15 Reasons why I Love Seoul


I have been to Seoul South Korea twice already and I still want to go back… Thinking of reasons why, I listed down 15 reasons why me and other people love going to Seoul, South Korea.

1. Amazing Coffee Everywhere!

Caffe Bene

(Caffe Bene Coffee + Honey Bread with Cheese and Garlic)

If you are a coffee lover like me then you’ll love Seoul. Just like their cosmetic stores, coffee shops are everywhere. I mean everywhere! There is one every 10 meters or so! And the best part is, most if not all of them serve amazing coffee. The downside, they only have 2 sizes (Small and Large). Forget Starbucks! Caffé Bene and Angel-In-Us Coffee Serve Amazing Brews 24/7! If you see people in Seoul with stirrers locked in their lips, don’t be bothered, it is not oral fixation. They are actually Stirrer-Straws. Which in my opinion, makes you enjoy the flavor of the coffee. There are also specialty coffee shops like Hello Kitty Café and CNN Café.

Hello Kitty Cafe Seoul (Hongik University)

2. Gotta' Love the Public Transportation System (Subway, Bus, Taxi)

seoul-subway-map

Seoul has one of the most extensive and efficient subway and bus system in the world. Close to 600 Stations and Interchanges running along ~1,000 Km of tracks which in my opinion is a very enjoyable experience (Prepare to walk). Each station has multiple exits, make sure that you get out on the right one because it will be a hassle if you find yourself on the far side of your destination. Fares start at around 1,000 won per ride.

Seoul Subway Gate

The most convenient way to get around and pay for the Train, Bus, and Taxi is by using the T-Money Card. You just have to Buy one, reload, and then you can tap and go inside the train stations, bus, taxis, and convenience stores.

Namdaemun

Can’t read Korean? No Problem! Train and Bus stations have English translations. But the taxi is a totally different story, even if you ride the black (deluxe) cabs which supposed to come with an English speaking driver, English directions can still be a challenge. Taxi Flag down Rates in Seoul is 2,400 Korean won (+100 won every few meters) and 4,500 for the Deluxe Taxi. T-Cards, Cash, and Credit Cards are accepted in the cabs.

3. Blazing Internet Speeds

Seoul Internet Speed

A 20mbps connection is a regular thing. Based from my experience, this is the slowest that it can get. I was able to download a 25GB file in under an hour! Free Wi-Fi is a bit hard to come by though. Most Koreans are in a data plan which allows them to surf using their smart phones via LTE or Wi-Fi Connections so they don’t really need free Wi-Fi connections from coffee shops and restaurants. They are connected 24/7 even 5 basements underground. There is Wi-Fi inside the Trains.

4. Terrific Phone Service

Did I just Mention LTE? Yes, they are one of those few countries where your non-3G phone will not work. Their minimum signal and phone reception is set to 3G so don’t expect those old model phones to work. Signal strength is unparalleled, like I said there is phone signal even if you are 5 basements underground inside a moving train. On the downside, prepaid SIM cards are not readily available.

5. Very Nice People

helpful Seoul Kids

(3 Students trying to help me find a place using their phones)

For a country that is currently in war, it is nice to see that Koreans are still vibrant, generally very cheerful and happy people. They will try to help you as much as they can. If you found yourselves lost in translation, they will be apologetic for not speaking English which I think is unnecessary yet very polite. I am a foreigner, I should be adjusting to them right? I have been to other non-English speaking countries before wherein if you don’t speak their language they will be mad and be rude at you. It is NOT the case in Seoul.

6. Culture, Culture, and More Culture

Seoul Guard Changing Ceremony

Whether old or new, everything is in Seoul. Palaces, Folk Villages, Hanbok Shops, Museums, Artsy Coffee Shops, Traditional Parchments and Paintbrush! They are still incorporated in this ultra-modern metropolis. It is definitely a place where old meets new.

7. Super Near Manila – 3 hour Flight!

Just like Singapore where most Filipinos Go, Seoul, South Korea is just 3.5 Hours away from Manila. Currently, the numbers of flights are picking up so there is no reason for you not to go! :)

Phippine Passport

8. Free Visa

Wait, Visa is Free but it is not a Visa-Free Country like the ASEAN Countries. You can apply for a visa free of charge for visits of less than 59 days. Processing time is between 3-5 working days and once granted, the visa validity is 90 days.

9. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall

Namsan Tower

Get to experience all 4-seasons, hot summer, Icy Winter, Cherry Blossom Spring, and Chilly Autumns. It is truly a nice escape from the usual tropical climate and a perfect reason to wear those winter and fall collections.

10. Great Food!

Whether you like street foods or Fancy Beef BBQ’s Seoul has everything that you want. Not to mention, Authentic Kimchi and Bulgogi.

Korean Food

11. Tons of Activities to do and Places to see! Most of which are connected via the subway.

Theme parks, Markets, Hotels, Observation Decks, Ski Resorts, Picturesque Nature, Beautiful Bridges, Teddy Bear Museums, and even the Border of North Korea! Yes, DMZ!

To PyeongYang

12. Great Night Life especially near the University Areas. Street dancing, endless parties, Karaoke!

Hongik University Area

13. Shopping Galore! From High to Low ends… Everything is at a discount!

MyeongDong Shopping

14. If you love KPOP and KDRAMA then this place is heaven for you! They are everywhere!

Rooftop Prince

Psy Billboard

Big Bang

15. It is almost like Japan but way, way less expensive. Need I say More?!

Korean Won

I have been to Seoul Twice this year. One in Spring and One in Winter. Next year, I will try Autumn. :) And 2018 will be Winter Olympics! :)

PS:

16. Seoul is super safe. You can walk around late at night without worrying about your safety. This city is so safe that security guards are obsolete and people use their bags or Mobile Phones to save a table in a restaurant.

17. The Water. Yes, whether purified or bottled, the drinking water in Korea is one of the most refreshing drinking water I ever had. I am not sure why their water is so refreshing. Maybe it is because it came from the spring or the mountain near the city. But you have got to taste the difference!

 

Hanggang sa Muli! Paalam!

Dencio

_________________________________
By: DENCIO
Originally Posted On: www.DENCIO.com

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Crimson Manila: Alabang’s Newest Luxury Hotel


Crimson Hotel Manila (Alabang)
Filinvest City, Alabang Muntinlupa
Phone: +632.863.2222
Website:
www.crimsonhotel.com/manila
Twitter: http://twitter.com/crimson_alabang (@Crimson_Alabang)
Facebook:
http://facebook.com/CrimsonFilinvestCity

Crimson Facade

Elegance and Sophistication has a new name in Alabang – Crimson Hotel. Another Filipino-Owned Masterpiece has risen in the busy business and commercial district of Alabang Muntinlupa. Crimson Hotel’s 345 ultra modern guestrooms and suites is located at the heart of Alabang’s Filinvest City. This hard to miss – huge – property is situated along the Busy Alabang-Zapote Road and a stone throw away from Festival Mall Alabang. During night time, you will never-ever miss the Crimson Red Sign Shining from all sides of the Hotel.

Crimson Hotel (Currently in their soft opening) opened its doors to the public just in time for the Holiday Season is poised to level up the competition in this side of the metro. Aside from the guestrooms, they also opened their a 564-square-meter Crimson Grand Ballroom and newest buffet in Alabang and in Manila – Café Eight.

Crimson Filinvest City Manila (The Lobby Lounge)

Be one of the First to Enjoy Crimson Hotel Manila. They have some irresistible offers for this Holiday Seasons (December 15-30, 2012)

Crimson Hotel Manila Holiday Promos

  • Accommodations for as low as P3,888
  • Buy 1 Take 1 Buffet for only P1,100 for lunch and P1,400 for dinner (Except December 24)
  • Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet for only P1,525 dinner is served with sparkling wine for adults and Christmas mocktails for children.
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner Buffet for only P1,800
  • New Year’s Eve Countdown Party for only P2,500

I will post my review of this hotel soon. Hopefully after the busy holiday season. :)

Crimson Filinvest City Manila (Front Office

For more info about the Crimson Hotel Manila, you may read them here:

“Discover true elegance at the new Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila. Soft opening on December 15, this new hotel will create an atmosphere of tranquility, subdued elegance and new expression of cosmopolitan life at its finest in the vibrant and green Filinvest City.

Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila, 15 minutes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is located in the main gateway of the progressive Calabarzon region. It is right at the center of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment locales, golf courses and theme parks. For business, the hotel is just minutes away from key economic zones and information technology parks and 20 minutes from Makati.

Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila, is an urban sanctuary housed in the most stunning tower complex ever to grace Filinvest City, Alabang. Its iconic architecture in the heart of this cosmopolitan city makes it a landmark hotel in Southern Metro Manila. It offers savvy business and leisure travellers an elegant lifestyle of live-work-shop-play seamlessly. With its hub location, it is an ideal venue for momentous social and business events. Discerning guests will enjoy the convenience of a deluxe hotel complemented by diverse dining options, upscale shopping and entertainment within the city.

NEW EXPRESSION OF ELEGANCE

At the new Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, an extraordinary experience awaits each traveler. It is in the stylish rooms, the modern amenities, chic lobby, exceptional dining and stellar service, all set against the backdrop of a vibrant metropolis. And at the heart of it all is a cosmopolitan spirit and gracious Filipino hospitality, creating unforgettable moments for every guest.

The guestrooms, with its rich and contemporary aesthetics, will appeal to people who appreciate cutting-edge touches without sacrificing comfort, familiarity and homeliness. All 345 guestrooms, 20 of which are suites, are done in champagne and earth tones and are equipped with amenities adhering to international standards. Any guest can delight in the utmost comfort of superbly delicate linens and pillows and indulge in luxury conveniences such as high-speed Wi-Fi, 40-inch LED television with DVD player among others. The room air-conditioning system is equipped with energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology that allows improvement of air quality by way of continuous circulation of fresh air. Executive and Suite room guests enjoy premium services and amenities for an exclusive “Crimson lifestyle” experience with access to the Executive Lounge at the top floor of the hotel.

Guests will enjoy international dishes at Café Eight, the all-day dining restaurant, delectable sandwiches and treats at The Lobby Lounge. Unwind at The Deck Bar, an open-air dining and exquisite cocktail bar that features Dedon Nestrest loungers, perfect for relaxation and engaging conversation.

The hotel will also offer a 564-square-meter Crimson Grand Ballroom accommodating up to 500 for a cocktail reception and 300 for dinner; 6 meeting rooms with state-of-the-art audio visual facilities; a full-service business center and concierge services.

OWNED BY A TRUSTED NAME IN REAL ESTATE

The hotel is owned by Filinvest Alabang, Inc. as a development of FDC Hotels, Inc. It is proudly managed and operated with distinction by FilArchipelago Hospitality, Inc. (FHI). FDH Hotels Inc. has been in the forefront of tourism development in the Philippines with its current inventory of three hotels notably: Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan and Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila under its homegrown 5-star Crimson brand and Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu under its 3-star Quest brand. Their goal is to manage and operate over 1,000 rooms by yearend and develop more properties in key destinations such as Manila, Tagaytay and Boracay. In 2014, it will embark on managing another world-class property- a 190 room resort in Boracay under the Crimson brand. Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila was master planned by the world-renowned Architectural and Interior Design firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG) from California.

Experience a taste of world-class hospitality at the new Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila. For more information, contact 863-2222 or book online at www.crimsonhotel.com/manila or email ifo.alabang@crimsonhotel.com. Visit facebook.com/CrimsonFilinvestCity or follow @Crimson_Alabang for fabulous updates.”

Hanggang sa Muli! Paalam!

Dencio

_________________________________
By: DENCIO
Originally Posted On: www.DENCIO.com

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Donate your Old Toys and get a free Buffet Breakfast from Acacia Hotel Manila



Give your toys a new Home this Christmas. Donate your toys (Old or New) to the Acacia Toy Drive Campaign and you can help Give a smile to other children’s faces this Holiday Season. Imagine this, Not only you get to help the kids but you also get to reduce the clutter in your house and free up some valuable space inside your homes! If your kids have outgrown their toys then it is the perfect time to give them to someone who actually enjoys them. It is a win-win situation right? But please, be considerate as well, only donate those those toys that are still in usable condition and actually work. Please separate the good ones from the junk.

