Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Koreanovela Chapter 1

Korea ~ so called the Land of the Morning Calm is gaining lots of popularity as a tourist destination.  When I was young, I knew very few things related to Korea.  We did study the history of North and South Korea during high school.  However, contemporary Korea used to be quite "in-distintive."  Until Koreanovelas, K-Pop and the Face Shop took the world by storm!  Now, we know,  the Koreans, as distinct from Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Hongkees.

I had the pleasure of visiting Seoul, when our company treated us for an incentive trip last February 2011.  It was our reward for a remarkable 2010 performance. 

My husband was already working in Singapore, at that time.  But he managed to steal a few days leave and join us.   
Fresh from the 6hr. Flight on Aseana Airlines
It was my 1st Winter trip abroad and I was giddy with excitement.  Months before, I was already purchasing my outfits online :)) It's hard to find stylish winter clothes in Manila.  Thank you to my old grade school friend, Phil. Airlines Flight Crew Robin,   whom I made courier of my gorgeous above-the-knee boots from Report.  My husband Ted, who with my niece Shelby scouted Dublin, California for my specific order..... a Red Trench... nothing less than Red!  :)))

Don't you wish there's winter in the Philippines?  So we can wear these :))
First on our itinerary was Everland, a  theme-park in Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi-do province. It is Korea's largest theme park. owned by the Samsung Group.  Yes, Samsung, of the TV & cellphone fame.  Samsung is a huge diversified company in Korea.   Everland is 10th in the world, in terms of theme park visitors.

my posse Mean, Jolie, Mau and Melanie with my inaanak Skye
It's a welcome respite from the usual Disneyland & Universal Studios franchise.  They have cute local mascots, and the thrill-rides are not for the faint-hearted.  They have the oldest wooden roller coaster in the world.  Yes, wooden!  (check it out behind us in the pic).

We also love the Snowbuster.  It's like a toboggan sled, but they use inflated rafts.

I'm one of those sliding down the slopes :)  I enjoyed this so much! Kasabayan ko kids :)
My gorgeous officemates Arlene, Blaise, and Carmela
Along with the usual rides and theme park attractions,  Everland also includes a zoo and a water park known as Caribbean Bay.

Frozen River on the Carribean Bay waterpark
Frozen Waterfall
 We rode a shuttle to go around a small Safari, of mostly bears and tigers.

 The zoo also boasts of having rare White Tigers.  They are really cute.  They look cuddly not fierce. 

 Weirdest thing ~ they were able to successfully mix a Lion & a Tiger  and  call it a Liger.  :P  LOL.

my lovely friends Lyn, Grace, Divine and Neri

Our lunch was at a non-pretentious traditional bar-b-que restaurant.  Korean Bar-b-que using marinated thin-strips of beef is called Bulgogi.  It's tons of glorious, yummy, fresh beef, that you have to grill by yourself in your table.  You have to put the cooked meat in between Lettuce leaves with other condiments including Kimchi.  

Thanks goodness my hub was with me.  He grills really well.  All I needed to do was stuff myself.   One of the best lunch I ever had ... in my entire life!   Nowadays, when we go to Korean restaurants in Manila or Singapore, just to re-live those tastes ... Wala talaga.  Nothing can surpass the authentic thing! 

Our next stop is the landmark of Central Seoul ~  It's the N. Seoul Tower.  It's high up Namsan Peak, approximately 262-meters and we rode a huge cable car going up. 

Can also walk -up; there's a trail.. If you can brave the snow

Atop the mountain, there are smoke signal stations called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae which was used as an emergency communication system during the early times.

But the main attraction is the soaring N Tower measuring 777 feet.  It's a communication and observation tower.

photo by Isageum
The tower features a gift shop and restaurants on the ground floor.  We went up to the tower. There are four observation decks (the 4th observation deck, which is the revolving restaurant, rotates at a rate of one revolution every 48 minutes).  Most of the city of Seoul can be seen from the top.... even the toilets have views of the city!


We walked the trails in going-down the mountain to enjoy the crisp cold, weather.   There was a Cold Rock Creamery & we couldn't resist!  

with my friends carole and carme enjoying our ice cream in winter

We didn't really walk all the way down :) We were fetched by our tour bus half-way :))  We went to Tony Roma's for dinner.  But I was still full from lunch's bar-b-que buffet.  The chicken dinner was insignificant but generous nonetheless.  I would have enjoyed it in another time.

Before we turned-in for the night, we went to Dongdaemun for some shopping.  I can't believe how famous Face Shop here in Korea.  It's like McDonald's.  There are so many, almost in every street corner.

Korean men, not just women are vain!  They really maintain such amazing grooming!  I'm not just talking about cosmetics, but the basics... great skin care rules!

 Warning.  Not enough of shopping pictures in my Korea trip.  I don't multi-task :)

Whew!  What a packed day it was!
Tomorrow,  I will  Ski for the 1st time,  and make yummy spicy Kimchi.

Until then!



butterfly said...

finally i got a quick moment to read and comment here. amazing Korea. so you finally did wear winter stuffs! imagine us here wearing almost 10 months of trench, boots and thick jackets, ambigat, minsan irritating na hehehe. anyway, thanks for sharing these fotos. ansaya! ang sweet nyo ni pre Ted. so yummy the grill thing, mukhang bloated ka after hahaha. o di ba, bagay naman sa'yo yung cap. as usual my package will arrive late. andun yung promise kong cap sa'yo, just wait. busy-busyhan pa ako. =)

RipeMango said...

thanks for dropping by my blog, butterfly. see you soon!