Winter 2018 Seoul: 8-Layer Seafood Tower

Just recently, I returned to South Korea with my friends to experience the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. The reason for this is because Winter Olympic events are usually far from my country, like Vancouver and Sochi, so we’re taking advantage of it being near. Anyway, as part of our side-trips, we decided to try the 8-layer seafood tower near Bongcheon station (green line).


Ron, Sid, me, and Rae-Ann at Infinite Grilled Shellfish Restaurant (March 1, 2018)

We found out about this when Ron suggested to come here after he saw this blog post from Happiebb ( I’d like to thank her for sharing this online, otherwise we wouldn’t have experience this. The post was dated May 2015, so there were already changes when we went there. Thus, I decided to write my own post as a reference for those interested.

Seafood Resto

Infinite Grilled Shellfish Restaurant (Credits to

The restaurant’s name is 무한조개구이까까 (muhanjogaegu-ikkakka). It means “Infinite Shellfish Grilled” in English. It gained it’s popularity after it was featured in a KBS show called 생생정보통 (Live Info Show), where their 9-layer steamed steamed shells dish (9단조개찜 pronounced as ku-dan-jo-gaej-jim) was shown.


Live Info Show featuring the 9-layer steamed seafood tower. (Credits to

According to the blog post, the 9-layer seafood tower can feed five to eight people. We were a party of 4 and only ordered the 8-layer one. We were only supposed to buy the 5-layer tower, but we wanted the cheese scallops so we opted for 8 layers instead. It’s important to note that you can’t choose which layers you want to have. The layers are pre-selected. So, if you want to eat a specific layer that’s in the later part of the line-up, you have to buy the package. You can go as low as 3 layers to as high as 9 layers.

So, what’s in the 8-layer tower? Here’s a run-down of what we ate plus pictures!

Layer 1

Layer 1: Cuttlefish, soondae, steamed dumpling

Layer 2

Layer 2: Pen shell (Kidney scallop)

Layer 3

Layer 3: Mixed shell

Layer 4

Layer 4: Oyster

Layer 5

Layer 5: Scallops with Cheese

Layer 6

Layer 6: Clams

Layer 7

Layer 7: Conch and Eggs

Layer 8

Layer 8: Seafood Soup (Note: This is mild spicy. I’m not fond of spicy food but this level of spicy is okay for me).

A tip from us: If you’re a party of 4-6 people, you don’t need to order rice. The seafood tower is enough to make your tummies full.

Some of the prices of the dishes have changed since 2015. Here’s a shot of the 2018 menu:

Menu In English:

무듬조개찜3단 (mudeumjogaejjim sam(3) dan) – 3 Stages of Mussel – KRW 39,000/ USD 37/ PHP 1,905

무듬조개찜4단 (mudeumjogaejjim sa(4) dan) – 4 Stages of Mussel – KRW 49,000/ USD 46/ PHP 2,400

무듬조개찜5단 (mudeumjogaejjim mu(5) dan) – 5 Stages of Mussel – KRW 59,000/ USD 56/ PHP 2,880

무듬조개찜8단 (mudeumjogaejjim pal(8) dan) – 8 Stages of Mussel – KRW 75,000/ USD 71/ PHP 3,660 – In the 2015 post by Happiebb, this was the price for the 9-layer tower.

무듬조개찜5단 (mudeumjogaejjim gu(9) dan) – 9 Stages of Mussel – KRW 88,000/ USD 83/ PHP 4,300

모듬조개찜스페셜8단 (modeumjogaejjim seupesyeol pal(8) dan) – 8 Stages of Mussel Special – KRW 100,000/ USD 94/ PHP 4,880

모듬조개찜스페셜9단 (modeumjogaejjim seupesyeol gu(9) dan) – 9 Stages of Mussel Special – KRW 110,000/ USD 103/ PHP 5,370

*For the special, I think they change one of the layers to prawns. I’m not sure which layer gets replaced.

How to go there:

The restaurant was quite easy to find but some of the landmarks we were looking for in Happiebb’s post were not there anymore. I’ve updated the map and instructions for easier reference.



