The Unspoiled Hinugtan Beach of Buruanga, Aklan

If you’re tired of the maddening crowds of Boracay island and you might want to go somewhere peaceful, with crystal clear blue waters, tall coconut trees, sparkling white sand, and virgin coast views, then Hinugtan Beach is the best for you.

Hinugtan beach in Buruanga, Aklan is a great seascape from the crowded beaches of Boracay island. It is located in the Westernmost part of Aklan and is a coastal Municipality that served as the secret hideaway of the province. It has remained unspoiled due to its proximity to Boracay island and with only a few tourists visiting easch year. This beach is quite similar to Boracay but smaller and older version of it.

This unspoiled beach is located on the foot of a hill with a kilometer of shore line, where guests are free to swim on the sea, lie on the sand, play volleyball or fresbee, take a nap on the bamboo cottages, ride on a swing, and other fun activities imaginable.

How to get here

From Boracay

The private boat that operates from Boracay to Hinugtan picks up guest from boat station 1. This day tour package cost 2, 500 pesos per person, for a minimum of 10 guests per trip (Lunch is included).

The 45 minute boat ride will surely leave its passengers in great awe with the panoramic view of limestone cliffs, crystal blue waters, and white shoreline of Hinugtan Beach.

From Iloilo

Since my bestfriend and I are coming from Iloilo, we hit the road by bus directly to Buruanga, Aklan. Go down the bus in Brgy. Alegria, Buruanga where the port is located and choose whether you want to reach Hinugtan by land or by sea. Ask suggestions from the locals especially when you are not sure about the weather. In our case we chose to ride the boat beause we don’t have much time to trek the hilly part before reaching hinugtan. We paid 600 pesos for our back and fort boat ride plus the sidetrip which is already good for two pax and travel time is 30 minutes. The boatride we had was a rollercoaster ride since the waves were so big and the boat was so small that it could only carry a maximum of 4 people (ka thrilling gne😅). Good thing was manong bankero was so expert in this field and he’s so accommodating that he even brought us to our resort. He fetch us the next morning and we had our sidetrip in Jambo beach resort. We stayed for about 2 hours on that beach mostly in the swing on a high tide.

But if you really want to go directly to Hinugtan beach by land with a 10 minute of trekking, you can negotiate the single motor driver to bring you there. Usually it will cost you 200 pesos (good for 1 or 2 passenger).

Note: prepare 50 pesos for the environmental fee

Overnight stay

Overnight stay is possible because a number of resorts are available along the beach. Expect that there’s no cell phone signal in most parts of the beach but electricity and water supply are very stable.

Since we brought our tent, we only payed 500 pesos for the accommodation plus the use of the common cr, pillows and foam (what a very comfy camp night).

Food

We didn’t spent much in food because we had our baons (sandwishes, canned goods, bottled water, and chichirias).

There are sari-sari stores available if you want to buy the basics like biscuits, chichirias and drinks.

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Well..experiencing paradise again does not mean spending too much of our hard earned money. We we’re able to enjoy our weekend with a minimum budget of 1,500 pesos only! (With san mig light while on the swing looking at the stars..charot). So, if you want to also experience the serene beach vibe of this unspoiled beach without sacrificing much of your savings, then bring your baons and tent! And bawal ang mag inarte!✌

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Beautiful Destinations in Seoul, South Korea

I am one of those who’se fond of binged watching K dramas and hmmn K pop. Well, korean artists, korean food, korean merchandise and anything korean were the reasons why we planned a trip to South Korea. We actually booked our plane ticket 8 months beforehand giving us enough time to plan and to save just enough for this dream trip.

Our first 3 days were spent in Busan, Korea which we really enjoyed so much from its flower farms, night life, beaches and streetfoods. After our 3 fully-loaded day in Busan, we were so ready for a Seoulful adventure. Although we’re tired and badly needed some rest, I was so excited to explore Seoul that moment. We we’re welcomed again by the chilly weather and of course with the fast pace lifestyle (literally people who walks too fast and who looked like they’re running after the other) of Seoul right after we went out the train station.

So here it is! Just a few snaps of our DIY 5 days 4 nights tour in Seoul, South Korea.

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

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Gyeongbokgung Palace is also known as the Northern Palace that was built in 1395 and the main royal Palace of Joseon Dynasty.

A must for tourist who visits Seoul for the first time. This is considered as the grandiest and most beautiful of all other five palaces in Seoul (Changgyeonggung, Gyeonghuigung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung).

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Visiting the palace wearing the traditional Korean attire, ‘Hanbok’ will grant you free entry into the palace while having the oppurtunity to fully embrace the Korean culture.

So, ready your camera and be prepared to capture beautiful archetectures and scenery in this palace.

2. Haneul Sky Park (하늘공원)

One of the most visited parks in Seoul. This park is situated near Seoul World Cup Stadium and is best to go during Autumn.

How to get here

Haneul Park can be reached by Subway from Seoul city center. Get off at the World Cup Stadium Station (Subway Line 6) and then take Exit 1. Right after we came out the subway station we got confused because we didn’t know which way to go from exit 1. Good thing was, google map and a step by step direction in getting here was screenshot by my friend. You may also look for the World Cup Park Map to guide to in reaching the park.

From Exit 1, just turn right and go around the stadium. Follow the big road and turn left to cross the street at the 4-way intersection. You’ll know that you’re near the park if you can see stairs on the hill. In parking lot area, there is a shuttle bus station that you can use to reach the top. We didn’t bought a ticket instead we decided to take the zigzag stairway with 291 steps to finally arrive at the Park.

180 of 291 steps
Bird’s house
Unluckily, just a few grass left for us.

3. Petite France

A French cultural village perfectly set in the Korean countryside! Petite France serves as both a French cultural village and a youth training facility (Goseong Youth Training Center). The village consists of 16 French-style buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French food, clothing, music and even household culture.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Little Prince

Little Prince is one of the concept of Petite France. This is also one of the filming locations of the famous ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘Secret Garden’.

4. Namiseom Island

If you’ve watched the famous K drama ‘Winter Sonata’ you’ll surely know that many scenes were shot in this place. Nami island or now called as the Naminara Republic as declared its independence from the Republic of Korea is a half moon-shaped isle near Seoul. One should never miss visiting Nami Island because of the amazing scenic experience each season thus, making it the perfect day trip from Seoul any time of the year.

You’ll surely enjoy the scenery when you go biking.

Cherry blossoms in spring.
If you’ve watched Winter Sonata you surely know about how romantic their first kiss was.

5. Garden of the Morning Calm

A 30, 000 square meter garden inspired by Korea’s nickname, ” The Land of the Morning Calm”. Nature lovers and photographers will surely enjoy the floral arrangements and lanscaped gardens built in harmony with the surroundings.

This is also one of the filming locations of the many Kdramas including the, “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”.

How to get here

Located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province north of Seoul. The Garden of Morning Calm can be reached within 2 hours by car.

For first-time travelers like us, taking a tour is one a great option if you want to save time. It is the most convenient way to visit the garden and other 2 famous tourist destinations nearby which are the Nami Island and Petite France.

Thousands of tulips in full bloom

6. Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon is a village where traditional Korean houses called hanoks are found. This Northern village is located between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palace. The streets of the village are lined with the traditional hanok houses where tourists could see the kind of life of the Koreans during the Joseon Dynasty 600 years ago.

Roaming around Bukchon village surely brings you back in time.

How to get here

By Subway

From Anguk Station Line 3 take Exit 2. Walk straight for about 300m

7. Everland

Aside from Kdramas, Kpops, cosmetics, food, culture and tradition, Seoul is also famous for their amusements parks. And one of the most reccommended parks is Everland!

We spent 1 whole day in this park and tried all the rides we could find including the most thrilling of all the T Express! We also had a chance experience the Lost Valley adventure where we board a particular vehicle and got a chance to interact with the wild animals that roam around freely.

Lucky us we were able to see thousands of tulips because of the coming tulips festival.

I don’t mind if it’s raining outside😂
Surrounded by thousands of beautiful flowers.

How to get here

By Subway & Bus – Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine) – Exit 3. Take the free shuttle bus to Everland.

8. N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower is located at the heart of the city atop Namsan mountain. It attracts tourists for its view atop especially the cityscape at night. This location was also featured in many Kdrama series such as “Legend of the Blue sea” and “My Love from the Star”.

N Seoul tower is also a great place to spend with friends and loved ones over a meal or a cup of coffee while taking in the beautiful cityscape.

How to get here

Public

From Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 4), Exit 2 → From Chungmuro Station Exit 2•Daehan Theater Bus Stop, take Namsan Circulation Bus No. 02 to N Seoul Tower Bus Stop

9. Myeong-dong

If you are looking for beauty items, hottest fashion trends and mouth- watering foods, then this district is the best for you to visit. This famous streets of Myeong-dong features food carts, shopping malls and entertainment. Any hour of the day the streets are packed with locals and tourist who enjoys their food, shopping and night life.

The best street foods ever!!!

For a hassle-free travels we klooked our day tour in 3 destinations which includes Nami Island, Garden of the Morning Calm, and Petite France. In addition, we also klooked our Hanbok rentals and N Seoul Tower pass.

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What to See and Do in Busan

I’ve read a few blogs and saw great photos of Busan that made me and my friend ended up with a decision to add Busan in our SoKor itinerary. It says there that aside from Seoul, Busan is now gaining attention and sees a steady flow of tourist.

Busan is located at the southern regions, a seaside town and considered as the second largest city in South Korea. And the city of Busan is a more chilled out and relaxed version of the more populated Seoul.

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We searched for beautiful spots to visit and of course what and where to eat in Busan. For us to save time and money on train tickets, we booked our 3 day korail pass (a railpass for foreigners that allows pass holder to take almost all trains operated by Korail in a selected period of time) early. We availed the unlimited KTX rides within 3 days and we really saved much on this.

Train to Busan

That’s it! We rode the train to Busan using our Korail pass. Luckily! No zombies running after us😂.

