The three of us woke up early the following morning and made our way to Hapjeong (walking through Hongdae) to a hair salon recommended by my friend who went there earlier on in the year. On the way, as we still had time, we popped by a random cafe - Babeans Cafe - for a quick brunch. Brunch turned out to be really scrumptious, affordable (my breakfast set and coffee cost me less than 10,000KRW) and we had the whole second floor to ourselves too!
(On a side note, I'm really thankful Geri and Stella, the two girls you will see pictured in this post, were willing to accompany me throughout the day yet again! In turn, I was 'tour guide' to both of them. We didn't plan to be in Seoul at the same time, but I'm so glad we were! Else I'd be traipsing around Seoul alone while waiting for my other two friends to join me!)
Geri felt bad about me taking a shot alone so she went across the table and took another shot with me. So nice and cute of her!
Once we were done with our breakfasts, off we went to Chop Hair. Before I went to Seoul, I always thought I'd get my hair done at Juno Hair. But a few nights ago, I went by the Myeongdong outlet and found it to be terribly overpriced. I then remembered that my friend CJ had talked about a really good and afforable hair salon in the Hongdae/Hapjeong vicinity. I actually walked by the outlet a day before when I was exploring the neighbourhood, so I already had reservations for myself and my two friends. We waited in a small room for about 15 minutes before they led us to our comfortable seats and asked us what drinks we wanted.
The outlet is pretty small. It can accommodate about 10 customers at any one time.
Excuse my flat, messy hair, but can I just say how I love brightly-lit the salon is!
The girls, flanked on my left and right, cos' I was supposed to help translate. We later realised the terms "cut, perm, treatment" translated very easily to English/Konglish so there was no real need for me anyway, haha.
Me getting a fringe perm. In Korean it's called an "Ap-Meori-Perm".
The happy trio with our done hair, and my happy self with my stylist (Ju-Ah) and shampoo girl (whose name I sadly did not get.)
Overall, I was VERY satisfied with my whole hair experience. I did a cut, root touch-up, fringe perm and treatment. Four processes and it only cost me a grand total of 136,800 KRW (with a 10 per cent off for cash payments). That is about S$160. Plus they also styled my existing curls really nicely after that. I personally think the price is a real steal given the quality of service rendered, and they used Aveda products for treatment too. If you're still not convinced, my friend, Stella, paid only 90,000 KRW plus for her perm! (Prices for the respective treatments can be found here
.) I am definitely going back to Chop Hair the next time I'm back in Korea. Possibly a perm next time?
By the time we were done with our hair, it was almost 3. We spent a good while walking around Hongdae yet again and stumbled into a random Naengmyeon shop to fill up our tummies.
I honestly do not remember the name of this shop, neither did I record it down. But I really think that's the beauty of wandering around Seoul. You can stumble into any random store that catches your eye, and still find awesome food. I don't think I've ever tasted lousy food during my time in Korea. Or maybe I've just been really lucky. We also popped by the StyleNanda Hongdae Flagship store, but there was nothing much that caught my eye save for the photobooth. We did spot a lot of tourists snapping up the 3CE (3 concept eyes) make-up products though!
I was supposed to meet my friend Luke, who was from Korea University and did one semester in NUS previously. It was our first time meeting in four years and we are all well out of university now! He asked to meet me at the International Financial Centre (IFC) area, which I figured was near Yeoido (which I absolutely have to go for the spring flowers right?!), so off we went to the Yeoido Park!
Due to the cold snap and strong winds a couple of days before, quite a few of the flowers had fallen off. Nonetheless, we still got to see and snap quite a few picturesque shots of the place. Yeoido is definitely one of my must-go-to places for spring flowers and I was glad I managed to somehow squeeze in a trip there!
Happy us at the end of the trail!
By the time we were done with all the photo-taking, we were a little late in meeting Luke. I wanted to have dinner at one of the Pojangmachas around the Yeoido area (since there were so many), but Luke seemed to have something in mind. He brought us to this really classy-looking restaurant called Morac at the basement of the IFC. He ended up treating all of us to dinner (I felt really bad he paid for my friends too!) and he later told me he picked such a nice restaurant cos' I treated him to Imperial Treasure dimsum for his last meal in Singapore. (I should I have told him the dimsum menu wasn't that pricey...)
Maybe I've become too accustomed to eating Korean food at the regular Korean shops that eating it a classy restaurant and paying 2-3 times the price didn't seem appealing to me. (Yes, I know we probably pay about the same price in Singapore, but Korean food in Singapore is expensive everywhere.) Nonetheless, the food was good and the atmosphere was nice. We even spotted a family celebrating a birthday there, complete with wine, cake and presents. So if you're looking for a nice, quiet spot to have quality traditional Korean food with a modern setting, and are in the area, you might want to give this place a shot.
403-10 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Hapjeong station (Exit #3)
Chop Hair (Hongdae branch) / Chop헤어 (홍대)
403-03 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Hapjeong station (Exit #3)
Morac (Yeiodo branch) / 모락 (여의도점)
유진투자증권 빌딩 / Eugene Investment and Securities Building (B1), 23-9 Yeoido-dong, Yeungdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Yeoido station (Exit #3 or #4)
Labels: Cafes, Holidays, Korea, Spring 2014