Like other countries, Korea has 4 seasons and all of them have made me always long to travel back to the country. You will never run out of places to visit and activities to do… More
I was told before that there’s nothing much to see in Damyang so I skipped it last April during my spring trip. But then, I felt like my trip was not complete because I missed Damyang. Then I planned another trip to Korea, this time it’s autumn. One of the best seasons to visit Korea. I decided to stay in Gwangju, it’s the closest city to Damyang-gun. From Gwangju, it takes less than an hour to go to Damyang County.
On my way to Damyang, I only had 3 places in my mind. First is the Bamboo Forest and second is the Metasequioa-lined road. The 3rd one is the Geumseongsanseong Fortress, which is a bit far so I know I won’t make it there.
How to go to Bamboo Forest from Gwangju? Take Bus #311 in the bus stop in front of Gwangju U-square bus terminal. Tell the driver you are going to 죽녹원 (Juknokwon). Get off at Juknokwon bus stop. Travel time is about 45mins.
This is the kind of view you’ll see the moment you get off the bus.
Entrance fee is ₩3,000.
This is so relaxing. It was too quiet. There were only 2 or 3 people during that time because it was early.
The sound of the bamboo leaves as it dances with the wind made me want to fall asleep in this hammock.
The rear entrance of the Bamboo Forest looks like this in autumn.
While walking towards the Metasequioa tree-lined road we passed by another scenic spot, the Gwanbangjerim forest.
Finally, I’ve reached the famous Metasequioa tree lined road in Damyang. It’s also a filming location of some K-dramas.
Beside the Metasequioa trees, there’s the Kids Provence Metasequioa Land.
Make sure to try out these traditional meal while you are in Damyang. I always like Korean food and I enjoy them every time I visit, but this one is one of the best meal I ever had in Korea.
There is a Tourist information center near Juknokwon bus stop, which is on the opposite side of the Bamboo Forest. I was surprised when I got the tourist guide map that there are so many beautiful places to see in Damyang. Too bad I only allotted 1 day. Now there’s more reasons to come back.
Jeju Island is one of the most captivating places in Korea. It is well-known for its scenic volcanic landscapes as well as beautiful beaches. A famous holiday destinations for travelers and honeymooners.
Over the years, i thought traveling to Jeju would cost a fortune. But then I realized that you can travel to Jeju on a budget.
There are over 200 flights to Jeju in a day. Most airlines fly like every 15mins to every 30mins to and from Jeju. I booked online at Korean Air when had their promo. It was around P1,600 for one way ticket from Gimpo Aiport. I know it was expensive compared to other airlines. But it’s Korean Air anyway, so fair enough. There are also guesthouses, pensions and hostels if you don’t want to stay in expensive hotels and resorts.
The most convenient way to explore Jeju is to rent a taxi for a day. It will cost more than traveling by bus but it will save time and you can visit more places. Jeju Island is said to be 3 or 4 times the size of Seoul. So if you cannot visit all places in Seoul in one day, how much more in Jeju, right?
If you’re wondering where to go in Jeju, check these places I visited for 2 days.
1. Eco Land Theme Park
I think this is the only place where you can ride a train in Jeju. The train runs through Gotjawal forest. It will take around 1-2 hours to explore the place.
Admission Fee: ₩12,000
2. Jeju Stone Park
This is one of my favorite places in Jeju. Some people say ‘Those were just stones’. But for me they are more than stones. These stones came from Halla Mountain. In the museum, they play a 15-minute video about how Jeju Island was formed. It was an interesting story.
Admission Fee: ₩5,000
3. Jeju Mini Land
It’s like you’ve travelled around the world in Jeju. This park features miniature versions of all famous landmarks in the world.
Admission Fee: ₩9,000
4. Jusangjeolli Cliff
These are rock pillars formed from the lava of Halla Mountain
Admission Fee: ₩2,000
5. Jungmun Beach
This is one of the most famous beaches in Jeju. We just dropped by to take pictures.
6. Hello Kitty Island
There was a moment when I had to choose between the Teddy Bear Museum and Hello Kitty Island. I’m not a hello kitty fan but this one is on my bukcketlist.
Admission Fee: ₩12,000
7. Cafe Bomnal and Guesthouse
Calling all Korean Drama fans! This is the shooting location of Warm and Cozy. I’m glad I made it here. There’s also a coastal walk path nearby where you can feel the breeze and smell the ocean.
