Travel Guide; On My Seoul Stories! (Part One)

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——————–20 Minutes on a Chill-Reading.——————–

It was all started from the each liner to say I need to go some where, she need to go some where, and definitely we should go somewhere. Shasmy Cipta Arum, so for anyone who type her name in search engines and ends up on this page, Welcome! She is a well qualified person in exactly Everything; Works, friends or just say jodoh 😉 She was my life savior for this trip, and you’ll know why. We were once go for a young-and-fun self trip long before this, and wondering when will the next trip will be. She and I was went once to the nearest country neighborhood, at the time when its still not as ‘popular’ as now, together with the other five girls I recall, that you can read and see our youngest self here

I just remember that no days are missed without mumble on the need to go on vacation. Sending each other post for anyone who we don’t even know went to places we ever want. Until January, all these mumbled will kept being on mumbling if none are taken the action of. So we decide, that Seoul, merely because it foods (on the beginning heheh) and finally check all the airlines that fit into our budget. Airbnb that always be my best helper everywhere I go. Check all the places that we need to visit. Things To-Do. And Food to Eat. All the plan in meeting and FaceTime was went well. Until we finally came to the day that we’ve been waiting for months!

Ps. I re-write my Seoul stories, so if you’re not the kind of person who love stories and want to straight up to the main-and important things, you can scroll down to skip the stories and jump to the Fact Sheet and Things To-Do.


 

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An overnight plane, layover for few hours in the neighborhood country. Thus on the early morning we’re just a good living zombie that ready to stroll and did all our plan on Seoul Day One. We put all the luggage up on the apartment, that we ask the owner to have an early checked in for these lovely huge luggage. Changed clothes not even in a second, and locked the door outward heading down through the elevator.

Good things, these two living zombies didn’t need to walk that far to reach nearby station. Our apartment was located in the central of Dongdaemun, few hundred meters away from Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and yes it was a perfectly great location. Crossing the street while waiting inTurn for the pedestrian to walk, making sure for the exact number of Bus, and finally get in and arrived in Gwangjang Market. And oh lord, this is Heaven……

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People, in my country, mostly love south korea for its celebrity that I don’t understand. Sorry, but not sorry, heheh. But me, loving South Korea for its super delish foods that I can finished only in a glance.

Gwangjang Market is one of the best place to get the most authentic korean’s foods. Once you enter their alley, you can experience the atmosphere of an Asian’s Market. All the fresh sea foods, deep fried pan flours with veggies, Seoul most popular snacks, and most importantly a tons of main dish that you need to try. I love Bibimbap, and craving for their Bibimbap every day, and every time I have my meal. I can say my self too lucky to be true that the serving size of my Bibimbap was as huge as a Bucket. No, Im not kidding 😉 I Love veggies so much, in one bowl of Bibimbap you’ll found a lot of mixed veggies and the forever delish sauce. In a combination of solid-yet-delicate rice on the base, sprinkled by dried seaweed, carrot, cucumber, sesame and greens on the top.

As experience was the most precious things when traveling, Gwangjang market give you an unique experience to eat your dish. You’ll be invited, whether they’re yelling or not —but in a good meaning J, to sat down in each of these stall that was standing through out the alley. So I Look around to choose which stall that I want to sat down and enjoy my Bibimbap, while turn out it was all the same. I sat down and hung my bag on below the stall’s table as the ladies of the stall give us a proper amount of soup and Kimchi. I pick my chopstick and coup my spoon inside the bowl to finally get my lovely Bibimbap.

Some hours went by, and all the stuff inside the bowl had been transferred to my tummy. I’m at my happiest once I feel full. Moving to next places that we have arranged, Myeongdong. As the famous neighborhood in Seoul and the center of skincare heaven, no wonder when you were here you will see a lot of people crossing each other between alley and building which were dominated by shops and department store and when the day getting later, thousands of food stall starting to shows up fulfilling my appetite.

One particular shops I wanted to visit, Pink Hotel and Pink Pool Café by Style Nanda. At the time of my visit, this pink café was super hype, especially for those who want to take and valued as cool picture, which I was. In Myeongdong, it has apx 5 floor where you can found 3CE and make up store on the first. Clothing and Apparel on the next 3 floor and Pink Pool cafee and Rooftop on 4th and 5th! I Couldn’t be more excited back then, I was too happy to see all the eye catchy color throughout the building both on the out and inside. Some unique experience to set a new next standard of eye pleasing, combination of majority Pink color with few Golds in detail and black on the other. This one is good
(and heaven) for those who intended to go here for shops and get Pink Pool Coffee. And me? There go straight up excited exploring each floor to the Top.

Oh and some notes, Pink Pool Café and its Rooftop are quite small, you might gotta go there earlier to prevent the crowds from the girls who want to take Instagramable Pics –including me hehehe~

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Seoul in May was cold, it’s about 11`C and luckily I prepared my self on heattech shirt, but still, going to Seoul Namsan Tower was excessively cold, remembering its higher geographical location than the other places I visited. It also had been cold throught out the way I walked from Myeongdong to the nearest Bus Stop heading to Seoul Namsan Tower, and once we’re arrived, it’s even colder.

