VIDEO | Autumn in Nami Island

VIDEO | Autumn in Nami Island

In my four visits in Korea, I’ve been to Nami Island 3 times, all during fall.

In my previous times in Nami Island, this little lovely islet about 2 hours from Seoul, I have squeezed out whatever you can do here. I have:

1. stared in awe over the glorous autumn foliage. Nami is an amazing sight all year round, but I think the view is incomparable during fall.

Nami Island, 2012
Nami Island, 2012
Nami Island, 2016
Nami Island, 2016
Nami Island, 2016
Nami Island, 2016

2. biked around the island. You can walk the entire Nami island in 30 minutes from one end to another end. If you go around the island, it would take you around 2 and half hours. It’s completely doable on foot, especially when a normal tour here on an organized bus group would have you spending the entire day here. But if you want to make things interesting, rent a bike and do it winter sonata style — you in a cute dress just pedaling away with the wind.

Nami Island, 2014
Nami Island, 2012
Nami Island, 2014
Nami Island, 2014

3. eat. I am me so I eat.


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VIDEO | All Around Seoul

VIDEO | All Around Seoul

In one day in Seoul, I was able to:

– Try out the coffee and scone at one of Seoul hippest coffee shop, Fritz Coffee Company.
– Do a little shopping at Hongdae
– Play with dogs at Bau House Dog Cafe
– Have an afternoon coffee at Coffee Libre
– Have a roast lobster with cheese dinner at Myeongdong.

If only Manila has Seoul’s efficient transport system…


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VIDEO | What’s new in McDonald’s… Seoul?

VIDEO | What’s new in McDonald’s… Seoul?

I never shy away from local cuisine whenever visiting another country. As long as I can take it (read: not curry), I will gladly take a bite at it. And I’m not talking about those in five star restaurants. I have a budget of a person who stays in hostels. I’m talking about food on the streets — hawkers, mom and pop neighborhood shops, maybe their version of jollyjeep.

But one thing I try not to miss is their local McDonalds. You see, McDonald’s menu varies from country to country. I think we’re the only country with Chicken McDo. When I was in Beijing, they had congee in their menu. When I was in Bangkok, they had churros. In Seoul, they have Bacon McMuffin.

Unfair.

Who do we have to address a petition to for us to get Bacon McMuffin? Should we change.org it?


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VIDEO | Back in Seoul, Day 1

VIDEO | Back in Seoul, Day 1

After 3 years, I am back in Korea!

I am one of those people who’d rather be super early at the airport than fidgeting in the car because I am cutting it close. That’s why on the day of my flight back to seoul, I was there at 2:30 am for a 7:00 am flight.

I had a nightmare once that I missed a flight. I have never missed a flight in my flight. And I hope I never will.

I am used to red eye flights. You catch the last flight out, sleep at the hotel and then tackle the city first thing in the morning. Morning flights are such a waste of time. We flew out at 7 am, arrived at 1:00 pm, Seoul time and just had enough time to drop our bags at the hostel and then rush out to catch the sunset at N Seoul tower.

Still, I was back in Seoul. Feeling hashtag blessed.


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FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Soondae. Not the Ice Cream. The Blood Sausage.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Soondae. Not the Ice Cream. The Blood Sausage.

It was love at first taste. Not first sight. Because visually, Soondae, or the korean blood sausage, it’s not exactly appealing.

blood-sausage-2

But there was one day many breakfasts ago that Jr and I walked into a restaurant in Hyehwa and pointed to picture on walls only to discover the best delicacy I ate in Korea.

blood-sausage-soup

Ever since then I look forward to having soondae when I visit. Often at night, for 3000 won, I would stand in one of the street food kiosk and point to the steaming soondae covered in thick plastic. The friendly kiosk owner would cut half a foot length in one inch segments, coupled with a few bites of tripe and pork liver in a plastic covered bowl and place it in front of me, along with a little plate of salt and pepper. Smiling, he would raise his thumb, index and middle finger and I would hand him 3 one thousand won bills. He pour a ladle full of hot soup from where the fish cakes are bathing and he’d proceed to serve the next customer. I would do this every night after I alight the subway station nearest to my hostel before going back to my room. Samgyeopsal was plentiful in Manila, but I have yet to find a place serving soondae here. My goal was to eat my weight in soondae while in Korea.

On my last night in Seoul, instead of pigging out in Myeongdong, I decided to walk the streets of Hyehwa instead in the hopes of finding that breakfast place we once visited. It took a couple of blocks of walking and my mission was almost blocked by the steak rice topping being mobbed in one street corner. And then I saw a familiar establishment — bright, covered in thick plastic insulation, warming it against the cold fall night. I peeped thru and thought, I think what I was looking for was in one of the pictures on the wall.

blood-sausage-001blood-sausage-002

I entered and a friendly Korean lady pointed to an empty table. I, in turn, pointed to the picture of the stew on the walls. In the universal language of food ordering, I hoped to the food gods that we understood each other. I also hoped it came with rice.

Minutes after and this boiling soup in a hot pot arrived on my small table already full of banchan. I scraped the bottom and yes, I hit the blood sausage hotpot. Also, at 5000 won, it came with a steaming cup of rice.

Ask and you shall receive.

blood-sausage-flatlayblood-sausage-003


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