I have always looked forward to travelling out of the country whenever it is possible and as of the moment, South Korea has been my most frequented travel destination for the past two years because I just love this country so much!
Whenever I travel, I make it a point to try new things so during my fourth visit to Seoul last November 2016, my friend and stayed at Hotel Maui which is one subway station away from Dongdaemun. Continue reading “Hotel Maui in Seoul”→
Every year I feel both sadness and excitement as I let go of the past year and welcome the new year. Very thankful for all the blessings from the past year and feeling hopeful that a better year will come.
Happy 2016 everyone! Last year had been great for me and I want to share my 2015 highlights with you! :-)
“Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” – Judy Collins
It is a fact to those who know me too well and those who have been reading this blog for quite some time now that even though I am Filipino by birth and I love the Philippines with all my heart and soul, I have also fallen in love with Korea for more than a decade now. In 2014, I started leitbloomer.com and became one of WOW Korea Supporters chosen by Korea Tourism Organization in Manila. In 2015, I was able to fulfill my ultimate travel goal and that is to visit Korea, not only once but TWICE! A dream come true indeed! :-)
I stayed in Myeongdong area for the whole duration of my trip but I only decided to visit Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower on my last day. Instead of trying to fit in my itinerary other tourist spots in Seoul that I have not visited yet, I opted to explore these famous landmarks. I followed the detailed directions posted on the wall near the stairs on our hostel. Though the road was steep and it did made me a little breathless, the view was worth it. It was so close to our hostel, I regret not having my early morning walk here.
My interest about Korean drama has piqued my curiosity about Korean culture and history which in turn have a major influence in their architecture too. They featured their grand palaces and traditional villages in their historical dramas and even in modern-day TV drama, they continue to feature Hanok which are Korean traditional style houses.
After taking a walk around the expansive Gwanghwamun Square and exploring the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace, I walked towards Bukchon Hanok Village. Since it is situated in the middle of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung palace, most of the families of high-ranking officials used to live here during the Joseon Dynasty. This village remains a residential area where majority of the remaining Hanok can be found.
As a Korean drama fan, I wanted to see the film locations of my favorite Korean dramas and I was fortunate to have come across Bukchon Traditional Culture Center while I was looking for these locations. This center was a former residence of the Min family who was in charge of finance during the late part of Joseon Dynasty. It was converted and reopened in 2002 as a place which offers information and exhibit to share and experience Korean traditional culture.
Gwanghwamun Square is a historical landmark at the center of Sejong-ro which expands from Gwanghwamun Gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace to Sejongno Sageori. Statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-Shin who are two of the most influential and respected people in Korean history can be found here. Since I studied Korean language, I am more curious about King Sejong whose most notable contribution is the invention of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet.
Aside from the Hanguel alphabet, scientific inventions of King Sejong such as the celestial globe, the rain gauge, and the sundial are on display in front of his 9.5-meter bronze statue. Behind the statue, there are six columns with golden carvings of his accomplishments and on the edge of the Square is the Waterway of History or Yeoksamulgil.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government successfully created a public space that gives us a glimpse of Korean history which blended well with the beautiful view of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukak Mountain. Gwanghwamun Square is also famous for its nighttime scenery so I will definitely come here again next time I visit Seoul to experience its transformation at night when the statues and fountain are both lit up with colorful lights.
Operating Hours: 00:00-24:00 (All year round).
A) City Hall Station (Subway Line 1), Exit 3 or 4.
B) Gwanghwamun Station (Subway Line 5).
C) Gyeongbokgung Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Living in a tropical country such as the Philippines where only dry and wet season occurs for the most part of the year, I have always been curious about autumn and spring season. When thinking about spring, cherry blossoms will always come first on my mind. To be able to see these heavenly-looking flowers in my dream destination, Seoul in South Korea, was truly an exciting and memorable experience for me.
On March 16, the cherry blossoms forecast was released. The expected blooming date for cherry blossoms in Seoul was April 9 and the average date was April 10 with a two-day margin of error. I was delighted that they bloomed earlier than expected because they are already in their majestic splendor when I arrived in Seoul on April 5! ^_^
One of the best and famous spots in Seoul to experience cherry blossoms is Yunjung-ro road at Yeouido Hangang Park. The road is lined up of more than a thousand cherry trees which are around 30 to 40 years old. Aside from the cherry blossoms, there are also other flowers that can be seen in this area including azaleas,forsythias and spireas.
When I went there, it was crowded with tourists and Seoulites even if it was a weekday. It was also quite windy and chilly but the road remained clear of petals from the trees. The cherry trees provided a white canopy above our heads and it made the atmosphere a little dreamy for me because it was really beautiful! ^_^
Directions: How I got there from Myeongdong: I took line 9 National Assembly Station exit 1. I crossed the road towards National Assembly and then turned right.
Seoul International Drama Awards 2014 was held last September 4, 2014 at National Theater of Korea. It was organized by Seoul Drama Awards Organizing Committee and Korean Broadcasters Association and supported by The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Seoul Metropolitan Government, KBS, MBC, SBS, EBS, Corea Drama Production Association, Korean TV Drama Producers Association, Korean TV & Radio Writers Association, Korea Cultural Exchange Foundation, Korea Creative Content Agency. It aims to continuously develop and promote Korean Wave by participating in festivals which in part can also help the growth of tourism in Seoul.
My Love from the Starwon the following awards: People’s Choice Award and Outstanding Korean Actor for Soo Hyun Kim, Excellent Korean Drama, and Outstanding Korean Drama OST.
Live Awards Ceremony:
Thank you to my friend, @ethel_sg, who attended this event and generously offered that I use her pictures on my blog. She is a big fan of Soo Hyun Kim of the famous Korean Drama, My Love from the Star. She usually attends most of his events and fan meets, you may follow her on instagram for more pictures and updates about Soo Hyun Kim!