Korea is a shopping country. Period. No ifs & buts. When you go to Korea, be prepared for your shopaholic fam to test the limit of your patience, lol. Korea is teeming with so many cute & attractive stores EVERYWHERE that Kap & the kids’ “just gotta” & “look lang” takes forever & a day.
Babyson around Hongdae: “Last one mommy then we’ll eat na promise”. I heard this a hundred times over. @_@ Hongdae, btw, is a region in Seoul, South Korea near Hongik University after which it is named. It is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, clubs and entertainments.
Happy Pills. I badly need this after walking 15 miles everyday -rain or shine! :) To be fair, this is such a cute candy store which hails from Spain. Glad the kids accidentally found it & that it made them extra perky teehee. :P Happy Pills is basically a sweets factory but with pill boxes and prescription bottles used as candy containers. The store is made to look like a pharmacy & even has labels to add to the bottles (aka “prescriptions”). So fun! You can read more about Happy Pills by clicking HERE.#dontworrybehappy
Cuteness overload. You can find Happy Pills stores at: Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, and HYUNDAI Department Store. Pero yung “soulmate”, aba medyo mahihiran ka yata jan. ;P
Another cute find: Lightbulb Soda – the newest drink craze in Korea. A little perk-me-upper along the way. I normally have a limit on my sugar quota but on travels, I need my sugar fix to keep up with my hyperactive bunch, gah! Again, I cannot pinpoint the exact location of this particular stall because the kids found it by accident, but I googled & saw you can find a similar stall at the foodcourt of the Pangyo Hyundai Department Store & Songdo Hyundai Premium Outlet.
This Lightbulb Soda with the pink flamingo floatee is just too cute to resist! They have four flavors: Black tea – 3,800 won, Lime tea & Green tea – 4,000 won each, and Omija (a Korean berry that consists of five flavors) tea – 4,300 won. This bulb literally lights up with a clicker at the bottom of the glass. Fun, fun souvenir from Korea! <3
My mommy friend Teree advised us to try to chicken ginseng which is popular in Korea so we trekked to Baenaneony Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup Restaurant for brunch after a morning filled with -what else, shopping! Afternoon merienda na really, if you want to be technical, hay.
Baenaneony Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup Restaurant
(Another name for the restaurant is Baengnyeon Samgyetang)
It’s 2pm when we finally got seated for brunch. Hindi lang nila ako papatayin sa pagod, pati sa gutom na rin. :P
Baengnyeon Samgyetang is a traditional restaurant with hanok-style architecture that specializes in samgye-tang (ginseng chicken soup), and is located at the entrance to Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul’s Jongno-gu district.
Baengnyeon Samgyetang only serves naturally raised chicken, and uses about 40 ingredients in the samgye-tang, including ginseng, gingko, jujube, glutinous rice, fruit sauce, and others. The soups is simmered for a long period to bring out more of the natural flavors and minimize the fat content, giving it a light & clean taste. Also, all ingredients used are grown or raised domestically.
I was complaining about the summer heat to my friend Teree so she suggested we have ginseng chicken for lunch today. Samgyetang is a chicken soup made with a small, whole chicken and ginseng. It’s an iconic summer dish in Korea. Koreans supposedly eat this to beat the heat and stay energized during the summer. The chicken is stuffed with soaked sweet rice (glutinous rice). Garlic, ginger and jujubes (dried red dates) are other common ingredients.
I can’t say that this restaurant is something out of the ordinary, but it has been on this busy Hongdae street for so long that it has become sorta iconic. And one can’t go to Korea & not eat this Korean specialty right? ;)
I ordered the Ginseng Chicken Soupwith Abalone 20,000 won (900 php) which was quite substantial as it comes with a whole spring chicken per order and glutinous rice underneath. Tbh, it tasted very similar to chicken arroz caldo with lotsa luya. It is comfort food at its best especially for weary travelers such as myself hehe. Kap & the 2 older kids got the plain one (no abalone) at 650 php/bowl. Yep, quite expensive but do consider it is a whole spring chicken. :P
My Bae didn’t want soup so she got the KFC a.k.a. Korean Fried Chicken! ;)) It was lightly marinated & crispy on the outside just the way she likes it. 1 order is good for 2-3 pax, just order rice & you’re good.
On our 7th day, our wifi ran out (we were only given 10 gigabytes for our portable router by our host for the entire duration of our stay) & my cheapskate of a hubby doesn’t wanna pa-load anymore since we gets bursts of free wifi around the city sporadically. So wala akong pang-aliw sa sarili, ho-hem-gee. Kunsumido ako. :P
At mahirap ako makunsume. Just look at what happened yesterday. @_@ GOppets, gusto nyo ba uli akong makunsume?? shoppamore
OOTD with matching salonpas, you ain’t seen nothing yet. :P Head to toe ako tadtad & I smelled like a geriatric tourist oozing in menthol hehe!
Team GOppets on the loose.
The kids had mercy and finally left me at a coffee shop that had a pair of sheep grazing nearby to keep me company while I waited for them to roam the block & shop to their hearts’ content. Try as I might, I’m really not cut out for a whole day of walking, inaatake ako ng rayuma ko.
Thanks Nature Cafe
486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea +82 2-335-7470
Better known as Sheep Cafe, Thanks Nature Cafe is located close to the main gate to Hongik University’s campus. Look out for the staircase that leads you down to the cafe from the main pavement. Sheep lovers, or just animals lovers in general, are going to love this place. And if you have visited all the dogs and cats cafe already, this is going to be something new! Where else can you be sipping a cup of coffee, eating waffles, and be in the company of two cute and fluffy sheep in the city? <3
The two stars of Thanks Nature Cafe: A male & female sheep whose Korean names we can’t pronounce so I’m leaving it be. :P Customers are allowed to pat and play with the sheep. The pair seemed very used to having people around them & would walk up to people without fear. Yes, merong amoy.
Specialty of the shop is waffles & coffee, naturally I had those while I parked myself & enjoyed the sheep’s quiet company (and free wifi hehe). They grazed, I ate & surfed the net. Err’body happy. ;))
Meanwhile, Kap & the kids went around the area. You can’t walk a few steps & not see a store, I swear. Bawat sulok ng Korea may tindahaaan! And my family took every opportunity to browse shop. @_@
When they’d had their fill & their sacs were finally bursting at the seams with pinamili, we hied off to Namsan Seoul Tower (N Seoul Tower) for a 360-degree view of Incheon -but after first dropping off our things at the apartment. Today’s weather is the most pleasant. No rain, minimal sun, crisp cool weather. Sana hanggang paguwi namin ganito ang panahon. It was almost 8pm but daylight was still lurking around.
Namsan Seoul Tower was the first tower-type tourism spot in Korea. The top of the tower is at almost 480m above sea level, including Namsan Mountain (243m) and the tower’s own height (236.7m), making it one of the tallest towers in the Orient. It is comprised of Seoul Tower Plaza, recently opened to public access after 40 years, and N Seoul Tower, operated by CJ Foodville since 2005. The tower was first established as a broadcast tower to send out TV and radio signals in 1969. As of now, it has become one of the representative landmarks and multi-cultural venues in Seoul.
Namsan Cable Car. Operating hours: 10:00-23:00. Round-trip (Adults 8,500 won / Children 5,500 won) / One-way (Adults 6,000 won / Children 3,500 won). Individual Admission Ticket to – Observatory: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won | Ssentoy Museum & Show room: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won | Hello Kitty Island: Adults 8,000 won / Children 7,000 won
People who visit N Seoul Tower can enjoy a cool, fresh breeze blowing across Namsan Mountain despite the hot and humid weather of summer. There are seven tree-shaped frames covered with padlocks at the base of the tower, it’s a popular picture-taking spot so be on the lookout.
Love padlocks at N Seoul Tower. N Seoul Tower is one of the iconic symbols of Seoul. This place has now become a popular date spot for couples. Like the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, couples head to the tower to lock their “padlock of love” onto the railing and to wish that their love will last forever.
The ‘padlocks of love,’ which you can buy conveniently at the tower or bring one from home, are locked to the railings and fences at the base of N Seoul Tower. These show the significance of love to people from all over the world, stretching beyond history, culture, religion or region.
Each of the padlocks hanging at the base of N Seoul Tower has its own love story. But ours remain to be my favorite one. :)
What you can see at the N Seoul Tower: 5F: N Sweet Bar, A Twosome Place, Ssentoy Museum, Hello Kitty Island | T1: Ticket booth, Food O’clock, N Burger, N Terrace, A Twosome Place, Olive Young | T2: The PLACE Dining | T3: Hancook | T4: Observatory, A Twosome Place | T7: N GRILL. Tourists at N Seoul Tower mostly take photos with the ‘padlocks of love’ and the heart-shaped chairs. The chairs look like they’re broken with a bend in the middle, but they’re actually heart chairs. The bend helps people sit closer to their significant other. People who didn’t have love locks wrote their messages of love on the chairs instead, making it a cute, multi-purpose feature.
At the highest point, couples can enjoy the best panoramic sight of the city. The most romantic moments actually happen at dusk; when the sun is about to set. Kaya pagbigyan nyo na kami, feel na feel talaga naming magpaka-koreanovela dito saN Seoul Tower! :P
Sorry Kap my Kap, wala ka nang kawala sa akin. Ilang beses na kita nai-lock sa puso ko. :P You’re mine for all eternity. <3
It was back again to Myeongdong for a street food dinner after our touristy thing. I told Kap there was no way I was going back home without trying the cheesy lobster. Plus the kids also wanted to try a host of other things that they didn’t get to the 1st & 2nd times, so we hied off to the busy night market in search for glorious food.
Myeongdong is a destination in itself. It’s a great area to find many types of restaurants and yummy & unique street foods. The best part about street food here is that you can walk from stall to stall finding whatever looks and smell the best. Most of all, it’s cheap, tastes great, and will keep you warm on a cool night.
The best time to experience Myeongdong is after the sun goes down when the streets are packed, the smells of street food make your mouth water, and the neon lights are brightly lit up. Must try: Mandu (right)!
and this grilled cheesy lobster! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE in every bite! <3
A bit more costly than the rest, this one you just gotta try. Fresh & hot off the grill, you won’t regret every won spent.
We ditched eating in a resto on our 7th night & just went from stall to stall sampling the many street foods on display.
After satisfying our grumbling bellies, my girls wanted to go through every single store again in Myeongdong. Walang katapusang facial masks & beauty products. Utang na loob, ilan ba ang kailangan nyo in one lifetime?? Enough of this toruture for me, quota na talaga ako. I decided to just get a foot & balakang massage, otherwise they’d be pushing me back to the apartment in a wheelchair. Every motion I made was literally like stepping on pins & needles. Oo na, I’m really a bad travel companion. :P So we split 3 ways: Kap & Babyson to check out more food. The 2 girls in search for MORE beauty products, and me? Destination heaven, lol! 40,000 won or 1,8k php for a combination foot & balakang massage. Keri na kahit mahal.
How fast, we only have 2 more days to go before we leave for home sweet home.
I’m hoping for Everland tomorrow but the kids are hesitant to go because it’s soooo far. Saka hindi naman daw kami ma-rides so baka masayang lang ang punta. And si Kap naman mej ayaw din kasi alam nyo na, may bayad! @_@
Oh well, que sera sera. Wherever our feet will take us, I’m happy as long as we’re all together. Sa susunod uli na chika.