Beauty & Fashion Food & Dining Kap & Me My Kids Staycations Staycations & Vacations The GOppets

South Korea – Itinerary

These past 2 years have probably been our happiest, and wildest! \m/ So many good things have come to our family and getting to travel again across the globe has been one of our best & most appreciated gifts. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. <3

Ang buhay nga naman talaga, parang gulong. Minsan nasa itaas ka, minsan nasa ilalim. The most important thing is to hang on & never lose hope. Pasasaan ba’t iikot din ang buhay, so always stay hopeful, and most importantly humble, because you never know what life will dish out.

After not having travelled for quite some time due to financial & time constraints, we were finally able to appease our wandering souls & go to Hong Kong, Europe, Taiwan, and Korea this 2016/2017.

(Btw, sharing with you our Korea itinerary below, lovingly studied & compiled by Ate, enjoy! <3 )

Days 1-2

Day 3

Palace Map for your guide.

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Days 7-8

Day 9

——

I really don’t mind budget travel & sobrang pagod so much if it means we can go on fun-packed adventures with the fam. It’s time away from home, yun bang walang ibang tao at kayo-kayo lang talaga ang magtititigan, that builds a strong bond. You get to know one other on a deeper level, even after you thought you already knew each other well. Basta, iba talaga. :)

The last time we travelled internationally was to China in 2009, Singapore in 2010 then HK/Macau 2011. 2011 was the last, taghirap muna pagkatapos, lol. It’s no joke funding a trip with FIVE members in a family ha, kahit na tipid na tipid pa yan. And there was always something more important that needed to be paid off & prioritized like school, insurance, tax, surprise bills, daily expenses, monthly obligations. Travel was a luxury that had to wait.

2009. We spent 3 fun weeks combing China & took domestic planes to each city. We visited Shanghai (behind us is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower – the tallest structure in China), Xian (with the Terracotta Warriors at the excavation site) and of course we climbed the Great Wall of China at Beijing. This was a really educational & interesting trip as we learned so many things together as a family. <3

2010. It was a low key 5-day trip to the hot & humid, but clean & safe Singapore. \m/ Behind us is the famous half-fish/half-lion Merlion icon of the city.

2011 found us in Hong Kong & its neighboring Macau. Mej may budget is Kap so we got to stay at the HK Disneyland Resort & Venetian Macau hehe. After this, nauso na ang BnB, so goodbye hotels! :P

We were able to spend 2 out of our 7-day HK sojourn in Macau. Behind us is the Ruins of St. Paul where all the tourists scramble to take photos. ;)) Macau is mostly a gambling/shopping city & very little else to see historically or culturally. One visit in our lifetime is enough for us. :)

Before that, when the kids were much younger & we didn’t have to follow a strict calendar school year, we were able to go to Canada & several cities across the US. I remember clearly Ate was just 7, the two kids were 4 & 2 respectively. She was already such a good Ate then, helping us with everything, especially caring for her siblings & pushing them in their twin stroller while Daddy & I wheeled the heavy maletas.

2002. The kids’ first trip to the US & Canada! <3 It was really a test when Kap & I braved a month of travel with no yaya in tow, taking care of THREE kids below 7 by ourselves! We were just so blessed that the Giblings have always been easy kids, not malikot at all, so it was an UBE (ultimate bonding experience) for the GOppets. <3 And Ate was such a responsible mommy’s little helper, I swear. Pinanganak yata syang may old soul talaga hahaha. <3 We spent 10 theme park-filled days in Los Angeles, USA & stayed only in a MOTEL to save money, can you believe it? Such hubris, buti hindi kami nakatay, lol!

Then it was 20 days in Vancouver B.C. where we stayed with Kap’s sister.

His sister took us around & lent us a car which made it so much more convenient. We were able to cross Vancouver to Seattle USA & it is in the Seattle Aquarium that we had our most memorable encounter with a beluga whale. Love at first sight with those gentle white giants. <3

Then other pressing matters had to be prioritized. Home, business, school, miscellaneous expenses. Life in general. Which is why now that we are able to spoil the kids a little, we do so. Kasi hindi rin naman biro ang pinagdaanan namin. There were some major belt-tightening seasons along the way and they have been such good & understanding kids, never insisting or demanding things they knew were beyond our reach. Kaya naman now that we are able to, we spoil them a little as a reward for their good hearts. <3

2005

 

The kids were much bigger this time, with Ate being 10/11 years old. They were eating na on their own so Kap & I decided to go on a US road trip last 2005. Dito na-testing ang parenting skills namin to the max haha! ;)) Orlando, Florida for never-ending theme parks. I gotta admit, I had way too much energy in my 30’s than I do now. Idk if & when we go back to Orlando next year kung kakayanin pa ng powers ko ang ganyang lakad! @_@ Wheelchair, pwede?

