Korea Chronicles | First Day in the Land of the Morning Calm

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Veronica Joyce 0 Comments

/Day 1/

I recently had the best ten days of my life (thus far). After getting my passport last year, I wondered where my first out of the country trip would be. I was thinking of Singapore but, in my heart, I knew it has to be South Korea. I booked my ticket to (Incheon)SK in November at such a low price via Air Asia Zest. And so from that day on, there was nothing else in my mind but this trip. 

I processed my visa in April and I got it after five days. Then I booked a return ticket from Busan to Manila through Cebu Pacific, again, at an affordable rate. Then the day I've been waiting for finally came. My flight was previously scheduled at 12:10 am but it was moved to 2:25 am. I was given the notice months before but I was at the airport before 10pm (yes, too excited). I checked in, went through Immigration (it was a breeze, thank God!), and I waited at the airport lounge for hours and hours. My dream was about to come true. 

We left NAIA Terminal 3 right on time. And I was seated by the window. It was the longest flight I've ever had, I was supposed to be really tired but I couldn't sleep. I kept looking out of the window, with nothing to see but total darkness. At around 5 in the morning, I could see the sun slowly rising from a distance. It was lovely. I attempted to take a picture of the ray of light slowly bursting into white and yellow, the darkness changing into purple and blue - but my camera couldn't capture the beauty that was unfolding before my very eyes.

We landed at Incheon International Airport a few minutes after 7. And thus, started my Korean Summer adventure. 

After going through immigration, I exchanged my Philippine money to Korean Won and immediately looked for the Incheon Airport Railroad Express (AREX), booked a single journey ticket to Hongdae at (approximately) $4 while all the while convincing myself that I was in Korea, for real. :) 

 photo IMG_2446_zpsd00d2ffc.jpg  photo IMG_2444_zpse5b3a98e.jpg  photo IMG_2445_zpsef49a7b5.jpg

Love at first sight. :)

I reached Hongdae at 10 in the morning. But then, I forgot to take note of the directions to Namu Guesthouse. I only remembered that it's near exit 2. Good thing, I saw a small office with a huge map of Mapo-gu (I assumed) on its wall so I asked the guy there for directions. He searched the address online and showed me a map. I thanked him for such great help, assuming that he was really there to provide information to confused tourists like me only to find out later that I barged in a real estate firm. :D After a few minutes of walking, I was able to find my guesthouse. I was meeting a friend at 11 am so I really had to hurry. I just said "Hi" to the guesthouse employee, paid the fee, read the house rules, charged my phone (and informed my friend that I'd be late), and freshened up. I was out the door at 11:30.

Stay tuned for part II.

connect with me here