A paradise called ‘Jeju Island’

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.

Day 1

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

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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

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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

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5. Jungmun Beach

This is one of the most famous beaches in Jeju. We just dropped by to take pictures.

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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

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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.

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Day 2

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

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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

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3. Seopjikoji

Seopjikoji is also another filming location of Korean Dramas.

Admission Fee: Free

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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

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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.

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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!

[Jeonju] Time Travel to Joseon Dynasty

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Jeonju is a city in South Korea and the capital of North Jeolla Province. It is famous for the Jeonju Hanok Village which is the largest hanok village in South Korea and they call it Slow City. Upon entering the village, you will really feel like you have been transported back to Joseon Dynasty.

Jeonju Hanok Village has over 800 traditional styled houses and buildings including hanok guesthouses, cafes, restaurants and shops.

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You’ll find Hanbok rental shops everywhere. Prices ranging from ₩10,000-₩25000. You’ll get to choose the style and the color you want plus they will fix your hair and put on some accessories.

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One of the places in Hanok Village is the Gyeonggijeon Shrine. It holds the portrait of founder of the Joseon Dynasty, King Tae-jo. Taking pictures is prohibited inside the museum so it’s best to go down to Jeonju to see it yourself.

 

 

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I stayed in PinetreeView Hanok Guesthouse inside the hanok village. They offer free breakfast and free use of Hanok. Yes, it’s free. But the thing is, nobody will assist you in putting on the hanbok. I went out early the next morning to go to Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School. The advantage of having free hanbok in the guesthouse is that you can wear them anytime.

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I was able to witness a ceremony in the Confucian School. I didn’t understand a thing but I am glad to I was there and it felt like I was part of Joseon Dynasty.

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If you are thinking where to eat the best bibimbap in Korea, well, it’s in Jeonju. It has a unique taste that you cannot find in other bibimbaps. Though I don’t know what it is but it’s definitely the best bibimbap I’ve tasted. The food in Jeonju is quite affordable compared to other cities.

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Too bad I stayed in Jeonju for only one night. I should have stayed longer. Looking forward to visiting this place again.

Thanks for dropping by.  If you’re interested in exploring Jeonju or if you need more details,  just let me know. I’d be more than willing to assist you. Annyeong!

 

Travel guide to your favorite K-Drama filming locations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery Korean drama lovers’ dream is to meet their Oppa, (ahem..yes, i feel you) or to visit the filming locations of their favorite dramas. Here are some filming locations of K-dramas I visited during my Korea trips.

1. Nami Island 남이섬 종합휴양지

K-drama : Winter Sonata (겨울연가)

One of the most visited places in Korea outside Seoul. It’s definitely a place you shouldn’t miss whether you are K-drama fan or not. Nami Island is a beauty all year round, whatever season it is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0829How to get there: from Gapyeong Station, take the Gapyeong tourists bus or taxi to Gapyeong Wharf. Ride the ferry to Nami Island.

Admission Fee: 8,000 won

2. Hanmi Bookstore 한미서점

K-drama : Goblin (도깨비)

Goblin_hanmiHanmi Bookstore is located in Baedari Used Books Store street in  Incheon. It’s featured in the popular drama Goblin.

852115061_151682852116806_150367Address: 14-4 Geumchang-dong, Dong-gu, Incheon

How to get there: Dowon Station Exit 2, cross the street and walk straight for 500 meters.

Admission Fee: Free

3. Gyeonggijeon Shrine 경기전

K-Drama : Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (구르미 그린 달빛)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 15-39-11Gyeonggijeon Shrine is located in Jeonju Hanok Village, the largest hanok village in Korea as far as I know. When I arrived in Jeonju Hanok Village I felt like I travelled back to Joseon Dynasty.

20170425_143541Address: 44, Taejo-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do

How to get there: From Jeonju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 5-1 or 79.
Get off at Jeondong Cathedral (Hanok Village) Bus Stop and walk 20min.

Admission Fee: 3,000 won

4. Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School 전주향교

K-Drama : Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (구르미 그린 달빛)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 16-00-12Screenshot from 2017-06-17 16-15-17Jeonju Hyanggyo is a Confucian school that was established during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and is designated historical treasure No. 379. This was a national education center during the Joseon period. The school was originally located at the Gyeonggijeon Shrine site, but was relocated in 1603. Information Credit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

20170426_121907IMG_4986Address: 139, Hyanggyo-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do

How to get there: From Jeonju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 5-1 or 79.
Get off at Jeondong Cathedral (Hanok Village) Bus Stop and walk 20min.

Admission Fee: Free

5. Dongbaek Island 동백공원

K-Drama : Shopping King Louie (쇼핑왕 루이)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 16-36-34Dongbaek Island is an island in Busan where you can see both Haeundae beach and Gwangalli Beach. It is also the place where the Nurimaru APEC House is located.

852114252_142947Address: U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan

How to get there: Take Line 2 to Dongbaek Station (Busan Subway) Exit 1 and walk for 700meters.

Admission Fee: Free

6. Gwangalli Beach 광안리해수욕장

K-Drama : Shopping King Louie  (쇼핑왕 루이)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 17-01-43Gwangalli Beach is my favorite place in Busan. The area is filled with restaurants, cafes and entertainment. Many people come at night to witness the bright lights of Gwangan Bridge.

IMG_6275Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan

How to get there: Gwangan Station Exit 5, walk straight towards the beach area.

