Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 2 in South Korea: Kimchi and Everland (A Good Combination)

Day 2 Itinerary:

05:30       Wake-Up Call
06:30       Departure Hongdae Hostel
07:30-10:00 Yeouido Park and National Assembly
10:00-12:00 COEX and Kimchi Museum
12:00-02:00 Est. travel time Everland
02:00-22:00 Everland
22:00-24:00 Est. Travel time back to Seoul
01:00       Lights Off

a snip of our daily detailed itinerary with screenshots from seoul subway and some notes from the guidebooks and blogs

how to get T-money by following instructions in English, figuring the subway exits (which is which?), asking the locals for directions, it felt like it was my first day in school!  we obviously looked at lost but seemed not so serious though because we were giggling!
a customer service agent who approached us and assisted us 
typical Filipino, we're kind of  shy to ask for directions, or rather felt shy after being rejected for several attempts. i finally understood! some koreans are not actually rejecting, but it's because of the language.  but after some time, there were some who had the confidence to answer back in English. 

we met mr. kim, a retired government employee, who was then working in a non-government organization at that time. he was kind enough to accompany us to the yeouido station's exit. he gave us his calling card just in case we'd be needing help during our stay in Seoul.
with mr. kim, our good samaritan =)
after some joint efforts, we finally know how to read the 8-lanes (in 2010) of Seoul Metro Subway.  i studied (a heavy word for that) Seoul Subway months before the trip but it was different in real lifehere i share my preparation of our trip in Korea.
we read, agreed, then explored
going out of Yeouido exit and after like a lifetime struggle how we could come out from that seemed like a tunnel subway, we felt hungry! we stumbled upon a tent selling gimbab.  barely four hours from our first taste of authentic Korean streetfood, we fed our stomach to start the day right (somehow)!

we just strolled along Yeouido, full of admiration of the beautifully manicured landscape, amazed with the flowers that we saw for the first time in our lives, striking a pose anywhere, stopped by at a starbucks and some of the funky buildings and just feeling the breeze of late spring. it was sunny but cold.

the colorful COEX
By 10am, we left Yeouido and headed to COEX, just in time for the mall's opening.  we enjoyed the route - it felt like finding the light at the end of the tunnel. every opportunity, we continued striking a pose. after a quick look at the mall, we decided to take our brunch and then headed for some learnings about Korea's famous fermented radish in kimchi museum.

check my blog here for our morning activities.

joining the koreans on the street
after lunch, we took the subway again to Gangnam station to take the bus going to Everland.
it was like going to a place of nowhere again. finding the landmark that i got from a blog and KTO was a challenge. the landmark that i was looking was somehow small for a "landmark". anyhow, we enjoyed walking along the streets, our heads turning left and right from the malls to the restos, and our eyes stopped for a while at the bargains and cheap finds along the streets.
cheap finds outside Gangnam exit near bus stop to Everland
the ride to everland seemed like forever! we saw the direction signage "Everland" but the bus kept on going. i counted the travel time - seemed like beyond than what i expected but i hold on to my notes and kept trusting that i got it right! this bus should surely bring us to Everland.

and so the avatar brought us to Everland! check my blog here.

the avatar tree in Everland


Christine | Grrrl Traveler said...

Whoever typed out your itinerary pages does one awesome job.. with the subway map and all!

It's true, many Koreans are actually VERY helpful and will often walk you to the location you're looking for vs. point a finger. But they're also reluctant or shy about speaking English. The country is trying to get up to par with English but still haven't in many ways.

I've actually not been to Everland. I should put that on my list, although I can't imagine it being much fun unless one has a gang of friends like you do. ;-)

Enjoy yourselves there!

p.s. Skinfood is a really good brand but go to Myeongdong and you'll have tons of skin care shops to go to & if a girl is standing outside them with a basket, she's offering freebies if you go in.

Wanderer Claire said...

Thanks Christine! I did the job of doing the "very detailed" itinerary. =)It saved us time figuring out the transfer stations as well as Exits with Seoul/South Korea's subway more complicated than HongKong and Singapore.

Yeah, it's fun going around in Everland with some friends to share the screams and the laughter but I'm looking forward to the solo travel too next year..the more I'm inspired with your posts about solo traveling.

Will definitely check Myeongdong again next year. =)