18 May 2014

Escaping to Seoul (a photodiary, part 2 out of 2)

Ta-da! Here's the other half of my Seoul travel diary! In case you missed it, you can find the first part here. As promised, this post will be about Days 3 and 4 of my trip. Be prepared to coo and squeal over the cuteness of most of the animals pictured here-- unless you have a case of some related phobia, but in any case-- you have been warned.


DAY 3 (May 11)

The day was spent mostly in Everland, another theme park in South Korea. Technically, it is not located in Seoul, but in another city called Yongin. We signed up for transfer from our hotel to the amusement park and back to save us the trouble of figuring out how to reach the place; however, it might have not been the best idea because our time was constrained in return. We arrived at Everland at around 10:30AM, and left at 3:30PM. Such a shame that we only had 5 hours to explore the place, given that it was amazing. It's like Korea's very own Walt Disney World, but owned by Samsung. It was smaller in terms of area, but the variety of attractions and the themes of each section were very reminiscent of Disney. Honestly, if you had to choose between Lotte World and Everland, choose Everland.

The first part of Everland we went to was Zoo-topia, the jungle/safari-themed park. (If you know Disneyland, it's like Animal Kingdom.) Our guide was very adamant about us getting into the Safari World ride, and she didn't let us go until we queued up for that lol. It was cool though, because the attraction provided us close (yet safe) encounters with the creatures of the wild.

 That's the special kind of tour, where you ride an SUV instead of the bus!

Is the lion smiling??? (photo taken with an iPhone, hence the quality)

Happy bear wants some more crackers.

We also got to experience Lost Valley, and a couple of other rides. The lines for many attractions were long because it was a Sunday.

 THIS FOX IS SO ADORABLE!!! (For some reason, I remembered Andrew Garfield???)

Photos from other parts of the park:

Colorful brocolli!

After being dropped off at our hotel, we decided that it was already time for dinner. (We've been told by our tour guide that Koreans tend to eat dinner early, like 5 to 6 PM- ish.) For that day, as a celebration of Mothers' Day and a belated one of my father's birthday, we headed over to this unique sort of a seafood restaurant.


Boiling Crab & Shrimp
Itaewon Area

The seafood shack is quite hard to spot because it's in one of those alleys. But the trouble of looking for it is worth it! I know, the food looks messy; but it tastes just as good as how messy it seems to be!! Don't worry, they provide gloves and wipes anyway. The cajun sauce totally nailed it for me. (You can choose the level of spice for the sauce, by the way.) It was quite a struggle for me to eat because I'm not exactly skilled in working with shellfish with my hands, but I soon got the hang of it. Definitely a great experience! (I forgot which bucket we ordered, but it had snow crabs, Korean crabs, mussels, scallops, shrimp, corn, and potato.)

After dinner, we took the subway to Dongdaemun in the hopes of immersing ourselves in the night market. However, the weather became a real bummer! It was raining so hard that we couldn't bring ourselves to leave the station and go out and about. So instead, we checked out this new mall, Lotte Fitin, and this shopping center called Goodmorning City. Being a Lotte mall, the former was full of branded establishments. The latter, on the other hand was like Greenhills of some sort, filled with small stalls that sold different kinds of clothes (haggling's allowed!).

We also checked out and marveled at this ultimately futuristic and artsy infrastructure, one of Dongdaemun's landmarks. It was the farthest we could go without being harassed by the downpour.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, Line 2/4/5

We went back to Itaewon, and my mom bought coffee from Paris Baguette Cafe. It came in a very cute cup!! And as if the weather just decided to pull our leg, the rain stopped when we were back at our hotel lol.

My outfit that day was perhaps the one that blended the most with the local crowd among the four I sported. Varsity jackets, among with other athletics-inspired pieces, were definitely a common sight on Koreans. (So I'm really glad I asked for this and it came with The Box! Been wanting one for myself.) Another trend: skirts and stockings. (Wearing sheer stockings here, but then my dark legs make them look like opaque ones creys)

(click photo to view on Instagram)

Crop top: Fab (available in Robinson's Department Store)
Varsity jacket: Forever 21 || Boots: Dr. Marten's

DAY 4 (May 12)

And so we reach the last day of our stay in Seoul. I wish we could have stayed for a day longer! We didn't have the whole of day 4 to spend, so we crammed everything we can. First, we went to Cheongnyangni, where we did some snacks-shopping at Lotte Mart, and some window-shopping at Lotte Young Plaza. They also have Toys R' Us there wherein my dad probably went all starry-eyed haha. At the food court section of Lotte Department Store, we happened to spot this stall which sold some interesting-looking foodstuff called "schneeballs" (I think). At first,  we thought they were like cream puffs. But when the salesperson offered to hammer it for us, and when we opened up the bag, we found out that it was crunchy. And good!

Almost finished it all before I decided to take a photo lol sorry.

B2 Lotte Department Store
Cheonyangni Station, Line 1

After Cheongnyangni, we decided to head over to Edae for some shopping! Being there made us realize that we should've headed there first before every other shopping place because the prices there are pocket-friendly! And there are lots of choices. However, the stuff there are mostly just for girls. After all, it's around the area of Ewha Women's University, an exclusive and prestigious university in Korea.

Taken at Line 1, City Hall Station (before transferring to Line 2).

The main road leading to Ewha (pronounced as YOO-wa)

Edae Shopping Neighborhood
Ewha Women's University Station, Line 2

Shopping in the area of Ewha Women's University is perfect for ladies who are into the sweet and feminine style. There are lots of shoes there, too. Some shops sell the same items, but here's a tip: the farther you are from the main road to the university, the lower the prices tend to get. Also, haggling is allowed in stores, except those that are "fixed-price stores". (I love my finds here, you should watch out for my Seoul haul post!)

For lunch, we ate a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant. Roe rice seems to be famous in the area, so I got cheese roe rice. My parents, on the other hand, got pork cutlet sets which tasted just as good as Yabu's, if you asked me. The roe rice was kind of too cheesy for me, but I really loved the udon soup and the salad thing! The prices of the food are worth it though because they're meant to be student-friendly. Also, they have English menus, yay!

Near Ewha Womens' University

Oh, remember the hanbok photo studios I mentioned in my previous post? We found one in Edae too! We missed our chance to get our photos taken in Insadong, so we finally gave it a go here!

So Ewha was our last stop before heading to the airport. (We hoped to go to Hongdae too but ran out of time sigh) Since we're punctual flyers, we had around three hours to kill, and it didn't prove to be a problem because Incheon International Airport had a lot to offer.

Yongsan Art Hall

Some new terminal in Incheon, I think?

While waiting to board the plane, we bought some drinks to quench our thirst. My parents bought from Charlie Brown Cafe (near Gate 12) while I got a Banana in Berry smoothie from Smoothie King (near Gate 10). They had Jamba Juice in the airport too, but I decided to try Smoothie King because I've seen a lot of it in Seoul and I just had to try it.

Now to wrap up this photodiary, here's a look at my attire for my last day in South Korea!

Plaid skirt & varsity jacket: Forever 21 || Necklace: Envy || Boots: Dr. Marten's

Yep, wearing sheer stockings again in this one (they're a different pair, trust me). Also, the last photo is a sneak peek on one of my purchases in Edae!! Trench coats are definitely the "in" thing, so I thought of snagging one for myself (and mom, we'll share) too. My mother managed to pull down the price for this one, too! But you'll find out more about this on my Seoul haul post! That's all for my Seoul travel diary, I hope you guys picked up something useful from it haha! And if you'll ask me, yes, I would love to come back. Thanks for reading and dropping by!

x Erika Rosales

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