Wednesday, September 30, 2009

N Seoul Tower

This is one tower that I do not consider a tourist trap

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N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower

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N Seoul Tower, 479 meters above sea level at its peak, offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Aside from the observatory, there are various dining options, including a revolving restaurant.

For the full 360 (and me), I shot a video:

N Seoul Tower
I do not envy this guy

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N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower N Seoul Tower

Open 365 days a year, 1000 to 2300 hours.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Namsan Park

It was the perfect day to go up the mountain. The sky was a lovely shade of blue rarely seen in Manila (because of the smog). Even the most boring buildings looked beautiful and the more interesting ones more so.

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We took the Circular Bus from Chungmuro metro station, sat back and enjoyed the view. The uphill walk can tire out the less physically active, but it would be embarrassing to give up so quickly in full view of the elderly Koreans who have been climbing up from the bottom of the mountain.

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Namsan Park, located in the center of the city, is 265 meters above sea level and takes up a space of 2.9 square kilometers. The mountain later became an important site where a national shrine was built and ceremonies took place to pray for the nation's peace and prosperity. Historic relics like fortress remnants and signal-fire facilities (to alert of enemy intrustions), once located on the mountain but destroyed through wars, were rebuilt in 1993.
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the costumed guards are ready for your cameras
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Mongmyeoksan Beacon Hill Site

Tomorrow, the view up here:


Monday, September 28, 2009

After Ketsana

Although I am still posting about Korea, I am back in the Philippines. The storm (Ketsana/Ondoy) last weekend which dropped over a month's worth of rain in 24 hours--much more precipitation than Hurricane Katrina--seriously affected many of us in Metro Manila and Rizal province. Over 100 deaths have been reported, mainly from landslides and drowning.

It doesn't hit close to home than this. Just today, five bodies were spotted in the nearby creek. The floodwater inside our house reached 58 inches (~147cm) high indoors on Saturday night. (I uploaded a flood timeline video and narrative of the weekend's events for my Facebook contacts.)

the morning after: our upright piano is upright no more

My family is in the process of cleaning up and putting some order back into our lives, but many Filipinos lost much of what they had and are still in need of food and other essentials. There are many ways of helping, but I will not detail them here anymore, as announcements have spread throughout social networking sites. Please give what you can.

Dining in Seoul, day 2

I like (good) surprises in my food, but I wouldn't pay this much for them

After Korean food, Japanese cuisine is best represented. We settled for the third most popular: Italian. They had risotto, I had kung pao chicken spaghetti at Spaghetria, Lotte World. As we discovered, either kimchi or something pickled (often both) is served regardless of what you order.

pickles with your spaghetti?

We managed to eat in mom-and-pop eateries with no English menus because there were photos of the food. If you're smart, you can eat for 7,000 won (~P280, drinking only service water).

Somehow we survived on only two whole meals. We bought pastries at night so that we can eat before leaving the hotel in the morning. Our friendly neighborhood Paris Baguette is open until late.