Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adventures in Seoul, Korea: Day 3

Day 3.. almost half way through our trip yet still so many more things to do~! The first thing on our itinerary was Trick Eye Museum located in Hongdae! It was a bit of a walk from the subway station but not too hard to find. It's located in a somewhat shop street area so I stopped by a Holika Holika while my mom and sister picked up some bread with baked cheese on top from one of those street food carts before we went into the museum. The museum has an a large section that you can view for free but there is also a huge other part of the museum that requires purchase of a ticket to go into. Tickets cost 15,000 won for adults and 12,000 won for kids (18 and under) but if you look on the web, you might be able to find some discount coupons. We spent quite a long time in the museum because there are so many places that you just HAVE to take a photo of (I have included just a few of the many we took). There is even an Ice Museum which is reaaally cold in order to keep all the structures frozen in the right shape (but they provide a blanket for you to wear while inside). The Trick Eye Museum is definitely a place to stop by when in Seoul!
The famous eye illusion (Amber from f(x) has a photo in here! :D )

You can slide down a slide!
After we finished going through the museum, we were quite hungry and moved onto our next location in Hongdae - the Hello Kitty Cafe~! (The address is: 358-112, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea) It was actually very close to the Trick Eye Museum so it wasn't hard for us to find, especially since it's a giant pink building. The inside is SO cute and everything is nicely decorated with pink cushions and Hello Kitty photos all over the walls. The menu items are also super cute and delicious - though a bit on the more pricey side but understandable since anything related to Hello Kitty is always quite expensive. The chocolate and banana waffle we had (shown in picture below) cost 6000 won (if I remember correctly) and there was this like Hello Kitty shaped mini cake that was 10000 won! However we also ordered a pink slushi (tasted like strawberries I think) and a sweet potato hot drink which was superrr good and actually tasted like sweet potato!


After our little Hello Kitty cafe break, we walked a bit more around the Hongdae area and visited the Free Market (also known as the Hope Market) in Hongdae Park which is only open in the afternoons after 1 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The Free Market features artist who make jewelry, paintings, and other artsy craft items that you can purchase to support them. We looked around there for a little bit (it's not a very big area) and then continued on into the rest of the area until we got hungry enough to eat lunch. The whole area has many restaurants so there were plenty of eating locations for us to choose from but we settled on one that looked interesting from the windows (well open windows with the delicious smell of food floating out didn't hurt either) and we weren't disappointed. The restaurant was bustling with people but we were quickly seated. There were only like 5 options on the menu.. two A and B sets (one of the A and B sets included squid, the other didn't.. the difference between A and B was that A had less of something that I forget). We ended up choosing the 5th option which I'm not sure if it was a special but it was on a separate menu by itself and the waiter told us it was the not spicy option so we chose that (though it was meant to be split between 2 people not 3 but we knew it would be more than enough for us. The only problem with choosing it was that they only gave us 2 scoops of rice). The way all the dishes in the restaurant was set up was that each table had a mini burner (like at a Korean BBQ restaurant) and then they would bring out a giant square metal dish that held your raw meat, noodles, and vegetables in some sort of sauce/marinade, and then you would let it cook. It wasn't exactly Korean BBQ though since the style was a bit different (you'll see in the pictures) but it was DELICIOUS! Of course the dish was actually a bit spicy but not spicy enough to cause us a problem. The sauce was actually some sort of sweet soy sauce? I'm not totally sure but it was gooood. If only I could remember the name of the restaurant we went to.... -__- Either way if you find a place that has menu items that look like my pictures in Hongdae.. go check it out haha!
...After! (After we devoured most of it haha!)
Once we finished our satisfying lunch, we headed off, once again, to explore the area. My sister had looked up some special cafes she wanted to go to because Hongdae is famous for its many cafes. We passed by so many interesting ones but didn't have the room in our stomachs to go in. Some of the cafes we saw included a whale cafe, piano cafe, cat cafe (these and dog cafes are supposedly quite popular), and many more! We finally found the cafe my sister was looking for which was ... the Hongdae Mustoy Doll Crafting Café (located on 344-6 Seogyo-dong,Mapo-gu, Seoul) !! It's a cute cafe that has these blank white dolls that you can draw on and decorate. Many famous celebrities have gone there and made a doll and you can see the pictures of which celebrities have visited that cafe. We were a bit behind schedule though so we didn't actually make a doll but going to see the cafe was a fun trip! There are some REALLY nicely made dolls *amazed at the talent of some folk* There was also another cafe in the area called Coffee Prince cafe where a popular Korean drama was filmed at (forgot the name of the drama exactly since I've never watched it but apparently it's pretty popular because they have a sign that specifically says if you're here to take pictures, please only stay outside" haha).
Mustoy Doll Crafting cafe - from the outside you can see all the dolls on the shelves that people have made. If you look closely on the top shelf you can also see pictures of the celebrities who have visited this cafe.
Coffee Prince cafe from the outside
To my mother's relief, we finally left Hongdae and all it's tempting cafes to go to Ewha Women’s University. Of course my sister and I weren't too interested in the university itself but more the shopping areas around it buut for my mother's sake, we walked around the campus for a little while, until the sun set. The campus is actually quite nice (well on the outside, who knows about the classrooms, dorms, etc) but the shopping district around it is even nicer~! We picked up some shoes from the markets and shopped around until we got hungry enough to find a place for dinner. We picked a random restaurant on the streets of Ewha that I shall post a picture of as soon as I can (haha sorry don't have all my photos with me atm >__<). I would definitely recommend it though it wasn't exactly your typical traditional Korean food. It was a mix of Korean and Japanese style food in my opinion? But it was absolutely delicious and scrumptious :)

Udon (typical but delicious!), deep fried pork cutlet with rice and the yummy sweet sauce LOL, and a small bowl of salad that was SOO good. It had the Japanese miso dressing that's like sweet? Soooo good :)
Spicy seafood fried rice. It was delicious but definitely spicy haha!
Omelet over rice with a sausage patty? I don't remember exactly what the meat was but it was superrr yummy~!
After dinner, we finally had enough time and energy to go to Dongdameun - the place to go for nighttime shopping and street food~! The cool thing was that there weren't just street markets like you might expect at a night market area but there were actual department store buildings that were 12+ stories filled with little boutiques that sold shoes, hats, clothing, jeans, and everything for males and females! There were definitely some good deals at some of the shops and a few Kpop shops that sucked my sister and I in (though we resisted and didn't buy anything *super proud*). I must mention though, there was this one floor that was all denim material and the jeans were.. I'm not kidding.. Abercrombie Kids sizes!! Like they were seriously THAT skinny - I didn't even bother looking at them because I knew they wouldn't fit haha >__>'. The shop owners are all really nice and welcoming though. If you have time at night, you should definitely check out Dongdameun because there is an endless amount of shopping to do there. ^__^'
One of the many story-high buildings in Dongdaemeun

Alrighty.. that concludes day 3! I must say, writing our entire trip out is taking me a lot longer than I expected haha. I hope you guys are all finding this helpful and interesting and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or just wanna say hello C; Hope you all have a wonderful day~!

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