Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 WKB Tour - Day 3

Hi everyone!

I'm back!, I didn't forgot the blog, turns out I've been sick since last week but I it all got worst over the weekend u_u,on monday morning I went to see my doctor and I got 4 days off of work X_X... and even thou I still don't feel 100% good I missed the blog and was worried for not blogging...

On my last post I talked about our Day #2 and how it was filled with activities.... Watching some of the photos that Korea Net uploaded on Flickr we realized we have lots of pictures wearing the same oufits and is by reviewing all the pics that you realize how much we did on this trip....

Thank You Korea Net for the pretty pictures!

Day 3 had an early start.... We all had our backpacks ready for our trip to Jeonju and so we met the Cam crew at Seoul Station at 8am and boarded our bus for a 3 hour ride from Seoul to Jeonju, honestly I was impressed by the price of the ticket...looks like it's pretty cheap to travel around Korea :O, this was my 1st roadtrip in Korea and even thou I was really tired after just 3 hours of sleep I'm not the kind that can easily fall asleep on a bus so I enjoyed the view for over an hour until we got to a Stop station (is that the name??)... it's basically like a BIG parking lot with Restrooms, Coffee Shops, Mini Marts and we even catched a duet performing in there... In Mexico a Stop station is usually restrooms and that's it O_o Korea you can find snacks, food and drinks in here. We stopped at Cafe Bene for a drink and we were off for the rest of our ride.

Around 11am we reached Jeonju and it was HOT and moist O_o but as soon as we got there we got taxis to get to our next destination.... FOOOD!!! Jeonju is well known for the Bibimbap, in May 2012, Jeonju was indicted as a Creative City for Gastronomy as part of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, this recognize the city's traditional home cooking, so you can only imagine how good we eat while in Jeonju (nom nom)

At the Taxi I was lucky enough to ride with the Yeon (yay!!), of course he wanted to ask us about how we felt in Jeonju, but I thought it was too early to such questions since we had just arrived, so I took his place as interviewer and started interviewing Dorothea (Germany) while Yeon filmed it :) it was the perfect chance to focus the camera on someone else haha, after a short ride we arrived at Gajokhwoigwan Restaurant were we received a brief explanation on Bibimbap from a teacher of Jeonju University (If you want to read more, I recommend checking this very informative post)

I can honestly say this is the BEST Bibimbap I've ever tried... the Gochuanj past is really spicy and we all had to drink lots of water but I love Spicy food so I had no problems with it being spicy :) , plus this was the 1st time I tried the Bibimbap with the raw eggyolk, this adds certain creaminess to the dish that a fried egg can not provide... not only did we have a huge serving of Bibimbap, we also got over 10 side dishes. My fave were the Gyegranjjim (Steamed Egg), Kimchi, The Pajeon and the Lotus Root that I've never tried before, by the end of our lunch we were ready for a nap (lol) but it was time to go Check in at our acommodation

We again took taxis and this time I rode the passenger front seat, the driver was this nice Ajusshi that couldn't resist and ask me where was I from... in Korean O_O Yeon played the translator role and after I said Mexico he started talking about Football and how Mexico had won the Gold Medal in the Olympics n_n

Inside of the Main Building at the Guest House
When we finally arrived at -what would be- our Hanok for 2 days/1 night... the Hakindang Traditional Hanok Guest House, this was once the home of Baek Nak-Jung (King Gojong granted him a government position out of admiration for his filial piety), this Traditional house was once an Upper class home from the Joseon-era and was built in 1905, you can read more about it from Korea Class Mavise blog here.

There were 3 rooms just for the girls (7 of us) but since Hanoks have this removable walls it was like a gigant room, we didn't have much time to wander around since we had to leave for a Tour through the Jeonju Hanok Village, after getting lost for a little bit (This was the perfect chance to take pictures!!) we finally met our Tour Guide, Jeonju Hanok Village has 700 traditional Korean houses, some are Stores, Restaurants, Tea Houses or just Homes for the residents.

We visited the  Gyeonggi Palace and the Jeondong Catholic Church.

The royal portrait housed in Gyeonggi Palace, Jeongjeon was a portrait of the founder of the Chosun Dynasty, Taejo Lee Seong-gye.  This portrait shows the king in royal attire, when attending to public matters, with a royal robe and crown.

This palace built in 1410 (10th year of the reign of King Taejong), houses the royal portrait of King Taejo, also named Bonjeon. Gyeonggi Palace was destroyed by fire during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1597, but was rebuilt in 1614 (6th year of the reign of Gwanghaegun) and has been preserved to this day

Right after the Gyeonggi Palace we were exausted so we were treated with a Pattbingsu, we went to the Dessert Factory ~ Grandma's best and it was indeed a pretty good/refreshing pattbingsu with sweet red beans and bites of Tteok, this was the perfect way to chill and recharge batteries for our next destination...

Tea Ceremony and Fabrics Dyeing!, these I've done before, you can read about the Tea ceremony here and the Fabric Dyeing I did it when I was in school a LONG time a go, the difference is... I didn't use natural colorants before, in here we got to Dye the fabric with a Yellow tint made of Onion skins but flowers are

also used for different colors.

After the Tea Ceremony and waiting for our fine pieces of art/handkerchiefs to dry, we were off to have dinner and soon we found an -OMG WHAT AN AMAZING MEAT!- restaurant were we had Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Rice, Side Dishes, Makgeolli and Moju (A local drink made with Makgeolli and Soju, with a very sweet taste like cinammon and now one of my fave Korean Drinks) ... we ate and we ate a lot...I remember being completely full but the meat was soo good but we didn't get to finish it (yet again!)... we then took a walk (great idea after that dinner) and we were off to the Pansori presentation.

Pansori is a genre of Korean Traditional Music, the vocals are performed by a Sorikkun (singer) and a Gosu (drummer playing a drum called BUK), I couldn't understand a single word of it but just by the way it's performed you can get the feeling of the piece being interpreted... it was a lovely Moonlight concert and the perfect way to wrap up our day, at the end we got to meet the Pansori Performer and we all got a Book with her CD :)

That night I realized I'm very well Oriented as some of the other members of the Tour didn't know how to go back to the Hanok O_O

When we arrived at the Hanok some of us didn't want to go to bed at 9pm (Can you believe we did so much before 9pm?) so we decided to go out for a bit, plus we had just met Asif (WKB living in ....), we were looking for a place that someone recomended to HanJeon (Photographer / KoreaNet) but I don't think thats were we ended, we went to a place were you can drink Makgeolli and they serve it with side dishes.. That has a name but I can't remember right now and google is not helping me... :( so yea, after dinner we went to the Hanok just to go out and eat again O_O and that was it for our 1st day in Jeonju....

I feel tired just reading this but I would definitely do it all over again!

-Gisela V.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012 WKB Tour - Day 2

Excitement and that I-don’t-know-what’s going-on is how I started the Day 2 of the WKB Tour, we knew we were meeting very Important people at KOCIS that day, we knew there would be Cameras and we will have to answer some questions, but we never imagined what was waiting for us at KOCIS’ offices…..

Ema, Annabel, Maria and I got up early and met for a quick breakfast to be ready for Grace to pick us up and take us to KOCIS, we went on a Van and after a short drive we arrived at KOCIS and they were there…. Han Jeon (KoreaNet) with his Camera ready to take pictures and 2 Camera Men… O M G!!  I was getting off and trying to fix my hair for the meeting (lol) but they were there ready to start filming us…. You’ll see, I’m VERY VERY SHY, I don’t like having my picture taken I don’t even let my sister (photographer) to take pictures of me :S, but there they were waiting for us, filming us as soon as they saw us… the 4 of us had that nervous/awkward smile and we started by taking “group”pictures outside the building, Smile!, look here!, look there!! And then the Main Camera man came to each one of us and asked us for an introduction to be filmed… I bet that is going to be a very awkward introduction because I never know where to look at when I have a camera in front of me….

After some shots of us in front of the building we went up to KOCIS offices… I was nervous enough not knowing what would we be asked but there were cameras there O_O, so I want to apologize to everyone for being so awkward when I had a camera infront of me (hehe).

We then met Mr. Woo Jinyung (Director of KOCIS) and Suh Jeong Sun (Director of Global Communication and Contents Division), we seated in a round table and started talking about our blogs, why were we blogging about Korea, what was our Main interest in Korea, What was like to be in Korea (or to be back in Korea^^), etc… I have to say it was a nice conversation and we all got to know the other bloggers a little bit better J , after this we handed Mr. Woo a few presents we had prepared in advance and then they gave us a Special package with gifts, each one was different (I got a Book of Korea in Spanish!!), then we proceed to take more pictures, after a couple of pics we went on a little tour through the offices of KOCIS, we got to see where they write for Korea.Net and then found another meeting room where we took more pictures sayin "WKB Fighting!!" and just trying to  pose, after our meeting we were ready to start the Tour of the Day!! We had a long day waiting for us, so we were really excited!, we were at the lobby of the building and the Camera man (aka Yeon) asked for 2 volunteers to film some other questions about the meeting and somehow I was one of them (This happened to me very often…. ¬¬), anyway I did it and we thought that was the end of the Cameras until we went out and Yeon took the front seat of the Van…and that’s how w efound out they were going to be with us for the WHOLE Tour O_O

On Top: Maria & Me at the Hotel Lobby / KOCIS Badge/
Cheonggyecheon Stream

We headed off to the Cheonggyecheon stream and the 5 minute drive was really awkward because I had the camera almost in front of me… I was just thinking “please act natural please act natural”, when we got there I was very VERY excited, I’ve been wanting to go to the Cheonggyecheon stream since 2009, even though I went in 2010 it wasn’t the same…I wanted to see it with lots of greens and that day the weather was perfect, we soon reached a point where you are supposed to throw a coin and ask for a wish… I had 2 coins and of course my coins didn’t reach the exact place L but soon Camera Man #2 (aka Sun Ho) ran to me and gave me a bunch of coins (Thank you Sun Ho!!! I still owe you J ) so I tried it a couple of times more until I made it!!!, hopefully my wish will come true.

Gyeonbokgung Palace / Sun Ho (bottom)
After the stream it was time to go to the Gyeonbokgung Palace to catch the Royal Guard and have a guided visit, I’ve already been to this palace before but I had never seen the Royal Guard changing and our Guide was very nice and smart so I’m glad I had another chance to visit this place again since I learned a bit more about Korean History, plus everything in Korea just look different depending on the season.

Gyeonbokgung Palace
We then headed over to Insadong for Lunch, I love Insadong, there’s so much to do and see but we were in a bit of a hurry so we just went straight to the restaurant to have Lunch, we went to a famous restaurant filled with pictures of celebrities eating there and we all had “Insadong Samgyetang” which is a Korean soup with a whole young chicken and Korean ginseng, the soup is cooked for several hours and it makes the chicken very tender so you can just tear it in half and find it to be filled with rice, this food is served in the summer for its nutrients to replace those nutrients lost through sweating during the hot summers in Korea, this was my 2nd time eating this and it was AMAZING (Warning!! I will use this word very often for this trip haha), it was boiling hot and the flavor of the ginseng was not overwhelming at all, of course we also had Banchan with this (Radish Kimchi and Onions in Soysauce*?*), the restaurant was very nice and we also got to try some Plumb wine with our food (yum!), this one tasted like a very sweet juice.
When we finished lunch we had lost the Camera crew (at this point there was HanJeon-Photographer, Yeon, Sun Ho and a Camera Girl) but they just went out 1st to film us going out of the restaurant hahaha
After lunch we took a short walk on Insadong and then headed to the Institute of Traditional Korean Food to visit the Tteok Museum and the Jilsiru Café, now let me tell you I’m a huge Tteok fan, I don’t think I’ve had enough tteok in my life (lol), the museum displays various rice cakes, some enjoyed during special occasions, major holidays, others are seasonal and other sare used in rituals, in the museum we got to see the utensils needed to make Tteok, then we went to the Jilsiru Café were we got to try some drinks and different kinds of Tteok (yay!!!), we had Chocolate Tteok cake, Sweet bean paste filled Tteok, Citron Tteok, Persimmon Tteok Cake, etc etc… I would’ve stayed longer but it was time to go to catch a performance, this time it was MISO, this is a traditional performance, sort of like Romeo & Juliette but with a happy ending, at some point the actors invite people from the audience to participate with the performers and after the performance you can take a picture with the actors, the performance has live music that at first I thought it was recorded until I realized the musicians playing in the back and I have to say they are…Amazing! I loved the music of the show, it’s not boring at all and one of the girls danced Gangnam Style hahaha. 
Tteok Museum
Jilsiru Cafe

Myeongdong and Yeon at the bottom

At the end of the show (MISO) we had to rush because we had to go to Myeongdong!, in case you don’t know what Myeongdong is you can read this, we got to Myeongdong and you won’t believe me who was there…. YEON!! Our Camera Man #1…yay! *awkward face here*.

We walked around and I went to my fave store: Missha, I knew what I wanted so I went in super quick… it took me around 10 mins to get everything I wanted… What?? 10 minutes in a Cosmetics store is a very short time for me!!, I just love this store, the make-up is great and they don’t test their products on animals, plus they gave me lots of freebies hehehe, after my quick shopping stop we kept on walking. I really wanted to try some Street food so we wen tto look for a Tteokbokki place, Maria was very nice and agreed to eat it with me^^, we obviously were filmed while eating it…We wondered around Myeongdong and then met with Grace because it was dinner time!

We went to Bulgogi Brothers in the Seoul Finance Center where we met Dorothea (Germany) and Jessica  (Canada) to officially join the WKB Tour and Cathy (KoreaNet), we had our own private room at the restaurant (fancy, huh?), as soon as we arrived they started setting the Banchan at the table, we had 2 tables for 8 girls and there wasn’t enough space for all the food, there was Salad, Baked potatoes, Corn, Mandu (yum!!), Kimchi, Pepers, a Corn cream (??), and then the meat came… oh the meat!! We had Bulgogi, marinated beef and ribs, we spend over 2 hours eating as if it was our last meal… just when we thought we were over they asked if we wanted RICE or NOODLES… I had Naengmyeon: Cold noodles served with half boiled egg….  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in my life… over 2 hours eating…. I’m glad the Camera crew wasn’t around to film us while eating so much hahaha 
Around 10:30pm we headed back to the Hotel…we were all pretty tired but I still wanted to meet my friends Jo-Anna and Sanghyun, I met them in 2010 and they have been very nice with me so I got them a couple of Special Beers from Mexico, once we got to the hotel I went up to my room to leave my stuff and went down to the lobby to call them, 2 minutes later they were there so we headed over to a Bar in Itaewon, this is a Self Service Bar, you grab your beer, pay for it and sit at a table where you can get food delivered from wherever you want… how awesome is that????, we had beers and Sanghyun got a cheap wine that apparently tasted horrible (I didn’t try it…phew!), they introduced me to a couple of friends and I had a very nice evening with them, around 2am we called it a night, they walked me to the Hotel but I wanted to see if there was a store open to buy some snacks to bring to Mexico (lol) ,the store was closed and we said goodbye L, I walked back to the hotel and decided to stop by a convenience store to buy a drink but ended up just buying snacks hehe, at 3am I was getting ready to go to bed to be up at 6 to get ready for our road trip to Jeonju!!

