We left Manila a little past 12nn, and we arrived at Incheon International Airport at around 5pm. Travel time from Philippines to Korea is only about 4 hours, but there’s a 1 hour difference making Philippine time behind. I must say that it was the longest (so far) flight I’ve had in my entire life. Haha. I’m so thankful that Darel and I had the opportunity to once again travel with his family, but this time in South Korea.
We left our home early, like any usual QC to airport day, and we still had some last minute packing scenario before leaving. Tsk tsk. Sometimes, you will really hate the packing and unpacking part of travelling. Actually, si Darel lang talaga yung last-minute. Hahaha! But anyway, in case you are wondering what made us decide to visit Korea in June, well, we found an airline ticket sale! So basically that’s how this whole trip started. Hahaha. It was my first time to experience riding a plane which is not a budget airline, and it was one of the first highlights of this trip!
Asiana Airlines Experience
We got seats located at the end of the plane, which is pretty nice because it’s more spacious. I even got the window seat! Few minutes after take-off, Darel and I retreated to our own personal spaces (Yes, you can have that in Asiana Airlines HAHAHA) and I started to write a blog entry (Our Tito & Tita Life in Siargao) which I posted later that day, while listening to some in-flight music. Darel on the other hand, decided to watch a movie (was it Aquaman?) instead of sleeping (but he said he was very sleepy). I was busy typing away when I almost didn’t notice that they were already serving meals. We chose to have Bibimbap because we were so ready for some Korean food! Haha. Looking at the photo I have now makes me want some Korean food again.
After eating, I decided to use the lavatory. Okay, here’s a little trivia: I’ve never used the lavatory of any aircraft in the past. Yes! It was my first time trying it out in this trip so thank you Asiana Airlines. Hahaha. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the super o-c in me that I’m not really into using public toilets as much as possible. Hindi naman sa maarte, pero parang nasanay lang. In fact, when I was in grade-school I would even wait til I get home before I pee. Yes. I hold it all in. Hahaha. So I guess I’ve learned to let go some of my aircraft-toilet-issues because of this trip.
I didn’t get to sleep during the entire flight because I was quite busy. Haha. When I finished the blog entry I was doing, I decided to just play some Pac-Man. After a few tries, I remembered how much I’ve hated that game. Hahaha. I never win! Boo!
Welcome to South Korea!
The moment we stepped out of the airport, I was quite nervous if I packed the right clothes for this trip. Haha! June in Korea is actually the start of their summer months, so that’s what I prepared for. I even spent some time checking random IG stories in Seoul to see if it’s really sunny before deciding what clothes to bring. Well, few rains was in the forecast so I brought with me one thin parka as back-up. I thought, I just need to battle the rain and not so much the cold. I’ll tell you more soon about how I managed to survive some unexpected super cold days.
Based on Google, the travel time from Incheon to Seoul, specifically somewhere in Myeongdong (because that’s where our hotel is located), will take about 45 mins. by car. But in our case, I think it took us almost 2 hours. I was quite surprised with the traffic in the expressway, it kinda feels like EDSA in the Philippines. Hahaha. We were so hungry but the cars were moving so slow and we didn’t have any choice. I looked out the window and realized that it was just sunset, but when I looked at my phone, it’s already 7pm!
We booked New Seoul Hotel in Myeongdong. The rooms are not that new but I must say that it’s well maintained. I would recommend this place because it’s clean, easily accessible, and budget friendly! I have here some photos and can I just say that I was amazed with the heated toilet seat?! Not to mention the built-in bidet. Hahaha. We spent colder days in Taiwan last December and me-time in the toilet would’ve been so much better with something like that. Haha.
Legit Samgyeopsal + Cheonggyecheon Stream
After checking our rooms and leaving our luggage, we went out to look for a place to eat. We were so hungry that I think we just decided where to eat based on the first Korean restaurant we saw. We couldn’t think straight, we were so hungry. Hahaha. Apparently, it was the best food place we’ve tried during the entire trip so we made it a point to eat there again the day before our return flight. The beef was so good, and I’m getting really hungry as I type this. Even the side dishes are not the usual ones you will see in the Korean restaurants here in the Philippines. Also, the servers will be the one to cook the meat for you so all you have to do is eat.
After that amazing dinner, we decided to walk around the neighborhood a bit. We had no idea that we’re just so near Cheonggyecheon stream. I usually see it on Instagram and it’s a popular place not only for tourists but even for the locals. From what I’ve read, it’s actually an urban renewal project which runs for about 11km. It’s a restoration of the stream that was once there during the Joseon Dynasty (time for some Korean culture guys). It was then covered with an elevated highway for many years after the Korean war, and it was only during the year 2003 when the elevated highway was removed to restore the stream to its present form today. As an architect, I find it really impressive. Sana all. Hahaha.
We didn’t stay out late because we were scheduled for a tour the next day – Garden of the Morning Calm and Nami Island. We’ve been waking up early and sleeping late for several days because of this trip. That’s why on the day of our flight back to Manila, I just slept all the way from the hotel, to the airport, even until we got home. What is pagod. Haha. Stay tuned next week for another post about our Korea trip!
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