Story first published on March 6, 2017
It is almost the part of the year where we became excited on what we are doing in the approaching summer season. Swimming, hiking, and other forms of summer activities to beat the heat are resurfacing again. But I would like to have a different type of summer vacation this time by fulfilling my so called “dream vacation”, and escape the dreadful stress that piled up from school and work.
Because this is my dream, we should take it up to the highest level my imagination, and perhaps, money can perceive.
And like every other fan of K-Drama and Korean culture, I also dreamed of having a vacation in Korea. Yes, we are going into South Korea this time for my summer destination, and without further ado, let’s go as I’ll take you to one of my favorite country so far, and consider this as one of my bucket lists.
Right now, spring is approaching on South Korea, so maybe the first one that I should do is to see some beautiful cherry blossoms from so many spring flower festivals there, such as the ones in Jeju, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Jinhae-gu and so much more.
|The Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is where the nation’s first cherry blossoms can be seen. The festival features a cherry blossom photo zone which is definitely great as well as various other programs to enjoy. In addition, the festival can be enjoyed fully day or night with the use of a vast lighting system.|
|In early April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Jinhae Gunhangje Festival draws in more than 2 million tourists every year, and visitors are greeted by showers of cherry blossom petals as they pass through a tunnel of cherry trees. There are various events not to be missed, such as the Jinhae International Military Band & Honor Guard Festival and fireworks show. Definitely a great place for Instagram.|
|The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is a representative festival in Seoul, taking place every April. Yeouiseo-ro, the street behind the National Assembly Building, is lined with cherry blossom trees and is the most famous cherry blossom street in Seoul. Visitors like me can take a stroll along the Hangang River through a tunnel of these majestic and lit trees. Other spring blossoms blooming beneath the trees include azaleas and forsythias. There are also some cultural street performances, a flower decoration exhibit, and a photo exhibit taking place throughout the festival period, so there are so much things to do and explore here.|
And because we do rarely see them in our country (I don’t even know if cherry blossoms do exist here, actually), I think it is much better to snap a lot of photos there, because it will remind me of the beautiful scenery that I was able to witness. (More on that later)
And also, being a fan of K-Drama makes this experience more exciting than usual, as you are also seeing the places where these adorable dramas were taken or shot. I will be proud if a K-Drama fan recognizes the place where I’ve taken my Instagram photo because I was able to see it personally, and tell them it is much beautiful than on TV.
So, perhaps my second set of destination might be from the Joseon era. Yes, some heritage sites that until now, doesn’t cease to exist.
Getting back in time and looking at the feat of their living? I think that is really awesome.
Perhaps one of the very popular pieces of architecture from the Joseon Era that was destroyed and rebuilt, the Gyeongbukgung Palace has been the shooting location of some of the most anticipated historical dramas. The palace itself is very huge, and according to many people who have already went there, it looks like a park inside it that you can mingle along while enjoying eating kimchi and stuff.
|Bukchon Hanok Village|
Surrounded by Gyeongbukgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine, and home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses, Bukchon Hanok Village is a neighborhood that dates all the way back to Joseon Dynasty. In addition, of course, it is the home of some historical and modern-day dramas as well. I’d already imagined myself walking right here while making a short film using my smartphone because, why not?
|Korean Folk Village|
Another historical site that is living on until now, Korean Folk village is a witness to the way of how Koreans lived before and practiced their traditions and belief. As I wanted to make a little fun out of my Instagram photos, a photogenic scenery like this is the key to make your photos stand out, like wearing traditional Korean clothing and get to look like back in the old times, of Joseon.
The last Palace on my list, though I’m not yet sure if this is the last heritage site that I will visit.
This palace is famous for its rear garden, also called Huwon. That vast garden was a resting place for the royal family and is beautifully landscaped in a way that held on to the original nature of the space. Of all these royal palaces, Changdeokgung Palace is the most well-preserved to this day, showcasing the creativity of Korean palace construction through the combination of buildings and nature. In harmony with the trees, ponds, pavilions and flower gardens, the palaces main structures include Injeongmun Gate, Injeongjeon Hall, Huijeongdang Hall, Daejojeon Hall, Buyongji Pond, Nakseonjae Hall and Donhwamun Gate, exist in harmony with the natural environment. It would be great to add this into your personal Facebook album, and checked bucket-lists in Korea as well.
We’re ending up our lists of royal palaces and heritage sites here, but I am pretty sure that when I was there, the possibilities would be endless. Now, I will proceed to some cool sceneries which some of you might be familiar with if you’ve happened to watch some K-Dramas like Legend of the Blue Sea, Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, Winter Sonata and much more.