1. Udo Island
Udo Island is what I call An Island in an Island. You will need atleast 4 hours to visit Udo.
Ferry cost: ₩5,500 per head; ₩21,600 for the car
2. Seongsan Ilchulbong
A visit to Jeju will never be complete without visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sunrise Peak or the Seongsan Ilchulbong.
Admission Fee: ₩2,000
Seopjikoji is also another filming location of Korean Dramas.
Admission Fee: Free
4. Gimnyeong Maze Park
There are 2 maze parks in Jeju. Gimnyeong Maze park is the smaller one. It took us about an hour to find the way out. I’m not good at this. I almost want to give up. It was a dream come true to be lost in a maze.
Admission Fee: ₩3,300
I’d recommend our driver, Mr. Koh if you want to visit these places. He speaks English well, you won’t have problem communicating with him. He’s nice, good driver/tour guide and good photographer as well.
When you are in Jeju, never ever forget to try their abalone. Abalone porridge and abalone stew are my favorite.
Another famous thing in Jeju is the ‘Haenyeo’. They are the lady divers who dive into the ocean to gather different kinds of seafoods. Some of them aged over 80 years old. They are often called the Korean Mermaids. They dive even on a freezing winter.
There are other places I want to see in Jeju. I will surely find time to visit these island again some other season.
You might want to include Jeju in your itinerary on your Korea trip. It’s a place worth visiting. Happy travels!
I haven’t been to a lot countries because I only have limited time to travel as of now and it comes with limited budget as I’m in the corporate world. But I’m fortunate to have been able to explore some places. Here are some photos of the countries I visited so far where you’ll find reasons why you need to visit them in your next trip.
1. South Korea
5. Perth, Australia
7. Hong Kong
Taean County is a county in South Chungcheong Province, South Korea. I’ve known this place because of the Taean Tulip Festival, one of the best tulip festivals in the world, I heard. This year’s tulip festival started on April 13 and ended on May 10. To be exact, I went to Taean last April 29 and there I witnessed thousands of colorful flowers in full bloom. Indeed the best flower festival I’ve ever seen.
Going to Taean is a bit of a challenge if you cannot read Korean. Everything is written in Hangeul even the bus schedule in the bus terminal and the tourist maps. You’ll find no English translations at all.
How can you not fall in love with these flowers…
The theme of the festival changes every year. Last year was Monalisa and this year’s theme was world’s landmarks. Can you spot the image of Eiffel Tower from here?
Just when I thought cherry blossoms are gone at this time of year, I found one pink cherry blossom tree in Taean.
I’ve also seen other flowers in the festival site such as Canola flowers, Daffodils, etc. So pretty!
I actually couldn’t find the right words to express how I felt after seeing these beautiful flowers. They’ve left me so speechless.
Here’s a guide on how to go to Taean for you to experience the beauty of the Taean Tulip Festival next spring.
From Seoul Nambu Bus terminal, take an intercity bus to Taean (￦9000). From Taean bus terminal, take a village bus bound for Geomseom 곰섬 (￦2200). Get off at Morenon bus stop. In a small alley, walk for about 15 minutes to the festival area. Admission Fee is ￦9000.
Taiwan was not actually on my planned December trip because i’m already set to go to Perth, Australia until Airasia announced their new routes which were Taipei and Beijing in November. I instantly booked my roundtrip ticket to Taipei for only Php 2,100 and booked a hostel at booking.com. I used my valid and unused Australia visa to apply for visa exemption to enter Taiwan. You may apply for visa-free entry to Taiwan here.
It was so sudden but was so worth it.
I arrived in Taoyuan International Airport terminal 1 at around 1am. So I had to stay at the airport until 5:30 am to claim the mobile wifi which I rented via Klook for 3 days. After claiming the mobile wifi, I proceeded to the lower floor of the airport arrival area to purchase bus ticket to Taipei. Travel time is roughly about 1 hr. I arrived at the Taipei Discover Hostel too early so I couldn’t check in yet. I just left my backpack at the reception, bought Easy Card at 7/11 and started roaming around Taipei. Easy Card is a transportation card for trains and buses.
My first stop is Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
It’s best to visit early so you can take nice pictures of the place without the overflowing number of tourists.
At 9am they started to open the hall with an opening ceremony with the guards.
