Fun Spring Festivals in Seoul

A variety of festivals are held throughout Seoul every spring.

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Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival was held from April 1 to 9 by the Yeouido Hangang River when the cherry blossoms came to bloom. This festival is a leading spring destination attracting over 6 million visitors each spring.

Lotus Lantern Festival

The Lotus Lantern Festival is held from April 12 to 29. Visitors can enjoy variety of traditional lantern exhibitions (Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple, and Cheonggyecheon Stream), a lantern parade (Dongguk University to Jogyesa Temple), and traditional cultural performances/shows (in front of Jogyesa Temple). The Lotus Lantern Festival is one of the most popular folk festivals, continuing the history of the lotus lantern festival held from the Silla Dynasty to the Goryeo Dynasty and the Buddha’s birthday festival of the Joseon Dynasty with a 1300-year history.

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Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival

The 2017 Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival will be held in Banpo Hangang Park from May 13 to 14. You can access Banpo Seoraeseom Island from Sinbanpo Station (Line 9) and Dongjak Station (Line 4 and 9).

The Green Barley Festival will be held from May 10 to 20 in Ichon Hangang Park that has a total area of 10,000 square meters. You can reach the green barley field through Ichon Station (Line 1 and 4) after passing Ichon Interchange.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to host a variety of festivals and programs so that citizens can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the country in downtown Seoul.

Seoul Rose Festival

The Seoul Rose Festival from May 19 to 21 is known as the most beautiful and fragrant festival of Seoul held in Junghwa Sports Park and Surim Grand Park. The festival is famous for the 5.1-kilometer-long rose tunnel, rose shrine, rose parade, and various photo zones. In particular, the festival provides colorful visual delight using night lighting under the theme of “Nocturnal Rose” this year.

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government website

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Celebratory Fireworks at the Lotte World Tower Opening

On April 3, 2017, the Lotte World Tower officially opened in Songpa-gu, Seoul as the tallest skyscraper in Korea. The tower boasts an altitude of 555 meters and consists of 123 ground level floors and six basement floors. It is the sixth tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828m) and the Shanghai Tower in China (632m). Shopping and cultural activities are located between floors B2 to 11F, floors 42F to 71F houses residential space, and the SIGNIEL Hotel, the tallest hotel in Seoul, occupies the space between floors 74F and 101F. A fireworks display was carried out during the evening of April 2 in celebration of the opening.

  • Address: 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
  • Transportation: Integrated Exit 1&2 at Jamsil Station (Line 2)
  • Website: www.lwt.co.kr

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government website

Video Credit: Awesome Video

Video Credit: 피터펀 TV

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Seoul Welcome Week 2017

It’s the Seoul Welcome Week 2017!

In celebration of the peak of the tourist season, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will operate the foreign tourist welcome week between April 28 and May 7. A variety of discounts and events are taking place throughout Seoul city as well as giving out souvenirs for overseas visitors.

Temporary welcome booths will be installed at seven locations in Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Namdaemun, and Itaewon where staff wearing traditional Korean attire (hanbok) will provide tourist information and conduct interactive programs including ‘writing your name in Korean’ and ‘Taekwonmu dance.’ The Myeongdong Tourist Information Center will operate the I‧SEOUL‧U t-shirt making program every day from 11:00 to 17:00 for 30 tourists.

 Seoul Memories Contest.

  • Tourists from Japan and Southeast Asia are eligible to take part in the Seoul Memories Contest.
  • The contest will award 2 travelers with round trip airfare to Seoul each month until September 2017.

Discover Seoul Pass Discount. Visit 16 of Seoul’s best attractions with one pass! Eligible for use by foreign nationals, the Discover Seoul Pass is a great way to visit traditional and historical, Hallyu, cultural, and fun attractions in the city.

  • Get a 30% discount when purchasing a Discover Seoul Pass during Seoul Welcome Week.
  • The 48 hour Discover Seoul Pass is scheduled to launch in 2017.
  • Visit the official Discover Seoul Pass site here.

One More Trip Discount. Seoul’s online open marketplace for cool and interesting Korea and Seoul-related travel experiences and items.

  • Get a 30% discount on select tourist experiences, tours, and items during Seoul Welcome Week.
  • Visit the official One More Trip site here.

A variety of promotions and discounts for tourists!

Seoul City Tour Bus Discounts.  Get a 20% discount on tickets for the Seoul City Tour Bus during Seoul Welcome Week. See Seoul’s attractions in comfort on a Seoul City Tour Bus!

Get 20% off on hanbok rentals. Get a 20% discount at hanbok rental stores in the 4 Great Gates area. Visitors wearing hanbok are granted free admission to Seoul’s palaces.

Find out more details at Visit Seoul website.

Sources: Visit Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Government

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Global I·SEOUL·U Friends 2017

 

Last March, I received an email from the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s City Brand Department that I was chosen to be a member of the Global I•SEOUL•U Friends.

I·SEOUL·U Friends’ is a group of citizens that promote the I·SEOUL·U brand.

Promotion and Planning of Seoul Brand

Along with the 26-member Seoul Brand Committee with expertise in the fields of branding, marketing, PR and advertising, I·SEOUL·U Friends are 109 members including Korean and foreign citizens’ group that will help promote citizen participation of the city brand. The I·SEOUL·U Friends consist of Campaign Planning Group, Administration PR Group, Contents Production Group, and the Global PR Group of 31 members which I am a member of that is exclusive for foreigners.

As part of the Global PR Group, we will help in overseas online PR planning and implementation related to Seoul Brand and the city’s administration. Our duties include:

  • Plan PR activities and events related to Seoul Brand and the city’s administration using overseas online communities and SNS.
  • Translate the contents (video clips, newsletter, design, etc.) produced by I SEOUL U Friends into different languages and distribute them.

Thank you SMG City Brand Department for choosing me. As always like I did when I was chosen as a Global SEOULmate in 2014 and at the end of the year was one of the Exemplary Global SEOULmates, I will work hard to help promote Seoul, the city brand, and Seoul Tourism. And see you again Seoul in November!

Get to know more about I·SEOUL·U, the Seoul City Brand on my previous blog post HERE.

More details on Seoul and the city brand at the city’s official website.

Also for updates, follow Seoul Metropolitan Government on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I SEOUL U: Between You and Me

Between you and me is Seoul!

Credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government

 

City brand is a philosophy. It is not a mere message but a media platform in and of itself. Seoul’s definition of a city brand is, “A playground for all citizens and the accumulation of their wisdom and experience.”

The I Seoul U city brand was chosen in late October of 2015 after a series of public voting. Seoul Metropolitan Government selected three finalists from all the entries and decided on the winner based on a combination of an online vote open to all (50%), voting by 1000+ citizens in person (25%), and the evaluation of a professional panel (25%). The brand “I SEOUL U” beat out the other two, “SEOULMATE” and “SEOULing,” and replaced the old campaign Hi Seoulwhich had been used since 2002.

I Seoul U is very reminiscent of other successful city brandings using a mix of the city’s own name like I love New York, I Amsterdam or Be Berlin.

By positioning ‘Seoul’ between I and U, the slogan conveys a message that Seoul is a city of coexistence.

 

So what does “I.SEOUL.U” convey?

Seoul connects people.
You and I, citizen to citizen, citizens and the world: Seoul is the heart of all human relationships. Inside the city of Seoul, generations, nationalities, mountains and rivers, ancient palaces and skyscrapers coexist harmoniously.

Seoul connects two dots symbolizing passion and composure.
Next to ‘I’ is a red dot that symbolizes ‘passion.’ Next to ‘U’ is a blue dot that symbolizes ‘composure.’ In Seoul, passion and composure co-exist and mingle harmoniously.

The ‘O’ from SEOUL is common to Hangeul and the Roman alphabet.
The ‘O’ was taken from both the Roman letter ‘O’ and the Korean consonant ‘ieung’ (i.e. ‘ㅇ’) to represent Seoul’s friendly relationship with the rest of the world. The ‘ieung’ also has the form of a traditional door knob, inviting people to open the door to Seoul and enter.

Seoul is a constantly changing city. In this decade, Seoul is considered one of the smartest cities in the world.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government website quotes policy advisor Simon Anholt: “Without city branding, nation branding is an illusion. The way you brand a city can change the status of a city and highlights the differences between your city and others.” It conveys that Seoul is South Korea, just as Paris is France and London is England. Thus, a city brand can define an entire nation to the rest of the world.

More details on Seoul and the city brand are at the city’s official website.

Also for updates, follow Seoul Metropolitan Government on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government

Recommended Wellness Destinations in Korea

Medical Tourism in Korea has been actively promoted worldwide for years. Medical tour packages that include Western and Oriental medicines, cosmetic surgery, and wellness that suits that patients and/or tourists are offered.

Wellness is emerging as a major tourism theme worldwide today. Wellness tourism is about taking a break from the complex and boring daily life, and traveling to destinations where we can soothe our tired bodies and minds. Did you know that Korea is a great destination for wellness tourism?

Visit Medical Korea, the platform for Korea Medical Tourism, recently featured seven wellness destinations in Korea!

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Cheongkwanjang Spa G. Type: Cafe/Tea Shop/Health Center

A spa facility recently launched by Cheongkwanjang, a high quality hongsam (red ginseng) brand of the Korea Ginseng Corporation. The specialized spa programs at Cheongkwanjang Spa G use six-year-old ginseng roots that have gone through rigorous testing and quality management. Spa G consists of five individual hongsam therapy rooms. Guests can receive water massage to stimulate blood circulation at the Hongsam Spa Room, detoxify and provide nourishment to the body through heat and steam treatments and application of red ginseng concentrate at Hunjeungyok, get stress relieving foot massages at Foot Spa Zone, and restore scalp health using red ginseng products at Head Spa Zone. All spa programs require reservations, and spa programs vary from 1 to 6 hours depending on the choice of treatments. The spa is open from 9 am to 11 pm.

Address: 416, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 강남구 영동대로 416 (대치동,(주)케이티앤지 서울사무소)

Directions: [Subway] Samseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2. Go straight 200m to arrive at the SPA G (Kosmo Tower, B2) on the left.

Operating Hours: 09:00-23:00

Reservations: Tel: +82-2-557-8030 (Available languages: English, Japanese)

Website:  www.spag.co.kr  (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1461568

Tea Therapy. Type: Cafe/Tea Shop/Health Center

Turning away from the conventional concept of a tea shop, Tea Therapy offers not only healthy tricks for home-brewed teas but also a relaxing foot bath experience.

The shop aired on KBS’s “Muhanjidae Q” due to its interior design and unique programs available where visitors can enjoy a tasty cup of tea but also rejuvenate by meditating, consulting with a professional dietitian, trying blending their own tea and more.

The tea selections and dessert menu items are plentiful, providing international visitors with a chance to become easily acquainted with Korea’s tea culture.

Address:  16, Eonju-ro 173-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul  서울특별시 강남구 언주로173길 16 (신사동)

Directions: [Subway] Apgujeong Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2.  Go 300m to arrive at the first corner, and turn left. The cafe is located on the left.

Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00-23:00 and Sunday 10:00-22:30

Reservations:  +82-2-518-7506

Webiste:  www.teatherapy.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FOD/FO_EN_6_4_4.jsp?cid=2020905

Sulwhasoo Flagship Store. Type: Beauty Complex/ Spa/ Boutique/ Culture Lounge

Sulwhasoo Flagship Store is the signature venue of the leading Korean cosmetic brand, Sulwhasoo, and is popular as a unique place of relaxation in the heart of downtown Seoul.

It offers tours for visitors, enabling them to experience the journey of beauty. It consists of spa, a boutique, a culture lounge, a gift wrapping center, and a roof deck. Guided tours start at 15:00 and 18:00 every day (duration: 40 minutes, not available on the second Monday of every month, New Year’s Holiday and Chuseok).

  • B1F- Sulhwasoo Spa- This is a premium Korean Herbal Medicine Anti-Aging Spa.
  • 1F- Heritage Room & Boutique- This is where guests can explore all of Sulwhasoo Flagship Store’s exclusive and new products, and seasonal offerings.
  • 2F- Gift Packaging Service & Boutique- Guests can test Sulwhasoo products and can get personalized consultations. The exclusive gift wrapping service uses the Ji Ham Bo which means a box and cloth containing wisdom.
  • 3F- VIP & Culture Lounge- The VIP Lounge is an intimate space for premium Sulhwasoo. Clients while the Culture Lounge is where guests can try various cultural and beauty classes.
  • 4F- Sulwhasoo Balance Spa- This is a contemporary Korean Herbal Medicine Balance Spa.
  • 5F- Rooftop- Guests can also relax and enjoy the view at the outdoor lounge at the top of the building.

Address:  18, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul  서울특별시 강남구 도산대로45길 18 (신사동)

Directions: [Subway] Apgujeong Rodeo Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, Bundang Line)

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:00 – 21:00

Reservations: Sulwhasoo Spa(B1) 02-541-9272 and Sulwhasoo Balance Spa(4F) 02-541-9273

Website:  http://www.sulwhasoo.com/

Yakdabang Bomdong.  Type: Tea house/Traditional Korean Medicine Clinic

This traditional tea salon run by a traditional medicine clinic is famous for its tea masters who recommend and customize teas for patrons depending on their emotional and physical conditions.

Guests can enjoy customized teas, foot spa, and even consult traditional medicine doctors on site about their physical constitutions.

Features and services : 48 tea blends for tasting, traditional tea food, medicinal liquors (tinctures),
physical constitution diagnoses, consultation with doctors, and foot spa (30 minutes)

Address:  12-13 Worldcupbuk-ro6-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

Directions: [Subway] Hongik University (Line 2, Airport railroad ), Exit 1. Exit Gate 1, Hongik University Station (Metro Line 2). Turn right at the Hongik University Intersection. Cross the first crossroad and walk straight on. Turn right at the alley marked by the convenience store “Ministop”. Turn left at the building right next to Hanmi Pharmacy on the first three-way junction you encounter.

Operating Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm

Telephone: 070-4639-2221Operating Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm

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Cheongna Sparex. Type: Hot Springs/Bath Houses/Spas/Jjimjilbangs
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Cheongna Sparex, a major establishment located in the center of the Cheongna International City in Incheon, draws well over 1,000 guests daily.

Features on site include an outdoor charcoal-heated sauna, a sauna steamed with medicinal herbs, a germanium-steamed sauna, a cypress green shower room, a Himalayan salt sauna, an outdoor hot spring and outdoor earthenware tubs, as well as an outdoor pool and outdoor hot springs, which are open in summer.

The inside of the entire venue is decorated in traditional Korean architecture, and displays classical features such as jeongja(wooden pavilion) and pyeongsang(Korean-style sunbeds). The place is also equipped with a food court serving Korean food, a café, and a staff of professional masseuses.

Address: Cheongna Sparex (10F), 16 Cheongna Canal-ro 260-Beongil, Seo-gu, Incheon

I still can’t find much information on this.

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CENTUM SPA LAND. Type: Hot Springs/ Bath Houses/Spas/ Jjimjilbangs

Spa Land, equipped with all the benefits of a traditional Korean spa, is located in ‘Shinsegae Centum City’ in Haeundae, Busan. Spa Land consists of 22 spas fed by two different kinds of all-natural spring water pumped up from 1000m underground, 13 distinctively themed ‘Jjimjil-bangs’ and saunas, and an open-air foot spa.

The 1st floor houses the Korean traditional ‘Jjimjil-bang’ and traditional saunas from all over the world. Visitor favorites include a radiant heat-based ‘Roman Sauna,’ which recreates the ancient roman bath using modern technology, and the traditional ‘Finnish Sauna,’ which is an all-natural, Finnish-style sauna said to keep you healthy during the freezing winter months.

Entertainment Zone on the second floor provides a range of beautification programs, a PC room, a restaurant, and a conference room. Spa Land is a refreshing place for relaxing with your friends and family.

Address:  35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan  부산광역시 해운대구 센텀남대로 35 (우동)

Directions:

[Subway] Centum City Station (Busan Subway Line 2). The subway station is directly connected to the complex.

[Bus] From Gimhae Airport, take the Airport Limousine Bus for Centum City.
Get off at the Shinsegae Centum City. It takes about 50 minutes.

Operating Hours: 06:00 – 24:00

Telephone: +82-51-745-2900

Website: www.shinsegae.com

Source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1000306

Cimer Ocean Spa, Paradise Hotel Busan. Type: Hot Springs/Spas

A space providing a fantastic view as if floating on the sea. The floor is designed to be a little higher than the existing spas so you can enjoy the horizon view of Busan’s Haeundae Beach.

Dipped in a spa and looking at the wide-open sea, you get to focus on the comfort of the moment as if surrounded by the broad sea. The spa is famous for its odorless, colorless, and weak alkaline hot spring of seawater that boasts of great skin-improving properties.

Cimer is open for staying guests only. The guests can however invite friends and family to join them at the spa for higher admission fees.

