I can’t believe a month has elapsed since we were in Hong Kong. Toronto is experiencing some kind of wet summer season. I do miss traveling and being on the go. In any case, I hope to save up some money this summer for my travel fund.
Here are the photos from our adventures in Bohol. We all loved it and finally understood what my sister Stella was raving on about when she first visited back in 2009. The food was the best and we had a blast touring around.
I think I’ve mentioned this in the blog but my parents and I separated ways and the ‘kids [us]’ went to Bohol. It was Maria, Andrew, Stella, Chris, Charry, Janica and I. It was a long travel to get there but a fun one nonetheless.
Click here: Cadiz & Bacolod excursion.
Alright, so here is the 3rd installment. There are more photos but unfortunately my CF memory card ran out of photos during the trip and I had to dump them on my cousins computer. There were some interior shots of the Ruins and also the spit roasted pig they had at the village.
This was at the Folk Museum in Seoul. There were replicas of old village huts and establishments like restaurants, barbershop, offices, hanbok shops circa 1950-1970.
This particular shot was taken at an old camera shop where you could put on old uniform attires from the 60’s or 70’s. I just finished the photo off with a retro inspired filter.
Finally back in Toronto after what seemed like a whirlwind adventure in the ‘Old World’. The time difference beteween Seoul and Toronto is 13 hrs. It’s weird to think we traveled back in time because we left Saturday morning on June 4 [Seoul date] and came back to Toronto Saturday June 4th also in the morning.
My mind frame right now is at 6pm Seoul afternoon instead of 5am Toronto. This is usually the time Chris would buy his tteokbokki snack. Tteokbokki [pronounced tok poh ki] is a korean traditional snack made of riced cake braised in a red spicy sauce. It’s incredibly spicy.
I’ve eaten a lot of kimchi while in Korea [it’s Kimchi Land after all] and I’ve learned to like it. It’s true that it’s something of an acquired taste. I was initially deterred by the spicy taste and the fact that its fermented cabbage.
One of the many things I liked about Korea is their food. Every meal we’ve eaten so far came with many varieties of side dishes and soup. Their diet is mostly vegetable and seafood. Meat like beef and pork are expensive and chicken you hardly see around in some places. They do love their pork here though. And very few restaurants even serve kai [dog] meat but it is something of a delicacy here so you may have to look for a particular place. (not something i would ever try)
Prices in Korea seems to be about the same as in Toronto, only slightly cheaper. So if you’re looking for bargains and deals, its not the place to go. Even in outside markets like Namdeamun or Dongdaemun it’s hard to haggle. What’s great is the fashion style here. Every one is well dressed and present themselves well. Although there is a sense of aloofness between strangers. Koreans as a culture have a distinct sense of self-identity. They are united by a single language called Hangungmal. The modern and traditional co-exist side by side and you can observe this everywhere. You can tell they are proud of their culture and try to preserve it as well as educate others. Their cultural places are as cheap as $4CDN (museums) and some are free. The palace entrances are 1-3,000 WON.
The landscape is surrounded by mountains and the sea. The cities maintain and preserve many of its green spaces.The subway ride to the airport (which is 1.2hr ride from seoul) was smooth and outside you can see untouched lands of mountains, some were small living areas of farmland that had rice fields and buildings. In some areas you can see the sea, it was low tide and the water was shallow with grass sticking out.
From the plane, there are many rows of domed green houses near the airport. Most of the food must be grown within the city. Fruits and vegetables are a little bit pricey in supermarkets. A big watermelon was 15000 korean won which equates to $13CDN.
Many restaurants table set up are based on communal dining. There are two side where you can sit on chairs and another side with an elevated deck [you must take your shoes off] and sit on a cushion with a low table (traditional korean dining). In Jeju Island [a beautiful quiet island] we had a traditional Korean meal consisting of 15+ side dishes with soup and fried fish and slices of pork. Everything was delicious. The fried fish a omelette was the table favourite. At night you can smell the sea breeze with fresh scent of flavours mingling with the aromatic smell of Korean BBQ. That was my favourite smell. It reminded me of childhood in the country [in the philippines called Bataan where we lived for a year].
Jeju is somewhere i would love to go back to and do some more exploring. Stay tuned for more photos as I upload them from my camera! :)
We are currently in Hong Kong right now. This was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to the least but it turned out to be a lovely surprise. There are so many things to do in this vibrant city and I wish I was brave enough to go off and explore on my own. I will definitely come back when I know more Cantonese - and more money in my pocket. Traveling poor can get you in unfortunate circumstances when you try and take what seems to be the best deal. It’s a recurring lesson in life, I think - you always get what you pay for. In Macau, we have experienced what it was like to be homeless and sleep on street benches. It’s an amusing story to tell but an experience I hope not to relive again. We paid for a 380 Hkd room that was mold infested and threatening to cave in on itself. I’m not hard to please but that place was a health hazard and sleeping on the streets proved to be the better option.
The beds, though neatly made up had mysterious stains on it. The air was heavy with the smell of mold and the walls were teeming with it. Even the complimentary toiletries had mold - mouth rinse anyone? So, we tucked our bags in the closet with the intention of not returning til morning.
Macau seemed like a safe place at night. Lots of people - even young women roam the streets in the wee hours of the morning. I felt safer than I ever did in Manila - which is another story on it’s own. it retains this old world feel with it’s European inspired architecture that were wonderfully preserved. I think it is what Old Manila would have been had it not been bombed to oblivion in WWII. It fills me with nostalgia for a life that I didn’t know. My favourite place is the Senado Square which is a pedestrian friendly walkway lined with stores and eateries on the side akin to Las Ramblas in Barcelona. The only positive part of being homeless is that we were able to walk along the square by ourselves before it became congested with people in midday.
We walked aimlessly through cobblestone streets and dark back alleys until we got lost. Sleep deprived, we decided to try our luck at the casino, hoping a little game can win us enough money for a decent hotel room. 5 hours later and 30 HKD gambled away, I inhaled a week’s worth of second hand smoke while tapping away the SPIN button half awake and confused. I don’t get the fuss over casinos… More later