Travel
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10 Things About Seoul

I’m leaving for about a month and a half in a few weeks, and today, I woke up with an urge to upload my travel photos, which is a feeling that doesn’t come around often, so let’s just roll with it. Also, I was looking at my travel tag to see which trips I haven’t posted about yet… and v. alarming to see that I may have misplaced photos from one particular trip I haven’t posted about yet… but let’s hope that isn’t the case.

I went to Seoul with Liana and Sarie back in November 2014. Can you believe how long it actually takes me to get things up on this? I think it’s the photo stuff… Like, I probably shouldn’t take so long or post so many… But anyway. A bunch of their friends from high school (which included my cousin, Maita!) were in Seoul, too, so we went around with them to places we want to go to that are also part of their itinerary.

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I don’t usually go around with groups this big, so it was a different experience. S/O to Sarie, Liana, Maita, Mikee, Ange, Gica, Mej, and Gia!

(In the process of fixing this post, I realized why I get to lazy to do these things. Anyway, I take too many photos of everything is the reason. And I don’t know how to edit or pare down very well. This is a practice passed on to me by my LiveJournal, “document everything” past. But we are more than the sum of our parts, et cetera, et cetera.)

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Because there were so many photos, and also because I don’t remember a lot of the details, I’m going to try and post my Seoul trip in 10 parts! I was there for about eight days, so. Um. Here we go.

Seoul Loves Dogs

On the train from the airport to our accommodations (Pigfly in Hongdae), we already ran into a little runt in a bag. We met the curly terrier at a café, the Jack Russell terrier by Hongdae when we were looking for a money changer, and the two babies at a stall we passed by every night that sold doggie clothes.

Seoul Dogs

Architecture

I was with architecture geeks (Mikee and Sarie) so we got to visit really cool buildings that were pretty much everywhere.

Museum of Art Seoul National University by Rem Koolhaas
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A photo posted by Carina (@presidents) on

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This cool cat lives there.

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art by Mario Botta (Museum 1), Jean Nouvel (Museum 2), Rem Koolhaas (Samsung Child Education & Culture Center)
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A photo posted by Sarie Cruz (@tinybasil) on

Dongdaemun Design Plazaby Zaha Hadid
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Ewha Womans University by Dominique Perrault Architecture
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So many coffee places

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Cute shit I want to buy

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I wish I got one of these dinos from Too Cool for School instead of all the makeup I got, lol.

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Portaits! Me, Sarie, Liana

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Note: If you’re looking for clothes, the Hongdae area is actually a really great place to look (for clothes and otherwise). It’s kind of a university neighborhood, so there are a lot of nice places to look. Found a lot of nice and cheap sweaters around Ewha, too. Love the shops around Itaewon, but definitely out of my price range.

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This dude was getting swarmed in Hongdae. I wish I knew who he was, lol.

Fall foliage

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I don’t think you can see any other people as excited as we were about dead leaves. This was on the way to Seoul National University’s Museum of art, and the area around it:

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Walking from the World Cup Stadium to Haneul Park
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Haneul Park
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Silly Museums

I was not very in2 it~ but Liana and Sarie were! These ones were taken at the Trick Eye Museum.
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Food

Food (for me) is kind of hit-or-miss. It took us a long time to find a good barbecue place, and I think we only found it because Sarie researched or some friend told her about it. Here are some photos of food I may or may not have enjoyed:

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Some dumplings from a cart by our place. They were OK.

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Soju c/o the bigger party of friends.

A photo posted by Mikee Silva (@mikeesilva) on

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I don’t even remember. I think it was a curry type of dish and I was pretty much in love with it. It was from a pop-cup cafe (I think) in MMMG in Itaewon, which is also a great place to explore.

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I think this was in a Comme des Garçons store in Itaewon.

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I think this is some type of beef soup/stew—one of the only “traditionally” Korean dishes we had, served as our lunch on the DMZ Tour.

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Korean BBQ! SO happy about this find. It was somewhere around Hongdae, but the quieter areas. Honestly, I should probably have written down notes or written this post earlier, but what can you do.

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Last meal from the airport. I wanted to eat bibimbap, only this turned out to be a special kind, agh! Haha, it was still good, though.

DMZ Tour

The DMZ (Demilitarization Zone) Tour is basically the closest you can go to North Korea without actually venturing out there. It was so surreal, there are actual borders that indicate the separation of North and South Korea. There’s quite a bit of history lessons, too, and they make you sign a waiver at the beginning that basically says you’re aware of potential danger, and won’t hold them liable, etc. Scary to hear, especially when other people recount incidents when tourists stray from “allowed” areas and get plucked by military.

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It was super cold the day we went, about -1°, so I was wearing so many layers that day.

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Pyongyang from the Dora observatory.

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They actually have a train line to Pyongyang. I’m pretty sure it’s functional, but negotiations with North Korea depend on whoever is leading the current administration, and the people in power at the time I went weren’t very sympathetic/interested in establishing any ties. You can buy a token here to go through the turnstile, I think, but we didn’t end up doing that… mostly due to paranoia on my part.

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Sarie and a North Korean soldier. A literal step farther back and they can arrest you if they wanted to, it’s pretty unreal.

Animal Cafés

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We went to a sheep café, where they served waffles (?) and ice cream. These are Anna and Elsa. Their enclosure looked pretty dismal, I get sad when I think about them, but this dude seemed like he cared about them, so I like thinking that maybe they’re doing okay.

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We went to a dog café! (We had already been to cat cafés in Japan.) This is Kkambo, my new best pal. He sits upright with his paws up when he wants a treat, basically. The dog café we went to is called Bau House and was kind of confusing to find, haha. But worth it, ofc.

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Ball Ball!

Ball Ball is the dog at Pigfly. I miss him and I love him.
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If you have any questions, just comment and I’ll do my best to remember the answers. :) Seoul was so fun, definitely recommend a visit (or two).

  • Omg the famous dude is Choo Sung-hoon! UFC chuchu siya (Also was in Return of the Superman!) Ang cool na nakita mo siya haha

    • PLEASE! Hahaha I wish I had known this at the time, so funny and cool.