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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COFFEE TALKS , Seoul Edition | Fritz Coffee Company

COFFEE TALKS , Seoul Edition | Fritz Coffee Company

When traveling in groups, like with friends and family, a well-laid out itinerary should include at least one free day. People have a lot of individual interests that may not necessarily fit everybody else’s taste. Sometimes it is a waste of time to force everybody to do things they’re not really up to. The easiest solution is to dedicate a day to split up and seek each personal indulgence. Some people make it a point to hit up shopping centers when they travel to a new city. Others would like to see obscure museums. I like to waste my day in cute coffee shops.

It’s always a habit of mine to hit up the web and search for the top coffee shops in the city where I am. And since I do not want to induce a stomach flu and overdose in caffeine, I settle for two or three in one day and choose based on the following criteria:

– Cute in pictures – My palate is not sophisticated enough to determine if it is indeed the ‘best coffee’ in the city, but I do know what I like in coffee shops. I like them urban, industrial, and cozy. I did say I was on the hunt not for the best coffee but the cutest coffeeshops.
– Location – It has to be relatively accessible by the public transport system. Uber and cabs are not options. If it’s 2 km from the nearest station, that’s fine. I can walk. It’s my free day and I have all the time in the world
– Not starbucks.

So for my first stop on my free day in Seoul, while the rest of the city succumb to the rush of the early morning hours to work, I took three trains and leisurely walked my way to Mapo-gu to visit Fritz Coffee Company.

Seoul is a coffee loving city. The big chains — from local brands like Tom N Toms and Mango Six to international staples like Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts — thrive here. And even them step up their cute coffee shop game here, so it would take a lot of convincing for me to travel that far for coffee. But write ups for Fritz basically says it’s the brainchild of what seems to be the best of the best in the Seoul coffee scene — the Avengers of Korea coffee industry. And the pictures on the internet were so good.

And boy, it did not disappoint.

fritz-exterior-2fritz-interior-3fritz-food-2fritz-interior-2fritz-interior-1fritz-food

It’s a L-shaped, two story coffee shop in an enclosed compound. It’s big for a coffee shop but it never felt big. The first floor houses the coffee bar and the pastry section as well as a small seating section. I got the latte and the cranberry walnut scone, which was divine. They make their own baked goods in house in the basement, so not only does it look glorious, the whole place smells heavenly as well. The entire second floor is pure seating area with mismatched industrial chairs and tables. The whole place is well laid out and artistically lit. It’s cozy but well-lit in the right places. Heck, everything is like art-directed, from the unfinished exposed brick walls to random wall postings. When the coffee place give serious consideration on what bathroom stall hardware you ultimately would stare at when you do your ‘business’ because of such great coffee, you know they’re serious.

fritz-awardsfritz-second-floor-2fritz-bathroom


Fritz Coffee Company
179-9 Dohwa-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울시 마포구 도화동 179-9, Seoul, Korea

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