[UPDATED: MARCH 2018] Korean Visa For Filipinos

This post has been updated on March 23, 2018.

Hello, hello! What’s up dear readers and friends? I know it’s been a while since my last post and that I promised to be active in this blog but I still can’t seem to keep that promise. Do know though that I am still around, this blog is among my plans, and that I will continue to keep in touch through blog posts no matter how sporadic they may seem 🙂

In case you’re wondering about what’s keeping me busy, well, I have been occupied by life at home which pretty much revolves around my preschooler as well as some work related to my business. The first quarter is also that time of the year when we celebrate so many occasions — wedding anniversary in January, my son’s birthday in February, and our birthdays (mine and husband’s) in March. That translates to left and right parties at home.

And speaking of birthdays, I just celebrated my 40th but I personally did not choose to have a huge party. I opted for a quiet, peaceful, laid-back, low-key celebration in exchange for something that I have always wanted to do. Can you make a wild guess? 🙂 About 2-3 years ago, when my hubby and I were planning for our respective 40th birthdays, we shared what we have always wanted to do. He was asking if I wanted to tour Europe or maybe go back to the United States. But there’s just one thing that I wanted to do for my 40th and that is to return to and spend some time in Korea.

So there, in exchange for a huge blowout for family and friends, I will be going to Korea this April and I will spend 10 days there — the first 6 days without my husband and preschooler (gosh, just writing about it now is already making me miss them!), and then they will join me in the last 4 days. And that leads me to this post. Whew, what a long intro!

I realized that the most visited and most active post in this blog is the GETTING A KOREAN VISA entry that I first posted in 2012 and updated in 2014. And that needs serious updating; hence, this post. I have chronicled my adventures in my Seoul Series 2012 and Heart and Seoul 2014. I am still thinking about a name for my 2017 adventures but this blog entry is the first in that series. So, without any further blurb, let’s get down to business.

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW TO GET A KOREAN VISA, CONTINUE AFTER THE JUMP.

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SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] HANGING OUT AT EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY

janiscooking ewha womans university

First off, in case you’re wondering, yeah, that’s the correct spelling: Ewha WOMANS University. I also wondered about that years ago but my Korean friend corrected me and said it’s really spelled that way.

Ewha Womans University was Korea’s first educational institute for women. It was founded way back in 1886 by an American missionary and to date, the university has 15 graduate schools, 11 colleges with 67 departments, and several research institutes. The Ewha Campus Complex is the largest underground campus in Korea. It has a library, bookstore, gym, cafes, movie theater, and on the first floor, there are lecture rooms and an eco-park.

Last spring, I was able to check out Ewha Womans University and because it was a Sunday afternoon that time, the university wasn’t busy, and I headed out with my family, we decided to spend some time at the campus and have a lovely afternoon snack there. After going around the school, we walked back to the Ahyeon-dong Wedding Street.

I wasn’t able to take photos of the alleys around Ewha Womans University and of the Ahyeon-dong Wedding Street as I was the one pushing my son’s stroller. But just to give you an idea of what to expect in the area, it is helpful to note that it is a popular shopping district and being a university area, it’s common to see clothes, shoes, and accessories shops, as well as salons, restaurants, and cafes that are mainly intended for the young people.

Parking here with some photos below and I will catch up with you on my next post. Til then, annyeong!

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SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] EXPLORING SEOCHON AND LUNCH AT TONGIN MARKET’S DOSIRAK CAFE

janiscooking seochon.jpg

In my previous visits to Seoul, I have always stayed in the Jongno area, specifically in the heart of Samcheong-dong, and because it’s the neighborhood that I am most familiar with, I have declared so many times in the past that my favorite neighborhood in all of Seoul is Samcheong-dong. Even to date, Samcheong-dong still one of my favorite neighborhoods but my list of favorites is growing the more I visit Seoul.

Last Spring, however, I did not get to spend time in Samcheong-dong at all because I purposely wanted to explore the west of Gyeongbokgung that time. I visited Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jongno-gu which translates to “Western Village” as it is geographically located at the west of Gyeongbok Palace. Historically, Korean literature has plenty of references to Seochon neighborhoods. But I did not learn about Seochon through history. I got curious about it after watching “Legendary Witches” because Seochon was the setting for that drama. Actually, if you’ve been to Tosokchon, the famous Samgyetang place near Gyeongbokgung, then you’ve been to Seochon.

Read more about my route going to and around Seochon below.

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SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] STAYING IN MYEONGDONG

myeongdong

One of my favorite places to come back to whenever I am in Seoul is obviously Myeongdong. It is a paradise for shoppers and foodies and while always evolving, it is still home to some of the old-time favorites, both of the locals and tourists like me. I have written about Myeongdong for the first time in 2012 and for the second time in 2014. Despite having been to Myeongdong twice in the past, visiting Myeongdong everyday during the 5-day Seoul leg of my trip felt like it’s always the first time. There’s always something new to experience, something new to discover. Myeongdong continues to excite me (and my palate!), and if you are visiting Seoul for the first time, please make sure that you allot ample time for Myeongdong.

I have a lot to share with you so please be prepared to read a massive wall of post. I stayed in Myeongdong (right outside Exit 2 of  subway station to be precise) and I am going to write a quick review of my guesthouse. I will also update you with my foodie finds in Myeongdong and they’re all drool-worthy that just thinking about them makes me feel like I’m going to pass out from extreme craving. And as usual, I will be ending this post with a clip of our nightly walk from the guesthouse to the famous Myeongdong shopping streets.

*All references to Myeongdong in this post will be hyperlinked to www.myeongdong.org, a great reference for all things about Myeongdong.

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Seoulful Encounters [Busan/Seoul 2017] – Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach

It’s so ironic that I am not a beach-lover to think that I grew up in a coastal town where my family used to have a vacation house by the beach. I remember spending every summer vacation there since I was kid until college. While I enjoy being at the beach, it’s not something that I will intentionally plot in my upcoming trips calendar unless my 4-year old is coming with me because that little one is an aquaphile.

However, when I was planning for my 10-day Busan/Seoul trip last Spring 2017, I found myself including Haeundae Beach in my itinerary. I intended to visit Haeundae Beach because I’ve never heard of a beach being accessible by subway and I wanted to experience it myself. In short, I was more interested about the transport system than the beach itself. Sure enough, Dynamic Busan didn’t fail to impress. As I said in a previous post, transportation in Korea is seamless and it makes going around the city very convenient, and that includes going to the beach.

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