Korean Escapade 2010: Of Bulgogis, Malls, Markets and Shopping

Lunch was a continuing love affair with bulgogi. I fell hard. Really hard with this dish.  The side dishes were also amazing. During this trip to Korea, I forgot that I am on a diet. Usually, my meals consist of no rice but I really forgot about it. Oh well, it is good food so I have no regrets.

Bulgogi Lunch, South Korea, October 2010


Yummy bulgogi, South Korea, October 2010

After lunch, we went to a Korean Ginseng shop. Unfortunately, picture taking was not allowed. We got to know the different kinds of ginseng. I bought one bottle of ginseng concentrate for my Mom. I hope that she drinks it. I also bought a bag of rice crispies for pasalubong. We also went to the amethyst store and there we were shown different products made of amethyst. Amethyst is a stone known to bring healing. I didn’t get to buy because it’s really expensive.

Next stop was Namdaemun Market. We only had one hour to tour the place and buy stuff that we needed to buy. Namdaemun reminded me of our very own Divisoria. I did not get to roam the place much for fear that I would get lost. However, I was able to buy some shirts with Korea printed in it for a reasonable price. It was such a good deal.


Namdaemun Market, South Korea, October 2010

Merchandise, Namdaemun Market, South Korea, October 2010












After our trip to Namdaemun, Kuya Hong brought us back to the hotel. Our guided trip has come to an end. We were fortunate that we had him as our guide. We would love to have him in our next guided tour.

We rested for a bit and then proceeded to COEX Mall for some shopping. I did not buy anything from there..again.  I was just content to see and explore the place. Using the subway, we went to Myeondong, another shopping district. However, I was surprised to see billboards of Kim Myung Min in his LIG advertisements. I had to take a photo.


Kim Myung Min Advertisements in a subway, October 2010

At Myeongdong, I was just amazed with how Koreans buy stuff. I would see ladies buy several bags of cosmetics, apparel and the like. I was not planning on buying anything but when I saw a special edition of Beethoven Virus Original Soundtrack, I immediately bought it. So much for self control, eh?

Rolling store at Myeongdong, South Korea, October 2010


Myeongdong, South Korea, October 2010













It was almost midnight when we decided to go home. We were all dead tired and another busy day is waiting for us so we need all the rest that we can get.

Next stop: Seoul City Tour


Korean Escapade 2010: The Saga of the Ninjas Continues

Still October 21…

We left Nami Island at around 4:00 in the afternoon and took the cab going to Gapyeong Station. Our next stop was Petite France, which was located near Cheongpyeong Station. We were lucky because the train going to Cheongpyeong was arriving in a few minutes. From Gapyeong to Cheongpyeong, the travel time was about 20 minutes. We arrived at Cheongpyeong station around 5 in the afternoon but there was no sign of the shuttle bus which would take us to Petite France. We decided to take the cab…again. The trip to Petite France was like going to Baguio or Antipolo with all those blind curves and zigzag roads. There was a time during the brief ride that we felt that we got lost but we arrived at Petite France after 30 minutes.  Imagine our relief to know that we were finally there!


Petite France, South Korea, October 2010

Since we only had 30 minutes to explore the place, we immediately went to the sites that we wanted to visit.

Petite France: Retracing Kim Myung Min’s (Kang Mae’s) steps in Beethoven Virus

Petite France is a French cultural village set in the Korean countryside. Petite France serves as both a French cultural village and a youth training facility (Goseong Youth Training Center), and consists of 16 French-style buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French food, clothing, and household culture. ‘Petit’ means ‘small and pretty’ in French, and this village is located on the hilltop overlooking the beautiful mountain scenery of Homyeongsan (Mt.) and the clear surroundings of Cheongpyeongho (Lake). Building heights were adjusted using natural hills, and every house in the village were arranged to overlook the lake. Such structure disposition and internal decoration of construction materials, rooftop, windows and floor are all French. (From http://www.korean-city.blogspot.com)


Petite France, South Korea, October 2010


View of the lake, Petite France, South Korea, October 2010











Array of buildings in French style, Petite France, October 2010





A portion of the amphitheater, Petite France, October 2010










I have always wanted to visit Petite France because it was one of the filming sites of Beethoven Virus, one of my all-time favorite Korean dramas. Moreover, it is the location of the study room of Maestro Kang Gun Woo or Kang Mae, played by the brilliant Kim Myung Min.  I may not have met Kim Myung Min himself but it was a great comfort for me to have visited his study room when he portrayed the acerbic tongued Kang Mae.


Kang Mae's table and chair, Petite France, October 2010


A portion of Kang Mae's office, Petite France, October 2010












We did not have the chance to explore the other buildings because it was already 6 in the evening. Our main problem was getting out of Petite France because it was such an isolated place. We asked the receptionist for help and so she contacted two cabs to fetch us. While waiting, we felt the air as it turned colder. Good thing the cabs arrived after 15 minutes or so.

