I spent the last 10 days traveling around South Korea with my Korean boyfriend Jeongsu (Jay). Finally, we got to see each other again. We stayed the first 3 days of our Korea adventure in the capital, Seoul. After that, we went to my boyfriend’s parents’ house in a small town called Miwon near Cheongju. Last, we stayed at my boyfriend’s apartment in Cheongju city where he just finished his Bachelor’s degree. In this post, I am going to share my photos and stories about my experience in Seoul <3
The city has a history of over 2000 years and features tons of cultural sights reflecting the history of Korea. In 18 BCE, Seoul was founded by Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea (at that time the Korean Peninsula was divided into 3 kingdoms). However, Seoul blossomed especially under the famous Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897) serving as the dynasty’s capital.
Today, Seoul is home to over half of South Koreans along with 632,000 international residents. The entire Seoul Capital Area, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, is the world’s second largest metropolitan area with over 25.6 million people.
I left Changsha, China at around 2:00 AM and arrived in Seoul at 6:00 AM. Luckily, Jay had already arrived and waited for me at the terminal. I was so happy to see him again after 4 months. We bought some bus tickets from Incheon to Seoul City and traveled to our guesthouse. We stayed at Namsan Guesthouse (5). It is a wonderful guesthouse offering free breakfast and snacks throughout the day. The staff was very friendly. Jay and I got a private ensuite room. Unfortunately, the guesthouse was being renovated and the people started working early in the morning but we went out for sightseeing anyway so that was not a big deal.
Since we arrived so early at the guesthouse, we had to wait until 12 to check in. In the meantime, we ate breakfast and explored our neighborhood. We soon found a Caffe Bene where we had the most delicious Bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert): Cookie and Cream! Caffe Bene is the Korean equivalent of Starbucks but I must say their concept is much better! The interior looks much more comfortable and modern and, well, they offer bingsu!
After checking in at 12 and relaxing for a while, we headed out to Dongdaemun a giant shopping area around the “Gate of Rising Benevolence”. We took the metro and checked out the stores inside the metro station! KPOP galore!
Arriving at the station in Dongdeamun. Well, it was Monday and we didn’t do any research so when we got there, the famous market thing was closed down and it was also pouring rain… But well, we saw the gate!
A few streets from the metro station and gate, there is the famous Hello APM, which is another great shopping area and it was luckily open! But before we went to do shopping, we had to eat something – we were really starving. Jeongsu looked up a place that served apparently the best Bulgogi (Korean dish that usually consists of grilled marinated beef) in Seoul. Sure enough, it was the most amazing Korean food I had ever had! The place is called Dokkaebi Bulgogi, Dongdaemun.
Completely full and satisfied, we began our shopping tour. I must say, I heard a lot about Korean cosmetics and drugstore products but I never would have thought they would be this awesome! I bought lots of stuff at a store called “Skinfood”.The main concept of the company is to create products with nutritional values of food. The company slogan is “beauty food for the urban sweety”. They have all different kinds of products from hair products to cleansing to make-up! If you are in Korea, it is a MUST!
After shopping in Dongdeamun, we went back to our metro station, Myeongdong. Myeongdong is mostly a commercial area, being one of Seoul’s main shopping and tourism districts. We grabbed some Korean ice cream cones there. Now, these ice cream cones are relly unique. they are huuuuuge. Ice cream is filled in on both ends and you can eat it alone or with someone else! Very yummy and it looks awesome!