Admission Fee: Free

7. Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park 에델바이스 테마파크

K-Drama : Remember – War of the Sons (리멤버 – 아들의 전쟁)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 15-07-14Screenshot from 2017-06-17 15-07-07Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park is in Gapyeong, where the popular places like Nami Island and Petite France is also located. Not many people know about this place maybe because it is not accessible as other tourists destinations. But they offer free shuttle service during weekends and holidays.

IMG_6591IMG_6698Address: 226-57 Darakjae-ro, Seorak-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do,

How to get there: Take free shuttle bus from Cheongpyeong Station Exit 2 during weekends and holidays. Shuttle bus time: From Cheongpyeong Station: 9:30 / 11:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 ; From Edelweiss : 10:10 / 12:00 / 14:00 / 17:30

Admission Fee: 10, 000 won

8. Cafe & Guesthouse Bomnal 카페 & 게스트하우스 봄날

K-Drama : Warm and Cozy (맨도롱 또똣)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 17-27-23Cafe and Guesthouse Bomnal is located in front of the Handam Beach in Aewol-eup, Jeju.

IMG_5310IMG_1313Address: 25 Aewollo 1(il)-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

How to get there: From Jeju Intercity Bus terminal take bus line Seo-Ilju and get off at Handam-dong

9. Gyeonggi English Village Paju Camp 경기영어마을 파주캠프

K-Drama : Tomorrow With You (내일 그대와)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 18-05-16Screenshot from 2017-06-17 18-00-10There are other English Villages in South Korea but I think one of the biggest is the Paju Camp in Gyeonggi-do. Their main goal is to promote English learning to create global Koreans.

IMG_3773IMG_3725IMG_3844Address: 40 Eoreumsil-ro, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

How to get there: Take bus #200 at Hapjeong Station Exit 2 and get off at English Village bus stop.

Admission Fee: 3,000 won (weekdays) ; 5,000 won (weekends)

10. Windy Hill 바람의 언덕

K-drama : Introverted Boss (내성적인 보스)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 20-56-03Screenshot from 2017-06-17 20-53-44A growing number visitors come to the place after it was used a filming site for popular Korean dramas such as Eve’s Garden (2003, SBS) and Merry- Go-Round (2004, MBC). The name “Windy Hill” was given by those who visited the island and became a fan. Walking toward the hill along the wooden promenade from the wharf, one can see Hakdong Village from a distance. Info Credits: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

P1110583IMG_1991IMG_1939Address: Nambu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do

How to get there: From Express Bus Terminal in Seoul, take an express bus bound for Gohyeon Bus Terminal. Take a taxi to the Windy Hill (25.4 km/ around 45 min)

Admission Fee: Free

11. Hakdong Mongdol Beach 학동몽돌해변

K-drama : Introverted Boss (내성적인 보스)

Screenshot from 2017-06-17 20-57-03Screenshot from 2017-06-17 20-57-57Hakdong Mongdol Beach or the Black Pebble beach is located in Geoje. Find out more about the Black Pebble beach in my previous post here.

IMG_1836Address: 18-1, Hakdong 6-gil, Dongbu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do

How to get there: From Geojae Bus Terminal, take bus 56, 67 towards Hakdong Pebble Beach.

Admission Fee: Free

There you go! Those were just some Korean Drama filming locations I visited outside Seoul. If you need more information, please comment below. I’d be glad to help you achieve your dream trip to Korea.

Essential tips for your South Korea trip

South Korea is now one of the most popular destinations in Asia. Some people say that the country is getting popular because K-pop and Korean dramas are now being recognized around the world. But for me there’s so much more about Korea, you just have to explore it.

Since your reading this, i bet you are planning to visit Korea anytime soon. So here’s some travel tips on how to enjoy your trip to Korea, as much i always do, and how to travel like a local.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

Don’t join group or package tours. Explore and don’t be afraid of getting lost. You’ll discover a lot of things about the place and about yourself.

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My very first solo travel happened in autumn of 2014 in Seoul. It wasn’t planned, it’s just that my friend’s visa got denied so I ended up travelling alone. I was scared at first since it was my first time, but then learned that travelling alone is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

Research and plan well

There are so many places to visit in Korea. It would be easier for you to roam around when you know where to go and how to get there. It will save you a lot of time and you can visit as many places as you can. Before going to Korea, I always prepare a detailed itinerary so I can also budget my trip. If you want to know about the places you want to visit, check out the official site of the Korea Tourism Organization.

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Go out early and stay out late

I usually go out as early as 6am or 7am especially if I’m going to far places and stay out until 10pm to maximize the time.

Meet the Locals

Most Koreans cannot speak English. But that doesn’t stop them from being so welcoming and helpful to people especially to tourists.

Koreans, I should say, love the Filipinos. Something to do about history. I’ve experience it myself during my first trip. There’s this Ahjumma in the subway, while waiting for the train, she smiled at me and asked me if I’m from Malaysia. When I said I’m from the Philippines, I was surprised by her reaction. She seemed so happy to meet me and told me that Korea and Philippines have good relationship and we had a really good conversation. When I got on the train, there’s an old couple who also asked me if I’m from the Philippines and started talking to me in Korean and unfortunately we didn’t understand each other. That’s when I decided to learn Hanguel. That was probably one reason why I got so attached to this country.

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Wear comfortable shoes

Trust me about this one. It doesn’t matter what your OOTD is but if you really want to explore Korea, wear comfortable shoes. You’ll do a lot of walking, I’m pretty sure about that.

Remember this things and I’m sure you’d want to come back to Korea right after your trip. What fascinates me most is their deep history and rich culture. I’ve been to Korea 5 times already and now I’m planning for my next trip. So, let’s go and explore Korea.