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 perfect for tea break in warmer seasons.

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The milk-and-red-bean shaved ice comes with almond and nuts shavings, sweet injeolmi (soft mochi cubes), red bean paste and loads of milk! It has become a strange routine of mine to have shaved ice for breakfast, since the weather in Seoul hasn’t yet begun to turn cold. Nothing beats a cold bowl of happiness to start the day!

At Sulbing you will be able to get the traditional injeolmi bingsoo as well as unconventional creations such as sweet potato, caramel coffee, blueberry red bean, blueberry and cheese, and mango cheese bingsoo. Cafes in Korea always make me feel spoilt for choices.

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The store is a 3minutes walk from Hapjeong Station (Subway Line 2 and Seoul Subway Line 6), across the road from Hongik Children’s Park. Totally convenient and easy to locate. Go forth and conquer!IMG_3517.JPG

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KOREAN SULBING 설빙

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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?

Anyhoo, Cafe Leeman’s is on Hongdae’s main busiest street. The cafe’s chirpy yellow-on-blue signage is both a touch of class and a breathe of fresh air from the overpopulation of low-budget, hipster-wannabes. I wasn’t hungry as yet, hence all I had was an earl grey milk iced-tea. Slow to serve as they had hit their peak 5pm rush-hour, I waited a full 15 minutes for my tea. Meantime I managed to get a few snapshots in. Thankfully, the artsy-fartsy people of Hongdae were just the right people for an over-enthusiastic Asian snap-a-holic (with a huge red camera) to blend in with. Am loving Leeman’s laid-back interior, it still manages to keep the Leeman’s brand a cut above mainstream indie coffeehouses. If you’re looking for good food, clean tables and a good cuppa, this is the place to be.

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Cafe Leeman’s Collection Kitchen 리맨즈홍대점

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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, and was pleasantly surprised that the toppings thoughtfully came in a separate dish, so you could actually control how much to drown out your ice-matcha. Might I add, the matcha did not taste syrupy – it had that fragrant taste of fresh brewed matcha in an ice-cold bowl. You know how much I love matcha desserts? This one really exceeded my expectations!

Bella Praha only hires the best. The barista (or was he the boss?) was so soft-spoken, gentle and thoughtful. Seeing as I was alone, he personally took my order, at the table, and ensured I had a cup of water with sufficient napkins. Only in Seoul, baristas get my heart aflutter!

Well, expect only the best of coffees from Bella Praha. To the barista’s credit, I overheard his lengthy, patient explanation to an elderly couple on the difference between coffee beans from different regions of the world. To tip the scale, you get to choose the brewing method for your coffee: espresso, hand drip, cotton-flannel drip, syphon, or Dutch style. Plus, there’s no lack of pastry choices from the cafe’s hand-made selection. This place is so worth a second visit, just to feel like a princess in a sweet homely coffeehouse.

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벨라프라하
56-63 Daehyeon-dong Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
02-363-3559

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 patent leather bags, or even rock-chick and gothic outfits, there’s also a healthy range of specialty stores catering to very unique requests and needs!

Street stalls and independent shops open for business as early as 9:30am, while students from neighbouring universities begin their daily pilgrimage to their campus. Snacks and all kinds of knick knacks are sold from cubicle sized push-carts, mostly to tourists and youngsters bypassing on their way to school. With no lack of mani-pedi boutiques, salons, beauty clinics and pampering studios, I could spend a leisurely week living in this area if I had the luxury of time. There’s just so much to do and see! Contrary to popular belief, Ewha is not strictly a women-only zone – more than a handful shops do cater to fashion and retail for men.

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The famous Gigantic Pink Shoe outside Top Ten @ Ewha: tourists scramble to take photos with this
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Singapore Toast is gaining some fame: this place was jam-packed!
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I liked the fact that big brands are slotted in with independent labels and designer couture – a refreshing mix of high end with retail stores that doesn’t burn a hole in the pockets of poor university students (I know that life).

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You know you’re in a hippie place when cutesy stores sell everything and anything – hairclips, incense burners, furniture, desk organizers, placemats, braded rugs, coffee mugs, bookends, laptop covers and passport holders. All done while maintaining its cutesy demeanour.

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Cafe culture in Korea generally thrives in university districts – Hongdae and Edae are very prominent examples of coffee paradise. Edae’s collection of indie coffee houses feeds throngs of students needing their daily caffeine fix. On this day I happened to chance across Caffe Zudy, a large scale Westernized coffee house with a couple of franchises across Seoul. My iced latte was more bitter than any coffees I’ve had in Korea, meaning they used a darker roast and also zero syrup in their drinks. Pure coffee and milk. I think my tired body enjoyed the shot of caffeine. I liked it.

Caffe Zudy Ewha University

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No lack of cafes in the area: see what I mean?

Caffe Zudy 카페쥬디 이대본점

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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, fruit syrup, and red bean paste. A Twosome Place 투썸플레이스 offers the Royal Milk Tea Ice which is basically a mountain of ice in a fish-bowl, drenched in milk tea, condensed milk, and topped with cereal, granola bits, and a scoop of milk-tea ice cream. My fish-bowl sized happiness looks like this:

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To say I have a sweet-tooth is an understatement. I mean, who eats this for breakfast?! I spent my morning (before heading to work) with Jane Green’s old book (Bookends) and my icy companion.

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You’ve got to try this, everybody.

A TWOSOME PLACE | 투썸플레이스 @ D-CUBE CITY (SINDORIM)

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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!

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Have always loved slurping up these gooey mash of black bean paste with neverending strands of chewy noodles. Back when it was winter in Korea, 2010, my university friends and I walked a reaaaaally long way whilst freezing our asses off just to eat jajangmyeon and that was the best bowl of jajangmyeon I’ve ever had. Nothing I eat these days even come close to that! Jajangmyeon holds a fair bit of magic for me.

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Did you know: in mixing the black bean sauce (chunjang), caramel is added to create its thick gooey-ness?

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIEs 030: BINGSOO-MANIA

Happiness is fishbowl-sized in summer.
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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. 20140713-015101-6661350.jpg

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This is a unashamedly backdated post from a week ago. I’d only just returned from Rome, slotted in a quick three-day solo escapade to Seoul, before I was due to go to Narita. Somehow even if my living quarters don’t quite match up to five-star hotels, I feel most at home in South Korea.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 to working, traveling and transiting in between terminals, from Rome to Singapore and then Seoul. Nonetheless I had yummy local snacks to accompany my 6 hour ‘rest’. I even managed to catch the live telecast of World Cup on the LG television broadcast.
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Hello Seoul! I’m so excited to be back 🙂

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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.

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A long bumpy walk later, I found Baekje Hotel at last! Smothered by a a busy traffic lane and a long pavement filled with sleazy bars, Baekje is definitely located further from a ’10-minutes walk from Gayang Station’ as instructed on Booking.com.

Traipsing around with 2 duffel bags and a luggage, I found the mid-lower class locale at Hwagok (where Baekje is situated) friendly, laid-back and down-to-earth. Nobody bothers to hide their shit around here. Later that evening, the area around Baekje will fill up with staggering drunkards, pub-crawlers and middle-aged men with their arms around scantily-clad girls. What I’m trying to say is, their rampant nightlife ain’t behind-closed-doors, and the locals seem so totally at ease going on with their night-to-night activities. A foreigner like me can never totally blend in.

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So imagine my discomfort at stepping into Baekje (M)otel which was advertised as Baekje HOTEL, thus giving the false impression. See? Ahem. Tourist con. I was too hurried in trying to get a room for the night before meeting Kris at Gimpo Airport in the morning to catch our flight to Jeju Island. Hadn’t even bothered to check what the area at Gayang is all about.

Amenities-wise there’s nothing lacking in the room. The WiFi was great, the room was spacious, the TV was ginormous and HD.. but I just didn’t feel clean. Not because I’m accustomed to 5-star hotels – I’m not that spoilt by my lifestyle. Firstly the room reeked. Of what I don’t wish to know. The bedsheets were yellow and smelt musty and unwashed. I called the reception to enquire if they were clean and they gave me their assurance. Nevertheless I was still disgusted and barely slept that night. Didn’t even cover myself with the sheets. Slept in sweater and jeans.

To the motel’s credit, the receptionist was really nice and responsible. He insisted on bringing all of my bags into my room, and waved me away when I tried to help. Later, he rang my door bell and handed me an amenities kit and their motel WiFi password. Guess what – there were 2 complimentary condoms in their welcome pack. I just threw the whole package aside and used nothing.

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Don’t be fooled – tub looks amazingly gold in this picture but it’s actually browned and yellowed, with that tangy, indescribable motel smell. The floor was so dirty too.20140608-161504-58504587.jpg

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At close to 70 SGD a night, the stay wasn’t cheap. Since I only booked it the night before, I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

Indulging in comfort food – my new favourite Peppero flavour: WHITE COOKIES!! It’s SO AMAZING. Although now available in Singapore and dreadfully overpriced.20140608-161507-58507880.jpg

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Haven’t been writing for the longest time, caught up in day-to-day gallivanting and work, and life. Still have yet to update on the mid-spring Jeju trip I did with Kris! I’ve just booked company tickets to Seoul in July and have settled on home-stay accommodations this time. Also visiting Dia, my favourite Thai big sister, in Bangkok in July! Missed her so much. June and July means big changes for me. So excited for the upcoming months.

It’s gonna be a great summer. Have a good one, everybody.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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] Ssamziegil – arts and cultural district 쌈지길

[03:30PM] Lemon and Mint-ade break @ Cafe True Us, Insadong 카페트루어스

[04:00PM] Walk towards Cheongyecheon Stream 청계천 and took a walk along the underground waterway.

[05:00PM] Explore Euljiro-1-Ga

[06:00PM] Travelled back to Hapjeong Station

[06:15PM] Iced Yuja-cha at Paul and Lina’s Living Cafe 폴엔리나 리빙까페

[06:45PM] Ethiopian Black Coffee at Cafe Miz Moren 카페 미즈모렌

[07:20PM] Tiramisu at Cafe Comma 카페꼼마

[08:30PM] Commence night-shopping at Hongdae!

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Streets of Samcheongdong in Spring

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Giant graffiti-ed Rose at Ssamziegil

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Artwork – photography at Ssamziegil

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Imperial entertainer masks – Insadong

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Cheongye Stream

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Overhead bridge at Cheongye Stream

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Traditional yangpan houses at Bukchon Hanok Village

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Hanok clusters – Bukchon Hanok Village

This is how I spent a day immersed in Korean heritage and the more ancient artsy fartsy side of Seoul! I can’t say that I’m passionate about their traditional arts, but I did learn to appreciate these a whole lot more.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 018: SAMCHEONGDONG 삼청동

At the peak of Bukchon Hanok Village overlooking Samcheongdong, I couldn’t wait to get to its bustling streets!20140409-154037.jpg

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.

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Not a showroom for cars but an art gallery. In Seoul, many motor vehicular companies are major art dealers and sponsors for private showcase like these. Makes for a good form of investment for the companies.

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Found: HANK’S Book Cafe, with a really enlightening signpost!20140409-154156.jpg

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From Samcheongdong, I headed back towards Anguk Station and walked down Insadong. The Jongno-Gu district is a combination of all the places I love for its aesthetically pleasing architecture, awesome themed cafes and vibrant arts and culture. It’s really a welcome change from crowded shopping malls and the tourist traps.

Love it here, so much.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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.

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Tourist information centers are tactfully located in all the right places so there’s no chance of anyone ever getting lost. Bukchon village has been urbanized, no matter what’s being said about its cultural antiquity. Along the way, stone-paved alleys between hanoks are dangerously steep (uphill and downhill), I was tired when I reached the highest peak of the alleys! Here’s a compilation of snapshots I’d taken on the uphill climb ~ Enjoy!!!

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Neighbourhoods within the Bukchon area consists of Wonseo-dongJae-dongGye-dongGahoe-dong and Insa-dong, with many clusters of privately owned traditional hanoks. Each cluster generally look pretty much alike architecturally – it’s as if they have their own ‘themes’.

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Funfact: Hanoks are classified according to social class. The upperclass (yangban) houses has tiled roofs (giwa). House of commoners typically has rice-straw roofs (choga). No matter how hard I tried to differentiate, all of the houses looked upperclass to me. Can you spot any rice-straw roofs??

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Other preserved Hanok locales:
彡☆ Namsangol Hanok Village – Pil-dong neighborhood of Jung-gu, Seoul
彡☆ Hahoe Folk Village – Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do
彡☆ Yangdong Folk Village – Gyeongju
彡☆ Gyeongsangbuk-do – along the Hyeongsan River.
彡☆ Korean Folk Village – Yongin, Gyeonggi

Really enjoyed this refreshing tour of hanoks! The village houses look a lot more sturdy and concrete than I’d imagined, though this could have been a result of refurnishing and preservation efforts. Best thing of all, people actually still live in them. From a certain time onwards, visitors to Bukchon Hanok Village are told to keep their volumes low so as not to cause disturbances to the residents. Next time round, I would love to stay at a Hanok guesthouse ^^

BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE 북촌한옥마을
Exit 3 of Anguk Station (subway line 3)
종로구 계동길 37, 서울특별시, 110-250

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

 

P.S. This is cheating but since I took zilch selfies at Insadong and Bukchon Hanok… so here’s one from Jeju ^^

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I’m spending most of April in Europe. It’s so hard to find Asian food here! Right now I’m craving Jjajangmyeon and sushi!! ): Been surviving on fruits, nuts, chocolates and bretzels.
Anyway, have a good week ahead guys! \(^o^)/

 

SEOUL DIARIES 011: SOONDAE 순대

Introducing Korea’s traditional blood sausage: 20140402-223524.jpg 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 River via Hannam Bridge, I walked further into Jamwon-dong and reached the laidback station of Banpo. Whilst looking for dinner in the substation, this caught my eye. So I thought, why not? Let’s try this for the first time.

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Truth be told, it TASTED GOOD. Like chewier, tougher and blacker sausages, with rice and traces of kimchi in it. Only afterwards, I found out what it is… EURGH!!

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Well friends, this was my yolo moment. It’s actually a pretty good side dish and street food!! Just don’t think too much when you put this in your mouth.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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!

Glamorous Penguin

For more updates on Glamorous Penguin.

Ways of Seeing Art Cafe
For more updates on Ways of Seeing Art Gallery / Cafe.

Other amazing cafes in Itaewon / Hannamdong:

☆彡 Flying Pan Blue
123-7 Itaewon-Dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 10:30am – 10:30pm
☎ +82 2 793 5285
Americano 4500₩, All Day Breakfasts 15000₩

☆彡 Passion 5
272 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 730am – 10pm
☎ +82 2 2071 9507
Nearest Station: Hangangjin
Americano 7000₩, Cakes 5000 – 10000₩

☆彡 Take Out Drawing
140-861, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☎ +82 2 790 2637
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

☆彡 Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Famous for: Being the Pie Shop from Running Man episode 71
4 Itaewon-ro 23-Gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 10am – 11:30pm
☎ +82 2 3785 3400
119-15 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Itaewon (Line 6) Exit 2

☆彡 Coffee Chu
682-10, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
(7 Itaewon-ro 54-gil)
☎ +82 2 790 6821
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES OO5: HANGANG PARK

Yeouido 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 to central Seoul via Yeoui-daero and Mapo-Bridge.

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With the endless, cloudless sky above and a shimmering crystal-blue waters of Han River before me: I’m one very blessed solo-venturer. No filters were used on these photographs! Look at the serene blueness of this beautiful scenery. I could wake up to this river every morning and lose myself in its immeasurable depths.

Hangang Yeouido Park

HAN RIVER KOREA

flowers at han river

han river seoul

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES OO4: YEOUIDO PARK

Yeouido Park Seoul

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.

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This is the Cultural Event Square, lined by zelkova trees. Loads of performances and events are held here regularly. This is also where I began my walk from the beginning of the park to the end. I made a loop around Ecosystem Forest, walk back towards Cultural Event Square, before heading in the direction of Han River.20140331-233526.jpg

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I was tempted to cycle, until I realise the bicycles had to be returned at the start of the same trail! If you’re headed for Han River, it’s not too far to just go on foot, which I did. Of course, this was not before 2 mid-morning coffee breaks at Tous Les Jours and Orange Cafe.
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Yeouido Island Seoul

In April, cherry blossoms will line the streets of Yeouido. A pity I won’t be able to catch this beautiful sight! I did get to admire cherry blossoms in Jeju Island though ^^. In any way, flowers are in abundance on Yoi Island.
4 월에 여의도 벚꽃을 볼 것이다! 꽃은이 섬에 너무 아름다워~

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Statue of King Sejong at Yeouido Park
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In Traditional Korean Forest, only traditional Korean trees are planted. The trail walk mimics the elegance of South Korean traditional gardens, complete with octagonal pavilions that extends over the ponds.20140331-235507.jpg

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A complete juxtaposition: traditional forests against the backdrop of sky-high concrete buildings in a metropolitan business city. Yeouido is also known as South Korea’s Wall Street.20140331-235534.jpg

Walking up this flight of steps made me feel like a princess / prince / servant / chambermaid from Joseon Dynasty!20140331-235539.jpg

Pucker up kissy fishies ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ 20140401-002450.jpg

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Plugged into my iPod, I’d conquered Yeouido Park in less than an hour. It’s not unusual for lone hikers/solo travellers to be walking this path alone, hence I felt completely at ease. Along the way, the scenic landscape distracted me from detecting my own exhaustion.

