South Korea Travel

Korea Day 2: COEX Mall, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwangjang Market, Hongdae

COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

Well, it certainly took me forever to update this blog series. The number of backlogs I have is too damn high. I just got back from my Japan trip last, last week (!!!) so the travel high is still with me. There’s also a 70% chance that I’m going back to Korea this year SO!!! I’m having a good year, so far! Anyway…

For my second day in Korea, I was going to meet up with Yuna and her family later that afternoon which means I have more than half of the day to myself. I didn’t have much to do in my agenda. I was only planning to visit COEX mall and that opens around 10AM.

I slept in that day – which almost never happen when I’m abroad. But I did it and it felt nice. The weather was cold enough that it tempts me more to just stay in bed. For breakfast, I just drank the banana milk I got from last night before getting ready for the day. There was free breakfast at the hostel but since it was already around 9AM, I wasn’t able to get any. Oh well.

(Related Article: Touchdown: Korea 2016)

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

I checked out but left my baggage at the hostel before heading to my first stop: COEX mall. COEX mall is the biggest underground mall in Asia and is located in the Gangnam region – which is basically like the PH’s Taguig City. Fun fact: COEX is derived from the word conventions and exhibitions! COEX has the following inside it: Megabox Cineplex (which houses 17 big screens!), the Kimchi museum, the COEX Aquarium, the ASEM Plaze and the Event Court – which obviously holds events of all kinds.

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

CoEX mall is just insanely huge! I spent two hours or so just window shopping and looking at everything. I also spent about 30 minutes in a particular store – Butter – trying to decide if the map I was wanting to buy would fit my baggage. Sadly, it won’t, but I loved through every item they were selling. The shops I window shopped in did have reasonable priced items but the fact that it was only my second day in Korea curbed in the temptations to shop, shop, shop.

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

I do this thing in every country that I eat in their Mcdonald’s – if I can. For lunch, I got myself some cheese fries from KFC and bought myself a burger meal from Mcdo. I do try to get the burgers that is uniquely available in each country. I tried the bulgogi burger and it’s probably in my top 3 Mcdo burgers up to this day.

How to Get to CoEX Mall: Get off at Samseong Station, Exit 5/6.

After exploring CoEX mall, I made my way back to the hostel to grab my baggage before meeting up with Yuna and her family to the nearest station near our AirBNB. I ended up riding the wrong train and headed to the opposite direction. I was already tapping out of the wrong station before I realized my mistake! Hahaha!

Our AirBNB in here is the biggest one I’ve been to, and worth it for the affordable price. We have three rooms for five of us and just picked a bed, dropped our bags, and went on to the next stop.

Next stop: Gyeongbokgung Palace. My initial Google search showed that the palace closes at 6PM… it was wrong. We arrived more or less at 5PM and it was already close. It was a bit of a bummer but we just went on to explore what was outside of the palace. The plus side is that now we know how to get here when we come back tomorrow! More info about the place for my Day 3 posts. 🙂

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

My “adoptive” family for this trip.

How to Get To Gyeongbokgung Palace: Get off at Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 5.

Our next stop is the Gwanjang Market to try their more traditional street food. The place with packed. The food option is pretty much the same per stall so we just settled to one wherein we can sit in. I wasn’t able to take much photos as, like mentioned, the place was packed and we were already hungry. What we got was: soondae (blood sausage), mayak gimbap (rice roll), tteokbokki (rice rolls), bindaetteok (ground mung bean pancakes), and odeng (fish cakes).

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

What I really tried out of those were mayak gimbap and bindaetteok! I’m not a fan of seaweed and vegetables so while the rice rolls were nice, I’m not too fond of it. I liked the pancakes though! They were pretty spicy for me, but if I had any water with me, then I would have finished it all! It was really tasty. I wish I remember how much the food were but it’s probably from 1000 – 3000 KRW. 😊

How To Get To Gwanjang Market: Get off at Jongno 5(0) ga(1) station, Exit 1.

Our last stop of the day to get some dinner is Hongdae. Hongdae is a lively place – it’s where the universities are located. Plenty of food stalls and stores all around. My absolute favorite was gyeran-ppang (egg bread). We didn’t get to dine in anywhere, just eating a stick of skewers here and there.

In Hongdae, we encountered a couple of performers. Singers and magicians, mostly. There was even a game stall for popping the balloons, in which you can win a stuffed toy! Fun! Mostly couples were playing though…

(Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae (Korea Day 2) COEX + Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwangjang Market + Hongdae

When we were done exploring for the night and was on the way back to the station, we passed by the iconic cute and cheap socks stalls. I hauled all the cute designs! About 20 socks, really. I even got a Song Joong-ki socks!!!

How To Get To Hongdae: Get off at Hongik University Station, Exit 9.

That’s basically it for Day 2! On our way back to our AirBNB, hunger strikes again so we got some rice meals from Family mart and reheated it in our microwave. I wish I remember exactly how the meals were but it’s around 2000+ won for a pretty hearty meal.

(Related Article: Korea Day 1: Insadong + Dongdaemun Design Plaza)


See you next Wednesday/Thursday for my Day 3. You can also subscribe to my blog to get updates when a new post comes up – just need to input your email address there on my sidebar! 🙂

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane
    March 6, 2018 at 2:36 PM

    Korea looks like an awesome place to shop and eat. Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 10, 2018 at 11:23 PM

      It is! Can’t wait to be back! 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey
    March 5, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    I’ve never been to Korea before, but night markets are the besttt! // Tteokbokki and sundubu jjigae are mah fav. Food would def take up most of my itinerary in Korea ;P // The first time I heard about trying McDonalds in different countries was from Wongfu Productions–they do it too! Bulgogi burger sounds sooo gooooood -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 10, 2018 at 11:22 PM

      The food is my number one reason for wanting to go back badly!! No shame in saying that! I just realized how many people do try different Mcdonald’s too – which is so cool.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 3, 2018 at 6:02 AM

    So cool that there’s a high chance of you going back to Korea! Don’t miss your flight this time :P. Coex mall looks amazing! I already got won over with that Rilakkuma statue XD.

    There are so many neat shops in Coex! You guys go to experience some neat sceneries.

    exquisitely.me

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 10, 2018 at 11:20 PM

      Going back this September with the family! Hopefully it all pushes through!! <3

  • Reply
    sad
    March 3, 2018 at 12:51 AM

    sdad

  • Reply
    busyandfab
    March 2, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Your Korean trip sounds fun! My family also tries Mcdonalds when we travel to a new country, so far the best tasting burger is the one from NZ probably because they have the juiciest meat 🙂 And yea, only the Philippines serves rice. Hope I can visit South Korea sooner than later.

    http://www.busyandfab.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 3, 2018 at 12:29 AM

      I hope I can try theirs! My favorite so far is from Korea. Can’t wait how the burgers tasted in other countries hahaha.

  • Reply
    Rose
    March 1, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    Accckkk! I can’t believe I missed it when you posted this. The photos are sooo pretty! My favorite probably has to be the street food experience. Everything looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 3, 2018 at 12:26 AM

      I regret not taking photos of everything we ate in Korea! 🙁

  • Reply
    Eena
    March 1, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Hi Richel! I totally understand you when you mentioned having too many backlogs on posts! I’m barely just getting over the amount of posts I have to write 🙁 Anyways, Korea looks like such a blast! Glad you had a blast out there.

    cabin twenty-four

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 3, 2018 at 12:36 AM

      Can’t wait to go back to Korea, really!! It was loads of fun. <3

  • Reply
    Da Dominguez
    March 1, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    Feel bad for not being so fond of taking photos back when we visited Korea last 2015. 🙁
    I love trying McDonald’s in different countries too, especially the unique inclusions from their menu. Hope McDo PH would feature some of it from time to time. Lol

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      March 3, 2018 at 12:27 AM

      So far, Mcdo PH is the only Mcdo I’ve been with that doesn’t have a menu that is “unique” to the country. Maybe the rice is our unique factor! Haha.

  • Reply
    Audrey
    February 28, 2018 at 1:52 AM

    Busy day! And underground mall sounds awesome! And that market looks AMAZING! When I was in India I made a point to try the McDonald’s there, too! Haha! It’s fun to compare seemingly mainstream brands/things!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 28, 2018 at 2:14 AM

      Right?? Others think it’s so silly but it’s so fun to compare something that is so widely known! For one, I haven’t found any other Mcdonald’s other than in the Philippines that serve rice!

  • Reply
    Bia
    February 27, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    Wow parang andaming pumupunta ng Korea ngayon, I’m so jelly right now! Thanks for sharing this and looking forward to your post.

    Lucky of you that you’ll have many travel plans for this year. sana ako rin 😀

    http://www.biasambrano.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 28, 2018 at 2:08 AM

      Ang dami biglang promo fares to Korea! Haha. I got one for one way less than PHP1500. 😀

  • Reply
    Jonine G.
    February 27, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    yay! we’re planning to go to Korea, and will definitely include this in our itinerary.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 27, 2018 at 7:13 PM

      What season will you be visiting? Excited for you!

  • Reply
    Bambi
    February 26, 2018 at 10:52 PM

    I feel like my mom would get lost easily in Coex mall – she can’t find where to go in local shopping mall, the bigger it gets it’s worse. I’m sure that I would waste my entire day or two there but the street food market seems even more interesting 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 27, 2018 at 7:15 PM

      I do admit I got lost a few times. Hahaha! But there are lots of maps and instructions around so it’s not that bad. I personally can spend hours in one store so I enjoyed visiting it! 😀

  • Reply
    Kat
    February 26, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    Did you wild at coex? I want to see a shopping haul!!!! 😛 Hahaha!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 26, 2018 at 9:16 PM

      No, as it was only my second day! Hahaha. But I know what to buy na when I return. <3

  • Reply
    Anne
    February 22, 2018 at 10:56 PM

    Thank you for this! I will be travelling to Korea on March 5 and this is really helpful 🙂 Did you buy Discover Seoul pass? Can you share your full itinerary?

    http://www.bloglovin.com/@acnnll

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 24, 2018 at 7:01 PM

      Excited for you! I didn’t use Discover Seoul pass – only heard of it now, to be honest! But I checked it out and think it’s worth it if most of the free destinations are already in your itinerary anyway. I can email you the itinerary – I’ll post it on my blog but you might already be in Korea then haha. Let me know your email address. 🙂

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