S. Korea: Modern Seoul
For all my griping about the boys being more interested in shopping and eating, I must admit I bought my fair share of products too (about half of which were cosmetics and skin care items).
We spent a lot of time going in and out of any store that caught our eyes (sometimes fighting against the crowds). Considering our age, it was no surprise we went craziest in the shops around the two most famous university districts, Hongik (home to Hongik University which specializes in art and design) and Ewha (home to Ewha Womans University, a super prestigious women-only school).
We also went to Gangnam for fun, but as expected, the prices were a bit above our budget…Also, no PSY.
Of course, being in Seoul, I had to visit Ewha’s main campus as well, for their famous “sunken” building by Dominique Perrault. HZ, being in that industry, was my partner-in-crime — both JH and RP opted to do more shopping on their own for an afternoon (they’re so crazy).
One of the special activities we all enjoyed was the Cookin’ Nanta theatre show. It’s quite popular with foreign tourists, as it’s almost entirely non-verbal. It was hilarious, and some of the tricks the actors performed were very well-executed. I highly recommend going to this if you’re in town! (Be sure to book tickets ahead of time, or you might not get a seat.)
Another special activity we enjoyed was visiting the Trick Eye Museum. I think it’s been featured in a K-drama recently, but it’s a fun place to go and take silly pictures. Depending on the angle you take it from, you can capture some really fantastical scenes!
The entire museum consists of trompe l’oeil paintings, which create optical illusions using forced perspectives. Unfortunately, the lighting ruined the believability of some of the paintings (I hope they fix that), and sometimes the paintings were not particularly cool/funny. The ones I included below are some of my favourites!
Within the building, there was also a small studio where you could dress in traditional clothing and pose for pictures (either informal or formal ones). The entrance tickets to Trick Eye included a discount coupon, and of course I took advantage of it!
It was only to be expected that we each had different reasons to go to Korea for our trip. After seven busy days spent in Seoul, both HZ and I were getting fatigued from all the shopping (also, our luggage literally couldn’t fit any more items). Sort of last-minute, we decided on a three-day trip to Jeju, before returning to our respective countries. We left JH and RP in Seoul to shop their hearts out for the rest of the week.
Though it was rushed, we did manage to spend midnight of New Year’s Day together. Too bad there were no fireworks (and it was really cold on the hostel’s rooftop), but at least we were all there, huddled together! Korea, your holiday customs confuse me sometimes…
The next post will be very picture-heavy with all those food pictures! Then, I’ll show you what we saw in Jeju!