South Korea: Ihwa Mural Village

A village covered entirely in art is a sight out of a dream. Ihwa Mural Village was my favourite place to visit in Seoul. It was truly remarkable to be surrounded by so much creativity. The local Art Committee carried out this art project to improve the environment of the village. Which in my opinion was a success! Everyone is welcome to visit the village and enjoy the beautiful murals, artwork and sculptures.  It was really fun capturing and viewing the several murals. At everyone corner there was something new and interesting to look at. I really enjoyed my stay.

_DSC0943

_DSC0944

_DSC0940

_DSC0942

_DSC0945

Untitled-2

iwha4

_DSC1104

_DSC0953

_DSC0954

_DSC0955

_DSC0956

_DSC0957

_DSC0958

_DSC0959

_DSC0960

_DSC0961

_DSC0969

_DSC0972

_DSC0987

iwha7

iwha6

_DSC0989

_DSC0991

_DSC0994

_DSC0999

_DSC0995

iwha5

_DSC1000

_DSC1017

_DSC1002

_DSC1003

_DSC1012

_DSC1018

_DSC1019

_DSC1030

_DSC1023

_DSC1031

_DSC1032

_DSC1035

_DSC1036

_DSC1037

_DSC1039

iwha3

_DSC1088

Iwha1

iwha2

_DSC1046

_DSC1048

_DSC1051

_DSC1052

_DSC1053

_DSC1058

_DSC1066

_DSC1061

_DSC1064

_DSC1080

_DSC1086

_DSC1082

_DSC1102

_DSC1103

South Korea: Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil

I was very excited to visit Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil in Gangnam. Garosu-gil is known for its trendy boutiques and trendy people. I couldn’t wait to be left in awe and be inspired.  Shopping in Garosugil is quite expensive compared to its counterparts, Hongdae and Myeongdong. But the quality is made out of better quality and feels more durable. You can also find the 3 concept eyes store. I recommend you shopping for 3ce  makeup here because it’s more peaceful compared to the other stores. You can just look around at ease. The place is filled with well-dressed stylish people. I was told that photographers often take street snaps of these trendy adolescents and scout them for modelling. I didn’t see many photographers but one funny incident happened. When I left the 3 concept eyes makeup store I saw a photographer snapping away. But in front of her was this really old ahjusshi smoking. I was really confused. But when I looked to the corner I saw this really stylish guy posing. Long story short, she wasn’t taking photos of the old man at all. I just laughed.

_DSC9919

_DSC9920

_DSC9921

_DSC9924

_DSC9928

_DSC9930

_DSC9926

_DSC9934

_DSC9936

_DSC9938

_DSC9941

_DSC9943

_DSC9944

_DSC9948

_DSC9946

_DSC9945

_DSC9961

riinalovelettgarosugil1

_DSC0036

_DSC0011

_DSC0017

The area also has many trendy cafés and restaurants. I have visited LINE FRIENDS Store & Café, where they sell these cute LINE FRIENDS macarons. I also planned to visit the Dore Dore Café, to eat some delicious rainbow cake but that plan unfortunately fell through. I did go to Mango Six. I saw this café many times in Korean drama, so, I definitely wanted to try their desserts and drinks. I ordered a blue mint lemonade drink and a waffle with berries and frozen yoghurt on top. They also sell the famous honey bread with whipped cream.

_DSC0021

_DSC0022

_DSC0023

_DSC0025

_DSC9931

_DSC1125

_DSC1126

_DSC1123

_DSC1124

_DSC1127

_DSC1128

_DSC1129

_DSC1143

_DSC1148

_DSC0035

_DSC0051

_DSC0046

_DSC0043

_DSC0044

_DSC0042

_DSC0040

_DSC0010

_DSC9940

_DSC0047

_DSC0048

_DSC0049

_DSC1107

_DSC1108

mangosixdrink1

_DSC1116

_DSC0016

_DSC1115

South Korea: Edae (Ewha Women’s University)

If you want to shop for reasonably priced shoes in Korea you have to visit Edae (Ewha Women’s University). Although I’m not really a shoe person, I was in dire need for a new pair. Also, in every street there are cute little shops to fulfill your shopping cravings. Like its counterparts, shopping in Edae is relatively cheap and very satisfying. The clothing and accessories for sale are leaning more to the girly side. Very sweet and feminine. They also sell styles you can find through all Seoul, cosmetics as well. I even got a discount because the shop owners liked my the country I’ve originated from. So, shopping in Edae was very fun.

