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

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 | Jagalchi Market

Another short post ^^ This time on the Jagalchi Market in Busan!

Photo Credit to Korea Tourism Organization

This market is one of Busan’s best attractions. For those who love seafood, this is the place to visit. There is both an inside and outside to the market where there are a variety of fish, crustaceans, etc. You can buy the fish cooked if you wish, or you can buy it to take home to cook or take it to one of the many restaurants inside the market to have it cooked for you.

I would recommend finding the type of fish or seafood you want to eat before going. It really helps when looking around the market. For us, we didn’t know anything, so it was a bit confusing, and we didn’t know where to go. Lillian wanted to eat tuna and salmon sashimi, but it wasn’t available at this fish market. There was only white fish(i.e. flat fish). We ended up going into a restaurant and choosing from their menu.

It was a little expensive (30-50,000 Won), but the food is fresh and very delicious.

This is similar to what we had. It totally slipped our minds to take pictures ^^;;

We got the Seafood Stew (해물된장). It had squid, octopus, shrimp, and clams. It was a little spicy, but not too bad. Lillian had no problem with the spiciness, but she did burn the roof of her mouth. Overall, we would say it’s definitely worth the price. The cute waiters were an added bonus. Hahahahahha.

Hope you guys enjoyed this short post. Stay tuned for our next post! If you have questions, or would like to learn more about Busan and the Jagalchi Market, feel free to to contact us.

– Lila & Lillain

Busan | Sweet Stream Cafe

Hello everyone!

This past weekend, we were in Busan~~^^. We have a lot of footage and photos to share with you, but due to our schedules, we may not be able to upload our vlog until next week. Until then, we’ll be uploading some posts as sneak peaks.

Starting with…the Sweet Stream Cafe. There’s nothing really special about this cafe, but it was really cute and the atmosphere was really nice (the background music was Yiruma’s River Flows in You). The owner was very kind as well.

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It was located at the bottom on the Gamcheon Cultural Village Hill, right by the bus stop where we could take the bus to the Jagalchi Market.

While waiting for the bus, we decided to cool off with smoothies and charge our dying phones, haha. We also got a waffle as a small snack. It was delicious.KakaoTalk_20160504_010400710

This cafe was a perfect place to take a short break before moving on to our next location: The Jagalchi Market (자갈치 시장) and the BIFF Square.

Hope you guys like this short post.Stay tuned for more sneak peaks ^^

– Lila & Lillian

 

Food In Seoul | Coreanos in Itaewon

If you’re looking for global foods with a more authentic taste, Itaewon is the place to go. Itaewon is known as the foreigner’s district. You’ll find restaurants with different types of food from all around.

Coreanos is one of the few Mexican restaurants in Seoul that serves authentic Mexican food, or as authentic as you can get in Korea. There were a lot of American soldiers there, so it seems be one of the popular restaurants for foreigners.

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They have burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and more. It is a little on the pricey side, but considering that it is difficult to find this anywhere else in Korea, it’s worth the price you pay.

Plus the view is really nice! The nice weather helped (even though it was a little hazy that day).

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The food looks and tastes amazing. The staff were really kind and some of them spoke English as well. And the decor of the restaurant gives off a really nice atmosphere. We highly recommend going here at least once if you like to try the different foods in Korea.

 

**Sorry for the late posts again. Midterms are finally over, so we should get back to posting on a regular basis.^^

 

– Lila & Lillian

Gwanghwanmun Plaza and Insadong

Sorry for the last posts ^^;; School work has been picking up and midterms are in a week, so we will be slow to post things up. 죄송해용~! This post will cover our trip to Gwanghwamun and Insadong.

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If you want to see the heart of South Korea, the Gwanghwamun Plaza and Insadong District are the places to go. The Gwanghwamun Plaza (which I mentioned briefly in my highlights in our first vlog) consists of the Admiral Yi Sun Shin statute, King Sejong Monument, Gyeongbokgung Place and Cheongwadae (Blue House) all on one road.

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So, we couldn’t mention it in our vlog, but we actually explored the Gwanghwamun Plaza first ^^ since it was right in front of the subway exit that we came out of.

Underneath the monuments of Yi Sun Shin and King Sejong, there are museums where you can learn about what each of the men contributed to Korea.

Time for a short history lesson! ^^

Starting with Admiral Yi Sun Shin- he was a navy admiral, responsible for leading the Korean navy through many battles with the Japanese during the Imjin Wars. His most notable battle was the Battle at Myeongnyang, where he was able to defeat 31 of 133 Japanese ships, with just 13 ships of his own. (**I-Lila- highly recommend watching the movie, The Admiral: Roaring Currents or 명냥, about this battle.)

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Admiral Yi Sun Shin- Picture Credits to Korea Tourism Organization

Next, King Sejong- he was one of Korea’s greatest Kings. He carried out many progressive reforms, and one of his most notable creation was Hangeul (한글), the Korean writing system. Before Hangeul, only scholars and the rich were able to read and write, as the writing system was based on the Chinese writing system. Thanks to his creation, many more Koreans were able to learn how to read and write, and this led to the advancement of the country. During his reign, Korea was stable and very prosperous.

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King Sejong- Picture Credits to Korea Tourism Organization

After these museums, we headed to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. At the entrance of the Palace, there are palace guards, pretty similar to the ones in London at the Buckingham Palace. They didn’t move one bit.

Luckily, at the time we arrived it was time for the guard change, so we got to see a short performance. If you watch the vlog, you can see a short clip.

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Afterwards, we headed into the Palace (Entrance Fee is 3000 Won).From the entrance to the Main Hall, there is a straight path, which leads right to the King’s throne.

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From the Main Hall, we continued exploring the different parts of the Palace. It was very beautiful. The weather that day was really nice, so it made the experience even better ^^

We also got to see a traditional musical performance by students (again, you can see a short clip in our vlog). It was a really interesting performance. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the entire performance due to time constraints, so hopefully we will get to watch another performance if possible.

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Insadong is just a short distance from the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Like mentioned in our vlog, Insadong is the place for those who want to see a variety of tradition Korean items and try traditional foods, etc.

There is a variety of street food and snacks. The first 2 pictures below are 똥빵, if literally translated- poop bread. There are 2 types of filling: red bean and chocolate. Super tasty-we highly recommend trying it. It’s only 1,000 won (~$1)

 

The picture above shows the process of making 꿀타래, Dragon’s Beard Candy (interesting name, haha). The candy makers are really entertaining. Again, video included in our vlog, so make sure to check it out. We hope you guys enjoy it just as much as we did ^^

There are also many places to shop. You can also go to a Trick Eye Museum, try on traditional Korean clothing, and watch performances during certain times of the day. There’s so much to do and not enough time in a day.

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Overall, it was a really fun day, and we would love to spend more time in Insadong and see the other palaces in Seoul. Hopefully we’ll go back before the end of the semester. We highly recommend visiting these two places if you have time-it’s definitely worthwhile.

Stay tuned for our super late vlog ^^

– Lila & Lillian

HOW TO GET THERE:

Gwanghwamun Plaza: Located on Subway Line 5 (Purple Line), Gwanghwamun Station, Exit 9

This will take you right to the main strip of the Gwanghwamun Plaza where you can see the King Sejong and Yi Sun Shin Monument.

Insadong: Located on Subway Line 3 (Orange Line), Anguk Station

If you visit the Gyeongbokgung Place, it is just a straight walk to the Insadong District, if you take a left from the main entrance.