Iksan

I was tired of being in Seoul and even though the virus hasn’t completely been eradicated (averaging around 50-60 per day now), I wanted to explore. There was a sale on day trips through one of the travel sites and I bought all three trips. It was 19$ per trip and it included transportation, lunch, a “cooking” class, and visits to 2-3 different historical sites. What a deal! All three trips highlight parts of the Baekje Kingdom which was one of the three kingdoms in Korea which lasted from approximately 57 BCE to 668 ACE (according to Wikipedia). The Baekje Kingdom was in what is now the southwestern region of Korea, keeping in mind that Korea used to be bigger than just the peninsula it is now.

This first trip was to Iksan, which is approximately 2 hours south of Seoul.

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Mullaedong

So I searched “neighborhoods to visit in Seoul” and this was another one that caught my eye (the previous one being Ikseondong). But Vera, why do both of those places have ‘dong’ in their names, you ask. Well, let me explain after I do a quick google search to reconfirm what I already know but can’t properly write down.

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I went to Cebu!

For our winter holiday this year (in February), we went to Cebu! Cebu is an island in Visayas which is a group of islands south of Luzon which is the main island of the Philippines. While I am fluent in ‘Filipino’ (Tagalog), they speak a different dialect here in Visayas but they know English or tried to talk to me in Tagalog. Anyway, getting off topic here.

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Summer Vacay

Summer in Seoul was dreadful. It was hot and sticky and I was sweating nonstop. This made me not want to leave the haven of my apartment where I had the AC on all day.  But alas, it was summer vacation and I had one week to try to do something. Emphasis on try because leaving my apartment was torture.

I managed to go Incheon for a day. The train ride is a little over an hour and you bet I found all the air vents in the subway stations while waiting for it to come. I had the misfortune of sitting between three older people who had horrible breath and were constantly talking to each other and I moved to different car to escape from them.

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I went to Osaka!

So it was Chuseok six weeks ago and I am now coming around to writing about it. But let’s be real, my last post was a while ago. Good news is, I quit my Korean class (also sad news). I said I would self study but I haven’t yet. Now, I have too much free time and not enough money so I will try to write about some adventures.

Chuseok is the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, basically a harvest festival. They make and eat all this food but I only know about songpyeon…maybe I’ll explore that in another post.

The flights to Japan were “cheap” but I think during Chuseok it was the normal price. We decided to go and just walk around and eat and that was literally what we did. We also decided to just stay around Dotonburi because it was just two days and I didn’t want to pack too many things in this trip when we can just go back again.

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Wanderlist

HK Night Skyline
I know it’s not South Korea, but I don’t have very many pictures from my 12 hour layover. PS, this is my favorite skyline.

In three days, I will be flying to Seoul where I will be spending a week training. Then if all goes well, and all will go well, I will be on a bus to Daejeon! This post will eventually become another page here on the blog–which will be updated periodically once I get my hands on a travel guide. I will add even more once I start planning on going to other countries. But for now, here’s a list of things for me to do and see in Daejeon. I won’t put a list of things to eat because I want to eat everything.

Wikipedia says Daejeon is the fifth largest city in Korea with a population of over 1.5 million. It’s about an hour south of Seoul via the KTX (Korea Train Express, high speed train). Comparing it to San Diego, it’s half the size with about the same amount of people. Yep. It’s also a tech hub and is basically the Silicon Valley of Korea. With that said, here’s my list!

  • Mt. Expo Park
  • Museums (Museum of Art, National Science Museum, Currency Museum)
  • Observatory
  • Yuseong Hot Springs
  • O-World
  • Hiking! (Mt. Bomunsan, Mt. Gubongsan, Mt. Jangtaesan, Mt. Gyejoksan, Mt. Sikjangsan, Gyeryongsan National Park, Uam Historical Park)

Of course I’ll be walking everywhere and eating a bunch of food and shopping, but I will pace myself and I will be posting about my adventures here so stay tuned!

 

How to Get Around

If you put your mind to it, it’s really easy to get around in the Philippines. You don’t need a car (but sometimes it would be nice to have one). There are plenty of ways to get around (mainly four to five here in Zambales, but it is similar all over Luzon).

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The smallest vehicle, the tricycle, is mainly used for shorter distances within the villages and the towns. Not particularly fast but virtually no stops. The tricycle is a motorcycle (or now scooters) with an attached, modified side car. Depending on which part of Luzon you to go, the shapes of these vary and it’s actually quite interesting. The ones in Manila are larger and more boxy and I wish that the ones here in Zambales would catch on.

 

 

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Vienna

The train ride was 3ish hours long. I was running a little late and had to power walk to the train station at 5:30 in the morning and I was a little scared. Good news, I made it. Deciding to go to Vienna for a day was sort of last minute. I bought my ticket online a few days before, while I was already in Budapest. The train was nice, no one sat next to me and once we crossed the Austrian border there was free wifi.

I did a total of three things. A palace, a museum, and the Christmas Market. Navigating the metro in Vienna was also easy! Honestly, there’s no way you can’t figure it out. I bought a 24 hour unlimited rides ticket thing.

I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to….something I will change once I start traveling more because this feeling of regret is sooo heavy. I actually wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the museum (where most of Gustav Klimt’s works are). BUT THEY WERE GORGEOUS OMG I LOVED IT.

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The Belvedere Museum

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