We were arrive there too early, as I didn’t expect their sunset was later than my home country.  I was able to have some photos with the famous lock-chain in all over corner, walking around to exchange the ticket and finally got an Ice Cream Sundae Churros, yes in the middle of cold temperature we consume Ice Cream but it taste so gewd :9

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The day getting colder and later, it’s been 4pm and we decided to go up to its Top of the tower, in a full expectation to see the beautiful sunset and the charm of its city scape. An hour went by, we have did all the things that we need to do. Circling around the observatory deck, noticing building that far away from the Tower, calculating which direction is North Korea and even the distance to Indonesia. Yet, even it’s seven pm we still couldn’t catch the sunset and does the city line.. So we go down, and need to continue our trip to Myeongdong.

‘Wait, haven’t you guys go to Myeongdong earlier this day?’  

Yes! Yes we did. But the food stall mostly open at night, and once we arrived there it much crowded than at noon! My friends too, need to go to some specific store to bought some skincare for her friends. And too bad, I need to put off my soft lenses hence I couldn’t enjoy the Myeongdong’s crowds that night. All that I could remember was the foods was too good. Kimbab, Fish cake, Rice Cake.. all, is, gewd..

Much long after, we go back to our apartment and bought some snacks, Korean Banana Milk! It was so good too! It makes me want to go back to Seoul even more :”)

I heard some noises from outside and as Shasmy were sleeping on the couch right aside the window she said;

‘Ki, Hujan…”

If I didn’t forced my self to get up, and she did too, apparently we’re not going anywhere that day. Second day in Seoul, we should have been going around Gyeongbokgung Palace but we cancel all the day plan.

We were off from our apartment, heading to One Day Hanbok as we have made an appointment long before we arrive in Seoul. We thought, if we wait for more hours the rain will stop and the sun will shine like yesterday. But as we arrive to Hanbok Rent, the rain still fall even harder and we asked them to reschedule, and fortunately they allowed us. So we look back to our plan, and decided to switch on our last day plan.

The rain make Seoul even colder, and I thought im freezing and need some shelter. Strolled around Garosu-Gil make me think this is a kind of heaven on the next level. A lot of hype and fancier store, boutique and café around. I found Gentle Monster, Le Labo, Cos and many more that I couldn’t mention here one by one. It was definitely a good choice for our plan to go here.

As we’re getting cold, and almost freezing, and wishing the rain will stop sooner, we finally decided to choose Minos Coffee Cult to be our sanctuary. We go up to their store, and finally put our umbrellas off, and relieved to finally sat on their store. We need this warmth.

We order coffee and latte, the hot one as we need it the most. Sitting on the side close to window, to see the road and view of Garosu Gill as people crossing by and walk against the rain. Even its raining, Seoul is still beautiful, it just me who didn’t expect it would be that cold.. But if I could, I dare my self to still use all of my time to see all the neighborhood of Garosu-Gil.

We sat there, watching the rains fall, some rain which fall slow from the trees, some rain that fall to the window in front of us, watching which rain move faster and which one the later. These things soothe us, plus all the calm environment inside Minos Coffee Cult. However, the rain won’t even stop.

We go back out, to make the most of our time so we didn’t mised a lot of things in Seoul. We go to some shops, catch tons of photos, and sight seeing through a lot of beautiful stores and continue to walk to Shake Shack that located apx 900m away. We didn’t have Shake Shack in our home country, so we need to get it here! The queue a bit long, as I can see people here love Shake Shack too. We queue, ordered some burgers and French fries and Cokes. I admit they have the softest buns and meat! No wonder people love it the most and we enjoy our lunch, as we have more sanctuary from the cold temperature out there.

FYI, I’ve been checking their temperature weeks before my departure, yet didn’t prepare the daily weather forecast, as that time I learn weather forecast is way so much important.

It’s much more comfortable, as we finish our lunch and warmth our self for a bit.

Then where you guys go next?’

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Moving to one places and the other. I went to, Guess what, the place where if you ever see a huge blue box container, when at the time is the hypest neighborhood in Seoul, then you know where it is. Common Ground! Yes. Common Ground was consisted of several concept store, cafes and street food. A good integration between each function with unique signature of their huge blue container.

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The day went too slow, as the rain won’t stop and we still have a lot of things to do. We continue to stroll around Hong Dae and ends Up in Jing Gu, where were just so lucky to found a Lantern Festival! So we go to Jing Gu to look for some hands gift, but couldn’t found any and sat for a while to fill our self up with another street food. As we finished, we walked not more than 70m away and found thw whole street were being closed as the main stage for Festival! So, we’re waiting for more minutes and starting to see all the people who walk throughout the road. The Lantern Festival that happen that night was the celebration of Vassak Day the special day for people who hold Budha as their Religion

Even in the middle of the rain, all of these people –both performer and audience, don’t give up to watch the show. We use raincoat and Umbrellas, the props and lantern was covered by transparent plastic because it made from paper. The enthusiasm from the perform was contagious to the audience, we all laughing, smiling, saying “Annyeonghaseo” in a loud voice. The performer also came from various age, we could see a lot of senior people, Middle Age, Adults, Young Adults, Groups of College, Indians, Thailands and even kiddos who cheerfully waving hand to their right and left side.

I Swear my Self, It was the luckiest night we ever witness.


I also been making decisions, to put all the rest of the stories next on Seoul Part Two, as well as for Fact Sheets, Things To Do and Galleries. Please Bare with me and read my next Seoul Story Part Two, Here! 🙂

From K, with ❤

©Rizky Afdolina.

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