Welcome to Seoul, one of Asia’s most coveted places due to its strategic placement in the waters of the continent. For me, a home away from home, always brimming with energy, innovation and excitement. After I graduated from college I hopped on a plane to Asia to do some soul searching. With no plan and little money I ended up in South Korea where I decided to take a some Korean courses. Trying to stay afloat in a country where you don’t speak the language and barely know anybody, can bring out a heroine you didn’t know you had within you. For this guide, we shall be focusing on the popular area known as Myeongdong.
Start your day on an adventurous note with traditional cuisine and a mountain and end it in the main shopping district perusing the many quirky products the country has to offer. Watch the streets come alive as the sun starts to set.
A warm breakfast at a Kimbab Cheonguk.
While rice, seaweed and spicy food might not top everyone’s list as a morning meal, there is no denying that this chain makes some of the most delicious Korean comfort food there is. You can gorge yourself for next to nothing but don’t overdo it, because we start our journey here, at the restaurant right outside exit 4 of Myeongdong station.
Scale South Mountain.
With your back towards Myeongdong station exit 4, walk straight until you get to a very busy intersection and turn left onto Sogong-ro. Keep walking on the street parallel to the main road until the road turns into a tunnel and you arrive at a diagonal elevator. Take it up. Now you are at the base of Namsan where you have a choice; take the aerial lift or hike! Don’t fear the hike because everybody is decked out in hiking gear, that’s just a ‘thing.’ The hike is completely paved with tiles and stairs and takes less than 45mins (even in flip-flops). The aerial lift will take you up in less than 10mins. Either way, enjoy the views!
At the top of the mountain you will find N Seoul Tower. At the base of the tower you will find thousands of locks, eternalizing love between friends, lovers and family. Even though this is probably just a clever marketing trick, there’s no denying that there’s something magical in the air here.
Send a postcard from the top of the tower.
After locking your love, make your way up N Seoul Tower with their high speed elevator. After enjoying the glorious 360-degree view of this amazing city, find the mailbox and tell your loved ones at home about your amazing adventure with some good old fashioned snail mail.
Paris Baguette is not French.
Head back to Myeongdong station and find one of my favorite spots in Korea [another chain], Paris Baguette. You can find these cafes on almost every corner in Seoul. While the name brings up images of French patisseries, these cafés have a definite Korean spin to them. My favorite treats? Sweet potato cake, blueberry yoghurt cake and soft cheese bread. They also have some interesting drinks like green-tea and red bean lattes. If you happen to go in summer, don’t forget to try out the bing-sus [also known as ice flakes]. They are amazing!
Snail emulsions and Soybean Energy cream.
After re-fueling at the cafe, you are ready to take on Myeongdong in all it’s glory. This popular shopping district has everything from your trusted Zara and Forever 21 to the stores where you can find the clothing you only ever see online [read Engrish]. There are millions of little skincare and makeup stores and if you’re looking for a new phone case you might just find the perfect one. In any case, if you want to find something wacky that you’ve never heard of, this is the place to be.
Sun down, food out.
As soon as the sun starts to near the horizon, the Pun-shik carts come out. Pun-shik means street food. They have everything from fruit juices, to ice-cream in a tube, to dried pollack. Try something new, it won’t bite! Then stroll through the crowded street and see how many couples with matching outfits you can find.
Coco [Light by Coco
] is a web and graphic designer and minimalist blogger. Her videos
about living light inspire minimalism, tranquility, and positivity. She is the Head of Slytherin House for Blogwarts