It was a LONG yet a very fun day and this was only the begging of our trip… hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy writing about it :) 

By the way…Thank you Jo-Anna and Sanghyun for going to Itaewon just to meet me!!!

-Gisela V.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Talk to me in Korean Around the World - Mexico

Hi everyone!

Last Sunday Mexico welcomed the TTMIK  and Eat Your Kimchi Couple at the WTC for the Talk to Me in Korean Around the World 1st event.  I blogged about it here.

I was really excited to meet Hyunwoo Sun and Kyeong-un Choi since I've been listening to their lesssons ever since they were with KoreanClass101, this event was organized by Javi Maldonado from with TTMIK, there were Speach, Singing and Dance contests but to be honest I didn't know what to expect we go...

It all OBVIOUSLY started with Oppa Gangnam Style 

The Good: 

It was the ideal place for a KPOP fan...yup if you are into other aspects of Korea this might not be the ideal event for you... The event was full of mostly Teenagers crazy for Kpop, so this is the perfect place if you want some new Kpop friends

There were 3 Contests, Speach, Singing and Dancing there were about 30 contestans (Solo performances and group Performances) and there were 3 winners for each contest with awards of $12,000 MXP, $6,000 and $3,000 (Pretty good, huh??)

Throughout the even they gave different prices with the ticket numbers, I got a signed Infinite CD (Courtesy of TTMIK), Soompi Spanish gave other CD's (2PM, BigBang, etc) 

They also gave a couple of Korean books and Phone cases.... I thought they were going to give TTMIK Books since they just started selling them but NO, again most of the prices were Kpop related. 

Oh!! I also got a phonecase at the end!!, they were asking for people wearing Kpop socks and luckily I was the only one (I feel a little bit embarassed about this...) 

The Speach contest gave me the impression that it was more a Charisma contest than a speach contest.... seriously, some of them were more focused on trying to make people laugh than to actually speak Korean, at the end I seriously thought the 2nd place deserved the 1st place since she was very good at Korean and was there for a Speach contest ....

I LOVED the beggining of the Dance contest, the 1st team was a group of 5 guys and covered Lucifer by SHINee....and if you don't know this I LOVE this song, this song reminds me of my 1st trip to Korea so it put me in a good mood until the rest of the teams came and they all felt the need to dance "Gangnam Style"... It was good the first 3 times but when you hve to see 12 groups dancing Gangnam Style this can be a little too much.....

For the Singing contest there was no Gangnam Style (yay!!!), the most popular song was "Lonely" by 2NE1 but my favorite was "That XX" by G-Dragon...cuz you know how much I love like GD :)

At the end of the event I only got to talk with 3 teachers of TTMIK and they were all very nice, Hyojin An was kind enough to ask me to send her my interview questions (since we didn't have time that day) and she will reply to me as soon as possible :). (I'll post the 10secs interview on a different post :$ ) 
With Hyijin An (TTMIK)  

The Bad:

.......Don't know how to start..... 
The event was due to start at 1pm, the people who got their tickets online (me and another...100-200people) were supposed to access first., we were supposed to bring our purchase code, receive our $3USD (per ticket) back and  go inside, but NO they made us make a line and stand there for over an hour... OVER AN HOUR PEOPLE!!! and then they decided to 1st let in the people who bought their tickets that day.... It's ok... I thought.... there's enough space for ALL of us.... then the line to pick up the tickets was crazy long and the people giving out the tickets was a BIT some point Hyojin An (TTMIK) asked me for my Purchase code and handed me my 2 tickets....I was so excited to finally have my tickets(arond 1:20pm) that I forgot to ask about the money they were supposed to give us back....

