7 Days in Seoul (서울) – Part 2

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07/01/2017

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Common Ground (커먼그라운드)
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We were here to get pictures as well~

Made a morning stop at Common Ground, a small pop-up container mall located near Konkuk University. It was alot shorter and smaller than I expected.

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Famous Rainbow cake at Dore Dore cafe

Did we try the rainbow cake? Nope we didn’t.  It does look pretty but I wouldn’t spend money to try it.

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Budget lunch at 7-11

We decided to visit Gangnam (강남) for a short while this afternoon. Originally our plan was to visit this:

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Gangnam Style Sculpture at Coex Mall (picture by  BBC)

However when we got off the station, another attraction caught our eyes immediately.

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SMTOWN in Coex atrium

Not a SM fan, but it was sure interesting to see a 5 floor building full of activities and merchandises produced by SM for SM fans.

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This is like heaven for SM fans

They even have a theater that showcases hologram musicals and recordings of their tours.

However at the exit of Coex mall, a massive rally was going on. We were not sure what was it about, but it has something to do with the recent scandal of their president Park Geun Hye. That’s when we decided to halt on our little visit to Gangnam and make way to our next destination.

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워). You can either walk uphill to the tower or just take the cable car like we did. According to this blogger, it’s a 30 minute hike downhill. It was kinda late when we got there and we were tired (maybe lazy ><), we rode the cable car up and downhill. It was 8000krw/person for a round trip ticket, 600krw/person one way, a great excuse for us to prefer NOT WALKING, saves time, unless you want to enjoy the view of Seoul from above, then walking might be the better option for you.

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I know this place is famous for their love locks, and did I mention almost all of the visitors here are couples?

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single all the way #Foreveralone

It was crazily COLD up there! It was around 4°c that day, but the wind was so strong it felt like -4°c instead. We couldn’t handle the chilly sensation that was piercing through the many layers of our clothing and left after an hour. I swear I’m gonna come back again to visit, not in the winter, before the sun sets and somebody to accompany me 😉

08/01/2017

The brunch day that I’ve been waiting for

Gwangjang Market (광장 시장)

They sell all sorts of things here, from clothes to food, a lot of food. However they are more or less the same varieties, just different stalls selling the same food.

It was 10,000krw for the octopus, 10,000krw for the yukhoe, 5,000krw for kimbap, and 5,000krw for bindaetteok.

We went back to Hongdae again after this. As my friend decided to purchase the pink coat that we saw there the other day before our trip to Dongdaemun. Lucky us, there is still one coat left for sale.

Haha’s grill meat shop was located in Hongdae as well. It’s called 401 Loco Quan Restaurant.

It was our first time having grilled meat in SK, and I’ve heard that grilled meat in general is quite pricey here. It costed us 40,000krw for this meal, 30,000krw for 400g of pork and 10,000krw for pig intestines (곱창). The amount of money we spent on FOOD only today, there goes our food budget for 2 days!

*Short story: later that night after our meal, we decided to go shopping for goods at Lotte Mart near Seoul Station. After lots of walking while enduring the attacks of icy winds on the streets and the subway tunnels, we finally reached the exit of Seoul Station. I can assure you that we were not very pleased to see Lotte Mart without any lights on inside. A lesson for everyone–please check the operating hours of any attraction or shops before you visit so that you wouldn’t end up like us, wasting time and energy for nothing, lesson learnt!

09/01/2017

The only day throughout this trip where we left our room before 9am.

Nami island (남이섬) here we come!

About how to go to Gapyeong Station (가평역) from Seoul. Any station will do [Yongsan(용산) or Cheongnyangni(청량리역) in this case] as long as they have an ITX stop there. For us we took the ITX from Cheongnyangni Station. We bought our tickets on the spot at the ITX ticket machine, you can purchase them online as well. The ITX journey took less than an hour.

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Economy class ticket

We bought free standing tickets  instead on our trip back from Gapyeong, It was cheaper and if you are lucky, there might be seats for you too 🙂

{Economy class= 4,300krw, Free standing=4,000krw] your choice.

After arriving at Gapyeong Station, you have to quickly make your way outside to catch the bus to Gapyeong Wharf. There is only 1 bus for every hour, definitely not enough to fetch everyone to the wharf. The bus fare was 6,000krw for the whole day, worth it if you are planning to visit other attractions nearby as well (like Petite France (쁘띠프랑스) & The Garden of Morning Calm (아침고요수목원)).

Nobody could bother to waste an hour waiting for the next bus, so we had to take the taxi instead, which was around 4.000krw from the station to the wharf.

We regretted not bringing any snacks with us and I feel like we could eat a horse when we arrived on the island. There were a few convenient stores and some expensive restaurants on Nami Island. I was so glad that we found this little ‘jjimppang’ stall:

I swear, when you are out in the woods fighting against gushes of icy wind, this is your best catch! It was soooo good, and only 1,000krw for one (the cheapest, warmest, most delicious snack on the island). This bun tasted somewhat similar to red bean paus we have back in Malaysia, which I liked better compared to the first ‘jjimppang’ I had in SK when I was in Busan, the red bean paste was salty instead.

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The famous Metasequoia Lane (담양 메타세쿼이아길) where people take lovey dovey pictures to reenact scenes from Winter Sonata (결울연가)

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Guess a lot of southeast asians visit Nami island often~

I was actually surprised and excited at the same time when I saw this. We met a few Malaysians at Gapyeong Station. I’ve never actually bumped into any Malaysians or southeast asians on the streets of Seoul yet (maybe I did, but I didn’t know).

Okay, I admit we are pretty bad at travelling. We did not finish strolling around the island. The furthest point we’ve explore to was the convenient store locted a few steps away from the ‘jjinppang’ stall. So how did we spent our entire afternoon doing? Trying to take good pictures of course, and also exploring the forest and the grassy fields beside the pathways.

Petite France & The Garden of Morning Calm? Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit there, maybe next time.

8 days of travelling has sure worn us out, it was time to relax.

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Itaewon Land (이태원 랜드) SPA!!!

Basically we spent an hour and half sleeping in the heated room. The temperature outside was freaking -2°c!! I kinda enjoy sleeping in the heated room, at first I thought I would sweat like crazy and the whole room would smell like sweat, but it didn’t, laying there for an hour and half warmed my ice-numbed fingers well enough.

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Comfy ‘jjimjilbang’ clothing

I did not enjoy the ice room and the salt room as much as the heated room, the salt room had a sandy sweaty smell that makes me feel uncomfortable. Again, we did not go for any massages or bath in the public bath, but we did had roasted egg(구운계란) and sikhye(식해).

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The crew with our lamb towel hat

To know more about Itaewon Land, I recommend reading this post by Triplerin 🙂

10/01/2017

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Isaac Toast @ Myeongdong

The Myeongdong branch had a limited menu and only makes mvp sandwiches.

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From: happiebb

However, there weren’t many people at the Hongdae branch, plus they had tables and chairs, but here at Myeongdong, we had to line up around 40 mins just for one sandwich!

Unfortunately, I had no pictures of my sandwich. I was so hungry I immediately gobble up my sandwich after the employee handed it to me.

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View from Naksan Park (낙산공원)
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Can you spot N Seoul tower?

We didn’t actually visited Naksan Park, we just happen to pass by it on our Ehwa Mural Village(이화 벽화마을) trail.

Our target was this:

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And we made it 🙂

All thanks to the guidance of this blog, and with the help of Google maps, we managed to find our way.

We had our last dinner in Seoul at a small local shop. Well actually, we were just passing by and decided to go in because it was freezing cold outside! The restaurant was owned by a middle-aged couple, the wife stays in the shop preparing delivery foods and the husband delivers them to the neighborhood area. They don’t speak any english but we still managed to place an order with our weak Korean. If you are interested in what we had there, I have to apologize beforehand because of my shaky hands, the picture turned out terrible.

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2 bibimbap(비빔밥) & 2 kimchi jjigae(김치찌개)) + side dishes

Finally, our day ended with us visiting Lotte Mart for souvenirs and goodies 🙂

11/01/2017

Had to leave early to the airport to return the wifi-egg, settle our tax refunds and get or T-money balance as well.

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Hangang(한강) OTW to airport

Super oily burger for lunch. It’s worth trying if you are curious but no seconds for me in the future.

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Lotte mozzarella and hash brown burger

I will be back Seoul, a promise to myself 😉

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