Some Travel Finds…

There’s always something to be found when you explore. It can be at your own city or when you go out of your place. It can be a good place to eat, a thrift shop, local products, food, clothes or beauty products. Travel finds is what I call them. I want to share about products that I found and bought during my travels. Some were recommended, others were not. In recent trips I got obsessed with finding a product that can improve the skin of my daughter who got a serious problem with acne. As a mother, I’m deeply concerned with the outbreak of acne on my child’s face. I’m sure some people can relate. It’s part of growing up, of puberty and in some part due to genes. Going to a dermatologist just didn’t work out. We tried a lot of anti-acne products and religuosly applied it. Then we eliminated some of the factors that can help an outbreak like eating too many chocolates and staying up late at night. But, school work and studying can be stressful and therefore the acne stayed. I was on the verge of buying the expensive Pro-Activ product that we saw in the mall. But still hesitated because we already purchased expensive skin lotions, anti-acne medicated creams from the Dermatologist and it didn’t help. 

Then on our last trip to Japan, a cousin requested us to buy her a facial wash that she’s been using for quite sometime. She got it in Taipei while on a trip and can’t find it in our local drugstore or grocery store. She didn’t tell us it was an acne medicated facial soap and just said that it’s a good one.  My sister in law found it in the beauty section of BIC camera. And when she showed it to me I noticed the words “medicated acne care”. And so, I dropped by one of the numerous stores selling beauty products along Shinsaibashi and bought one. The name of the facial wash is SkinLife Medicated Acne Care and manufactured by Cow Brand Soap Kyoshinsha Co. Ltd. My regret at that time was not buying a lot of it! It was effective and worked well with my daughter’s skin. It worked wonders and slowly day by day, her skin cleared. 

SkinLife medicated acne care

 

Since I only bought one and traveling back to Japan is not in horizon, I researched where to buy it online. Found it in www.global.rakuten.com but the shipping cost is very high. Good thing, Japan is the destination of choice for most of my friends and so I asked them to buy some for my daughter. At around ยฅ300 or approximately Php 130 for 130gm, it’s definitely affordable and worth the price to see the acne gone!  Plus it smells really great. There are also some online stores in Facebook that’s selling the product but at a higher price of Php 500. 

Another Cow brand product that’s really good is the bath soap. Good thing I found this available at a local Japanese grocery store. 

Cow Bath Soap


Make up removers are aplenty but some of my favorite generic ones came from Japan. At around ยฅ700 (approximately Php 300 / USD 6.50) for 500ml Cleansing oil or water, it’s value for money because it will last a long time. Bought my one year supply from the discount store Don Quijote www.donki.com 

Make Up Remover


During a trip to Bangkok, Thailand I chanced upon Mentholatum’s Acnes Skin Care. I don’t know why I didn’t see it in Japan. Probably because I was so busy buying Shiseido’s Perfect Whip and Biore!๐Ÿ˜ This facial wash is also good although a bit “citrusy” in smell. The sealing gel to treat acne spot is also very good. This cost around THB 130+ (PHP 171 or USD 3.67). I haven’t seen this being sold in my country yet as of this writing. Maybe I can be a distributor! ๐Ÿ˜„

Acnes Skin Care


I also bought Namu Snail White in Bangkok because I was curious about it’s popularity. Although I’ve been using it for 3 weeks already, I honestly can’t see any difference or improvement. Maybe my skin type is not compatible with it. It’s a bit pricey at THB 990 and I don’t have any idea about it’s long term effect. We will see.


I found this nice product online named Pasjel Cherry Tender that’s made in Thailand for treating acne spots.  I can truly say it’s effective. My daughter’s face cleared up with continuous use of this night facial cream. A bit expensive from online sellers at PHP 569 (USD 12.24) but I guess I can say that it’s totally worth the money spent. I found this product being sold at kiosks in Big C Supercenter near Central World in Bangkok. It cost THB 300 (Php 395 or USD 8.50).


When I was in Busan, South Korea I literally went crazy with all the beauty products. They do love making themselves pretty over there. ๐Ÿ˜… I can’t go home without buying from Tony Moly, Missha, Skinfood, Etude House etc. Some of my faves were  Tony Moly’s Goat Milk Facial Wash, Toner and Moisturizer. If only I can buy and try everything! Just like in Japan or Thailand, Korean beauty products are very good too. 

Hope this story will be of help to you dear reader! Til the next update on travel finds..

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

Advertisements

Summer time in Palawan…

It’s almost the end of summer now in the Philippines and our local travel destination this year was Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Our goal or rather my goal is to visit at least one Philippine destination every year. Hopefully and if possible, a new place we haven’t been to yet. Be it road trip, air or sea. It will not only be a fun bonding time with the family but an educational one especially for the kids. The family will get to discover places, have a chance to immerse with the locals and hopefully learn something from their culture.

During one of our local carrier – Cebu Pacific Air (www.cebupacificair.com) fare sale in late 2015, I was able to buy tickets for the family to Puerto Princesa. We’ve been planning a long time ago to visit this place but it’s always been put off in favor of other destinations. Finally, this year it finally pushed through! After purchasing the air tickets, the next thing to do was look for accommodations. And so I checked Agoda (www.agoda.com) for hotel deals. Puerto Princesa City have good resorts and hotels but some are a bit expensive and beyond my budget.ย 

Luckily, I found one hotel that I liked. A bed and breakfast hotel named Ala Amid (www.amidpuertoprincesa.com) which is run by a family. Don’t be put off with the name of the hotel. It’s actually the owner’s surname spelled backwards. ๐Ÿ˜„ The place is cozy, clean and nice. It matched the laid back atmosphere of Palawan. They served complimentary juice drinks upon arrival which is not common for small hotels. The buffet breakfast is good and the little “cafe” at the lobby area named Sabie Bakes had yummy cupcakes! My kids also enjoyed their Say Cheese pizza and the pasta.ย 

Ala Amid Bed & Breakfast

Reception Area

Pool view


We stayed in Palawan for 4 days and 3 nights. The cost of the superior room was Php 2,300/night inclusive of buffet breakfast for two. I booked two rooms to ensure we are not cramped because we were six travelers and so that we can really enjoy and relax during our vacation. Mind you, the rooms were bigger than we thought and the bed was comfortable. Two thumbs up!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Not only that, the hotel helped us book for our tours too which made life easier under the heat of the sun. The hotel owners were pleasant and friendly. They accommodated my inquiries and provided enough information before and during our stay.

Since we arrived in the morning, we decided to take the city tour (cost: Php 600/pax) in the afternoon which brought us to the Crocodile Farm, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Plaza Cuartel and the souvenir shop that sells authentic South Sea Pearls at prices that can only be found in Palawan! ๐Ÿ˜ Definitely the South Sea pearls they were selling were a whole lot cheaper than in the big city. I’d rather not tell how many I bought. ๐Ÿ˜… Ha!ha!ha! My recommendation is to tell your tour guide to take you to Laila’s Pearls instead of Delma’s Pearls first. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Laila’s then go to Delma’s which is just a few hundred meters away.ย 

Crocodile Farm


While waiting for our turn to go inside the Crocodile Farm, we went to a restaurant for refreshments and while there we decided to try the sizzling crocodile meat for Php 180 per order. It was a bit spicy but good. Now I know, crocodile taste like chicken. They probably eat chicken a lot!๐Ÿ˜œ My kids had fun posing for the camera holding a small crocodile. Good thing the crocodiles mouth were clamped shut or else I think a lot people will lose a finger or two!๐Ÿ˜…

South Sea Pearls


The price of the South Sea Pearls at Laila’s Pearls was Php 1K for an 8 mm earrings. The bigger the pearls, the more expensive it becomes. Discounted price of a 12.5 mm size is Php 2.5K, 13 mm size is Php 3K. Bigger pearls range from Php 4.5 to 5.5K but you will not regret getting a pair once you see the price in the jewelry stores in the big city. So, I highly recommend buying some pearls while in Palawan!๐Ÿ˜„ And while you’re in the souvenir shop, try to buy the roasted or fried cashew nuts too.ย 

We spent our second day in Sabang to visit the Underground River which is a Unesco Heritage site and one of the new wonders of the world. It took one hour and a half travel time to Sabang. Then a 20 minute boat ride towards the entrance of the river in a pump boat. The tour is already high tech unlike before wherein the tourists were the ones holding the halogen light. Upon arriving, each person will be given an audio set and a short distance away the boats are waiting to take you inside the cave. Instead of the boat man talking, you can now to the listen audio voice while he uses his LED light to show the wonders inside the cave which is in sync with what you are listening. It’s a 45 minute boat ride inside the underground river beneath St. Paul mountain. Truly an awesome experience and a must see. We booked our tour in advance and it cost Php 1,740 including buffet lunch. It’s more convenient since you need permits to enter the place and they limit the visitors per day. The tour guide will take care of everything and you can just sit and wait.

Underground River Entrance

Sabang Beach

Entrance to the cave

Exit view from the cave

There will be numerous photo opportunities while in the place since they have an official photographer and you can buy a print out for Php 180 (small) and 250 (big). I usually don’t buy but I had a change of heart. I just think of it as a once in a lifetime trip so better get those souvenirs! ๐Ÿ˜„ Doing so probably helped the staff earn a little more money.

Back at the wharf, you can see stalls selling fruit shakes and more! Buy one or two to quench your thirst. ๐Ÿ˜„ The cheapest that we found was the stall in the pic at Php 50 only for a medium sized drink.ย 

An’zky Fruit Shakes

Fruit Shakes

Our third day was spent island hopping in Honda Bay. If you plan to do this, better bring aqua shoes with you. Your tour guide will recommend it to ensure you are protected from a stone fish sting/bite. And if you are particular with using snorkel gear rental then better bring your own. However, if you prefer to travel light then you can rent them before you sail away to the islands. A bit costly at a rental fee of Php 150 each for the Aqua shoes and Snorkel gear. The tour will bring you to 3 islands. First is the Star Fish island then Luli Island and last would be Cowrie Island where the buffet lunch is served. The first two islands will let you go snorkeling to your heart’s content. My children had so much fun!ย 


Listen to your tour guide or boatman. If they say do not swim in a particular area then don’t! Lots of jelly fish lurking and you don’t really want to get stung by one. ๐Ÿ˜„ย 


Kayaking at Cowrie Island



It was a fun filled summer break for the family. We hope to visit Palawan again in the future as El Nido and San Vicente are waiting to be explored. For now, the memories will stay with us until our next visit.ย 

Remember this when in Palawan:ย 

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, keep nothing but memories…

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

Mt. Rokko Snow Park…

Because it was winter time when we visited Osaka in Japan, we thought of going to a nearby place where we can see snow. And the nearest one was Rokkosan Snow Park (www.rokkosan.com) in Mt. Rokko, Kobe. However, much to our disappointment there wasn’t really a lot of ‘fresh’ snow in sight. Rather, what we saw was man-made or “fake” snow. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Maybe winter time came late in 2015 or Queen Elsa was probably still sleeping otherwise we would have been “frozen” to the bones. Kidding aside, it was a snow park and they didn’t advertise that you can find fresh snow there. And besides, if we really wanted to go snow skiing, we should have made travel plans to Sapporo where fresh snow is abundant. We definitely are not snow skiers so Rokkosan Snow Park will do. 

IMG_6154 rokkopark

Rokkosan Snow Park Entrance

IMG_6121 rokko snow park

Ski Slopes

IMG_6124 rokko snowpark1

Man-made Snow

We still had fun though with what the small snow park had to offer. The coldness in the mountain was different. The thermal wear, bonnet and mask helped a lot to fight the freezing temperature. The kids had fun snow sledding. So who are we to complain? Mission accomplished. Too bad, we arrived late and so there was limited time to build a snowman, sledding and no time to learn how to ski. The area closed at 5:00 pm except for the ski slopes. Probably if there’s a blizzard up in the mountains, the snow park will be awesome if blanketed with snow all around. 

IMG_6067-rokko cable

Rokko Cable Car Station

If you decide to check the place out and visit,  our route was via train from Osaka to Rokko station. Then we took the bus towards Rokko Cable Car station. We paid for the park’s entrance fee at the cable station which included the to and fro cable car ride and bus ride when you get to the top. We didn’t stay long in the area because we had to travel back to Osaka which took a lot of time with the normal train ride. If you are press for time then better take the 10 minute Shinkansen ride from Osaka to Kobe.

xoxo, 

the traveling KANGaroo


Japan! Japan!…

Japan is now becoming the most popular destination for tourists from my mother land, Philippines. Previously I think it was Hong Kong and I too was a visitor numerous times in that place. Back when the exchange rate was low that you can shop til you drop and there were no tensions yet between our country and China. Now, Hong Kong is just a memory. Not in the travel destination list anymore. Most people when ask where they want to go will say: Japan! Japan!…ย 

I can honestly say that going to Japan is better for Filipino tourists. Not only because it’s the new “in” destination and you also want to have a photo in Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Osaka, Kyoto or as far away as Sapporo. But basically it’s the culture immersion that I think is much more important. We can definitely learn a lot from the Japanese people. From their inventions to their polite ways. I probably had faux pas during our trips there and maybe made the Japanese secretly cringe. But their politeness ruled and I got away with it. Sorry about that. Ha!ha!

Our latest Japan visit wasย winter time. I think I should also go during summer time as it’s the only season I haven’t been to yet. I should complete all the seasons and see which is the best one. So far, it’s still Autumn time for me because I love the “bearable” cold weather and the colour of the leaves. I know some will prefer Spring time with Sakura in full bloom. While others say Summer time is better because it’s warm and you can wear pretty outfits. Whatever you prefer, let’s all try to visit all the seasons if we can. Anyway, there are a lot of things to do there and exploring is fun!

During our recent Osaka trip, we decided to rent and stay in an apartment through AirBnB (www.airbnb.com) which was hosted by Genesis Ltd. It was near Namba area (3 Chome-3-36 Ebisunishi, Naniwa Ward) and the train station (Ebisucho Station) going to the city and to/from the airport was just a mere 3 minutes walk. The area where we stayed had one of my favourite discount store “Don Quijote” (www.donki.com) nearby. The apartment had 4 bedrooms, dining and living rooms. Of course, the rooms aren’t that big but 11 people were definitely comfortable. We saved money on food since we bought from the grocery store and cooked meals. Plus, the bonding time was great because the dining table and living area was the preferred hang out place for everyone. The downside with the accommodation was that the toilet is located outside, in the landing between the floors. I guess it’s easier for the host to clean it and for security purposes also since they don’t need to go inside the apartment anymore. Still, I prefer a toilet inside the apartment if possible! Must take note of that next time we decided to stay again using AirBnB. Overall, the stay was pleasant. The host was accommodating and can easily be contacted for minor issues during the stay like the wi-fi connection problem. We stayed for 7 nights and was billed 2,199 Euro or approximately USD 2,482 (PHP 114K) at the current exchange rate. Accommodations in Japan are expensive especially during peak season so I guess it was a good deal. If we stayed in a hotel, we will pay more as we need to book at least 5 rooms. It was also booked ahead of time. Like 6 months in advance so imagine the cost if we booked it a few weeks before our trip.ย 

A few tips when staying in a Condotel or Apartment for rent:

  1. Don’t forget to research for the nearest grocery store in the area. If none, a good convenience store will do which is really aplenty in Japan like Lawson and 7-11. A bit expensive than a grocery store for items such as water, drinks, bread but they do sell ready to eat food too.ย 
  2. Although shampoo and bath gel are provided, don’t forget to bring your own toilet essentials. If not, the nearest convenience store can help.
  3. Before you book for your accommodation, ask questions first. Is it near the train station? If not, what is the recommended mode of transportation. You can also google the place to check it out before you finalise everything. Having a place (be it a hotel or apartment) near a train station really helps a lot. Unless of course, you can afford to take the taxi. If you’re a big family or group, better take the train!
  4. Check out the food places in the area. We were happy to see my children’s favorite affordable restaurant “Ohsho” ย nearby and it was the first stop for hungry tummies on the day we arrived. The gyoza is a must!
Osho

Gyoza no Ohsho Restaurant

We were near the Tennoji area. And if you opt to explore that way, you will be able to see and visit Abeno Harukas which is the tallest building in Japan at the time of our visit. It housed the Kintetsu Department Store which is huge. When you visit on New Year’s day then you might want toย grab some lucky bags from any store you fancy in Japan! Who knows you might be lucky and get something of great value for less.

ย There’s also the Shinsekai area which we passed by on our way to explore Nipponbashi DenDen town and Namba Parks. It’s an entertainment district and is vibrant at night. Although, there were a lot of people too during the day.ย 

In our previous Osaka visit, DenDen town was a favourite. And it was still a place we dropped by for the young and the young at heart to indulge. Don’t forget to browse and explore the items in some of the shops if you visit. Sometimes they sell stuff at bargain prices. Although shopping is no longer tax free unlike previous visits, you can get a tax refund for purchased items with a total of Y10,ooo and above.ย 

We were very laid back this trip and wasn’t in a hurry to go from one place to another. Surprisingly, the winter weather wasn’t what we prepared for and expected. It was actually not so bad. We hardly use our thermals except for when we went to Mt. Rokko in Kobe. Probably due to the global warming or El Nino Phenomenon which is affecting the planet.ย 

Namba Parks (www.nambaparks.com) at night was nice. The lights were so pretty with their Super Flower Illumination. Visiting Japan after Christmas and until New Year’s day celebration was not so bad after all.

One of the favourite of my little one was the Japanese cakes. And this trip we found some tummy delights we haven’t tasted before. Pablo is definitely a popular one but you can find stalls that sell yummy cakes when you keep looking around. There’s this shop in Namba near Takashimaya named Penguin and they sell the yummiest Japanese cakes according to my 10 year old. It was her favourite from a previous trip and probably she’s right because it was always sold out. During our winter visit we went several times to the store but wasn’t able to purchase. Maybe wrong timing of the day. The little one was disappointed but good thing we found some more stalls that compensated for her Japanese cake craving.

There’s a popular store that sells pork buns and dimsum that have stalls inย some train stations named 551 Horai (www.551horai.co.jp) and it’s good. Don’t compare with Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong or Din Tai Fung from Taiwan. Just give it a tryย when in Japan. The line is long sometimes though.

If you are by chance in Japan now or planning a visit for the first time, enjoy the place! Next time, I will post stories of other places we visited during our trip.ย 

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

 

Talk about being A Fan…

Let me veer away for a while from travel posts and instead write about something that most of us experienced once, twice or many many times in our lifetime. Have you ever admired a famous person and became a fan? The answer to the question is probably a “yes” for most people. Did you ever consider yourself a die hard fan? How do you actually measure the extent of the admiration of a fan. Some fans can get real creepy with their obsession for the celebrity. I wonder how it is to be a normal and cool fan. Or is there such a person? ๐Ÿ˜„ย 

Last night was a night that I will never forget unless I have Alzheimer’s. After waiting for months, Madonna the Queen of Pop finally landed in Manila for a two day concert entitled Rebel Heart. My favorite rebel heart came to town. My childhood idol. From cassette tapes, CD’s and now iTunes and Spotify her music made me happy. From Like A Virgin to Living for Love songs, her music lives on.

ย 

Madonna in Manila

ย 

But first, let me reminisce what happened prior to this “once in a lifetime” event. Last year it was announced she will finally have a World Tour again and this time Southeast Asia countries will be included and one of them is the Philippines! Imagine my excitement?๐Ÿ˜ I am a fan since elementary days and that’s what? 30 years ago? I couldn’t wait to grab a ticket.ย 

Imagine my dismay upon knowing of the ticket prices. Hopes of being near Madonna was gone with the wind. The most expensive ticket can pay for one college term of my eldest child! But then never mind (I thought to myself), I can afford the upperbox ticket. So when the online preselling day came, I was infront of the computer desperately trying to get me and my friends tickets to the concert. But, the cruelty of the Internet connection or was it the website crashing numerous times helped in adding further to my disappointment. No tickets purchased online and therefore there was no choice but to line up at the ticket office on the official selling date which I really didn’t like to do. Anyway, because I am a fan I woke up early and lined up in the nearest mall to get tickets. It took one hour of waiting and when it was my turn to buy, upper box tickets were sold out. At that time, there was no second day concert announcement yet. I was desperate and asked if there were General Admission tickets left. Finally, was able to secure tickets after my concert buddies confirmed that they are okay even if the seats were at the very end of the arena and Madonna will look like an ant only! They said its the experience and the music that matters. Yes!๐Ÿ˜„

ย 

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Concert Ticket

ย 

After months of waiting and numerous countdowns, the day finally arrived. My concert buddies and I were kidding that we don’t need to get ourselves prettier than we already are because no one can see us up there in the Gen Ad location. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But, the Heavens probably took pity. The mother of surprises a.k.a. SM Tickets called at 2 p.m. to tell us they will transfer us in a different section because there was a problem with our seats. Lighting problems, I think and the production crew need people to vacate. Guess what? We were upgraded to Lower Box! ๐Ÿ˜„ And from the mere 3K seats, we got upgraded to 29K seats with a good vantage view. I can’t scream enough nor jump up and down with glee like crazy!

We were so excited. We got a good parking space near the venue. Had a good dinner before the event. Patiently or was it impatiently waited two and a half hours for Madonna to start the show. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Was already sleepy when the lights suddenly dimmed and the show finally started. The sleepiness went out and we were instantly ready to party with the Queen! She didn’t disappoint. We had a blast! We were shocked with some parts of the show but shakes it off in the name of art and entertainment. ๐Ÿ˜„

I will always be a FAN because it’s FUN!!!

Madonna


From the Unapologetic Bitch


We went home in the wee hours of the morning “happily” tired and with a sore throat from too much screaming. But I had memories of the concert on my phone since I took some videos and photos. It will last me a lifetime already. ๐Ÿ˜Š Thank you, Madonna for coming to Manila. You made a lot of your fans happy!!!

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

When in Busan…

After visiting laid back Changwon, the last stop was to spend a day in Busan, South Korea before we took a flight back to good ‘ol sunny Philippines. As with most of our travels, walking in the city is the preferred choice to do some sightseeing. But this trip was an exception. We took a lot of taxi and train rides. It wasn’t that expensive and it’s very convenient. The taxis have colored GPS route maps and complete with building photo location. Amazing! And I was impressed with Waze already. ๐Ÿ˜… 

South Korea has one if not the fastest internet connection in the planet. You will not get lost if you have a pocket wifi or if you bought a data sim to be used during your trip. Of course, the lost in translation part of the trip will still be there. Some people knows how to speak and understand English but not all. My country is home away from home to many Koreans studying English. Aside from our good command of the language they probably decided to study in the Philippines because of the generally good weather all year round and the cheap fees to play golf in the country. ๐Ÿ˜„

What to do when in Busan? Here’s some of the places we visited: 

1. Haeundae Beach – although the sun was up, the water was cold. Must be nice during their summer season but definitely not during Autumn. Just nice for some sun bathing during the cold season if the sun is out and you can bear the cold wind. ๐Ÿ˜… I wonder if the sunset view is also nice. 

Haeundae Beach

Beach View


2. Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park– a nice tourist spot to have a city view of Busan. A bit of an uphill climb which is good for the heart. The garden is very nice and obviously well maintained. Plus they have the “love locks” to make the visit a little bit more fun. You can buy the lock & key at the kiosk. I can’t remember how much it was but it’s not expensive. Or, you can bring your own. โค๏ธ

Busan Tower


Love Locks in Busan Tower

3. Shopping Areas – no trip should end without checking out what the city has to offer. Be it souvenirs, home or fashion stuff. You can buy if there’s some shopping money allocated. Or one can just window shop and drool. ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • Gwangbok-Dong shopping street in Busan where you can window shop or actually shop Korean fashion apparel from bags, clothes to socks. I wanted to buy Bean Pole but found out it’s a bit expensive. There are stores of international brands too. I had to restrain myself from shopping too much but still went home with some loots from this place!

Gwangbok-Dong Shopping Stree

  • Somyeon Underground Shopping where you can also buy lots of stuff from clothes, shoes and trinkets. A good place to shop especially when it’s too cold. And it’s convenient for commuters. Got some thick sweaters for only KRW 4,000 or approximately PHP 150 since we were planning to go to Japan in the winter. A story that is yet to be posted! Good buys are aplenty in this underground shopping haven. Too bad, no time during my visit as we went to check it out just as stores were getting ready to call it a day. But no problem because my wallet remained happy and still fat. Ha!ha!ha!

IMG_4069

  • Jagalchi Market which I viewed from afar since we lacked time to further explore. Maybe on the next visit, we can spend some time in this place. To try the food and check out the market stalls.

Version 2

During our visit it was the BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) but I didn’t see one Korean actor or actress. How I wish I had the time to just stay in the BIFF square area to try to get a glimpse of Korean celebrity. Wishful thinking. Maybe a trip to Seoul to stalk Korean K-Pop and Actors in the future! 

DSCF7959

One of the places my travel buddy wanted to try was the “famous” Korean resto Mr. Pizza. Wish granted! We had to google the nearest one in the area and looked for it even if there were a number of good restos around. Ha!ha!

DSCF7952

Tips:

  • Try the street food if you think your stomach can handle it.
  • Look out for some super bargains in the sidewalks or stalls, there are a lot!
  • Ride the bus to the airport instead of taking a taxi. You will save a lot of money plus you can have a little bit of city tour since the bus will stop at some of the other hotels to pick up passengers. And therefore you can see this view.

DSCF7966

  • In the train station, there’s a place that sells very good croquettes. You can see the long line of Koreans and tourists. Buy some and you won’t regret it. Can you see my fingers itching to pick  one of the yummy goodness? 

DSCF7819

When you do visit Busan, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I “unexpectedly” did too! Previously, South Korea is not in our list of travel destinations. But the experience of our short visit somehow changed it. There are many things to enjoy and explore. So, I am looking forward to a “Seoul Searching” in the near future!

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

Anyoung Haseyo Changwon…

 I experienced a lot of lost in translation time while I was in South Korea. Speak in English and they reply back in Korean. It’s full of “duh” moments and scratching of the head. Ha,ha,ha.. But the good thing was that I rented a pocket wifi! I just keyed in what I wanted to say or find out and Google helped me with the translation. ๐Ÿ˜„ It wasn’t that bad most of the time.