According to the promotion made online, there were going to be Korean products for sale at the event.... in my opinion selling ChocoPie and Aloe drinks is not KOREAN products, specially since there was a No-food policy inside of the place.... They were also selling T-shirts of the event (Not a Korean product....) and Leggings because what's MORE Korean than worldwide known leggings, right?
The organization was awfull, there were 3 MCs, Javi Maldonado, Fer Gay (He's got a music show on TV) and Caeli (Youtube "Celebrity")... I understand they wanted to invite Fer Gay since he recently interviewed Junsu in Mexico and has made some Kpop specials on TV but what I don't get is WHY Caeli??,,,, I of course searched for her videos when I saw the TTMIK event poster because I didn't know who she was, turns out she makes funny videos about life in general and for what I saw at the event she has no knowledge of Korea or Kpop, and kept calling Martha to Martina, most of the times she wasn't able to translate what the TTMIK Teachers said in English (I wasn't expecting her to speak Korean hehe) and for what I saw, she wasn't into the event in general, when the Speach contest was On she was taking pictures with her fans, chatting, drinking water and just being distracted in some point she asked the audience "Why they wanted to travel to Korea" and some people said "Because of the Food!!!" (It wasn't me I swear!! kkkk) and she said "Really???...."  hmmm.... Please if someone know why was she asked to be the MC of the event let me know because I still don't get it. 


Eat Your Kimchi came all the way to Mexico to Judge the Dancing Contest, some people were more into taking pictures with them than the actual contest.... 

At the end of the event Hyunwoo Sun said "We are gonna have some time if you want to take Pictures, an autograph or say Hello to the Teachers or EYK at the end of the event!!!", so when the contest for an All expenses paid TRIP to Korea ended it was time for pictures, right?.... right??... RIGHT???????? WRONG!!!

After this, they started kicking everyone out stating the pictures will be taken in the Hallway, I thought it was weird but hey! maybe the contract for the place ended at 8pm.... I asked Simon and Martina for a lil interview when I actidentally (for real!!!) met them at the restroom and they said we will have time at the end but there was this girl (Stephany) who wasn't allowing people to get close with them anymore, as if all of us were holding guns or if they were in danger just being there.... Saddly they went out through the back door.... I waited a bit longer for the interview with the TTMIK teachers but I was seriously tired and in a bad mood because of the poor organization of the event so I went to Hyunwoo Sun at the end and just asked him for a short message.... I'm glad I asked Seokjin Jin a couple of questions earlier!!

I understand they were all tired because it was indeed a very long event, but guys if you don't really have time or energy for pictures/autographs.... SAY SO!!!! I feel really bad because when I went out (I was one of the last ones) I saw girls standing at the Hallway waiting for Eat Your Kimchi and the TTMIK Teachers, I don't know if they did take pictures in the hallway at the end because I left.... :(  

To be honest, I was really excited about this event when I 1st heard about it and I was happy they chose Mexico to be the 1st Country on their tour, but the poor organization was very disapointing....
Hopefully their next events will have a better organization and they will have time to spend with their fans. 

And I hope more Korean events take place in Mexico :) ....not only Kpop events!... If anyone out there is reading me and work with the KCC in Mexico... PLEASE make a Food-related event!! :) 

-Gisela V. 

Ps. If the girl who took my picture with Simon is reading me, can you send me the picture please?? :) 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Make a blog and receive a ticket to Korea???

Exactly 9 days ago I arrived from Seoul :(. As some of you already know I was invited to Korea by KOCIS on a Tour with other WKB, some people is really curious about this, some will ask me because they just want a Free trip while others do it because they find blogging interesting....

Here are some facts about my Blogging experience

1.- I've been blogging since 2009.. so NO you don't get a Plane ticket just by creating an account on Blogger/Wordpress/Etc
2.- I don't get paid to blog... GoogleAdsense is not sending me millions of dollars for my blog lol...actually I've never received  $0.01 cents for blogging.
3.- I blog because I like it, I do it when I want to and the contents are stuff I'm interested in, I don't promote any product, company or band...even if sometimes it seems as if I try to promote YG's artist lol...I just happen to like BigBang.
4.- Don't blog because you want to get something from doesn't really work that way, unless you want to make a Blog/Online Store
5.- I don't get to travel just because.... Blogging is not THAT easy, it has to be something you like to do, even if you are not good at it (like me) haha

I blog because it's no a part of me, I'm used to do it and I don't think I can stop now O_O, I don't JUST blog... I have a full time job, I'm also starting a Cupcakes business with my sister, sometimes I have way to much on my hands and it's complicated to blog very often but it's also a way to escape my everyday life.

