How to Apply for a Korean Visa + Tips for Getting Approved [UPDATED]

apply-korean-visa-1 UPDATE [Feb 25, 2015]: The Korean Embassy announced new visa requirements for tourists effective Mar 1, 2015. See updated infographic below for the details. Those who will be traveling after March 1, 2015 will need to provide additional information from the required Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate and copy of Income Tax Return, and submit  their Bank Statements.

I’ve applied for a South Korean Visa thrice and have gotten approved in all instances, so I must be doing something right. We got back from our 7-day Spring in Seoul trip a couple of weeks ago and what better way to reminisce about one of our favorite countries to visit than help fellow Filipinos to plan their own trip – but first things first, let us help you in applying for your visa. Here is Travels with a Hobo’s Guide to Applying for a South Korean Tourist Visa for Filipinos Employees.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

6 Essentials for the Perfect Road Trip

road-trip

I love being on the road, I love long drives, and I love getting to know a destination by the roads that lead you there.

While Beep and I like jetting off to new places, we’re both still big fans of taking the longer route – going on road trips. Sure, we have to spend days and nights on the road but as they say, the journey is what matters, not the destination.

There’s just something magical about road trips. For getaways to beaches or mountain retreats, some rent jeepneys or minivans, but there’s nothing quite like a drive in your own family car for the comfort it offers on long journeys through Philippine roads.

It sounds exciting to just spontaneously slide into your car, cram yourselves in the back seat, rev the engine, and zoom away to who-knows-where without any preparation. But that could spell disaster. Long drives can be very tiring and challenging not just for the drivers but the passengers too. Fortunately, it’s easy to book a stay in cheap hotels in the Philippines so you can relax when you’ve arrived at your destination.

Before you can take the load off though, you have to reach the end of a long drive that can either be a terrible or wonderful experience. Here are 6 essentials to keep in mind to avoid mishaps and instead have the perfect road trip: 

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Pradera Wake Park: Your New Weekend Playground in Pampanga

pradera wake park pampanga

As the pair behind Travels with a Hobo, you’d think that Beep and I are always traveling during weekends. The truth is, we’re both home buddies and often spend the weekend sleeping in and watching Netflix. We love traveling but we love our beds more! So when we do go out on weekends, it has to be something worth losing a good day of sleep and binge watching for.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Budget Trip in Coron? Stay at Patrik & Tezz Guesthouse

When you’re traveling backpacker style (with a very limited budget), a luxurious hotel is definitely out of the question. Why stay in rooms with 21-inch flat screen TVs when you’re just going out the entire day anyway? You’re traveling to enjoy a place you’ve never been to before (or some place you like going back to again and again), not to watch TV just like your usual lazy weekends in your own home.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

How We Traveled to El Nido, Palawan for 5 Days for Only Php 6,730.66 All-In [Expenses]

el nido palawan DIY budget travel

Last week, we asked people if they think we can successfully pull off a 5-day El Nido trip for just Php 7,000 all-in per person (we’re 5 in the group). A lot of people couldn’t even begin to imagine how we’re going to do it but they wanted to see if we could really come back to Manila without empty wallets or maxed out credit cards. And so yesterday morning, when our plane landed precisely at 10:30 AM at NAIA Terminal 4, we concluded our 7k El Nido Challenge.  The final computation?

Php 6,730.66 ($149.57)

Congrats team! *virtual high-five*

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

How to Experience and Meet K-Pop Stars in Korea

kpop-experience

I was only in high school when I first got into the K-Pop craze that was just starting to take over the world (this was about 10 years ago). Back then, there were just small groups of fangirls like me in the country who discussed about our fandoms in online forums, meet up to celebrate the birthdays of our idols (complete with cakes that had their faces on it #TrueStory) and go to Korean K-TVs to sing and dance along to K-Pop songs. My family thought that I was weird for listening to and memorizing songs that I didn’t even understand, but they got used to it eventually and even knew the name of my K-Pop crushes.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Korea Budget Hotel Checklist: How to Find The Best

korea-budget-hotel-checklist

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Are you going to Korea this 2015? You’re in luck! We’re giving away a FREE STAY at a new hotel located in the heart of Seoul! Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how you can join.

Having a small budget for South Korea travel doesn’t mean that you should stay in dingy, cramped hotels. You can find a home away from home and enjoy your stay in Korea  IF you know how and what to look for in a budget hotel.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Like Locals in Korea: Our Cozy Rooftop Apartment in Seoul

seoul-apartment-kitchen

Don’t have a Korean visa yet? Check out our guide to applying for a Korean visa + tips on increasing your chances of getting approved

As budget travelers, we have to sacrifice a number of our personal wants to successfully cover a trip’s expenses with the tight budget that we have to work with – no to first class flights, no to a hired chauffeur in a limousine, no to fine dining, and no to a spacious luxurious hotel suite with jacuzzi.

Beep and I have gotten used to staying at cramped budget hotels, because they’re cheap and they put a roof on our heads. In fact, for our first trip together, we pitched a tent instead of booking an actual room with a bathroom. Yeah it’s fun, but honestly, sometimes we need a break from such a pitiful state of temporary housing.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

I Fell In Love with the Hobo at Malasimbo

malasimbo

Whenever people ask how Beep and I met, my answer depends on how much time I can spend with the person who’s asking. The quick and boring answer will go something like “We used to work together“, but if you have a lot of time to spare, the story will begin with one word, “Malasimbo“. 

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

7k El Nido Challenge: Mechanics and The Plan

7k el nido challenge

Is 7k enough for 5 days in El Nido?  (base photo source)

If we told you that you can spend 5 days in paradise on Earth that is El Nido, Palawan for only Php 7,000 all-in, would you believe us? This coming week, Travels with a Hobo’s Gem and Beep (and friends) will take on the 7k El Nido Challenge. Game on!

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Travel Korea: Tips for First-Timers in Seoul

seoul travel tips

Don’t have a Korean visa yet? Check out our guide to applying for a Korean visa + tips on increasing your chances of getting approved

When I was in high school and early college, I was so obsessed with K-Pop, Korean TV series and movies (and J-Pop, J-dramas and movies too!) that my mom once told me that I’d probably get married to a Korean. Fast forward to 2014, I’m not dating a Korean but I’m dating a guy who knows Girls Generation song lyrics by heart and dances Crayon Pop’s Bar Bar Bar (can you imagine my embarrassment every time we go to karaokes with our friends?). Beep’s not Korean, he looks more like a Japanese samurai who likes K-Pop, so yeah, close enough to my mom’s prediction. 

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.

Korean DMZ Tour: Stepping Foot on North Korea

korean DMZ tour

Few people in the world (including Kim Jong-Un’s BFF Dennis Rodman, tourists touring with accredited tour groups, and North Korean citizens themselves) can proudly say that “I have stepped foot on North Korea!” — I am one of those people.

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Gem is the co-founder and author of Travels with a Hobo. When she’s not hopping on a bus or a plane, climbing mountains, or soaking up the sun in one of the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, she lays in bed all day watching crime documentaries and TV shows and rewatching Game of Thrones. Winter is here.