Green Tea Field in Boseong-gun, Korea

Hey green tea lovers! I’ve got something for you.  Have you heard about the Green Tea field in Boseong-gun? It has always been on my travel bucket list and I finally got to visit  during my recent trip to Korea. I know not everyone likes green tea but I’m pretty sure whether you like or not, you’re gonna fall for this place. In Korea it’s called 녹차밭 (Nok Cha Pat). The name of the green tea field is Daehan Dawon. As far as I know it’s the only tourist tea plantation in the country.

I’ve been to several places in Korea and I must say this is one of my favorite.

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In case you are interested to visit the place, here’s how I got there. Boseong is a county in Jeollanam-do. I came in from Gwangju. I purchased a intercity bus ticket bound for Boseong at U-Square Terminal. Travel time is 1.5 hrs. When you arrive at Boseong Bus Terminal, check the schedule of the buses posted in the wall. The schedules are all written in Korean though. The terminal is quite small and there are only few buses. The bus to the Daehan Dawon runs only every hour. You might want to check the schedule first to save your waiting time. Since it was my first time and I didn’t want to get lost, I asked all the  drivers if it’s the bus going to 녹차밭. Most of them understand English. So don’t worry about communicating with them.

While walking towards the field, you’ll pass by these woods. So beautiful. It was a very nice day.

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Entrance fee is 4,000 won.

Did you know that this field has been a shooting location for some Korean dramas and movies?  They’ve labelled each area where the particular drama or movie has been filmed. The latest drama I’ve watched that’s been filmed here is The Legend of the Blue Sea starring Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyeon.

There’s the autumn foliage and some autumn flowers.

Follow this path to arrive at the observatory.

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First you’ll see the view of Boseong and if you go up further, you’ll find a refreshing view of the ocean. Meaning you are already at the top of the mountain. Nice hike!

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After the hike, try out the green tea ice cream and green tea tteokbokki. Yes, you read it right, it’s green tea tteokbokki. A must-try when in the green tea field.

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Going back to the Boseong bus terminal is also easy. Just cross the tunnel and find the bus stop. The schedule is also posted in the bus stop. Remember to be mindful of the bus schedules as not so many buses run in Boseong.

 

Ginkgo Tree Avenue in Asan, Chungcheongnam-do

We all know that Korea has four seasons and each season have their own charms.  Autumn is definitely one of my many reasons to visit the country again. The yellow, red and orange fall foliage can be spotted everywhere. Nami Island is the most visited place outside Seoul especially for first time travelers to Korea. But have you also heard about the Ginkgo Tree Avenue in the city of Asan? If you try to look for the best places to visit in autumn, this place would always be on the list.

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It’s a 2km ginkgo tree-lined road. During autumn, the ginkgo leaves turn into golden yellow color. I went to see the ginkgo avenue on the 4th of November and it was a little early as most leaves are still colored green. The view is still amazing though.

I didn’t expect to see a variety of beautiful flowers in full bloom beside the lake.

Say Hello to the Cosmos flowers 🙂

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There were also chrysanthemum, sunflowers, silver grass and others.

It’s like autumn meets spring in Asan.

To go to the Gingko tree Avenue, via metro subway, get off at Onyang Ocheon Station (Line 1). Or via KTX, get off at Asan-Cheonan Station and transfer to Line 1 and get off at Onyang-Ocheon Station.

Upon exit, cross the road to find the bus stop and take bus #900 , #910 or #920. Or take a taxi, it will cost around ₩6,000.

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If you miss the Ginkgo tree avenue this year, don’t worry, it’s never too early to plan for the next autumn. So, let’s start planning. 🙂

 

 

Day trip to Damyang county in Jeollanam-do

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.

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Entrance fee is ₩3,000.

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This is so relaxing. It was too quiet. There were only 2 or 3 people during that time because it was early.

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The sound of the bamboo leaves as it dances with the wind made me want to fall asleep in this hammock.

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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.

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Finally,  I’ve reached the famous Metasequioa tree lined road in Damyang. It’s also a filming location of some K-dramas.

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Beside the Metasequioa trees, there’s the Kids Provence Metasequioa Land.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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!

List of Some Countries I’ve visited

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

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2. Myanmar

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3. India

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4. Taiwan

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5. Perth, Australia

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6. Brunei

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7. Hong Kong

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8. Macau

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9. Malaysia

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3 days in Myanmar

Wandering around Yangon

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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.

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here’s my room

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The price is I think reasonable since it just inside the airport. They offer free wifi around the facility.

Day 1

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.

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After check in, my first stop is Bogyoke Market which can be reached by foot.

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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.

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Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple

Entrance Fee: Donation only

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Botataung Pagoda

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.

Day 2

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.

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The stairs to the pagoda. I entered the East Gate and i didn’t know that there was an elevator.

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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.

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Shwedagon at night

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Dinner at Feel Myanmar Restaurant

Day 3

My last day in Yangon. I went out very early to roam around the city.

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The Sule Pagoda

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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.