Joggyesa Temple Chrysanthemum Festival 2017

Move over cosmos, chrysanthemum is here. This is the time of the year where chrysanthemums bloom and if you love this little colorful flower, Joggyesa temple will be a perfect place.

Last year, I was able to visit this festival but unfortunately the festival was some days over. However, I still was able to witness the beauty of this flower though not on its pinnacle allure. And yet I was hushed by the way it was displayed at the temple.

Gladly thru a post of a friend inviting for a weekend visit, I decided to take a stint yesterday because my weekend will be kind of engaged for a certain activity. And since I’ve got extra time in the morning then there I was.

Walking around, chrysanthemums were displayed in an exquisite work of art. I remembered last year there was a maze of this flower right after the entrance. This fall on its 7th year of the festival was again in another beautiful and colorful array.

The festival started October 13th and will end November 8th.

Located at Anguk Station of subway  line 3 or the orange line. Walk towards exit 6 to Insadong. Walk straight passing the tourist information booth on your left. Cross the pedestrian (after the small plaza), walk on your left and continue walking until you see the main entrance to the temple. It will certainly take only 5minutes on foot.

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Gyeongui Line Book Street

Books and street, this nice location is a combination of both. Once an abandoned rail yard and now a cool park for locals and tourists. I’ve met my travel buddy here after my early walk at Sky park located at World Cup station, which is a 15minute ride to Hongik University Station.

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train cabins housing books

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Those14  train cabin like structures are housing books and all books. Certainly a haven of literary lovers. Unfortunately, the day we visited falls on a holiday as part of the Chuseok (Thanksgiving) holidays. We were not able to go inside and check for the books, all of those were closed.

And in addition, I have known that this book street is close every Monday. However on the rest of the week it is open form 11 in the morning until 8 in the evening. Though it was a bit unfortunate for us, we just moved around and follow the walking path. And so we discovered sculptures, murals and interesting photo zone spots.

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Children played along and some adults were comfortably sitting and reading a book. It was indeed a perfect hideout for those who wanted to escape from the noise of the city. Small restaurants and cafes were also around, surrounding neighborhood was at peace.

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Surely a worth place to visit for picnic and leisure. Want to check it out? Free and open for public also easy to find. Take the subway line to Hongik University station, (line 2, Gyeongui line or airport railroad) head towards exit 6.

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Saetgang Bridge and Ecological Park

Semi-forest, insects, birds and wetland, these are what comprises the Saetgang Ecological Park at Singil Station. The famous Saetgang bridge in addition, lighted at night is what made this park popular too.

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Saetgang bridge (photo credit to) Mikey Lahaylahay of FILIPOS

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To locals, biking and walking paths are most likely what keeps them coming back, to some tourists and foreigners it is the landscape scenery of the bridge especially at night where the bridge connecting Singil and Yeouido is brightly and colorfully lit.

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Trees and grasses are in luscious green. There were also some wooden foot bridges around the park and a boardwalks. Birds were a common sight.

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We were in the park for a photo shoot, a common event of our group, FILIPOS. As I, explore the area they were also busy doing the fun shoot. The park was tranquil, fresh air and only a few people passed by so we definitely had a nice location.

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Most probably, autumn would be a great sight too and it’s sooner as the leaves these days started to change color. Another season to look forward to.

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… exit 2 of Singil station

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…stairs that will lead you to the bridge…

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the bridge…

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Location: 48, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 여의동로 48 (여의도동)

Subway direction:

Yeouido Station (Seoul Subway Line 5 or 9), Exit 1 or 6.
Walk 370m forward towards the direction of Singil Station to arrive at Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park.

Or

Singil Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 or 5), Exit 2.
Head right after getting out Exit 2.

Hanuel (Sky) Park: Eulalia, Sunflower and Cosmos Fields

To me holiday is not a holiday if I wasn’t able to visit a corner in Seoul. After five days of organizing a financial literacy seminar for Filipinos in Korea, I’m finally on my feet alone.

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Great view from the top of Haneul park.

