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 034: BEANS & WAFFLE

“Waffles are just awesome bread.”
— John Green

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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.

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Surrounded by imposing office towers, a food alley plus a couple of pubs, the cafe has fed plenty of OLs, pub-crawlers and hungry interns. One of the only two Beans & Waffle stores in Seoul, its small, dark interior could easily have you fooled. An extensive waffle menu aside, there’s no lack of flavoured coffees, teas and blended juices. They even have a decent selection of bingsoo!
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Next time I’ll make it a point to try their green tea and tiramisu waffles.
Bon appetit~

빈스앤와플 강남역점
1329-9 Seocho-dong (181 Saimdang-ro)
Seocho-gu, Seoul

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 033: BASILUR TEA

“What do you want?”
“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”
— Cassandra Clare

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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. They also do make a mean cuppa latte. The building’s really grand and beautiful, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main garosugil street. Good to note that it’s also not too quiet for people-watching. Make a right turn when you see Deux Cremes or Mug for Rabbit and you won’t miss it.

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강남구 신사동 554 2층, 대한민국

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 a private toilet, study desks, refrigerator, bed and closet. Like the Japanese, Koreans are extremely efficient allocators of space – they really don’t waste any. In any case, welcome to my humble abode!

I love Korean guesthouses for their budget-friendliness, privacy, and availability of on-site assistance , as should tenants require any help the guesthouse owners will always be nearby. Morning Guesthouse is located on the 2nd floor of Jaeyeong Building. On the outside, the stairwell is narrow and very simply decorated. 20140701-151329-54809492.jpg20140701-151328-54808620.jpg
Honestly I hadn’t expected such a tiny space. It’s literally the size of my bathroom at home. I couldn’t get a full picture of the room’s interiors because it’s just too small for me to stand anywhere else!! Strange enough, I haven’t got a trashbin anywhere in sight. And the toilet doors are cranky. Oh well. For a couple of days, I guess this is fine.
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Meanwhile it’s time for my extremely tired body to crash and recuperate. Ciao~

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

Cafe aA Design Museum | 카페 aA 디자인 뮤지엄

Imagine my joy when I finally found my way to Cafe aA in Hongdae!
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“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 currently occupies the ground floor of the 5-storey building, with the basement still under construction. The remaining floors showcases designer furniture, fashion, and art.

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A while ago before heading to Korea, I came across these pictures and decided I just had to see this urban chic coffeehouse and view their art gallery! I’m not much of a big eater, but I snack heavily. This place provides really light bites (nuggets, pancakes, salads, risotto) and a good range of coffees for the after-work socialites, and the university kids looking for a conducive study cafe.

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My dream came true in the form of Kahlua Cinnamon Ice – coffee with Kahlua topped with milk, cinnamon flavoured syrup and cinnamon flakes! At a reasonable price of 6,500 KRW, it totally made my day. 20140413-165626.jpg

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According to the owners, the lowercase in ‘aA’ stands for art, architecture, and alive. The capital A is an unchanging value, that one can expect ‘the best a person can get’.20140413-165725.jpg

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The interior seems pretty bright over here because I’d adjusted the colour but it’s actually pretty dark inside. The walls are a grungy mix washed-out greys and chipped tiles, which I really loved because stepping alone into Cafe aA felt a tad spooky as if I’m paying a visit to a haunted house. Various elements funkified the dark atmosphere – designer coffee-table books and artistic pamphlets.20140413-165843.jpg

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Check this out: Big Bang’s TOP contributed this vintage metal bench to aA Design Museum!20140413-170031.jpg

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Selfie time in the creepy basement where I was all alone.20140413-170105.jpg

Best thing about this cafe? Its sheer size. It’s impossible not to find a seat, or you could always order up, take a walk in the gallery, then come back and get yourself a table. Am totally in love with this place. 20140413-170118.jpg

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aA Design Museum
서울시 마포구 서교동 408-11
Mon – Sun: 12:00 – 24:00 
http://www.aadesignmuseum.com

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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, with a deservingly quaint name! Gabae Naru does legit hand-drip coffee, and mostly serves nine-to-fivers from neighbouring high-rise corporate offices (as far as I can observe).

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After much snooping around, I discovered the Gabae Naru brand is creative brainchild of one Ham Soohyun, mastermind behind concepts of various other coffeeshops.

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Mostly, the interior is peppered with keepsakes and mementos belonging to the cafe owners. Anyone can help themselves to the books on display. I especially loved the owners’ scattered polaroids of friends and customers. Goes to show that owning a cafe is indeed a personal and very sentimental affair. 20140401-133255.jpg

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I love a place that can fix a good cuppa iced cappucino. The espresso is hand-dripped, blended with ice, then frothed with a layer of milk. So much work goes into making it instead of pouring pre-made coffee over hot milk, then adding ice, which is basically what the big names do. 20140401-133425.jpg

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Let’s go see what’s on the upper floor shall we?20140401-133441.jpg

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Basically, the second floor is dedicated space for smokers. 20140401-133514.jpg

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Such a lovely hidden gem in a busy part of town, way too out of the way and underrated. This would be one of ’em cafes that locals frequent, and the occasional tourist stumbles upon.20140401-133541.jpg

Gabae Naru 가배나루
348-1 Chungjeongno 3(sam)-ga
Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Cafe Joenill | 카페 조에닐

20140401-125835.jpg 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. 20140401-125840.jpg 20140401-125846.jpg Earpiece-plugged, this was the time I fell in love with EXO’s Peter Pan (the only song from their album I actually can’t stop listening to). I can only hope nobody in the cafe noticed my feet tapping to the beat. Nightfall sentimentalises all my favourite semi-emotional songs. xoxo, Viktoria Jean

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.

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Was grabbing a hot drink before battling the cold spring weather on my way to Deoksugung at City Hall. This Hongdae franchise is the only one I’ve been to, given the amount of time I had, and usually it’s crammed up besides the other cafe giants like Caffe Bene, Coffee Bean, Starbucks and the likes, hence much neglected (by me).
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On the day I decided to give this a try, it was incredibly empty at 10 am as the university kids were probably at school. Then again 10am isn’t exactly an ungodly hour, since the cafe is open 24/7. I pass this cafe every night while going back to my guesthouse and it really fills up past 10pm. Kinda reminds me of my own late-night uni days!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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 as well as tourists and locals visiting Deoksugung and various palaces in the Sijeong City Hall area.

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With a moustached coffee mug as the cafe’s icon, this place is hard to forget! You can expect wholesome all-day breakfasts, fresh juices and gourmet coffees at all their branches.20140401-131737.jpg

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Kiwi juice and this potato soup looks pretty good~ 20140401-131750.jpg

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Cold Chicken salad for brunch! I think I liked their bread most. The chicken was too dry – kind of tasted as if it was left overnight. I wonder if its just me or was the chicken so very tasteless? But they had so many customers that day. Probably the salad is not the best thing they have on offer, since everything else looks equally good or better. It was a decent meal though, but I guess I had higher expectations!

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They also have franchises at places like Gangnam, Yeouido, Yeoksam, Garosugil and Gwanghwamun – a total of 15 stores Seoul-wide. Looking forward to try something else on their menu when I’m back ^^

Café Mamas 카페마마스
6-17 Sunhwa-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
+82 2-776-1046

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.

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The main hall has three floors of exhibitions. Here, you can view lifelike re-creations of torture scenes in the nightmarish interrogation cells in the basement. This kinda resembled the Dachau Concentration Camp I went to in Munich, on a smaller scale but no less gruesome. Though it was built to house 500 prisoners, up to 3500 were packed within its premises during the peak of anti-Japanese protests in 1919.

Visiting places like this always gives me the chills, especially so since I was alone!! Educational value aside, these seem to be yet more depressing reasons to doubt humanity. Which doesn’t seem to have learnt any lessons that has struck us all in our faces during the past century. Seodaemun Prison was one such place where such brutal history seems too distant yet simultaneously real.

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On a less depressing note, I’m so much more well-rested these days! Probably since none of my friends are in town, and I’ve pretty much been resting at home and in hotels. Have also been reading up on places to go in Gyeonggi Province and Busan! If anyone has recommendations, please let me know ^^
Have a good week ahead everybody!!

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEODAEMUN Prison History Museum 서대문형무소역사관
Address: 101 Hyeonjeo-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-360-8590

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.

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Planted aesthetically in areas surrounding the independence gate are vessels of mugunghwa – South Korea’s national flower. This place is also known as Yongeunmun, after its current location that used to be known as Yongeun.

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True to form, Dongnimmun was built to proclaim the nation’s sovereignty – a grand spacious courtyard is dedicated solely for the King’s long walk to greet their allies from a foreign land. Majestic, isn’t it?
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I found a sense of solemnity to the place. The Dongnimmun Gate must have been an impressive structure in the initial years, but is now dwarfed by high-rise estates and interconnected highways of the metropolitan city. Yet it remains a silent and powerful testimony to the struggles of the people’s ancestors.

Here are some other monuments and effigies at Dongnimmun courtyard:

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The courtyard leads to Seoul’s Former Prison, a large space now barren and left empty for visitors. Dongnimmun is afterall a solemn place, and also an important national heritage site for South Koreans. 20140410-193746.jpg

YONGEUNMUN 영은문
945 Hyeonjeo-dong
Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
South Korea

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

Cafe Comma | 카페꼼마

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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 else!

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What you see on sale are not restricted to those published by Munhak. A couple of popular English fiction (Fifty Shades trilogy – what’s new) were spotted in its midst. Books aside, I also loved the gorgeous interior and comfortably dimmed lighting.

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At 7pm in the evening on a weekday, the place seemed deserted. On the upper deck however, loads of serious faces were mentally attacking their textbooks with wrath.

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What they had on offer was pretty limited but trust me, the tiramisu was one of the best I’ve ever had! The square slice looked home-made as it was cut from a panned box, fresh from the refrigerator. Heavy on rum and espresso, the cake was not too sweet and very moist (I hate dry / flaky tiramisu).

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I loved the ambience on the upper deck – it’s so conducive I wish I’d brought my laptop with me. The level of silence is adequate for sounding out your own thoughts, yet not mind-numbingly eerie.

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I cannot emphasis how much I loved this tiramisu enough!! 20140401-125306.jpg

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In close proximity to Seoul’s top art university, Hongdae is home to a myriad of quirky hipster cafes. Cafe Comma is definitely up there on my list of favourites and cafes to re-visit when I go again in summer!

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There’s also a separate reason why I love Cafe Comma i.e. tall and good-looking artsy-fartsy guy with laptop and books spotted. Teehee ^^
홍대 북카페 ‘콤마’에서 잘 생긴 남자를 봤어. 키가 크고 좋은 피부를 가지고, 그는 책을 읽고 있었다. 완전 내 스타일 ^^ ㅋ ㅋ 난 돌아올거야!

마포구 동교동 155-27 1층 (2호점), Seoul
+82 2-323-8555

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean