I patiently waited for the next bus that will take us back to Busan, South Korea. It a was cold night back in April. I was in Jinhae Bus Station, happy and contented after experiencing my first cherry blossom festival.
We were not the first persons in line so I thought my friend, Ate B, and I might not be seated together. True enough, when the bus arrived, the window seats got filled quickly. We ended seating across each other in aisle seats. I glanced at my seatmate and noted he was probably a European based on the language he was speaking while on a phone call. A few seconds after his call, he was sniffing and he took out a roll of tissue. I thought to myself he probably has colds due the weather.
It’s no secret that I am very interested in Korean history and culture. This is the primary reason why in my travel bucket list, South Korea was the first country I listed that I want to visit. Last year, I was able to cross out that item off my list. That trip to South Korea marked my 1st overseas travel and what a gamble it was considering I had to apply for a visa.
South Korea has a very rich in history and it has done a very good job of preserving its historic places. The presence of several palaces in the heart of Seoul amidst modern infrastructure is a testament to that. Of the five (5) palaces found in Jongno, my favorite would have to be the Changdeokgung Palace. The palace complex is especially lovely during autumn.
While walking around, I chanced upon these quarters with a very ornate roofing. Imagine the detail placed in designing them.
Check out this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge with the theme Ornate.
Upon arrival in Seoul last October, the first places/things my friend Me-an and I agreed to look for was food and money changer. So upon depositing our luggage in hour hotel in Jong-no, we went straight to Myeong-dong. Upon getting off the subway station, the first restaurant we saw was McDonalds. We agreed to just eat there because we were already so hungry.
Thankfully, ordering was a breeze. The staff at the counter understood basic English and I was still decent enough to understand that “in-here” means “dine-in”. Ha! I was also amazed at the presentation of the cheeseburger. It was a far cry from the way cheeseburgers are served here in in the Philippines!
After I was done eating, I immediately stood and about to head to the door when Me-an stopped me. She said I have to pick-up the wrapper of the burger and the glass where I drank from and throw it on the garbage. I looked around and realized there was a “self-service garbage disposal counter” and people were indeed throwing their own garbage. I thought what a neat practice it was, something I was not used to seeing in the Philippines.
I love the color yellow. It’s so alive and warm. It also reminds me of so many things… a bright sun, a delicious sunny side up, and a cute duckling among others. For this week’s theme, let me share some beautiful pictures from my trip to South Korea last October. I can still not get over how beautiful autumn is and I probably won’t recover anytime soon. 🙂
These trees would look lovely with Christmas lights! 🙂 It’s almost Christmas everyone. How are going to spend the holidays? I am off to my hometown tonight for much deserved break. Hope I can still squish another post before the year ends. Happy Holiday! 🙂
2014 has been a remarkable year so far. I have been able to cross out a lot of things in my bucket list. Here are some of them:
1. Fire a real gun. I got lessons from the son of a general when I was in Guimaras last May!
2. Have my passport stamped. I did not just get a stamp. I also had my first visa! My South Korea trip was so memorable because it’s my first overseas travel, and well…it’s South Korea and it was autumn! 🙂
3. Conquer my fear of water….slowly. I love beaches but I don’t snorkel, dive or do any sort of water activity that requires me to put my head under water. But when I was in Balicasag Island in Bohol last August, the life under the water was simply too beautiful to pass. I dipped my head in the the shallower parts of the sea just to witness what the fuss was all about. And boy, I am glad I did! 🙂
You might find that there’s a disconnect in the title of this post. It’s related to my travel to Seoul but talks about the Thai way of saying “hello”. You see, I had very interesting tales associated with this greeting when I was in Seoul last October.
Upon arrival in Seoul, I and my friend Me-an immediately braved the cold streets of Myeong-dong to look for food, the best dollar to won exchange rates, and cardigans to augment our cold weaponry. I was in awe not just of the number of people in the area but the variety of things that can be bought. Myeong-dong truly lives up to its name of being one of Seoul’s premiere shopping destination!
After happily walking out of a small stall, my spirit was blown out of my body when a man selling bags greeted us a with a very loud, “Sawa dee Krap!”. We just laughed so the man smiled back. Perhaps he was thinking “I got this in the bag”. Too bad just we laughed out of shock and the hilariousness of being mistaken as Thais.
On our 2nd night, we ventured to the more artsy street of Insadong where I found out street performances and magic shows are just ordinary happenings.
While quietly checking out the stalls, we were surprised again when someone shouted at us, “Sawa dee Krap!”. By that time I figure out I really probably looked like a Thai.
Months ago, I bought a plane ticket to Seoul, South Korea to satisfy my wonder of what it feels to walk and live in the place whose culture I am so fascinated with. Little did I know that beyond quenching my wonders, I would also fall in love…. with a season.
It was my first time to see autumn, and boy, it was love at first sight. It was such a surreal experience for someone from a tropical country to witness the changing of seasons.
The best displays of autumn foliage were on the countryside, particularly Nami Island and the area around Petite France. Nami Island is hands down a beautiful, beautiful place.
It wasn’t even the peak of autumn yet, yet the countryside was already so beautiful. How magnificent would these places be at the peak of autumn?