I will not forget this falls as I experienced tremendous adventure before we reach this one as we took the falls stream trail just to reach this falls, where we walked mostly where half of our body were soaked in the water and I was lucky because my camera is waterproof and can go under the water. I understand that this kind of beauty of nature such as falls is not easily to be found and most of them are inside or within the vicinity of mountains. The falls above is called “Mataas na Talon” (or High Falls). At the time we reached this one, I keep on asking of its name but because of its remote, rare and treacherous location, no one bothers to name this fall that is why the locals who live in the area just call it “Mataas na Talon”. This falls is located in Tanay in the province of Rizal. The adventure took place last May 2011.
In our world today, I think Castle correlates to the word of fantasy and dreams as present time depicts opposite of happy and good dreams. For personal reference I like castle because most of the time, it is the common structure where a lot of story happened whether its monarchical and political stories, the significance of the building weigh based on the events occurred in the building. On the other side, castle also enjoyed witnessing the happiest things happened to the people lived in the castle. The above castle like structure though its not real castle, and it was created by creative minds with the influence of history still worth to find out. Far Far Away Castle is one of the theater castle to be found inside Universal Studios in Singapore, snapshot captured when we visited the place last August 2013.
When we arrived in this place for walking and trekking adventure, I fell in love with the place. MacRitchie Reservoir is one of my favorite place in Singapore as the area has nature surroundings that helped me forget that I live in the city. The reservoir shot has relaxing view that kept me standing there for a while to appreciate the beauty in front of me. Photo captured last June 2010.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#18) : Mount Marami
I remember the climb we had on this mountain, it was the hottest climb experienced I had because we set the trek during summer season in my country. All of us emptied our bottle and we were struggling as all of us felt hydrated. It was good thing that it happened when we were on our way to descend the mountain. We saw a water source under a tree along the way and using water filter from one of our group we survived until we reached the jumped-off point again. The scenery is above is what they called Silyang Bato (Rock Chair) of Mount Marami and captured last April 2011.
View At My Window (Post#17): Telus World of Science (Vancouver)
As I passed this noticeable, shiny, amazing and unique building I was quite surprised to learn that a similar museum that I found in Alberta does exist in British Columbia with its own identity. Traveling in Canada, I found three buildings that both existing in two provinces. The following buildings such as Royal Museum, Telus world of Science and Provincial Legislature are existing in Alberta and British Columbia. Photo captured last June 2008 while inside the bus.
As we were traveling to Camiguin through ferry, I saw this port name before we dock to the island. The port is part of Mahinog Municipality and one of the ports in the island. Photo captured last October 2012.
On this post, I am not really going to tell a story but just to show some photos that I randomly took while walking in some areas of Seoul and other places while doing nothing or just looking for something. And this will be the last standard post that I had with the topic about South Korea unless I come back again to this country that I fall in love with. For single photo or image post, South Korea may still appear in random pictures which I usually published everyday.
1. Incheon International Airport
After we got off the plane and walked to the arrival area of the airport, there were few people around since we arrived past 8PM in the evening.
2. Nonhyeon Bus Stop
I captured this photo because we were trying to see if we were able to use the bus instead of train to go somewhere until we realized we never understand what’s the information in front of us.
3. Jeonggak Station Exit
When we were on our way to Insadong, we got off at this exit as we understand its somewhat the nearest exit in Jong-ro to the market until we found Tapgol Park along the road.
4. City Hall Station Exit
I had this photo after coming from Insadong market and we planned to go to City Hall Station to buy a discounted ticket to Everland at Hotel President. All of us were fascinated with the hanging umbrellas displayed at the exit stair we took after getting off the station. We also found a modern style of entrance/exit transportation card reader.
We had some time to walk around the area where we saw City Hall itself. We saw one of the main gate of Deoksugung (no photo captured), a palace that we haven’t had a chance to see though we have ticket for it.
5. Seoul Metropolitan Library
6. Hotel President
This was the place where we bought our discounted ticket and memory of the Philippine Tourism center near City Hall area.
7. Taepyeongno 2(i)-ga
This was the street that we passed through while we were on our way to Sungnyemun Gate. I enjoyed the short walk in this street because both lanes has Korean restaurants. After walking at the side of Sejong-daero, we saw Namdaemun Market.
8. Gyeongbokgung Station Exit
During our first day adventure in Seoul, the photos captured while we were on our way to Gyeongbokgung Palace after getting off the train.
I captured the photo above after we came from Gyeongbokgung Palace on our way to Sejong Center.
8. Sungnyemun Gate
We saw this gate while walking along Sejong-daero after we came from Hotel President where we bought our Everland discounted ticket. This gate is said to be one of the eight gate that surround Fortress Wall of Seoul which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty.
10. Seoul Station and Surrounding Area
Photos taken after we came from DMZ Tour, got off at Seoul Station, walked a little until we found Concos The Galleria where we had our lunch before returning to our hotel to pick-up our luggage for our flight the night of that same day.
11. Seoul City Tower
One of the building around the area of Seoul Station, captured this photo when we returned from an activity we attended in Seoul.
I captured this while walking along Gangnam-daero after our Everland adventure. To be honest, we stayed in a hotel which in Gangnam area but unfortunately we never really had time to explore it. The only chance we had after we came from Everland, we walked along the road and discovered we stayed in one of the busiest district in Seoul.
13. AK Plaza – Suwon Exit Station Mall
Snapshot captured while we were trying to figure out how to go to Hwaseong Fortress. It is one of the noticeable building as the location is both foot and automobile traffic area.
As my country is an archipelago, and this means we were surrounded by islands and beaches. When we say beaches, for most Filipinos it means swimming excursion. Canyon Cove is just one of the beach that covers the edges of Nasugbu Bay in Batangas province. I had a chance to visit this cove through company outing and this was the place it was held last April 2011.
I took the photo above during my 4th visit in Sydney as one of my holiday vacation while I was engaged in my 3rd project in Australia. The structure is amazingly great and located in one of the prime harbour in Sydney. This building becomes a symbolic figure of Sydney and Australia. And I learned that the investment to build this structure already surpassed by its earning because of its popularity not only to the tourist but also to the artist and performers where they usually choose it for concerts, conferences and even for theatrical shows. As I recall, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Princess Kate) visited this place during their recent trip in Australia last April 2014 where this photo captured after a week of their visit.
Panoramic View (Post#17) : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)
Kata Tjuta was one of the main itinerary we had while touring Red Centre. We actually experience trekking this rocky mountain and discovered magnificent domed rock formation at the center of Australia. Like Ayers Rock, this is also considered a significant place for the Aboriginal people (Indigenous people live in Australia). Photo captured last March 2013.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#17) : Mount Austin (The Peak)
“The Peak” is the other famous name of Mount Austin. And popular to locals and tourist alike. The photo was captured during our second visit as it turned out that our first attempt was too cold for my mom to bear. Yes, this is one of the photo that I captured where I did not climb a mountain nor drive up to the summit, we took the tram to reach the summit. I can say that this is one of the summit that generated a lot of money because it has been developed to be one of the popular tourist spot in the island. Photo captured last January 2012.
View At My Window (Post#16) : Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
While wandering at Dubai Mall, we found a huge aquarium where people can go and explore it quite up close and personal without getting wet, I am referring to non other than Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Photo captured last August 2014. People actually enjoy the aquarium for free from the outside though entering the tunnel has a fee.
Name Of The Place (Post#16): Royal British Columbia Museum
This was the second royal museum that I visited in Canada. Without checking the net it seems that Canada has one royal museum on its provinces. The first royal museum I saw was in Alberta province. Photo captured last June 2008. I like museum since I like knowing and discovering something, the only challenge is time because for me, standard time to spend to a museum is from half a day to one full day, but even myself saddened if the museum is part of a tour because it means I had limited time to see and learn more, because tour is always time bounded.
It’s our last day in South Korea and because we just had less than 24 hours, what we planned before the night of our return flight to Manila was a tour in the most heavily militarized border in the world which is the border between North Korea and South Korea called Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
As I am aware that security is the most important factor for me for this tour, I booked the one and only tour we had during our trip in South Korea. For me even I knew that we can go to the said border by just jumping to the KORAIL train, I still planned it with a tour guide because of the main reason that we must at least knew someone who knows how to speak English and who will guide us in one of the tourist friendly but heavily guarded area and maybe dangerous place in the world. There are lots of travel company that offers DMZ tour and I just selected one of them. We got the half-day tour of DMZ as we still need to go to the market to shop a little so we can bring something when we return from our 9 days trip abroad.
The night before Saturday, we arranged all of our things in our luggage as it was our last night in the hotel. We decided to leave our stuff at the hotel before our tour the next morning so we were hands free while traveling to Korean border. And then we will return to the hotel then straight to the airport.
Even we were tired from the past days of adventures, we still woke up early because the tour was time-sensitive and we do not want to miss our tour.
From our hotel, we jumped-in again to our favorite and nearest train station which was Non-hyeon. And then, we took train going to Bupyeong-gu and went out at Isu (Chongshin University) station. From Isu, we took Line 4 going to Seoul station.
We arrived at Seoul station 10 minutes before 8AM. We met our tour guide after some difficulties of understanding where to meet at the station because Seoul Station is one of the busiest station as it is centralized to metro and provincial trains. Our tour guide bought the ticket for our train and we waited until we go down to the platform to board the train.
When the time has arrived, we go down and walked straight to DMZ train. At the back of my mind, I knew that our trip was safe but still I guarded myself as I was with my youngest sister and with my mom. As we mount the train, I was amazed at the ambiance inside the train, because outside, train color are plain white and black and some people potrait, which is opposite of what is inside. The wall color inside the train was so warm that made the passengers feels relaxing and joyful, the wall displays flowers, ceilings colorful heart shapes and the floor painted with lively color of water-lily leaves. The seat covers were flashy and vibrant flower shapes.
Our ticket has seat number and one of our ticket has gaps with the other two tickets, but our guide told us that if the seats were empty, we can seat together which what happened as the train started to desert the platform.
At the time we were waiting inside the train, I already felt the tour was quite exclusive as I can sense that the crew were most likely part of South Korean military which guarded the train with its strict implementation, one requirement on the tour is the passport, without it, you will not be able to join the tour. Within our trip, the crew that we saw inside the train, checks our passport and tickets.
It was the first train that I experienced where you can see the front or back view of the railway of the train. And while we were on our way, most of the views that I saw after we left metro area were farms in between. So I can imagine that most likely the place near DMZ are agriculture oriented places which I understand because how a government plan to developed a place which near in most threatening place in their country which is their border.
Along the way we saw few stations before we arrived at the Dorasan (tour destination station), the nearest station where the border is and the last station of South Korea, because the train line (Gyeonggi) is connected to the next station that already belong to North Korea. The following stations in Gyeongui line in Southern Korea are: Neunggok, Munsan, Uncheon, Imjingang and Dorasan.
Before the Dorasan station, we had been told to leave the train at Imjingang station for our identity check. All the passengers left the train and queued for the passport verification. After our passport validated, we returned to the train and went to the last station. Before arriving at the last station, there were some military personnel jumped-in to the train and some of them talked with tourist. One of the officer went to our table and sit together with us. I was glad he knows how to speak English. He was friendly and he asked some information in amiable way until he realized we are Filipinos. He seems happy that some foreigners are curious to their border. He actually took pictures of our passport cover and told us that was his souvenir that we came from Philippines.
After leaving Imjingang Station, we passed Imjingang Bridge and Imjin River. Here I saw structure but I was not sure during the trip but when I searched internet for DMZ, I realised that the one that I saw were the ruins of the bridge that had been destroyed because of war as Imjingang Bridge was two-way bridge before, but now it just only one way.
At Dorasan Station, we already felt the military presence as we enter the station. There were Korean soldiers assiting visitors when entering the station. At the station we waited a little as our guide arranged our seats for the bus to the DMZ. And in few minutes we hopped on the bus that will bring us to the border. At the bus, some checks has been done as well and then we hit the road to the border.
I cannot explain what I felt while we were in the road and awaiting to arrived in our destination, I thought things about the separation of Korea, as I saw its historical drama, both part of Korean peninsula contributed to its development as one country. I am familiar of their dynasties and kingdoms, even aware how it became one country. While watching historical dramas and reading historical notes of Korea, I learned how it was divided. I remembered that there is another country with similar case with North and South Korea before, I am referring to Germany. Germany had been divided into two during World War II, but now it is a united country and in our time, it is one of the country that considered progressed country. I thought Korea divided because of the same war and my mind flew of thinking what if Korea has been united like Germany? Maybe, it will be the same as Germany which is rich and fully developed country. As I saw the side of South Korea and how it is at the moment, though I am not aware about the North Korea as the news are the only medium to know about that country. I am quite sad of division happened to the peninsula.
We had two stops in our DMZ Tour: First, was the “Third Tunnel – Third North Korean Infiltration Tunnel” and last, the Dora Observatory.
There are two ways to go inside the Third Tunnel: One is using a sled rails (blue caps) and the other one is from the lobby (yellow caps) where people will walk all the way to the tunnel. Our guide led us to the group that used the sled which was really cool for us since we were just sitting in the sled until we reached the end of the rails. Then we continued walking to the tunnel which quite easy. We knew it’s not allowed to take photos but we did a little snapshots at the end of the sled rail as the tunnel trail was too narrow to be able to take photos and because the flow of people coming in and out of the tunnel was non-stop.
Dora Observatory is located at the top of Dorasan (Mount Dora) where you had a chance to see North Korea border from a distance using telescope and binoculars.
With the two places we stopped, there were lots of tourist like us that visited DMZ, I can say that most likely the reason of coming to that places were curiosity and experiencing the atmosphere of being in Korean Border.
After buying postcards which I usually does in every travel I was in, we returned to the bus and came back to Dorasan station where our train to Seoul was already waiting.
I knew that there were more to see in DMZ but because of limited time we had, the half-day tour we had in the border was really worth the time.
Home (Post#16) : Boracay West Cove – A Boxer’s Champion Mansion
When we did a beach adventure while in Boracay, I never expected to see this mansion in Boracay West Cove, I heard from friends that this is owned by our famous boxing hero Manny Pacquiao. I did a little bit of searching in the net and it seems what I heard is true. Anyway having this kind of home in prime island in my country such as Boracay shows the wealth of the person. Photo captured last March 2012.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#16) : Shrine of Remembrance
I used to see this building on my back and forth travel from work and to the place where I live while I was in Melbourne. Coming from the city, this structure looks in the middle of St Kilda Road as it turned out that the road turns curve which is a good visual effect and become a charm in the area. Even this building is near and walkable from my place, I haven’t got a chance to see it immediately until I put some time to walk around Melbourne. Shrine of Remembrance was built to remember Victorian people who fought World War I and now it is shrine to all Australians who fought wars. After I visited Canberra, I just thought that it was like a branch of Australian Memorial as it showcase the bravery of people who for the peace we enjoy right now. Photo capture last July 2013.
Panoramic View (Post#16) : Killara Estate, Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley, region in Victoria state of Australia and famous because of its wineries. During our tour in the said place, one of the itinerary was Killara Estate where we tasted some wines and had lunch as well. In the location I found a scenery that’s soothing to my eyes which was the Killara Estate farm or wineries. Photo captured last February 2013.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#16) : Mount Tangisan
I am a member of mountaineering group in my country wherein we used to help and aid group of people and mostly students who live in remote areas that does not have easy access of help from other charity groups. Unlike other communities that easily receive help and easily reach out by other non-government group we made a simple vow to help others. Because we used to climb mountains and we are exposed in difficulties, challenges and quite adventurer, our group combined some of the climbs with charity events. There were cases that it’s only charity focus. When we went to San Pedro in San Jose, Tarlac we did a charity activities for the students in the area. The place is actually quite remote as we passed huge farm and to my surprise I never expected such community as no concrete roads towards the place, we drove long rough road in the middle of farms. Beside the community, Mount Tangisan is also to be found. Since it’s near the area, the group decided to trek the mountain. Photo above captured last July 2012.
View At My Window (Post#15) : MotorClassica At Royal Exhibition Building
Car Motor Show was one of the unique event that I attended while in Melbourne. When I heard about MotorClassica I was curious as I am not really a car enthusiast since I don’t know how to drive and I don’t have my own car. But a showcase of classical cars was the main reason of my curiosity to attend. I went to Royal Exhibition Building to see different historical and branded cars which considered a treasure to people who own it. I honestly enjoyed the said exhibit. Photo captured last October 2013.
Name Of The Place (Post#15) : Puffing Billy Railway
This photo is part of my Puffing Billy collection when I visited together with the family of my friends in Melbourne. The historical and century old steam railway which still running in our time is now called as Australia’s Premier Preserved Steam Railway. Photo captured last June 2013.