After spending hours in Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, I headed to the famous Taipei 101.
How to get there: Taipei 101/World Trade Center Station
I only took pictures of Taipei 101 outside. I didn’t get to enter building to go to the viewing deck. After a while, i proceeded to Daan Park. There’s really nothing much to see but it was a good place to just relax and rest. Went back to the hostel to take few hours sleep and at night I went to Shihlin Night Market to try some street foods for dinner.
How to get there? : Jiantian Station (Red Line)
The next day I went to Yehliu Geopark. It took me a while to find the right bus terminal going to Yehliu at Taipei Main Station. There were 2 bus terminals. But there are some good people who can speak english and helped me find the right bus bound for Yehliu. Travel time was approximately 1.5 to 2 hrs.
I only spent 2 hours in Yehliu before going back to Taipei to go to Ximending and the Elephant Mountain.
An amazing view of the Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain. I thought it was going to rain so I decided to come down sooner.
My 3rd and last day was for Longshang Temple, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and Tamsui.
I was planning to go to the Fisherman’s Wharf but I ended up food tripping at Tamsui old street that i spent almost whole afternoon eating and watching people having great time at Tamsui.
Filipinos may now enter Taiwan without a visa soon. So here’s the breakdown of my expenses for your guide.
Roundtrip airfare – P2,100
Philippine Travel tax – P1,620
Accomodation – P1,550
Pocket Wifi for 3 days – P285
Bus fare from airport – P137
Easy Card – P663
Yehlui Entrance fee – P125 (TWD80)
Souvenirs – P1,161
Food – P2,159
Have fun in Taiwan!
Wandering around Yangon
My 2nd solo trip and my first for this year. I chose Myanmar because I find it very majestic even by just looking at the pictures and that I wanted to explore it myself.
I heard some people say that Myanmar is 40 years behind Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. But I must say that Burmese people are the most friendly and most sincere people I ever met in Southeast Asia.
Before heading to Yangon, I had to stay in Malaysia for a 14-hr lay over. There’s no direct flights from Manila to Yangon by the way. I decided not to go to KL since I have been there twice. I stayed in Capsule by Container Hotel inside KLIA2 which i booked in Booking.com. It’s a pretty awesome experience to sleep in a container.
here’s my room
The price is I think reasonable since it just inside the airport. They offer free wifi around the facility.
My flight the next day is at 6:55AM and i arrived at Yangon International Airport at 8:00AM and immediately took a taxi going to Backpacker Bed & Breakfast. The hostel is a little difficult to find because it is located at the 2nd floor of a building. But thanks to the friendly taxi driver who helped me. The hostel’s location is perfect because it is in the downtown and very near Sule Pagoda and Bogyoke Market. Check in time is at 12noon so I’m very early that i decided to walk around the area first and tried some yummy street foods.
After check in, my first stop is Bogyoke Market which can be reached by foot.
Me and the friend I met, hired a taxi going to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple and Botataung Pagoda and then back to Bogyoke for only 15,ooo kyats.
Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple
Entrance Fee: Donation only
Entrance Fee: 4,000 kyats
Make sure to bring with you a bag or a plastic bag to carry your shoes because you are not allowed to wear them in the pagodas.
After breakfast, i took the taxi to Shwedagon Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Yangon and the highlight of my trip. It is probably one of the reasons why I was interested in Yangon. It was around 10am and was so hot but I didn’t mind because I was so amazed and I can’t believe that I am actually inside the Shwedagon.
The stairs to the pagoda. I entered the East Gate and i didn’t know that there was an elevator.
There are so many interesting spots inside Shwedagon. You might want to hire a tour guide to show you around plus they are also good in taking pictures.
Entrance Fee: 8,000 kyats
Taxi fare: 3,ooo kyats
It took me about 2 hours to explore the pagoda. After that, I walked towards the Kandawgyi Lake and from there I took a taxi going back to the hostel coz i needed to rest because of the very hot weather.
I can’t get enough of the Shwedagon and I decided to go back at night.
Shwedagon at night
Dinner at Feel Myanmar Restaurant
My last day in Yangon. I went out very early to roam around the city.
The Sule Pagoda
Yangon City Hall
My last stop is the National Museum of Myanmar. From there, i went straight to the airport to catch my evening flight.
Myanmar is now my 2nd favorite country in Asia. I want to go back to see Bagan and Mandalay next time.