#EUNIQUEadventures | Travel Diary: Korea Pt. 19:57 AM
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Now onto the specifics...
Hongdae is an area of Seoul that houses Hongik University, and which happened to be only one subway stop away from our Airbnb house.
The streets are diverse with all types of shops, restaurants, and cafes that tickle your fancy, and trust me when I say, things can get overwhelming if you don't have an idea of what you want. Overall, it's a poppin' college town that's lively, cute, and perfect for retail therapy. Korean beauty is a major industry so there are a lot of overlapping stores throughout the area. I estimate seeing Innisfree close to ten times while I was walking around and they were all different stores! I found that interesting and a bit excessive
Traveling around in Seoul by car can take longer than if you travel via subway, so traveling through the underground subway systems, which are implemented SO WELL, was definitely the way to go. If you know how to read a map and have a pretty good sense of direction, you can to anywhere you want. Almost everywhere you travel, including street signs, have english pronunciation translations for foreigners.
Or you can also exit off Sangsu Station: Line 6, exit 1 or 2
Use this Subway App that guides you from point A to point B using real time subway schedules! It was a lifesaver on my trip and was extremely easy to use. Just click the station that you're leaving from, press the "Depart from" button that pops up, then go click on the station you want to exit at, and tap "Arrive at" at the station pop up menu. It also tells you what time the subway stops and arrives at the stations so you can time your trip and when you should go to the station.
The streets of Hongdae is sprinkled with street art, which reminded me a lot of the Art's District here in Downtown LA, but with WAY better street shopping.
We were overwhelmed by all the shops everywhere and couldn't decide on what we felt like eating, but we luckily found this shabu shabu spot (레터스샤브샤브 / Let Us Shabu Shabu) randomly in one of the streets of Hongdae (see map at end of post; marked red).
They set up the shabu shabu menu in a really cool and modern way, where you pay for the meat meal plan, which includes your choice of meats with access to their unlimited salad bar with whatever carbs and veggies you want to shabu shabu. They even have all the different broths on deck at the bar in case your pot boils down too much. BUT all good things must come to an end, and so does this AYCE ("all-you-can-eat") shabu shabu after a time limit of 90 minutes, which was wayyy more than plenty for us. We were confused, but the four layer plate trays that I was handed was meant more to be shared than be for a single person. Guess I was used to American-sized portions lol. So if you go with friends, split the tab equally with each other and share the meat plate combo as you order more as you go. The AYCE salad/carb bar has plenty to keep you filled even if you order minimal meat. It's also a great vegetarian option, although I can't say for sure because of the broths. It's located on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the building, so make sure to look out for the sign on the street!
TRICK EYE MUSEUM (홍대) in HONGDAE
Closer to Hongik University, you can find Trick Eye Museum in a rather normal-looking building along the inner streets of Hongdae. Admission is ₩15,000 Won (about $15 USD), and includes entry to both Trick Eye Museum and the Ice Museum, all within the same area.
Trick Eye Museum is-needless to say-trippy. They're optical, perspective illusions that immerse you within the art piece to create a living, 3D effect. It was a rather small exhibit, but definitely had enough photo opps that'll make you feel satisfied by the end. Look out for the photo-shooting instructions displayed near each art piece to get the best angle for the photos. But try to be polite to others and don't dwell too long on a photo. Koreans are all about courtesy and 눈치 / noonchi!
There's even a mini carnival "street"--more like a carnival hallway--right by mirror tunnel exit at the Trick Eye Museum that features carnival games you can buy to play. I tried the shooting game and won a small doll (not pictured). Go 'Murrica #sharpshooter
TEAMLAB WORLD in SEOUL
Shout out to my cousin for showing us around!
I heard of TeamLab and always admired their exhibits in Japan, so I was delighted to find out that they had one in Seoul as well! So of course, we had to go! TeamLab World in Seoul is located off the right of the Lotte World Adventure Theme Park entrance. Entrance fee is ₩20,000 Won (about $20 USD), and features a moving floral room, a virtual aquarium where you can draw and color your own sea creature and watch it come to life after they scan it! They have lots of interactive light installations and activities that can even entertain the oldes of adults. It's a kid-friendly environment, so it's a great place to visit with the family! I suggest you wear bright clothes with no graphics for the best photos. It's pretty dark in there, so wearing white will reflect the colors off, creating a wonderful photo op.
Hope this helps in your trip to South Korea!
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