Seoul -> Busan
Transportation: Train (KTX)
Accomodation: Airbnb (RM48.30/night)
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Yes and we made it!
Seoul is way waaaaay colder than Busan.
I’m so glad we stayed at Sinchon
- It was close to places that we wanted to go (a stop away from Ewha and Hongik University)
- Not too crowded but still lively (You should see the crowd at Hongik and Myeongdong station
- The rentals here were cheaper.
Staying around Subway Line 2 was a good choice, you can go to most of the attractions via this subway line. It is also one of the most heavily used subway lines around the world (according to Seoulistic).
One more reason why I love Sinchon:
Let me tell you!! This fishcake is just super cheap (500krw for one stick!!) and the soup is just delicious (the best I had so far). What touches me the most was how genuinely nice the owner (이모) treats us. We visit her stall almost every single night for supper and when she sees us, she immediately serves us cups of hot soup before we even start eating. I’m not sure if other stalls do this (cause we went to another one before and the owner was quite rude) but this small gesture of hers really warms us up during those freezing nights.
How to go: Sinchon station Exit No.7, you will see a few stalls in front of you. Just find the one that sells fishcake for 500krw/stick 🙂
Kick start our morning with a visit to Gyeongbukgong Palace (경북공). Okay, not really Gyeongbukgong, just Gwanghwamun (광화문).
Okay so this picture may not be very clear, but we arrive from Yongseongmun Gate (용성문) and went out to Gwanghwamun Gate to take pictures. The entrance to Gyeongbukgong Palace is at Heungnyemun Gate (흥례문).
There were so many people wearing hanbok (한복) when visiting the palace. I only found afterwards that admission to palaces are FREE when you wear hanbok , only ourselves to blame for not doing enough research before we came (hanbok rental is now on my bucket list).
There were a small group of protesters giving speeches at Gwanghwamun Square (광화문 광장) on that day. A few anti-president flags, tents and sculptures can be found there as well (the pictures might be too political sensitive to be uploaded here).
I read quite a few blogs recommending this place. The food was great, but it’s more of a touristy restaurant (most of the people working here are chinese, so are the customers). I don’t mean to offend anyone but I didn’t really get the vibes of me eating at a local restaurant. Here’s a list of what we ordered:
You can’t waste too much time on travelling from one place another. Close by attractions to Gyeongbukgong would be Bukchon Hanok Village (북천 한옥 마을), Samcheondong (삼천동) and Insadong (인사동).
Basically the whole afternoon, we were just casually strolling along the streets, taking pictures and do some light shopping, shopping for clothes of course!
That’s bout it, and we head of to Myeongdong (명동) to do some serious shopping this time.
The original plan was to have Isaac Toast for dinner, but by the time we were craving for dinner, they were already closing and not accepting anymore orders. So a change of plans lead us to—– JJAJANGMYEON (짜장면)!!!!!
Thus after filling our stomach, we continue on with our shopping.
If you are Chinese, or look Chinese, don’t be to surprised when the shop employees starts rattling on and on about their products in super fluent Chinese (they sound like they are from Mainland China). I was so amazed when I hear them speak for the first time, like wow their pronunciation is even better than mine! There are tons of Chinese people shopping in Myeongdong, and to cater the needs of their large Chinese market, speaking Chinese has become a must for these employees.
Most of the employees also believe that if you speak Chinese, you must be super rich (a so-called 土豪 or 暴发户 in Chinese). Therefore, they will keep on pushing their sales with you, pressuring you to buy more of their products. If you are not interested, just firmly say no. Their facial expression will darken, but they will still pack the others things that you have purchased nicely into a paperbag. DO NOT be intimidated by them, keep a list of what you are suppose to buy, so will not end up spending more than you need ( a really basic shopping tip lol), it will hard to find luggage space by then, plus carrying a big, heavy luggage to and fro the subway is not a wish move, unless you take a taxi or follow a tour bus.
We departed quite late today, around 11.00am.
The food shown above is Fire Rice (불밥). I know in the picture it does not look very appetizing, but trust me, this is definitely worth trying when you are visiting the area near Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교).
We stopped by at Hongdae (홍대) for a while, just strolling around and doing some window shopping.
Oh, in case you need to ask locals direction to any Isaac Toast shops, you have to pronounce Isaac as ‘ee-sa-k’ because they do not pronounce Isaac as the english ‘Isaac’ but korean’이삭'(ee-sak) instead 😉
Doota mall is more of a department store. If you are looking for wholesale fashion mall, it is located at the opposite Doota, near Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). It’s called Fashion Mall U:US (패션몰유어스)
My friend was looking for a pink coat. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a winter coat that was in the shade of pink that we like. Overall, we didn’t enjoy shopping in there as the clothes on display didn’t have a price labeled on them and none of clothing really caught our attention. We left Dongdaemun empty handed that night.