Popularized by the tear-jerking drama Winter Sonata, this place should be included also on the thing that I’ve mentioned above (Spring festivals). However, since it is a scenic place, I thought it would be better that I listed this here. I love to walk into tree tunnels, and having these colorful flowers and leaves on top of me makes me feel better, and of course the photos you’ll bring definitely, in a completely new level.
|Cheonjuho Lake – Pocheon Art Valley|
The beautiful lake and land / stone formations where some scenes from the Legend of the Blue Sea and Scarlet Heart: Ryeo are filmed. I don’t know if people are allowed to swim right there, but I would love if I’m allowed to (and if the water isn’t that cold enough to freeze you out). Ride a boat and explore the valley itself.
|Daehan Dawon / (Boseong Green Tea Plantation)|
A beautiful granary-like green tea plantation, and a location where indeed, you can snap some great photos. It looks like a staircase or terraces but what’s cool here is that you can even climb that plantation up (just be careful not to damage the plantation) and capture some great Instagram / Snapchat stories.
This is also included in the itineraries for Spring festivals, however, I think including it here is much better.
It was created for the use of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Up to this day, the park is used as a venue for a multitude of sporting events and concerts. It is also home to over 200 sculptures from internationally famous artists, and was the site of Mongchontoseong Fortress, a relic from the Baekje Period. There are also popular landmarks and sceneries here, such as the One Tree Hill (pictured below).
I know that there are so much more than this list, but, to keep this readable and bearable by readers, I’ll keep the essentials only and make this short. Remember that you can always explore (like what will I do) other places when you are there.
Now, we’ll go to perhaps, the well known landmarks that also appears in K-Dramas and Korean Movies.
One of the most luxurious and highest towers out there (not to mention the Lotte Skyscraper), Namsan Tower is the shooting locations for MOST of modern day dramas out there. At an altitude of (I really don’t know, you can google it), the tower is also a restaurant which serves dinner that costs more than a thousand dollars? (luxurious, right).
And perhaps, the most memorable attraction here is the couple ‘love locks’ – likes of the Paris, France bridge which was recently dismantled due to the fact that because there are so many padlocks left there, the bridges’ integrity itself was already compromised.
However, my only mission there is to grab a photo of myself from there and leave. 🙂
|Dongdameun Design Plaza (DDP)|
It is the newest and most iconic landmark of the Korean design industry. Located at the center of the Dongdaemun area, the DDP serves as a key venue for design-related shows and conferences, exhibitions, and other events and gatherings.
Note that this place is
– Was the most Instagram tagged location in Korea in the year 2015
– Was included in the list of the top 5 most popular places according to Korean Facebook users in 2015
– Was the filming location for the SBS drama “You Who Came from the Stars,” the KBS2 drama “Producers,” and the MBC drama “She Was Pretty.”
Very cool right? And it is really an architectural feat so I think you shouldn’t miss this one, too.
You could be familiar with this place if you happened to watch “My Love from the Star”. Yes, the place where Do Min-jun used his powers to kiss Cheon Song-Yi. (Cannot relate? Watch it today.)
Based on a popular French novel Le Petit Prince, Petite France’s concept encapsulates flowers, stars and the Little Prince. It gives you a glimpse of what France looks like while allowing you to appreciate many traditional French handicrafts. Sometimes there are also Puppet plays around the corners.
Fan of the TV show Running Man? Then you’ll definitely recognize Han River. Stroll along Han River for a break — cycle along Han River for the beautiful sights, or have a picnic by the river. Walk on the bridge like you’re in a drama, and watch the community itself as you give thought to and calculate your expenditures.
When I got the right time and chance to go to South Korea, I’ll definitely flood my Instagram and Facebook feeds with some cool photos and stories on my day-to-day stay there. Since this is considered as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, taking photos are one of the ways to remember what happened and what you have seen right there.
Having the OPPO F1S with it’s 16MP selfie camera and some expert features, I will be able to capture myself in every detail, every place, every location that I loved and went on, bringing my preserved memories, Instagram and Facebook photos on a whole new level. With its whopping 32GB and luckily, expandable storage through microSD, I will be able also to store tons of photos and videos, giving myself a lot of chance to snap every single thing that I want to keep and choose the best in each and every photo. There is also this feature called Beautify 4.0, that removes the freckles and wrinkles of my face (tho you can’t see anything right now on my face, seriously), bringing the game of smartphone photography into a whole new level.
I get to keep all the memories, and happiness as if I already got the opportunity to visit these places. Dreaming of a vacation should be realistic, of course. Just make sure you’ll enjoy every detail and every hard-earned money you’ll spent on with.
Good luck on your Summer Vacation everyone!
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DISCLAIMER: This is a blog post written for a contest run by Nuffnang Philippines. SnowTechStuff and AstPro Media Group is in no way affiliated to OPPO itself. Promotion run by Nuffnang Philippines until February 28, 2017.
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