Map Seafood

924-40, Bongcheon-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Korea
주소: 서울시 관악구 봉천동 924-40
Tel: +82-2-876-8687
** Only walk-ins. No reservation.
(Mon – Sat) 4pm till late (We left about 11pm when we went there.)
(Sun) 3pm till late


How I Toured Central Europe for less than Php 35,000.00

When you hear someone going on a trip to Europe, the top-of-mind cities are always Paris, Rome, and London. I guess it’s media’s influence that made these cities so desirable – in movies, series, books, among other things. So when I was planning for my Europe trip, I was choosing between two things, visit these popular tourist destinations OR go for a cultural route (and visit family).

Though it was a tough decision, I chose the later. Here are the reasons why:

  • Rome and Paris also had cultural/historical sites. Admittedly, the expenses and lodging were more expensive than Central Europe when I was doing the costing. London, BTW, needs a different visa. For me, it’s more ideal to have a separate trip for London/England if the vacation time is short.
  • Another reason why I chose this route is because of my background in music. During college, I was part of a chorale group and I wanted to see the places where esteemed musicians came from.
  • Lastly, It’s easy to travel around Central Europe. Countries are an hour or two apart and you can visit a lot of places even if you have a limited stay.


You can start your journey from a city in the north, then move towards the south. My entry point was Copenhagen, as the Denmark part of my trip was sponsored by Arla, a dairy cooperative there (more on this later).

Afterwards, I moved to Vienna (Austria), the center of my trip. Since Vienna’s position is strategic, I left my things there during the day, traveled to different place, and came back at night. It was easier for me to do it this way since I didn’t want to carry luggage in every destination. It slows you down. I was able to see Salzburg (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), and Budapest (Hungary) on day trips instead of staying overnight.

It depends on you if you want to follow what I did or have your lodging at a every city you visit. When I was budgeting, I computed for both options. I remember that staying at destination was a little cheaper than what I did, but the gap was not significant. In the end I chose the convenient option.

The last places I visited were Prague (Czech Republic) and Berlin (Germany). I headed back to the north as my return flight was from Copenhagen as well.

Places Visited

Aarhus and Holstebro

I started my European Tour in Denmark. After arriving at Copenhagen Airport, our team went straight to Aarhus, where the Arla HQ was located. We learned that Arla was a full-blown cooperative, where the farmers own the shares and has a say on how things are run. It’s very different from the setup in our country where farmers are suppliers to big corporations.

We also visited a farm called Faregard in Holstebro, about 1-2 hours drive from Aarhus. There we met a Birtit and Rasmus, a mother and son tandem who run a dairy farm. We had a chance to milk cows (Yey!), and learned how they keep producing high quality dairy in their farm. Did you know that when a cow moos, it’s a sign of stress? The farm was very quiet, and the cows seldom moos because they’re living comfortably.

We were also able to visit the Arla factory, where we saw how cream cheese and Lurpak (the best butter in the world) are made. At the end of the educational tour, we had a chance to taste all the flavors of cream cheese that they have. My favorites were tomato and lactose free. Curry was good too!

You can read more about Arla and our adventures in Aarhus, Denmark at Cheryl Tiu’s blog: Getting To Know Arla Dairy In Denmark– Did You Know The Company Is Owned By The Farmers?


Den Gamle By (Old Town), Aarhus, Denmark (Credits:

On our last day at Aarhus, we were able to tour Den Gamle By, Aarhus’ old town. It’s an open-air museum showcasing town life in Denmark. There are 75 historical buildings there collected from different parts of the country. These buildings were from different periods, as early as 1550 to the late 19th century. When I was there, I kept thinking this looked like a set from Beauty and the Beast (animated movie). Hahaha

I had a blast during our short stay in Copenhagen. After checkin-in at our hotel, we headed to Tivoli Garden, an amusement park in the middle of the city. It’s known as the one of the oldest theme parks ever built in the world. We also took the Copenhagen Canal tour where you get to see the city via boat. You’ll pass by historical landmarks and the famous Little Mermaid.

Vienna is probably the city I enjoyed the most. Not only because my family is there, but everything is just so picturesque and beautiful. Must visits are Belvedere, Schonbrunn Palace, Rathaus, and Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel). Transportation is also very efficient. In my opinion, they have one of the best transpot systems in the world (Seoul is still my best bet).

I also got to see the Wiener Alpen (Schneebergbahn), it’s a 1-hour drive from the city. You can get to the top of the mountain by riding the Salamander train. It has an awesome view and a great attraction to visit. I noticed that families visit this place for a weekend picnic. You can bring your own food or buy food and beer at the restaurant on the mountain. This part of my trip is not included in my costings since my uncle covered the expenses.

Salzburg is a must visit if you are into classical music. It’s known as the shooting location for the movie, The Sound of Music, and it’s also the birthplace of Mozart. Tip: buy a ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus, it really makes the experience convenient. Attractions are far from each other and commuting will be expensive. Also, if you really want to enjoy this place, stay for 2 days. A day here is not enough. Best time to visit is Spring.

Old town Bratislava is great because it’s compact and fun. You will see a lot of statues doing funny poses as you roam the area. Food here is really great. We were able to find a good restaurant in old town and enjoyed Slovakian cuisine.

I think the best and most tiring experience in Bratislava is visiting the castle. It rests on top of a hill which you need to climb for a good 20-minutes. I sweat this castle is worth every sweat. It’s so majestic that it’s my favorite castle. Yes, I liked it better than the ones I saw in Denmark and Austria.

Budapest also a good place to visit. The best view is of course, at the Budapest castle, where you’ll be able to see “Buda” and “Pest” which is separated by the river. I was a bit confused by the transport system, since the city runs on mostly trams. I prefer trains, since it’s easier to map your way through a city through subway. But important places were visited, so it’s okay.

If you go to Budapest, you have to visit the cathedral. When I entered, I was awestrucked (Yes, this is not a real word) when I saw the interior. It’s the most beautiful church I’ve seen. Also, I went up the cathedral observatory where you ride an elevator to the top of the church’s roof terrace and you can see a view of the city. There’s a fee for this, about 5 Euros or less.

I cannot stress how beautiful Prague is. A visit here should be at least 2 days. Transportation was easy, since my hostel was at the old town, near Charles Bridge. There are a lot of events and museums around that can be enjoyed.

This is where I first experienced a free walking tour. I got a flyer from my hostel front desk and just decided to join the tour in the morning. You’ll learn about the city’s history, culture, and roam around the old town during the 2-hour tour. I wasn’t tiring at all because we stopped every time we were somewhere important. I didn’t take a lot of pictures during the tour as it has sensitive parts where things stories about the world war was covered. Out of respect, I decided not to take photos.

Also a must visit is the Petrin Tower, their replica of the Eiffel Tower. It was small, but since I like going to Eiffel Tower replicas, I just had to go there.

I didn’t have much time to explore Berlin, as I only had half a day to spend there. I had an early bus ride back to Copenhagen. Never the less, I still enjoyed the this short stop. Of course, a visit in Berlin is not complete without seeing the Brandenburg gate. Aside from that, I just wandered around its vicinity.

Spent most of my time in Madame Tussauds wax museum. The highlight of this stop for me is seeing the One Direction wax figures and Star Wars exhibit. The geek in me was so happy.


I’m a bit iffy to share the planning costings I used because it’s been a long time since the trip and I had to recreate this from memory. I have my hotel bookings and bus ticket prices in tact, but i lost my day-pass tickets and food receipts. What I have here are just estimates.

For food, I generally go to groceries. Sometimes I try restaurant food but only when I really, really want to. A friend of mine spent Php 8,000 for 8 days in Italy and toured 12 cities. He was able to do so by planning carefully and saving-up on food by eating fruits and veggies. He was able to find a vegetarian pizza there too!

For city transportation, the ticket price and duration vary per city. Some cities offer 3-day and 24h passes. Some only offer a day pass which expires at a certain time, not 24h usage (this is Berlin, BTW). Budapest offers a group ticket, which is cheaper than buying individual ones. The most pricey ticket I bought is in Berlin (7 Euros), so I guess it’s safe to allocate that amount per day.

I actually spent about 25% less than than my estimated budget. During my trip, there were impromptu decisions/changes I did. I also didn’t spend much of my miscellaneous and food budget since I go to groceries for food and didn’t buy a lot of souvenirs.

You may download my estimated planning budget here: Europe Costings

Travel Tips

Here are other things I learned while planning and during my trip to Europe. Hope these little details will be of help to you as well. 🙂

  • Water – During my trip from Copenhagen to Vienna, there was a stopover in Berlin. After I bought food at McDonald’s (because some things never change), I decided to stop by water for the rest of my trip as well. I just grabbed the cheapest 1 liter bottle I could find. This was a big mistake, because it turns out a lot of people there actually preferred carbonated water – which was what I bought. I didn’t know this because the label was all in German (huhuhu). My relatives explained this an told me that I should look for “Ohne” on the label. It means that it’s still water.
  • Condiments – I’m a big fan of condiments, especially ketchup. In the Philippines, you can easily ask for these for free, so it was a big shock for me to find out that you need to pay for these in Europe. Yes, you have to pay even if you ordered fries! So, to spare your change, just bring your own packets of condiments/ketchup, if you cant live without these.
  • Rice – By the end of my trip, I was pretty much craving for rice. Do you know where you should go? Your trusted fast food chain, KFC. Hahaha. They offer combo meals where you can have rice as a side dish! (Hoorah!)
  • Restrooms – It’s hard to find free-to-use restrooms in Europe, so you should always have coins ready to pay the maintenance fee.
  • Luggage – Limit your luggage to 10-15 kg. I’m serious with this one. It’s hard to drag your luggage on cobblestone streets, which is pretty much most of the old towns you’ll visit in Central Europe. If you really want to buy souvenirs, keep it at a minimum while your touring and splurge at the last stop, before checking-in at the airport. Bring a portable scale to measure your luggage and know if you can or can’t bring home anymore souvenirs.
  • Train, plane, or bus? – It depends on your priority. If you want a cheaper route, I suggest taking buses. If you want an efficient route, you can take a plane. Trains are usually the mid range, a bit more pricey than a bus, but it’s more comfortable. I used the GoEuro website to search and compare travel routes. They have prices too, and you can already book online. I mostly used Flixbus when I was traveling. I found out about it in GoEuro. To make things easier, I saved the Flixbus app and booked my tickets online. Tickets online are cheaper than the ones in the terminal. Also, the prices increase as the departure date nears, so I suggest to book them early.
  • Hotels / hostels – When applying for a visa, you need to submit hotel bookings. At first, this ruling makes no sense for me because booking costs money. Why spend money if you’re not yet sure you’re going to be granted a visa? The way around it is There are hotels/hostels here that allow free cancellations in a given time frame. You can search for hostels, budget hotels, and high-end ones here. Since my visa was approved, I didn’t need to cancel my bookings and used them during my trip.
  • Chocolates – Chocolates are generally cheap in Europe. Don’t forget to to stock-up.

That’s it! Let me know how your trip goes, okay? 🙂

Korea 2017 Day 6 : Korean Archery and K-drama at Suwon (Shoot location of Love in the Moonlight, Jewel in the Palace, and Running Man)

Started the day early again for our 6th day in South Korea because we headed for the neighboring city, Suwon.  Suwon is the capital and largest metro of the Gyeonggi-do province, which surrounds Seoul. From general knowledge, this city is not usually part of the top destinations for first-time visitors of South Korea, since you can already do a lot in Seoul.

So, what did I came here for? I first found out about Suwon in Running Man Episode two, where they visited the Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon World Cup Stadium, and World Cup Memorial. Suwon being a Running Man location was already enough reason for me to go, but I was even more convinced when I found out the location set for Jewel in the Palace and Love in the Moonlight (Moonlight Drawn by Clouds) was also found here.

Suwon’s cultural sites are pretty easy to visit as they are within the vicinity of the Hwaseong Fortress. Since we only had a day to spend here, I had to prioritize certain sites visit and took out museum stops. Before your trip to Suwon, I suggest to pin the sites you’d like to see. Then, get a map from the Tourist Information center near Exit 4 of Suwon Station that would help you get around the area.


Our first stop was the Padalmun Gate, the southern gate of Hwaseong Fortress. This is the entrance used to get inside the Fortress. You have to pass-by this area since this is also the bus stop to Hwasong Palace.


Padalmun Gate: This gate is unique as it’s the only one detached from the Fortress. The reason for this is that commerce took place around the Padalmun Gate area even before its construction, making it impossible to close the fortress in that area. (Credits: Korean Tourism Organization)

Next is the Hwaseong Haenggung (Hwaseong Palace). I wasn’t used to the word “haenggung” as all the palaces in Seoul were called “gung”, so I looked it up. Apparently, a “haenggung” is a temporary palace where the king and royal family retreated to during a war. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is the largest one of these that was used during the Joseon times.


From upper left to bottom right – Hwasong Haenggung entrance; first interior gate; martial arts painting at the side of the palace; King’s receiving area

We were lucky because we visited Hwasong Haenggung during their spring break season. We just found out that during this time, a lot of cultural places have promos or discounts for entrances to encourage people to visit. So we got in for free. Yehey!

NOTE: Our trip was from May 6-13. I guess if you want to have free entrances as well, you should go at this time. The downside of this schedule is that most likely there won’t be any cherry blossoms anymore as spring is already transitioning to summer.


What I like about Hwaseong Haenggung is that they used the palace as a museum to show court life in the past. You’ll see lifesize figures of a queen being served, the king at his study, scholars studying, and kitchen staff.


From upper left to bottom right: King’s stamp/seal – You’ll get to experience how to use the king’s seal; Memorial banquet – this is what they cook for memorial services; A diorama of a palace celebration; And the king’s throne.

Hwaseong Haenggung might be familiar for K-drama fans, as it is the filming location for the popular Korean period drama, “Jewel in the Palace”. Recently, it was also used by KBS to film the promotional video of “Love in the Moonlight” (also known as “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”). It’s the one where Park Bo Gum was dancing to tune of “Boombastic”.


Took a picture with Jang Geum and captain of Jewel in the Palace.


This is where Park Bo Gum danced Boombastic for his Love in the Moonlight (Moonlight Drawn by Clouds) promo video.

Next, we visited the Yeonmudae Post at the edge of Hwaseong Fortress. It’s another Running Man location (hahaha), but aside from that, I wanted to go here because they had the Korean archery experience (Gakgung).


Me, preparing for my archery lesson.

I recently watched the Korean drama, Hwarang, so this attraction is something I really wanted to try. I was really excited because the you only need to pay 2,000 KRW (Php 90-100) for a 30 minute lesson. You’ll have to set a schedule on-site. They only have a few slots per session. The lesson was short and after which, you get to shoot 10 arrows. I hit the target 3 times! (Yeah!)


Information and timeslots of Korean archery (Gakgung) experience


Hwaseong Fortress and Yeonmudae post that was featured in Running Man episode 2.

Before going home, we stopped by Suwon Stadium. This is also a Running Man location, a very famous one. Got to go inside as the entrance was open. There were staff cleaning the stadium and setting up goal posts. Preparations were being done for the FIFA U-20 World Cup that’s being hosted by South Korea this year from May 20 – June 11, 2017. Suwon Stadium is their largest stadium with a capacity of 42 thousand.


Suwon Statdium being prepared for the upcoming FIFA U-20.


Outside Suwon Stadium

That’s it for day 6. Annyeong! 🙂

5 Easy Steps to Renew your Philippine Passport

The Next Five Years

The Next Five Years

The requirement for travelling overseas is to have a passport. Whether it’s for vacation, business, or overseas work, you have to have a passport to be able to leave the country.

I’ve renewed my passport in 2011 using DFA’s electronic process. I did my research, followed the instructions on the DFA website, and got my passport renewed. I repeated the same process earlier this year and had no trouble.

When I had it renewed last March 2015, I was surprised that a lot of people are still confused with the process. Some just go to DFA, expecting that they can renew their passport within the day like the old times. I wasn’t expecting this because the system’s already in place for a couple of years and people should be informed by now.

So, to help others understand this process better (and also to guide me in my next passport renewal in a few years.. haha), I’ve decided to write this post. May this serve as a guide for a fast and stress free passport renewal!

1) Set your appointment online!

Ahhh, yes. The first step is to set your DFA appointment online. This is the most important step. Do not go to DFA or any of their satellite offices without an appointment. Your day will just be wasted because they do not allow walk-ins. I REPEAT. THEY DO NOT ALLOW WALK-INS.

Reminder: Confirmed appointment is a requirement for applying and renewal of passport. The DFA will not entertain applicants without valid appointments EXCEPT senior citizens, infants and minors below 1 year old, person with disability and OFWs. For OFWs, sufficient proof must be submitted such as a valid employment contract or OEC. (Source: DFA Passport Appointment Website) 

To set an appointment, you have to go to the DFA Passport Appointment website (, answer the  the online form, choose the DFA office and the convenient date and time for your appointment.

DFA will send you an email afterwards. You have to confirm your appointment by clicking the link within the email. They will also send you a pdf of your passport renewal for and appointment letter that you have to bring on the date of your appointment.


  • Schedule your appointment in the early morning slots, around 7:30am – 8:30am because the line is tolerable during that time. Plus, it’s not so hot when you line up outside the building.
  • Before scheduling an appointment, check your documents and see which requirements you still need to acquire. Take note of the timelines in acquiring those documents before you choose a date. Make sure you can complete the requirements prior to your appointment date. 
  • Don’t cram. Schedule your passport renewal months before your travel date. The earliest schedules available on the site are most likely 3-6 weeks away. If you add the processing period, all in all, the whole process including release and delivery takes about 10-12 weeks. Therefore, you cannot cram.

When I had to print a document I forgot during my appointment date, I noticed some OFWs were being conned by a travel agency in the building in front of DFA Aseana. They were paying the agency to book them an appointment which costs them about Php 300-500 (I don’t remember the exact amount).

These people were rushing and thought that the agency has connections which will allow them to do walk-in processing asap. However, these were just regular appointments with no special treatment and have the same waiting time as others who have booked the appointment at home. You can do this at home for free, guys. Do not be fooled.

2) Prepare your documents.

Once you have an appointment, you have to prepare all the documents needed for the renewal.

If you have a Machine Readable Passport (MRP) like me, you need to bring the original e-passport and photocopy of first (data page) and last page of passport. In addition to this, you need to bring a printed appointment letter and form, at least one (1) government-issued ID, and at least three (3) supporting documents.

The requirements vary depending on the latest passport you hold (i.e. brown and green passport (1995), MRP passport (2007)) and your status/circumstances (there additional requirements needed for married women, minors, Muslim applicants, and DOST scholars). Next time I renew, I’ll have an e-passport already, and will only need a photocopy of the data page as an additional requirement.

More details on the requirements can be read here:

Note: No need submit a passport size photo. Your photo will be taken on-site.

3) Show-up on your appointment date.

You need to be on site at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. If you have an afternoon schedule, there would be a long line. Which is why I recommend to have your appointment in the morning.

4) Go through the renewal process.

Since I had my appointment in the morning, processing was a breeze. I underwent the document checking, payment, and picture-taking in about an hour and a half. I don’t know how long the process takes if you have a later schedule. Maybe 2-4 hours max.

5) Pick-up your passport or have it delivered at home.

The last step, of course, is getting your new passport. I recommend to have it delivered at home to save time and vacation leaves (if you’re working) just to pick-it up. Delivery is less than Php 150 the time I renewed, so it’s pretty affordable. Just indicate that you want it delivered in the form and pay the delivery fee before you exit the office. It will be the last step.

If you still wish to pick-up the passport yourself, that’s up to you. They’ll inform you when it’s ready as they don’t have an exact timeline for this process.

That’s it! Hope this post would help you. Don’t forget to book your appointment months before your travel and have it in the morning for a less stressful experience. 🙂

It’s SEOUL Coming Back to Me Now


Surprisingly, or not, I was able to come back to Seoul after a year. However, I was still not able to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom (as this is my ultimate Korea goal). 😦 But, I was able to visit more places this time! Horrah! 😀

So, if last year, I was able to visit Seoul during the Winter-Spring transition, this year, I came during the Spring-Summer transition. (When will I be able to arrive at the middle of a season? Sigh..) The weather was quite great. It wasn’t too cold or too hot, an average of 18 degrees Celsius.  AND it didn’t rain, like my last visit.

Now, without further ado, here are the places I went to on my second visit to Korea.


1) Petite France

The first area I went to is a village called Petite France. It wasn’t in my itinerary last year because I didn’t know about it. Haha.

It’s located near Cheongpyeong Dam and it’s usually included in bus tours as you will pass by here on the way to Nami Island. The last time I went to Korea, I took the subway and a local bus so wasn’t able to go here.

The village is inspired by The Little Prince and the French culture, and is popular as this had been shoot places of Korean Dramas such as “Beethoven Virus”, “Secret Garden” and “Man from the Stars” The kissing scene.. haha).

For more info, visit this: KTO – Petite France

Entrance of Petite France and the Eiffel Tower

Entrance of Petite France and the Eiffel Tower

More of Petite France

More of Petite France: (From top left) Main houses in Petite France with Man From the Stars photo stands; An antique shop; Little boy; The Ampitheatre, where puppet shows are held; And me with The Little Prince.

I’m really happy that this was in the itinerary since I’m dreamed of going to France since forever. This gives me a little taste of it. 🙂


2) Nami Island

Next, of course is the very popular Nami Island. This is also famous due to it’s exposure in the Korean Drama, Winter Sonata. Nami is a place for families, friends, and lovers (case in point, Winter Sonata), as it has facilities for camping, picnics, and water sports. For me, this place is best visited in Spring time where the weather is perfect and flower-bearing trees are in full bloom.

For more info, visit: KTO – Nami Island

Nami Island: (From top left)

Nami Island: (From top left) Ferry boat and Nami Port; Blueberry Ice Cream (must try); Entrance of Nami Island; Korean Barbecue for lunch; Me and the snowmen; Korean BBQ being cooked; Nami trees in summer; Selfie with Mervi, Sev, and Vix; Riverline Port (going to Nami)


3) Namsan Tower

Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower is radio transmission tower for several Korean networks. It was completed in 1971 but was only opened to the public in the 1980’s. It’ considered as a landmark of South Korea and you will often see it and dramas too many to mention. 😛

You can get here in two, ways. First, you ride a bus and they drop you off near the tower. Warning: you have to climb a long inclined plane which is okay if you’re althletic and young. Second, you take a cable car. You still have to climb but you can use steps can sit when you’re tired. My recommendation is to take the cable car because I’ve tried the first one this year, and I wasn’t happy about it.

Anyway, some of the sites here at Namsan Tower are Love and Locks and the observatory. I don’t have pictures of L&L this year as I had tons of it already from last time, but I finally got to go to the observatory and took some pictures.

Namsan Tower

Namsan Tower: (From left)

Unfortunately, the Teddy Bear Museum at Namsan tower has already closed. I visited it last year so it was fine, but f you’re a Goong  (Princess Hours) fan, it’s a must visit. Not to worry, there’s another one in Jeju Island.

Here’s a tip: If’ you’re not on a paid tour, visit Namsan Tower on a Monday as all the tours are off that day. Some friends of mine weren’t able to get in on other days because of the volume of people visiting the place. Last time I went, it was a Monday and there was no crowd.


4) Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

The DMZ is the buffer zone or the border barrier between North Korea and South Korea. Tough this was included in the itinerary last year, we skipped this because there was a threat from NK during the time we went.

I got to visit the 3rd tunnel via monorail. It’s a tunnel dug by the NK to invade SK, but it was discovered. I also got a change to have a glimpse of NK through the telescopes at the viewing zones. It costs 500 Won.


DMZ: (From top left) Me inside the monorail; Viewing zone; The 3rd Tunnel, FIFA Ball from the Korea-Japan World Cup; Viewing Zone entrance


5) Han River Cruise

This is one of the places I enjoyed the most because it’s the best way to see the colors of Seoul at night.  Aside from that, I got to ride the cruise I’ve been seeing in Kdramas for so long. Haha.

If you want to experience this too, I suggest you go here around 5:00pm to buy the tickets. The cruise starts around 5:30 or 6:00pm and will last about an hour.

Han River Cruise: (From top left) Bus mates group picture; Me at the Han River Cruise; Night view of the cruise; Yeouido business district

Han River Cruise: (From top left) Bus mates group picture; Me at the Han River Cruise; Night view of the cruise; Yeouido business district

For first time Seoul tourists, I suggest that you go to the Han River at night to see the colorful lights display. But if you’re a picnic kind of person, you might want to visit during the day.


6) Myeondong and Insadong

After the cruising and giving snowmen warm hugs at Yeouido, I went food tripping and shopping at Myeondong and Insadong.

So here’s the deal..

Myeondong is the shopping district. For those who enjoy splurging, this is the place to go. This is also a GREAT place to go food-tripping. The best street-foods are found here.

Insadong, is an arts and antique street. This is my favorite place in Seoul because the crafts you will find here are really interesting and unique. You can also shop here but there are more to choose from in Myeondong.

(From the left) Giving a warm hug; Pictures of with vendors; Shabu-shabu buffet place (forgot where)

Insadong Street


Teastory: A tea museum we found on Insadong Street


7) Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main palace of the Joseon dynasty. This is where the king’s throne was located and also the place where the royal family resided. You might have seen this if you watched Goong. I was a die-hard fan so I was really happy to be able to tour this place.

Last time I went, it was raining and it was so cold so I was only able to tour the throne and the garden. This time, some parts of the palace is being renovated. What’s good about this is that I was able to enter a different entrance and I was able to see more parts of the palace, especially the royal residences. I was also able to watch the guard-changing ceremony which usually happens in the morning.

Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds


Open hallways; Guard-changing ceremony


8) The Bibap Musical

This is one of the funniest shows I’ve watched. I swear that this is worth it. Don’t worry, it’s a non-verbal performance so you would understand it. But better book a ticket on the English version so that the songs would be English.


Bibap Musical


Below is a sample video of the show.


9) Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MoCA)

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul is relatively new as it just opened in late 2013. There you could find interesting installments in different mediums featuring both traditional and contemporary art. Below are some pictures of my favorite installment, Home Within Home by Do Hu Suh.


Home Within Home

If you plan to visit MoCA, I suggest that you allot around half a day to tour it. The place is really big and some installations are interactive so you might lose track of time, just like me. Haha. It’s easy to find as it is near Gyeongbokgung Palace. However, there is a minimal entrance fee as this is a private museum.


10) Trick-Eye Museum

This is one of the places Filipinos would definitely enjoy since we just love to take pictures, don’t we?

The Trickeye Museum is an art gallery with paintings created using ‘trompe l’oeil’ techniques that give each 2D art piece the illusion of being in 3D. So instead of merely viewing paintings (as in a typical art gallery), visitors can interact with the paintings, posing themselves just right so that they look as if they are part of the original work. Fun right?

However, since this is a small place, there’s usually so many tourists and you have to really really really be patient enough to be able take pictures in all the installments. Maybe it’s because I went here on a Sunday so just to be sure you would maximize your stay, better choose a weekday to visit this place to avoid the crowd.



Trick-Eye Museum


11) Everland

I’ve been to a fair share of theme parks all over Asia, but not yet the ones in Japan and Disneyland HK (because it didn’t exist yet when I went there). And so far, this is my favorite. Below are some of my favorite features of the park.

They have a safari ride which lets you see the animals on their habitat. We got to ride a landrover bus (?). I don’t really know what it’s called. Haha. And it was so cool! (I sound like a child, but it was! Haha)


Everland Safari


Everland also has a European Village where different foods from European countries are sold. Beside it is a BEAUTIFUL garden called, Four-Seasons Garden where you can take lots of pictures and pretend you’re in Europe. Hahaha



Four-Seasons Garden


Everland Park Grounds


Fountain at Four-Seasons Garden


Another garden you will surely love is the Rose Garden. It’s another European-inspired garden where you’ll find different colored roses in full-bloom.



Rose Garden: (from top left) Pathway to the garden; Heart-shaped rose installment; Red rose in full-bloom; Venus de Milo replica; Purple roses

Tip: Best time to go is Spring time. Weather is great and the gardens are so beautiful.


12) The War Museum of Korea

The War Memorial of Korea is found at the Yongsan Area in Seoul. It used to be the grounds of the Korean Infantry. On the grounds, you will be able to see the different vehicles used during the World War 2. And inside the museum, you will find different galleries on the war history of Korea.

There’s no entrance fee here so if you visit Seoul, consider going here. Caution, some exhibits are a bit sad so go here with a group if you’re emotional like me. 😦


The War Memoria of Korea


So that’s it for my visit in South Korea. I might be coming back there again for the winter season as I plan on skiing with some of my cousins. I would love to hear your suggestions on other winter activities and places I haven’t covered on both my trips. 🙂


Calatagan: Family Bonding in Paradise

It’s August again, and it’s not just a month filled with tons of holidays, it’s also the month my sister celebrates her birthday! (Shouts “Happy birthday, Trisha!”)

For this year, our relatives from Canada, Tita Shie and Tito Bruno, are visiting. So to make it a “bonggang-bonggang” celebration, we had a family outing at Ronco Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas.

Here are some photos of our family get-together.

Ronco Beach Resort: Beachfront

Ronco Beach Resort: The Dock

Feliz at the dock

Tito Mar and Trisha

Of course, here’s my solo. 🙂

The Floating Nipa Hut

Ronco Beach Resort: Low Tide

Cousin Love: Tin-Tin, Mark, and Neye

Ronco Beach Resort: Night Time

Ronco Beach Resort: The Dock

Ronco Beach Resort: Infinity Pool

Ronco Beach Resort: Infinity Pool

No trip is ever complete without a jump shot! 🙂

Neye, the poser child for Ronco, just kidding. 🙂

Rescued some starfish from the low tide. Getting ready to throw them back to the sea. 🙂

The Famatigans (Mandatory Family Picture.. haha)

For more info about Ronco Beach Resort, visit their Facebook Page or contact 0917-537-2061.