Alternative Korea Itinerary for the Seoul Nth Timers (Day 0)


Everything was set for my final trip of the year, a ten-day, pure Tokyo autumn travel mid November.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly, I received an email from Cebu Pacific Air-JG Summit Holdings Inc-Korea Tourism Organization inviting me to a "Ladies Special" Seoul tour! Sumobrang excited and super G ako for this, especially when I found out that I will be with my blog sister Paxie! Sobrang swerte ng feeling! We were both freaking out on Viber, gushing over this sudden trip! Just months prior, we were even dreaming of a Busan ala Bromance (Jisoo-Nam Joo Hyuk) trip next year, and now we're finally going to Korea together!




This is my 5th time in Korea (adik lang haha), but hindi pa ako nagsasawa at all. Ang daming beses ko nadin narinig "Korea nanaman?" from friends and acquaintances, hahaha, but minsan gusto ko nalang sagutin ng, "Oo, Korea parin!" 😂 If, like me, you're on your way back to the city of oppas and kimchi, and have done all touristy activities + visited all your favorite Kdrama shooting locations (hahaha), here are other activities that you might want to consider when you go back to Seoul ... Best experienced, of course, with your girl besties!

Posing before checking-in my new favorite American Tourister XL hardshell luggage!

All-girls tour: Me, Pax, Nikki, Raiza, Anna, Marielle, Mimi, Sarah, Ruth, Ila, Aileen, and Ms. Len:

Cebu Pacific flies from Manila to Incheon daily, with recent improvement in capacity of its flights from previous A320 aircraft to now A330. This upgraded service means more Filipinos can now fly to South Korea at the lowest fares possible! Check out http://cebupacificair.com.

Seatmates with Pax and Nikki:

Reading Smile Magazine when our pre-ordered meals were served:

I had the filling Pancit Bam-I Guisado + C2: 

Flight from Manila to Seoul is around 4 hours. I was busy with my book and music, we were there in no time. Thank you Cebu Pacific for taking us to Korea safely and on-time!

We arrived in Incheon at around midnight, and since Seoul is still a few hours away from the airport, we were booked in a nearby hotel (Western International Hotel) for a night so we can rest right away. Thank you so much organizers for even considering this! Actually, for this whole trip, this commute/guesthouse-girl felt so spoiled! Haha!


With my roomie Paxie!

Ahhh.. Spicy Korean Noodles, NamLee bottle of tea (bought it for the packaging), and strawberry Yakult before calling it a night:

If you're wondering where we stayed for the rest of the trip, it's in L7 Hotels, a property of popular Lotte group in Korea. The hotel is strategically located in Myeongdong, just walking distance to all the beauty stores and street food stalls, and even the subway!


Our room also has a nice view of the Namsan Tower! If I'll be checking in a hotel on my next Korea trip (and not in my usual guesthouse hehe), I will recommend L7 Hotels. They have very hip interiors, good location, and breakfast is great, too!


So here's my list of other things that you can do on your second or third (or nth!) visit to South Korea. Feel free to add more to this list on the comment box below!

1) Everland Resort

I know, first timers usually have this one on their itinerary already but it doesn't hurt to go back again and again in Everland Resort, especially if it's in another season! The tulip garden that they had last spring 2016 was replaced with a garden of browns and reds, it's as if I haven't been here before! I also realized that I only rode the T-Express on my first Everland because of the long lines, so a second to third visit is a must if you want to try the other cray rides in this theme park!




Team Wild Rides: Post-Hurricane with Raiza, Nikki, and Paxie!

Availed Everland's Halloween-themed food for lunch! Ang cute nun bread fingers! 😅


Heading to Everland with the gang? Check out this convenient private van transfer from Everland to Seoul and back! The site also sells discounted Everland Resort tickets (40% off on your passes).

2) Suwan Hwaseong Fortress

If you've been to Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Bukchon Hanok Village, the Suwan Hwaseong Fortress is another option for your Korea historical tour. A UNESCO World Heritage, the structure was also built during the Joseon Dynasty to show King Jeongjo economic power. Other than that, several scenes from Moonlight Drawn By Clouds was shot somewhere in this vicinity (including Crown Prince's Boombastic teaser dance vid!).




Want to go on a Kdrama Tour? Check out this Korean Drama tour package which includes locations from Goblin, My Love From Another Star, The Heirs, etc.

3) Stores inside DDP

Most people just take photos of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza's grand structure from the outside, or the thousands of LED roses at night. But when you enter the building, you will discover several local stores in DDP, including Kakao Friends and a SUM SM Town store. So much kyeopta! Prepare your shopping money if you're a fan.








4) Make Your Own Perfume at Aromind

I love workshops because best in participation talaga ako hahaha, so when I learned that we're creating our own perfume in Seoul, I was so excited! May Made-In-Korea nako agad na product! 😂

True enough, I learned a lot from our Aromind workshop, and felt as if I was back in my chemistry class. We distinguished different scents, learned about the different notes and bases in creating a perfume, and measured and poured to create a scent that's uniquely our own! We even chose our own packaging, kakakilig! I enjoyed this session a lot!



Trying to determine which one best suits my taste. I usually lean towards masculine and musky scents, some of my faves are CK One and Two and the popular D&G Blue. Our teacher kept on describing my choices as "Sexy", awuw! Haha!

 My own perfume! It comes with a box, a regular sized bottle, and even a sample spritzer that I can bring around during travels. Workshop price per head is 60,000 Won, no minimum students required.


Aromind is located in Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul. Reserve a slot for a class on your next trip to Seoul by messaging them on their Facebook page.

5) K-Style Hub

In all the times I've been to Korea, I have never heard of K-Style Hub, so I'm glad I discovered them! I highly recommend this place whether you're a Seoul first or nth timer because they have bits and pieces of Korean culture in one building. Best part, most of the activities are for free! Enjoy K-Pop photo ops, medicinal Korean tea, wear a hanbok (traditional Korean costume), and participate in Korean arts and crafts or food sessions. Avail this hub of all things Korean, and instantly immerse yourself in their rich culture.


With Annacay and Paxie with our cups of medicinal tea that's best suited for our health:

Joongki standee:

I want to go and watch the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics!!!

Anything free, avail na! Try on a pretty hanbok and hold a mini photo shoot:

With the unnies at the interactive section of K-Style Hub:

K-Style Hub is located in 40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. To commute, take the subway to either Jonggak Station (Exit 5) or Euljiro 1 (il)-ga Station (Exit 2).

6) Tongin Market

Another interesting experience I had in the Ladies Tour is a food trip in Tongin Market, a 1941 public market created for nearby Japanese residents back in the day. The 75 shops are mostly food stalls, but there are also groceries and other stores selling wearable goods.

The interesting part in eating in Tongin Market is the use of old Korean currency. Go to the center of the marketplace at the Customer Service and pay for a tray and a string of coins which you can only use in some stalls in the market. Just ask how many coins needed for certain foods and drinks. Was really full after stuffing myself with all the fried cheese!




Tongin Market is located in 10-3 Tongin-dong Jongno-gu Seoul. To commute, ride the subway till Gyeongbokgung Station (Exit 2), and walk straight from the exit. Tongin Market is on your left.

7) Innisfree Green Cafe

Fall in love with Innisfree beyond their face masks and serums!

Need a break from all the beauty shopping and street food snacking in Myeongdong? Check out Innisfree Green Cafe! They have the beauty shop at the first level, and the cafe on the 2nd and 3rd floor. You can even leave your stuff in a locker / luggage storage on the 4th floor so you can conveniently shop some more!



They even have an Innisfree VR (featuring oppa Lee Min Ho!) and a station where you can make your own eco-phone speaker for free! We had pretty foods + equally pretty drinks from tea to coffee to juice. Everything's so interactive and aesthetically pleasing, I am in love with Innisfree even more!

Innisfree Green Cafe is located in 15 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. To commute, take the subway till Euljiro 1-ga Station (Exit 5), and walk straight till you reach Myeongdong. Innisfree is a huge store you won't miss it!

8) Korean Food Trip!

Some of the best convos we had during the trip were shared over legit Korean food! Will write more and post more photos on these restaurants, but for now, here's the list of restos where we dined during the trip:

Palsaek Samgyeopsal
18, Baekbeom-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Sinchon Station (Exit 6).
Walk straight along Baekbeom-ro, Palsaek Samgyeopsal is across the street.

Bongchu Jjimdak
33-9, Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Right next to Innisfree in Myeongdong

Dookki Tteokbokki Buffet
Jonggak Station, Seoul

Nature Kitchen
Jamsil Homeplus, Near Lotte World

Dal.Komm
See http://www.dalkomm.com/english/ for the different branches





9) Grevin Museum

Unlike other wax museums I've been to, Grevin Museum in Seoul has other interactive activities where you just have to swipe your ticket's barcode to avail. They have a "Create Your Own Wax Image" section, a quiz section, and even wax figures of Korean celebs such as Park Shin Hye, G-Dragon, Psy, Kim Soo Hyun, and Lee Min Ho! Check out this link for discounted passes.





Grevin Museum is located in 23, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul.
To commute, take the City Hall Station (Exit 5) and walk for 5 minutes, or the Euljiro 1-ga Station (Exit 1-1) and walk for 1 minute.

10) MDB Nails

Services in other countries are a bit expensive compared to ours, so I think it's also an experience to have a haircut or have your nails done during a trip--well, especially when it's Korea! I never thought of staying long in one place when I am in Seoul, but on this trip, I had a pamper and beautifying time with the ladies as part of the itinerary!

Our group was divided into two, I was sent to MDB Nails (Maison de Beaute) or @mdbkorea on Instagram. They are located in Gangnam, and offer several nail, waxing, and eyelash services. I was able to try their gel polish. We were seated in massage chairs for the whole session, and the nail cleaning is entirely different from how we have it here in Manila. Most clippings uses machine, paka hightech! Service is fast, and quality of nail art is also superb!





To find out more about MDB Nails, please do like them on FACEBOOK.

11) Pamper Day at Sulwhasoo Spa

Getting a massage in a country addicted to beauty and wellness? CHECK! Our group went to Sulwhasoo SPA Flagship Store in Gangnam to experience either a facial or a body massage. I picked the latter, which felt so so good after all the walkathons that come when you're traveling!

Sulwhasoo is actually popular for their skincare, especially their ginseng cream. It's nice to get pampered in a spa and at the same time experience their products. The whole building is also beautiful, aesthetics level 100 with all the gold metal rods accenting the whole building from the inside-out. You also get to try their product range in some of the floors, or hangout on their rooftop while drinking hot tea. A must for those who want a relaxing time on their vacation in Seoul, I honestly felt like a queen the whole time!!






Sulwhasoo Spa is located in 18, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

12) Osulloc Green Tea Break

Not a part of our itinerary, but something I'd like to share here! I first tried Osulloc when I went to Jeju last year, as this is one of their major products (green tea). They have a whole plantation there! In Seoul, you can visit the Osulloc Tea House in Myeongdong for a hot matcha latte and a slice of matcha cake. Something different and healthy on your coffee break! Met my high school friend Marj here (she lives in Korea) for a short Seoul catch-up!




Osulloc Tea House is located in 12, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul.

13) Pojangmacha (Soju Tent)

In my past Korea trips, I was usually alone so it's a bit dyahe to dine in a soju tent. Lahat triny ko down to their bath house, but I can't seem to find myself entering a busy, locals-filled pojangmacha. So finally for this trip, Pax and I decided to try it together... Just like in our fave Kdramas!

True enough, it is hard to order food in a pojangmacha since menus are all in Korean, and I am a vegetarian. So we just picked the one that looks like tofu with kimchi, haha! They also served LOTS of side dishes that looks like one meal already (clams in soup, etc). Of course, we also shared one bottle of classic soju! Sobrang perfect, felt warm even with Seoul's cool autumn weather. We walked around the streets of Myeongdong back to our hotel room, watched the closing of the shops, and felt hashtag-blessed to just be there!



14) Seoul Sky Tower

I didn't know about this, but Lotte World has a sky tower! If you're one who loves to see the city view and take photos of buildings and streets from bird's viewpoint, check out the one Lotte World Tower offers! They are the world's FIFTH tallest building, so their panoramic observatory looks great whether during the day or night. They also hold the record of highest glass-floored observatory in the world. Even the animation from the elevator as you go up 600m per minute is cool!




Lotte World Seoul Sky Tower is located in 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul. 
To commute here, just go down Jamsil Station, Exit 1, 2, 10, or 11.

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Ahhh Seoul!!! I don't think I'll ever get tired of you! Will this be my last SoKor trip? Definitely not! Still on my list is Busan, go back and explore more of Jeju, check out Daegu, and tour more Kdrama sites from the recent ones I just watched (Reply 1988, Bride of Habaek, While You Were Sleeping, etc). And yes, the winter olympics! I'd also love to hangout in Hangang Park or even camp by the Han River with my friends, and just people watch while eating a hot bowl of spicy ramyeun and veggie gimbap! That's the dream! ★ Ahh, there's still so much to see, Korea!

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Special thanks to Korea Tourism Organization, Cebu Pacific Philippines and Korea, JG Summit Holdings Inc., and Stratworks Inc. for having me in this tour and for extra taking care of us! I always say this and can never stress this enough, but I've never felt so spoiled in a Korea trip till this one, haha! Thank you, thank you, kamsahamnida!


.... To be continued. ❤❤❤
 



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