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Myeongdong is known for its shopping, so needless to say that this area was beyond busy. There’s tons and tons of places to buy skin care products, clothes, accessories, and food stalls line the streets. It was packed and a bit overwhelming (especially with the amount of tourists there as well), so we stopped for ice cream while looking for the Innisfree cafe. Green tea, chocolate, and strawberry – 맛있다!
From the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest in the city. The grounds were huge, I don’t think we even ended up exploring all of it – though some of our impatience was also due to the fact that we were in desperate need of lunch. Nevertheless, it was beautiful. There were also lots of girls in traditional hanbok dress taking photos throughout the grounds.
Eating out sometimes proves to be a somewhat sobering experience when it comes to realizing how completely clueless we are about either what things are, or how you eat certain foods. After we were seated, we waited a bit and watched the people next to us eat to make sure we didn’t do anything rude or ignorant.
One night in Hongdae we were struggling to find a place to eat and wrongly assumed that seeing a white person in the restaurant window meant that there would be English menus. Wrong. At one point, Caleigh dove in too early and tried to eat the noodles before they were properly mixed with all the other ingredients. The couple next to us watched with complete disbelief as she did this, and I was laughing too hard to make her stop. You live & learn.
For all you Kpop lovers out there – you can even compare your hand size to any of the idols in the company and be matched with one – it’s silly, but fun.
This was by far my favorite area in Seoul. It’s a more traditional looking neighborhood, with really cute little shops lining the busier streets. While here, we found a perfume shop just off the main road where you could make your own facial mists, perfumes, or face oils. The perfume shop is called Granhand. I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the area:
서울특별시 종로구 북촌로11길 19
19, Bukchon-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Hongdae is the area where our hostel was located. There’s a lot of smaller shops and boutiques here. Because of its proximity to Hongik University, Hongdae has pretty reasonable prices as far as cheap food, clothes, makeup, and accessories. I only spent a couple of hours walking around in this area, but could have easily spent an entire day (if my wallet allowed for it).
Something we learned the hard way on our first day in Seoul is practically all the cafes open closer to 10am, some only after noon. Go to bed late, wake up late. The opposite of what I’m used to. We found this cafe at 8am after wandering around for twenty minutes.