So, let me share to you our itinerary during our trip last April 10 to April 12, 2018. Here’s a breakdown of our itinerary, hope you’ll find it interesting and helpful for your next trip to Busan!

Haeundae beach, Busan Korea

# 1. Haeundae Beach

Haeundae beach is considered as Busan’s top beach destination. What I love about Haeundae is the fact that it’s a beautiful city but less crowded compared to other cities in Korea. There are restaurants all over the place and it is just a few meters away from the beach.

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Just a 10 minute of walk away from the beach there’s a handfull of chic bars, restaurants, and clubs in this area of Heaundae.

Street foods in Busan

Enjoying our tornado potato and korean spicy chicken skewers (dakkkochi) before we explored the beach. I suggest that you must try every street foods in Busan.

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At Haeundae beach we watched locals as they play and run after the seagulls (dami talagang seagulls jan lumipad lng).

How to get here

Take the metro to Haeundae Beach station Line 2 (Green Line), then walk to the beach about 10 minutes.

# 2 Gwangalli Beach

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Right after Haeundae beach we went directly to Gwangalli beach just 1.4 km away

Gwangalli beach is popular among Busan locals and is populated during weekends. The beach offers fine sand and clear blue waters. This is a perfect spot to see the lighted cityscape at night. You can watch the LED light show on the beach every hour after sunset. Every show last about 10 monutes.

How to get here

By subway take line 2 (green line) to Geumyeonsan exit 3. Do an about-face and turn right. Walk down about 3 blocks to the beach.

#3 Canola Flower Fields

The pink cherry blossoms was the main reason why we travelled to South Korea. But to my disappointment, the blooming peak was over and the flowers were falling from the trees when we reached Seoul and Busan. We just crossed our fingers that we could still catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms in some places in Seoul.

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Growing leaves of sakura trees were already evident when we reached Daegu.

We were kind of sad and disapointed but that mood was changed when we saw the vast fied of canola flowers. I didn’t expect that the yellow fields would be as beautiful as this. I really felt that this was like in a fairytale.

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How to get here

Take the metro line 3 and stop at Gangseo-Gu Office.

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#4. Gamcheon Culture Village

At about 1 in the afternoon my friend and I went directly to the Machu Picchu of Busan, the Gamcheon Culture Village. Gamecheon is the epitome of beauty and chaos rolled into one. The former slum is now a vibrant community with pastel colored and lego-like houses located at the foothills of a coastal mountain of Busan.

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When we arrived at Gamcheon we really got lost in its labyrinth of alleys. Getting lost in steep slopes and tiny alleys was actually fun becuase we were able to pass by the cute and artsy shops, cafes and art galleries.

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How to get here

Take the Subway Line 1 from Busan station to Toseong Station. Come out Exit 6. When you see an intersection, turn right at the corner and walk straight. You will then see a hospital on your right where the bus stop is located. Take either Bus # 2 or 2-2 that will take you to Gamcheon Culture Village.

#5. Taejongdae Park

Taejongdae park is viewed as the scenic yet rustic part of the southern most tip of Yeongdo-gu. Though the park is quite far from the city of Busan, the lush, thick forest, the blue sea and the rocky seaside cliffs is worth the visit.

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This was taken the first time we ventured the park at around 6 pm. The Danubi train which is the easiest way to reach the 5 major destinations of the park stops operating at exactly 5 in the afternoon. Since we were already late that time we don’t have any choice but to hiked all the way up here, where we were promised a view that would take our breaths away.

We were actually running because it’s almost dark when we reached the park.

We came back here the very next day since we were not satisfied with our first visit at the park. This time we were on time to catch the Danubi train and were able to visit the observatory station and Yeongdo lighthouse. We skipped the other 3 stations because we were already satisfied with the magnificient view at the lighthouse and were actually short in time.

How to get here

From Nampo station, take Subway Line 1 (Orange) and take Exit # 6. Walk to the Bus stop at the opposite of Lotte Department Store. Hop on the Bus #8/30/88 and drop at Taejongdae station.

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#6 Haedong Yonggung Temple (Haedong Yonggungsa)

This Buddist temple was built 1376 by the teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty, and was originally known as Bomun Temple in the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. The seafront location of Haedong Yunggong Temple made it unique among South Korea’s temple which are set amid the mountains. This temple is also referred as “The Water Temple” because of the breathtaking coastal views it offers.

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Buddists worshiping the golden Buddha

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12 zodiac human-sized stone figures

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Golden fat pagoda

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The 108 steps to the temple.

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The 8 storey pagoda marks the entrance of the temple

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How to get here

From Haeundae Station (Line 2), Exit 7 Take Bus 181 get off at Yonggungsa Temple and walk about 15-20 minutes to the main entrance of the temple or you can take a cab from the Haeundae Station

The temple is open daily from early morning until sundown with no entrance fee.

If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle city life of Seoul, then Busan is a must to visit. My friend and I experienced so much culture, food, and great people. We really had an amazing time and wished that we could have stayed longer.

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