Final Reflections | Lillian

Now that I am back in California, there is a lot of things I miss about South Korea. I actually just talked to Lila on the phone yesterday and it felt so weird because I wasn’t going down the elevator and knocking on the door or meeting her in the lobby to go grab dinner. I think for sure the one thing I miss the most about South Korea are the people, because I made some amazing friends who were all so great. It is truly that sense of, “You don’t know how much you appreciate something, until it is gone.” However it is really nice to see my family and friends back home.

I definitely changed and found a part of myself that I wouldn’t have while going to South Korea. I think another thing I really miss and wished for right now is the freedom to make my own decisions and do what I want. I think freedom allowed me to try new things that I normally wouldn’t have, knowing that there were my risks to take. Another thing South Korea really taught me was to be more carefree-in the sense of meeting people. I used to be nervous about people not liking me, but honestly, South Korea gave me this sense of not caring about what others think, and I came back with that thought thinking that things happen for a reason. There are other many things that South Korea had a great impact on my life, but for right now these are the ones that stand out to me the most and I wanted to share it with those reading Lila and my blog.

South Korea ~ you were a great journey for me and I will never forget the memories you have left within my life.

– Lillian

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Final Reflections | Lila

Hello everyone,

I hope you guys are having a great summer. I’m finally sitting down and putting my final thoughts about together to share with you guys.

To start off, I had a great time in South Korea. I definitely learned a lot about myself, the country, the culture and the city of Seoul. I was able to make new friends and experience so many new things, but there are so many more things that I wish I could have done. (I guess that just means I have to go back someday ^^).

Before going to South Korea, I promised myself that I would try to step out of my comfort zone, that I would try things I’d never imagine I try. I think I was able to do that—to an extent. Perhaps I could have pushed myself further. But after reflecting on my experiences, I believe I did my best. I am very introverted and shy, so being able to go to a different country and live there for 4 months was a challenge. Meeting new people and making new friends wasn’t the easiest, but I was able to meet a lot of different people and make new friends who I can hopefully keep in touch with.

The most important thing I learned while abroad is that while you may not connect with everyone you talk with, while you may not agree with their ideas and opinions, you can always learn something from them. Even if you don’t keep in touch with some people you meet after you return, the time you spent with them will be something great to look back on.

If I must recommend one thing—besides studying abroad, of course—it is to reflect on each and every one of your experiences. There is something to take away from everything that happens to you and around you. A lot with happen while you are abroad, so unless you reflect on them, it can be hard to be fully aware of what each experience is teaching you.

Thank you for following Lillian and I on our adventures in South Korea. Hopefully, this won’t be our last posts, but if they are, we hope you enjoyed reading our posts and watching our vlogs. ♡♡ 고마워용~~

~ Lila

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Seoraksan National Park | Day 3

Hi everyone!

There’s not much to say about our 3rd day of the trip, but we would like to share some pictures with you all. Hope you like them

 

– Lila & Lillian

P.S. Again, this trip was booked through Adventure Korea. They have a variety of trips planned throughout the year, so make sure to check them out if you’re interested in traveling around Seoul or South Korea. You can find their website here.

Seoraksan National Park | Day 2

Hi everyone!

This is 2nd post on our trip to Seoraksan. Sorry for the late upload.

This was the day that Lillian and I (Lila) split up. This post will be on my portion of the trip, since you can view most of Lillian’s trip in the vlog.

For day 2, I decided to spend it at the beach. My cough had not let up, so I didn’t want to irritate my lungs anymore with an 11 hour hike. We left about an hour or two after the hiking group. I was a little worried, because it was so cloudy that morning, but thankfully, it cleared up by the time we reached the beach. The water was so beautiful.

As mentioned in the video, there were things like surfing, snorkeling and zip-lining. It was kind of fun to watch the people surfing, because there weren’t really any waves, haha. I don’t know how fun it would have been worth it though. I had already done zip-lining at Nami, so I didn’t want to do it again. That meant I spent the entire day just lying on the beach and enjoying the sun. (You can see a picture of the starfish we found above. Pretty cool, huh?)

For lunch, most of the restaurants had a 40 minute- 1 hour waiting time. A little bit ridiculous, I think. There didn’t seem to be that many people. So I and some of the other people in our group decided to walk around until we found a decent place with less of a waiting time. We did find this little pizza place with a 10-15 minute waiting time, so we thought this would be better than the other places, but when we got our food, it was disappointing. Their “pizza” was more dough with barely any sauce and no cheese and barely any toppings. My mouth started hurting after a while from the rough dough.

(on a side note: their fries were good) Besides the food, the rest of the day was pretty good.

This wraps up my day at the beach and our second day of the trip.

Thanks for reading, everyone! As always, feel free to leave comments or email us questions if you would like to know more about our trip. Stay tuned for another post soon.

