01 May 2012


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure
the mysterious palace gate
view of Jeju-do from the high heavens

Before I start, let me share with you our dinner after our Everland adventure.

To somehow counterweigh our expenses for the first couple of days, we decided to eat cheap. We bought luncheon meat, noodles, and bab (rice) in Family Mart, a famous convenience store chain in Korea.  I cooked, and then Arigato and Shortstride took turns in cleaning.

By the way, just another tip, if you will be on the move most of the time (just like us, since we wanted to cram a lot of activities in a short span of time), you might want to eat light meals in Family Mart. It is a lot cheaper than eating in restaurants, plus you get to finish more quickly. And then just make up for a heavy meal when you are not in a rush.

Again, photoshoot first.

So anyway, Day 4 activities are the following: the new schedule for our Seoul City bus tour in the morning; flight to Jeju in the evening.  The plan was to go to Myeongdong, first thing in the morning, to have the rest of our money exchanged. And then have the bus tour, and then go back to Dale’s place to get our luggage, and then travel to Gimpo International Airport.

That was the plan.

Myeongdong looked different during daytime
I was scolded for this shot. Apparently they didn't want a picture with Myeongdong but with that dude on the billboard. Tsk

There. Wait, was that a dude?

Koreanovela sighting

However, it turned out that locating the FX booth, and finding the bus station for the Seoul City Bus Tour took us forever. That’s even with the help of the tourist aides and their free map. We spotted the bus stop at around 10:00AM, and if we proceeded with the tour, we will either be late for our evening flight, or we will have to cut our trip short. Not economical. So we decided to visit only a couple of palaces and then head back to Dale’s place.

First up, Changgyeonggung Palace.

Lonewulf went back in time
Locating the palace was a bit tricky. Armed only with the guidance of blogs, it took us a while to find it --or so we liked to think we found it. After we disembarked the train (I believe it was Jongno 3 station of Subway Line 1), we wandered about a million blocks before finding the palace gate. And note that this part of town has a more rural feel than Myeongdong, and nobody (as in zilch) speaks English. If I’m not mistaken, Jongno is part of “Old Seoul”, thus it is less 'globalized', and more laidback.

Anyway, we were confused because according to the things we have read online, the Palace should be open on Tuesdays while a shrine right in front of the gate should be closed. However, the vast walled area, which we assumed was Changgyeonggung, was closed and we couldn’t find the shrine in front of it. Hrmmm... :(

This is what’s in front of the gate. Was this the shrine?
The clock was ticking, so we surmised that the closed gate could be the shrine, and that the real palace must be somewhere else. Thus, next step for us is to find the real palace gate through circumventing the walls of the now-assumed-to-be shrine.

Arigato was certain the palace gate was this way, so there we went. Alas! The farther we trekked the more dismal the surroundings became. Suspicious, eh? We turned around.
we traced the other side of the gate but no palace gate turned up
so tired after the fruitless attempts

Hope is a pretty dangerous thing. It could eat up your time which was allotted for other activities.

So anyway, we finally gave up when we realized it was already lunch time. No palace tours took place. =( We decided to just dine at some joint, and then go back to Dale’s place to get our luggage.

Most restaurants we passed by looked suspicious. Zero Western influence here, thus our reluctance to eat. Until finally we found this place.

Not that it looked less suspicious. It’s just that we were famished. Plus, we’re running out of time.

taming hunger with house tea

ang maalagang waitress ay mukhang sosyal, therefore anak sya ng may-ari (Ida, 2012)

most Korean restaurants have built-in grilles in the table

we were clueless so they took care of everything
table ornaments

another sort of ornament

the grilling beef plus more ornaments - me thinks they like ornaments a lot
short grains =)

removing carcinogenic burnt edges

BURP! Another tasty Korean meal. =)

Now we’re energized to carry on with the rest of the day’s activities. It was pretty uneventful. Just walk-train-bus-walk-pack-walk-bus-train-train-train-flight-bus. So I will just post the pictures here. But before that, here’s a little trivia about the transportation system in Korea.

Korevia # 7 - Korea has a very efficient transportation system. Well, at least more efficient than here in Manila (methinks). They have this bus card, which is pretty similar to the “octopus card” in SG (I am actually not familiar with that, but most people are). You just have to swipe it when you ride the bus, take the subway, or even purchase at convenience stores. You can then reload in certain machines around the city (a la ATM).

the bus card
Also, the subway was very very efficient, albeit, complex. If we map our MRT system here in Manila, it would look like an open triangle. In Korea? It looked like a pattern-less fractal. This makes it more confusing to learn. Although the moment you get the hang of it, you will appreciate its efficacy.

Korevia # 8 – To help you get around the subway system, download this application called Jihachul (or just search ‘Korea subway system’ in the AppStore). It will give you a “zoomable” view of their intricate subway system.

here's how the app looks

they should start calling it the subweb

it even gives you extra information about the subway stations
Download this. Uber big help. =)

Trip to Jeju

Bus ride from Paldal-gu to Suwon subway station. Suwon to Sindorim, Sindorim to Kkachisan, Kkachisan to Gimpo International Airport. It was like joining the Amazing Race.

checking in at Gimpo International Airport

tired from all the transfers

we were dashing from one train station to another

more Koreanovela sightings

Made it in time. Shortstide eating a barbeque-flavored Cheetos (trivia: they only have this flavor in Korea)


This is our bed & breakfast room in Jeju Hiking Inn

The Bathroom

Free internet and Free Wi-Fi in the whole building

plus a gym area
Their online ad also indicated "free international calls", so the moment we arrived I confirmed this right off the bat. Helpful receptionist Kevin said they have it, yes, but only to certain countries. Unluckily, Philippines was not part of the list. :(


Just to give you a preview of our Jeju sub-trip, here are images of what awaited us in the wonderful island of Jeju courtesy of google (see sources of pics at the bottom). =)

Seongsan Ilchulbung - UNESCO World Heritage Site

grandfather stones - can be found in every corner of Jeju

Jusangjeoli cliffs (?)

Jeju World Cup Stadium

Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls



Sab said...

Natawa ako sa "ornaments" HAHAH!

LONEWULF said...

Oo. Mahilig pala sila sa palamuti. :))

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