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View from the middle of the stairs overlooking the Han river.

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The 291 steps of the popular stair to Haneul Park.

Of course, it isn’t really that fun moving around companionless that’s why my travel partner  joined me after I visited Haneul Park or rather the Sky park at World Cup station and spent together the rest of the day at book street and Hongdae

Haneul Park was certainly a huge park and categorically one of the most visited park by locals and tourists especially in autumn season. It may seem to be an ordinary park to many, however the eulalia or silver grasses which filled up almost a quarter of the entire meadow, was the main reason that attracts visitors.

From the main entrance located at the base of the hill, I arrived early, however there was already a long line of people buying tickets for the shuttle car. Visitors usually get on that shuttle going up and leisurely walked down. I consumed 15minutes lining up for the ticket, 30minutes to get on the shuttle and 5minute ride to the top. Yup, that’s how it was! Well honestly, I did expect that since Korea was still embracing the golden holiday last Monday.

Because of a long line in that early time, most of the people walked, I tried that once last year and it took us 20minutes to reach the top on foot and so I wanted to try the shuttle this time and got to walked down by the stairs where people use for a shortcut. G0051338.jpg

I made a round, I walked and walked and saw the beauty of every corner of Haneul Park. The cosmos greeted the visitors in white and pink radiant colors. Eulalia or the cogon grass was tall and it’s everywhere. Some corners had photo zones provided. And the field of sunflower was great.

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photo zone…sunflower field behind me

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silver grasses taller than me…

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cosmos field

Direction: Take Line 6 to World Cup Stadium Station.. head to exit 1. Walk past the stadium to the parking lot until you see the main highway. Cross the pedestrian and continue walking on the side of the road until you see the World Cup sign. There is another pedestrian ahead of you, cross and you’ll find the way to the shuttle ticket booth or you could just continue walking until you find the stairs. Most of the people from the station will probably go to this park so you could just follow them.

Shuttle ticket cost 3,000won per person for a round trip and no entrance fee. So when you purchase the ticket say “wangbok” in Korean. It means round trip. Keep the rest of the ticket for your ride going down.

 

 

 

 

Nanuri Park at Yangju

Bored on the second day day of my holiday. I checked out my cellphone and happened to see the screenshot which I saved weeks ago from a Korean blogger. It was a picture and direction of this unknown park in Yangju, the Nanuri park.

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It was a only an 8minute bus ride from Yangju station. I wasn’t expecting any special thing to see, I just wanted to take a walk and breathe some air. Apparently, it wasn’t a bad choice of place. The park was another sea bed of flowers, varieties of fall flowers. When it comes to flowers I love spring, no doubt but these flowers are added to why I’m loving fall more.

And it just came to my senses that flowers in fall are far much more prettier. The flower fields on these previous parks which I’d been too were really awesome and worth the travel time. Landscapes were so picturesque and flowers were vivid.

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Nanuri Park is another huge flower farm with an alluring murals of a far cry varieties of floweret. It also has a wide array of  yellow cosmos, I remembered when we visited the tulip festival, it was as big as this but the crowd is huge, while here in Nanuri park, almost the same size of park but less crowd.

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To get a glimpse of this park, take Line 1 (blue line) to Yangju station, head to exit 2, cross the pedestrian, get on bus #80 and get off at Haedungmaeul.

 

Cosmos Flower Field at Guri

Girls day out and a Saturdate! The sun’s up, day was bright and the much awaited golden holiday in Korea was on. As we started our long workdays off, we visited the one and a half kilometer cosmos flower field at Guri.

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Situated along the Han river, this flower bed was a sight of soft pink and white color that was so pleasant to look at. Those daisy-like flowers were so fetching that even though the bikers passing by to this area were tempted for a break to strike a pose.

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The flower field was open and over looking the Han river. Thus, the picturesque view was just delightful. As we storm this sea of flowers huge smile painted our faces because less crowd means more blithesome time for us. Hence, we had a huge load of pictures, videos and fun day.

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Reaching out this place was so easy. We took the bus from Jamsil station and traveled about 8minutes only and a minimum bus fare. Here’s more for the direction.

Jamsil Station Line 2…head to exit 7 (that’s the underground shopping center so just continue following the direction to the end of the underground until you see the escalator). Walk to the bus stop and wait for bus #1670, #1100, or #2000. Get off at Topyeong IC, it’s just right before Jamsil station, it’s an expressway and yes, it’s only 1 bus stop away. As you get off, walk forward to the pedestrian there’s the stairs going down. Walk to your right and you’ll see those pretty flowers.

Cosmos flower sprung on October and lasts a bit longer and prettyfies the start of fall, so head up and strike your best pose with those in your background.

63 Building with an Art Museum, Aqua Planet and the Fireworks Show

Years ago, when I first arrived in Seoul, Hanwha Building was the highest building in Seoul at least that’s what I’ve heard. With 63 floors comprising the building, it also became popularly known as 63 Building.

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river view

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I was there once and enjoyed the Wax museum and Aqua Planet. But I wasn’t able to see the Art Museum with an observatory that’s overlooking Seoul and the Han river. So I promised to come back for that. So to fulfill that promise to my self, I went there again.

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It was a rainy summer day, just the recent summer, I met my friend at the station and we headed to the building. Well, it’s not surprising that even though the rain poured hard that day, it didn’t bothered the visitors on their holiday to hang out on this tourist spot.

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We bought a discounted package ticket for the Art Museum and Aqua Planet, they gave us a mini fan gift, thanks to that for a souvenir! We then fall in line to a lift that brought us to the museum. The elevator was surrounded by glass wall. We were able to see the beautiful view of Han river.

 The Art Museum

It wasn’t actually impressive at all but worth enough for a visit. Most probably the reason why people come here is the observatory, aside from those art works the museum is surrounded entirely by a glass wall and that you can see the entire city from there. It also has a café and we enjoyed our cup of coffee while watching the rain poured that day.

The Aqua Planet.

After spending an hour I guess, touring around the art museum and a cup of coffee. We went down to the aquarium. It’s not as big as the aquarium in COEX actually. What I liked most was the mermaid show, which everybody does also like I guess. We only spent half an hour exploring it, eventually if there’s no mermaid show, I will regret visiting it again.

Seoul International Fireworks Festival.

This amazing fireworks festival is sponsored by Hanwha. It happens annually by September or October. This year it is set to happen on September 30, 2017. It usually starts from 7:00pm on wards but the program along the Yeouido park happens whole day.

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*Fireworks photos are copyrighted by Mario M. Ulant.

I am not pretty sure if the observatory is a good place to hang out during this fireworks show, if ever it is, it will be jam packed of onlookers for sure and they may have restrictions for the number of goers.

Admission Fees
63 Sky Art
Adults 13,000 won / Teenagers 12,000 won / Children & Seniors 11,000 won

Aqua Planet 63
Adults 25,000 won / Teenagers 23,000 won / Children & Seniors 21,000 won

Package Deal

63 Joint Ticket (Aqua Planet 63 + 63 Sky Art): Adults 30,000 won / Teenagers 28,000 won / Children & Seniors 26,000 won
63 Sky Art Couple ticket (63 Sky Art admission (2) + Americano (2)) : 29,000 won

To visit this landmark, you can check out these directions:

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the Free shuttle bus from outside of those subway stations below..

Daebang Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 6.
– Take the free shuttle or Bus No. 11.

Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4.
– Walk to the intersection, turn left and walk to the bus stop.
– Take the free shuttle across Sambu APT, 80m away from Exit 4.

Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 1.
– Take Bus No. 5534, 5633 or 261.

Yeoido Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 5.
– Take the free shuttle or Bus No. 11 in front of St. Mary’s Hospital Bus Stop.

Saetgang Station (Seoul Subway Station 9), Exit 1.
– Take the free shuttle bus.

Saetgang Station (Seoul Subway Station 9), Exit 3.
– Take Bus No. 5633 or 5534.