Thursday, September 20, 2018

3 Beatiuful Observatories in Asia | They'll Be One of Unforgettable Moments in Your life.

If we are travelling to any city and want to know and see the attraction of the city at a glance, where should we go? It’s a city observatory in the city. 

Because it is usually located at the highest place of the city, we can see the whole city at a glance all the time. So we’d like to introduce 3 beautiful observatories in Asia.

1. Apsan Observatory

Daegu is the third biggest city in South Korea, which is a metropolis with the population of about 2.5 million. Unlike other famous metropolises like New York, London and Tokyo, there is a mountain called Mt. Apsan (Literally, it means a mountain in front of the city.) in the vicinity of the downtown area. It takes around 15 minutes to go from the downtown to Apsan Park by car.  And Daegu is an old and historical city where people have resided in Daegu since Old Stone age, around 20,000 years. Daegu has always been at the center of all Korean historical events. Daegu was one of the engines of the 1970’s and 1980’s Korean economy as well as an educational city with 5 universities. Apsan Observatory is the place where people can look down at and enjoy the harmonious blend of the dynamic past and the promising future in Daegu as well as that of the beautiful nature and the sophisticated city.

Perfect Place for Family & Couples

At night, if we look up at the southern sky, we can see a glittering light structure on the top of a mountain from almost everywhere in Daegu. This modernized light structure at Apsan Observatory is gleaming Daegu every night. The observatory is well-known especially for an amazing night view overlooking the whole city below at a glance. The gaze from the viewing point of the observatory at night makes people repeatedly let out exclamations of the enchanting view of city lights. Besides, it is one of the best sunset spots in Korea. The observatory provides you with an incredible panoramic view during sunset. So, it is an awesome place for a picnic with family, a date of lovers and a hike with friends. And it’s open for 24 hours.

There are two ways to reach the observatory; one is to go up there by cable car from Keungol. It takes 15 minutes. The cable car runs every fifteen minutes from 9 am to 7 pm every day. The other way, if you have enough time to enjoy the nature scenery or enjoy outdoor sports, is to hike up there.  On the way to the top, you can meet a Buddhist temple called An-il sa. And you can visit the temple and enjoy the really fresh and clear spring water in the temple to cool hikers’ sweat off.

Ways to Go up

* By Cable Car: Keungol Entrance - Cable Car - Apsan Observatory (3.2km, approx. 40min)

* Hike: Anjirang-gol Entrance - Anilsa Temple - Apsan Observatory (2.5km, approx. 1hr)

[Cable Car fare for Round-trip]
Individuals: Adults 9,500 won / Children 7,500 won
Groups: Adults 8,500 won / Children 6,500 won

[Cable Car for One-way fare]
Individuals: Adults 7,500 won / Children 5,500 won
Groups: Adults 6,500 won / Children 4,500 won

* Children (ages 4-elementary school students) / Groups (30 people or more)
* Daegu City Tour users: 20% discount for round-trip fare (only available for same day ticket-holders)
More Information : (only Korean)

Padlocks & Ribons

And thousands of padlocks are hanging on the cable guardrail of the observatory deck as lovers wish to last their love forever and friends wish to keep their friendship stronger. Love locks! As they would lock up and throw keys down somewhere in the forest, they resolve that their love or their friendship will not break their true love or their strong relationship until they find the keys and open their locks.

 What’s wrong with Secretary Kim? (김비서가  그럴까) (tvN, 2018)

Recently, the observatory has received much attention as a filming location thanks to its beautiful structure and incredible view. A Korean TV drama ended recently with 14 episodes, “What’s wrong with Secretary Kim?" (김비서가 그럴까) (tvN, 2018) was filmed here. This spot made the drama more romantic and the impression more long-lasting. After this drama was aired, the number of visitors is increasing.

Makgeolli & Pajeon  

And there is a cafeteria next to the cable car station on the top. It serves Korean traditional foods or some snacks and some drinks. The most Popular among visitors is Makgeolli, a milky rice wine with Pajeon(Korean veggie pancakes), and Eo-muk(fried fish cakes). Best of all, it has a rooftop balcony window. If visitors take window seats, it will provide them with amazing panoramic views while dining. But it’s close before 6 pm.

After descending the observatory, many beautiful restaurants including Korean and western ones are at the foot of Mt. Apsan. And if we walk along down the main street for 10 minutes, we can find Apsan Café Street. There are hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops.

Tour Course
- Course A :  Apsan Café Street - Apsan Observatory - Apsan Gobchang Street
- Course B :  Duryu Park/E-world Amusement Park- Apsan Observatory-Apsan Café Street

2. Mt. Luho View Deck

(Source : Philippines Tourism,

Boracay island is one of the most-loved places around the world. Mt. Luho is the highest point in Boracay island and many tourists love one of the tourist attractions, because it rises up to an altitude of 100 meters above sea level. Mt. Luho is a small mountain with a viewing deck and tourists can enjoy an amazing view of the east coast of the island. Luho view Deck is the most impressive viewpoint and the highest elevation (100 meters above the sea) in Boracay Island. it's not easy to climb up there, but it’s worthy of the view above Mt. Luho. The best way to go up there is to hike or take a mountain bike up and steep road going north from Barangay Bulabog, at the Eastern side of Boracay Island. And tourists can also rent a tricycle there. Renting a mountain bike or a tricycle will cost you from 150 to 300 pesos depending on your negotiation skills. Gazing the view at the top during the sunset is marvelous, but the sunrise is much more beautiful.

You need to be passing by a park and pay an entrance fee of Php 50.00. It offers some interesting attractions like wildlife reserve featuring the famous Philippine Eagle, several bird variety, snakes, the alamid (wild cat), monkeys and the bayawak.

And tourists can enjoy various kinds of water sports and many cheap sea-foods at restaurant on the white sands. They are reasonable prices, the qualities are quite good. And they can get a full massage at massage shops with ocean view.

3. Marina Bay Sands SkyPark

Marina Bay Sands is one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in the world. It became a representative landmark in Singapore. The observation deck of Marina Bay Sands SkyPark is located at one side of the rooftop area of Marina Bay Sands. From the high observation deck, visitors can enjoy watching the city and the docks including an impressive bird’s eye view of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s futuristic park and the amazing metal tree structures. The best time going up to SkyPark is early evening, because visitors can watch  Singapore by both day and night, and they may watch even a sunset. Skypark is open from 09:30 till 22:00 (at 23:00 at the weekend).
Heading to the observatory deck is not hard, take the MRT, the closest stop is Bayfront, and from there you need to walk via the luxury mall directly into the hotel lobby. Head to the registration desk at the bottom of tower three, there is an exclusive elevator to the 56th floor and the outdoor viewing area.
Read more at:

And visitors can enjoy Lighting show at 7 : 45 pm and Laser waterjet show at 8 : 00 at Garden by the Bay. They can enjoy various attractions and foods at night.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A WEEK IN KOREA: Travel from the ancient to contemporary Korea (Seoul - Daegu - Busan)


Gentle weather in fall presents a prime time to travel. If you are considering coming to Korea, September to November is an excellent time to go around without guarding yourself with heavy coat or sweating from scorching heat. If you are lucky enough to spare a week this fall, plan ahead and mark this itinerary to fully experience Korea through history from the ancient contemporary Korea. This itinerary spans 3 major cities in Korea: Seoul, Daegu and Busan, all of which are conveniently on the express train, KTX routes.

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea and had been the capital of Joseon Dynasty for more than half a century. Consequently, it has an abundant number of historical landmarks. Ranging from a traditional folk village to temples and Confucian academies, there are so many to pick from. We suggest you make sure to palaces in Seoul that you can’t easily fine elsewhere in South Korea.

DAY1 Changdeokgung Palace Gyeongbokgung Palace & Folk Museum
DINNER: Korean BBQ(bulgogi)

Gyeongbokgung Palace & Folk Museum

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the heart of the Joseon Dynasty that lasted approximately 5 centuries. When you start to learn Korean history, Joseon Dynasty is the name of kingdom that appears over and over. The impressive architecture and its serene garden will immediately put you back to 600 years ago. After exploring the palace, make sure to check out its folk museum filled with numerous items used by Joseon’s royal families.     

Changdeokgung Palace
When the previous destination, Gyeongbokgung, was broke down from fire during the Japanese Invasion of Korea, Changdeokgun Palace started to serve as the home of Joseon court for almost 300 years. Located on the east side of Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung boasts exceptional beauty of its garden and architecture harmoniously blending with the surrounding. For that reason, it was listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Changdeokgung is as historically significant as Gyeongbokgung Palace but there are fewer tourists. Continue your afternoon at this quiet palace.

Depending on your travel style, you can add 1 to two more spot in your itinerary like Jongmyo and Dseoksugung palaces.
When the tour is over, you can stay in Seoul and head to Daegu in the morning. Or, you can head to Daegu by KTX train so that you can stay at a quality accommodation at cheaper price. . What to do at night: local bars, trendy cafes, shopping, beauty care, massages, etc

KTX: Seoul Station - Dongdaegu Station (100min)
Booking: Let's Korail Application or website(click here)


Daegu was lucky that it was not main battlefield during the Korean War. Because of that, Korean people’s every day life had been realatively well preserved. In Daegu, you will be able to fast-forward in Korean history and explore Korea from the 20th century.

DAY 2 Daegu Modern Culture Street( Cheongna Hill, Museum of Medical Missionary Works, Jeil Church 3.1 Independence Movement Road Gyesan Cathedral Old House of Lee Sang-hwa the old house of Seo Sang-don) Daegu Modern History Museum

DINNER: Street foods at Seomun Market

Daegu Modern Culture Street
Cheongna Hill
If this is your first time in Daegu, we suggest you book your stay in downtown because most of the popular attractions and historical sites are centralized in and around the downtown! 10 minutes from Banwoldang Station is situated Cheongna Hill. The name was derived from the fact that the buildings on the hill were covered in “green ivy”. Here, you will see three residential buildings built in the early 20th century for American missionaries. Later in 1999 and 2001, they were renovated to become museums to display the early works of missionary endeavor and medical artifacts from the 1800s to 1900s.

Cheongna Hill

3.1 Independence Movement Road / Gyesan Cathedral
The secretive stairs leading to Cheongna Hill is called 3.1 Independence Movement Road where students marched through to avoid Japanese. At the end of the road, you will notice a beautiful gothic style cathedral designed by a French priest but built by Chinese. It is the 3rth gothic style architecture built in Korea and is also the only cathedral that still stands and was built in the 1900s.

3.1 Independence Movement Road

House of Yi Sang-hwa and House of Seo Sang-don
Continue walking through the street behind the cathedral and you will reach the old house of Lee Sang-hwa, a renown Korean poet, and Seo Sang-don. The persistence fights against Japanese invasion is an integral part in Korean history.

Daegu Modern History Museum
One important and fun museum to check out is Daegu Modern History Museum. The building was first built in 1932 for Daegu branch for Joseon Siksan Bank. In 2003, it was designated as Tangible Cultural Property No. 49 for preserving Renaissance style architecture that represent Modern days of Korea.

DAY 3: Inheung Village Mabijeong Mural Village
DINNER: Jjimdak (Korean Braised Chicken)

Inheung Village
It’s day 3! I imagine you have become accustomed to a different scenery and people speaking a alien language! Now, it’s time to challenge yourself and travel to the outskirt of a Korean city! The charm of Daegu city is the fact that it embraces advantages of both city and countryside. Only traveling for 30 minutes by subway from downtown, you will be able to see fields and farms scattered around the buildings. Take off at Daegok Station and take a cab(too challenging?) to Inheung Village! Within 5 minutes, you will reach a Korean traditional folk village where people are actually living! You are welcome to stroll around the village and enter some of the open houses. You will see how everyday people had lived in the old days. Spending a peaceful afternoon while watching seasonal botanicals is a bonus!

Mabijeong Mural Village
Only 5 minutes from Inheung Village by car, Mabijeong Mural Village attracts visitors from around the world. It became known to many tourists after the famous Korean TV show, Running Men, featured in the village. Here, you can do hand-on experiences such as hand mill drip coffee and also try many snacks and food from the 1980s.

DAY 4: The Memorial Hall of the 2.28 Movement for Democracy Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine
DINNER: Korean-style Fried Chicken

The Memorial Hall of the 2.28 Movement for Democracy
One of the proud moments in Korean history is people’s resistance against dictatorship. The first democratic movement that triggered a series of historical movements took place in Daegu. It is a great place to start learning Korea’s history of Democracy.

Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine
After a history lesson, dip your feet in warm water outside Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine. When you are ready, start exploring again!

You can choose to stay the night in Daegu for a relaxing end of the day or head to Busan to stay near the ocean.

KTX: Dongdaegu Station - Busan Station (50min)
Booking: Let's Korail Application or website(click here)


As its nickname “dynamic city” suggests, Busan offers number one destination for a short getaway to an ocean city among Koreans. Its popularity goes beyond nationality and many expats and tourists mark their trace to Busan to enjoy the vibrant vibe of the city. We pick Busan as our last stop to enjoy the contemporary Korea.

DAY 5 Gamcheon Culture Village Jagalchi Market Gukje Market Yongdusan Park

Gamcheon Culture Village is a colorful village located on the hill along the ocean. Small houses were painted with vibrant colors that beautifully blend in with ocean and mountain. The view from the village is also worth visiting. Later in the afternoon, hit Jagalchi Market and Gukje Market for tasty dinner. At night, blend in with everyone including locals and tourist at Yongdusan Park which open until 23:00.

Gamcheon Culture Village

DAY 6 Haedong Yonggungsa Temple > Haeundae Beach

Let’s not miss out some historical spot! Visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple built in 1376. It is an awe-inspiring spot with 108 steps to the entrance and 10-meter buddah statue. One more spot to not miss is Haeundae Beach where all youth of Korea is supposedly gather here during summer and warmer days.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

DAY 7 Spend another day in your favorite city!

For the past 6 days, you’ve been to 3 major cities in Korea. They boasts their own charms and we highly recommend you spend your last day on your favorite city(or add a day to a city)