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)
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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).
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…
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! 🙂