Springin' around Seoul 2014 Day 1: Bunking with AirBnB & Hongdae Trick Eye Museum

It's been a while since I last blogged entries, much less Korea-related ones. As decided previously, the Korea/Seoul-related ones stay here while the rest go to the other blog. I attempted to microblog on Dayre, unfortunately, I had way too much fun and forgot to post updates.

My trip to Seoul was from 5 - 13 April, slightly over a week. The trip was kinda separated into 2 parts. The first part with my mother and the second with my friends WL and Jas. It's been a year since my mother went overseas, so when I brought up the idea that I was heading to Seoul alone, she jumped onboard. 

So on Friday evening, we hopped on a red-eye flight to Incheon. While the flight was a comfortable one, we were unfortunately kept up by a wailing kid (about 3 years old) with very mild parents who let him disrupt the whole plane. Not cool, parents. I caught the Korean movie, Flu on the flight to Incheon. It was really good, though it was quite unnerving to be watching a pandemic film based in the country I was about to be headed to. (Thinking too much.)

I picked up my KT Olleh Wifi Egg at the airport so that I could be connected. I've also grown very reliant on technology to find my way around (mostly through the subway and maps applications) so having a constant connection was a must! Plus having a constant connection enabled me to post consistent updates on Instagram about my trip! (In case you want a glimpse, use the hashtag #saraheartseoul to get to those posts.) It didn't cost a lot - about 8,000krw a day and I could connect several of my devices at one go.

We started off our first day in Korea (Saturday) by taking the AREX to Seoul, stopped at Hongdae, dropped our luggages off, and then took the subway to Myeongdong for a look see. Might I add it was CRAZY cold. It was supposed to be Spring but the weather seemed more like Winter. I think the temperature was about 0-5 degrees that day. As it was too early, not many shops were open. But it was still comforting to start off with one of the areas I was more familiar with.

Very happy with my coffee since I didn't get much shut-eye the night before.

Once we were there, we grabbed breakfast at Angel-in-Us Coffee. Sadly, the coffee was mediocre and the service was slow. Doubt I'll be back there!

I was up for some shopping and remembered that Edae was one of the places I scored the best buys. Since it was a few stations away (along Line 2), we popped by.What caught me by surprise though, were the Spring blossoms at Ewha Woman's University. They weren't all over campus but there were enough to take picturesque shots such as these.

I did some quick shopping in Edae and spent about 50,000krw on some tops, dresses and stockings. Edae used to be one of my favourite places to shop. But I think my tastes have since changed, the area doesn't seem that appealing anymore, and some of the shops have made way for restaurants, hair salons and cosmetic shops.

While Edae is pretty much known for its Ddeokbokki and Albap (Fish Roe rice) restaurants, I didn't feel like having either. We settled at this place called Noodle Box which sold Asian-style noodles such as Pad Thai and Mee Goreng instead. Admittedly, having non-Korean food for our first meal in Korea seemed kinda lame, but the noodles turned out to be pretty good, albeit a bit too spicy. 

When they said it was spicy, they really mean spicy! I was drinking so much water while having my meal. And it was so spicy I couldn't finish it.

Soon it was 2pm and I had to meet Choi, the owner of the Air BnB apartment we were staying at. I chanced upon this apartment randomly but confirmed this place upon my friend's reccomendation. So far I'm loving it tonnes! It is right above the Hongdae subway station (sheltered all the way), less than 5 minutes from the busiest area of Hongdae and his apartment has everything! I paid about $100 a day including Air BnB fees. I would highly reccomend this place over a guesthouse. The Air BnB apartment is called 2-Skyview Studio in Hongdae.

Since it was pretty late and I had to meet friends in the evening, we decided to hang around the Hongdae vicinity and head to the Trickeye Museum which is located right in the heart of Hongdae. I've never been to the Jeju one so the Hongdae one seemed like a good alternative. Entry to the Hongdae Trickeye Museum is 15,000krw. The museum's location is pretty obscure. It's in the lane on the right of Hongdae parking lot street, below street level. It was pretty amazing how they managed to have an entire museum underground. 

Kinda gross lying on the floor, but oh well!

The mother and I spent a good 1-2 hours playing around the museum, trying to get the most realistic looking shots. It was a good experience though mildly frustrating cos' there were SO many people and they weren't exactly the considerate type.

We then shopped around a little more, and I brought the mother back to the apartment while I went to look for my SNU friends - Hyunbae and Jeesoo. Another friend, Jinhyung was supposed to join but he was stuck in Yeosu because of work. We walked around in the cold for a bit before we settled at Saemaeul Sikdang, a barbecued meat restaurant. It was quite funny cos' I remembered from my previous trip at Saemaeul how to eat the 7-minute Kimchi Jiggae but Jeesoo and Hyunbae didn't.

Of course one round isn't enough for Koreans, we then went to a HOF for cocktails for our second round and had street snacks for our third round. It was pretty crazy standing out in the cold having street food, but yet it felt very much like my exchange days. Thankfully my apartment was so near so I didn't have to walk outside in the cold for that long.

Noodle Box (Edae Branch)
56-102 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Ewha Women's University station

Trick Eye Museum / 트릭아이미술관
357-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul Seogyo Plaza B2
Opening hours: 09:00 - 21:00 daily (Last admission at 20:00)
Nearest subway station: Hongdae station (Exit #9)

Saemaeul Sikdang (Hongdae Branch) / 새마을식당 홍대서교점
331-18 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Hongdae station (Exit #9)

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