안녕하세요 Annyeong haseyo!
As a guest blogger I am excited to share one of my beautiful experiences during my stay in Asia. So here we go… LET’S GO TO SEOUL!
Many friends said I was crazy to choose to go to Korea over all those warm places in Asia during the winter. They said “It’s freezing”, “all the attractions are outside”, “it’s not beautiful in the winter”, “and it isn’t that exciting”. It was true, it was ice cold! However, don’t underestimate how much warmth the city Seoul can bring you in a cold winter.
I stayed with seven other friends in Hongdae area, which is a perfect place to stay. Streets in the evening were filled with people and lightning, which makes walking around really comfortable and cozy. In the centre there were many different restaurants, and we bumped into an endless stream of awesome dishes: from the famous Korean fried chicken & beer to ice cream fish bread and shaved ice.
Chicken & Beer
Fish bread filled with red bean and vanilla ice cream
Korean shaved ice with strawberry, with cheese-honey-nuts toast
I have to admit, I missed out on a lot of dishes as I cannot eat anything spicy, and if you are familiar with the Korean cuisine you will understand what I mean?. I realised the thing I like the most about the Korean kitchen is the different side dishes they give you next to your ordered ones. Every time we ended up with a full table of food, which is literally the greatest feeling.
Boiled pork belly surrounded by the side dishes
However, the best deal we had was an unlimited Korean BBQ for only 19,000 won (€15,) per person in Hongdae. We were sitting in a crowded restaurant, ordered lots of meat, noodles and with the dramatic Korean songs at the background… it was a great atmosphere. And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without our first real soju-bomb!
Aside from food, Korea is a paradise for girls shopping and a nightmare for their boyfriends. Everywhere we walked we were overwhelmed by the many cosmetics shops, underground malls and cute shops and cafés. It is still fascinating how easy my money rolled out of my wallet.
As diehard tourists we wouldn’t be only going to Korea for shopping. We tried to walk around and explore every interesting corner of Seoul. On a random day we went to Gangnam’s COEX mall, the biggest shopping mall in Seoul, and to our surprise it was really crowded outside with several food stalls. The highlight of that evening is seeing my own face appearing in the middle of the biggest building.
During the night most of the tourist attraction are closed, but we thought there must be something around to see. Finally we went to the Bongeunsa-temple, which is one of the few temples that were open till the late hours. Without any high expectations we were suddenly walking in a beautiful area. From the colourful lanterns at the beginning we walked up a hill till we ended at a big statue. When we turned around we saw the old temple in the front with modern buildings at the back. For moments like this, it is hard to describe how beautiful the view was, even pictures can’t show it. This is the why I love travelling, because some things can only be acquired or seen through experience.
One last thing, after this trip I will never forget about the existence of inclined elevators. We accidently walked with our biggest luggages in a wheelchair elevator, because we couldn’t read signs… Which is not smart in the first case, and suddenly the elevator started to shrink… The first moment I thought I was in a horror movie and the elevator is going squeeze us all into the ground, I was trying to press any red button as many times as possible. The second moment we were stuck and squeezed for more than 30 minute in an inclined elevator waiting for help while calling the emergency centre. Being a tourist is the best excuse for crazy experiences like these, which is why we all should keep travelling!
Hope you all liked it, and make sure to travel a lot in life!
안녕 Annyeong Wahwah