FML. All the OOTDs I packed were coordinated to match the cold weather as forecast by accuweather.com, which was supposed to be at least 20 degrees Celsius & below -with 20 already being the warmest. But whadya know? Korea is most definitely on summer mode by the time we arrived in Korea, what with Mr. Sun glaring brightly all day long. Walang patawad. The long flowy pants are tolerable because they’re of light material. But the tops I had made to match them are made of thick ones so this doth not dwell well for my hot flashes/perimenopausal condition.
Temp is 21 in the early morning going to 26 degrees Celsius later in the day. It’ll be 30 & higher pa daw in the days to come huhu. Also, the gold/silver landi sandals I brought -which I initially thought were comfy, became too heavy when worn in long periods so my cankles were screaming in protest. Good thing I packed my trusty ultraboost at the last minute, and some lightweight tops. So they definitely saved the day. Screw OOTD, I’d rather go for comfort. :P
I made it a point to have our daily OOTD taken in front of our apartment, with this wavy sculpture for a background. Thank you GOppets for cooperating & giving in to my crazy whims. ;)
Started our day late coz we got to sleep past 3 am na tryin’a get accustomed to our new surroundings & very basic accommodation. Plus, we had ONE bathroom lang to share so we had to take turns taking quick showers before going to bed.
We really need to step up our game in the bnb department. The trick in not feeling homesick is to book a PLEASANT apartment. Kap, paki-taasan mo naman na ang budget ng accommodation natin sa susunod please? @_@ Pero yung hindi ibabawas sa pocket money napang-shopping ha? Mwahaha! :P
After leaving our undies & towels to dry (thankful we have a washing machine albeit no clothes dryer huhu) we left our home for the next 8 days at almost noon. As usual, public transpo all the way so we got subway tickets before anything else..
Ang mga sinampay ni Kapitan K. ;)) My pet peeve is packing soiled, smelly clothes kasi bumabaho ang maleta. So with every trip, talagang may labadang nagaganap up to the last day. :P
At syempre pa, with Kap, the cheapest means of getting around all the way. Public transportation in South Korea is provided by extensive networks of railways, highways, bus routes, ferry services and air routes that criss-cross the country. South Korea is the third country in the world to operate a commercial maglev train (magnetic levitation). The largest railway operator is Korail.
Korail, we found out, is the most convenient & fastest way of getting around Korea. We tried taking buses & taxi cabs but the traffic makes the travel longer, no matter how short the distance. Kaya kapit man o hindi, nakatayo man o nakaupo, go Korailkami for the entire 8 days! ;) How to get a Korail pass.
First order of the day, brunch at The Original Pancake House! Kap was NOT happy price-wise (also food-wise kasi nga, no rice hehe). :P
The Original Pancake House
523-20 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul/ (02) 511-7481
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays through Sundays.
The Original Pancake House, a more than five-decade-old American family chain that started out in Portland, Oregon & known for for its pancakes, crepes and other breakfast-centric items, was franchised by a Korean national Jun Hyun-joon, and opened in Seoul last May 2013. It has been making Koreans happy since with its pancakes crafted from old-fashioned sourdough yeast.
Suuuper yummy breakfast but definitely NOT kap-approved. His day did not start right, lol. “Sweetheart naka-buffet na sana tayo nyan sa Hyatt!” Total bill for all the sumptuous food we ate: 118,500 won or 5,200 php for just the brekky items of dutch babies (pinasosyal na bibinka) & pancakes. Great choice though Ate, I loved it! ;) Thanks for googling & finding this place. (Bottom right) My Boyd’s special blend bottomless coffee 4,000 won.
(Top right) Chicken tender & waffle 15,000 won | (Bottom right) Country fried chicken 15,000 won. Traditional crispy fried chicken served with french fries & fresh coleslaw.
(Left) Onion ring fries 11,500 won | (Top Right) Potato hash & eggs 13,000 won. Homemade potato hash served with 3 buttermilk pancakes.
(Left) Half & half pancakes 14,000 won. Choose among buttemilk, blueberry, chocolate chips, banana, coconut, pecan & bacon. | (Top right) The Original Pancake House’s most famous dish, the Dutch baby original 16,000 won. <3 And Dutch baby with fresh strawberries & banana 23,000 won.
Then a quick trip to Hard Rock Cafe for Kap’s souvenir shirt. Remember? He collects & always makes it a point to buy one from every country we visit.
