I hope all is well. Can you believe that I’ve been living in SoKo almost a full month? (2 days away) This is crazy! Time is really flying.
In today’s post I will talk about my 2nd and 3rd trips to Seoul. (Yes I’ve already been 3 times. There’s so much to see)
On these trips I went to two of the most popular areas of Seoul: Itaewon and Hongdae. Itaewon is known as little America and literally has ALL the shopping your heart would desire. Hongdae is also full of shopping but caters to street performers too.
My trip to Itaewon happened on a Saturday. My friends and I decided to go just to explore. I had looked up some of the more popular things to do in the area ahead of time. As I mentioned in a previous post, the subway system in Seoul is very easy to use. (And super cheap. It’s like 1.25) Just like my first trip to Seoul, I took a bus to Seoul from my city and then took the subway to get to Itaewon.
Our first stop was to the Line Friends store. Line friends is a popular Korean character store. The place was huge!!! We spent about an hour walking around, taking pictures, and even having cute bear shaped funnel cake bites.
There wasn’t much else to do from that particular subway stop so we hopped in a cab and went to a popular shopping district called Myong-Deong. The cabbie dropped us off right at the main street and we were instantly overwhelmed.
The streets were lined with food and clothing vendors on top of 5000 skin care stores and clothing stores. (Korean skin care is amazing and it’s a big deal) We simply started from the beginning and made our way through. We spent about 3 hours just walking the long street and we barely covered half of it only because it began to rain and we didn’t have umbrellas. BOOOOOOOO!!! Don’t fret, I’ll be back there soon enough.
Now for my trip to Hongdae…
So, this trip happened spur of the moment. I had the day off from my training class on a Wednesday and wanted to go explore. (Yes, I’m still in training. One more week though) I had read about a few cafes in the area and I decided to venture out on my own to find them. The number one on my list was the Hello Kitty cafe. It’s exactly what it sounds like…a whole cafe dedicated to the character Hello Kitty. After stopping to ask for better directions from a random Korean girl, I finally found it. OMG!!! It was soooooo cute. As soon as I walked through the gate and up the stairs, I was met by pink everything! Once inside, it was everything I imagined.
I ordered a green tea latte and walked around the 2-story house while I waited for it. I sat and sipped my latte while taking it all in.
Next stop was CaFace. CaFace is a coffee shop where you can get your picture printed in the foam of your drink. (So cool) I ordered an iced vanilla latte. The picture came out so clear. I was amazed. I still don’t know how they print it on the foam but I enjoyed it.
After spending a few minutes in CaFace I walked around Hongdae some just taking in the sights and sounds. Hongdgae is known for housing aspiring singers and artists. They set up shop to display their talents along the streets. I was able to catch a few singers and they actually sounded really good.
After all of that walking I got hungry so I found a super cheap noodle shop and had lunch for about $4.
Once I recharged, I ventured out to find the Kakao friends store. Kakao is a popular messenger app here in Korea with its own set of characters. They sell all types of merchandise with the characters and they are the competitors of Line Friends. (To me they are both SUPER cute). The store was packed, so I only got in one good pic.
My last stop of the day was to DB Story Café. DB Story is a DIY cell phone case and coffee shop. YES! You create your own cell phone case while enjoying the coffee or tea of your choice. I walked in and once again was overwhelmed by everything to choose from. Luckily, they have pre made cases on the walls to give you some inspiration of what you want to make. You start by picking a basic case for your phone, then you go around picking out whatever trinkets and jewels you want to glue on. I chose a cute girly look dawned in pink. You pay for each item a la cart but it’s all super cheap. My case cost about $8 total to make. (You can’t buy a pre made case that cheap anywhere.) Once you glue everything the way you want it, they let it dry for about 20 minutes and package it up for you to take home. They tell you to give it an additional 2 days of drying time. The lady also gave me a free gift for coming in, which was a cute cosmetic bag that I picked out.
It was getting pretty late so I headed back to the subway stop and back to the bus station to head home. As you can see, Seoul has sooooo much to offer and yet I still haven’t covered half of it. Stay tuned for more entries and thanks for reading!