We arrived at Cheongpyeong station in time for the arrival of the train bound for Cheongnyangni. We thought that we missed the train already and we had to wait for an hour for the next.  We were indeed lucky!

Since the ride was one hour, we had time to decide that we had to re-schedule the Lotte World trip for another night as we might not be able to make it. We decided to have dinner first at Dongdaemun and then visit Chonggye Stream which was nearby.


Dongdaemun, South Korea, October 2010

Dining at a Korean Restaurant

We were so hungry, we could eat a horse! We picked a fancy Korean resto which was established in 1972. When we got there and looked at the menu, we wanted to go out and look for another place. So expensive! However, we figured that we would eat in small restos the following nights so that we are still on the budget. Hahaha!

Side dishes, Korean restaurant, Dongdaemun, October 2010

And so we ordered pork spare ribs, pajeon, bulgogi. Of course, a Korean meal is not complete without the side dishes or banchan, which could consist of 2-12 kinds. Of course, kimchi is usually included.


Pork spare ribs, Dongdaemun, October 2010

I’m a great fan and lover of pajeon. However, I fell in love with bulgogi! This is one dish that I have not had the chance to eat often in Korean restaurants in the Philippines. But the authentic bulgogi was heaven! I. LOVE. IT. SUPER.


My new love, BULGOGI! Dongdaemun, October 2010

After dinner, we headed to Chonggye Stream for some picture-taking and some walking. We decided that we would walk back to our hotel for some exercise. However, when we realized that we were walking for a much longer time already and no sight of our hotel still, we decided to  get a cab because we were all dead tired. On our way back to the hotel, we found out that we headed the wrong way – we walked farther from the hotel instead of walking towards it. What an adventure!

Oh well, the most important thing was that we got back safe and sound.

Korean Escapade 2010: We are Ninjas!

October 21 was indeed a memorable day for all of us because we got to be Ninjas! Ninjas, in the sense that we ran like hell; jumped and skipped as fast as we could to be able to get to our destinations.

We started the day a bit late because some of my friends woke up late. From our hotel, we walked to the nearest subway station, which is Anguk. It was a good exercise because it took us about 20 minutes to the station. We bought the T-PASS card worth 3,000 Won and loaded it with 2,000 Won.  Having the T-PASS is advantageous because we were not burdened with buying tickets every so often. We just had the card re-loaded with the amount of our choice if in case the load has been depleted.


Buying the T-PASS at Anguk Station, October 2010, South Korea

Using the subway, we traveled to Dongdaemun first to look for a money changer. And then we went to Cheongnyangni Train Station to buy tickets going to Gapyeong, where Nami Island is situated.


Cheongnyangni Station, South Korea, October 2010

The train going to Gapyeong was scheduled to leave at 12:02 in the afternoon and since we had time to spare, we went to Lotteria to have lunch. We were so engrossed with lunch and taking a break in the restrooms that we realized that our train was leaving in a few minutes. And so, the ninja mode began. We ran as fast as we could from the Lotte Mall (near the train station) to the train. We just boarded the first train that we saw but we were not sure if we were on the right one! We asked one passenger if it was indeed the train going to Gapyeong. Lucky for us we were on the right train.


Photo from the train, South Korea, October 2010

The travel time from Cheongnyangni to Gapyeong is a little over one hour. Almost all of my friends were asleep except for myself and another. Both of us were afraid that we would miss our stop. When we reached Gapyeong, we rode a cab that took us to Nami Island.

Reliving Winter Sonata in Nami Island

Nami Island’s popularity rose when it became the filming site of the blockbuster Korean drama series called Winter Sonata/Winter Love Song. The said drama series propelled the popularity of Bae Yoong Joon and Choi Ji Woo as Hallyu celebrities. Winter Sonata/Winter Love Song is one of my favorite Korean drama series and it has been my dream to visit Nami Island to re-live what transpired in the series.


Winter Sonata (Endless Love 2) Poster, Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

The admission fee was 8,000 won and we immediately lined-up and waited for the ferry to bring us to the island. It was a Thursday but there were so many tourists who visited the place. Nami Island took my breath away. It can be considered as a photographer’s haven because of the scenic spots in the island. It is a pity though that there were so many people when we were there. It was really difficult to get good angles. Nevertheless, the trees which were planted in a straight line were just awesome. This was the classic image of Nami Island which was shown in the series, well minus the tourists.


Trees, Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

The island was just beautiful during Autumn because of the explosion of colors as seen in the trees. Below are some of the photos taken at the island:

Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

Bronze statue of Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo, Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010






















Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010

Nami Island, South Korea, October 2010









Such beauty, isn’t it? More photos in my album in my FB account.

Next stop: Petite France

Those Mesmerizing Eyes

I miss Richard Armitage. I have not read any news about him in the last couple of months. Hmm, not because there are no news about him but because I haven’t had the time to surf and research about the latest developments.

