Korea ‘feels’ is just a two-hour drive away from Manila

Published August 6, 2021, 1:32 AM

by Ardee P. de los Angeles

Any Korean telenovela or K-pop fan would love a chance to visit, take pictures, and get into that Joseon Dynasty feels. Good news is, you can do this here in the Philippines. Bad news though, you have to wait until the lockdowns in the metro and the nearby provinces are lifted.

Once travel is allowed, no need for that plane ticket for now. All you have to do is to travel to the Korean temple in Cavite as a start for the day. The place is about an easy two-hour drive from Metro Manila. Located in Pooc II in Silang, Cavite, it can easily be found via Google maps or Waze. Read on as we suggest places and activities for a day of Korean escapade.

A quiet time at the temple

When you get to the temple, parking is available on the right before you enter the gates. Please bear in mind that the temple is sacred and not a tourist destination. It is best to approach the guard and ask politely for permission to enter the grounds and take pictures.

Gate of the Korean Temple

Take your shoes off when you enter the temple and observe silence. Depending on the day and availability, you should also be able to borrow Korean garb to complete the look for a photo opportunity.

This temple is also known as the Manila Buddhist Meditation Center and is mentioned to be the first Korean temple founded in the Philippines. People come here for a retreat and to meditate, or to just escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Opening time is at nine in the morning. We suggest you come here early in the day and then continue your Korean adventure by having lunch in Tagaytay, which is about an hour’s drive away.

A closer look at the Great Hall

Hearty Korean lunch in Tagaytay

Highly recommended is Neul Bolm Korean Restaurant located along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay. This place offers authentic Korean dishes that you see when you watch your favorite K-dramas.

Korean favorites such as japchae, jeyuk bukum, and kimchi are all mouthwatering favorites.

Just remember that the restaurant only takes cash payments and is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check its Facebook page first for any announcements or health protocols.

Stopover at a Korean grocery

After lunch, the Korean experience continues with a stop at the Wanchu Korean Mart along Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa Road. Time to bring home and stock up on your favorite desserts and Neoguri noodles that’s full of spice and goodness.

Authentic Korean dinner plus K-drama

If you want to end the day with a complete Korean experience, we suggest you finish at home and order Korean food for dinner. We recommend Jehnis Korean Pantry, found on Instagram and Facebook. This provider is a food delivery service for authentic Korean fare to Metro Manila residents. Order tteokbokki, jjajangmyun, or bibimbap while you watch the latest K-drama on Netflix. A midnight snack of the goodies you bought from the Korean store should be something to look forward to as well!

After a full day, you’ll be ready to hit the sack and be part of the army as you dream about BTS and visiting the real Korea as soon as the pandemic is over.

 
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