We only stayed for a few short days in San Francisco so I would love to stay longer naman sana next year. I’m trying to see if papayag si Kap ng 6 weeks away, but so far 3-4 lang sya pumayag huhu. Hamo, bubulungan ko sya habang tulog from now until we finally leave mwahaha! :P

The kids might wanna go to Las Vegas again & stay for a few days since they’ll all be adults & “legal” by the time we go on a US tour. New perspective on the shows & night scene in Vegas unlike before na pagsapit ng dilim, kwarto na kami.

Ate fell in love with New York right away (even at an early age) while I found it too busy for my liking. Plus it’s a walking city. Maybe we can do a side trip to Boston while there. And I’m sure mas fashown na jan ang mga OOTD namin teehee. :P We missed seeing Central Park huhu. Must include that in the itinerary!

Kap’s best man & best bud has migrated to Pennsylvania so we made a lay-over to visit hi m& his family whom Kap hadn’t seen in like 10 years. Unfortunately, Hershey’s Theme Park was closed so maybe we’ll spend a couple of days there as well just to say “HI”.

Washington DC. Sabi nga nila, nagkalat ang mga Pinoy sa US of A so Kap had relatives even as far as Virginia which was a short drive to the Capital. Maybe the kids will enjoy this state better now that they’re older. Puro museum naman kasi, so serious. ;))

We were able to see the Vancouver side of the Niagara Falls the last time. New York side naman this time as we crossed.

I’m just so happy that we got back on track and can now travel again. I hope that we can do this at least yearly. It doesn’t have to be far or super exotic. Somewhere we haven’t been to lang sana so it’s also a learning experience. On my bucket list for the next 10-15 years while Kap & I can still travel & enjoy life are Australia, UAE, a repeat of Canada, Africa & other parts of Asia we haven’t visited. Will pray for God’s faithfulness & continuous provisions to make this dream a reality. <3

Our target this coming Christmas vacation December/January is Osaka, Japan. Then 2018 God willing, across the US again (and hopefully Mexico na din) for Kap’s 50th birthday & our silver wedding anniversary. <3 Huwag na huwag lang aatakihin si Kap ng kunatitis! ;))

(Sana wala na namang violent reaction and barrage of emails & unsolicited advice from my old & grumpy inggiteropakialamero at sawsawerong cousin (who just can’t smile without me). @_@

Anyway, about Tax Refunds:

There are more than 12,000 tax free stores in Korea. To find out if the store where you are shopping offers a VAT refund, check to see if any of the above logos is visible at the store or go online to any of the below tax refund services/organisations. CubeRefund: www.cuberefund.com | Easy Tax Refund: www.easytaxrefund.co.kr | Global Blue: www.globalblue.com | Global Tax Free: web.gtfetrs.com | KT Tourist Reward: www.koreataxfree.com

If you’re shopping in Korea (which I’m 100% SURE you will), make sure you tell the staff of your status as a visitor to the country so you can get a rebate. It is necessary that you bring your passport with you at all times.

Foreign visitors to Korea have the option of either applying for a sales tax (VAT) refund at the airport prior to departure or not paying the tax when making their purchase (immediate tax refund) in a tax free store.

In Korea, sales taxes are included in the purchase price of each product – VAT/sales tax (10%) and special taxes on high-priced goods such as jewellery, etc.  Before paying, ask for a tax refund. The store will either not charge you the sales tax or will give you a tax refund receipt (and maybe an envelope) along with the regular receipt. Hold on to both receipts and fill in the information required on each of the refund receipts (full name, passport number, nationality and address) and sign at the bottom.

Shoppers eligible for Tax Free Shopping

  • If you have a permanent residence outside South Korea.
  • If you are a foreign visitor to South Korea who stays for no longer than 6 months.
  • If you are a South Korean national living oversees for more than 2 years, who is visiting South Korea for no longer than 3 months.

You are not eligible for Tax refund in South Korea, if:

  • If you receive a salary from a company located in South Korea.
  • If you are a member of cabin crew or flight crew of the aircraft who works at Korea Flight Company.
  • If you are a South Korean diplomat, who works in South Korea or overseas.
  • If you are a foreign diplomat, who works in South Korea.

VAT Rate
Standard rate: 10%
Jewellery: 20%

Minimum purchase amount
30,000 KRW

Thank you my dearest readers for joining us in our GO-reanovela, and of course..

Thank you God for this wonderful opportunity, and for your traveling mercies.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. <3 Made sure we went to church the next day right after coming home. #gratitude

And thank you Fam for making my life so full. A million lifetimes & I would choose the same Kap, the same Ate, Babyson & Lovey over & over & over again. You guys complete me. I love you! And I thank God for you! :-*

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10 Comments

  • Reply Jana

    omggg I almost teared up in class bcoz of all the mems (and how ugly my outfits were!!!)

    red kung fu fighting shoes & light blue cross body from Bagio city wat da actual fak?!?!

    also wow u and dad look so young!!!

    learning about this in class now: family with young kids and family with adolescents HAHAHAHA how apt!!!

    August 31, 2017 at 4:02 pm
    • Reply Jane Go

      o di na? Buti nalang may anda na now pang-fashown? ;)) Treasured memories. Love you. Hope to make many more happy ones with my beloveds. #aKHOandmyBELOveds ;))

      August 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm
  • Reply Thel from Florida

    I found your blog the first time you met Rica H2H and she mentioned you. I truly appreciate your posts, very interesting – Thank you ):. I love, love, love traveling too and traveled 12 countries in Europe when I worked for the U S Air Force and was stationed in Germany. At age 55(2005-2009) we custom built an RV and traveled all over the States and eastern Canada. Then we found a real nice place here in Florida to build our retirement home. So I was following H2H and one of her post August 2016 was about Crystal Serenity luxury Alaska cruise. She chronicled their cruise in details, I was so impressed, made us took the same Crystal Serenity Alaska cruise last June. My husband and I were so happy and were so impressed with this luxury ship that we are going again on December 6, 14 days Caribbean Cruise. H2H and family went on cruise again on ultra-luxury Regent Seven Seas Explorer last July. Again, she chronicled their cruise in details and I am impressed again so I booked this ultra-luxury ship for March 11, 2018. We are hooked Jane, we are hooked!
    What I am trying to say, I noticed your family has not been on a luxury cruise. I am almost sure you all will love, love, love, it. By the way, Crystal Serenity will be in Manila Port March 2018 sailing to Vietnam and Singapore. Hope your family will experience cruising on this luxury ship.
    Take care Jane, I am happy for you.

    August 31, 2017 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply Jane Go

      Hi Thel. :) Oh yes, that is one of my dreams. I would love to go on a cruise with the fam but we can’t afford it yet at the moment haha. Ipon-ipon muna, it will take twice or even thrice our travel budget to go on the cruises Rica just took. One day, some day. <3

      September 1, 2017 at 1:14 am
  • Reply Eula Mendoza

    I enjoyed reading this post because of all the travels that Goppets had! Naexcite ako sa next hehehehe kala mo naman kasama ako di ba? Hahahaha! Ang lamig ng Japan ng December kaya Bali Indonesia kami nyan for our first wedding anniversary. Any tips sa honeymoon? Hahahahaha!

    August 31, 2017 at 8:27 pm
    • Reply Jane Go

      Uuuuy mag-wa-one year na ang magsing-irog!! <3 I’m so happy for you kais alam ko everyday spent with the hubby is a glorious day. And yes, super lamig sa Japan ng December kaya ewan ko papaano kami lol. Yun lang ang mahabang bakasyon ng mga bagets, no choice ahuhuhu. Frozen ang peg naming 5 lol. ;)) Meanwhile, buy ka ng madaming 2-piece for your Bali trip, gift mo kay mister hahaha.

      September 1, 2017 at 1:18 am
  • Reply BethGo

    Recently reading your blog… But first time to leave a reply.. So blessed to see God working in you and your family’s life. Keep sharing and keep being a light.
    P. S. For the bucket list holy land tour? Id love to go there. Kung di lang budgeted.

    September 2, 2017 at 4:57 am
    • Reply Jane Go

      Thank you Beth. :) Oh yes, definitely Holy Land. We tried to join CCF’s tour but too expensive. Maybe in our own we can curb it a little haha.

      September 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Photo Cache

    So nice to see the kids when they were young and so innocent looking.

    God is good always!

    September 4, 2017 at 6:35 am
    • Reply Jane Go

      Yes, a walk down memory lane dear Maria. :) Which is why I really strive to maintain my blog haha.

      September 4, 2017 at 10:08 am

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