Gone Seoul Searching
Travelling solo has always been on my list of things to do. So in booking my trip home to the Philippines, I was particularly in search of a flight that had a long layover. Luckily, I was able to book a flight which had an 11 hour layover in South Korea. I thought this was my chance to see one of my dream destinations in Asia. Being a fan of Koreanovelas and movies when I was in college fed this dream. I also love their food! How do I love Korean food?Let me count the ways…Even when I was living in the Philippines, my family and I would have Korean food cravings and go on a two-hour trip to Baguio where Korean restaurants are all over. It was as authentic as it can get. I also consider gojuchang(soy bean paste) as my ketchup and it is a fixture in my fridge. Add the fact that Korean beauty products are a hit nowadays. All these and more were reason enough to go to a country on a day when it was at risk of being attacked by neighboring North Korea.
Armed with the monopod I purchased in CDR-King, I was ready to conquer Seoul on my own. Well, not really. I booked a tour with Hanatour. I googled transit tours before getting there and found two companies which offered a six hour tour. I chose Hanatour because they had more people that booked the tour hence, it left at an earlier time. I paid 50 USD which covered the guided city tour and lunch so it’s pretty affordable for a person who spent most of her money on vacation in the Philippines already.
After going round and round the airport killing time and waiting for the tour to commence, we finally met at around 9 am in front of the tour desk. The group consisted of nine people- a couple from Hawaii, a gay couple (An American and a Filipino) who was from a trip from Manila, two sisters from Canada and two Southeast Asian-looking friends(not sure where they were from). So apparently I was the odd one out, the only person who wasn’t travelling with a partner. Travelling alone would put you in a place where you’re forced to meet people, talk to strangers and of course take selfies- Self portraits for those of you who don’t own an instagram account.lol. I was definitely not in my comfort zone but at the ripe old age of 28 I am pretty sure I could handle my introvert self in that situation.
Seesawing at the thought of talking to the couple from Hawaii who looked friendly, I finally made the move and asked the girl to take my picture. There’s no way in hell I am going to leave Seoul without a proof that I was there. This was after I felt awkward using my monopod and smiling at my camera. haha.
Vacation Diaries (Part II) Bohol
Finally, my very own Bohol experience.Not my Facebook friends’ obligatory Tarsier photo, not my colleague’s Chocolate hills jump shot nor an ad for our More Fun in The Philippines Campaign. Much has been said about this top Philippine tourist destination. If not for my friend’s wedding, I wouldn’t have considered Bohol to be the next on my list. I’ve always thought that it was so overrated, crowed and that I would rather visit some of the places less travelled like Batanes, Siargao or Siquijor but I judged Bohol wrongly. Bohol is a testament to how we are indeed rich in natural resources and that we have a very beautiful country. There’s no need to book that flight to Maldives or Bora-bora just yet if you haven’t seen the beauty that is in your own background.
HOW TO GET THERE:
We took a 2Go fastcraft (formerly Superferry) at Pier 4 from Cebu which cost us 565 Pesos for a one way ticket.From the port in Tagbilaran, tricycles can take you to Panglao for 300 pesos but due to our bargaining skills the driver agreed to our 250 pesos offer. There are Daily domestic flights from Manila to Tagbilaran if you’re coming from Manila.
Just me and my ice cream against the world…
Vacation Diaries Part 1- (Cebu/Bohol)
It took our driver 35-40 minutes to get to Mabolo from Mactan Airport because the traffic in Cebu is close to Manila traffic. My sister and I stayed at a cheap inn located at Mabolo street in Cebu called RingTop Pension House. It cost us 950 pesos per night for an aircon room. Definitely not your lavish hotel but comfy enough to sleep for the night.
*Pictures from the Ringtop Website
Our means of transportation was the reliable cab. And it is all over Cebu.So far all the cab drivers we had were so nice and helpful. The first night I finally saw my bride friend and she had her “very tame” bridal shower at SM City Cebu.