It was a nice cloudy morning and we were walking on our way to the meet-up place of the tour package we availed (we’ll be exploring the Garden of the Morning Calm and Nami Island). Even if it was several blocks away from our hotel, walking in the streets of Korea doesn’t seem to be a problem at all with this kind of weather. It was only the first week of June, the supposed beginning of the summer months in the country, and yet we experienced some monsoon rains during our stay making it not-so-summery. But I think it was just the perfect weather, because they say summer in Korea is extremely hot and humid, so the cloudy days we’ve had was a total bonus.
While snapping a couple of photos of interesting buildings I find along the way, I can’t believe I was out this early. You’ll know you’re in a vacation when you have to wake up early everyday and sleep kinda late as well. We later found ourselves in the streets of Myeongdong, where every store is still closed at 7:00 in the morning. We haven’t had our breakfast so we were desperate to see any open cafe before we get to the meet-up place. We were lucky to find one right beside the crowd of people waiting for their tour guides.
We entered the small cafe and bought some bread, which we ate right away. I always find it amusing whenever I see bread stores/cafe in other countries, because it looks so posh even if it’s just normal for them. Haha. Unlike the ones we have in PH; or maybe we just don’t have this fascination with pastries the same way they do. I scanned the store and observed. There was another Filipino family in the next table. It was my first time to try having this kind of tour so I’m kinda wondering how many people will be in the same package as ours.
We eventually found ourselves inside the bus at 8am, with Jason as our guide. He introduced himself in English, then in Mandarin. When he mentioned his age, he then explained the age system of Koreans. I listened to him while my eyes were fixed on the window, admiring the view of the buildings. He said that when Koreans are born, they are already considered 1 year old, counting the time of the baby inside the mother’s womb. And they get to add another year not on their birthdays but during New Year. So technically, if you are a Korean and you are born on December 31, you are already 1 year old. The next day, you turn 2 years old. Hahaha. I think that’s weird and cool at the same time.
I had no idea where we were going. I just know that there’s another tourist place we’ll visit before Nami Island and I heard it’s something like a garden that’s very famous in Korea, so I guess it’s really interesting. At 10am, Jason welcomed us to the Garden of the Morning Calm. We got off the bus, waited for our tickets, and had a quick orientation. At this point, I still have no idea what this garden is all about. I’m not a big fan of gardens so I was totally clueless. Haha. All I was able to put in my head was the 1000 year old tree which we are going to see once we are inside.
There were quite a number of people in the garden that morning. Lots of kids too, and I hated it whenever they rock the hanging bridge,making it so difficult to pass through. We found our way to the famous tree Jason was talking about. It’s named Millennium Jupiter, and tourists were so eager to have a photo-op with it. I managed to take a good shot without a single soul blocking the subject, and I showed it to my husband while smiling like a 5 year old kid who got her first candy for the day.
We followed the trail, good thing they give away maps, and I was so anxious whenever we would see signs saying “beware of snakes”. I have a phobia with snakes that I couldn’t stand even toys or photos of it. It was something that I not-so-secretly have ever-since I was a child. I was hoping that we will not see one considering that the place was filled with people. We continued exploring while on the hunt for interesting plants as background for a good “Instagrammable” photo. (Here’s a tip: wear colors you think will suit best the places you will visit when you’re in a vacation. A pop of color will do so just be creative in mix and matching your clothes.)
It’s as if we were on a treasure hunt, looking for a nice spot to take good photos. It was quite difficult though, because of the people. You really have to be quick in taking the shot, unless you want to have several attempts until you get the perfect one. Haha. I could say that it was fun. We even found a perfect plant that emphasized the color of my hair (which is actually blue but already turned violet because it started fading).
I had no expectations before going to the Garden of the Morning Calm, so I guess that’s a good thing. I’m trying to imagine the garden during autumn, but I couldn’t, so I think I need to visit the place again. Hahaha. Before heading back to the bus, we decided to grab some snacks. It was a good morning. We’ve had good weather and good photos. The next destination is about an hour away, and I’m excited to see what Nami Island has to offer.
Stay tuned next week for another post about our Korea trip!
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