_DSC0515

_DSC0516

_DSC0517

_DSC0519

_DSC0563

_DSC0521

_DSC0524

_DSC0533

_DSC0537

_DSC0539

_DSC0541

_DSC0544

_DSC0545

_DSC0549

_DSC0550

_DSC0552

_DSC0553

_DSC0556

_DSC0558

_DSC0559

_DSC0561

_DSC0564

_DSC0567

_DSC0568

_DSC0596

EwhaUniversitystreetsnap1

_DSC0610

_DSC0611

When night falls, many street food vendors emerge from the darkness and come to live. Trying Korean street food is a must. They sell a lot of delicious food, so, it makes it hard to choose. I have eaten Tteokbokki, Tornado potato (but forgot to take a photo), Sausages on a stick (소세지 꼬치), Chicken skewers (닭꼬치) and Cup chicken (컵치킨).

_DSC0646

_DSC0643

_DSC0641

_DSC0726

koreanstreetfoodfoodskrwers2

Changdeokgung Palace & The Secret Garden Huwon

Changdeokgung Palace is my favourite palace I visited in South Korea. Although it looks similar to other palaces, it has a beautiful palace garden.  You can enter the palace grounds without a tour guide and wander aimlessly around. The palace grounds consist of a public area and a royal family residence building which is the most reserved of the other five royal buildings. The grounds are massive and there’s much to see.

Huwon garden can only be entered with a guide. It’s known as a resting place for the king and royal family members. The garden is provided with lots of pavillions, greens and has even a tree that’s over 300 years old. Although, you have to stick mostly with the group it’s still a wonderful place to visit.

_DSC9389

_DSC9395

_DSC9397

_DSC9410

_DSC9411

_DSC9412

_DSC9413

_DSC9414

_DSC9416

_DSC9417

_DSC9420

_DSC9423

chandeokgungpalace1

_DSC9434

_DSC9436

_DSC9440

_DSC9441

_DSC9443

_DSC9445

_DSC9448

_DSC9449

_DSC9451

_DSC9452

_DSC9456

_DSC9458

_DSC9464

_DSC9469

_DSC9470

_DSC9472

_DSC9473

_DSC9476

_DSC9477

_DSC9481

_DSC9485

_DSC9486

_DSC9487

_DSC9490

_DSC9493

_DSC9496

_DSC9498

_DSC9500

_DSC9503

chandeokgungpalace2

_DSC9514

_DSC9518

_DSC9519

_DSC9515

_DSC9520

_DSC9523

_DSC9524

_DSC9525

_DSC9526

_DSC9532

_DSC9540

_DSC9531

_DSC9530

_DSC9542

_DSC9549

_DSC9551

_DSC9556

South Korea: Han River

After days that consisted of shopping and sightseeing, I decided to take it easy and spend a day relaxing at Han river.  A lot of people come her to enjoy the beautiful park. I saw many people jogging, cycling, fishing or just taking a relaxing walk. Some passerby caught my eye because their faces were covered with masks and sunglasses. The person I was with told me that some Korean celebrities/Kpop idols visit this area. They’re covered up to protect their privacy. I’m not sure if that’s true. I rather think that they’re just protecting their faces from the bright sunlight.

I brought a few snacks, so I could have a little picknick along the coastline. I just had a  with meat filling inside, some crisps and Binggrae flavored strawberry milk. I actually drunk a lot of those flavored milk drinks.

I wish I could have beautiful relaxing moments like this every day.

_DSC0771

_DSC0773

_DSC0776

_DSC0780

hanriver20162

_DSC0779

_DSC0849

_DSC0851

hanriver20163

_DSC0783

hanriver20161

_DSC0792

_DSC0796

South Korea: Myeongdong

Myeongdong is the place for buying cosmetics. They have many stores reaching from Etude House to Skinfood. I really suggest buying makeup and skin products in Myeongdong because they often have amazing deals and sales. For instance, I bought a few things at Etude House and I got a facial cream for only ₩4,000. They also have great deals for facial masks and so on. The sale ladies can be very pushy and I suggest people to be beware of that. One lady talked me into buying a collagen cream and an exfoliate lotion, which I didn’t really needed.  When you entered the store they also tend to follow you around. It can be very handy if you want to ask questions but I’m more of a quiet shopper. I like to take my time and look at all the options before buying something. I’m really bad at ignoring people, so it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It was something I really needed to get used to.

You can also buy clothes in Myeongdong but the prices are a bit higher compared to Hongdae. Although, I remember buying quite a bit of fashion items there. They have many cute clothing shops, therefore, I couldn’t help myself. There are a few department stores as well. My favourite one is Lotte Young Plaza. This mall fits the taste of a younger generation and combines street style with luxury. They have brands like Pinkage, Stylenanda, Wonderplace and many more. I took many pictures as well as photos from makeup items. But my memory card got corrupted and unfortunately, I’ve lost the data :'(.

_DSC9204

_DSC9195

_DSC9197

_DSC9196

_DSC9185

_DSC9211

_DSC9181

_DSC9184

_DSC0728

_DSC0729

_DSC0730

_DSC9236

_DSC9214

_DSC9216

_DSC9219

_DSC9225

myeongdongcitystreetsnap21

_DSC9228

_DSC9230

_DSC9231

_DSC9232

_DSC9233

_DSC9234

_DSC9238

_DSC9240

_DSC9241

_DSC9242

_DSC9243

_DSC9252

_DSC9244

_DSC9246

_DSC9247

_DSC9250

_DSC9253

_DSC9255

_DSC9264

myeongdongcitystreetsnap1

_DSC9270

_DSC9269

_DSC9268

_DSC9271

_DSC9273

_DSC9275

_DSC9276

_DSC9305

_DSC9312

myeongdongstreetsnapcity12000

_DSC0734
For dinner, I had Korean chicken. I’m quite the chicken fanatic if I say so myself and watching all those mouth-watering videos it became my mission to eat Korean fried chicken. Koreans take their chicken very serious. They have all kind of different flavors and ways to prepare it. You have plenty to choose from. I even saw fried chicken with whipped cream! I took a more simple approach and ordered the natural crispy with onions, garlic. I also ordered spicy fried chicken with potatoes (양념치킨). It was so so good! When I stayed in Seoul I ate about five times Korean chicken because it was just too delicious.  

_DSC9287

_DSC9290

_DSC9294

_DSC9295

_DSC9296

_DSC9297

_DSC9298

_DSC9299

_DSC9300

_DSC9301

_DSC9302

South Korea: Achasan mountain hike scenery

Although I already did a lot of walking in South Korea, I really wanted to hike through the mountains. In my country I don’t have mountains or hills. So, I wanted to take this opportunity. I decided to take it easy and decided to hike at mountain Achasan, which is suppose to be a 30-40 minute easy breezy walk. But…ok…first, I got lost. I couldn’t find the damn mountain and walked aimlessly throughout the city. Secondly, when I thought I actually “found” the mountain…it wasn’t that fucking easy as they promised. The tour map promised  an easy hike with lots of stairs but instead I was walking on slippery rocks and landed in the “jungle”. I wouldn’t be surprised if an actual beer would pop out and attack us! Later I discovered that I actually took a very difficult route on mountain Yongmansan which eventually connects with mountain Achasan. When I arrived at the top I saw another path with lots of stairs and it became clear that was the “easy Achasan route”.

Although I was dying and trying my best not to fall. It was all worth it in the end. At the top, you have this really beautiful view overlooking Seoul city and Hangang river. The photos don’t do it justice. It’s so much more stunning in real life.  

Oh yeah…after succeeding in not falling, on my way down…reaching the ground, I fell out of nowhere.

_DSC0875

Achasanseoulhike1

_DSC0876

_DSC0877

_DSC0881

_DSC0883

_DSC0882

_DSC0886

_DSC0885

_DSC0888

_DSC0892

_DSC0893

_DSC0894

_DSC0896

_DSC0899

_DSC0901

_DSC0905

_DSC0907

_DSC0908

_DSC0912

_DSC0914

_DSC0918

_DSC0919

When I went home I ordered pizza at the Korean Pizza Hut and chocolate oreo boba tea. Very deserving for our hard hiking accomplishment. If I remember correctly I ordered a bulgogi pizza, with cheese, green and red peppers. The pizza was of course was very delicious, I could eat the whole thing just by myself.

_DSC0921

_DSC0924

_DSC0929

_DSC0926

_DSC0935

South Korea: Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine was the only shrine I visited in South Korea. I had a hard time remembering it and had to look it up. It slowly came back to me when I recalled seeing the racoon dog scavenging around the shrine grounds. One of the few instances I saw wildlife in Seoul. Although the shrine was impressive, it still felt a bit underwhelming compared to the other attractions I have seen. To be honest, I regretted skipping Jogyesa temple for this. It still haunts me that I didn’t went to see the pretty colorful lanterns at the temple.

Anyway,  Jongmyo shrine was a place of worships for the kings throughout the Joseon Dynasty. Here is where they performed the oldest ceremony and still reenact it to this day. Our tour guide also told us not to walk on the stone footpath. It consists of three separate pavements and the middle one is only meant for the king. If you would disrespect this, the king would come and haunt you. So, she made us jump over it! Haha!

After the tour I went and explore the city for a bit.

_DSC0143

_DSC0145

_DSC0152

_DSC0149

_DSC0160

_DSC0150

_DSC0161

_DSC0167

_DSC0163

_DSC0171

_DSC0175

_DSC0174

_DSC0179

_DSC0169

_DSC0181

_DSC0184

_DSC0200

_DSC0185

_DSC0205

Jongmyoshrineseoul

_DSC0204

_DSC0207

_DSC0209

_DSC0211

jongnocitystreet1

STYLENANDA Flagship Store & Haul

STYLENANDA is one of the leading fashion companies in South Korea. In 2005 the brand started out as an online store. Now, it has many offline shops throughout Asia. Stylenanda is by far one of my favourite fashion brands as well as their makeup line 3 Concept Eyes. I adore their unique fashion and makeup looks. So, I couldn’t let the chance slide by without visiting their flagship store in Hongdae. Especially, when Stylenanda’s site showcased their new autumn/winter line.

The flagship store is a huge three storey building. The building was decorated with promo shots of the beautiful Stylenanda model Sora Park. They even have a Stylenanda vending machine and a photobooth. I was very impressed. But once I went inside, I was kind of disappointed. I don’t know if I came at the wrong time but their stock was less than stellar. They hardly had any of the clothes which were promoted on their site and when I asked they said everything was already soldout. Kind of weird because their winter line wasn’t even five days old. Also, the items on their site were still available. What made it even weirder is that this is a flagship store! Why didn’t they have anything in stock? To be honest, it was really anticlimactic. I guess, I will have to stick to online shopping.

_DSC0691

_DSC0699

Stylenandaflagshipstore

_DSC0702

_DSC0704

_DSC0705

_DSC0701

Stylenandaflagshipstore1

Although, I didn’t really find a lot of clothes that I liked. I did manage to purchase some items. Just a simple black sweater, cream colored shoes, a blue cap and a purple two piece outfit. I bought makeup from 3CE at another store but I will blog about that in the near future. I will also make a review about the quality of the clothing and makeup products.

Stylenandahaul

South Korea: Hello Kitty Café

When I was in Hongdae I visited the new Hello Kitty café. When I was younger I used to really adore Hello Kitty. I even had a Hello Kitty mobile phone. Nowadays Hello Kitty isn’’t really doing it for me anymore but I still wanted to visit the newly opened café in Hongdae. I know my inner child would be screaming at me if I didn’’t.

It’’s hard to miss the entrance to the café. I was greeted by the vividly pink gate with a huge ribbon on top. There are steps leading up to the building. The café is a two-storey building and of course decorated in pink. There’s a giftshop located at the left side. Here you can buy all things Hello Kitty. The stock ranges from stuffed animals to stationary. I must say that they put a lot of effort in decorating the place. At every corner there’’s Hello Kitty themed art, merchandise and statues. On the second floor there’’s even a Hello kitty themed bedroom.

HellokittycafeHongdae

_DSC8924

_DSC8925

_DSC8929

_DSC8940

HellokittycafeHongdae1

_DSC8943

_DSC8945

_DSC8948

_DSC8949

_DSC8955

_DSC8957

_DSC9011

_DSC8959

HellokittycafeHongdae2

_DSC8950

_DSC8951

_DSC8952

_DSC8953

_DSC8961

_DSC8962

_DSC9000

_DSC8993

_DSC8999

_DSC9002

_DSC9005

_DSC9003

_DSC9006

The food and beverages are quite affordable. The price ranges from ₩5,000 to ₩12,000. I ordered a lemon drink and a Hello Kitty waffle covered in chocolate sauce, with icecream, fruit and whipped cream. The drink was way too sweet and made my teeth scream in agony. The Hello Kitty waffle tasted really good but the aroma of the icecream was a tad too heavy for me. Overall, the dessert was leaning more to the okay side, but then again most people who visited came here rather for the décor than the actual food. That’’s why, I recommend visiting only if you’’re a true Hello Kitty fanatic.

_DSC8988

_DSC8987

_DSC8989

_DSC8984

_DSC8978

_DSC8980

_DSC8968

_DSC8964

_DSC8965

_DSC8977