Address: 1408-5, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan

Operating Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm

Telephone: +82-51-742-2121

Website: https://www.busanparadisehotel.co.kr/spa

Source: Busan Paradise Hotel website

Which among the seven wellness destinations would you choose? Participate in the 2017 Visit Medical Korea’s Wellness Tourism Promotional Event for a chance to win round-trip tickets to and from Korea or a three-night stay in a Korean hotel. Choose a wellness destination in Korea and tell them why you would like to visit that place.

Event period: April 11 to April 25, 2017

How to Participate:

  • Step 1. Go to the event website.
  • Step 2. Select one from the seven wellness destinations in Korea recommended by Visit Medical Korea (VMK), and share the reasons why you would like to visit that particular destination. (*Make sure to indicate the country of your current residence.)
  • Step 3. Share the news of the event and the reasons with your friends on social media.
  • Step 4. Wait until the results are announced.

More information on Korea Medical Tourism at the following links:

http://english.visitmedicalkorea.com

https://www.facebook.com/visitmedicalkorea/

~~~ Personally, I would choose Cimer Ocean Spa in Busan, optimal venue for relaxation while enjoying the panoramic horizon view of Haeundae Beach. I love Busan and I’ve experienced the hotel spa at Westin Chosun Hotel which is also overlooking Haeundae Beach but indoor but basically was a luxurious Jjimjilbang, and seeing the pictures, Cimer Ocean Spa is much more beautiful and what is great is the outdoor pools and saunas. As a person who has a problem with acne, the spa’s hot springs which boasts skin-improving properties is what I need. Not only will it help improve my skin, but also relax my body and mind from all the stress in life. Cimer Ocean Spa has been on list and I will really save for at least staying at Paradise Hotel for a night to be able to try out the spa. That will complete an unforgettable Busan and Korea trip.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

Lucky 2016 For Me

The year 2016 has been a lucky year for me! Although, it ended not on its best for me with the death of my father after Christmas, I would still consider it as one lucky year. As a Korea Tourism supporter for years, it is normal for me to be following Korea tourism related websites and SNS accounts. As I was also chosen as one of the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s 20 WOW Korea Supporter of 2016, it was normal for me to be sharing news, updates, and events from those SNS accounts. With that, luck was with me as I won various online events from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram just by sharing and commenting. I even lose tracked on some events I joined and about 2-3 prizes were forfeited for not sending the required identification details. Here are the prizes I won and I am very thankful for these gifts!

From answering a survey of Seoul Metropolitan Government.

From Visit Korea Committee Facebook event.

From Visit Medical Korea website event.

From Imagine Your Korea Instagram event.

From Gangwon Korea Facebook event.

From Imagine Your Korea Facebook event.

From Imagine Your Korea Facebook event.

From Talk Talk Korea Facebook event.

From Gangnam Medical Tour Center Facebook event.

Aside from the gifts above sent from Korea, I also won Amazon gift cards from:

ISeoulU Instagram – 10 USD
Daegu Travel Facebook – 10 USD
Korea MICE Bureau Facebook – 25 USD
ISeoulU Twitter – 30 USD
WOW Korea Supporters Facebook – 50 USD
Visit Seoul Facebook – 30 USD

The best of course is being chosen by Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office as the Best WOW Korea Supporter of 2016 and winning an Asiana Airlines round-trip ticket to Korea! I’m excited for my trip in November and definitely will be having a blast as I miss Korea so much! You can read more about my blog entry about that here.

Thank you Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office for this award, 2016 Best WOW Korea Supporter and for the Asiana Airlines roundtrip ticket to Korea! I received this during the Korea Travel Awards 2016 at the Makati Diamond Residences on December 14th. I've learned more about Korea as I promoted it to other Filipinos and my SNS followers. I have fallen in love more and there is unending curiousity about the country. Rest assured, I will continue to support Korea Tourism and KTO activities. Kamsahamnida! Thank you to my friends and followers who liked, commented, and shared my posts, you are all part of this! Hope you get to visit Korea in the future and/or again soon! #KoreaTourismOrganization #KTOManila #wowkoreasupporters #wowkoreasupporter #visitkorea #imagineyourkorea #koreatourism #koreatravel #travelkorea #koreatrip #igersmanila #igmanila #igers

A post shared by 마라이 (@maraiph) on

Thankful for these and hoping the luck would continue this year! Join too in the various online events, it is just as easy as sharing and commenting their posts.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

KTO Manila’s Best WOW Korea Supporter of 2016

Last March 2016, I was selected as one of Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s WOW Korea Supporter of 2016.  There were 20 of us, which our role was to help promote Korea Tourism and KTO Manila’s SNS posts and events in our SNS accounts from April to November 2016.  The most active one with the most likes, comments, and shared in his/her SNS postings will win a free round-trip ticket to Korea and other gifts.  There were also times when the Top 2 or 3 most active supporters get invited to a KPOP concert which KTO Manila was one of the sponsors (BTS Epilogue in Manila) and the Korea Travel Night last September 22, 2016 at Fairmont Hotel Makati which I was one of the Top 3 active supporters.

Guess what? After our time of SNS promotions and submitting monthly Excel reports of our SNS postings, I was chosen as the Best WOW Korea Supporter of 2016! All the hard work paid off.

Me awarded by KTO Manila Director, Mr. Inshik Park. My award certificate and the Asiana Airlines voucher of a RT ticket to Korea.

 

I was invited to attend the Korea Travel Awards 2016 organized by Korea Tourism Organization Manila that was held last December 14, 2016 at Legaspi I Ballroom, Makati Diamond Residences. The annual prestigious event has been conducted to acknowledge the efforts of KTO Manila’s partner travel agencies and airlines. Given awards also included Best Press Award to ABS-CBN’s Matanglawin and my award, Best WOW Korea Supporter 2016.

Inside the ballroom and the Korea inspired photobooth.

Inside the ballroom and the Korea inspired photobooth.

 

The event also showed highlights of KTO’s 2016 marketing activities and its marketing plan for 2017.

Thank you KTO Manila for the award and for the Asiana Airlines roundtrip ticket to Korea which I will use in November this year. I’ve learned more about Korea as I promoted it to my friends and my SNS followers. I have fallen in love more on Korea and there is unending curiousity about the country. Rest assured, I will continue to support Korea Tourism and KTO Headquarters and Manila Office’s activities. Kamsahamnida!

Thank you to my friends and followers who liked, commented, and shared my posts, you are all part of this! Hope you get to visit Korea in the future and/or again soon! Most of all, I want to thank God for all the blessings!

Giveaways during the Korea Travel Awards. KTO wall and desk calendars, vouchers, hand creams, and Descendants of the Sun posters.

 

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

Why I Definitely Want To Go Back To Korea

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I discovered my love for Korea through K-drama and KPOP, and it has now blossomed to loving its natural beauty to the dazzling lights and modernity, rich culture and tradition, cuisine, and its people, THE REAL KOREA.

With my interest and love for the country, I enrolled in a Korean language course offered by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. I met new friends who had the same passion. I attended special classes like knotting and embroidery. I attended events organized by KCC Philippines, KTO Manila, and Korean Association in the Philippines, from Seollal celebration events with traditional foods and games, and wearing the Hanbok; Korean Film Festivals, exhibits, and travel expos. And KPOP concerts should not be missed by me!

I love Korean foods (traditional to chicken & beer) and eating out at Korean restaurants had been a great bonding with my Korea loving friends and even influenced office-mates and other friends to loving Korean food. Being from a tropical country, we love Korean ice creams that are perfect for a tropical country! With that, I learned to cook Korean dishes (started with bibimbap). Relieving stress and bonding with my girlfriends also in the only Korean spa jjimjilbang in the Philippines.

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With all these, the goal of visiting Korea finally came true in October of 2013.

I want to go back to KOREA, my happy place, for many reasons. Aside from doing the normal touristy things and I’ve done most in Seoul and nearby places and Busan, I want to explore more on the regional places and try a lot of traditional cuisines.  More people need to know that aside from the beautiful places and sceneries, it is the culture and its people what makes Korea unique.  Korea is so creative and diverse. There is always something new to offer that makes you want to go back; from art, eco-tourism, adventure, transportation, food, Hallyu wave, shopping, etc… There is still unending curiosity for me in discovering the many secrets of the country. There are still many places, foods, events, and activities not tick off my Korea bucket list.

As a staunch Korea Tourism supporter through KTO/Imagine Your Korea(then Buzz Korea) for years and also Korea/Seoul Tourism related pages and sites, I had been learning a lot, falling in love with Korea more, and do what I love. I also had been appointed by Korea Tourism Organization Manila Office as WOW Korea Supporter 2014 and 2016, and also by Seoul Metropolitan Government as Global Seoulmate 2014 and chosen as one of the best Seoulmates.

You can check my Social Media accounts and blog to see how active I’ve always been on promoting Korea Tourism. Instagram on Korea, Personal Instagram, Facebook , Facebook Page, and Twitter. In my own little way, I want to continue to promote Korea as one of the best tourism destination in the world through this.

If given the chance to travel to Korea through this event, I will be able to truly share my experience with my own point of view to my family, Hallyu and non-Hallyu friends, and SNS and blog followers all about the trip. Aside from the real-time updates on my SNS accounts on the trip, I will post a comprehensive write-up about the experience on my blog. My write up will comprise experiences, lessons, tips, and amazing photos that can inspire everyone to start planning of their own amazing Korea trip.

Traveling to Korea will always be both a “living in the dream” moment and a learning experience. I will forever be grateful if given the opportunity during and even after the trip. Saranghae KOREA!

Thank you Korea Tourism Organization for giving us foreign Asian and Middle-East Korea fans this opportunity. It is a hard competition and really much luck is needed.  Hoping for an early Christmas gift from Santa KTO! More events and more power to the whole team!

 

Discover Seoul Pass, Enjoy Seoul for 24 hours!

discoverseoulpass

Discover Seoul Pass allows you to enjoy Seoul for 24 hours!

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization have put a lot of time and effort into designing the ultimate tourist pass especially for independent tourists for Seoul!

With Discover Seoul Pass, you may visit any of Seoul’s 16 designated tourist attractions over a period of 24 hours and the pass comes with a map. The Discover Seoul Pass also functions as a transit card (T-money, for paying the subway, the bus, the taxi) and for paying items at the convenience stores, Starbucks, and others. The transit card function does not expire and can be used throughout your stay in Seoul.

The Discover Seoul Pass users can also get a 10 – 20% discount on tickets on the Seoul City Tour Bus’s many tour courses.

Is it possible visit the 16 attractions within 24 hours?

It is possible! Plan your itinerary well by area, maximize your time, and visit the attractions first that opens the earliest and with the latest closing times (like N.Seoul Tower and Grevin Museum) later in the day so that you can fit in all 16 attractions in 24 hours. The pass gives you the freedom to plan your own itineraries, so that you can optimize your budget and time.

Pass Usage Duration

– Entry to tourist attractions : 24 hours (2days/1night). The pass is activated as you visit the first attraction.
– T-money function : No expiration date. Top up as needed and you can get a refund of the remaining balance before your departure.

Price

39,900 won (Save over 70% in admission fees with the Discover Seoul Pass)

Retail Locations

○ Offline

– Incheon Airport : KEB Hana Bank currency exchange booths (4 locations), KEB Hana Bank branch (B1 level), CU convenience stores (3 locations)
– Seoul : Myeong-dong Tourist Information Center, the Hongdae branch of KEB Hana Bank, Seoul City Tour Bus ticket booths in front of Gwanghwamun Dongwha Duty Free Shop and in front of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).

○ Online

– Purchase online at the Discover Seoul Pass Official Seller

App Release

The Discover Seoul Pass App is a free smartphone app with service in 5 languages (Korea, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese). Sync your pass with the app to get useful travel information and the remaining time on your pass.

16 Featured Attractions

– Seoul’s Historical Attractions : Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine, Seodaemun Prison History Museum
– Seoul’s Cultural Attractions : Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA Seoul); Museum Kimchikan
– Seoul’s Amusements : N Seoul Tower, MBC World, K-live, Trick Eye Museum, Grevin Museum Seoul, Figure Museum W, Alive Museum

Seoul City Tour Bus : 10 – 20% discount on tickets

How to Use?

1. Plan your itinerary.
2. Top up the T-money.
3. Use the passs as admission tickets to Seoul attractions.
4. Download the app and synchronize it with your pass. Here, you’ll know how much time remains on your pass.

More detailed information at the The Discover Seoul Pass’s official website.

Sources: Visit Seoul website and Discover Seoul Pass website.

Follow Seoul Tourism Organization (Visit Seoul) on Facebook and their website for more information about Seoul.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.