I always wanted my trips to be organized but sometimes I have to let nature take its course and just enjoy the moment and veer away from the norm. This is my second time to go on a trip without making any prior reservation for accommodation. Our Busan trip was a spur-of-the moment decision so it was a good thing that I have read about Haeundae Guesthouse while preparing for our trip last year. Continue reading “Haeundae Guesthouse in Busan, South Korea”
There is something about going out of the city that is refreshing. I somehow enjoyed the long subway ride from Seoul to Gapyeong as I observed how my surroundings changed from buildings to landscape. I saw colorful flowers starting to cover the mountainside and I got excited about how Nami Island, one of the many famous tourist spots in South Korea, would look like during early spring. After a brief tour in Petite France, I headed for Nami Island through the Gapyeong City Tour Bus (note that you should keep your ticket with you during your city tour because you will have to present it to the driver every time you ride the bus). From the bus stop, you will have to walk about five minutes to reach the ticket office where you will pay for the entry visa worth ₩8000 (inclusive of the discounted entrance fee for foreigners and the round trip ferry ride).
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.
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This is my first time to travel to South Korea, The Land of the Morning Calm. Three days before my flight, the Philippines had been threatened by Typhoon Chedeng. It made me restless as it may affect my travel plans. My prayers had been answered and I had been blessed with a good weather on the day that I was leaving for Incheon. Since I am staying in Myeong-dong and it was Easter Sunday, my goal on my first day was to visit Myeong-dong Cathedral to thank God for giving me another opportunity to travel.
Myeong-dong Cathedral is the first Gothic style cathedral in Korea and it had been a symbol of the Catholics of Korea for more than a century since its construction began in 1887. This church was designed by Father Eugene Coste and is dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
Since it was built on a hill, you will have to climb a few set of stairs to reach it. I was welcomed by several big pot of flowers as I approached the church and it made climbing up a little easier as I take pictures along the way. It was really beautiful outside and it has a dominating presence even from afar. I also went inside to pray. I was tempted to take pictures but opted not to as a sign of respect because a Korean mass was being held while I was there. Click here for the panoramic virtual reality tour of Myeongdong Cathedral.
Directions: From line 4 Myeongdong Station, take exit 8, then walk along Toegyero-gil St. and turn right at the intersection.
English Mass Schedule: Sunday at 9 a.m.
Visit the following websites for more details: