Seoul, I came with no expectation since I’ve never been to Korea.
But even so, it has been nothing short of amazing.
I wish I could spend more time here.
I will be separating my travelogue into 4 different posts.
Kick start with HONGDAE, follow by Insadong, MyeongDong, & DongDaeMun.
Landed. Incheon International Airport.
We got our-self a cab straight to our hotel @ Hongdae.
A friend reminded us to get the Orange cab, apparently it’s cheaper.
WHERE TO STAY:
Our crib for the next few nights – Benikea Premier Marigold Hotel (베니키아)
It’s 40mins away from the airport. Personally, I think it’s the perfect place to stay as it’s located in the heart of Hongdae, with shopping, dining & clubbing district just across the streets! The nearest subway station (Hongik Univ. Station) is just 6 mins walk away! How convenient!
Spacious room, comfy bed with squashy pillows, & a clean bathroom with bathtub!
I’ve zero complains! (oh, & the WiFi is superb!)
WHAT TO WEAR:
It was about 14ºC at night in Seoul.
Daytime temperature is around 20ºC – 24ºC.
Long Knit Wear – MANGO
Leather shorts – H&M
WHAT TO DO:
Hongdae is known to be the popular hang out spots among the locals.
It is quite like Shi-Da in Taiwan, located near the Hongik Daehakgyo (Hongik University) which is one of the top fine arts universities in the country, which explains how it is popular for it’s artsy & young ambiance. This place is filled with unique cafes, fashion markets, gourmet restaurants, clubs & bars. & since everything here is mostly cater to students, the prices are quite affordable too.
The whole place is extremely crowded with students.
It’s FALL; long sweater, angora cardigan, knit sweater, oversized pullover, skinnies seen everywhere.
&, The endless shopping streets!
One thing though, the average price for the clothes is around KRW 15,000 (which is around MYR55, thanks to our weak currency). However, the quality is good, definitely not those you find in Times Square.
Talking about shopping, Hongdae is home to the flagship store of StyleNanda (which we didn’t make it there, because there’s honestly too much shopping you can find in this district!) Do visit if you’re keen as it’s just around the corner in Hongdae.
#MustVisit in Hongdae, the ever famous Trick Eye Museum (트릭아이미술관 ).
It is an art gallery with paintings that give each 2D art piece the illusion of being in 3D. You can interact with this artwork & be part of the art. Oh yes, we are here to be tricked!
How to get there?
Address: 20, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
(Exit at Hongik University Station (Line 2), Exit 9 and walk straight and crossed the traffic light. Turn left and walk straight and turned into the alley with Holika Holika.)
Time: 09:00 – 21:00 (Last admission at 20:00)
Trick Eye Museum (+ Ice Museum) Admission
Adult : KRW 15,000
Children: KRW 12,000
**Senior citizens get 50% off!
I will be flooding the rest of this post with heaps of photos & a video. Well, I am trying my best to show you how mind blowing this place is. A gentle reminder to fully charged your camera before you visit the Trick Eye Museum.
The museum is separated into 6 different zones; Masterpiece Zone, Fantasy Zone, Water world, Best of Trickeye zone, Synchronized Swimming zone &, Carnival Street.
A pretty lady appeared out of no where & lured me into temptations, convinced me that as long we go pass the sea I will find my true happiness. I was convinced, left Mr. Gentleman, & fled away together with her riding our white horses.
Truth is, she has always wanted to get together with Mr. Gentleman.
In order to get rid of me, I was then sent forcefully to fight with a monster.
Fortunately, I won.
I then went up to heaven, cycling through the clouds.
LOL. (apology if you are actually reading this… #iknowilame, forgive me).
Fun times always pass by quickly, hours seems like minutes inside the museum.
Next up, we headed over to the Ice Museum, which is located on the same floor of the main museum.
We weren’t expecting this and were severely under-dressed.
I have no idea how are we going to endure the less than 5ºC temp inside the freezer room.
Angel wings in the cold room.
I can no longer smile, because it’s freezing cold.
I risked my life for this shot! Haha.
After we get out of the Ice Museum, we spotted this Go-Guan Photo Studio.
It’s a professional Hanbok photo studio.
I’ve been watching Korean dramas since young, & have always imagine myself to be in one of those beautiful traditional Korea costumes. So excited that I finally can fulfill my wish of wearing a Hanbok & have it captured by the professionals!
I chose the Individual Enjoy Package (KRW 60,000)
Entitled for Hairdo, Make Up, 1 Dress, & 2 Pages Photo Album!
Make up done, it’s fitting time!
Inside the studio.
Heck, I don’t even know how to pose with the Hanbok.
Thank God, the photographer is so good in getting us to pose “professionally” for photo!
I have to agree that trying out the traditional costumes can be one of the best way to experience Korean culture. This is one of the #MustDo when you travel to Seoul, you shouldn’t miss it!
The printed photos are ready for collection in just 20mins time, meanwhile we are free to roam around, there’s a designated studio with beautiful setting for us to take photo on our own. Oh, we took tons of selfie too!
Last but not least, the Love Museum which is one step above the Trick Eye museum.
It’s about the same as Trick Eye Museum, but with sensuous and sexual theme!
“It’s where all your sexual fantasy becomes a reality. The erotic images may stir you up.”
Don’t be surprise that you will soon discover the extremely non-conservativeness about this place.
I shouldn’t go on with words, attached is some of the more proper photos I took in Love Museum. *grinss
I took heaps of photo in Trick Eye Museum but certainly wouldn’t be able to upload it all on my blog! I hope above all is enough to convince you why this is definitely one of the best place to visit in Hongdae, Seoul!
WHAT TO EAT:
Walked around, & had a real hard time deciding where to eat because all the restaurants in Hongdae look really good! Ended up at Oven Chicken & Beer, because Eric said it’s not bad. Haha.
Eric says no one really fancy Kentucky Fried Chicken in Korea, because their traditional fried chicken is good enough to die for. Paired it up with a glass of Hite beer, heavenly!
We also ordered the BBQ fried chicken, flavorsome!
But a little too sweet for my preference, I still prefer the original one.
We stumbled upon this place by chance and I’m glad we did. It was really good!
Oh, in case you wonder.
Here’s my awesome travel companion that needs no introduction.
Beside Fried Chicken, Hongdae has really good BBQ too!
Our favorite BBQ restaurant (had this for continuously 2 nights). But I couldn’t remember the name =.=. It’s 3 mins walking distance from our hotel, & located right opposite GS25 convenient stall.
It opens till 5am daily. Perfect spot if you’re planning to chill with beers & meat till late.
We also love this place because it’s really cozy!
A lot of meat, with freeflow kimchi, lettuce & karen’s favorite garlic.
We had grilled squid, Hite beer, flavored soju, & bottles of rice wine that night.
It was one of our happiest night at Seoul.
I am sorry that I’m terribly bad with names. We just simply walked into this BBQ place. To be very honest, you cant really go wrong with BBQ in Seoul. Hence, it’s fine to just go to any that looks good to you.
Next up, what’s for lunch at Hongdae?
We randomly stepped into this restaurant, Myth Jokbal; which apparently one of the most famous eateries in Hongdae. It’s usually packed with long queue, but we were there on 11am, hence no line. I can only say that our luck have been really good this trip.
Like I said, Myth Jokbal was never in our itinerary, we came in by luck.
Therefore, we did not order the famous Real Garlic Jokbal. We didn’t know it’s the #mustorder.
Spicy Jokbal + Steam Egg + Maki + Fresh Salad. KRW 30,000.
Well, we over estimated our own capabilities, the spicy jokbal is extremely spicy! No joke. Though I really enjoy spicy food, this is just too hot to handle! If you want to try this, make sure you have enough bravery to do so, it brings you to near death. No, I am not exaggerating.
These are some of the To-Do & To-Eat in Hongdae, do let me know if I missed out any!
I am sooo in love with Hongdae!
To be continue…