Me: Bili ka ng bili eh hindi mo naman sinusuot. @_@ Kap: Easy ka lang Sweetheart, pang-display yan sa beach house natin. #ilusyonado #mangarappamore
But not after we went through EACH & EVERY Adidas, Nike, Fila store that we passed along the way -not to mention the ones in the huge Lotte Department Store. Hay. These expeditions alone already used up so much of our time. On the bright side, I got to park my big butt while my rugged fambam browsed through sportswear & shoes. ;)
Word of the day: Hype beast. And the shopping has started. Kap, sinimulan mo yan ha?Panindigan mo, walang sisihan! :P While browsing at a NIKE store: Jana: Jonah, hype beast Me to store clerk: (echoserang pakialamera kasi) Mister, do you have hype beast? Store clerk looks at me, clueless. Me: (feeling authoritative pa, akala mo may alam) You know hype beast? HYPE BEAST, that’s your brand! You don’t know? Kids: Moooooom!! (hiding behind a curtain dala ng kahihiyan) It’s not a brand!! *facepalm Apparently, it’s a WORD. Hehehe. Ang kahihiyan nga naman na dala ng nanay!
Kap was the first to warn us to limit our shopping, but he totally lost it on our 2nd day palang when he was exposed to all his favorite stores, with lots of on-sale items! Hala, bawat tindahan, kaskas! ;)) Tuwang-tuwa siyang mamili kasi nga bukod saang daming sale, may tax refund pa! \m/
Kap was so serious & concentrated on his shopping that he didn’t even notice when we gals went on a different direction & left the boys on their own. Pero mukhang mali yata ang desisyon kong humiwalay? Ayan, hold-up! @_@ #shiningshimmeringsplendid
Got to Myeong-dong late in the afternoon. Shopping pa rin ang pakay (ni Kap at) ng mga bagets. Walang katapusang shopping. Kaya pala they insisted on bringing their big maletas instead of just the hand-carry ones. May masamang balak, gah.
Went back to the apartment first to drop off our packages, then took the bus to Myeong-dong. Myeong-dong offers the largest shopping area in Korea, with 2 million shoppers visiting on a daily basis, playing an essential role in international tourism. This is one of your must-visit places, not only for the shopping, but also for the grabeng katakam-takam na food trip. <3
Myeong-dong (명동) is teeming with food carts all over the streets wherever you turn!
And I’m not talking about your run of the mill street food like isaw at kwek-kwek ha.
We’re talking LOBSTERS! CRABS! PRAWNS! Ooooh-la-la! Street food in Korea is pricey though. Ask Kap! :P Super wanted the Roasted Love-ster with cheese. Me to tindero: 5 please Kap:Tanungin mo muna kung magkano, wag ka basta-basta mag-order! Me: How much please? Tindero: 15,000 won each (650 pesos per piece) Kap: No no no no no. No buy. Kap to me:Sira ka ba? Ang mahal? Halika mag-pusit ka nalang, baka mas mura. Yes, this from a guy who just went shopping to his heart’s content. WIFE ABUSE! :'(
To appease my bleeding heart (and probably my bleeding ulcer because it was waaaaay past our lunch time), Ate led the way to Myungdong Kalguksu for its famous kalguksu (pulled noodles) & mandu (dumplings) – our super late lunch cum early dinner.
Grabe, 2 meals a day nalang nga pinagkait pa talaga sa akin ang love-ster ko ahuhuhu! </3
46-4, Yongdam-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 경상북도 경주시 용담로 46-4 (황성동) +82-54-773-7068
Est. 1976. Specialty Menu: Korean Food/Kalguksu (hand-rolled noodles), Mandu-jeongol (dumpling hot pot), Wangmandu (steamed large dumplings) Opens 11 am – 9 pm.
When away on a trip, do go for hole in the wall places. Super haba ng pila, sabay mawawala ka pa kahahanap, BUT great local experience! Ate is the best travel buddy coz she finds the most interesting places, like this local resto na talagang dinadayo! Thank you my Nana! :-*
Every meal in every trip is a fight with tables, but the local food is so worth it. <3
While Kap & the kids had the regular hot broth noodles (right), I opted for the cold spicy noodles. I suggest you go for the hot noodles soup, lol. Mas masarap. :P
8,000 won/handpulled noodles bowl + 10,000 won for mandu, total of 3k php not bad. Delicious na, filling pa! <3
After getting “gassed up”, I was ready for another round of walking & shopping. Unfortunately for Kap, Myeong-dong is littered & peppered with food stalls & shops so I made a brief stop-over at this cute gelato shop for my ice cream fix. Gusto nyo akong lumakad? Pwes, pakiinin nyo ako ng maayos! :P
Dessert at Milky Bee/Gela Rosa for some unique ice cream. <3
Milky Bee sells honeycomb-topped vanilla ice cream, while I preferred the rose-looking gelato over at Gela Rosa.