Acacia Hotel Manila (Alabang)061

It is truly a perfect time to give back. So, How to donate?

Simple! Just Drop by the Acacia Hotel Lobby from December 1 to 15, 2012. Donations will be accepted at the hotels Gingerbread House.

And in case you did not notice, they will be giving away free breakfast buffets and dining discounts to some of the donors. So Hurry! Grab those toys and head over to Acacia Hotel Manila.

Here is the rest of the Details:

“We, like many, believe that Christmas is really for the children. To celebrate this and as a way of giving back, the hotel will soon be launching its very first toy drive  entitled  CREATE A SMILE: AN ACACIA TOY DRIVE. This special project aims to collect more than a hundred toys that will be given to the beneficiaries of Springboard Foundation (a non-profit organization that raises funds for the improvement of lives of children here in the Philippines).

To entice people to donate, the hotel is giving free breakfast to the first 200 donors who will donate a minimum of two (2) toys per person (unwrapped old or new toy with a total retail value of at least Php 250). Each donor could get as much as three (3) breakfast buffet vouchers upon donation. The FREE breakfast buffet will be at the Grand Acacia Ballroom on December 15, 2012 from 6: 30 AM to 9: 30 AM.  Succeeding donors (201st and onwards) will get dining discount at our restaurant. Donations will be accepted at the hotels Gingerbread House in The Lobby from December 1 to 15, 2012.”

For more information: Call Acacia Hotel Manila at 02.7202000 | 02.588.5888

Hanggang sa Muli! Paalam!

Dencio

_________________________________
By: DENCIO
Originally Posted On: www.DENCIO.com

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New York: My Dream Holiday Destination


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!


I have been dreaming of a White Christmas my whole life for quite some time now. This year, it will finally happen! Although not exactly during the actual Christmas Week, but almost there… I will be going to Seoul, South Korea on December 8-14. I don’t know what to expect but I am definitely expecting Snow… if not in Seoul but at least in the Ski Park where we booked a tour! I was there last April for the Cherry Blossoms and it was super fun. I am sure that this Winter Tour is Twice more Fun!

I am so Excited! -6 Degrees, Bring it on! My winter stuff is all set. Tickets are Booked (Korean Air) . Hotel is booked (Fraser Suites). Tours are booked. And our ever changing itinerary is almost done as well. This is it!

I’m definitely sure that I will be having a Blast in Seoul this Holiday season but deep down, my ultimate holiday destination is still the Big Apple - New York! I want to experience the City that Never Sleeps. I want to eat hotdogs along the streets, eat an authentic New York Pizza, walk around time square, visit the central park and meet Ms. Liberty. All these while loosing track of time. I Know! #Cheesy

If my Seoul Trip is expensive, I am super duper sure that my Dream New York Trip will be even more expensive so I am counting on my Mabuhay Miles to bring me there coupled with a cheap Holidays to New York Tour Package or a Discounted Hotel Accommodation.

My target is 2013 and here is the Plan.
  1. I will apply for a US Visa early next year
  2. Continue earning Mabuhay Miles for my Free Airfare. I currently have 30,000 Miles already. Half of the required 60,000 Miles for the MNL-LAX Flight. If 1 mile is P33 so I just need to spend another P990,000 on my Credit Card! #GoodLuck (I Will have to invite more friends to shop using my Credit Card)
  3. Start Looking for a Discounted New York Accommodation
  4. Plan my itinerary
  5. Stick with The Plan
I am looking forward to my first ever White Christmas/Winter Sonata in Seoul this year. But I am also extremely excited on my next project. I know, It is still a long way to go but time flies so fast so it is better to start sooner rather than later right?
How about you? Where is your Dream Holiday Destination?

Hanggang Sa Muli! Paalam!
Dencio
_________________________________
By: DENCIO
Originally Posted On: www.DENCIO.com

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Dennis Christian Angulo Web Developer