It's so hard to write for me about things na lumipas na, that's why as much as possible I make my blog posts in a span of a week or two right after my travel! But for this Korea trip, things happened the moment I got back!
Assignments just started to pile up, there's Bloggers United event, work commitments, friend's wedding, concerts and other personal engagements.. but hey! I will super try my best to recall what happened on those days now that I am back at home--whole day all to myself!
So finally, another family trip! Yey! This is a bit overdue for me! Other than a family wedding in Cebu around two years ago, the last time all five of us traveled together was late 2013-early 2014 for America. Then we had our own personal travels with our friends, so I kind of missed going abroad with the parentals and my sisters.
Planning this Korea trip took months. OF COURSE they expected me to be totally hands on with this, since Korea is kind of my "turf". I suggested a lot of stuff, and they agreed to most of them including where we're staying. Mom and Dad just went with the flow, while Ate, Cea and I tried to mash our very assorted interests in a 6-day itinerary. How will you put together a nature lover, a foodie, and a K-drama girl in a really short trip!? It was challenging but fun!
First Order of Business: Pomato
When we arrived in Incheon Airport, it was already past lunch time. As per my itinerary, we all decided to go to our guest house first (New Sun, as always!) to check in before we eat a decent meal. So we rode the airport train going to Hoehyeon which took around 2 hours din, with all the walks, buying of train card, and 4 people and their luggages tailing me. We even got lost going to the guest house because I had no Google Maps and Internet went wonky (bad timing!😅).
Anyway, all is well! We went inside the homey New Sun Guest House, left our things, and freshened up a bit... Then decided to have our late lunch. Of course, I have to bring the family in my favorite: POMATO! This is just walking distance from our accommodation, right across Hoehyon subway.
We ordered all sorts of authentic Korean food, and I paid for all of them since it's around Php 1500 lang sya for all five of us. I really really love the gimbap here (na asa Php 65 lang), the unli side dishes and soup, and of course the spicy cheese ramyeun that Cea also enjoyed kahit hate nya spicy food usually!
I received quite a lot of photos na of readers who ate in Pomato because they read it in my blog or saw my IG stories, haha! But my best convert is this gang! They still talk about Pomato back here in Manila, when we recall about our trip from time to time. Dad said it's the most sulit meal we had, and I always beam whenever I hear praises over something I recommended. My fam is quite hard to please, so yey! Pomato, you need to pay me na for this free raves!!! Hahahah!
Do Bong Soon's House
After warming our tummies with that welcoming lunch, the fam already knew that I will dedicate our first day for my personal "business". Meaning, I will fit my Kdrama tour in less than half of the day. I have a longer list, but it's not possible with the time I have, plus, it's not really my priority for going to Korea at that time (it's to be with my family, and for my family to enjoy). So a few locations will do, balik nalang uli next time. 😌
So while my family enjoyed places I've been to already (they went to Myeongdong and Namsan Tower), I decided to first look for Do Bong Soon's house--which is also the location of other Kdramas I haven't seen yet like Doctors. From research, I also knew that nearby the house are other Kdrama locations that I might come across, so at least tuhog na!
Again, I have to re-state that I went there with NO INTERNET CONNECTION because of mix-ups I won't divulge into na. So of course my family needs the pocket wifi more, I decided to just maximize the free net in the train as much as I can.
I walked and walked based on my pre-trip research and readings. I can't even ask for directions because nahihiya ata ako that time (dyahe maging introvert when traveling!). And also, I don't know what to ask!
Anyway, so Do Bong Soon's house is located in Ihwa Mural Village, a former slum that's converted into a beautiful, artsy destination in Seoul. They have shops and small cafes in the area, and lots of wall art where tourists and locals alike take turns to have their selfies and OOTDs taken. I thought to myself, if ever I won't be able to find Do Bong Soon's house, I will at least enjoy these sights!
The Namsan Tower, where the parents and my sisters were hanging out at that time:
Remember these streets, super crucial! Hehe.
It's in this corner! When I saw the stairs, I thought to myself that I already saw this in the series and I might be near the house na. So I went up...
... And saw even more art stores and cafes. I already saw this blue house without realizing eto na pala yun! It's the back of Do Bong Soon's house, haha! I walked further, went up more stairs, till I saw it!
Yey! My heart skipped, mission accomplished! Haha! I spent a good 30 minutes just taking photos and vids here. Sulitin na! Even went down to take a closer look, and tried to go in the house (naka lock, hehe).
To get here, I went down Hyehwa Station Line 4, Exit 2 and followed the way to Naksan Park. Ideally, if you have internet, just Google Maps Naksan Park or Ihwa Mural Village. The address of the house is 14 Naksanseonggwakseo 1-gil. Right across the house, you will see this famous fortress walls of Naksan Park...
Where Min-Min will park his car to drop-off Bong Bong, but will still take them a while to leave each other! 😂😍 In love na in love!
I walked around Naksan Park in the hopes of seeing more places I may recognize (this is where most Do Bong Soon park scenes happened but turns out Naksan Park is so HUGE huhu). When I did a time check, I decided to just let go muna so I can visit another highlight Do Bong Soon spot.
Bye muna Naksan Park!
IDGAF doggie with pink fluff for a tail, hehe:
Do Bong Soon's Dobong Walnut Bakery
I had to ride the train and bus to get here, so I decided that this will be my last stop na before meeting my family again in DDP. Good thing summer in Seoul means sunsets are at around 7:30 pm pa, days are longer. If you can see in this bus photo, clock says that it's already 7:14 pm pero maliwanag padin sa labas!
Again, the challenging part is navigating from subway station to the location without Google Maps. Which way to turn, left or right? I don't know what instincts God gave me that day, but I made the right turn, and just walked and walked till I saw it! That's why I am bad in blogging directions coz I usually just go with gut feel and luck!!
Hello! ❤ 👀 Dobong Walnut Bakery is actually Plate B in real life.
It is just across this church:
It looks like a friendly neighborhood cafe, which made me more excited to go in and have a latte! 🍰☕ You'll also see a Strong Woman Do Bong Soon poster from outside the store:
I miss this trio!
Inside, I felt major kilig scanning the small place: This is where ahjumma and her friends hangout and gossip. This is the counter where Bong Soon's appa works as the walnut store manager. And then this is the corner where Minhyuk sat to chat with the Titas of Dobong-dong. 😂
The friendly store manager helped me with my orders. I had a cup of latte and of course a slice of the walnut pie!
They also offer other food here, and yehey they have wifi!
Another group of 2 girls went in, and they're more vocal with their intentions for dining in Plate B. They asked the store manager if she has seen Hyungsik during all the shoots, and they took a long time taking photos around the shop!
I mustered my guts and asked if they can also take my photo, hehehe! SWDBS was my super favorite series then, so I decided to have my very first IG Live update while dining there just so I can share the experience and kilig!
To get here: Hop off subway Sookmyung Women's University Line 4, Exit 3. Take the Bus 202 heading to Namyeong Post Office, and hop off Huam-dong Woori Bank (after 2 stops). Facing Woori Bank, I went right and just walked and walked till I saw the store to my left. If you have internet, try to Google Maps "Plate B".
DDP / Shake Shack in Seoul!
After accomplishing the 2 highlight locations for Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, I decided to meet up with the family in Dongdaemun Design Plaza so they can see the thousand LED roses park at night. Ate also wanted to eat in Shake Shack Seoul (last time we had this was during our US trip!).. And luckily this is just across DDP!
I was there for a good 30-40 minutes before the fam arrived, which was a relief for me so they don't have to wait. I found a nice spot with wifi just outside DDP's subway exit, and enjoyed the tolerable cool Seoul summer weather at night.
Took "artsy" pang-Instagram photos here while the parents rested their tired feet. It was a long and tiring first day, but that's just how we wanted it to end!
This is the third Shake Shack in Seoul, located in Doota Mall which is also a hip shopping center just across DDP. I will never even know that Korea has Shake Shack if not for my extreme foodie sister, hehe.
My Shake Shack Shroom Burger, I missed this!!!
Reenacted our first Shake Shack New York experience, but with me this time coz I took the photo before, hehehe! It can go crazy and a bit confusing, but I just love family trips! ❤
Read more on my Korea travels:
Spring 2016 | Autumn 2016 | Spring 2017 | Summer 2017
Btw, you can watch snippets from this day on my first "vlog" hehe:
Btw, you can watch snippets from this day on my first "vlog" hehe: