the 8 (famous) travel bloggers that influenced my thirst for travel

2013 was one horrid year for me in many aspects of my existence, im so glad its going to be over in roughly 4 hours. but despite that, what kept me sane and grounded this whole time was the fact that no one was able (or did try) to get into my travelling addiction (except for my uncle sonny’s death that caused my thailand-cambodia trip to be cut short because i needed to be home for him).

with this year’s round of travelling:

– i gained a new true blue friend, a soul (sole) mate to be exact. (ikaw yun juna)
– i traveled once again with the pinaka kengkoy travel buddy, its always the best of times when im with this a-hole (ikaw yun jb)
– i finally made peace with someone very dear to me, proper closure, no holds barred, with all honesty kind of closure (and that is you claudinne, love you more, my best friend)
– i became a true blue environmentalist, 2014 is for the earth. (kayo un mga giraffe ng coron)
– i fell in love, got hurt, got shattered even.. but with that comes an aftermath i did not expect – i’m much more stronger now, and it actually opened my doors and my heart to a possible ‘the right one’ (ikaw yun singapore la’)

2013 might not be the banner year for me but with these travel bloggers and my addiction erg passion for travelling, i can say i successfully carried on and for sure will make my 2014 rock! hongkong,siargao,myanmar and hopefully beijing your just a plane ride away in 2014!

enough of the lenghty and wordy melodrama (mervin of pinoyadventurista.com hates that lol), i present to you the 8 travel bloggers that i admire and follow big time…im one big fan for each of them. thank you so much for the fan signs, i know kinulit ko kayo big time but you still happily obliged. =)

SINJIN PINEDA – www.libotero.com

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im sure sinjin is probably the one i know the longest among these 8. skyscrapercity days pa lang. he was still very suplado that time, i remember one sinulog, i was already part of those photo contest events and i would bump into him in the middle of the street and guess what – deadma. he probably did not see me because he’s taller than i am. an opportunity came to finally have my photo taken together with him during one of Cebu’s blogging summit a few years back. he already knew im his avid fan so he was already extra kind to me. hahaha! see yah around sinj. see you this Sinulog! and yes im hoping to travel with you soon, not with sinapore though lolz.

DOI DOMASIAN – http://thetravellingfeet.com/

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what can i say with doi? she actually is the most inspiring blogger/friend among the 8. like when we first met in my first trip with travel bloggers in Sagada, she made it a point to make me realize that travelling is all about passion and chasing not just my dreams but what i truly believe in. during those times i only felt i needed to travel for no apparent reason, and yes doi made some sense as to why i wanna travel and wana do it over and over again. super bait! shes also one of my closest now. we dont meet very often but its always hours upon hours of facebook chat when were both online. i really hope i can bump into you before i leave cebu doi, may ref magnet pa ako sayo eh haha! see you sinulog!!!

AC CHUA – http://iwandered.net/

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meet the very accomodating AC Chua. very friendly and very masunurin among the 8 haha… i first bumped into his blog when i was doing some research for South Korean Visa. but lo and behold, i did not get what i need but instead, i found some really precious information about my ultimate dream international destination – NORTH KOREA. i so envied him that it took me 3 days to get over the fact that a Filipino (with no political connection, not even an OFW – North Korea based) was able to set foot in North Korea. i already have planned on how to save for my North Korea fund because i knew it will be that hefty but when i was able to ask him questions (actually interview na yun eh lol), i found out i can actually go there without even hurting my pocket. i wont delve into details yet because i want to be one of the pioneering Filipinos to make it in North Korea haha (selfish eh lolz).

his blog also has one of the most extensive collection of places he traveled which are deemed to be the ‘off the beaten track’ type – and most of which are in Europe! im truly blessed i met AC, and im looking forward to finally team up with you in your future travels (im still working on my shenzen visa though lol).

CHYNG REYES – http://chyngreyes.com/

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among the 8, dito ako pinakatakot haha… one of the first few blogs i lurked when i started to insert the ‘researching’ part of travelling is hers. i admire the courage, the angas, the lakas ng loob that this female travel blogger withhold. such a commanding presence (and intimdating at some point haha). she’s also probably the most famous among the 8, being interviewed by jessica soho when she got busted in Bali, Indonesia. that sparked national interest in both Indonesia and Philippines regarding issues on racism and women oppression…naks! how i wish i can finally meet this lass and join one of her travels. she went to india by the way and soaked her newly pedicured feet at the ganges river. lakas lang eh no? lol

KIRK ACEBRON – http://www.kirkanatomy.com/

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the youngest and the ‘freshest’ among the 8, haha. pinaka gwapo din andami nagkaka crush according to… hahaha. quiet nako. he’s the one who helped me with my Coron trip just this year, another very accommodating blogger. i also envy his ‘endorser’ status for tourism Malaysia. how i wish i’d be able to do what he has done, yung tipong, you get invited by all these tourism boards across countries around the world. he is now in flight to Kuala Lumpur to GUEST in the new year’s eve count down. iba na talaga pag celebrity. lol. he also celebrated his birthday in Yogyakarta Indonesia… mas lalo ako na inggit. hope to see you around here in Pinas Boy Malaysia!

EDCEL SUYO – http://soloflighted.com/

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this whole travel blogging thing (and a whole chunck of my travelling passion)- i owe it to this guy. he was my ticket to my very first travelling stint with total strangers (who happens to be travel bloggers also – and now good friends). if not for him, i wouldnt be able to grab some guts to finally travel with strangers, travel solo and look at travelling at a whole new light. its all thank yous to this guy and i keep on counting the days to travel with you and the rest of the guys again. na inlove kasi kaya backstage si travelling, haha! stay crazy! – crazy lolz.

GAY (and Luna) MITRA EMAMI – http://www.pinaytraveljunkie.com/

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i would not want to think that she could be the most stressed out among the 8 for having a baby tagging along in all her travels around the world… such an awesome travel blogger mom… bow down to the queen. lolz. i met her in Baguio during our Sagada trip and i gaind so much from her experiences from all the travelling to having luna around… luna getting sick, luna getting homesick, luna hating the food, luna missing her homies (or the other way around) etc. grabe, most probably i wouldnt want to know anymore how she managed it. for someone like me who gets easily irritated with a sling bag during travelling, how much more with a baby (toddler na today) haha. i also envy how she and her family has almost (yes almost) tour the world already. im guesiing theyre halfway already…

p.s. i had to grab some photos from Gay’s website because up to now she still hasnt provided me w/ her fan sign, mamakalimutin daw. lolz

MERVIN MARASIGAN – http://www.pinoyadventurista.com/

mervin

Saving the best for last….and keeping it short – my best friend among the 8, haha. he’s probably the closest to me. and the most meet ups too. unfortunately though, except for that Be Careful With My Heart tour in Pila Laguna, we havent had the chance to travel together, like the hardcore thing. ironic ei? haha. puro lang kain, inom, chika2x, fireworks2x lolz. i know the best is yet to come for our travelling dreams mervs kaya siguro we do not have the chance yet to travel trogether. it will come sooner than we expect, fingers crossed lolz.

so there you go, if i neede to go into rehab for travelling abuse… you better bring these 8 too or any of them, id be effin fine with it.

THANK YOU big time for inspiring me… in 2014 for sure it will be a blast, more places to explore, more experiences to go by with, more people to meet, more airline tickets to use (and put into waste haha) etc….

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Let’s get lost in THAILAND – on drinking diaries and drinking buddies in Khao San road

Aside from hosting hundreds of dirt cheap backpacker’s hostels (as well as middle priced boutique type hotels), Khao San Road has lived to its reputation as one of the world’s most celebrated backpacker’s mecca because of how it has developed into a 24 by 7 party hive for every foreign tourist in Bangkok.

in Khao San, it is a MUST to:

binge on local side walk foods such as the pad thai

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eat cockroaches and other insects that are deemed not edible in your local country

crickets. 10 baht for picture taking (that explains the blurry part of this photo)

crickets. 10 baht for picture taking (that explains the blurry part of this photo)

use a tabo (water dipper) as your ‘solo’ shot glass when drinking beer

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in accordance to the item above, use a straw when drinking a beer

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shisha everywhere

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dance the gangnam style again (we went there gangnam style was at its peak)

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take an obligatory photo with a tuktuk

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take an obligatory photo with the famous “I love Kao Shan” edifice

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take an obligatory photo of an authentic Siamese Cat

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dance your heart out w/ some street urg, break dancers

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use some shopping for souvenir shirts at 150 bhat each.

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have an authentic thai massage – before your drinking binge (not a good idea though haha)

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and well, just get drunk and be with drunk, happy, crazy people from all over the world.

Let’s get lost in THAILAND – Thai Food yum yum!

finally! authentic thai food!!! (at half the price compared to Pinas lol)… for 50 baht (75Pesos), i had tom yum already, its roughly 300P per serving in Thai restos back home.

so how do i describe my ‘authentic’ thai food experience? spicey, fragrant and oily lolz…. but very delicious. my type of food! i specifically loved their fried rice… there’s just way too many things happening in their fried rice….lol.

indulge!

tom yum - pambansang thai food - pinoy perspective

tom yum – pambansang thai food – pinoy perspective

spicy fish fillet

spicy fish fillet

some random spicey chicken meal

some random spicey chicken meal

epic dessert!

epic dessert!

street food menu, cheap as pinas.

street food menu, cheap as pinas.

tom yum and fried rice, makes an awesome combo

tom yum and fried rice, makes an awesome combo

hilaw na mangga bangkok style

hilaw na mangga bangkok style

crickets. 10 baht for picture taking (that explains the blurry part of this photo)

crickets. 10 baht for picture taking (that explains the blurry part of this photo)

pork barbeque 10 baht per stick

pork barbeque 10 baht per stick

pad thai! my first authentic thai meal

pad thai! my first authentic thai meal

dinner by the beach.

dinner by the beach.

Be Careful with My Heart…bow!

Kute, Mamang and Lola mamang's bed

Kute, Mamang and Lola mamang’s bed

admittedly im dead crazy with this serye not just because of the kilig factor it brings, but also how the whole ‘kapit bisig’ concept has brought promise and hope to my own life… im such in a melodramatic mood right at this moment so this serye’s existence fit perfectly for me. it’s a huge #GV moment for me every time i watch it on streaming before i go to sleep. at least i sleep w/ a smile. naks.

anyways when the opportunity came for me to check on one of its location shoots, without second thoughts i readily said yes. special thanks to Mervin of pinoyadventurista.com for letting me tag along w/ his trip to Pila Laguna, home of Kute and Little Pard’s Chibugan.

Pila Laguna is around 2 hours away from Manila via buses bound for Sta. Cruz. fare is around 100P. the famed ‘Little Pard’s Chibugan‘ house is just around the corner of the town plaza where the famous Church of San Antonio de Padua (w/c is also being used as a backdrop for the serye) is also located. finding it is a no brainer since most (if not all) of the locals know where it is located. they even know the schedule of the shooting.

the marker

the marker

the church facade...

the church facade…

a few distance of walking and across this street....

a few distance of walking and across this street….

...is Little Pard's chibugan!!!!

…is Little Pard’s chibugan!!!!

the polka dots promo - unli rice was still ongoing when we visited haha!

the polka dots promo – unli rice was still ongoing when we visited haha!

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inside the house....

inside the house….

pancit palabok merienda after touring the Pila town poblacion...

pancit palabok merienda after touring the Pila town poblacion…

thank you very much pinoy adventurista! ( who also is a fan of this serye haha)

thank you very much pinoy adventurista! ( who also is a fan of this serye haha)

My Sinulog 2013… on miracles and hang overs

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So its exactly the sunday after the Grand Sinulog festival last week. im back in my quaint little town of Baliuag and have ‘almost’ fully recovered from the illness it brought me which surprisingly manifested only on wednesday…yes i got sick w/ flu last wednesday until about yesterday.

when i returned i immediately immersed myself w/ my pending deliverables at work (and plus the flu) so it took a quite a bit of time for me to savor the after effects of the country’s most festive and most grand revelry for the Holy Child – the Senyor Sto. Nino.

compared to the previous years, this Sinulog was a challenging one for me as i almost did not make it to Cebu. Maybe it was divine providence that i made all through with it at the very last minute (i was even the last one to check in on my flight!) thus explains the countless times i shed a tear during the festivities.

last one to check in...

last one to check in…

this year’s Sinulog became quite unique also as i made it a point that i finally affect my Sinulog 2012 prinsipyo of ‘on the sidelines’ this year in full force. for one, i did not register in the photo contest thus no ID for all access pass. for 2, although i did brought my DSLR, 70% of the time it was left at home, i captured memories only through my phone…lol. and lastly, the family (not only me) became very active w/ the religious activities of the fiesta, topping the list is our very first ‘impromptu’ participation at the fluvial parade. it was also our first time to be entrepreneurs for Sinulog (kwento sa baba).

all geared up pero hindi nagshoot.

all geared up pero hindi nagshoot.

i wont make this long (again). photos and captions should immediately follow:

insert background music Lifedance and Sinulog 2013 party theme:

Thursday – Arrival.

what should be done upon touch down? run towards the Basilica Menor del Sto. Nino to catch the last Novena mass for the night.

see the video below as the people dance thru the Sinulog ‘Pit Senyor’ song (“Sampit” or Call on the Senyor)

priest: Pit Senyor sa mga way uyab kini..(Call on the Senyor…for those not in a relationship!)
Tof: PIT SENYOOOOOR!! hehe!

After that heart felt and heart warming Sinulog dance at the Basilica, its time to start the sleepless yet fun nights that equates sinulog weekend. first stop: Open Mic Banawa Cebu.

solo performance.. well applauded. lolz

solo performance.. well applauded. lolz

Open Mic Banawa

Open Mic Banawa

Friday – preps for the fluvial parade.

the whole day was spent as we ready ourselves for saturday’s fluvial parade. toka toka kami ng assignment.

Mom had to endure the heat and the sun just to commute towards Carbon and buy flowers for the fluvial, she had to ‘suffer’ the long lines and the sea of people in the Basilica just for her to buy an image of the Holy Child.

knowing my mom who’s such a Donya, who has her own car and driver, never rides a jeep and calls for a specific taxi franchise – walking, jeepney rides, and standing in long lines under the heat of the sun – and to endure all these w/out her showing a slight sign of weary, is her own miracle story that she was very proud to tell the world.

another form of an 'all access' pass lol

another form of an ‘all access’ pass lol

Dad on the meantime had to juggle his time w/ his festival racket (mobile / portable bleachers) and the negotiations for the boat. (i became his errand boy from running over the permits to paying the boats men to fetching mom). at nahuli pa sila ng CITOM (Cebu’s equivalent of the MMDA) but we were all able to finish everything hours before the fluvial. another mirace story worth the broadcast.

dad's racket - mobile bleachers

dad’s racket – mobile bleachers

while i was the errand boy, i had to do everything that has to be ‘rushed’. Cebu is fast becoming a traffic burden but my own miracle story was that all of the roads i took was fast moving…the rest were a stand still. i was able to get the permits for the mobile bleachers (in Panagda-it Mabolo), buy the cloth to design our boat (SM City Cebu), fetch mom ( in Escario), fetch dad and talk to CITOM officials (in High-way Mandaue), exchange cars w/ my brother (in IT Park, Lahug) and was still able to rush to Mactan to meet up w/ the boat’s men. and when i thought my day will end just before midnight, i had to rush w/ my dad to the mardi gras route in Jones Ave. to supervise the mounting of the bleachers until around 1 AM. my own miracle story? besides being all over Cebu city in a day w/ out the traffic, i was able to sandwich 30mins of shopping for my Sinulog outfit in SM Consolacion – COnsolacion people! beat that!

Cebu po ito hindi Lanuza (papuntang Ortigas)

Cebu po ito hindi Lanuza (papuntang Ortigas)

Saturday – all for the Senyor.

the boys, all prepped up!

the boys, all prepped up!

Saturday had to start at 1AM when we left Jones ave. to go home. i knew there’s no chance at all to shut my eyes as we arrive everybody in the house was busy cooking, preparing the shirts to wearing, preparing all our Sto Nino images (dressing them up) etc etc. every body was just so excited.

and brotha becomes an impromptu florist - look at his masterpiece.

and brotha becomes an impromptu florist – look at his masterpiece.

bestt fluvial boat designer (kurtina inspired) goes to: ME!

bestt fluvial boat designer (kurtina inspired) goes to: ME!

we arrived at around 330AM in Mactan. there were already other groups who are already there for the fluvial. the mood was already very festive as drum beats has already engulfed the area. despite the very cold early morning sea breeze that we had to endure, we wasted no energy and time and started decorating the boat (kami na ang mga boat and floral designers lolz). not for long at around 5AM we started our journey towards the fluvial procession…and the rest was history.

Pit Senyor!

Pit Senyor!

me dancing... kung alam nyo lan ang dasal ko dito...

me dancing… kung alam nyo lan ang dasal ko dito…

AYJ Global family

AYJ Global family

the fluvial parade ended at around 9AM and we were home at around 10AM. i only got about an hour or so of sleep as i again had to prepare for the grand foot procession w/c was to start at 1PM. i already felt the fatigue but i knew i had to push myself and sacrifice a bit for the Senyor. another miracle, in these kinds of scanerio, its is almost close to impossible to find a taxi ride towards the procession route. i do not know how time, fate and the heaven’s connive but it took me only 5mins. and out of nowhere a taxi stopped on my front and agreed to send me to the nearest passable area of the procession route – in Jollibee Gorordo.

solemn foot procession

solemn foot procession

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the procession ended at around 7pm, and due to SUN Cellular’s incompetency, i was separated w/ the rest of my friends so i ended up going home alone. the going home part was a bit of a struggle but i still managed to be home at around 9PM. i ate dinner, raised my legs against the wall for a while and i was back in my ‘ngarag’ self and ready to party till the wee hours of sunday morning. Sonic Boom – Sinulog Blast off w/ cousins, Alchology and Mango w/ Ian and friends, and finally crossroads w/ Bryan and friends. i needed to be home by 5AM as my brother has to use his car (ginamit ko kasi sa inis ko sa kanya nung sat lol).

Sonic Boom w/ Urbandub, the Ambassadors and my cousin

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John of Urbandub!

John of Urbandub!

best in 'blard' - the Ambassadors

best in ‘blard’ – the Ambassadors

cousin dear!

cousin dear!

Alchology

i think the video says enough.

the Crossroads – Alejandro’s, VUDU and Distillery

w/ Daphne!

w/ Daphne!

w/ Bryan and friends.

w/ Bryan and friends.

Slater's Ferrari

Slater’s Ferrari

Sunday – the big day

i was able to power nap for about 5 hours. by lunch time again i was on my feet and was already driving towards Ayala mall (i just needed to be there lolz). this day was so jampacked but it was quite more than my usual mardi gras sunday… again no SLRs, no all access IDs, no contingent friends from Lanao del Norter (hindi ako nagpakita lol), no Sundae Shutters…sad, and i was paint free lolz.

i sold beer, ginabot, lumpia, i almost got arrested for selling beer, pee’d at the gutters, screamed like a fan towards my sentimental crush Kaye Abad. ngumanga ng bonggels towards slater and paul jake (as if we didnt party at the crossroads a night before)…and yes Maya and Sir Chief hahaha! I wont mention na lang that i thought the gutters of yellow cab in Mango was my bed hihi…

btw, i must say, i shuldnt have broken the tradition of fireworks display watching in ayala, ang pangit ng sa crown regency…

my sunday ended at around 1AM, man my eyes are involuntary shutting itself already and i still need to be home.

Beer for sale!

Beer for sale!

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our ginabot and lumpia station - racket no. 2

our ginabot and lumpia station – racket no. 2

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waley

waley

ubusin na yan!

ubusin na yan!

Monday – bed ridden.

Tuesday – home base… naiwanan ng flight hahaha!

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and that was how my sinulog 2013 fared. cant wait for 2014! sama ka?

CRAZY AND AWESOME THINGS WE DID IN KOREA – Teddy Bear Museum hungkyuuut!!

im not a fan of teddy bears but this trip to Seoul’s teddy bear museum located at the N Seoul Tower was definitely the cutest (insert overhwelming gigil factor) among all the places we’ve been in Korea. everything was so cute and cuddly i almost brought one home (i do not know how i got hold of my control mechanims, it was a good thing though that i didnt gave in to the urge – this time).

anyhow i will not make this long, photo overload should follow immediately. details at the bottom of this page.

the museum has two areas, one depicts the historic korea under the Joseon Dynasty and the second area is all about the modern, contemporary Korea (i must say Koreans really revere their culture, a trip to Seoul si like 70% culture and 30% shopping lol).

entrance to the museum

entrance to the museum

so big but so cute

so big but so cute

pa kiss!

pa kiss!


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OLD KOREA – JOSEON DYNASTY

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MODERN KOREA

the best to - BBOI lol! they'r actually moving and dancing (breakdancing to be exact) lol

the best to – BBOI lol! they’r actually moving and dancing (breakdancing to be exact) lol


the Malacanan of Korea - Blue House

the Malacanan of Korea – Blue House

shopping capital

shopping capital

master chef teddy bear edition

master chef teddy bear edition

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super junior teddy bear edition

super junior teddy bear edition

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OLD TEDDY BEAR COLLECTION (dated as early as 1902)

creepy ng slight lol

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tips:

the teddy bear museum is located at the N Seoul Tower observatory, so usually tourist go for the package rate of 14,000 KWon or (560P) this both for the museum and the observatory already.

museum and tower opens from 10am to 10pm 7 days a week.

Directions
1. Intracity Bus
– Get off at Namsan Library and walk 15~20 minutes. Take Bus No. 0014 or 402 at Seoul Station (Subway Line No. 1, Exit #4)

2. Taxi: Take a taxi from in front of Exit #6 of Dongguk University Subway Station, Line No. 3. (15-minute ride)

3. On foot: Walk 30 minutes from Exit #3 of Myeong-dong Subway Station or walk 40 minutes from Namdaemun Market Subway Station, both located on Line No. 4

4. Belt-line Bus (Yellow Bus No. 2)
– Get on the bus in front of Daehan Cinema at Exit #1 of Chungmuro Subway Station (Line No. 3 and 4), or Exit #6 of Dongdae Ipgu Subway Station (Line No. 3)
– 5-8 minute intervals
– Hours: 8a.m.-midnight
– Fee: Cash 550 won, Transportation Card 500 won (Transfer possible)

5. Cable Car
At Exit #3 of Myeong-dong Subway Station, Line No. 4, walk toward Pacific Hotel and then walk 10 minutes to the Namsan Cable Car.
Running hours: 10:00~23:00
Fees: Ages 14 and over (Round-trip ₩7,500 / One-way ₩6,000), Ages 7 to 13 (Round-trip ticket ₩5,000 / One-way ₩3,500)