Archive for April 2014

When I Was In Korea

Hi Guys!

As promised here's my itinerary post on my recent Korean trip. Instead of making an outlined itinerary I thought it'll be better to follow this format. :)

Early last year I was able to book a roundtrip ticket to Seoul for myself. Yes you've read it right just for myself, I usually ask my friends first if they want to join me before booking a trip but Korea is different, it's special to me. So I decided to book first and ask my friends later, simply because If ever someone wants to join me I want to make sure that they really want to. Not just because they got their ticket on an affordable price , not just because they think that they can boss me around since I asked them to go with me (oops there goes my trust issues). I want my Korean trip to be perfect, so I ended up going by myself which is probably one of the best travel decisions that I've done.

Found myself on a coffee shop full of travelers in Hongdae for my first night in Seoul

I arrived in Incheon Airport around 9:00 p.m. KST, I didn't book a place for my first night since I was supposed to couch surf but it didn't turn out well. So I decided to go around Hongdae and look for a place, it was freezing cold so I thought I should have some coffee. I was so happy to find out that most of the coffee shops on my "must try" list are in the area. I ended up having a coffee and a bun in Angel In Us Coffee, the location was perfect for people watching. Hongdae is quite a "party place" while I was having a coffee I was able to witness how some Koreans go crazy after partying (crazy being an understatement).

White Chocolate Mocha and Bun with Cheese
Here are some of the places that I visited in Seoul, with some directions and information that might be helpful if ever you're planning to have a Korean trip in the future. :)

Ewha Womans University

It's probably one of the coolest Universities I've been too...
they even have a huge Church and a such a wonderful garden

About: Ewha Womans University is one of the city's largest institutions of higher learning and currently the world's second-largest female educational institute.

Fun Facts: A lot of Korean dramas shot some "school/university" scenes here (i.e. City Hunter)
Not really a "tourist spot" but with the beauty of the university you should really make some time to drop by.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 2, Ewha Womans University Station Exit no. 2 or 3


Sinchon Street Shopping/ E-dae

 Shopping or not E-dae is a nice place to have a walk at night
Since it's just outside/beside Ehwa Womans university expect to see "girly" establishments here

About: E-dae or Ewha Fashion Street is just around the university is considered as shopping haven for women.

Fun Facts: Not only for shopping, E-dae is also famous for having the best Beauty Salons in Seoul.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 2, Ewha Womans University Station Exit no. 2 or 3 (Same area as Ewha Womans University, you can find the trendy stores the moment you step out Exit 2 or 3)


 Enjoying street performances by Indie artists

About: Hongdae is near Hongik University which is known for its prestigious art college many students/artists perform on the streets at night specially during weekends.

Fun Facts: There's a lot of art galleries, fashion boutiques, bars & restaurants in the area I think I went here almost everyday.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 2, Hongik Station Exit no. 9

Cheonggyecheon Stream

 the long walk is worth it with the artistic murals that you'll see along the stream
 I wonder how do Koreans keep the stream as clean as it is :)
just so you know... I have a lot of things in my pocket lol

About: If you love long walks... Serene atmosphere  and the sound of the running water you'll enjoy Cheonggye Stream 

Fun Facts: Expect to see a lot of couples on their date while strolling along the stream. They conduct annual Lantern Festival on the stream if you're lucky enough you'll be able to see beautiful lanterns at night (yup I don't know when lol).

How to get there: Start your stroll in  Cheonggye plaza,  Take the subway Line 5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit no. 5 

Myeongdong Shopping District

 Fashionable clothes, accessories, cosmetics etc. you can find Everything here in Myeongdong
 Myeongdong in the morning is comparable to a park with standalone shops, it reminds me of Bonifacio High Street...
It's totally different at night with all the lights and stalls in the middle of the street you'll feel like your in Mongkok (Hong Kong)

About: Myeongdong is considered as a major shopping spot in Seoul, you can find everything here from cheap accessories to signature bags.

Fun Facts: Nice view during the day, crazy shopping area at night. If you'll go here for shopping try to schedule it on a weekend they usually have a lot of promos/events during weekends

How to get there: Take the subway Line 4, Myeongdong Station Exit no. 5, 6, 7 or 8


Gangnam is on a different league when it comes to huge buildings
 with my Couchsurfing friends, making new friends is one of my favorite perks of traveling alone
 didn't expect that Gangnam's sunset will be this dramatic

About: Gangnam is considered as one of the most luxurious district in Seoul, it's been one of the most visited district for tourist thanks to PSY's "Gangnam Style" Hit 

Fun Facts: Known for having most of the high-end stores in Seoul you'll be surprised that inside the subway station you can buy a lot of cheap yet fashionable items. My Korean friend told me that shopping might be a little it pricier here but it's definitely better from that of in Myeongdong.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 2 or 3, Gangnam Station.

 Gyeongbokgung Palace

 Watched the "Changing of Guards"
it's a given that when you're in Seoul you must at least visit one of their "Five Grand Palaces"

About: One of the first palace built during the Joseon period,  Gyeongbokgung Palace is open to the public and houses the National Folk Museum of Korea and traditional Korean Gardens

Fun Facts: The admission fee is KRW 3,000.00 while watching the "Changing of Guards" is the highlight of everyone's visit here you can also try on wearing traditional Korean attire (they were on break when I was here so I didn't bother lol).

How to get there: Take the subway Line 3, Gyeongbokgung Station Exit No. 5.

Bukchon Hanok Village

I don't know how I to describe it, all I can say is that I fell in love with the Hanok Village 
About: It's quite rare for a Hanok village to remain as a residential area, since most of it were turned into tourist spots, galleries etc.

Fun Facts: Exploring the narrow alleys of the hanok village is super fun, it gives you a different feel (blast from the past baby!). If you're a foodie make sure to do your homework, there's a lot of specialty restaurants in the area that you might want to try.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 3, Anguk Station Exit no. 3.

Garosu-gil, Sinsa-dong

this place is probably one of the most adorable area in Seoul
every shop has their distinct and cool concept

About: Home of the up and coming artists and fashion designers, if you love shopping and into the latest trend you must drop by this area.

Fun Facts: Garosu-gil is extra lovely during autumn, as you can see there's a lot of Gingko trees in the area. During autumn the trees boast with yellow leaves which adds an indelible warm and nostalgic atmosphere.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 3, Sinsa Station Exit no. 8

N Seoul Tower

 I was speechless when I saw it...
 it was still winter so I was having a dilemma if I'll go up or not (might be too foggy to take a shot of the city)
finally decided to go up the city view was amaziiiiiiiing!!!

About: Located on Mt. Namsan, offers a great panoramic view of the city specially at night.

Fun Facts: N Seoul Tower is not just for tourist as it is considered as one of the ultimate "date place" of the locals. With the famous "Locks of Love", Teddy Bear Museum and cozy restaurants, who wouldn't dream of having a romantic date here (well I was alone so I didn't dare to check the locks of love, don't want to end up jumping on the cliff out of bitterness).

How to get there: Take the subway Line 3, Chungmuro Station Exit no. 2 or Line 4 Chungmuro station Exit no. 4. (you can also take the Cable car or the bus)

 Nami Island

 Winter wonderland!!! yay!
Tree alley... breath taking view 
Met an instant travel bud Aiah

About: Nami Island is famous for having such a lovely scenery all throughout the year, showing different charms every season. It is a half-moon shaped island, named after General Nami of Joseon Dynasty

Fun Facts: Famous for being featured in one of the Kdrama classic Winter Sonata. Admission Fee is KRW 10,000.

How to get there: Reserve a seat on a shuttle bus visit KTO Site for booking details

Trick Eye Museum & Ice Museum

 Unleash the KID in you and have fun taking silly pictures
 I'm your angel ;)

About: One of the newest and most popular indoor spot in Hongdae is Trick Eye Museum. A collection of 3D like murals/wall painting, it gives you a legit reason to be silly and look crazy.

Fun Facts: Make sure to have a friend with you to take your pictures lol, admission is KRW 15,000 (but if you have a KTO coupon you'll get a KRW 3,000 discount). You can also enter the Ice Museum once you purchase a ticket for Trick Eye Museum.

How to get there: Take the subway Line 2, Hongik Station Exit no. 9

YG Entertainment Building

 YG Baby!!!
Fanboy mode lol

About: YG Entertainment Office is famous for Kpop fans like me specially for YG lovers yay!

Fun Facts: If you're lucky you might be able to catch some YG artists coming in and out of the building

That's it hope you enjoyed reading my post, should you want to ask for anything about my trip feel free to comment. :)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Posted by Francisco Munoz


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