I’m posting some pictures, which really caught my attention. Those which emphasize his piercing eyes, one of his many glorious assets.

North and South (richardarmitageonline.com)

Spooks (richardarmitageonline.com)


I love being a fangirl!

I received a pleasant surprise yesterday. A package from Korea! Yes! If it’s from Korea, then it must be about my favorite actor, KIM MYUNG MIN.

Lo and behold! What I saw made me climb to seventh heaven! Below are the photos:

It’s a brochure about the actor from his agency. This is the second time that I got an autographed item from KMM. And of course, through the courtesy of my friend, Michi and MMI (MyungMin International).

Missing My Men

ESCAPE. I’m definitely on ESCAPE mode. I’m so harassed and busy with work that I need some spazzing to cheer me up. It’s time for a bit of fangirling. I’m posting photos of my favorite actors.  I call them “My Men.” *wide grin* I have not seen any of their works in about two weeks now.

One is from Korea and the other is from England.

Meet KIM MYUNG MIN: One of the brilliant actors in Korea.

image from krfilm.net

Meet RICHARD ARMITAGE:  One great actor in England.

image from richardarmitageonline.com

But of course, I miss some people in RL too. 😀

RA Addiction: Sir Guy, how despicable yet handsome can you get?

I have a nightly dose of Richard Armitage by watching Robin Hood. In Episode 2 titled, “Sheriff Got Your Tongue,” there’s only a brief appearance of Sir Guy at the beginning. I was lamenting on the fact when my mom pointed out that Robin is the lead and Sir Guy is one of the villains. Oh, ok… 😀 Nevertheless, his brief appearance took my breath away. I’ve included some of the photos for everyone’s pleasure.

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In the third episode, “Who Shot The Sheriff,” I think there’s more of Sir Guy compared to the previous episode. I just love it when he smirks and he glares at people with his piercing blue eyes. But I also liked the way he smiles a bit when Marian is around. I just wish that I’m her. Ha ha. This is total fangirling. Some photos are included in the slide show as well. Anyways, the sheriff gets on my nerves while Much is soo funny. I like his punch lines.

Now, I’m down to the last episode of my free DVD copy. I dread watching the fourth episode tomorrow night. I do not think that I will be able to go on without obtaining the next episodes. Where, oh where will I get them?

RA Addiction: Sir Guy of Gisborne is Hot!

I have two approaches of de-stressing or relieving stress: READING and FANGIRLING/FANDOM. Such approaches can also be seen as forms of escapism. Sometimes, a workaholic like me needs a break from it all.

Anyway, I was ecstatic over acquiring a DVD copy of Robin Hood (BBC series) and I wrote my story here. It turns out that the copy I have features the first four episodes of Series One. Hurray! My only problem now is how to get the succeeding 35 episodes. *sigh* Oh well…

I confess that I’m watching the series because of the handsome and brilliant Richard Armitage, who plays the villainous Sir Guy of Gisborne. So in the first episode, “WILL YOU TOLERATE THIS?,” I was more anxious of Sir Guy’s appearance than that of Robin of Locksley, who by the way, is played by Jonas Armstrong.

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I find Robin actually charming and cute. But what can I do? Sir Guy is so intense and broodingly handsome. My mom who saw a glimpse of Mr. Armitage’s photo as John Thornton in my laptop and mobile phone already remarked on his good looks. But she was even more impressed when she saw him in Robin Hood. And so it turns out that my Mom is my Robin Hood-buddy.

Episode 1 was fun to watch. It was very entertaining. My mom and I would laugh so hard in those funny moments. I would often find my self waiting with bated breath for Sir Guy. He has such deep and rich voice that I melt every time he speaks . I cannot wait to see more of Sir Guy again. Now, I’m reduced to puppy-eyed fangirl. Ha ha.

I’m seriously thinking of going around hunting for the succeeding episodes. I fear that I would not rest until I have acquired all of it.

Mr. Armitage, see what you’ve done to a woman like me?

Surprise Find: Robin Hood BBC Series

Surprise! Surprise! Just when I thought that I would not be able to find any work of Richard Armitage here in the country, this DVD landed on my desk! Actually, this copy was bought by one of my staff assuming that the copy she is buying is the Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe. Hah! It turned out that the copy is that of the BBC series starring Jonas Armstrong as Robin and of course, Richard Armitage as the dark and villainous Sir Guy of Gisborne. *swoons*

My staff member knows that I love Richard Armitage because I use his photo as my avatar in my yahoo messenger and was so kind and sweet enough to give me the DVD. Yes! However, the copy contains only four episodes and I’m not sure yet what episodes are those. I’m positive that this would only whet my appetite; I know that I would be restless until I find the other 35 episodes. Poor me!

Anyway, it’s better that I have 4 episodes of him than nothing at all. 😀