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 […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 winter […]

SEOUL DIARIES 034: BEANS & WAFFLE

“Waffles are just awesome bread.” — John Green Loading up on carbs before a full day of Seoul-tripping. Breakfast was palm-sized Sweet Maple Waffles 스위트 메이플 와플 at Beans and Waffle, downtown Gangnam. Surrounded by imposing office towers, a food alley plus a couple of pubs, the cafe has fed plenty of OLs, pub-crawlers and […]

SEOUL DIARIES 033: BASILUR TEA

“What do you want?” “Just coffee. Black – like my soul.” — Cassandra Clare Enjoying my afternoon cuppa at Basilur Tea on Sinsa-Dong’s Garosugil. On display within the 3-storeyed building are tins and tins of tea leaves and related tea spices that tickled my olfactory senses. Basilur does premium tea exports from Sri Lanka to the rest of the world. […]

SEOUL DIARIES 027: WELCOME TO MY PIGEONHOLE

Located at a secluded corner in Gangnam district, Morning Guesthouse is virtually invisible to the foreign tourist. It took me a good hour and a half to track down Jaeyeong Building on foot from Gangnam Station in the sweltering summer heat. They have got quite a number of rooms in pigeon-hole sizes, each equipped with […]

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 Baekje […]

Cafe aA Design Museum | 카페 aA 디자인 뮤지엄

Imagine my joy when I finally found my way to Cafe aA in Hongdae! “Seoul Design Spot” identifies 250 unique architectural creations or designer venues selected by 100 famed designers. Cafe aA Design Museum is a European-style hangout which falls under both museum and cafe categories. I was really excited to hunt for this chill-out museum. The cafe […]

Gabae Naru | 가배나루

Hiking around Chungjeongno 충정로동 revealed many surprises about Seodaemun-Gu. First, I managed to catch the splendour of spring flowers at Dongnimmun, and was then awed by the grandeur of South Korea’s Independence Gate. Not forgetting Seodaemun’s Prison History Hall, reminding us all of mankind’s ceaseless war amongst ourselves. Out of the blue comes this charming red cafe all white-washed walls and scruffy front yard, […]

Cafe Joenill | 카페 조에닐

Late night shopping at Hongdae with iced peach tea leads to planting thy ass at this comfortable hideout, tired out from endless sights, walking with wedge-heels, and very fascinated by observations I get from people watching at Cafe Joenill. Also, it had been drizzling, and I still wanted to keep my nose. Earpiece-plugged, this was the time I fell in […]

Coffine Gurunaru | 커핀그루나루

So this is one of ’em chain coffee-stores that also offer legit mojitos and cocktails, where I tasted one of the best sweet-potato lattes I’ve ever had! Purple’s their defining colour. I’ve only so far tried one of their beverages. Everything else on their menu is the same as any of the other chain coffeehouses. Was grabbing a hot […]

Café Mamas | 카페마마스

Edged alongside local eateries in the central business district of Jung-Gu, this diner was packed during the lunch hour, with loads of people still waiting for tables when I left!  Café Mamas is amongst the popular franchised coffee houses in Seoul that offer a European brunch menu consisting of salads, paninis and soups. They serve a corporate crowd from neighbouring office towers […]

SEOUL DIARIES 023: SPRING BLOSSOMS

Come spring and summer, Seoul is just so beautiful. Pictures taken at Dongnimmun Gate. Gorgeously pink, aren’t they?   xoxo, Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 022: SEODAEMUN PRISON 서대문형무소역사관

Seodaemun Prison History Hall: a former prison since 1908 that housed anti-colonial activists during the Colonial period. After colonial era ended in 1945, South Korean government housed prisoners at Seodaemun until 1987 when it was replaced by a facility in Uiwang City, Gyeonggi Province. The main hall has three floors of exhibitions. Here, you can […]

SEOUL DIARIES 021: DONGNIMMUN GATE 독립문

In late 19th Century, the King was many-a-times escorted through Dongnimmun Gate, thereafter to demonstrate personal reception towards visiting Chinese envoys. Dongnimmun is 独立門 in Mandarin, the gate that signifies independence and free will of a country’s people. Built in 1897, the gate served to concretize South Korea’s sovereignty.   Planted aesthetically in areas surrounding the independence gate are […]

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] […]

Cafe Comma | 카페꼼마

For book-lovers like myself, this is somewhere akin to heaven! With a two-floor occupancy, this cafe boasts more than 3,000 books stacked from floor to ceiling, with a ladder allowing visitors to peruse the books on higher shelves. Run by Munhakdongne publishing group, Book Cafe Comma is known in Seoul for its investments in talented young writers. Most books in-store are sold at half-price. Some of them are not even available anywhere […]