1 Week in Seoul – Namsan Fall Foliage, Hongdae Trickeye Museum and Vancouver reunion

Hi Jetlag! Officially day 1? 2? Anywho….

I woke up at 5 am on a Saturday and roamed around GS unni’s house on my own until she woke up. Before we left the house, she managed to whipped some French toast for breakfast.


Then we took a bus, destination unknown. When I told her my meetup time got pushed back a bit, we decided to get off the bus and walk hike around the mountain hill (I think we almost circled around the hill of N Seoul tower), to enjoy the Fall foliage. Along the way we also spotted a rooftop restaurant/cafe over looking the city’s scenic view. 



And although we were still pretty much full from the French toast, we had to stop by at this one traditional/classic restaurant famous for it’s bibimbap – apparently it is listed on 2017 Seoul Michelin Guide



목멱산방 – Mok Myuk San Bang 



It feels classic, with its location, architecture, interior design, the way the food served and how the people worked there looked classic as well. They have dishes that smells healthy as well. As it is famous for its bibimbap, we just had to try. They have 3 selections: regular, bulgogi, and beef tartar. We got the bulgogi one for KRW 9,000 

 After that, we walked some more through Myeong-Dong to get to the subway station 

Then I got to meet my lovely dongsaengs and explored Hongdae, with all of its Saturday night glory. It was filled with tons. I mean tons of people and street performances every a couple of steps. Our first stop was:

서울 트릭아이미술관 Seoul Trickeye Museum, Hongdae – Seoul, Mapo-gu, Hongik-ro 3-Gil, 20. Ticket KRW 15,000 (my friend bought it online for KRW 10,000) 


With 1 ticket, you can visit 2 exhibition and 1 carnival (paid playground, not really interesting)


After that we had to wait for our other friends to join us. So we stopped by at a coffee shop. 

Coffee Brown – Near Hongdae station exit 9

Too bad I didn’t take a picture of it’s modern-classic interior. But I did take a picture of my Kiwi Juice 😆

It was located on 2nd floor so it’s actually a really nice place to hang out and to see the bustling view of Hongdae.

After that, we went for the most glorious dinner ever: Gopchang. And the best of its kind.

부야스곱창/Booyas Gopchang –136-13 Eoulmadang-or, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

To put it into simple English, Gopchang is pork intestines. Sounds not so appetizing. And often time it will smell if not cooked right. But we went to a place people are raving about. And it was, gloriously yummy.

We ordered 통치즈곱창 (whole garlic, cheese, pork intestines, 순대/sundae/pork blood sausage in marinated sauce) added corn cheese and 알곱창 

I repeat, this was seriously good. We added Fried rice to finish off the meal

After that we had a small reunion/going through the memory lane. These friends I was with used to live in Vancouver. And one of our friend actually is visiting Korea from Vancouver as well. It was just mind blowing that we were sitting together at a cafe in Hongdae instead of somewhere in Vancouver.
My Mug Café – just below the gopchang restaurant 


Apparently a number of artists, including 2 PM Nickhun visited this small but cozy cafe. I really like the girl working there. She was friendly, witty and cool.


We stayed for way too long (too many things to talk about, catching up, and all that gists), we felt bad and order desserts

This made me think, maybe I should just live in Seoul. And that thought ended my night.

1 Week in Seoul – Itaewon Freedom: flash tour, street churro, Vastos, Gyungridan, night cardio

I made it safe and sound to unni’s place (I’m staying over at my friend’s place whom I got to know in Vancouver years ago).

Feeling super hungry, we went out to Itaewon for dinner. Little did I know, I would have my cardio session whil clubs hopping.

Itaewon is know to be the foreigners hub in Seoul. If you go around the neighbourhood, you will find lots and lots of non-Korean people and restaurants spreaded out here and there. That was why GS unni recommended us to eat at a famous Mexican restaurant nearby.

Since it was a Friday night, the wait time for a table was 1 hour. So GS unni decided to take me around the area, to see the famous  경리란-길/Gyungridan-Gil. It is one of the hottest and trendiest place in Seoul right now. Hip cafes, restaurants, shops, young vibes, and all those goodness.

My trainer recommended me to have some churros when I’m in Seoul. At first I reacted: “Churro? In Kore? Right….” But as I listen to my trainer well not, and as we passed by a famous street vendor: 

Street Churros – 170 Noksapyeong-Darrow, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.

It is a tiny corner shop that, I believe, serve to go only. It has a window opening/counter and you can peak the store inside which was decorated nicely. GS unni said it is both famous and yum. So, again listening to my trainer’s advice, I just had to get one.

I got the 아츄/A Chu (KRW 3000):


And I LOVE it. The churro was crispy, but soft on the inside. It came with with soft serve ice cream that was not overbearingly sweet (I don’t normally like ice cream). So you dip the churro in the ice cream and nom. And, you inhale the rest of the rest of ice cream afterwards. You can add chocolate/berries topping sauce too.

Then we continued walking around Gyungridan super live area some more


And then GS unni got a text that our table is available and if we are not there soon, we will lose our spot in the queue. So we had to run back. Bear in mind most of Seoul is made of steep hills. And I was wearing my wedge boots. So go figure.

I let GS untie to go first because her walking speed is already like Ussain Bolt to me. Ah and on the way to the restaurant I spotted this: 


So we had dinner at:

Vastos – 1 Itaewon-ro 15-Gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

The serve you a complimentary plate of nachos with 2 kinds of salsa. The salsa/sauces are good and nothing like the salsa you have in a normal Mexican restaurant. Fusion? Perhaps!

We had Chimuccuri Chicken Urban Tacos


And the Honey Tequila Chicken Wings


Branded as one of the best Mexican restaurant, I would say I would come here again to try more menu. I love the tacos, but the chicken wings tho. They were soooooooo good.

After dinner, she took me for a super quick Itaewon club hopping/tour. I was fresh of the plane, carrying my backpack. And off we go to places where people dress-up their best


One of the club/bar we went to/stopped by was a really famous one, called Fountain Itaewon/파우타인 이태원. I would recommend this place out of the ones we visited


I feel like dressing up and going there properly next time. Be sure to bring your passport so they can let you in!

The rest of the night felt like an endless hiking around the quite part of the neighbourhood. Imagine these for about 2 hours in heels:


Along our way we spotted the Itaewon mosque (so grand) and some random night view:


I woke up at 5 today and have been watching TV and writing this post. Now, I’m gonna get ready for my day 2!

1 Week in Seoul – Let’s go!

Hello from up in the air. Like, literally.


So my trip this time started with chanting, it’s a sunny day – a very good day to fly. You see, I’m a really nervous flyer *acrophobic*. But as soon as I got on to the plane,  I was greeted in Korean. I showed the flight attendant my boarding pass and I’m pretty sure my name is nowhere near a Korean name (she’s still talking to me in Korean now). I have the aisle sit in the middle row of the plane. And guess what. No one is sitting I. The middle. More room for my jacket and no arm wrestling! Woohoo!!

I’m not sure if it’s because of the good vibes. Or the fact that I’mflying with a plane full of ajummas *I have the ajummas are always praying stereotype*, I was not feeling that nervous this time. Yet. We’ll see.

I was planning to down some melatonin to sleep all the way through the flight. But I figured I would be sleeping more than 16 hours in 24 hours. And it might call for a jet lag. So here goes in-flight movie marathon and guess-how-many-movies-can-I-watch-in-10-hours. Starting with Finding Dorry. Here we go (Talk to you in Seoul!).

* * *

3600 ft up in the air and 4 more hours to go.

* * *

I have arrived safely in Seoul!!! Because I’m bringing a huge luggage, I had a slight change of plan from taking the subway to taking the airport bus. I am so nervous. I hope I’ll find my way just fine.  


One thing though, being treated like a local with limited Korean ability is both scary and exciting. Tho, I feel more of the first than the latter right now.

Why am I here? Why did I come? What will this trip unfold? Oh gosh let me not fall asleep and miss my stop. It is 1.30 hours and 11 stops to go. Current time 6.29 pm – Vancouver time 1.29 am. I’m beat. 

Oh! I have been snapchat-ing here and there along the way to Seoul. I might as well do the same for most of this vacay. So follow me if you haven’t! 


* * *

I made the right decision with the airport bus. I got to see more of the scenic Seoul on my way:


Seoul Friday traffic

Vacation ALAS x Departure by Kim Dong Ryul

Happy First Day of Vacation  X  I’m going to Korea!

 

Hello, fam 🙂 . I hope you all have been doing well in life while watching Korean dramas and filling your days with all Korean goodness. I am really excited for today for so many reasons. One of them is what I have mentioned right of the bat. Yes. Today is the first day of (short) vacation after a while. Why am I so excited about it?

  1. I have not had a proper vacation/me-time for more than 2 years. Mainly due to family reasons. As much as I did not mind it, I feel that a me-time/my-very-own-vacation is needed and it has been way long overdue. My body and mind are aching to have a time off.
  2. I have been getting busier with work. There are so many changes in that part of the pie in my life. Getting more responsibility = less time for me to just sit, reflect, and write.

With all that said, you can imagine how eager I was that I counted down to this very day. I need this. No. More than that, I deserve it.

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Credit: Dodam Jeong – Pinterest

So, I thought what could be more rewarding than to reward myself for a trip to Korea. YAY! With the push from my best friend, I finally bought my tickets a couple of months ago.

After that, came the questions:

  • What kind of trip do I want?
  • What kind of tone will this trip be?
  • What do I want to do there?

Generic questions that turned out to be harder to answer as I have been to Korea for several times now. When I was throwing my ideas to my best friend (no, unfortunately she is not coming with me this time), this conversation came up (C = my very “nice” friend):

M: “This time, I’ll take it chill. It will not be an ambitious one… I will visit less places, spend the afternoon/night at a café writing my blog and all that chillaxing stuffs”

C: “You’re getting old, that’s why! You know, older people get tired faster”

M: “NO I’M NOT OLD” (and then I went to a corner sobbing my heart away because what she said was half true. Note: only HALF TRUE)

I have listed out the places I want to visit this time, the food I wanted to eat (sorry trainer-nim. No, I’m not actually sorry). Still, I do not know what kind of trip it will be. Nor do I know how I would share this trip with you.

I have had issues in the past: I lost my camera every single time I went there.Sigh. I know.

So I was thinking, snapchat? Instagram? Daily posts (what, how, when)? YouTube video? While I blindly pick one (ore more than one), I will say that this is going to be a healing trip for moi. So it will be personal (just as my other posts here, yeah why do I have to re-confirm lol). So I came up with some possible (cheesy but hopefully meaningful) hashtags for my 2016 Seoul (nope, not going anywhere else this time) trip:

  • #medseoulsearching
  • #edreamjinseoul
  • #edreamjSEOULsearching
  • #edreamjXseoul

Should I just use all of the above?

Well, whatever it is, I hope to be able to bring you along my journey/trip/vacation. So follow me on Instagram, snapchat, this blog for the updates!

Now off to buy some goodies for my friends I dearly miss there!

OH!

While I do that, let me set our my mood and entertain you with a song that befit the theme of this post and resonate with my sentiment of how a trip should be (should I just make this as a theme/OST song?)

 

 

 

Of course the lyrics come after 🙂

Lyrics + Translation

출발 – 김동률

Departure – Kim Dong-Ryul

 

아주 멀리까지 가 보고 싶어 / I want to go as far as possible
그곳에선 누구를 만날 수가 있을지 / I wonder who I would meet there
아주 높이까지 오르고 싶어 / I want climb as high as possible
얼마나 더 먼 곳을 바라볼 수 있을지 / I wonder how much farther could I see places from up there

 

작은 물병 하나, 먼지 낀 카메라, / one small water bottle, a dusty camera
때 묻은 지도 가방 안에 넣고서 / an old map, I put them in my bag

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

멍하니 앉아서 쉬기도 하고 / I space out as I sit down and take a rest
가끔 길을 잃어도 서두르지 않는 법  / even if I lost my way, do not need to hurry
언젠가는 나도 알게 되겠지 / because someday I would also find out
이 길이 곧 나에게 가르쳐 줄 테니까 / what this path is going to teach me soon

 

촉촉한 땅바닥, 앞서 간 발자국, / moist ground, printed footsteps,
처음 보는 하늘, 그래도 낯익은 길 / sky I’ve never seen before, but a familiar road

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

새로운 풍경에 가슴이 뛰고 / my heart beats fast at the sight of a new scenery
별것 아닌 일에도 호들갑을 떨면서 / getting excited even if it’s nothing special
나는 걸어가네 휘파람 불며 / I whistle as I walk
때로는 넘어져도 내 길을 걸어가네 / Even though I fall sometimes, I keep going on my way

 

작은 물병 하나, 먼지 낀 카메라, / one small water bottle, a dusty camera
때 묻은 지도 가방 안에 넣고서 / an old map, I put them in my bag

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

내가 자라고 정든 이 거리를 / These streets where I grew up, and became dear to me
난 가끔 그리워하겠지만 / I will miss it from time to time, but
이렇게 나는 떠나네, 더 넓은 세상으로 / like this I depart into a bigger world

 

pps: this song is taken from Kim Dong-Ryul’s 5th album: Monologue, released in 2008

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Credit: Kim Dong-Ryul

 

 

 

 

First Rejection

First application to a Korean radio = REJECTED. *sigh*. Not to take it personal, really. They have no position available for my qualification at the moment.

I’m a rookie after-all. Hmmm.. What should I do next to Improve my self?!

anyways.. Chin Up, Cheer Up.. rejection are many more to come. But grow stronger, you’re one step closer to your dream *self.assuring*

OK, onto the next application!

 

 

but I can’t help to feel a little bit sad. allow me to indulge in disappointment for a moment, please =/