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FoodAdventure vlog

Buffet Tips at Buffet101

Craving for a lot of things, food that you are not sure of what exactly it is, and what you only know is you want to eat something delicious? I know, I do too crave like that. If you have an extra budget then maybe buffet dining is the answer. In a buffet, your favorite food could be there and satisfying your unknown craving. However, be careful.. Don’t just jump right into it and devour everything right there. That’s not the wisest thing to do. So below are some of my tips in dining at a buffet.

1. Go for small portions of everything – buffet can be very overwhelming, and if you are a slapsoil like me.. food everywhere and eat all you can is such a heavenly experience. However, your belly has limits so if you want to try everything.. go for small portions.. like 1 spoonful only, that small, yes that small.

2. Start with a soup or salad – prep your belly before the fight, salad or especially soup will inform your stomach and the high water content of it makes it easy for your lovely belly to handle the next round.

3. Take a chocolate break – it sounds weird, yep! but chocolate will reset your sense of taste and rebalance your blood sugar after chowing down that savory food you took. This perks you up and gets back you on track in the game.

4.. Avoid fizzy drinks – this is a very common restaurant technique, for their customers to feel full.. though they are an eat-all-you-can buffet and they have expected already the maximum person’s ability to chow down food.. they still prefer to further limit that. And you don’t want to miss your favorite food because you feel full, don’t you?

5. Drink tea after – after you gorging all those food time for post-buffet damage control! Drink tea especially a peppermint tea to aid your digestion and reduce the bloating or nausea.

So, I hope you enjoy your dining experience, Buffet101 is located in City Time Square, Mandaue. If you are not familiar with City Time Square it’s across Parkmall.

Categories
FoodTrip Korea

Foods We Tried in South Korea

To easily immerse and experience a country that you are visiting, trying their food is the quickest and one of the enjoyable ways. When we went to Seoul, South Korea below are the foods we tried that are not available yet here in Cebu (that I’m aware of). As we all know Samgyeopsal is already here in the Philippines and almost every Millenials love and tried it already so we stay away from it and look for foods that are not yet in the Philippines or Cebu.

Hotteok

hotteok in Nami
Hotteok in Nami Island

Hotteok or hoddeok is one of the popular street food in South Korea. It has a similarity to our own Piyaya because it has a sweet filling and good to eat when it’s still warm. Unlike Piyaya that is flat Hotteok is more of a bread-ish pancake kind and fillings may differ from vendor to vendor but based on my observation red bead is the most common filling.

Grandma’s Toast

Grandma's toast at Namdaemun market

Well, this is a toasted bread sandwich in which the fillings are eggs with cabbages and carrots that are formed as “patty”, a sprinkle of sugar, and a little spread of ketchup. The “grandma” part is some sort of branding I guess, though it could be because the cook is an old woman. Grandma’s Toast is perfect as breakfast food though this can be a whole day food actually. We tried one in Namdaemun.

Egg Bun

Seoul egg bun

This one is interesting, it’s a cake-like or muffin-ish bun with an egg inside. At first, I thought the sunny-side-up egg was on top but the egg is actually a boiled one that is sitting at the center of the bun while the tip is showing on top exposing the yolk.

Taffa-TA RAE

tae-rae

Taffa-ta rae or Korean court cake is a desert of the royals and guests. The fillings either chocolate or candied nuts (taste like Cebu’s Masi in Liloan) are covered by a thread-like dough of up to16,000 strands. If you eat it cold or frozen the thread dough will become fragile and powdery and not sticky anymore (though it’s not really that sticky – a dough kind of stickiness).

taffa ta-rae

Tom’s Farm flavored nuts

honey butter walnut
honey butter walnut

I think it’s their famous snack as of now because I see this everywhere. I think the most famous one is walnut coated with honey butter cause they have this boutique in Myeongdong that carries the Honey Butter Walnut flavor (I assume this is their flagship flavor) though they have many flavors available.

toffee latte almond

Below are other street foods while exploring Myeongdong.

Seoul streetfood
other street foods
daichi
Daichi, it’s like Cebu’s masi but with sweet powder coating
Categories
Adventure Korea Travel

Shopping in Korea: Myeongdong or Namdaemun?

Filipinos when traveling will always make time to look for “pasalubong” or souvenir and here in Korea, there are 2 known places where you can find those items.

Myeongdong street is a shopping area where international fashion brands, as well as luxury ones, are located. Cosmetic shops, Beauty bars, cafes, and nightlife can also be found here. Streetfood lovers don’t frit, they also have it here.

myeongdong

If you want to catch a big sale, visit Myeongdong shopping district during their festivals which happens twice a year. Visit at the end of March to the middle of April or the month of September; besides product sale witness also parades, fashion shows, dance performance, and other activities.

International and known brands you can find in Myoengdong are Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, H&M, Zara, Forever 21, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, Addidas etc.

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun market is like the Divisoria of Seoul, it is a traditional market and it is the oldest and largest market in Korea.

Namdaemun market

Unlike in Myeongdong, here you can find ginseng roots in bottles and dried products for your cooking and health needs. There are stores that sell used cameras, clothing, and shoes at a cheaper price, hanbok, and other souvenirs items that are inexpensive.

Namdaemun is open 24 hours but it’s more lively during at night starting from 10PM to 4AM where most stores are open and people are now flocking to shop.

Tips when shopping

When shopping for items (non-food) abroad, this is the time where you do the conversion of currency and see if it’s really a good deal.

  • Check first here in the Philippines or to your own country the items that you want to buy the price, then compare it with the pricing in the country where you visited if it’s cheaper.
  • If they’re the same in all aspects like quality, price, or even brand name then I suggest that it’s better to buy it in your country. It’s pointless to carry and add it to your luggage the items that you can just buy in your own country.
  • Make sure you check your own country’s customs as well as your visited country’s customs policy if they allow the items you are buying to be transported.
looking for something to buy
  • Make a list of what you want to buy. Unless you are a prince/princess, a king or a sultan, or you are just lucky enough to have overflowing cash then a list of items you want to buy is not necessary. Budgeting makes you a wise and humble shopper.
  • As much as possible don’t bring cash especially for tech-savvy countries like Korea. Make use of debit cards, credit cards, T-Money, or digital wallets because sometimes especially credit cards offer rebit or some perks (just do your research first). Korea is a safe country and it’s very less likely that you will be robbed in the streets but sometimes with the cash, you might misplace it or fall when you grab it from your pocket.
  • Utilize the tax refund, if you buy in Myeongdong most stores are offering tax-free claims. Refundable tax is 10% VAT; for cash refunds, you need a passport, credit card, receipts, and tax refund slip. Show it to the refund counter on the third floor, the departure floor, in front of gate 28 at Incheon International Airport.
  • Myeongdong and Namdaemun are not the only places where you can find great deals, especially in clothing. Check also near universities, where the stores’ target market is students. As you know students have limited cash yet love fashion so they are picky and quality conscious thus their prices for fashion items may not that high and the items are in good quality. This is what I noticed when we are heading to Trick Eye Museum where the closest university is Hongik University (Hongdae).
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FoodTrip treat alert

Free OG Card and Free half-dozen Original Glaze

Hey, check this out, if you are Globe Home subscriber check their Globe at at Home app as they might give you a gift voucher for this holiday. In my case, they gave me a free OG (Original Glaze) card in Krispy Kreme.

If they give you something else or you missed it you can still get the OG card for 195 pesos in Krispy Kreme parlors then if you register your OG card you will receive a half dozen doughnuts for free.

With your OG card, you will be entitled to have half a dozen every time you purchase one dozen original glazed doughnuts for 6 times in the duration of the card (1 year). Just like Starbucks’ free slice of cake for your birthday, you will also get a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts as there birthday treat for you.

As a member, be at the front row for their promos, announcements, contests, and invites to exclusive events. Get your OG card now and enjoy the treat, Happy New Year!!

Categories
Adventure Korea Travel

How to stay connected and not get lost in Seoul South Korea?

When you travel abroad, the internet is a necessity nowadays. When we went to Seoul, South Korea we tried looking for the internet pocket device for rent because it’s the cheapest way to get connected online. There are many options at the airport when you arrive however they change their policy and now require a credit card to be able to rent. In our case, none of us have a credit card so we opted to use the sim card.

Buy the SIM instead of Pocket wifi

The sim card that we chose was KT (Olleh) for unlimited internet for 5 days worth W27,500. Then we plugged it in my extra phone and turned it into an instant wifi hotspot for the 3 of us. South Korea has 3 major internet telecommunication players: SK Telecom, KT Corporation (Olleh), and LG UPlus.

The 5 days unlimited internet is actually worth it, we are always connected even under the subway or even when the train was moving. We did not experience any hiccup or lag for the whole duration.

Before going to South Korea, I also checked our local operators here in the Philippines if they offer roaming services and here’s what I found.



5 days duration

Price

Data Allocation

Operator abroad

App Monitor

Text Code to activate

GLOBE

Php550

Prepaid

Yes

550

500 MB

SK Telecom and KT (Olleh)

GoRoam app

ROAM SURF 550 to 2884

SMART

Php999

Prepaid

Yes

999

1GB

KT (Olleh)

Data Roaming Manager

ROAM ON to 333

Note: The above price and roaming service is as of December 2019.