3,800 korean won or 170 php for this lovely rose. No, not my Ate, the other rose. My Ate is priceless.. no one can afford hehe. ;)
So pink it’s impossible to miss. :)
After dinner, more shopping along the streets of the night market in Myeong-dong. The girls zeroed in on StylenandaPink Hotel. Of course as the name suggests, it was an explosion of pink on every floor. Boys beware! ;))
Located right in the beauty and fashion hub in Myeong-dong, Stylenanda Pink Hotel stands out from the other buildings with its pink facade -it’s really hard to miss even if you try. ;)) With decos that bring us back to the ’50s and exuding a princessy charm, this is no doubt a must visit stop if you are heading to Seoul.
Stylenanda Pink Hotel in Seoul Korea has SIX levels of surprise in store for its guests! <3 Don’t be mistaken, it is not a hotel (too bad, boohoo!) but a hotel-themed flagship store.
Level 1: Lobby The pretty in pink lobby has been styled to look exactly like a hotel lobby. Level 1 has all their 3CE makeup spread on tables. There’s a little concierge desk with their staff behind it should you require any help. Look out for cute hotel room keys that are hung on the wall too.
Level 2: Spa It’s designed to look like a posh Spa, with even more 3CE makeup to play around with. Decorated with pink couches, marble tables, and a bathtub filled with water and topped with flowers. If you are certified camwhores like you know who & who, then this is definitely THE place for you. <3 Needless to say, my girls spent quite a considerable time taking photos in every nook and cranny, and ogling merchandise to the chagrin of the 2 boys who were BORED. TO. DEATH waiting impatiently for us to get our pink fix, trololol. ;))
3CE is a Korean brand of make up, the brainchild of Korean fashion blogger and beauty sensation StyleNanda. 3 Concept Eyes is everything we love about Korean beauty: fashion trend, confident, and irresistibly charming. The cosmetics brand has been a hit with beauty blogging stars and influencers in Korea and even beyond. Make sure you stock up on these, great for pasalubong back home. If you miss out, you can still buy online at sephora.ph For those who aren’t well acquainted with French children’s books, Barbapapa is the title character created by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor in the 1970s, whose name was derived from barbe à papa – French for candy floss. The pink shape shifter is loved by the rest of the characters in Barbapapa for his kind demeanor, and adored by children everywhere for his brilliant imagination and adorable appearance.
Level 3: Rooms What’s a hotel without hotel rooms? Level 3 is made to be a corridor with faux rooms on either sides, and featuring Stylenanda’s Nanda Made series of apparels. Stylenanda (Hangul: 스타일난다) is a South Korea-based clothing brand. The company was founded in 2004 by Nanda. It had further expanded internationally and established branches in several countries, namely Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan and the Thailand. Be forewarned, you will NOT, I repeat, NOT leave this store without buying anything. I guarantee. I would even bet my life on it. :P
Level 4: Laundry Room Here in level 4 you can find boots, hats, socks, and jewelry. Its soooo cute how the laundry machines are stacked together like how the real laundry shops do it. complete with faux detergent and washing powders displayed on the shelves.
Level 5: Pool A pretend pool with a real cafe & even more Stylenanda merchandise including swimsuits greet you as you walk in. The cafe looks very much like those in the ’50s movies with its blue and pink tiles, outdoor chairs and tables with umbrellas to shelter you from the sun. Order some snacks and drinks from the cafe to take a break after all that shopping.
Level 6: Rooftop Tired after all the shopping and photo-taking up the 5 levels? Then take a break at the rooftop terrace located on the 6th floor. (The hike up alone makes me wanna park my butt on those inviting plush pillows). There are lots of giant pillows thrown all over for you to lounge around and relax your tired feet & aching muscles. ;)
And speaking of tired feet. At our last stop, something finally caught my fancy. I’m so into gold right now. These are a perfect match to my sunnies & gold-accessoried bag! Ang tanong, mailalakad ko ba ito? Abangan!
Kap: Sweetheart, yung silver ang naka-sale. Sigurado ka gold ang gusto mo? Me: *stareofdeath Kap to sales clerk: Ok we buy this, here’s my credit card. Ayown! ;))