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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heart & Seoul Part IV

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Woke up to a foggy weather. Initially, I have been thinking of going up at N Seoul Tower in the afternoon. When I checked Accu Weather- it says that it's gonna be another rainy day. So I took advantage of the foggy weather and off we went up.

The cable car station for N Seoul Tower is just  a 10-minute climb (it's a very steep uphill climb) from Namsam Guesthouse. I had to take my time but as much as possible I didn't try to stop and rest. Finally, we reached the top. The station opens at 10 am but we were there 20-minutes earlier so we had a lot of time to catch our breathes and do some camwhoring.

The cable car ride was fun despite the fact that it was quite foggy. I enjoyed going down more than going up especially if you're in front of the cable car-it's like being on a safer zipline. It was early and the morning air was reinvigorating. There wasn't a lot of tourists at that time we had most of the place to ourselves without the presence of the usual photobombers.

Up there, the air is so fresh that you forget you're in the city. You'd see the beacon is still empty, sweepers getting rid of fallen leaves and a foggy Seoul.

One of the things I wanted to see are the "promise locks". Before going to Seoul, I watched this Thai Movie Hello Stranger and I guess it was really effective in psyching me up for this trip. The truth was I was really nervous and worried about going on this trip for one thing the expense. It is said that Seoul is one of the most expensive cities in Asia but I learned from a lot of bloggers/forumers that if you're smart enough you can actually still go to Seoul within a limited budget and enjoy it. Also I was worried about the people- I was worried that Koreans would not be helpful and apathetic but in truth-they were actually very helpful and the city is quite laid back compared to Hong Kong or even Manila where everyone is rushing. They even try their best to help you even if they can't communicate in English and even use their phones to search for places/directions/transportation that you're asking about. A friend of mine even commented on Facebook if I had trouble going around Seoul and I said-it was one of the most tourist friendly places I've ever been.

Am not that heavy-the bench is designed that way hehehe!

Koreans must love romance so much. I think it's quite evident on their dramas and movies. A lot of their places like this one actually highlights their love for romance as these locks are "promises" of couples to be together. In the movie, they write their names on the locks and throw the key away.

Next stop is going to the Tower and see the Teddy Bear Museum. I'm quite excited about going to see the Teddy Bear Museum since I'm also a huge plush/stuff toy fan and a History buff. Also it brings back memories of one the most popular kdramas shown her in the Philippines-Princess Hours or Goong. The bears where quite prominent in that series and I always wondered why. What is the connection of the bear to Korea?

Miniature food!

Akyat Bahay Gang

denim shorts cache cache, belt from Parfois and blouse from Candies.

Then after the Teddy Bear Museum, it was time to go up into the observatory. There wasn't much to look at since it was a foggy day but I enjoyed it nonetheless. We also shopped for souvenirs there-stuffed animals.

After that, we bought our own love locks inside and left our own-for our family. The pen from the "love luck" also came in handy later as we were packing. We used it to label one sack of goodies since we checked that in during our flight back to Manila.

Walking back to where we rode the cable car, we saw a booth where you can wear traditional Korean clothes for free. We tried it out and had our pictures taken with a Korean man wearing the traditional guard uniform.

Someone asked me if the guy is really extremely tall or I was just to short-hahahaha!

Say "kimchee"!

Posed with some random tourist in korean attire. I should remind myself that next time I don a hanbok,
I should loose ten pounds 'coz it really makes me look bloated :-(

And so that ends our N Seoul Tower adventure. It was time again to go shopping. As I have planned we went to Nandaemun Market. After going down the hill, we rode the subway from Myeongdong to Hyohyeon station. I can't exactly remember which exit we went out- I'm guessing it's exit 6. We asked around for any fastfood since I begged not to eat Korean Food anymore-not because it wasn't yummy but I guess it's just that I was in the mood for American food. Unfortunately, everything in Nadaemun is Korean and so we ended up eating at this new restaurant. Once again, I do not know the restaurant's name but it is located on the second floor of a building adjacent to exit 6. Food was good and relatively cheap compared to the other Korean restaurants we've tried.

After that, we went souvenir shopping. Actually-more like Kimchi shopping. I haven't read a lot really and most said it was actually cheaper to shop at Lotte Mart or at Dongdaemun. I only read this stuff after I went to Korea. Looking around, we passed by this shop since my Dad was looking for radish kimchee. The lady (or ajuma ) was really nice. She made us try her yummy peach iced tea and all the stuff we pointed at-she made us try for free. We ended up buying loads of chocolates as "pasalubongs". We later looked around some more and we decided to split, leaving our parents in her shop to wait for us while we continue to hunt for this "triple barrel" curling iron which I really wanted to buy. When we came back- the lady had given them too many freebies to take home that my father had a whole sack of goodies-and it weights a whole lot more than 5 kilos! This is why I asked to get her picture with my parents-I guess she must be liked a lot by her customers for I see that there were a lot of pictures of her with her customers in her shop.

Going around Nandaemun, I wanted to look at cameras. My samsung ex1 needed a new battery but then the store men told me it's obsolete and I have to buy a new one. I didn't have the budget to buy a new one since I spent a lot on this trip-but no regrets. For the photography enthusiasts-this place is heaven. I also love the fact that the sales men are not pushy. I also tried to look at cell phones since most people in Seoul right now are using "phablets"- my galaxy tab just looked so old compared to these "phablets" but I think they are more expensive in Seoul than in here -plus I actually prefer Sony Xperia phones but I wanna try LG soon.

photographer's heaven

Nandaemun Market

To be continued....