Day 8 of 9

Our trip to Korea wouldn’t be complete without meeting two of my best buddies in Seoul. We agreed to meet before my flight to Manila which is by the way tomorrow, so Jaemyung and Jinhee pick us up in our hotel today and then we proceed to some of the must-see places in Seoul.

Today’s Timeline 

 1300 – 1430 Hongdae / Honggik University
 1430 – 1600 Coffee Prince
 1700 – 2000 Insadong
 2000 – 2100 Cheonggye Stream
 2100 – 2200 Caffe Bene

Hongdae / Honggik University

This area is located in Mapo-Gu, situated in the western end of Seoul and popularly known for its trendy cafe, unique stalls, vintage shops, clubs, dining and entertainment. Hongdae is near Honggik University, which is where they get their artsy influence. Honggik University is well known for its prestigious art college. It’s also a hub for all things indie, be it music scene or urban arts, and this is where a lot of famous Korean artist actually started.

Hongdae

The artistic streets of Hongdae

Coffee Prince

As part of our Hongdae trip, we manage to stop at Coffee Prince and enjoy cups of our favourite coffee, famous Eun-chan drip and sweet bites of Lemon square – a shop created out of the famous Kdrama of the same title, which I adore.

Coffee Prince

Having nice little chit chat with Oppa. *_*

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Caramel Macchiato and Eun-chan Drip

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Jaemyung is having fun 🙂

Insa-dong

After Hong-dae, we hop on Seoul Metro and proceed to our next stop. The celebrated traditional street of Seoul – Insa-dong. A trip to Insandong when you’re in Seoul is truly a necessary. A fundamental for everyone who wants to see the fusion of Korea’s historical past whilst embracing modernity at the same time. In here, you can see how Koreans valued their cultural heritage, preserving numerous arts and antiques through galleries and cultural shops. You can actually find a plethora of galleries that holds every example of Korean fine arts from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art while the Gana Art Gallery promotes many promising local artist. The Korean antique association is located here and I think this is one of the few focal points when it comes to Korean Cultural Arts and Crafts.

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The celebrated Insa-dong (인사동) street.

Most of the stores here offers traditional items such as Hanbok, korea’s traditional clothing, Hanji their traditional paper, traditional teas, pottery and expensive ceramics. This street holds artsy shop where you can buy your souvenirs. Mine, I have a pair of chopstick and spoon, cute stationary and key chains that will serve as pasalubong (a present) for my family and friends in the Philippines when I come back.
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These guys know how to sell traditional Korean sweets… They know every single language to attract customers. Like Kamusta Ka and Mabuhay.

Ssamziegil (쌈지길)

Along Insa-dong, you can find this entertainment complex though located inside this traditional street, you can observe that this area is undeniably modern, it houses a number of small hip and trendy shops that sells goods from clothing to accessories. Quite touristy I must say, but you can still breath especially in the afternoon. There are also some art shops that covers young artist works, up to some established korean artist masterpiece as well. Along the way, we saw a bunch of small trees adorned with these cute red and white round card letters. The letters are of course in hangul and according to our friends the letters are most likely wishes and intentions that will bring them some sort of luck.

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The famous Ssamziegil sign where everybody stands and take a photo ^_* so its an obligatory shot 🙂

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Entrance to the complex

Our second stop in Insa-dong was a korean restaurant that serves some korean pancakes PajeonBibimbap (비빔밥) and Makgeolli (막걸리) of which Jaem-yung really likes (the picture says it all). The restaurant is in alleyway, hard to find for first timer (like us) and oh by the way mostly of the restos here are located beneath the main street. But Anyways, the food was all worth it and it was divinely superb! You can see in the photos above how ambrosial it is, especially for those Korean food afficionados (well I am). To sum it up, I and my husband really had a good time there drinking and eating while conversing with friends. Oh how I love to do this again real soon.

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Korean Pancake or Pajeon is made from a standard savory pancake batter mixed with various fresh vegetables, then are pan-fried to perfection.

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There’s a lot of variety but mostly they incorporate vegetables, meat, and fish into a batter which is pan-fried with a bit of oil

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Bibimbap (비빔밥) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed rice”. Served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat usually beef are common additions.

After the delightful dinner, we find ourselves walking in the main street again and maybe because of that chilly weather that I and my friends stop for Hotteok! My Unnie (older girl-friend) said that this is her ultimately favorite especially during winter. This sweet filled bun is very tasty and delicious and would love to have it here in the country. This is equivalent to caramel filled donuts but much more delectable than the latter. And then we stroll again and have our photo taken to this famous Starbucks in Seoul, why? because it is the only starbucks written in hangul. 🙂

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You can also find the only Starbucks in Hangul in Insadong 스타벅스 커피 with us eating our Yummy Hotteok!

Cheonggyecheon Stream

After Insa-dong, we hailed a taxi that will take us to this restored ecological stream nearby – the Cheonggye Stream. A stream running through the center of Northern Seoul out to the Han River. A 10.84km-long stream that stretches from Gwanghamun Gate to Dongdaemun.  We take a stroll down the walking path and enjoy the night view of Seoul. Played a little as we tiptoe along the stone bridge of the stream.

With my friends at Cheonggyecheon Stream

With my friends at Cheonggyecheon Stream

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Having fun crossing the iconic stream

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Mushy and Breezy with my boo <3

Caffe Bene

The perfect way to end the day is to have something sweet and yummy. And that’s what we agreed to do before we bid goodbyes. We went to the nearest Caffe Bene and indulge—We enjoyed a platter of goodness – waffle, ice cream & fruits. Plus this coffee shop had been a shooting location for Kdrama Athena.

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Caffe Bene in Seoul

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For the sweet tooth!

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Hotspot! Soo Ae or Yoon Hye-in in Athena sits here!

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Another hot seat, this time the main character – Lee Jung-woo played by Jung Woo-sung.

Well for one, this is quite a memorable day for all of us. It was fun and filled with laughter. Im really looking forward to visit them in the future. Moving on, hope you’re having a good time with our escapades and let me know what you think, just use the comment area below. Till my next post. 🙂 Happy Reading!

The world awaits, travel now

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