Introducing My Unforgettable Travel Story: Seoul~ Where Dreams Come True

When asked where I want to go for my first trip out of the country, I knew it had to be Korea. It was a land of dreams-- affordable make-up, trendy clothes, healthy choices of food and of course, K-pop. It didn't matter when I have to go there. I just knew I have to be there.

I hardly recall how everything came together but what used to be a dream was slowly realized when I finally got hold of my plane tickets and Korean visa. We were set to go from October 17 to 21 (ironically, it's also the same date/ tour period for this year's Asian On-Air Program) and I couldn't ask for a better company than my family and my yeobo.

There are dreams wherein people can control their thoughts and actions and apparently, this is one of them. We weren't bound by any tour guides for we had our own itinerary that we, ourselves, made. It was our trip after all. Why force ourselves to go those touristy places when we already knew where we wanted to go?
Our first day was spent in Shinchon where we stayed at Shinchon Hostel. Shops were still closed when we arrived in the morning so I thought it was a quiet neighborhood... but I was wrong. Afternoon came and it turned into a shopping district. Shoes, clothes, bags and accessories~ there was an endless selection of fashion goods!

I really loved Shinchon at night! Back in the Philippines, I would have never walked out on the streets at night but there, I felt safe. The lights emanating from the shops didn't make me want to leave the streets. Music can be heard from every corner and everything was inviting me (especially the noraebang signs). It was a dream to live in that kind of neighborhood.

Here is a video of us walking back to our hostel, together with our old high school friend who accompanied us during the night. I made sure to capture this moment because I wanted to look back at all those shops I wished I have entered, haha.

No trip in Korea is complete without stopping by Myeongdong, Korea's shopping heaven. I remember being in awe as I look up at the different array of shop signs. Cosmetics, clothes, shoes, bags, K-pop albums, merchandises, souvenirs, and a lot more can be found~ and they all come at an affordable price!

Cosmetics are one of them that's why I had to make sure that I would buy all the cosmetics I needed in Myeongdong. I could just cry at the sight of all these Korean cosmetic brands, both familiar and new, lined up side-by-side. There was also more than one store per brand so there's no way you'll miss Etude House, Missha and Tony Moly, just to name a few. Oh and of course, we hauled!

Music stores were also scattered everywhere and it was quite tricky to spot them since they were placed in between or above stores. Some would give posters for free and the prices would vary per store but the difference wasn't that big. I ended up buying an album from an ahjusshi who was very nice and we even took his picture!

K-pop fans wouldn't also want to miss the chance of visiting an EverySing branch in Myeongdong located at the 3rd floor in Spao. We took a purikura as a souvenir since everything in the store was too expensive. Don't fret because there was a lot of nearby stores offering Kpop merchandises of other K-pop artists as well!

One afternoon was not enough to roam all the streets of Myeongdong. I don't think we even explored a quarter of it since there was so much to see. Nevertheless, it was a dream come true to have shopped in Myeongdong.

I guess we were kidding ourselves when we said we wouldn't go to touristy places. One way or another we had to go to some of Korea's known landmarks.

After we went shopping in Myeongdong, we aimed high (literally) and went to Namsan Seoul Tower. It was a unique experience since we went at night and we had no clue how to get there (fortunately, an ahjusshi helped us). Seeing Seoul's skyline at night from more than 700 feet up was something I thought I'd only see in pictures but now it's a beautiful memory that I can cherish forever.

Since we had our own itinerary, we made sure to pay a visit to the popular Korean entertainment companies, in hopes that we'll see our favorite idols. We walked quite a distance before we reached our first destination and it gave us a glimpse of what "Gangnam style" really is. Stores of luxury brands, limousines and sports cars and people in suites were everywhere~ They really knew what it means to live in a luxurious way.

Visiting entertainment companies was a top priority in our list. My yeobo and I have long been friends since the start of college and we both share a deep love for K-pop. I couldn't imagine sharing this epic experience with anyone else but her!

Our first stop was SM Entertainment and it was funny because we didn't expect it to be so small for a company that's so successful. We waited for a couple of hours, together with some foreign fans, hoping for an idol to show up but we weren't fortunate enough. Our next stop was JYP Entertainment and there wasn't much to see there either.

Just across the street was Cube Entertainment, my favorite entertainment company, so you can just imagine how excited I was. Well, I actually posted a video below of my self-guided tour in the first floor of Cube. I would love to hang out in Cube Cafe every afternoon (and maybe catch Kikwang or Ilhoon) but I'm glad to have at least had some coffee and snacks there.

We may not have seen any idols during our entertainment company tour but we were lucky enough to meet our in-laws… err, I mean famous idol moms! We dropped by the famous Kona Beans branch owned by the moms of Super Junior's Kyuhyun, Leeteuk, Sungmin and Eunhyuk and we actually met all four of them there! Mama Kyuhyun was even kind enough to have our pictures taken with her.

Speaking of Super Junior, we actually visited two members of Super Junior, Sungmin and Ryeowook, during their recording for their radio show, Sukira. It was very late at night yet we found a crowd of fangirls positioned outside the recording studio window. We tried taking several photos of them but we were satisfied just to hear their voices and get a glimpse of their faces.

The highlight of my trip in Korea has to be watching a live Korean music show. As a K-pop fan for more than six years, I've dreamt of being part of a live audience while cheering for different Kpop artists performing on stage. It took a lot of waiting in line and braving the cold before we finally got our numbers, the confirmation that we were part of the show. (Check my detailed post about my M! Countdown experience here)

Having watched a total of 14 artists on stage (for free!), I thought I was dreaming. Seeing Block B again, BtoB for the first time, and other artists I didn't expect like FT Island, Miss A and Ga In. I've always viewed these people on the screen of my laptop but at that time, they were there in flesh and I was there waving my hand frantically hoping that an idol would wave back (BtoB's Minhyuk and Eunkwang did!). I may not have taken any fancams but that whole experience was something I will never forget.

I must admit that five days in Korea was not enough. I remember bursting into tears while in the plane on the way back to the Philippines and telling my mom that I didn't want to leave. Korea was like being in a dream-- and I didn't want to wake up yet. It was nice to recall all my wonderful experiences I had there which are now my most treasured memories. 

This entry is for Korean Air Southeast Asia in partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization for "Asian On-Air Program 2013." Share your own unforgettable travel story through your blog and get a chance to win a 5 days and 4 nights tour in Korea! 

Check out Korean Air Southeast Asia's Facebook page for more details!


  1. The nostalgia ; ___ ; haha ilyt, yeobo! ^^~

  2. @tatianatorpid

    haha thanks for reading my entry, yeobo! ♡

  3. Oh, he's divine - I love the character that some dogs have, they are definitely furry people!
    My friends have a little Boston Terrier and he's super. They have trained him to pause before getting the command allowing him to eat (they were hoping to stop him eating everything in sight as they took him walking). Only trouble is he took to it like a duck to water, and they didn't realise one night that they had forgotten to give him the 'eat' command before disappearing into the next room. An hour or two later they came back to him, still sitting in the kitchen staring at him dinner, poor baby.

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안녕! i'm danie but i call myself kimii online. i'm new in the blogsphere but i've been a long time follower of anything related to beauty, kpop and advertising~ ♡