Retiring My Site :(

I haven’t posted in a while; so I decided to retire my blog. I will still keep my posts here for posterity; because others may still find some older posts helpful. I have enjoyed writing for everyone who have referred to my site for travel advice, among others. It was really fun while it lasted.

Signing off. 😩


USA 2016: An Overview


Last year, I took the leap and went out of the Asian continent
 to United States of America! It’s a dream destination I didn’t think I would go to until after a few years; but I DID IT! I took a trip to Japan earlier in the year (during spring no less!); so this sudden trip made an unexpected dent in my savings; but looking back, I have absolutely NO REGRETS. The entire trip was well worth the months of hard work, planning and extreme saving. (Side note: Don’t worry. I’m all covered. Everything’s been paid up even before 2016 ended. I’m saving up for a whole other trip now.)

My brother and I went to three main destinations for 11 days (from September 30 to October 10): San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, not counting the time it took to fly to and from the USA. This gave us roughly 3-4 days per city, with a couple of hours drive from one city to another in between. Given the short period of time, we had to be precise and discerning when it came to our itinerary. We had to give up certain destinations if it didn’t seem feasible; and we had to separate if there were sights/shows that we didn’t mutually want to go to. Compromise, swift decision-making and flexibility proved key in making the trip a jam-packed yet enjoyable one.

Before I go into highlights from each destination, I’m going to share some lessons based on my experience. From the ever-dreaded Visa application to eating out, let me drop some wisdom (if you’re willing to call it that), which could hopefully guide you if you’re planning on a trip like this anytime soon.

Visa Application

Even before planning our itinerary any seriously, I had to secure a Visa from the US Embassy. It’s one of the notoriously difficult tourist Visas to get; but honesty, comprehensiveness and preparedness helped me get approved. I wrote an extensively detailed account of my Visa application. You may just check it out here and here.

Booking The Flight to Surviving The Flight

Grab those cheap seats. A seat sale was still crucial in getting a good deal on plane tickets. I kept checking Philippine Airlines from time to time; and when the sale came around (This was end of May – even before my Visa appointment), I took the risk and booked tickets anyway. We ended up paying for round trip tickets to and from San Francisco at approximately $700 (Php33,000 – This was when the exchange rate hasn’t hit the Php50 mark) per head. CHEAP!

Exit row = comfort + survival. A few weeks before the flight, my brother then suggested we upgrade to EXIT row seats for $100 per way. I highly recommend you do this if you can shoulder the cost. Getting to sit in the exit row meant more leg room where you can stretch and stand from time to time – a must for a non-stop 14-hour flight. It was officially the first long haul flight I’ve ever taken; and I consider paying the extra $200 for exit row seats WORTH IT. I now plan to do this for any long-haul flights I take in the future.

Comforts in-flight. For the flight itself, there were two meals included. The flight staff also provided a small kit, a blanket and a pillow for your comfort. The kit had basic essentials such as an eye cover, toothpaste and toothbrush, among others. Make sure to pack a small survival kit of your own if you’d like. My personal kit contained toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wash, small snacks, etc. I also brought my own travel pillow. Fourteen hours in one giant metal flying container is sure to make you itch for a bath; so anything to refresh yourself before you land would have to be a must!

Watched Sing Street in-flight. Good movie!

Jet lag prep. The flight to your destination is also the perfect time to reprogram your body clock for the inevitable JET LAG that’s about to hit you. It took me about 2-3 days to fully adjust; but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. What I did on the flight probably helped a bit; so I’m sharing with you the technique which worked for me: Make the most out of the in-flight entertainment and just KEEP YOURSELF AWAKE for the longest time your body could possibly allow you.

Right before leaving, set your phone to the local destination time (In this case, San Francisco); so you know the time you’re working with. We left Manila around 10pm
 sleepy time, right? After dinner, I resisted the urge to shut my eyes and just watched one movie after another. I started with Sing Street, then TITANIC (3 hour movie) before dozing off. A few hours after, I woke up again and watched a tv show and another movie.

For the next 2-3 days, I was usually sleepy around 3-4 in the afternoon (San Francisco time); but sheer willpower and proper sleep in the evening (around 9/10pm) allowed my body to adjust quite well.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing that this technique will work
 to each their own; but I’m just sharing my personal experience handling jet lag.

Continue reading “USA 2016: An Overview”

My US Visa Experience: Part 2

Important Note: I applied for a NON-IMMIGRANT B1/B2 (Business/Tourism) CATEGORY VISA; so anything different from this particular subject will not be covered.

Schedule An Interview

  1. Go to this link:
  2. Click on “New User?” and create an account.
  3. Once you have an account, log in and click on New Application/Schedule Appointment
  4. Follow the steps with the necessary information. Be ready with your passport details, Receipt Number and Application ID.
  5. Select the date and time of the interview.
  6. Select the method of delivery. I chose to pick it up at a 2Go outlet near me; but you may opt to have it delivered straight to your home/office. The delivery is already covered in the application fee; so there’s no need to pay for this anymore.
  7. Schedule the appointment.
  8. An Appointment Confirmation will be generated. Print this out. You may also have a copy sent to your email address.

I M P O R T A N T !

There’s a grace period before your application fee payment/Receipt Number goes through the system. Refer to this page under Scheduling Your Interview for full details on the timelines.

T I P !

Unless you’re really confident and complete with your supporting documents, I suggest scheduling the interview at least three weeks from submission of the DS-160 form. That way, you have enough time to gather all the documents you may want to bring to the interview. But this might, of course, turn out to be unnecessary. More on that later.

Go to The Interview

  1. Bring the following:
    1. Appointment Confirmation (all pages)
    2. Original MRV Fee Receipt: Php7680 Deposit Slip Confirmation
    3. Valid Passport
    4. DS-160 Confirmation Page
    5. 2×2 Photo
    6. supporting documents proving socio-economic ties to the country. Here’s what I brought:
      1. old passport
      2. latest ITR
      3. bank certificate
      4. employment certificate
      5. credit card statements from two accounts for the past 3 months
  2. Arrive at the US Embassy Consul at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. There’s no need to arrive hours and hours before your schedule to line up.

T I P S !

  • You are not allowed to unload people right in front of the US Embassy. I suggest you park/be dropped off where Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is (Avenue of the Arts, 1388 Roxas Blvd corner Sta. Monica Street) and get across via the overpass.
  • If your appointment is really early, you will see a bunch of monoblock chairs situated near the entrance to the tents. Those aren’t free. That’s Php30 for a seat. It’s cheap; but I sat without knowing I had to pay for the chair. Oh well
 had to pay up.
  • Do not bring any electronic or battery-operated device, big bags/backpacks, anything with an on/off switch, any flame generating device or sharp objects. They are very strict with this. There are people outside who are willing to hold your valuable items for a fee.
  • There are people offering to sell black ballpens as well. You don’t need these. Don’t buy.
  • If you arrive around 30-45 minutes before your scheduled interview, I suggest you go ahead and enter the first barricade. Chances are there’s already a line that has formed waiting for the go signal to enter.
  • US Embassy personnel will put up signs giving notice as to which schedule is already being processed (ex. Now Processing Non-immigrant Visa 7:00am). Once your schedule is up, people are led to the first security check.

Continue reading “My US Visa Experience: Part 2”

My US Visa Experience: Part 1

Important Note: I applied for a NON-IMMIGRANT B1/B2 (Business/Tourism) CATEGORY VISA; so anything different from this particular subject will not be covered.

A number of bloggers have shared their personal US Visa stories online; and they’ve been really helpful to me. I promised myself that if successful, I will pay it forward and share my story as well. Hopefully, my own experience will help someone out in successfully obtaining a US Tourist Visa.

First, a little about myself just so you have an idea of my profile:

  • single
  • no children
  • 31 years old
  • no immediate family in the US
  • applying alone
  • working in the same company for almost a decade
  • 5-figure monthly salary
  • traveled to a number of countries within Asia: Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan

For the first five details I shared, I am someone usually categorized as a “high-risk” candidate – one who is most likely to go TNT and not come back to the Philippines. However, the last three details prove my strong economic ties to the country and my love for travel. What’s not on paper, though, is that I genuinely just want to go to the US for sight-seeing. I believe this is a big part of what made my application result in an approval. I will elaborate on this more once I share my interview experience.

To be as comprehensive as possible, I will start from the beginning
 from deciding to apply all the way to picking up my Visa/passport. In between, I will share some tips or insights I picked up along the way.

Deciding to Apply

During early May, my brother mentioned an exhibition he’s planning to attend in Las Vegas late this year. He also mentioned wanting to visit Silicon Valley during that same trip. I suddenly became very interested. I’ve been wanting to go to the US for a long time – Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Golden Gate Bridge, Grand Canyon (the list goes on and on)
 and that’s just in the west coast! Why don’t I tag along? I certainly feel like I could set aside enough money in time for the trip. I also felt like I’m not getting any younger, right? It’s time.

After a quick Google Maps search, a trip from San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge, Silicon Valley) to Los Angeles (Hollywood!! Harry Potter!!!) to Las Vegas (main reason for the trip where the exhibition will be, near Grand Canyon) is very feasible. The idea just sounded better and better the more I thought about it. My head just kept on thinking, “Why not? Just take the plunge. Try to apply for a tourist visa. The worst that could happen is that I would be denied and the money I could potentially save will go towards a different trip.”

And with that, I decided to apply for that infamous and allegedly elusive US Visa.

Continue reading “My US Visa Experience: Part 1”

Going Solo in Coron

While working non-stop on Project Runway Philippines earlier this year, I promised myself that I would take a much-deserved break after the first leg of shoots concluded. Not only would I take a break; but I would do it alone. Yes… alone. It has always been something I’ve wanted to do; and this was the perfect opportunity to do it.

I picked Coron as my destination; because I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it. Aside from that, my first experience in Palawan was for work (a shoot in El Nido); so I wanted to go back to that wonderful island but in a new area. And you know what? It was a great experience that I would not forget.

Flights and Accommodations
Before I get into the details of the amazing sights I saw, I will run you through the tickets I bought and the resort that I stayed in.

I only booked my tickets one month before my trip; so seat sales weren’t exactly in the horizon when I decided to take this vacation. Still, I did my due diligence and checked the cheapest fares from the usual suspects. I ended up flying with Philippine Airlines. They had a special offer when you book via their mobile site; and the total roundtrip fare was around Php6,500.

the plane i rode in on the Busuanga airport runway
the PAL plane i rode in on the Busuanga Airport runway

As for the accommodations, I honestly wanted to splurge. Given that I was traveling alone and was in charge of my own budget, I decided to pick a well-reviewed resort that had amazing views and a spa. It HAS to have a spa. I just set a budget cap for myself based on my current savings for travel. (Side note: Yes, I always set aside money strictly for travel. I highly recommend you do it as well.) I checked Agoda for options; and I picked Busuanga Bay Lodge. It was not as expensive as Two Seasons or Huma Island (Those resorts are insanely pricey especially for a solo traveler.); but I felt like it would still have a luxurious, exclusive feel. I just went with the pictures I saw and my gut feel. It’s still more expensive than the average hotel or resort in Coron; but I just went with it and have no regrets.

The resort itself is about an hour away from the airport. When I arrived, I was welcomed with the staff singing followed by a cool drink. I was then oriented about the facilities that the resort has to offer and the activities I could organize with the person in charge. I was also accompanied to my room and the guide showed me its features from the balcony lock to the television. It allowed me to familiarize myself with the place I’ll call home for the next couple of days.

Busuanga Bay Lodge is one of the few resorts situated in Sitio Lawi, Barangay Concepcion. It’s literally perched in the mountains and the roads are still being built to this day. Still, it adds a great deal of privacy and security. The views are also quite unique from Coron town proper, which is about an hour away. Their room packages usually include breakfast, airport transfers, use of resort facilities and non-motorized sports equipment (ex. kayak). They have two restaurants that serve an array of dishes and drinks. They also have a small spa where you could get a massage. It really has everything you could ever need to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I really loved staying here.

Coron Galeri Tours
A decision I made in traveling solo was to be extra cautious. This was my first time; so I didn’t want to take any chances with my safety. I went on organized tours with round trip transfers from the resort already covered. I made sure I was always with a guide and I had a pre-planned itinerary for the day. I rarely wandered off by myself; and I only stayed in Coron town until the afternoon. After the tour, I was immediately whisked back to Busuanga Bay Lodge. Traveling solo was an adventure; but I’m not too adventurous that I would go around looking for places to go all by myself. I had to pre-plan and pre-arrange everything even before arriving in Busuanga.

As for the tours themselves, I had to join group tours to save money. Customizing a trip all on my own would be more costly. I booked these with Coron Galeri. They have a number of options for group tours and as long as you meet the minimum number of people, it would push through. They are very organized and the guides are knowledgeable. It was really fun for me; because being without companions allowed me to talk to other people also in the group. We took each other’s pictures and chatted along the way.

I had two full days for activities; so I picked Tour B-1 (Php650/pax) and Tour B-2 (Php750). This includes at least 5 stops and a delicious lunch.

