Thursday, 10 November 2011

♡ Seoul Trip 1 부 ♡


So as I had probably talked about in past entries; I went to Seoul on the 21st of October until the 31st (arrived back in the UK on the 1st of November though) and honestly it was the most immense time I had ever had! I still wish I was still there soaking up the atmosphere and night life and food!

We arrived at Incheon airport at 4.25pm on the Saturday afternoon and deciding to grab a taxi from the airport to our hotel, we happily drove along chatting to the nice driver about the places we did want to go to and listened to his suggestions also. His English was pretty amazing and he was so kind also only charging 65,000 won (about £57) for a two hour journey because we had arrived during rush hour and during the first hour of driving, I just stared out of the window before falling asleep for a while. We arrived in Dapsimni around 7pm and it was just pitch black and finding our hotel was pretty simple (because on reviews people had said it was hard to find and complained about different things but to be honest I found nothing wrong with location or the room/service)

The road outside our hotel, Dapsimni is like an "old" area as there honestly isn't much but there is enough for what you would need.

As you can see, our room was pretty basic. Two double beds, computer, television and a bathroom but it was extremely clean and the mattresses were a little hard but comfortable at the same time (if that actually makes any sense...) and after we had settled in and worked our way around the bathroom taps (they were really weird! you had to pull the out to make it work and then twist some bits to make certain parts work like the taps or shower head) we headed our down the road to see how far things were away from us. The receptionist told us that the subway station was about a 7 minute walk away (but turned out to be about 5 minutes as we walked faster) and that there was a Family Mart (food market) about 4-5 minutes away and so we headed down to there to get some food as we were a little bit hungry!

I was disappointed with the Starbucks mocha drink, I normally love the Seattle latte and this drink just tasted to bitter for me. The ice-cream tasted like strawberry mochi which is actually amazing and the banana milk was just orgasmic! Yes ok I said banana milk was orgasmic but seriously... banana milk here in the UK just tastes extremely sweet and overly processed where as banana milk in Seoul tastes like milk with a hint of banana and that is how I like it.
Anyway, on the Sunday when Rachael and I woke up (we slept a good 12+ hours) we decided to head over to Dongdaemun because we didn't know what Sunday's were like over in Korea (we're used to shops and everything closing at 4pm) and so finding out that Seoul is more of a night life city (even on Sundays) made us feel better about not having to wake up at some ridiculous time of the morning. But as soon as we walked out of the station and turned around there was the Heunginjimun, which literally is "Gate of Rising Benevolence" or the "Great East Gate"

Dongdaemun is also know as the "shopping district" as it has many underground shops and also some high-classed shopping centres dotted around.

Also running through Dongdaemun is the Cheonggyecheon stream (it basically runs through a lot of Seoul because when we went to Euljiro-4 it was there too and near the Kyobo book store!) but the stream was very pretty as it had spots where you could sit down and there were stepping stones you could cross and along the wall were little bits and pieces of art and facts etc.

When we returned back to the hotel for the evening, we decided to go explore Dapsimni a little more and see what there was to offer (as we had read that there was apparently nowhere to eat) and as we were getting ready, we were watching the repeat show of M!Countdown and who had to come on the screen but my all time favourite idol Kim Hyun Joong! Oh how I fangirled just a little bit too much...
But anyway, we found this Japanese restaurant down a street about 3-4 minutes away from our hotel and it was just a street dedicated to food/convenience stores and beauty shops. So whoever wrote the reviews about there being nowhere to eat around Dapsimni are full blown liars!

I ate donburi with udon! Delicious~

The street in Dapsimni dedicated to the restaurants~

*insert more fangirling here*

Next on our travels we went to Sinchon, which is actually an extremely populated student area as three universities are based around that area (I can only remember the Ewha's Woman's University...) and so everything seemed extremely exuberant and bright! Also around that area there seemed to be a load of beauty shops; especially Etude House, Nature Republic and The Face Shop, they are massive about their beauty products and it was weird seeing how different their products are compare to UK beauty products but it was nice to browse and buy some that were good for my skin (as my skin is sensitive and can break out when trying new products) as well as stocking up on my BB cream! Also what I liked about Nature Republic were their idol representatives; Jang Guen Suk and JYJ? Yes Please!

Walking down streets and streets of Sinchon, we finally decided to get a coffee hit and went into a Starbucks along the main road. I decided to try and Chai Creme Frappuccino and a Pistachio Macaroon and not even going to lie they were extremely buff to eat/drink! Rachael had a Caramel Frappuccino as she's not keen on coffee and she wasn't as impressed because it actually tasted like coffee (I tried some and can vouch that the taste of coffee was extremely noticeable in their version) but she enjoy her Strawberry Dacaroon very much. I think dacaroon's are just a bigger, squishy version of macaroons but all the same delicious!
After our buzz; we headed over to Etude House, which is Korea's answer to Boots/Body Shop (they did have Body Shop's over there but hardly saw them as much as you do in the UK) and the sales assistants were so lovely in there, I had a 10 minute conversation with one of them in perfect English! She wanted to know why I was here and who my favourite idol was and she seemed surprised when I said Kim Hyun Joong! She thought I was a Jang Guen Suk fangirl and I told her that I was also but he just doesn't come as close as Kim Hyun Joong to me. I swear Korean sales assistants are the nicest people ever... despite the fact that loads of people stared at Rachael and myself because we wore everyday, what they would consider "heavy make-up" as they are a country that wears minimum make-up yet pride themselves with shit-tonnes of beauty products bursting out of every street corner!
Still.... I loved being around Sinchon and now enjoy a few photographs:

Chai Creme Frappuccino and Pistachio Macaroon!

Bread fish? Fish bread? In a window of a bakery!

My free tote bag that I got from Etude house after I had spent about 100,000 won (about £85) on products! Mind you they did give me loads of free samples including a free travel beauty kit.

Thanks for reading!

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