Apparently, it’s way more convenient and cheaper to buy their sim in Korea than buying here ahead. In Korea, their 5days internet sim is unlimited whereas the operators here in the Philippines offer limited data allocation.

Pocket wifi is ~50% cheaper compared to sims but they need to be returned and if you are in a hurry to catch your check-in and boarding time that task will consume your time. Internet sim is way better because you don’t need to think about dropping by their kiosk to return their device. You can still use the internet up until the gates or even inside the plane (while still waiting).

Transportation and Convenience Store Card

One of the things to get while you are in the airport is the T-Money card. It’s a prepaid card for payment transactions in trains, buses, and taxis. You can also use this when you purchase something in their convenience stores, fast food, coffee shops, vending machines, unmanned locker rooms, and even in Everland Resort.

seoul

The T-Money card is W4,000 then we charged it with W10,000 first. Overall, we charged our T-Money of W25,000 for 5 days trip and still have a remaining balance. Recharge or Top-up your T-money through their major convenience stores such as GS25, CU, 7-ELEVEN, Ministop, emart24, 365PLUS, Story Way. You may also top-up through Tmoney vending machines, T-money service centers in subway stations (Seoul Metropolitan Subway Lines 1-8, Incheon Subway Lines 1-2).

You can see your balance in T-Money through an app called T-Balance or check on their terminal gates/NFC card reader devices when you tap it.

You may also go digital and download the app instead of buying the physical NFC card. However, the app only works for the phones running in Android 5 or above and NFC is functional. Supported credit/debit cards are VISA, Master, JCB, AmEx, and Union Pay only. Top-up and claim a refund through the app conveniently.

How to use the T-Money?

Put (tag) the card on a card reader for the payment.
Do not remove the card until the payment is completed (it takes about 0.5sec).

Bus
Tag the card at the center of a card reader upon riding until the beep is heard. The fees and remaining balance will be displayed on the card reader. When getting off the bus, you should tag again it to the card reader until the beep is heard to receive a transfer fee discount.

Subway
When you ride a subway, tag the card at the center of a card reader until the beep is heard. The fees and remaining balance will be displayed on the card reader. (It may be differently displayed when you transfer.) You should tag it in the same way when you arrive at your destination.

seoul at night

Taxi
When you get to your destination present a T-money card to a taxi driver. After the payment is completed, please make sure to retrieve the card and its receipt.

Others
When making a payment, present a T-money card to a convenient store, café, etc. where it is possible to pay by T-money. After the payment is completed, please make sure to retrieve the card and its receipt.

Source: https://www.t-money.co.kr/ncs/pct/tmnyintd/ReadFrgnKoreaTourCardEngIntd.dev

Google Map does not work properly in Korea

map

Yes, Google Maps is not that functional in South Korea because of there government regulations law or the Korean Spatial Information Management act that prohibits the exportation of Korean domestic geographical information.

Instead, download the app called Naver Map. This app guides you as you tour around, it shows you the best and/or less walking route both for metro trains and buses. It also calculates the transit time and real-time traffic information. It also has its subway map in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon.

South Korea’s transportation system is as good and convenient as Hong Kong and Singapore. I hope that someday our country will catch up and will have the same system as theirs. I really believe that Metro Rail transit is one of the solutions for our traffic problem in our country and I hope someday our government will invest in creating this transportation system in cities nationwide.

Categories
Adventure mindanao Philippines Travel

Dahican Surf Resort Review

When we arrived in Davao our first itinerary is Dahican Beach since it’s the farthest. From Davao City, it will take about 4 hours of land travel to reach to Dahican.

We booked the Dahican Surf Resort (DSR) for a night stay. The ambiance of the resort is fit for backpackers. Beds are not as comfortable as common resorts and some rooms have a hammock. The washing and comfort area is shared as well as the kitchen area.

They have a restaurant/bar called Surf Shack Beach Bar and Grill which is time-dependent; it is not open until the specified time. Though kudos to their food as it taste really good!

dahican
serenity and tranquility

The place is perfect for youngsters who seek a little adventure and at the same time a quiet place to chill and unwind for a little bit.

When we arrived in the resort, we did not see waves that fit for surfing similar to Siargao. However, their waves on the shore are perfect for skimboarding.

Tip: Bring food and water, they have a shared kitchen thus you can cook your own meal if you don’t want to order in their restaurant. Water is very important, there’s no nearby convenient store and the sari-sari stores may not have bottled water for sale.

Overall, the accommodation is not for someone who prefers comfort and convenient. It’s for people who’s standard is flexible and a backpacker character.