Korea was not initially in our bucket list, but since we love Korean food and I had recently gotten into the Korean beauty craze, it was about time we booked a ticket to this popular Asian destination. We spent a total of five days exploring Seoul and immersing in the city life. Here’s a quick recap of where we went, what we did, and what we love about Korea.
First Stop: Hongdae
When we were doing research, we discovered that Hongdae was the place to be if you were young and into everything K-Pop. We aren’t K-Pop fanatics but we did consider ourselves young-ish (haha!) and we wanted to explore this side of town. We booked our Airbnb just a stop away from the main street.
Hongdae is full of character–from the street food, to the students that perform a whole repertoire of K-pop dances and songs on the streets. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something interesting. Small shops line the streets with unique finds and the most unusual of things. You’ll also come across thrift pop-up stores where you can find Korean fashion wear at affordable rates. We also had the BEST Korean barbecue in a restaurant in Hongdae called Red Piggy Bank. If you visit the area, please make room for a meal here. And even if we had quite a lot of time walking around this area, I felt like I still needed to see more of this lively place.
I have entitled this entry as such because it best sums up my two trips to Japan and Korea early this year. You see, I’ve never been good with the cold. I’m known as lamigin, a local term used to describe someone who easily feels cold. That’s me. I don’t like direct ventilation from an electric fan, more so, from an air conditioner. Trips to the movie house and even the mall sometimes require a cardigan. I easily freeze when visiting Baguio or Tagaytay during the “Ber” months.
The last time I was abroad in a cold country was way back in 2007.My family spent New Year’s in Hong Kong. I remember walking in the streets and getting numb all over. I enjoyed the trip but I didn’t enjoy the cold. It was just too cold.
Last March, I was set to travel to Japan and Korea for two consecutive weekends in a row. March, I was told, was still going to be very cold. Luckily I have a mother that prepares for the worst, and even better, she knits. She made me all sorts of cute hats and scarves to keep me warm. She also made sure I packed a lot of warmers..
When we got to Japan, it was just as I expected – chilly and windy. I got myself bundled up as soon as we hopped off the plane! It was about 8 degrees Celsius, VERY COLD by my standards. But hey, thanks to my mom’s scarves and hats, and all my layers, I survived the trip and enjoyed it very much.
Here I am with Mt. Fuji behind me, a rare occurrence, we were told. (The chances of seeing Mt. Fuji is said to be 3 out of 10. I consider myself very fortunate!)