April 17, 2014

Suwon and Bukchon

For our last few days in Seoul, we hopped on the train for about 30 minutes to Suwon, a fortress city and perfect place to daytrip. Christian was stoked because the trains had arcade games and karaoke rooms...hahaha. 

We also spent our last night in a hanok (traditional Korean house) in Bukchon hanok village. It's amazing how a place as high-tech as Seoul has this ancient Korean village nestled in between the buildings. Bukchon was perfect for a 1 or 2 night stay. Walk around later in the evening when *most* of the crowds have disappeared!
{Cute Bukchon village}






April 15, 2014

Hyehwa area in Seoul

After a few days staying in Hongdae, we thought we'd explore another part of town. A few readers said we must check out Hyehwa in Jongno-gu district so we decided to book our next right next to Hyehwa station.

Hyehwa (like the rest of Seoul) is riddled with universities except this neighborhood caters to all of the artsy/theater students. It's no surprise that Hyehwa matches the crowd. Live music, tons of theaters, murals on the wall, creative statues and benches...Hyehwa is just plain cool. 

It was also only one metro stop from Gwangjung Market where word on the street was that this was the place to go for Korean pancakes (pajeon) and rice wine (makgeolli). It was delicious but we were still back at one of those Korean BBQ places in Hyehwa the very nice night (because we're obsessed!).

You really can't go wrong with staying in Hyehwa or Hongdae!

TRAVEL TIPS
Where to stay: 24 Guesthouse was great!! And they have locations all over Seoul
What to eat: Korean pancakes...and BBQ ofcourse
What to do: Korea has bangs for just about everything (private rooms for karaoke, gaming, movies, etc). We found a DVD bang in the neighborhood, rented a movie and chilled out in our own private viewing room watching '127 Hours.'

*Bring extra shopping money too...the streets around Hyehwa are lined with lots of cute clothing and accessory stores*



April 11, 2014

The touristy side of Seoul

Ok maybe we spent a good part of our time in Seoul drinking with Korean students in Hongdae, eating Korean BBQ and visiting all the tech stuff Christian desired, but we visited a few temples too thanks to my friend Carly and her handy travel guide since she had spent a year living in Seoul teaching English. 

For 10,000 KRW, we got access to 5 of the major temples around Seoul, which was quite a bargain. Seoul was on the verge of Spring so the air was crisp and the cherry blossoms were juuust starting to bloom.

One of the highlights of our time in Seoul was meeting up with an old friend from highschool: Sam. He treated us to dinner in Gangnam (mmm hmm yes the same as 'Gangnam-style!') and we met up with another Korean-American friend of his and ordered endless bottles of soju (the local liqour). 

The atmosphere of Seoul, of Gangnam, the coolness in every person walking by us was on a completely different level. And we thought it was kinda neat that we basically saw ZERO tourists during our 9 days in Seoul.

April 7, 2014

Seoul!

Christian, that geeky husband of mine, is a tech guy at heart. Basically 'gadget' is his middle name. So early on in the planning of our 6 month backpacking trip South Korea became a part of our trip. After a Norwegian couple told us that Seoul was 'the best city on the planet' we decided to do a good 9-10 days here. And oh how happy we were during those 9 days.

The Koreans know how to party...I mean Hongdae was ALIVE every single night.

Then there were those cheap shops selling the world's cutest sweaters for like...$10!!

Then we went to a cat cafe which ofcourse goes to show we are crazy cat people...lol.

And then the Korean BBQ...mmm. Cooking quality meat while your table is covered with 'banchan' (Korean side dishes) and kimchee and the rice wine and soju wash it all down. Korean BBQ is one of the best culinary experiences we've had in Asia.

Seoul is so alive, so delicious and so so so so advanced. We were constantly connected to free wifi around the city. 

Basically, Christian wants to move there...and those Norwegians were right, Seoul was the best city we've experienced in Asia :)...and possibly ever...well besides Amsterdam ofcourse ;)...