B-1 B-2

I was thankful that the weather was generally favorable (save for a few moments in the morning when we were met with strong waves). I just spent the days relaxing, swimming and simply ogling at the beautiful sights of Coron. On more than one occasion, I just kept going “wow” at the natural beauty of it all.

Since I went on organized tours, I missed certain tourist spots such as the Tapyas Viewdeck, the hot springs, the ship wrecks, Malcapuya Island (among others) and the Calauit Safari Park. That is why I plan to go back to Coron in the future. Still, what I did get to see and experience are more than what I expected given the limited time I had on the island.

Tips on Traveling Solo
1) Have a budget but be prepared to spend more than usual.
Traveling alone means that accommodations, food and transportation cannot and will not be split with another person or with a group of people. You only rely on yourself and your own money to make it through the trip. Make sure you have a budget; but consider the fact that you will spend more than usual.
Still, the upside to this is that you control the expenses. You can pick the hotel that you will stay in. You can pick the tours you will join. You can scrimp on the food you eat. Your money is your sole responsibility; so you get to decide whether you’ll splurge or save on each activity and each expense. Very adult!
2) Join group tours and meet new people.
This is really the ideal set-up for solo travelers. Group tours mean that you will be able to share the full expenses of an organized tour with other people. This is also your opportunity to meet new people and practice your social skills. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to take a photo of you, or ask where they’re from to start a conversation. Everyone has a story to tell; and it’s always great to widen your horizons.
3) Enjoy yourself but be safe.
Depending on your comfort level, traveling alone is a great time to be adventurous and explore places on your own. If you’re like me, you want everything to be organized before you even step foot on your destination. Others are braver. They like not having any plans and going with the flow. Either way, your first priority has to be your safety. There’s always a level of danger in being alone in a strange place. Don’t always trust every person you meet; and don’t go for the first deal offered to you. Always be aware that being alone means you’re more vulnerable. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
4) Make the most of “me” time.
Trips with friends are great; but traveling solo has its perks… Number one of which is you control your schedule.
You don’t have to be dragged by friends to an activity. You don’t have to join another tour if you don’t feel like it. You can wake up at noon if that’s your plan… Read a book. Get a massage. Lounge by the pool the whole morning. Sleep! No one will resent you for it. Solo travel is “me” time to its fullest. Make the most of it.

Project Runway Philippines Season 4: #veryveryfashion

Let’s start the show…

The project was awarded over a year ago; and yesterday, the pilot finally aired on ETC. From auditions to the runway shows, it was a long road for our team; but I’m so thankful to have experienced shooting Project Runway Philippines Season 4. It was a far cry from advertising and shooting commercials; yet it was still fun in its own way. Aside from the drama and challenges posed to the designers on cam, a different kind of drama also unfolded behind the scenes… Believe me. Still, we are way past that and everyone’s just really proud and happy with what we’ve put up.

In celebration of the premiere of Project Runway Philippines Season 4, I’m sharing some behind the scenes photos from the first few days of shooting (aka shooting the pilot). Be sure to check out the captions for some interesting info about the show.

Don’t miss the all new #sewlegit season of Project Runway Philippines. New episodes air every Sunday at 8pm on ETC, with primetime replays every Monday at 7PM and every Wednesday at 10PM. Other schedules: Mondays at 12nn, Tuesdays at 7am, Tuesdays at 2pm, Thursdays at 10am, Saturdays at 1pm. No excuse missing it! Make sure to use the hashtags #prponetc #sewlegit #veryveryfashion

Please watch and support the next big names in Philippine fashion.

the IT list #13: TV’s Freshman Class

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #13
The 2014-2015 TV Season is drawing to a close; and I’m happy to have discovered a bunch of new shows to obsess over. They are all fresh, brilliant and entertaining. Most, if not all, of them have finished their freshman year (1st season); and I could definitely vouch for their quality and potential for longevity. I suggest you get hooked and catch up as soon as you can. As a bonus, I’m adding a mini-series/documentary that made waves early this year. Read on…

Better Call Saul is a spin-off/prequel of the groundbreaking AMC series Breaking Bad. But instead of living under the shadows of its predecessor, Better Call Saul stands on its own. Its only connection to the former show is the common characters and the setting. Other than that, it has its own stories to tell and gives great insight into the origins of the Saul Goodman (and even the Mike Ehrmantraut) we think we know.

Marvel’s Daredevil is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is meant to be a first in a series of shows that will lead up to a Defenders crossover miniseries.

Honestly, I don’t particularly follow the TV shows from the MCU (Agents of Shield, Agent Carter are not in my radar.). I’m more of a DC follower when it comes to the small screen. However, if this is the jumping off point for the next series Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, then sign me up. The season arc is well-developed and tight as a story. The show is also anchored in reality in that every episode shows just how vulnerable our hero is despite his abilities. The characters are complex. The action sequences are amazing. The build-up to our hero donning his suit is also not contrived. It’s definitely another feather in Netflix’s cap of awesomely-produced shows.

Anything Rob Thomas does, I will most definitely watch. As an avid fan of Veronica Mars, I eagerly awaited his latest foray into television — iZombie. It definitely doesn’t disappoint.

It might be another zombie series, sure; but this one has elements of Veronica Mars. You have a strong female lead. The episodic mysteries are engaging, yet there’s an overarching story that spans the whole season. There are hooks at the end of each episode that keep you intrigued; and the characters are interesting and funny. The season hasn’t ended but with two episodes left, I’m positive it’s going to be good.

This is the absolute standout freshman series for me this season. It is loosely based on Venezualan telenovela Juana la Virgen, where our lead, Jane, accidentally gets artificially inseminated. Her world turns upside down when she discovers that she’s pregnant despite being a sworn virgin.

The premise seems crazy; but the show just goes with its telenovela roots yet still infuses a lot of heart into the story. This results in a really unique, quirky and funny show that will let you see past the craziness and just appreciate the characters and their relationships, which is still grounded in reality.

The Flash is a spin-off of Arrow, the other DC TV show that’s pretty good in my book. The Flash is one of my favorite superheroes; so it’s great to see him get his own TV series. As far as first seasons go, this show succeeds in creating its own fun little world within Central City, far and away from the dark and brooding seriousness of Star(ling) City. The characters are really likable; and the central villain (for the first season) posed a real threat to our hero throughout the season. I hope this show doesn’t lose its momentum and continues to impress leading into Legends of Tomorrow.

Documentary crime dramas are my guilty pleasure; and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst hits that sweet spot. It’s very real. It’s very controversial. It’s seriously intriguing… especially in the end. It’s only six episodes; so I highly recommend that you check it out. I guarantee you won’t be able to stop watching until the gripping conclusion.

Korea 2014: Stop! Shop! Eat!

What’s a trip to another country without shopping and eating? I will conclude my series of posts by giving some suggestions on where to shop and what to try and eat when you’re in South Korea.

I stopped by a number of shopping streets, malls and entered a ton of cosmetics shops (They’re everywhere!). I saw everything from designer labels, international brands, local labels to mass produced trendy fashions. Shopping in Korea is inevitable; and the range that’s available is just overwhelming. Fear not, though, you’re bound to find something you love at a price point that’s reasonable. Contrary to popular belief, Korea is actually very affordable… more affordable than Japan and even Singapore (in my opinion). I loved shopping and here were some of my favorite stops:

one of the streets in EDAE
one of the streets in EDAE

EDAE (Ewha Women’s University)
Accessible from: Exit #2 or #3, Ewha Woman’s Univ. Station, Subway Line 2 OR Exit #2 or #3, Sinchon Station, Subway Line 2

EDAE is one of the popular stops for young Korean women to shop for affordable and trendy fashions. With enough stamina and energy, you will be able to find a lot of nice items from clothing to accessories to shoes. Cute bags go for just ₩10,000 (Php400). Pretty shoes and boots go from ₩10,000-₩25,000 (Php400-Php1000). There are also some independent local shops that may be more expensive; but are good quality items just the same. Be sure to make the most of the inner streets and shops. Also, be patient in finding the same item for a better price. A number of the stores sell the same thing; and something that caught your eye earlier on could probably be cheaper just down the street (Believe me, I know the feeling.).

Accessible from: Exit #6, Myeongdong Station, Subway Line 4


Myeong-dong is the prime shopping destination when you’re in Seoul. In and around the area, you will find an almost endless array of shops and restaurants. A good mixture of tourists and locals literally crowd in Myeong-dong to do most of their shopping. Street food also line the narrow streets; so you could satiate that hunger in between retail stops. This is also the place where you could get the best foreign exchange rates. There are a lot of money changers and be patient enough to walk around and canvas for the best rates; so you could get the most for your dollars. Most important of all, Myeong-dong is home to Cosme Road, an area where all Korean make-up brands have their biggest stores. If you love make-up and skin-care products, be prepared to spend a LOT of time here.

Gangnam Underground Shopping Center
Accessible from: Express Bus Terminal Station (line 3 or 7), follow the Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center sign

Gangnam has a certain luxury attached to its name. It is mostly known for its expensive shops, rich clientele and high standards of living. In contrast, the Gangnam Underground Shopping Center turned out to be my favorite shopping destination out of all those I’ve visited. I loved it here. It felt like a higher end 168 (yes, the one in Divisoria) in its layout; and I think they have the cheapest items and the widest array of products (including home items).

Gangnam Underground Shopping Center
Gangnam Underground Shopping Center (photo from

How cheap? Clothes such as shirts, blouses and coats range from ₩5,000-₩15,000 (Php200-Php600). Socks and hair accessories are between ₩1,000-₩3,000 (Php40-Php120). Bags and shoes are mostly at ₩10,000 (Php400). I was also lucky enough to purchase an authentic leather shoulder bag on sale at ₩39,000 (Php1,500) from ₩150,000 (Php6,100). Gangnam Underground Shopping Center is one of the places that showed me how affordable South Korea could be. Since the prices are already low, you shouldn’t haggle anymore. Also, most of the items are free size and fitting is not allowed. Be ready to make guesstimates on what clothes may suit you.

Lotte Mart
Accessible from: Seoul Station (line 1, 4), Exit 1.

Lotte Mart
Lotte Mart (photo from Korea Tourism Organization)

Lotte Mart is a huge supermarket where you could get the best deals for food items and other products that you plan to bring home as pasalubong. From tea, to baked goods, to sweet treats… You will find them all here. Be prepared to share with your companions especially in the packaged/bundled products; so you could get the best price per item.

Koreans love to eat and drink. It was especially apparent in the area we were staying in (Hongdae) where a number of restaurants and clubs were within walking distance from our residence. It can sometimes get dizzying looking for what to eat next; but to sum up… They were all delicious and fresh. Here are some of the food items you must try and eat when in Korea:

Side Dishes/Appetizers
Wherever you plan to eat lunch or dinner, you will be served with different forms of appetizers. The most common of them all is kimchi. The tastes range from sour/spicy to sweet. My favorites were kimchi, jeotggal (salt-fermented seafood) and egg roll.

different side dishes/appetizers
different side dishes/appetizers

Street Food
Many forms of street food can be found all over Seoul. I wasn’t able to try all of them; but they are mostly fried items such as sausages… potatoes… sausages wrapped in potatoes, among other things. They usually range from ₩2,000-₩2,500.

street food stall in Dongdaemun
street food stall in Dongdaemun

Fried Chicken
I would have to say Koreans know their fried chicken. The skin is always crisp and flavorful. The chicken itself is tender and juicy. It’s especially great with beer when you’re in the mood to just chill and relax with your friends after a long day of walking and sightseeing. We ate different forms of this for about three times during our trip.

delicious, crispy, juicy fried chicken
delicious, crispy, juicy fried chicken

This is one of my favorites, even before going to Korea. It’s basically rice topped with vegetables, meat and egg. You’re supposed to mix them all together with sauces and spices before enjoying.

bibimbap and appetizers
bibimbap and appetizers

Korean BBQ
This is another one of my favorites and it’s so simple! Marinated meat is grilled and cut up as it cooks. Stuff it in a lettuce leaf with the right sauces and enjoy… So yummy.

chicken bbq
chicken bbq and chilis

Ice Desserts/Ice Cream
All over Seoul, there are a lot of dessert shops and ice cream stalls; so you’re bound to try one at some point. Convenience stores also offer packaged ice cream, which we already love here in Manila. So remember to always leave room for dessert!

shaved ice dessert
shaved ice dessert
ice cream stall along Dongdaemun
ice cream stall along Dongdaemun. this one’s delicious!

Coffee shops are also all over Seoul. There are Starbucks, of course; but there are smaller coffee chains that you may want to try. Their coffee is more on the sweeter side (much like the Philippines); but they’re worth trying nonetheless. Be sure to also try some waffles or pancakes while you’re there.

coffee and pancake for breakfast
coffee and pancake for breakfast (Coffee Prince)
coffee and waffles from Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae
coffee and waffles from Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae

That concludes a rundown of another epic trip. I will definitely go back to this wonderful country in the future. There is still a lot of sights to see, things to do and food to eat. It was an absolutely wonderful experience getting exposed to South Korea and its wonderful people and culture.

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