I would LOVE to do nothing but blog because who wouldn't??

Sometimes you have to spend $$$ to have something to blog about (Restaurant, Movies, CD's, Events reviews) and no one will pay you back... the only reward is knowing there's people (I'm talking to my 5 readers) who enjoy reading you.

Blogging about Korea is not always easy for (us overseas K-bloggers) me, sometimes I'm too busy doing something else and I don't get to go to every Korean event in Mexico,some other times I don't even know about an event until days after the Actual event and just doing researches is time consuming ...I'm not saying that k-bloggers living in Korea have it easy either!!! don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's not an easy task to get an invitation to a certain Korean event and I dare to say that sometimes you have to "know people" to get this invitations.

So, for those of you who think I (we) have it easy and just because we blog get invitations to other countries... well... think again since this is not a piece of cake (yumm.... lol), please DON'T get into blogging because you want to be invited to Korea, that's just wrong...

So, if any of you feel like helping me out by sending me info about Korean events in Mexico or would like to write a guest post... just let me know :)  I might pay you with a box of Peperos hehe.

-Gisela V.
Random Pic, Found this T-shirt 2 days ago but didn't buy it because I AM a blogger <3

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 WKB Tour - Day 1

Hi everyone!, as you know last week I traveled to Korea for a tour among other WKB bloggers,  first I would like to thank KOCIS (KoreaNet) for inviting us on this wonderful trip and for recognizing our work as bloggers :)

A special thanks to Suh, Jeong Sun (Director – Global Command Contents), Han Jeon, Cathy and Grace for such a warm welcome!

I had a great time in Korea, remember I posted about Expectation/Reality?, well for a moment I turned into this Kpop fan and wanted to escape to stalk GD lol…but I’m glad I didn’t, I just got my CD and walked out of that Hallyusphere to enjoy what would be one THE BEST trips ever, I honestly wasn't expecting to have as much fun as I did and Since we did quite a LOT I’m going to have to make separate posts about the trip.
Schipol Airport - Amsterdam
My journey started on September 17th at 10 pm, I took a 10 hour flight to Amsterdam and after a transfer time of 3 hours I took my final flight to Seoul, this time I flew with KLM and I’m glad I did because they offer great service J, my transfer time went by very quickly, after wondering around the Airport stores for a bit I went to my departure Gate and met 2 Peruvian guys who were traveling to Korea to go to an Electronics convention in Gwangju, this was also their 2nd time in Korea. We were moved to another gate to prepare for boarding and there I met what I thought was a Korean Student, turns out he works for Samsung and was on a business trip, poor guy he got a book at the Airport and they gave it to him in Dutch instead of English and they didn't want to change it for him :(, we exchanged business cards (I feel so professional lol) and then it was time to board!... 10 hours later we landed at Incheon 40 minutes earlier than scheduled and I was ready to go, everything looked different this time, 2 years ago I went on winter and I was on my own at the airport, so I was very focused in getting into the right bus plus I was freezing. This time the weather was really nice, and there was a driver waiting for me already, we walked to the parking lot and in that short walk I realized how different this trip would be….
Incheon Airport
We got on the car and I just enjoyed the view and the smell; this time Korea had a smell…I don’t think the 1st time I noticed a smell but this time definitely had it and it was a combination of Korean food and something in the air, we passed the 63 Building and the Noryangjin fish market (I've always wanted to go there for some fresh food), I recognized some buildings and street, somehow I just felt at home (is that weird?~~I think it is...) 