– Lila & Lillian

Seoraksan National Park | Day 1 + Vlog

Hi everyone!

This will be the first of our last posts on trips that we’ve gone on while in South Korea ㅠㅠ . It’s hard to believe that 4 months have already passed. To keep these posts shorter, we’ll be splitting this into 3 posts: Day 1 + Vlog, Day 2 and Day 3.

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Our last trip was to Seoraksan National Park, as you can tell from the title. We booked this trip with Adventure Korea. This group organizes various trips through the year. All-in-all, this trip was well organized. There were a few hiccups and we did run a bit behind schedule, but everything turned out pretty well.

This trip took place over the Memorial Day weekend (Memorial Day in Korea takes place on June 6th), so we had 3 days to do hiking. We left early Saturday morning and got to Seoraksan around 12 pm.

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We had bibimbap for lunch. For some reason, I (Lila) did not expect too much, but it was actually really good.

After eating, we headed to the Seoraksan National Park. There were 3 hiking options: difficult, medium, and easy. We decided to go with the medium and easy options, considering the fact that I was sick and Lillian was planning to go on the 11 hour hike the next day.

The medium option included a cable car ride and a bit of a hike. You’ll be able to see parts of the cable car ride up if you watch our vlog, but here are some pictures of the view from the top. It was so beautiful.

After this part, we headed back down and made our way towards the “waterfall”. It took quite a while, almost 45 minutes to get to there. And then there was about another 400 meter hike to an observation tower, but considering the time constraint, we opted out of going to that and just headed back after taking a few pictures.

See that tiny waterfall? Can that be considered a waterfall? haha…

Anyways, after this hike, we got back to the bus and headed to our motel. It was about an hour long ride, so it was dark by the time we arrived. We got the key to our room, dropped off our stuff and then went out for dinner with some of the other travelers.

That pretty much wraps up the first day.

As always, thank you for reading! ^^

– Lila & Lillian

To find out more about Adventure Korea, you can browse their website here.

Jeju Island

Hello everyone!

These last two weeks were packed with traveling and school work. We managed to fit in a trip to Jeju and Seoraksan National Park, while meeting paper deadlines and studying for finals. For now, we’ll just cover what we did in Jeju. There was a lot that we couldn’t capture on video for the vlog, so in addition to our video, this post will cover those activities.

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On Friday, we landed in Jeju around 5 pm. That left us just enough time to grab some food on Noodle Street (국수거리)  before heading to the 24 hour spa for the night.

We stayed at the Dodoo Haesu Park Jjimjilbang (도두해수파크). You can find the address here. Unfortunately, it’s only in Korean, but it shouldn’t be too hard to navigate around. We originally planned to stay at another jjimjilbang, but things didn’t work out. Luckily, we found this place. Not many tourists seem to know about this jjimjilbang, so there will be more Koreans. Overall, it was really nice and very clean. It only cost 9,000 Won to stay for the night.

We recommend that you try the sweet rice drink, shikae (식혜), and the hard boiled eggs. If you are going with friends, play rock, paper, scissors, and the winner gets to crack the egg on the loser’s head. (We would love to share the videos we took with you, but they didn’t turn out so well).

Saturday was our big day of travel. We booked everything beforehand, including a taxi for the day. Everything was booked through Trazy. This is an awesome site. If we forgot to mention it before, definitely check out Trazy.com. They offer a variety of travel deals at reasonable prices.

Our plan for the day was:

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Kayaking
  3. Horseback Riding
  4. Mazeland
  5. Manjanggul Cave

We were a bit worried on Saturday morning, because it was raining. It wasn’t raining very hard, but because we did have horseback riding on the schedule, we were worried that it would be cancelled. After talking with our guide, we found out that horseback riding had been cancelled. Nevertheless, we still got in the taxi and headed towards the east coast of Jeju.

For snorkeling and kayaking, we were limited to a small space. But even so, Lillian had a great time snorkeling. For Lila, it wasn’t as exciting as she had hoped, but it was still nice to get out in the water. None of us had swimsuits, but fortunately, the place did provide wet suits at no extra cost.

After snorkeling and kayaking, we headed to lunch. We had a Seafood Ramen dish (해물라면) at a local restaurant. It is known to be the first to create the dish.  It was delicious and not at all expensive. It was 6,000 Won per serving. Considering that there was quite a large amount of seafood in the ramen, it was an awesome deal. The restaurant was quite small and cozy. The walls were filled with autographs from different celebrities. (If Lila wasn’t dying from a coughing fit, she might have enjoyed the place a bit more…haha). Beware not to choke on the noodles, because it could be spicy for some people.

Once we finished our lunch, we got great news from our guide. Horseback riding was back on the schedule. The rain had let up, so it was decided that it would be safe enough to ride the horses. Before stopping at the stables, our guide took us to a photo spot. We were able to get a few good shots in.

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At the stables, we suited up and got on our horses. Since it was Lila’s first time, she was a little nervous and happy that there were guides holding onto the reins. Lillian, on the other hand, was a bit disappointed that she couldn’t have free control of the reins since she had previous experience.

We were taken out onto the beach path. It was so nice being out there. The weather was slightly chilly, but otherwise very nice.

The downside about this particular event is that it only lasts about 20 minutes and the fee was 50,000 Won. It is overpriced, but if you like to try for the experience, we would say go for it. There are other places for horse riding on Jeju as well, so we recommend checking those out if you’re looking for something more.

Next was Mazeland. At this point, we were a bit worried about time, because the taxi we booked was only available for a total of 9 hours and we were getting pretty close to the time limit, but since we already booked the tickets, we thought it would be a waste of money not to go. So if you watch our vlog, you can see what the maze looked like. We highly recommend going there. It is beautiful and just challenging enough. There are also indoor mazes as well with optical illusion art.

Luckily, the sun had come out at that point, so we could enjoy walking through the mazes.

Our last activity was the Manjanggul Cave. It is a very unique cave, one of the best lava caves in the world, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tunnel is about 1 km long. It takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes to walk one way, so a total of an hour to go through the entire tunnel.

As you can see in our vlog, it is quite dark in the cave. It is also very cool, so if you do go, make sure to bring a light jacket or sweater.

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So our long day ended here. We headed back to Jeju City and had dinner (Chicken Galbi, 닭갈비). Then we headed back to the jjimjilbang to wash up and sleep.

Final Thoughts:

This was a great trip. Despite the rain and few other unexpected circumstances, we were still able to do a lot. And as usual, there was not enough time to do everything, so if given the chance, we love to return to explore more of the island.

Jeju is a great place to visit with friends and family and do different outdoor activities like hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, etc. There are also a ton of museums to visit. This should be on your must-visit list.

But just a heads-up, traveling by car is the easiest in Jeju Island. So we recommend either renting a car or taking taxis. However, in order to rent a car you also need an international drivers license. If you are traveling on a budget, public transportation does exist. In the city, public transportation is fine, but buses come every hour or so. Outside of the city, it may be unreliable.

SPECIAL NOTE: So as we mentioned, we booked a taxi for the day, it was probably our best decision. Our driver was awesome. His name is Mr. Raymond Cheon. He was so kind and helped us with a lot of things, including pictures. A lot of these pictures are credited to him. He recommended the restaurant where we had the Seafood Ramen; he took us to that beautiful picture spot. AND he also recommend a great restaurant for dinner. Had we not booked this taxi, our trip would have been a lot more hectic. So we would like to give a special thanks to our taxi driver, Mr. Cheon.

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Thank you for reading. Hope you guys enjoyed. As always, if you would like to know more about traveling to Jeju, please feel free to contact us.

– Lila & Lillian

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If you would like to book any of these activities through Trazy, you can find them here:

Snorkeling, Kayaking and Paddleboard: https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/snorkeling-paddleboarding-kayaking-jeju

Horseback Riding: https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/horse-riding-park-jeju-island

Mazeland: https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/maze-land-jeju-discount-ticket

Jeju Taxi Tour: https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/jeju-taxi-tour-guide

K-Star Road and Entertainment Companies

Hi everyone!

This is Lila. So about a month ago, around children’s day, we had a four-day weekend. Lillian was visiting family, so I was left to travel alone ㅠㅠ haha, not really. I took this chance to fulfill some of my fangirling goals with some other friends. In case, I haven’t mentioned before, I’m a huge K-pop fan. My favorite group is SHINee (I highly recommend going to listen to some of their music). I really wanted to experience what it was like to see the entertainment companies and I knew there were these bear statues for each idol group in Gangnam, so I decided to head there.

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The start of the K-Star Road is located outside of the Apgujeong Rodeo Station.

I don’t remember how many gangnamdols there were, but most popular groups had one. Girls Generation, KARA, Super Junior, B1A4, Block B, etc.

These were my favorites! SHINee, FT Island, CN Blue and BTS. Well, BTS was more for my friend :). I’m not quite sure why these were put up, but they’re super cute. I felt so weird taking pictures by these, kind of like a crazy fangirl, haha, but it was fun with friends.

After K-Star Road were the entertainment companies: FNC, JYP, SM, Cube and JellyFish. I find it funny how these companies know fans are trying to find these companies, so they provide a map of their locations. I guess it’s basically a tourist attraction. **JellyFish was the only company of these 5 not on the map**

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We found all the companies except Cube. It was supposed to be in the same area as JYP, but there was no clear sign. It was strange, but it didn’t matter too much.


It was cool to see where these companies were-most of them were  located in the alleyways and backstreets-but I definitely wouldn’t do it again.It felt really weird, kind of creepy and intrusive, going to these companies, so I don’t want to go again, but if you’re curious about where these companies are located, I still recommend going. Just remember, if you’re lucky enough to spot an idol, respect their space and privacy.

That’s all for now! If you have any questions or would like to hear more about my experiences, shoot a message my way ^^

– Lila

Directions

By Subway: Yellow (Bundang) Line, Apgujeong Rodeo Station, Exit 2

Nami Island

Hello everyone!

Instead of a video this time, we decided to have a blog post on Nami Island because, unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of good footage (Lila’s battery had died a quarter way into the trip), BUT we did get some pretty cool pictures.

Our trip to Nami Island was a month ago today. Wow! Time just flies by too quickly ㅠㅠ

Anyways…

Nami Island is known for its appearance in the drama, Winter Sonata, with actors: Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo.

Beautiful, isn’t it? haha

We left pretty early in the morning, around 8:30 AM. We expected to get there around 10 AM, but we just missed the train and had to catch the next one, which came after 15 minutes. The entire trip took about 2 hours, and then we had to wait for the bus to take us to the area. Honestly, we could have walked, but since we weren’t sure which way to go, we thought taking the bus was smarter.

When we got there, we went straight to the zip lining ticket booth, and then found out that the waiting time was 4 hours… Online, it did say we should have went early, and we thought we were going to get there a lot faster, but we thought wrong. However, Lillian stated that no matter what she wanted to zip line to the island, and that was one of the main reasons why she came to Nami, so we all just decided to wait the 4 hours…

Since we had so much time, we decided to grab lunch first. The specialty food around Nami is Chicken Galbi (닭갈비) and Buckwheat Noodles (막국수). It was delicious and although we did not have it, we highly recommend you try to order frying the rice with the leftovers. It is just an extra 2,000 won, but we were way too full.

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After lunch, we walked around the area. In addition to zip-lining, there was bungee jumping. It was amusing watching people jump and it was nice listening to the thrilling music they played as everyone took their turn to jump.

Finally around 3 pm, it was our turn to go on the zip-line. After buckling in, the staff pushed us down and we soared across the river towards Nami. The view was so amazing. It’s too bad we couldn’t take a video of us zip-lining.

On the island, we walked around. Many people rented bikes and rode around the island, but since we were in a bit of a time crunch, we decided to forgo it and just explore by foot.

 

There were restaurants had different types of Korean food, like Seafood Pajeon (해물파전), Bibimbap (비빔밥), etc. There was so much to try, but our stomachs couldn’t take all of it, so we just had 해물파전 and 비빔밥. It was sooo good. There were also red bean buns that you could eat (pictured on the right side). It is a bit on the pricey side, but is made fresh with a traditional cooking style, so try it if you can.

After about an hour and a half, we had to rush to take the ferry back. It was really nice. Luckily we were able to get good seats at the back of the ferry to see the river one last time.

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Last Thoughts:

There were all sorts of other activities to do there that we couldn’t do because of time. If we could go back, it would be nice to try some of the crafting activities, bike riding, and just explore more of the island and its beauty.

Overall, we highly recommend going to Nami Island, at least once. It’s so beautiful. If you do want to do zip-lining, plan to go early, very early, like before the place even opens. It’ll save you time and you’ll get to explore more of the island.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to know more about our trip to Nami Island, feel free to send us a message! ^^

– Lila & Lillian

Prices:

Zip-lining: 38,000 Won (this includes entrance to Nami Island)

Entrance Fee: 8,000 Won for Foreigners

Bike Rental: 3,000 Won for 30 min, 5,000 Won for 1 hr. (single)

6,000 Won for 30 min, 10,000 Won for 1 hr. (couple)

10,000 Won for 30 min (family)

Directions to Nami Island:

By Subway: Gyeongchun Line, Gapyeong Station

From Gapyeong Station, cross the main street to get to the bus station. Look for the bus that goes to Nami Island (남이섬). It should take about 10 minutes.

Cost: 2,550 Won

You can also take a taxi from Gapyeong Station to Nami Island. It would cost roughly 3,3000 Won.

By Shuttle Bus: Pick up location at Insadong/Namdaemun

This is a direct shuttle bus to Nami Island. It is recommended that you reserve seats beforehand.

Cost: 15,000 Won (round trip), 7,500 Won (one way) for Adults

13,000 Won (round trip), 6,500 Won (one way) for children.

Busan | VLOG

It’s finally up, guys! Our 7th vlog on Busan. We know it’s a month late, but we hope you guys still enjoy watching it!


If you would like to learn more about how to get and what things there are to do in Busan, feel free to contact us!

– Lila & Lillian