Sunday, February 9, 2020

Our Honeymoon in South Korea

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of going to South Korea for a honeymoon (it has always been Batanes). I mean, we did plan about it but that's only because we unexpectedly snagged round trip tickets for two for only Php 8,400+.

Our initial plan to spend honeymoon in Korea in autumn was, however, cancelled because our visas were delayed. But we pushed through doing it this winter even though the tickets we got were already at Php 24,000+ round trip for two because first, after almost two months of waiting (yes, it took that long), we only got a single entry visa; second, I am pregnant. I don't think we still have the time, energy, and resources to travel in the next three years.

This is the most expensive ticket we booked for an international flight but I'm glad Korea did not disappoint. This trip was a string of our many firsts. First out-of-the-country trip as married couple. First below zero degree weather. First snow fall. First fresh cherries. First pomegranate. First time to take photos of us kissing. Woot!
Pocheon Art Valley
PDA. Haha!


We landed at Incheon Airport around 12 noon, Korea time. Our afternoon was spent traveling to Seoul and finding our way to the hotel, but most of the time, we were just cuddling in bed because, well, it was a perfect cuddle weather. Then at night, we wandered off the streets in Myeongdong and tried different street food. We spent more than a thousand pesos for a few ones (wag na kasi magconvert). Some are delicious, while most didn't appeal to me. My most favorite, however, is their grilled corn.
Eating different street food in Myeongdong
L-R: Yummy chicken skewers. Odeng/Busan fish cakes (I don't get the hype). Gimbap. Some noodles (I forgot the exact name). Pomegranate juice worth 300Php! Random skewers.

The following days were spent spontaneously. We had our itinerary planned out but the weather had other plans. And we graciously accepted our defeat because staying snuggled under a warm comforter is much more inviting than going out. After all, I'd rather be hugging my husband in a -3° weather. Perfect honeymoon, indeed!
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace. We were also able to witness the palace's changing of guards.
Namsan, N Seoul Tower
Love locks and city views in Namsan Tower. No need to buy these love locks. We already got ours sealed. ♥♥♥
This is the first time we traveled outside the country without booking any group tours. The nCov outbreak scared us a little but it did save us a lot of money. It didn't matter if we missed those must-visit tourist spots. We avoided crowds and Jan didn't want me to feel exhausted because I was 11-weeks preggo at that time, so we only covered at most two iconic tourist spots in a day.
Gingko Tree Lane, Nami Island
Nami Island.
Nami Island
Anywhere with you.
Sure, we missed a lot of places. But wherever we were, we always had a great time. Plus being spontaneous brought us to places that are off the beaten path but are equally breathtaking as the popular ones. We had the place all to ourselves most of the time.
Pocheon Art Valley
Pocheon Art Valley. Most scenic/romantic place we have visited in South Korea. When we went here, we didn't know it was a filming location for various Kdramas such as Legend of the Blue Sea, Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey), My First Love, Melting Me Softly, and Moon Lovers: Scarlett Heart Ryeo.
Gapyeong County, South Korea
Always fascinated with snow.
Our last day was the highlight of our honeymoon. We were heading to the War Memorial and about to exit the subway when we saw what seemed like little pieces of white paper confetti being blown all over from the exit. I sprinted and was already outside before I could finish saying, "OMG snow!" Jan caught up and blurted out anxiously (and excitedly), "mura man kag dili buntis (You don't act like you're pregnant)." We laughed about it, looked up to the heavens, and celebrated.

It was surreal. For a moment there, winter didn't feel so cold. Seeing snowfall for the first time feels so magical. We were like little kids dancing in the snow. It was one of the best times of our lives.
War Memorial of Korea
Our first snow fall experience at the War Memorial of Korea.
Love their masks in Korea. 
I know there's an ongoing Korea vs. Japan: Best Place to Travel debate. And I am absolutely an ass to be butting in. South Korea, in all honesty, is a huge step down compared to its neighbor, Japan (at least, for me). It is less of everything Japan BUT when you don't do it for the 'gram and when you spend it with someone you enjoy spending even the worst days with, everything, including random streets become too beautiful.
Starfield Library, Seoul
At Starfield Library. Still wondering how you get those books on the top shelves.
South Korea is beautiful and unique on its own. It may not be as romantic as Paris or as picturesque as Bali. It may not be one of the first ten places that come to mind when it comes to honeymoons. But one thing is for sure, South Korea made our honeymoon extra cheesy and so memorable I would not have it any other way.

Nami Island

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© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall