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I noticed that some Japanese still prefer flip phones than smartphones. Well personally, I also prefer flip phones. I used to have LG Lollipop (blue) which was being endorsed by my dear hubby Lee Min Ho before. HAHAHA Korea’s and Japan’s flip phones are so kawaii.

Took these shots using one of the tablets being displayed in this shop. HAHAHA I didn’t delete the photos so proof of shamelessness is still there until now, I guess. LOL

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There are so many electronic shops and dozens of stores that sell manga comics, video games, cosplay costumes, figurines, card games and other anime collectibles.

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We saw some cosplayers in the streets. I wasn’t able to take a snap of ’em though. There are also different anime cafes where waiters or waitresses dress up like anime characters.

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That’s all for Akiba. We haven’t bought anything because everything is a bit pricey. HUHUHU

From anime to animals. 😀 Our next stop was Ueno Zoo.

Akihabara Station – Ueno Station

140 yen (P65) – 13 minutes

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While we were on our way to the zoo, we saw these temples below.

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We were also able to witness a fun performance by this amazing juggling artist. 🙂

A mini theme park for the kiddos. 😀 We tried their matcha ice cream! 😉

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Almost there…

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Yeyyy!!!! Oh my!!!! Oh my!!! Oh my pandaaaa!!! 😀

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Entrance Fee: 600 yen (P270) 

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Welcome to Ueno Zoo! 🙂

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Ueno Zoo is the oldest one in Japan. For me, it’s a world class zoo with more than 500 species from around the globe. I saw some endangered species and a lot of wild animals for the first time but there was only one animal which I was most excited about and that was…… PANDA! 😀

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I’m not really a fan of zoos because I love animals. I feel that those who are kept inside the zoos are denied of everything that make their lives meaningful and enjoyable. However, I appreciate the staff and management of this zoo for providing an environment to the animals that is similar to their natural habitat. I just hope that they continue to take care of all these beautiful animals. 🙂

Our last stop for DAY 6 was Don Quijote in Shibuya for “pasalubong” or souvenir shopping but let me just include that on my DAY 7 instead since we also bought some souvenirs at the airport. 🙂

Thank you for reading! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.

Korean Film Locations

Annyeonghaseyo! Hello everyone! 🙂

I prepared an easy challenge to all Korean series fanatics out there. 😀 I took all of these shots when I was in South Korea. Some of which didn’t match the place perfectly but at least I tried y’know. HAHAHA So for every picture below, tell me the title of the film (1 point), the name of the character/s on the photo (2 points each) and a short description of the scene (5 points). GAME? 😀 Write down your answers and we’ll check it at the end of this post. HAHAHA

heartstrings
1.
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2.
The heirs
3.
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4.
that winter the wind blows
5.
My love from the star
6.
phours
7.
winter sonata
8.

 

Have you answered all the questions already? 😀

 

Great! 🙂 Here are the answers……….. Good luck! 😀

 

1. HEARTSTRINGS (You’ve fallen for me). Park Shin Hye (Lee Gyu Won or Nicole) and Jung Yong-hwa (Lee Shin or Kevin). This was when Gyu Won left the house for the camping trip and bumped into Shin outside their house. (Episode 9). This took place in Bukchon Hanok Village, for the complete direction to this place, check my other post here.

2. BOYS OVER FLOWERS. Lee Min Ho (Gu Jun Pyo). Jun Pyo asked Geum Jan Di to meet her at Namsan Tower. It was freezing cold that time but Jun Pyo still waited for Jan Di to arrive. This is one of my favorite scenes because they were locked inside the deck and they slept together inside the cable car HAHAHA (Episode 4). For direction to Namsan Tower, click here.

3 and 4. THE HEIRS (The Inheritors). Lee Min Ho (Kim Tan) and Park Shin Hye (Cha Eun Sang). Cha Eun Sang was absent from school to avoid Kim Tan. She spent the day wandering the city streets until Kim Tan found her inside the cinema. He followed her out while keeping his distance until she stopped in front of a store while staring at the dreamcatcher (Episode 9). This is actually an egg tart cafe named Pastel de Nata, just click here for the direction.

5. THAT WINTER THE WIND BLOWS (Wind blows in the winter). Jo In Sung (Oh Soo or Xander) and Song Hye Kyo (Oh Young or Yonna). Young claimed that Soo only went there for the money. Soo followed her outside to explain but when he tried to grab her arm and called her “the sister that I love”, she whipped around with her cane which gave him a minor cut on the cheek (Episode 2). This was filmed at Jade Garden, to know how to get to this place, just click this.

6. MY LOVE FROM THE STAR (You from another star). Kim Soo Hyun (Do Min Joon or Matteo Do) and Jun Ji Hyun (Cheon Song Yi or Steffi Cheon). Cheon Song Yi fell asleep until midnight while waiting to film her scene. She was all alone in the place but when she almost fell to the ground, Do Min Joon was able to save her. She got mad at him for playing with her feelings. She turned around but Do Min Joon suddenly did some magic, he switched on all the lights and Cheon Song Yi floated on air towards him. “What are you doing?”, she asked. He answered, “The most selfish thing I can” —- then HE KISSED HER!!! (Episode 15). This took place at Petite France, just click here for the direction.

7. PRINCESS HOURS. Yoon Eun Hye (Chae Kyung Shin or Princess Janelle) and Ju Ji Hoon (Crown Prince Lee Shin or Prince Gian). Chae Kyung Shin wanted to show Prince Lee Shin the world she used to live in. She took him for an ordinary date in one of the busiest streets in South Korea – Myeongdong. They ended their date with a kiss at the center of the crowd, sweetest thing ever! (Episode 23). For direction to Myeongdong Shopping Street, just click this.

8. ENDLESS LOVE – WINTER SONATA. Bae Yong Joon (Kang Joon Sang/ Lee Min Hyeong or Jun Kang) and Choi Ji Woo (Jeong Yoo Jin or Janice Jung). I honestly can’t remember the exact scene for this photo. hahaha. I guess this was just a promotional poster for the film. 😀 This was filmed at Namiseon Island which got very famous because of this film. They built a life-size statue for the main characters located at the spot where they first kissed. Click my previous post here for direction.
There you go folks, did you get a perfect score? HAHAHA What’s the best film for you according to the list above? 🙂 I hope you enjoyed answering and reminiscing at the same time those funny, sweet and happy moments of these different films. I actually wanted to prepare more of these but I didn’t have enough time. I still hope though that you enjoyed reading this post. Kamsahamnida! 🙂

Xoxo,

Kulit.

If you want a hassle-free K-Drama experience, you may avail a tour package by clicking the link below. 🙂
Seoul K-drama Shooting Spots: 1 Day Small Group City Tour

DAY 5 in South Korea: Nandaemun Market and Incheon Airport

Finally, here’s the last day of our 5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS in South Korea. huhuhu

Since it was the last day, it was time for SOUVENIR SHOPPING!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

If your hotel is just within Myeongdong, there is a souvenir shop near Myeongdong Station Exit 6. It’s located at the back of the big Uniqlo shop. The name of the shop is Myoung Dong LOVE.

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They sell souvenir items such as ref magnets, pens, nailcutters, keychains, bags, wallets and the like. However, I only bought few items on this shop (see photos below) because based on some blogs or reviews, they are a lot cheaper when bought in Nandaemun Market.

I only recommend Myoung Dong Love if you’re in a hurry or if you lack time for souvenir shopping. But if you’re really looking for cheap ones so you can buy more items because you have soooo many friends like us HAHAHA then Nandaemun Market is the place to be. Chos! 😀

Nandaemun Market is the largest traditional market in Korea with over 10,000 shops. It is located at 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul. The closest station to this market is Hoehyeon which is just actually the next station to Myeongdong (Line 4) then just take Exit 5. However, we took a cab going there because it was raining that time. Fare was 3,000KRW.

Nandaemun Market has so many inexpensive things to offer from souvenir items, shirts, jewelries, fabrics, housewares, toys, appliances and food stalls. After comparing some souvenir shops, this one below is the cheapest.

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I cannot give the exact direction but I took some photos near the shop. 😀

If you’re looking for shirts, we found a shop which offers the cheapest price but with a good quality. That was why I bought a dozen. 😀 It’s located in front of the Cafe Wave & Deli.

The candies and chocolates were just bought at a convenience store. They are very affordable but since they’re from Korea, they look “Wow!” already hahaha. The rest were from Myeongdong and Nandaemun Market. I bought card wallets (for myself and mom), soju glass or shot glass (for my alcoholic friend haha), pens (for my officemates), nail-cutters (for friends and siblings), ref magnets (for random “Saan pasalubong ko?” friends haha), souvenir plate (for my living room) and shirts (for my family).  I apologize if I cannot give the exact prices for each item but my estimate for all these items is around 70,000KRW. 

By the way, we already checked out from the guesthouse before we went Souvenir Shopping and we just left our baggage at the ground floor.

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And here’s our photo with the nice manager or owner. I highly recommend Namsan Garden Guesthouse!  Thumbs up! 🙂

We went to the airport by a private car. Car rental fee was 8,000KRW, it’s better if you’re traveling in a group, max of 8 people. Check my post about DAY 1 for more info about this service. Travel time to airport from Myeongdong is an hour and a half. We took a light dinner at Chicken & Beer. Price for Crispy Fried Chicken with Hot Sauce was 6,500KRW (4 pcs).

That’s all for DAY 5 folks. 😉

Please do check my Travel Guide to South Korea , DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3 and DAY 4 if you want. 😀

Thank you and see you again very soon, South Korea! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Xoxo,

Kulit.

 
For a hassle-free South Korea travel, you may avail ticket or tour packages for different travel essentials or activities by clicking the links below:

Seoul City Tour Bus Ticket

Incheon/Gimpo Airport ↔ Seoul Transfer – Airport Taxi (24/7)

Korea Portable Wifi (T mifi) Rental (Pick up from Seoul & Busan)

 

DAY 2 in South Korea : Nami Island, Jade Garden and Petite France

In case you haven’t read yet my Travel Guide to South Korea, click here.

For DAY 1 of 5 days 4 nights in South Korea, please click here. 🙂

DAY 2

We started our DAY 2 with a free breakfast by the guesthouse. It’s on a self-service basis from toasting the bread, prep TTFaring the coffee to washing your own dishes. 🙂 You can also use their electric stove and cook whatever you like. I love their cereals with the sweetened milk, toasted bread with butter or strawberry jam and their real orange juice (2 glasses everyday hahaha) Yum! Breakfast all you can, btw! 😀 Their breakfast is available until 11 am only.

We left the guesthouse around 10 o’clock. There are different options for transportation from Myeongdong to Gapyeong-gun. Gapyeong-gun is where Nami Island, Jade Garden and Petite France are located. You can take the bus (check this link), private car (visit this site), cab (good luck for the price! haha) or take the subway (like what we did). Shortest travel would be through the subway – 1 and a half hour and the longest is through the bus – 2 to 3 hours.

Using the Seoul Subway app, below is the fastest route that was suggested. Total fare: 2,250KRW.

subway guide

We arrived at Gapyeong station at 11:45am. The waiting area for the tourist bus is just outside the station. There are many tourist spots in Gapyeong-gun province so if you’re planning to visit all of those (wow richness! haha), riding the Gapyeong tourist bus is recommended because you can just hop on and off in every place, however, there is a scheduled time for it. See image below. Gapyeong Terminal – Gapyeong Station – Jaraseom – Rail Bike – Nami Island – Petite France –  Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal – Cheongpyeong Station – Morning Calm Garden.

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From Gapyeong station, we took a local bus going to the ferry wharf to Nami Island. The fare was not more than 1,000KRW with around 5 minutes travel time. The entrance fee for Nami Island is 8,000KRW for foreigners so bring your passport for proper identification.

There are many flags in the ferry so I was excited to look for the most beautiful one, tadaaaa! haha 🙂

Nami Island is very near from the wharf, we immediately got there after 5 minutes.

WELCOME TO NAMISEOM ISLAND!!! 🙂

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I brought a marker so “write-all-you-can” mode hahaha Picture here and there and everywhere LOL

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There are many restaurants in Nami but we chose to eat in Seomhyanggi because of RICE! hahaha

Budget: 10,000KRW per person.

For lovers out there, you can have your prenup shoot here or stay overnight in these beautiful mini houses by the lake. Awwww, how romantic! ❤

This island got famous because of the series Winter Sonata so I guess it’s a must to take pictures with these life-size sculptures of Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo.

For more details about Namiseom Island, visit this page.

Bye NAMI! 😦

NEXT: JADE GARDEN

From Nami to Jade Garden, taxi fare was 8,400KRW (10 minutes travel time). Unfortunately, it was already closed when we arrived. 😦 So we only have few pictures.  Haaay. FYI, entrance fee is 8,000KRW.

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If you have watched That winter, the wind blows, this place would really look familiar to you. 🙂

Jade Garden is quite far from the highway so have a prior arrangement with the taxi driver or ask the reception to call for a cab (which we weren’t able to do because like I said, they were already closed) So, we needed to walk for like 20 minutes to the highway! huhuhu

For more information about Jade Garden, click this.

LAST STOP: PETITE FRANCE

It was almost dark when we left Jade Garden so we were kinda hesitant to proceed to Petite France but duhhhh, take the risk! hahaha We waited for more than 15 minutes for a cab and we were feeling almost hopeless until a cab suddenly stopped in front of us with an old couple in the front seats. Yey!

PROBLEM: They don’t speak English

SOLUTION: English-Korean translation apps (told yah, they were helpful!:D )

Petite France was a bit far, our taxi fare reached 14,000KRW. Gosh! The couple was kind enough to ask about our hotel since it was already dark and there are only few houses nearby. We were very lucky because they were also headed to Myeongdong, so they offered to wait for us and gave us an estimate of 50,000KRW for the taxi meter to Myeongdong, so pricey but at least, safe and comfy! 🙂

I was really excited about this place because of the series, You who came from the stars. 🙂 You can’t really appreciate the place through my pictures, sorry. But check this page for more I-wanna-go-there photos or this page for more information. 😀 Entrance fee: 8,000KRW.

Bye Gapyeong-gun Province! 😦

We arrived at Myeongdong around 9:30pm with noisy tummies so we decided to eat at Yoogane. Budget: 10,000KRW per person.

BURRRRPPP!!!! Time to go home! 🙂 Thank you for reading ladies and gents! 😉

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 3: Palace, Traditional costume experience and N Tower, click here.

For a hassle-free South Korea travel, you may avail ticket or tour packages for different travel essentials or activities by clicking the links below:

Nami Island and Petite France in 1 Day

Nami Island + Petite France + Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Seoul City Tour Bus Ticket

Incheon/Gimpo Airport ↔ Seoul Transfer – Airport Taxi (24/7)

Korea Portable Wifi (T Mifi) Rental (Pick up from Seoul & Busan)

South Korea Travel Guide

If you’re an avid fan of Korean films or series, going to South Korea is surely a part of your bucket list. When I was 18 years old (Boys over flower fever), I told myself that I should visit South Korea before reaching 25. 20, I told my bunny, Nymfa that we should go there together. 22, all expenses should be from my pocket. 23, 24 and tadaaaa!!! Finally!! :)) Annyeonghaseyo South Korea! 😀

I initially wanted to write a blog first about my previous travels but since South Korea is verrrry special to me, I’m making it on top of this page. 🙂

AIRLINE. We chose AirAsia because it has the best time of departure to and from South Korea. Our departure time to SoKor is 7 o’clock in the morning while our departure time back to Manila is 9 o’clock in the evening. So the first and last days of our trip were maximized. Ohryt! 😀 For airline-booking tips, check my previous post here.

VISA. This is the list of countries which are visa-free to South Korea as of April 2015:

visa free sokor

For more information, visit the official website of South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

There are different requirements for each type of traveler, for Filipinos, kindly check this page.  Processing time is 3 to 5 days. In the Philippines, the Korean Embassy is located at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines with contact number at (63-2) 856-9210  visa local no. 270, 500. It is located somewhere near at the back of SM Aura. However, starting July 1, 2018, visa application for South Korea will be processed through designated travel agencies only. You may check the list of agencies in their official website or just click this link. 

ACCOMMODATION. We stayed for 5 days and 4 nights (November 9 to 13, 2015) at 24 Guesthouse Namsan Garden, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. This place has the perfect location since it’s just few steps away from Myeongdong subway station, Myeongdong shopping street “Make-up capital of Seoul” and a hundred of restaurants and streetfood stalls at night. In addition, it’s also near to other tourist spots such as the palaces and Bukchon Hanok Village which are just few stations away but if you’re taking a cab, the fare will not be more than 5,000KRW (P210). Their rooms are clean and spacious, their staff is very friendly and accommodating and the house itself has a very relaxing ambiance. That’s why I highly recommend this place! 🙂 Go check their website here. 🙂 12189719_1168301513184557_8759087564022597311_n

TIME. UTC/GMT +9 hours. Seoul, South Korea is 1 hour ahead of Manila, Philippines.

SEASONS. Spring: March to May; Summer: June to August; Autumn: September to November; Winter: December to February.

TRANSPORTATION. South Korea has so many subway stations. They have a total of eleven lines which have a lot of transfer stations so the subway map would really look so complicated at first glance, second glance and even at third glance. hahaha So to lessen your wrinkles, download the Seoul Metro Subway Map app in your gadgets (yellow and green logo). It would show you the fastest route for your chosen origin and destination stations and the number of transfer stations or changes. This was our most used app during our trip. haha I also recommend the Subway Korea app (blue logo) because it shows the real-time arrival of the trains, first and last train per journey and the estimated fare but it’s not so user-friendly. Btw, most of the stations have paid lockers just in case you’re bringing a lot of shopping bags already. LOL. Small lockers: 1,000 (P45)   to 2,000 KRW (P90) ; Medium: 1,500 (P65)  to 3,000 KRW (P130) ; Large: 2,000 (P90) to 4,000 KRW (P180) good for 2 to 4 hours. Myeongdong station has underground shopping center while Sadang station has the best thrift shops “Ukay-ukay” with perfect coats and tops from Japan. On the other hand, all of their cabs have GPS so just give them the address and you’ll never get lost.

T-MONEY. This is an all-in-one card. You can use it almost anywhere – train, bus, taxi and even in convenience stores. Amazing! LOL You can buy a T-Money card for 2,500 KRW (P105) in any convenience store or subway station. We bought our cards at 7 Eleven in the arrival area of Incheon airport. The card has zero balance upon purchase so you need to load it up right away in any train station. 12227160_1168303099851065_3111412238234434223_n

LANGUAGE. Only few Koreans understand and speak English so Korean translation and dictionary apps are helpful especially when buying something or ordering food from the restos. We used Korean English Dictionary and Learn Korean apps.

PENTEL PEN or MARKER. Their tourist spots usually have freedom walls, freedom chairs and everything. haha I was happy I brought a marker so please find my name on those walls. LOL

KOREAN WON. We’re very rich because we spent half a million there. hahaha Kidding! I mean, half a million korean won only. huhu LOL I made a conversion table of Philippine Peso – Korean Won and saved it in our phones so we don’t need to calculate or convert everytime we purchase something. 😀 #KuripotMoves hahaha The following tables are based on the conversion rate as of November 8, 2015.

ELECTRICAL PLUGS OR SOCKETS. They are using type C, a two-wire plug that has two round pins. You can borrow or rent an adaptor from your hotel’s front desk. I suggest you buy ahead of time a universal adaptor like this one below which I bought from Ace Hardware for P199. This adaptor is compatible anywhere in the world. haha 12282858_1174123879268987_48750589_n

PAIN RELIEVERS. Since our itinerary includes a lot of walking with a very cold weather, I made sure that all of us brought pain relievers and Salonpas. 😀 It was such a nightly struggle for us to look for an open spa because they close as early as 11 pm! WHAAAAT??! We only found one spa which is open 24/7 but has a very expensive rate of 50,000KRW (P2100) per hour!!! Seriously?!! T__T And also, don’t forget to ask ahead if the one who will perform a massage is a masseur or a masseuse. We waited for half an hour and we were shocked to know that they were all guys! OMG! So yah, we went home instead with a painful back but a happy pocket (Saved 50K won!) hahaha

WIFI. Wifi is almost everywhere. YEHEY!!! hahaha We usually got strong connections near the exits of subway stations. Wifi in hotels are very fast too.

FREEBIES. There are a lot of Buy 1 take 1 goodies in convenience stores and a lot of make-up freebies in any make-up stores especially in Myeongdong. So don’t flatter yourself too much if a friend, who just went to South Korea, gives you tons of facial masks. HAHA

RESTAURANTS. Most of their restos are on a self-service basis. You cook your own food on the table and the utensils are usually on the sides of the table.

TOURIST GUIDES or MAPS. South Korea is very generous with tourist magazines, guides, maps, discount coupons and information walls. And most of them are in different languages. No wonder many tourists from all over the world feel so safe anywhere in SoKor. 😀 I actually have my collections below hahaha 12272932_1174125189268856_490193166_n (1)

That’s all for now sweeties! 🙂  I will just update this if ever I forgot something to be included here. 😀 I will share my 5 Days 4 Nights Itinerary in South Korea on my next posts! 🙂 Kamsahamnida! 😉

Xoxo,

Kulit.

Travel Video in South Korea

DAY 1 of 5 Days 4 Nights in South Korea

For a hassle-free South Korea travel, click the links below to avail ticket or tour packages for different travel essentials or activities:

Korea Portable Wifi (T Mifi) Rental (Pick up from Seoul & Busan)

Incheon/Gimpo Airport ↔ Seoul Transfer – Airport Taxi (24/7)

Seoul City Tour Bus Ticket