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Missing Korea

For the first time I finally had the courage to browse through the photos I took during my last travel to Korea, Spring of last year. I’m decorating my 2015 planner and, of course, photos from Korea are a must!

Mixed emotions. Bittersweet.

The memories are killing me as I click through each and every folder. But the priceless happiness that I felt during those days also came rushing in. It’s as if I can feel, once again, the coolness of Korean Spring breeze brushing through my face and the warmth brought by the fluttering of my heart is embracing me. I’m glad that more than the pain and sadness, I’m feeling happy seeing the photos I took then.

It also makes me miss Korea so much and for the first time since I returned I felt the urge to go back. Korea Spring 2015, I can’t wait for you! How I wish I can once again witness spring in the next few months but I have to wait until 2015 – when I’m more ready. Just one year. I’ll be a good girl for the meantime.

I’m still halfway through my folders (Day 28 of 51). Sharing some of my favorite photos. When I’m more ready and have more time I’ll post more photos and anecdotes from my stay in Korea both on Summer of 2012 and Spring of 2013. I wish I’ve taken more photos – prettier photos ㅠㅠ 아쉽다!

2013.03.23 Namsan Tower

2013.03.23 Namsan Tower

2013.03.23 Namsan Tower

2013.03.23 Namsan Tower

2013.03.29 Hangang Park (Jamsil)

2013.03.29 Hangang Park (Jamsil)

2013.03.29 Hangang Park (Jamsil)

2013.03.29 Hangang Park (Jamsil)

2013.04.07 Naksan

2013.04.07 Naksan

2013.04.17 Dangsan Bridge

2013.04.17 Dangsan Bridge

xx오빠, 이 사진들을 볼 수 있음 좋겠다. 어떻게 생각할지 되게 궁금해. 너… 보고 싶어… 아니… 안보고 싶어!

[뉴스] Pinoy tourists to South Korea expected to increase following relaxed visa rules

Pinoy tourists to South Korea expected to increase following relaxed visa rules

 (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 25, 2013 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – When the South Korean government relaxes its visa rules starting Sept. 1, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Manila Office expects more Filipino tourists to Korea.

Filipinos who have visited Korea at least once are now eligible for a one-year multiple-entry visa under the new rules.

Those who have visited Korea more than twice are eligible for a three-year multiple-entry visa.

And visitors who previously held a three-year multiple-entry visa can now obtain a five-year visa.

Rules have been relaxed for Chinese and other Southeast Asian nationals, too.

Sangyong Zhu, director of KTO Manila, is positive that easing visa rules will translate to more visitors to Korea.

“Korea is always ahead in visa processing compared by other countries. We are confident that visitor arrivals to Korea will surpass more than 12.5 million visitors again this year, “he said.

From January to July, Korea welcomed more than 6.3 million visitors.

This year, tourists from Philippines alone increased by 61.5 percent in March, 8.5 percent in April, 12.1 percent in May, 47 percent in June, and 74.4 percent in July compared to 2012.

For information, call the KTO Manila office at 880-0312 to 0313 or e-mail ktomanila@gmail.com.

꺄악!!!!!! This is good news! Getting a tourist visa to South Korea has always been a struggle for many Filipinos. I’ve been there. Done that. It’s NOT EASY! And now… now… I may be able to get a 3-year multiple-visa entry???!!!!! 꺄아아아아아ㅏㅏㅏㅏㅏㅏ!!!!! Thanks to this news my mood got better. I was, yet again, on a sour mood since yesterday… but now I can finally smile and have something to look forward to…. ^^

Korea, see you again in 2013!

korea2013

A pleasant surprise came at the end of last year. I just “passed by” the Korean Embassy before Christmas and submitted a tourist visa application “just for fun” since I was in the area frequently at that time. I submitted my application without any expectations at all. In fact I don’t actually have plans of coming back to Korea soon. Some friends were asking me why would I go to Korea and I just answer, “No particular reason” because there really aren’t any (aside from the obvious fact that I loved my stay there last summer and I’d do anything to be there once again).

Nonetheles I’m excited! I never thought I’ll be able to go back there this soon. Heck, I even thought I may not be able to go back (at least not in yeeeeaaarss). But here’s my visa and all I need now are roundtrip plane tickets and I’m off to go!!!

See you again, Korea! 🙂

[촬영장소] City Hall – Porridge Restaurant 본죽 당산점

Any City Hallers would know this porridge restaurant that has been on a number of City Hall episodes. How can one forget how Jo Guk tried hard not to cry while eating his porridge and looking at Mayor Shin Mi Rae’s photo?

scene from the drama

scene from the drama

scene from the drama

scene from the drama

scene from the drama

What I love most in this shop is that they preserved the props used in the drama  – the tarpaulin with Shin Mi Rae’s photo even if it has been 3 years already. They also proudly display some more photos from the drama inside and outside the shop. There’s even a nice signage that reads “City Hall Filming Location” outside. Whereas some of Kim Sun Ah’s filming drama locations have either renovated their place already or have taken down photos from her dramas.

ADDRESS:

서울특별시 영등포구 당산동6가 216-8
+82 2-2635-6287

HOW TO GET THERE:

Take line 9. Get off 당산 station. Take exit 8. Walk straight ahead. You’ll find the porridge shop on your left.

[촬영장소] City Hall – National Assembly of South Korea

Alright, there were actually no scenes that was ‘really’ filmed inside (or even outside) the National Assembly, I believe. Just a POV of Jo Guk from his car and some studio-filmed scenes that was supposed to be the inside of the National Assembly (unless they really filmed it inside?).

Nonetheless, for Kim Sun Ah / City Hall fans (fondly called Cityhallers), the National Assembly = Congressman Jo Guk!

scene from the drama

scene from the drama

photo taken from the back – which i think is how it was shot in the drama as well

HOW TO GET THERE:

Take Line 9 and get off 국회의사당 station Exit 1.

[촬영장소] I Do I Do – 수상한 포차 목동점 Choong Baek’s Restaurant

The place where EVERYTHING started in I Do I Do – Choong Baek’s 포차.

Scene from the drama

Scene from the drama

I went there twice. First to just look at the place. Next time I went there to join a 모임 with some Korean fans of Kim Sun Ah. The food and drinks were good! 🙂

ADDRESS:

서울시 양천구 신정동 902-1 산정빌딩 4층 403호.

1577-3817

HOW TO GET THERE:

Take subway line 5. Get off 목동역 exit 1. Walk straight for a few meters. It’s on your left, right next to a 노래방.

[촬영장소] When It’s At Night – National Museum

Whenever Korea’s National Museum is mentioned, When It’s At Night is always the first thing that comes to my mind. Why not? If more than half of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was filmed on Sam Shik’s restaurant, more than half of When It’s At Night was filmed at the National Museum.

Scene from the drama

Scene from the drama

Scene from the drama

Scene from the drama

The M cafe!

After the drama finished, there used to be a tarpaulin of a photo of Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Gun in this cafe. But it’s gone now. Instead a photo of a different was attached to one corner (and I didn’t bother checking which drama it was).

1. I wasn’t able to go around (especially the park areas because we don’t have much time (on my two visits to the National Museum).

And…

2. I haven’t seen When It’s At Night for a veeeery long time, so I can’t remember where exactly most of the scenes were and what National Treasures appeared on the drama.

But they are all there! Inside and around the National Museum. 🙂

HOW TO GET THERE:

Get off 이촌역 and basically it’s just around the corner. You can see it right away. You won’t miss it.

The M cafe is on the second floor.