Friday, August 31, 2012

seoul train

After the peach festival in Joch and grabbing lunch in the caf, Jaimie, Kevin and I hopped on the 1.5 hour train ride to Seoul. The trip went by in a flash and after bumping into Emily and Anna at Seoul station, we all set out together to find our way back to Insadong (with Kaptain Kevin leading of course, map in hand) to explore the area at a more relaxed pace.

Fan girl, fan boy
Kev showing Jaimie the ropes on his 8-year-old map. He'd find a more updated one later when we got to Seoul ;)
Seoul Station
Trying to figure out subway fare
T-monaayy $$$ was the way to go! The card I can use here in Wonju as well which is awesome :)
Sardines in a can.
Jaimes & Em
Anna & Kev
This was taken through a dirty window at a cute little gallery
I wish I knew what these were!
O'sulloc Tea House
Green tea
Dodo Cafe
Mint chocolate
Jaimie being adventurous and trying the egg pastry
Mini fishies! (For those who don't know what these are, they're filled with red bean and are not fish flavoured)

After perusing the alleys of Insadong, we mosied over to Hongdae to meet up with Taylor and Nathan who were already there. We started the night with drinks and tapas at a lounge-y bar/resto. 

Being tourists
So much to see!
Massive pitcher of beer.. how the Koreans do
Em! :)
Haha Anna Banana! Please also note the shot glasses of soju on chopsticks lol.. Taylor's brilliant but questionable idea for soju bombs.
Jaimie, Taylor, Anna
Nathan, Kevin, Emily
Jaimie's new shirt - reppin' her hometown

On our way to our second stop, we passed by Hongdae Park. A number of live music and dance performances were happening there. 

The dude with the mohawk was tap dancing!
Tiniest dog ever
I actually have no idea why I took this picture.

Our second venue was a hookah bar. I don't remember the names of either of these two places we went to unforunately.

Our server lighting things up
We all shared this thing.. see next photo.
Haha Em is giving the camera a pair of come hither eyes.. Join in on the fun she says ;)
Ow ow!

When we got back on the streets we bumped into Ginna and Ali and a couple of their TaLK friends of all people! As a big crowd of foreigners we headed to what we'd later find out was a "GI bar"- we danced our shoes off and had a solid time despite the creepy men who'd make the occasional advance.

Ginna & Ali!
Yup that's a Jager street stand
Ali decided to try it!
Yes.. it was called Club Naked... no comment!

For our first weekend in Seoul, we decided to stay at a well-known bath house (jjim-jil-bang) called Dragon Hill Spa. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into! Oh boy. Words cannot describe the scene we witnessed that evening. People may have well been piled on top of each other here. I've never seen so many sleeping bodies crammed together, on any and all surfaces. I'm certainly glad that I got to experience the Korean bath house, but I don't think I would sleep at one again. I didn't take any pictures of this craziness, so unfortunately you'll just have to use your imagination. Just think: people were sleeping in stairwells, on arcade machines, atop cafeteria tables, etc.

Looked very promising
The crew before the guys and gals split up. No idea what was coming for us at this point - see how happy we look.
In our uber sexy outfits. Em went for an hour long massage while Anna, Jaimes, and I got nekkers and took a dip in some of the baths.
We explored the bath house and its five or some odd levels for probably about two hours. 1) To find a semi-decent place to sleep and 2) just to stare in awe at the scene. We ended up camping out by the lockers. Looks comfy, no?

The next morning, we treated ourselves to a lovely brunch at The Place restaurant and then we went to the Bau House dog cafe. Originally us girls were super excited to check this place out - a cafe with, you guessed it, dogs.. bound to be adorable right? We left with mixed feelings. I don't want to be too quick to judge though, perhaps the dogs are very well taken care of despite appearances.

Is he giving me stink-eye or did he knowingly pose for this picture?

 We moved on to peruse a couple cute shops in and around Hongdae.

This crazy light fixture was on the ceiling at a Kyobo bookstore. Take the typical Chapters/Indigo and multiply it by ten in size and merch and you've got this particular Kyobo branch. They sell everything from stationary to electronics to luggage bags on top of books.
Anna rocking some round frames at an amazing eyewear shop we stumbled upon.. cutie!
Calculator for blind people
Umbrella city
Drooled a bit
To you who know true values! Yes you! #konglish
Obligatory photo in front of the Hello Kitty Cafe

And then it was time to head back to good ol' Joch! 

Love us! Subway to Seoul Station
On the train back... till next weekend Seoul!

By the time we got back to home base we were starved. Stopped by a small kimbap place for a bite. I love these kids.

Solid first weekend in Seoul.

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