It took almost 1 hour driving to arrive at the hotel…the IP Boutique Hotel in Itaewon (Seoul), an area full of Coffee Shops, Bars and Clubs, the hotel is very nice and modern, the restaurant has an outdoor area and the lobby has SWINGS!!!!!! The rooms are pretty cool, each one is different as they all have something painted in the wall, the 1st room I was in had a giant Strawberry and the 2nd one had a pair of Converse, when I arrived Maria from Indonesia was already at the room (we were roomies!), she went out with Grace (Our Tour Guide for the trip) to buy some books while I took a much needed shower and got ready to go out for some sightseeing, around 14:30 I met my friend Jeannette who works for BrandKorea and we went to Caffe Bene for Coffee duh! (this coffee shop is really popular as I saw like 30 the 5 days I was in Korea O_O) and at 3 we went back to the hotel to meet with Maria and Grace.

IP Boutique Hotel - Room 1 (top) - Room 2 (bottom)

The 1st thing we’ll do was visiting COEX to go to the Kimchi Museum and I’m glad we did because we passed by a Records store and I got to buy my GDragon CD ~One of a Kind~ and I got a free poster…I felt like such a k-pop fan lol

The Kimchi museum is actually pretty small, but they have all kinds of Kimchi, there are seasonal Kimchis, you can pretty much Kimchify (I know that’s not a word) everything, there’s Kimchi fish O_O who knew??...I was taking a video of this place and we found a cute kid in there, he asked Jeannette to take his picture and then explained he was there because he was something like the Kimchi Ambassador of his school and knows way too much about Kimchi…He was really sweet and even thanked me for blogging about Korea (awww!!!), he then took me to the Kimchi Tasting room and made me taste 8 different kind of Kimchis….ahhh that was some GOOD kimchi, he said that his grandma makes the Kimchi for his family and explained something to me but in don't really know what he said :( (Sorry Kid!!). If you want to visit the Museum, you can also take a class and make your own Kimchi, just go to the museum’s website and check out the activities!

Seasonal Kimchi

When we were done with the Kimchi museum we decided to take walk to the Temple across Coex, it’s the same temple I visited 2 years ago(remember how I lost all those pics?), it’s the Bongeunsa Temple, well….this time I didn’t lose my pictures, this place is very special for me, the 1st time I visited it I decided I wanted to take my mom there on my next visit to Korea…. I never thought she would not be with us when that happened….I just miss her so much and even though she (somehow) was with me on this trip, it was just sooo hard not to think about her when I was there…*I miss you, moomin*

Bongeunsa Temple near COEX
Namsam Tower

Right after the temple it was time to go, we had to go back to the Hotel to pick up Ema and Annabel from London to go visit the N Seoul Tower, they write the blog Korean Class Massive and both of them are pretty funny…. Anyway, we went to the N Seoul Tower and took the Namsam Cable Car….yup yup, like Kim Sam Soon (My name is Kim Sam Soon) and Goo Yoon Pyo/Gum Yan Di (BBF), the view was AMAZING!! But the cable car was way too crowded for my liking so I couldn’t take nice pictures :(, we went upstairs and enjoyed the view while waiting for our table to have dinner at Hancook, a Korean restaurant located inside of the tower, but turns out the place was packed and we had to wait 50minutes to get a table…and it was time we didn’t really have so we had to eat dinner at The Place Dining by the tower, although Italian food would not be my 1st choice for my very 1st dinner in Korea it was a very nice, especially if you go with the one you love as the place has a very romantic atmosphere and the place was filled with couples having Champagne and pretty cakes :)

After dinner we rushed back to the Hotel to meet Han Jeonand Cathy who visited us to prepare us for what would be expecting us the next day.

Itaewon at night
Later that night I went out to find a payphone to call my friends JoAnna and SangHyun and just explore the area a little bit and I ran into Ema and Annabel, we ended upwalking around Itaewon and found a “very” interesting street with several Love Motels O_o. After our short walk we went back to the hotel and that was it for our 1st day in Seoul….

See?? We did a bunch of things in just 1/2 day...God, I miss Korea u_u

-Gisela V.