Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope the twenty-fourth of December for you was as awesome as mine was. Personally, Christmas Eve is the best part of this season in my family, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to come home for Christmas this year! There's nothing like Christmas in Manila!
I'm glad to be able to write a new post just when 2012 - a wonderfully blessed year - is just days away from ending. A lot of travel-y dreams have been fulfilled, surprisingly, in the last twelve months, and I only hope 2013 is just as kind. Today, I look back on a great weekend in Seoul, in the land of k-dramas and winter sonatas, k-pop and G-Dragon's face on LED billboards. What is there to see in Seoul in just two-point-five days? Not much, really, because it's a city full of tons of things to see, impossible to cover in that short span of time. But what you do see is beautiful anyway, and most if not everything you take a picture of looks like a darn postcard.
Here I stand beneath a door way in the servants' quarters of Changdeokgung Palace (for history buffs, a UNESCO heritage site; for k-drama aficionados, a setting for many scenes of Jewel in the Palace), looking quite delighted to finally be in Seoul. It may look like it's just autumn, but it's very much winter already! Because I was there only for a weekend, I didn't get to see Rooftop Prince's palace or Lotte World where Stairway to Heaven was filmed, but no regrets there, I suppose, as it only means I have to return to this awesome country to set out on a koreanovela tour of sorts and maybe even spend a few hours outside of KBS or SBS in hopes of seeing one or two stars.
Near the new city hall, there was a huge ice skating rink that opened at around two in the afternoon into which kids and adults alike poured. I kind of regret never having learned as a kid to skate or rollerblade, because it looked mighty fun!
This is Myeongdong, one of Seoul's famous shopping areas, jam packed with people in the middle of the day, but unfortunately isn't a twenty-four hour joint as the vendors begin packing up by nine pm. Still, you could come here to get a really nice woolen scarf for ten thousand won or le gasp! a pig rabbit keychain made famous by that k-drama You're Beautiful which I regret not stopping for and buying.
The real star of this picture is GD, really, because he is just super cool. I actually had a Big Bang/G-Dragon phase back in college that I went so far as to order his solo album online! Hence the soft spot I have for him and this picture of his ad in Myeongdong (just one of the many, many markets of Seoul and the only one I was able to see). Technically I only had one-point-five days in Seoul, as the second day was mostly spent outside of the city, which, unsurprisingly, is just so beautiful! Oh, Korea. Oh, Korea, Korea, Korea.
Come back to see more wintry shots: this time in Nami Island (aka best known for Winter Sonata, hihihi!).
And again, MERRY CHRISTMAS! God bless!