Unknown to most people, except those who followed me and my tweets in Twitter and Facebook live, my sister and I went back to South Korea a week before. We celebrated our birthday together there. Only the two of us went there; it’s a surprise that our parents actually let us travel together alone.
It was my sister’s eighteenth and my twenty-fourth birthday exactly last week.
The decision to go to SK was so sudden, but the trigger point was the schedule of Ken’s musical, which was, fortunately, during our plan of stay. A lot of things happened first before we could actually submit all the requirements and buy the round trip tickets. But for only three weeks of preparation, we decided to finally go.
Actually, I planned to make an itinerary but I was too busy lately. Work was tough, and even my physical and emotional states were not okay. It’s a good thing that I was able to take a journey to South Korea as a breather. Almost no one in the office knew that I went to South Korea, except when I was already there. Because of all the Facebook Live streaming that I did, they finally found out.
Our first night was, well, exhausting. Although we arrived at the airport ten minutes earlier than our scheduled time, we took at least an hour finding our way out, including the immigration, money exchange and the retrieval of baggage. Incheon International Airport was really huge.
We also looked for the stall where we borrowed a pocket WiFi which was already prepaid before the trip. I actually thought that the data was unlimited. It turned out that we only had 1 GB per day. So back home I face-palmed myself so hard because I knew I used a lot of data for my FB Live.
We also struggled to withdraw from the Global ATM. I had tried withdrawing for about three times before I was able to withdraw some money from Woori Bank. Back in the PH, I actually forgot to withdraw so I hoped to do it in South Korea. However, I almost panicked when my card did not work using Shinhan ATM. Then I tried to withdraw from Woori Bank and fortunately, it was granted.
Anyway, we took the airport limo 6002. We waited for about 20 minutes before we got in, and after an hour and a half, we reached our hostel. It was almost twelve in the midnight and it was so cold – we were only wearing a sweater and a jacket/coat, so we felt freezing, especially when we struggled to walk to find our hostel.
We stayed at Hostel Beige 2nd at Dongdaemun. The hostel was great, clean, and it was really close to the airport limo station, restaurants, shops and convenience stores. The staff there were also friendly; even trying to accompany us during our stay. Upon our arrival, we decided not to go out anymore so we just stayed there.
The next day, we went to Lotte World through the subway. I’ve always found Seoul’s subway convenient. At first, we forgot to buy some T-Money cards so we went to a convenience store, thanks to the concerned citizen who thought us how to. Well, we had already used the subway and the card before but the card was provided by a host before, so we were not able to experience buying it somewhere else. Loading it was a breeze though, because we had already experienced that during our first time in SK.
We actually arrived there at lunch time because we were too tired to go out of the hostel. I knew it was not wise to go to other country only for four days without making use of all the time that we had, but we still did. That was the only itinerary that we had that day. We went to the Lotte World Adventure, rode some rides, ate at Lotteria and a Japanese restaurant and basically we did some sight seeings. We shopped for some clothes in the underground mall and heard The Closer played there.
Again, we took the subway despite my sister’s request to take the cab instead – because it was expensive.
On that night, we celebrated our birthday two times – one at 12am KST, then 12am PST. Haha!
The next day, we went early to Myeongdong Cathedral to attend the mass since it was our birthday and also it was Sunday. We got late at the 9am mass where English mass was celebrated, so we contemplated if we’d attend the next mass instead. We found a lot of foreigners though during our visit so we decided to attend the mass in Korean. Basically, it had the same program as our mass in the PH, so we were not struggling to adjust.
After the mass, we went to Myeongdong underground mall to shop and also to find Mom’s House Cafe. And we successfully did! But because we were too hungry, we went to Loco Quan restaurant across the street instead. The pork was delicious, and there were a lot of celebrities went there. Congrats Haha! Your restaurant rocks!
Anyway, after the meal, we went to Hongik Daehakro Art Center for Ken’s musical. Again, we were late to actually see Jaehwan coming, so we waited for our schedule instead at 2pm. I will make a separate post about it later. But overall, I think Jaehwan did really well!
The theater was actually a station away from our hostel, but we decided to go back to Myeongdong instead of going back to the hostel.
Then we went to Mom’s Cafe and stayed there for at least an hour, drinking green tea and also buying a slice of cake for our birthday. We stayed and listened to Kyuhyun’s song, and watched Kyuhyun’s video. It was indeed very cozy and comfortable. I liked the place so much.
We shopped across the steet for my family’s requested stuff and also for pasalubong. After that, we ate dinner at Hongbar, where we were served unli-meat and was a kind of buffet restaurant. The first serving was too many for us so we didn’t go for a second round, also leaving a plate of unconsumed meat.
The next day was our last day. We checked out at the hostel and left our luggage there. We had our brunch at Lotteria again then went to go to the entertainment companies. First, we went to Apgujeong for Jellyfish Entertainment. It was a long walk, even after when we get back to the train station. We passed by the company awkwardly because normal people were looking at us lol. We were not able to stay because there was literally no fans waiting outside, so we just recorded an FB live for about five minutes, snapped some photos and that’s it.
I swear, I could have seen Hana of Gugudan but I was not quite sure if it was her because the person was wearing sunglasses and had her hair tied and was talking to the phone. But she looked exactly like her. I almost danced to Na Gateun Ae to confirm. Haha!
Anyway, we then went back to the station and after being lost, we were able to go to Apgujeong Rodeo. Upon alighting the train, we went to the lobby and saw Got7 standees! Of course, I took a photo of my fave members. Then we went out and saw the Gangnam dolls. Again, this was mostly FB live so… The cold wind at -2 to -5 degrees Celcius greeted us.
Then, we went to SM Entertainment and snapped a photo of it, then FB live. Like in Jellyfish, we didn’t stay for too long, because it was awkward, although there were some fans who went after us too and took photos too. There was no one around except the construction ahjussi who asked us to move because there was a construction beside SMEnt. So we went to JYP Entertainment. I swear, because it was too near SMEnt, SM and JYP artists may date secretly around the area.
Out of all three companies that we visited, I think, we stayed in JYP the longest, because there were fans waiting outside, and there was a Dunkin Donuts outside too. We snapped a photo and of course, FB Live again. After ordering from Dunkin Donuts, we decided to go since our flight was at 9:30 and we had to be at the airport by at least 7:30. We went back to our hostel by 5 pm and decided to leave, however, our host talked to us about a lot of things and it took us 1 hour.
We left and waited for the airport limo to arrive. After 20 minutes, it arrived and we reached the airport by 8pm and checked in right after. Seeing the airport photos of Kyuhyun, we knew that we were too late, and also N was there. We took our chances to look for him but found out that his plane had arrived about five minutes during our check in so we failed to see him too.
That was when it got nerve-wrecking. At 8:10pm, we returned the pocket WiFi. At 8:15pm, we looked for a restaurant where we could eat dinner and found one by 8:20pm. We ordered the usual food and ate as fast as we could and by 8:45pm, we finished eating. Because we could not just run after eating a meal, we decided to rest and went to the security gate by 8:50pm. For ten minutes, we lined up so that the security could check our bags. We were still at the security at 9:00pm. My heart started to beat fast because the gate would close by 9:10pm. Because I was held longer due to the coins that they found in my bag, and my laptop that was inside the bag, it took us another 5 minutes. It’s already 9:05pm when I passed the immigration. My sister and I ran as fast as we could. We ran passing two huge escalators, with me holding my laptop, coat, watch and bag. Gladly, the train was already there when we arrived so we entered it. It was already 9:10pm and I swear, my heart was going to explode because of either restlessness or nervousness or tiredness. We ran up the escalators again, despite people blocking our way. Good thing, the gate where we would be entering was a minute walk only from the escalators. We went down the escalator again to gate 119. When we arrived, we were already called for the last call. We almost shouted present and thank God, we made it on time!
The flight was delayed; my throat was drying, but we finally made it inside the plane.
It was the longest 12 minutes of my life.
So after a few minutes, we bid South Korea goodbye. It was fun, although I wasn’t able to see Jungsoo – but I got to see Jaehwan in person (and Hongbin in a standee, VIXX, Heechul in a poster, Heechul and Kyuhyun in the TV, Gugudan in the TV also).
I am looking forward to coming back again.