Here is the first of many South Korea posts. I spent 3 weeks in Seoul and South Korea with Kathy, from On the Prowl, who also happens to have an apartment in the heart of Seoul, in the neighborhood of Yeongdeungpo. It’s the financial center of Seoul, and home to the headquarters of many large Korean companies, such as LG and Lotte. After 20+ hours of traveling, with my entire life in two bags, it was so nice to be on the ground and with a familiar face.
My welcoming party!
The late night street food here is on POINT. Look at that selection… kebabs, fishfakes, corn dogs, soup, you name it, it’s here.
My welcoming meal: kimchi (a staple), tteokbokki (rice cakes in a sweet chili sauce), sweet pizza bread, jolly pong (a caramel puffed rice snack), and prawn chips.
Kathy’s apartment also happened to be next to the Times Square Mall (how fitting), that has the largest 35mm screen in the WORLD, where of course we saw a film (Kingsman, really exciting movie) and ate a ton of caramel popcorn (a Korean favorite).
Korea takes its malls prettyyyy seriously. Malls are as ubiquitous here as Starbucks are in NYC. You can find a mall every few miles, each one seemingly always packed. There are even malls that open only at night, for the hardcore shoppers (but that’s for another post.)
The makings of a delicious Korean breakfast sandwich from the food court in Times Square.
Look at this BEAUTY: egg, cheese, spring onions, bacon, on a fish cake bun, with sweet teriyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and topped with bonito flakes. Yuuuuuuup.
Another type of mall, really known only to asia, is the underground shopping center. These elaborate mazes of stalls and shops can be found at nearly every major metro stop. They specialize in cheap/fast fashion, beauty products, cell phones, bakeries, pets, whatever you want, they have it.
The Yeongdeungpo metro station.
Yeah the Korean underground system is confusing as anything, but compared to the NYC subway system, it was a cakewalk.
Kathy in a sea of men.
Another mall, the Coex.
Yeongdeungpo central, and one of the many entrances to the Yeongdeungpo Market.
As opposed to the busy wide major roads of Seoul, the small side streets are packed with businesses toppled on top of each other.
Inside the Yeongdeungpo Market.
Fresh baked Korean treats and goodies, all for under $1!
Next up… Hongdae!
a collection of shots from my mother’s hometown in the philippines.
this is FCIC, the school where my mother and her 7 other siblings went to grade school and high school.
Jorelle, my local tour guide.
it’s hard to find another sunset as naturally stunning as the one here. baybay’s is particularly colorful.
This Mother’s Day, I was lucky enough to spend it on the beach in the Philippines with this lovely lady. We spent the day hopping from beach to beach in the southern most tip of Leyte.
Our first spot– a secluded private beach in Joaquin.
Our second spot– Padre Burgos, the southern most point in Leyte.
It was an exhausting day!
I’m so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing woman to call my mom. It was even more incredible to spend the holiday in her home country, surrounded by family and such idyllic landscapes. The only way this day would have been perfect is if my sister and dad were with us– we missed them so much!
After over 24 hours of traveling, my mom and I finally made it to Cebu. After Cebu, we took a ferry to her home island, Leyte.
Our ride from the airport.
My mother’s home she grew up in on the island of Leyte.
Our ride to the jungle.
We had a picnic at a little camp on the San Agustin river.
John Paul, one of my nephews.
Our picnic site, right next to the bank of the river.
There are few things better than this super fresh grilled fish.
Also there’s real coke, another reason why the Philippines is number one in the food game.
Grilled pork (lechon)
“Free range” chicken that roamed the jungle– doesn’t get more organic than that.