Lifestyle

"I Went to Korea to Find These Korean Drama Spots!"

And you can, too!
IMAGE Ana Gonzales | instagram.com/anagon

From Japanese drama and Terrace House, I tried watching Korean dramas just late last year when a friend sent me a link to Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (also known as Love in the Moonlight). I had no expectations, but then I slowly caught myself finishing at least one episode every night! When I started eating more bibimbap and bingsu, and following Korean actors' Instagram accounts, I knew I was hooked! Since then, I never stopped my nightly K-Drama habit, moving on to next "recommended" ones every time I finish a series.

As for my K-Drama Tour Instax series, it happened very randomly, a personal project that I came up with just the night before my flight. It wasn't my first time in Korea, so I've already covered most of the country's must-see places and the usual tourist spots. My original plan was just to catch springtime in Seoul, my favorite season.

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Since I had around five days, I realized that I needed a game plan to maximize this trip. Aside from spotting cherry blossoms, I listed a K-Drama Bucket List with shooting locations and Korean drama experiences. From just three to five, my list grew to 10+ sites and activities with at least one for each K-Drama I've seen. Because I'd be traveling solo, I printed Instax photos from the K-Drama scenes as my travel guide. With the language barrier in Korea, it's also easier to ask for directions when you just show a photo of where you're heading.

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At the airport while waiting for my early flight schedule, I dined in a cafe and took out the list to search online for their addresses or the nearest subway. Then I arranged them by subway line number, all handwritten at the back of my AirAsia receipt. I was almost all set by the time I boarded the plane.

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And because I love Candymag.com, I am sharing my #KDramaTour itinerary to you below!

Goblin

Entrance Fee: Free
How To Get There: Anguk Subway Station Line 3, Exit 4. Walk straight from exit until you reach Duksung Women's University.

I stayed near Seoul National University of Education Station Line 3, so I looked for a place in my bucket list that's in the same line number. Turns out, the lone location in Line number 3 is the Goblin's House!

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Legend of the Blue Sea

Entrance Fee: Free
How To Get There: Get off Myeong-dong Station. Look for the cable car of Namsan Tower (I used Google Maps). Heo Joon Jae's house is just before climbing the stairs to the cable cars. Address: 29 Sogong-ro 4-Gil

It took me long walks and many wrong turns just to get here! My clue from research is that it's near the entrance of Namsan Tower's cable cars. I followed the tower from Myeong-dong, and since "Heo Joon Jae's House" is not in Google Maps (lol), I typed in "Namsan Cable Car." 

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Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Entrance Fee: Free
How To Get There: Get off Gireum Station Subway Line 4, Exit 3. Take a bus (171, 1112, 1213, 7211) to Kookmin University. Just cross the street from the university and go down the stairs. You'll see Bok Chicken is on the left side.

In time for dinner, I chose to navigate Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo's Bok ChickenI love love the Goblin and Heo Joon Jae's houses, but I was even TEN TIMES KILIG when I saw Bok Joo's! All Weightlifting feels came rushing back!

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The Heirs

Entrance Fee: Just buy a drink (5900 KRW for the Mango Coconut Smoothie)
How to get there: Sinsa Station Line 3, Exit 8

Park Shin Hye worked here in the classic K-Drama The Heirs. Found a branch near Sinsa Station, although it's not the same as the one from The Heirs (which is in Gangnam). I ordered the Mango Coconut Smoothie, the same drink Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin had! Super unique combi, and it's yummy.

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Goblin

Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: Yongdap Station Line 2, Exit 2

Funny story, I got so excited and immediately took so many pictures on the first bridge I saw from Yongdap station's exit, only to realize that it was the wrong one! Had to go up a few flights for the right bridge. So remember, it's the one with the white bars. Anyway, there was almost no passerby when I took photos here, so you can have your "Grim-Sunny-jade ring moment." Hehe.

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Cheese in the Trap

Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: Gangbyeong Station Line 2
For the actual Coffee Bay from the series: Gasan Digital Complex Station Exit 4

It's not the same branch where Hong Seol worked as a cashier/barista in the series, and I wasn't able to dine because of time constraints, but hey, it's a Coffee Bay cafe!

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Legend of the Blue Sea

Riverside Spa Land
Entrance Fee: Basic rate is 9000 KRW
How to get there: Gangbyeong Station Line 2

Jimjilbang is Korea's version of a traditional public bathhouse, which has been on my Korea travel bucket list for a while now. Finally got to try it during this trip, and at the same branch where they shot scenes from LOTBS!

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Descendants of the Sun

Entrance Fee: Free, my coffee was around 4800 KRW
How to get there: Jeongja Station Line B, Exit 3

Ended my second day with a cup of latte in the classic K-Drama cafe: Dal.Komm! I've seen this logo so many times in several dramas like Descendants of the Sun, but I realized that I haven't been in one on any of my Korea trips. The actual shooting location is usually far, but I spotted a branch in Seoul through Google Maps, and it's an easy walk from the train station. 

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Goblin

Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: City Hall Station, Exit 1

Passed by this area during our Deoksugung Palace walking tour with Trazy. Several scenes in Goblin were shot here, including the one in my Instax print. It's also the place where Kim Shin first met the Grim Reaper. 

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

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Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: City Hall Station, Exit 1

The backdrop in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo after she had her "first date" with obesity doctor and her big-time crush Jung Jae Yi. It is actually in front of Seoul Museum of Art, which we also accidentally passed by during the Deoksugung Palace walking tour with Trazy.

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My Love from Another Star

Entrance Fee: 13.5 USD
How to get there: Yeouinaru Station Line 5, Exit 3

It's a 30-minute leisurely cruise around Seoul's Hangang River. Aside from spotting popular landmarks like the Namsan Tower and National Assembly Building, the cruise also reminded me of my favorite love team Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi from My Love from Another Star. They even played the drama's theme song on the boat!

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Legend of the Blue Sea

Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: Yeouinaru Station Line 5, Exit 3.

Didn't realize this was a Legend of the Blue Sea shooting location, but I immensely enjoyed my stroll around Hangang Park on my way to my cruise schedule. It was where Heo Joon Jae and his mom watched fireworks when he was a kid. Only found out thanks to Instagram comments when I posted this photo! Aside from this park, which is now my new favorite place in Seoul, also in the area is the 63 Square where Shim Cheong "worked" as a mermaid.

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I can't pinpoint just one reason why I am so hooked with K-Dramas. Sure, there are the super handsome oppas and poreless leading ladies with the most kilig love stories ever. I also admire their cute sense of style, and get a serious case of LSS with their OST. But above that, I noticed that in most Korean dramas that I've watched, the main character always puts value in hard work, loving one's self, and showing how important families and friends are in their life.

Also, I always get all sorts of ~*feels*~ for every episode that I watch, so I guess relatability is the ultimate K-Drama charm. And being in the exact same spot where I've watched a good scene, I can almost hear the theme song playing! In a way, it makes me feel like I am even closer to my K-Drama type of happy ending. ♥

What K-drama shooting locations do you want to visit in the future? Share them with us below or via Twitter @candymagdotcom. We always love hearing from you. :)

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Ana Gonzales
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Bulletin
A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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