Seoul Diary 2018
Seoul, South Korea
As I've been to Tokyo several times already and I kind of promised myself to explore cities and countries I haven't been to yet, I wanted to combine the trip with a new destination. Seoul had been on my list for so long and flights from Tokyo to Seoul are as cheap as 40,00 bucks, so it was a done deal! It ended up being one of the most amazing trips and a city I could even consider my self living in! I'll try to explain why and will highlight as many must sees as possible below but feel free to write me if you need additional information and tips.
Dec. 3, 2018
Labels: On track, Sail the Seas
I was shooting a little project for Fuji Instax while in Japan/Korea and needed a lot of colourful locations for that matter. So I researched especially pink locations (as those seem to be hard to come by) and stumbled over the "Stylenanda Pink Pool Hotel & Cafe" (South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, 명동 8길 37-8 스타일난다 핑크호텔 5F). This place is not only a clothing shop but also a visual experience including a rooftop and a pool based cafe. Pink everywhere, a decent Matcha experience and a lot of love for detail. There are two locations in Seoul I listed you the one we went to which is supposedly the more impressive one (according two my two travel buddies who also checked out the second location)
Next absolute highlight of this trip was our visit at the Gyeongbokgung Palace (161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea) wearing traditional Hanboks. You can rent them in several shops all around the palace with prices ranging from 10-40,00 Euros for 2 hours to 8 hours and depending on how elaborate you want your dress. But believe me... the simple version already is crazy elaborated. The extra bonus it that if you are wearing traditional clothing you enter the palace for free. This also explains why roughly 75% of the visitors where dressed and it obviously makes for a beautiful vibe. Almost like you entered a different time period. I chose a blue / turquoise / aqua version of a dress while David went all out and became the attraction of the day in his ancient warrior dress!
Some of my favourite areas to go to based on shopping, eating and just starring at things are the following...
Myeongdong (subway station: Myeong-dong)
Loads of shops, street food parlous, brands etc. It's busy, bright, loud and has this bustling vibe! It's located quite central and definitely worth a visit.
Hong Dae (subway station: Hongik University)
This used to be a student area as it's located close to universities and a little further west of the city. None the less it has become a melting pot for little designers, vintage stores, nightlife, street musicians, and crazy concept stores. Prices are super cheap, quality is ... well what you pay for and you can get some of the best Korean Fried chicken here! It's also home to one of my favourite vintage shops called TLAK.
Cheongdam Dong / Sinsa Dong (subway station: Cheongdam )
This area is a lot more expensive but also home to one of my favourite stores (non vintage) I found during my visit. ÅLAND (548-5 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea) which is a shop over several floors that has a lot of different brands (mainly Korean) an incredible quality, very unique designs and super affordable! I found so many things here that I almost had to buy an additional suitcase! Another tip a lot of you have asked for on my instagram is the chanel, fendi, gucci, prada stuffed vintage store that made our eyes pop out! BELL&NOUVEAU (South Korea, Seoul, Gangnam-gu, 논현로153길 57, b1)
We chose the area Itaewon to stay in as it got recommended to me by a friend. It's definitely the "foreigner area" and you see plenty of non Korean people roaming the streets. There are also loads of little restaurants, bars, and international food places. It's located super central and I would most probably stay there again as it was super convenient to reach everything. Subway tickets are super cheap by the way, the metro system easy to understand and if that's still too much of a hassle for you, cabs are even cheaper. But be aware a lot of cab drivers speak hardly any English and may refuse to drive you if they don't understand where you want to go. Best is to write it down in Korean signs, but it's no guarantee. One of my absolute highlights in Itaewon was the vegan Plant Cafe. After weeks of Rahmen, Sushi and Korean Fried Chicken, there was nothings as amazing as a fresh salad and an avocado bagel!
Another highlight that is a little depended on the weather was our Picknick at the Hangang Park right by the Han river that divides Seoul. We bought a few groceries at a near by supermarket, a blanket right by the park (the sell them there for about 3 Euros) and had the most chill time. Everyone around us was basically in tents to avoid the sun which also means you have a lot of privacy and are pretty much shielded from everyone else. Definitely a super fun thing to do, when in Seoul!