Perhaps of the mental clarity, with nothing in the environment I had to tune out from, a million thoughts were fighting to be heard in my head. This walk-in-the-park did me a world of good, and it just might be exactly what you need too.

I love nature so, so much.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES OO3: CAFE-HOPPING in GANGNAM

day Two itinerary seoul

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 to it!

Sharing a few cafes which I’ve managed to check out on days when I’d made my way to Gangnam:

Bloom and Goute Cafe
For more pictures and information on Bloom, click here.

 

50 FIFTY CAFE
Link to full blogpost on 50 FIFTY CAFE here.

 

deux creme

For more information on Deux Cremes: click!

 

Twosome Place Cafe
For more information on A TWOSOME PLACE: click

 

coffee chu korea
For more pictures of COFFEE CHU: click here.

Other amazing cafes in Gangnam:

☆彡 AllO
Converted from a private home, transformed into a modern, stylish brunch cafe
520-9 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02 541 6933

☆彡 Bless Garden
645-16 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul

☆彡 Butterfinger Pancakes
Excellent all-day breakfast pancakes, menu revamped every 6 months
88-9 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
02-3448-1070
Exit 10 Gangnam station (Line 2)
Daily 7.00a.m. to 3.00a.m

☆彡 Design Cafe 디자인카페 (내추럴퍼니)
646-5 1F Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02-3445-2822

☆彡 Grand Ciel 그랑씨엘
650-22 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
+82 2-548-0283
Daily 11AM – 10PM

☆彡 Grande 그란데
Mediterranean menu: Tea, Wine, Various Deserts and Pasta.
546-8 1F Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02-548-8858

☆彡 May Island
서울 강남구 역삼동 816-6 용일빌딩 4, 5층
(Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 816-6, Yongin Bldg 4F & 5F)
Nearest Station: Gangnam Station (Line 2), Sinnonhyeon Station (Line 9)

☆彡 Mug for Rabbit 머그 포 래빗
534-25 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul

☆彡 Paper Garden 페이퍼가든
653-11 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02 3443 8880
Daily 11PM – 1AM

☆彡 Sarubia 사루비아
542-3 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul

 

ANGEL-IN-US was where I had my breakfast before heading toward Gangnam. It’s just about my favourite coffee-chain in South Korea, right up there with Caffe Bene.
ANGELINUS COFFEE KOREA
For more pictures, click here

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 of leopard prints without looking over-the-top
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As expected of diners in this hip and classy community, every cafe which I slipped into for a cuppa coffee competed for style – each interior design was aesthetically magazine-worthy. In short, Apgujeong is first-rate uptown district: its roads are dominated by big brand names, posh restaurants, sophisticated cafes and nightclubs. Further down north, towards Sinsa station is the less ambitiously stylish locale of Sinsa-dong. Here, you can find independent homely eateries, roadside stalls, casual soju-bars and pubs.

Gangnam Gu

APGUJEONG:
APGUJEONG GANGNAM

SINSA-DONG:
SINSADONG

Cheongdam-Dong is the middle-ground that provides a balance between the two locales. I love Cheongdam-dong – the people seem to be in less of a rush than Apgujeong. Its streets and stores were well-kept, neat and tidy.

CHEONGDAM-DONG:
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Sinsadong’s Garosugil 신사동 가로수길 (which literally means tree-lined street) is the perfect romantic dating spot for couples and meeting place for friends. Though it’s a bit overrun by tourists, photographers and Euro-loving Koreans, Garosugil remains a popular hangout and must-go destination! Loads of popular dramas were filmed in Garosugil and Gangnam area, to be honest, for it’s really the posher side of Korea which foreigners would love.

I personally love people-watching at the Gangnam district because the guys here are really goodlooking. It’s no wonder, though, or perhaps it’s merely a coincidence, that plastic surgery clinics are everywhere in Gangnam. Clearly, the rich and famous have their nosejobs, boobjobs and facejobs done in the area. Private plastic surgery establishments as high as 50-storeys are not uncommon. Here, you could do plastic surgery in complete privacy and total isolation.

That somewhat sums up my Gangnam experience. Stay-tuned for my next post on…CAFEHOPPING IN GANGNAM! ^^

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 a place you go to for familiarity and comfort because no matter which country you’re in or which district you’re heading to, these places all look and feel the same.

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Some honey-egg bread as fuel for the next part of my walking journey at Myeongdong.
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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean