Gyeongbokgung Palace, Yeouido and Ihwa Mural Village, South Korea
This blog post starts the one week journey I had with Samsung and Korean Tourism Organisation at South Korea. I honestly never thought that I would have such an amazing time and even if I’ve gone on a few trips since then, it’s still something I’m so hung up on. This project was actually first offered to Verniece but because she knew that it’s always been on my bucket list to travel alone, she gave me this instead. As per my previous blog posts, I was already there but I stayed behind for another two days to wait for the tour to start. My mom and Verniece extended with me till Saturday and by Sunday, I transferred to Intercontinental COEX in Gangnam and had the whole day for myself. I actually couldn’t believe I was in South Korea, in a 5 star hotel to work for such a prestigious brand and meet and rub elbows with the best of the best photographers around Asia. Just a little background, Samsung Asia chose a blogger, an amateur photographer, a professional photographer and two users per country around the region to join the NX Traveller Tour which is on it’s third year now and use their newest camera the NX500. They’ve been to Hanoi and Australia before but I’m lucky enough to be the part of the batch that will tour the country where the brand came from. For those of you who don’t know, Samsung’s the pride of Korea.
I woke up early Monday morning and had breakfast at 6:30 am sharp with the Philippine team and gathered in the lobby right after to meet the people I was going to be with 24/7 for the next seven days. I honestly had no expectations of what’s to come but I was more of both nervous and excited because I knew that something was gonna change with two things: 1. The way I took pictures 2. The way I am, even in the smallest way.
First on our agenda was the Samsung head office at Gangnam to tour their Samsung d’light exhibit. It was fun knowing about the different kinds of technologies they offered but I was really excited to start on with the tour. Off to Gyeongbok Palace!
I learned from our tour guide Emily (who I miss so much!!), that this was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and is the biggest of the ones built during his reign. With every fortress or main palace like this, guards protect it 24/7.
Koreans are big believers of Pungsu-jiri (it’s their own version of feng shui) and with every palace, there should be a mountain behind and a river flowing near it. I love that no matter how much this country progresses technology wise, they still preserved their culture.
I don’t know if you noticed but the way I took pictures was very different as compared to how I usually do. If you’re around professional photographers and your only job was to take pictures then I’m sure you would’ve felt the pressure I did. The pressure took me somewhere good though and I’m actually proud of every single one I took! Everyone kept taking photos of everything around us but themselves while I… of course….. took every opportunity to take pictures of myself. lol
Next stop was Yeouido Park for the Cherry Blossoms Festival. It’s a road filled with Cherry Blossom Trees but it was impossible to take a good shot because it was filled with hundreds of people. It was still a sight to see chessy couples taking selfies though :P Plus I got to try these fried silkworms after!
Coat, top, skirt, shoes and stockings all from Korea
Next up was Naksam park. We really appreciated the fact that KTO went out of their way to look for a place that was filled with Cherry Blossom trees with none around to photobomb our photos. It was heaven for me because not only did I get to see Seoul from the top but I got to take outfit photos as well! :P
Our last destination was actually my favourite one but sad that it was only then that the rain started to pour! Ihwa Mural Village was a very interesting place because if you think you’ve seen indie inspired everything, wait till you see this place. It’s filled with the most random but the coolest, cutest and amazingly drawn graffiti and murals. It’s all over the place! Ironically though, everyone who lived here are probably in their 60s and above so it’s funny that they have all of these all over! :P
It was a great kick off and I can’t wait to share with you more. If you think that these places are already amazing, wait till you see the rest ;)
Thank you to SAMSUNG and KOREA TRAVEL ORGANIZATION for arranging this trip.
All photos are taken using a SAMSUNG NX500. Outfit photos are taken by Xander Angeles or EJ Sarsoza.