  • Rent a pocket Wi-Fi in the airport. You can find a stall after you exit the baggage claim area in the  arrival hall

Aside from watching K-Pop MTV inside the hotel room, I ventured out to see what I can get from Changwon, South Korea. We stayed in an area they called Jungang-dong. It was exploring as well as shopping time for me. ๐Ÿ˜œ

1. First stop was to check out Kyobo for some Korean magazines and KPop CD’s. I had to use Google maps to locate this place. ๐Ÿ˜„ A haven for K-Pop fans. If you buy a CD, you can get freebies from posters to fans

  

2. Because I love Kenji, our Golden Retriever dog he should get something from Korea too. And I saw this place just around the corner from the hotel. ๐Ÿ˜Š The dog treats was cheap and so I sneaked a few inside the country. ๐Ÿ˜œ

  
 

3. Since the “joeys” were left behind, the shopping list of requested things to buy was a bit long. ๐Ÿ™„  Sometimes, you end up not getting anything for yourself because you were busy looking for what they ordered you to buy. From K-Pop CDs and merchandise to shoes to backpacks and so on so forth.

  • Got some cute socks for my girls

 

  •  They also have an ABC Mart and shoes were on sale! Got some Vans at 70% off.

 

  • Look at the Adidas Superstar selection, Fashionistas. If you want one because it’s not available or sold out in your country, go to South Korea!๐Ÿ˜„   

   

  • So many cute outfits to choose from

 

  • I regretted not getting a cute bag from this pop up stall inside Lotte!๐Ÿ™

  • I wish I could afford to buy the Korean traditional dress in the below photo

  • Night scene (window shopping) around Changwon. 

 

 

4. A trip is not complete without checking out one of the city’s public market

  

 

  • Slippers and shoes galore inside the market

 

  • Food stalls and dry goods all together

     

  • Dressmakers can also be found inside the market ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  

5. Some people said that you can have a gastronomic experience in Korea. Sad to say, I can’t say I did. My adventurous spirit when it comes to food is a work in progress especially when eating all by myself! ๐Ÿ˜…

  • I tried this very spicy Korean noodle dish “Jjamppong” in a restaurant without an English menu. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ And I realized that Korean spicy food is not my cup of tea. ๐Ÿ™

 

  • When eating in fast food places like KFC, beware! The chicken is good but there’s no available plastic spoon or fork. They can only give you a knife. Eat using your hands. ๐Ÿ˜„ 

 


 

  • 7-11 never fails. ๐Ÿ˜Š When you’re hungry in the middle of the night, go and grab some grub at the nearest convenience store!

  

  • Don’t forget to try their fast food Lotteria. I must have eaten here thrice during my visit!๐Ÿ˜‹

  

Food looks really good in the food halls. But my problem was how to order when there’s no English translation. You can probably order but how will you know it’s your food or number that they’re calling? Especially if you don’t know a single Korean word!๐Ÿ™„ The self serve vendo ordering machine does not help either. No English translation at all.

  • See the different scenes in the Food Hall below

 



 

  • A Restaurant around the area 



The highlight of my Changwon stay was watching the Cookin’ Nanta perform. Had so much fun with the antics of the performers. Koreans do know their comedy! ๐Ÿ˜„ And when I went back home and found out they were performing in Manila, I checked out the tickets. And it was expensive. But I can say it’s all worth it if you are going to watch!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

 

Never mind if I wasn’t able to explore a lot. I probably only saw a glimpse of Changwon City from a local’s point of view. Nevertheless, it was enough for me. I have seen first hand what I saw on TV through Korean telenovelas. I’ve seen drunk men rolling on the streets and picked up by their friends and sent away on a taxi. Definitely one of the ‘wow’ moments!๐Ÿ˜„ It reminded me of one of my favorite Korean movie “My Sassy Girl”. 

FYI, photos were taken from my iPhone so bear with me!๐Ÿ˜Š

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo