Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Travel to South Korea: Seoul Story Pt. 3

Have you ever seen the pictures of Korean coffee shops? They're nice and pretty. Each coffee shop has their own theme with unique decoration and always packed with people, day & night. It's just like a daily habit for Korean people to spend their time on their favorite coffee shop and grab their own cup of coffee. Mostly for the youth and business people who live in the big city like Seoul.

South Korea has several local brands of coffee shop and they're very famous around the country. Angel-in-us Coffee, Hollys Coffee, Caffe Bene, Tom n Toms, Ediya Coffee and so on. To visit one of Korean famous coffee shop was on my list and I chose The Zoo Coffee. Why? Just because my favorite K-drama which aired at that moment, Nice Guy, has filmed some scenes at Zoo Coffee Sinjungdong branch :)

Sinjungdong is quite far from the center of Seoul. I was traveling alone after had lunch with my brother and his Korean friend at Lotte Shopping Mall. It's a raining and chilly Sunday. I went to COEX and Hongdae first to check on Song Joong Ki's movie (A Werewolf Boy) with an english subs, but it turned out that they're just have the eng subs show for a certain day and time. I took the SMRT (Seoul Subway) from Hongdae Station (line 2) to Sinjungdong Station (line 7). I wasn't familiar with Sinjungdong area and I didn't have a clear direction how to reach the Zoo Coffee either. I just depended on myself to read the map in hangeul written that I got from Zoo Coffee web, and pray for some luck.

After 40 minutes walking around in Sinjungdong area, headed to the wrong direction and tried another pathway to the narrow street behind the buildings.. at the time when I almost gave up and decided to go back.. I found Zoo Coffee shop! YEAAAYY! :D

Couple of Pandas were having a cup of Zoo Coffee outside. Kyeopta!

Gwang Soo! Giraffe!

My yummy hot chocolate :) 

Where's Kang Choco?

I ordered a glass of hot chocolate for around 4000 KRW and glad that the taste was match with my appetite. I really want to stay for a longer time inside this coffee shop, but unfortunately my brother was already waiting for me at COEX. It took about 40 minutes from Sinjungdong to Samseong Station, so I drank my hot chocolate in a rush and prepared myself to deal with the cold weather outside. 
One of my favorite thing about Korean Coffee Shop or Cafe is most of them are using wood for their interior. So, I think it has made the customers feel warmer and stay inside :)

As I mentioned earlier, me and my brother was going to Lotte Shopping Mall (Jamsil Station, line 8) to meet his Korean friend and grab our lunch. I have the spicy octopus with rice and vegetables for my lunch. Honestly, chewing an octopus it's harder than I thought :3
After lunch, before shopping for some Korean snacks at Lotte Mart, we made a quick visit to Lotte World (amusement park, indoor & outdoor) entrance and skate rink.. plus Pororo Park!

Sneak peek for Lotte World

When we're shopping at Lotte Mart, I followed my brother's friend advice to buy the most favorite Korean snack. She highly recommend the rice crackers, the chocolate-strawberry biscuits (I forgot the brand), and Pepero! Pepero is quite the same as Pocky. It turned out that day was a Pepero Day at Korea when everyone sending out Pepero for their friends or family. I'm curious who started this unique tradition. So, 11.11 is a Pepero day at Korea, noted :)

I had a plan to watch Song Joong Ki's movie called A Werewolf Boy at the cinema later that day. After gathered some info, I found that there's a show with an english subtitle that evening on MegaBox Theater at COEX or Lotte Cinema at Hongdae. I managed to reach those cinema but the staff said they didn't have the show with an eng sub :( So I decided to watch the movie next day at Myeongdong, without the eng sub. I didn't understand all the conversations, but I still get along with the story and tried to hold my tears once its reached the ending. The movie was GREAAATTTT! DAEBAK! Song Joong Ki's acting as a werewolf was beyond expectation. No wonder it has become the no. 1 movie at Korea for several weeks. Too bad this movie isn't going to show on Indonesia cinemas. Boooo..

The cost for watching a movie at CGV cinema at Myeongdong on Monday is 8000 KRW.

Earlier that Sunday, me and my brother moved out from our hostel at Myeongdong and went to Anguk to feel the Hanok Stay experience for our last 2 nights at Seoul. Hanok is a traditional house of Korea. Anguk is very near to Gwanghwamun, so I decided to walk around Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheongdong area on Monday morning, alone again without my brother. 
The weather was nice that morning. When I saw the map, I decided to go to Bukchon Hanok Village first, then Samcheongdong, and going back to Anguk while passing through Gyeongbokgung Palace at Gwanghwamun. Bukchon Hanok Village was located about 15 minutes of walking from Anguk.

Beautiful Hanok on every corner at Bukchon Hanok Village. A treat for my eyes :) Don't worry if you get lost while walking around, you can find the map and the direction signs easily. I lost my way in the middle of this village because the alley is narrow and there's a lot of intersections. But thanks for the map, I can found my way to Samcheongdong.

I read a lot of review at people blog about the beauty of Samcheongdong. Lots of beautiful and pretty cafes are form a line along the street on this area. 

Hanok Cafe!

Hello Kitty Cafe ^^

On my way home to Yoo's Family at Anguk, I passed along the entrance of Korea National Folk Museum and Gyeongbokgung Palace East Gate.

Across Gyeongbokgung Palace East Gate, The UUL National Art Museum Seoul is under construction with an eye catching campaign :)

Before reached Yoo's Family, after passed Gwanghwamun area, I also took a quick snap across Insadong. The place with hangeul written all over the place, even for international brand like Starbucks.

Changdeok Palace is located across the street from Yoo's Family. I found a very beautiful garden right next to this palace.

The colors of autumn :)

Walking around in a clean, friendly, busy yet pretty city like Seoul is a good package for my health and heart. The scenery definitely made me happy :)

Here's the clue for my next story: The Gapyeong City Tour!

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