A Week Of Seoul Searching

Seoul has always been one of the must-see places in Asia, and the rise of the Korean celebrities to global stardom has made this city even more popular among tourists. I have to admit, I wasn’t particularly curious about the Korean culture until I watched Super Junior. So I guess I’m one of those who got affected by what they call as the Hallyu Wave/Korean Wave.

Last month, I was fortunate enough to go on a Seoul Searching trip to South Korea’s capital city.

Aside from the different places we’ve been to, we also had a chance to mingle with other tourists during our stay. Since we all had different bucket lists in our Korean experience, we got to try various activities in Seoul. 🙂

Just a word of caution: prepare yourself as you’re about to get smothered by tons of pictures. I mean it! Haha.

Our first two days consisted of going to Gyeongbok Palace, the National Folk Museum, Insadong Area and the very famous Nami Island.

Since it was November which is fall/winter time in Korea, we didn’t stay out too late because we couldn’t take the super cold weather (I’m talking about 7-16 degrees Celsius as the “warmest” it could get during the day). It was one of our biggest struggles during our trip, especially to some of my peers who DID NOT bring thick jackets! :O

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It’s Music Day at Hongdae!

When South Korea music comes into mind, most people could almost only think of one word; K-POP (Korean Pop). So during my last trip to Seoul, as an aspiring music traveler, I wanted to get a taste of the other kind of music that South Korea has to offer. And I’m not talking about other K-pop groups, but about 100% LEGIT show bands (not that I have anything against the mainstream Korean pop bands). And to me, there’s no better place to find music in Seoul than in Hongdae.

Hongdae is an area around Seoul’s Hongik University. It is a cultural melting pot where you can find various shop finds, art exhibitions as well as a bustling nightlife. So if you’re the party goer type, then Hongdae is for you. What’s even more interesting is that they have these “Club Day” and “Music Day” events going on periodically throughout the year.

Among the places that you can visit in Hongdae is the Hello Kitty Cafe, Coffee Prince Cafe, and the Trickeye and Ice Museum. But the most memorable highlight of this place are the street performances that you can enjoy as you frolick around.

One notable performance that I’ve seen during my visit to Korea last month is from a band by the name of Soundbox (Learn more about them here!). They held a street performance in the Hongik Children’s Park. Among the songs they played was their own spin of Hanson’s hit “Mmmbop”.

There were also street dancers all over the area doing performances as well as other bands playing different genres of music. So if you’re in Seoul and you’re craving some indie music and art, then Hongdae is the place to be.

Updated: 12/27/2014