SEOUL DIARIES 040: KOREAN SULBING 설빙

SULBING gets a new location in downtown Hongdae! 설빙, loosely translated into 雪冰, is the Korean traditional shaved ice dessert. What this cafe does better than most – instead of plain tasteless ice, the dessert is prepared with creamy, frozen milk flakes. Coupled with some piping hot coffee, what the menu offers is basically perfectContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 040: KOREAN SULBING 설빙”

SEOUL DIARIES 039: CAFE LEEMAN’S COLLECTION KITCHEN 리맨즈홍대점

An afternoon at Cafe Leeman’s Collection Kitchen in the Hongik University vicinity. Hongdae is by far my favourite spot for chilling whenever I’m needing space and anonymity without being physically solitary. In this part of town you could be surrounded by throngs of milling university students and still feel comfortably ignored. You know what I mean?Continue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 039: CAFE LEEMAN’S COLLECTION KITCHEN 리맨즈홍대점”

SEOUL DIARIES 038: CAFE BELLA PRAHA

One truly amazing (albeit solitary) afternoon at Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (Edae), I chanced upon Cafe Bella Praha, one of those down-to-earth coffee places tucked away in an alley off the beaten track like a well-hidden secret. Had my craving for ice-cold desserts satiated with a matcha green tea bingsoo topped with red bean paste, andContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 038: CAFE BELLA PRAHA”

SEOUL DIARIES 037: SHOPPING AND CAFE CULTURE ON EWHA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY STREET

Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (also known as Edae) is a district bursting with youthful vigour. You will love this place if, like me, you have a thing for affordable vintage labels, understated hairpieces, independently designed jewellery, and in general quirky finds. That aside, if you’re looking for loud colourful accessories, branded and no-label patentContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 037: SHOPPING AND CAFE CULTURE ON EWHA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY STREET”

SEOUL DIARIES 036: ROYAL MILKTEA ICE @ A TWOSOME PLACE 투썸플레이스

My kind of breakfast in Korea tends to swing towards unconventional. On this particular morning, I happened to be in a mood for an ice-cold treat. During the summer / fall season, Koreans love their patbingsu – shaved ice desserts with toppings such as chopped fruit and nuts, mint leaves, coffee or milk tea, condensed milk, fruitContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 036: ROYAL MILKTEA ICE @ A TWOSOME PLACE 투썸플레이스”

SEOUL DIARIES 035: 자장면 JAJANG MYEON

Pre-boarding, transit passengers may delight in a quick bowl of super awesome korean black bean noodles from DeliSky at Incheon International Airport. My last meal in Korea before heading home: 자장면 Jajangmyeon! Have always loved slurping up these gooey mash of black bean paste with neverending strands of chewy noodles. Back when it was winterContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 035: 자장면 JAJANG MYEON”

SEOUL DIARIEs 030: BINGSOO-MANIA

Happiness is fishbowl-sized in summer. This, my dear friends, is the injeolmi bingsoo [인절미 빙수] from one of my favourite hideouts in Seoul! Come summertime, bingsoos and anything that comes with ice are all the rage. You can easily get bingsoos from any major or indie cafes in Korea. This is a unashamedly backdated postContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIEs 030: BINGSOO-MANIA”

SEOUL DIARIES 026: CAMPING OUT

Guess who maximized her stupidity quota for 2014 by voluntarily spending the night alone, resting on the hard wooden benches at Incheon International Airport, instead of getting a comfortable hotel room for a good night’s rest? I believe I’d only slept a total of 6 hours over the past 4 days. No kidding. Thanks toContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 026: CAMPING OUT”

SEOUL DIARIES 025: HOTEL MOTEL

I’m never again staying (alone) in a motel, regardless of how good the deal. Checked out from BLU:Guesthouse Hongdae, dragged my bags through interweaving subway lines, and finally arrived at Gayang Station. First, let me take a selfie –  to commemorate the end of (the first part of) my solo-venture. A long bumpy walk later, I found BaekjeContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 025: HOTEL MOTEL”

SEOUL DIARIES 019: A DAY OF ARTS AND CULTURE

March 24, 2014: DAY FIVE Itinerary [09:00AM] Arrive at Anguk Station [09:00AM] Explore Insadong streets: from Anguk Station, walk towards Jongno-3-ga via Gwanhun-dong, and back towards Anguk Station via Gyeonji-Dong [11:00AM] Lunch @ Miss Lee Cafe 별다방 미스리, Insadong [12:00PM] Bukchon Hanok Village 북촌한옥마을 [01:30PM] Coffee Break @ Cafe 5Ci Jung 까페오시정 [02:15PM] Explore Samcheongdong, walk back towards Insadong (Anguk Station) [02:45PM]Continue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 019: A DAY OF ARTS AND CULTURE”

SEOUL DIARIES 018: SAMCHEONGDONG 삼청동

At the peak of Bukchon Hanok Village overlooking Samcheongdong, I couldn’t wait to get to its bustling streets! Samcheongdong is geographically the lane right next to Bukchon Hanok Village. It is the trendy mash-up neighbourhood with hipster cafes, luxury goods, private art galleries alongside traditional Korean diners. Not a showroom for cars but an art gallery. In Seoul, many motorContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 018: SAMCHEONGDONG 삼청동”

SEOUL DIARIES 013: BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE 북촌한옥마을

For history buffs who wish to experience a well-preserved slice of Korean history, Bukchon Hanok Village is where you need to be! The residential district of Bukchon (literally meaning north village) housed high-ranking government officials / nobility during the Joseon Dynasty. Here, traditional Korean houses known as Hanok (or Joseonhouses) were re-built or re-furnished from the olden days. Tourist information centers are tactfully located in allContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 013: BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE 북촌한옥마을”

SEOUL DIARIES 011: SOONDAE 순대

Introducing Korea’s traditional blood sausage: What it is: pig’s intestines stuffed with fermented soybean paste, glutinous rice, kimchi, cellophane noodles and pork blood. To this date, I can’t believe I had eaten this!! It’s pig intestines and I actually finished this whole plate of SOONDAE without knowing what it is!! Having walked across Han RiverContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 011: SOONDAE 순대”

SEOUL DIARIES 008: CAFES IN ITAEWON

Along the glorious and vibrant district of art museums and galleries are laid-back cafes offering all-day breakfasts and a myriad of flavoured coffees. In close association to the indie Hannamdong Cafe Street, coffee culture in Itaewon is self-directed and expat-friendly. Expect top-notch Americanos and loads of Seoul Design-Spot cafe galleries! Here are some of my favourites! For moreContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES 008: CAFES IN ITAEWON”

SEOUL DIARIES OO5: HANGANG PARK

March 22, 2014: DAY THREE I picked the perfect day with a gorgeous weather to explore the Yeouido Park! The trail cuts off at an intersection before leading to Yeouido Hangang Park (여의도 한강공원), which faces the Han River. Following this park trail, you can choose to jog along Han River or cross over toContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES OO5: HANGANG PARK”

SEOUL DIARIES OO4: YEOUIDO PARK

March 22, 2014: DAY THREE Bright and early, I was up and headed for Yeoinaru Subway Station. When I found Yeouido Park (a short walk away), the place was already filled with morning joggers, cycling couples and the brisk-walking elderly! The park is divided into theme-based sections: the Traditional Korean Forest, Grass Square, Culture Square, and Nature’s Ecosystem Forest.Continue reading “SEOUL DIARIES OO4: YEOUIDO PARK”

SEOUL DIARIES OO3: CAFE-HOPPING in GANGNAM

Gangnam is, altogether, a fantastic spot for cafe-hopping. I spent the entire day here from morning till early evening, until I headed to KYOBO BOOKSTORE at Sinnonhyeon Station. The area is close to the Jamwon section of Hangang River Park, so take a walk to the famous South Korean river if you feel up toContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES OO3: CAFE-HOPPING in GANGNAM”

SEOUL DIARIES OO2: GANGNAM

On my second day in Seoul, I travelled to Apgujeong in the district of Gangnam. To catch a trendy side of Seoul without the unexaggeratedly touristy appeal (aka Myeongdong), head to this part of town. Gangnam has been revolutionized by a wave of new-age Koreans. What I loved: this building dressed in a coat ofContinue reading “SEOUL DIARIES OO2: GANGNAM”

Caffe Bene | 카페베네

At the IFC Mall after a walking along the Hangang Park. In Korea, the Caffe Bene cafes (a chain of coffee houses) is stocked with books for its diners to pick up and read. Honestly, there’s nothing special about their food. Much like Starbucks, McDonalds’ and Coffee Bean in a strange foreign land, it’s aContinue reading “Caffe Bene | 카페베네”