I’m currently writing at a desk in my fancy hotel room in Tianjin. It’s so strange that I never find time to write about my trips until I’m on another one. It’s been almost three weeks since my long weekend in Seoul, but I loved it so much I have thought about it almost every day since. I’m going to use my April photo dump to gush about Seoul and how beautiful it was and then write a small travel guide from my trip in another one.
We had a flight at around 10 am, and a week before the trip the weather was beautiful, 70’s, sunny, tee shirt and shorts weather. The weekend of the trip however: rainy, cold, near 40’s. Seriously, April? We packed for the weather, even though I stubbornly choose to pack a sweater and rain coat instead of a winter coat. This mainly just lead to me purchasing a much needed jean jacket (because who doesn’t need a jean jacket?) and taking photos where I was actually pretty cold but acting like I was not.
After we landed in Incheon, we took a train/subway to our Airbnb (I loved our Airbnb, to see where we stayed click HERE). After we dropped off our bags, it was around 3 or 4 pm so we went right out to the Daelim museum, there was an exhibit where everything was made out of paper. It was pretty interesting, by the end you kind of forget you that everything is paper. After that we walked around and wandered to Bear Cafe. This adorable place will be beautiful in sunny weather. It was peaceful in the rain as well. I felt happy to just stare at the leaves reacting to the weight of the rain on them.
After Bear cafe we stopped for some wine, went home, got ready for dinner, then headed out again. I had picked a place for dinner in Itaewon, which is the area we stayed in, but we couldn’t find it. So instead we found a Thai place that I swear is not on any map, but it was so good. I wrote a little bit about it in my quick update blog, the owner was so nice, gave us wine on the house because it paired well, a small appetizer and a small dessert. This all took me by surprise because we hadn’t found any of those small customer service moments in China.
The next day we woke up at 8m which I guess was too early for Seoul. We had coffee at the only coffee shop we found that was open (to see all the closed ones, view the previous post), but I loved the design of it. In the middle, a big table with tons of magazines and books about travel, fashion, and mindfullness. On the walls prints from a featured artist made me feel appreciate of my appear and all women’s, I even bought stickers of her work and took a card so I could remember to buy prints later. The owner had fresh cookies being baked, a few regular customers came in with dogs, children, or just a few kind words. It’s nice to be around people who care about coffee and people.
After this cafe, we headed to BIM BOP for breakfast, I had read a few reviews of this place since it was near our airbnb and it lived up to the hype for sure. All the food we had was amazing, there was a clean decor, a featured Egg, and a great menu. I took a couple photos of food there and I am not ashamed. Like LOOK at that egg, bacon, crepe situation?? There was a smoothie bowl place near BIM BOP and we didn’t get a chance to visit it, but it looked super good. If you go, take pictures and send them to me.
The thing about Seoul. It’s not just one pretty thing, it’s like several. It’s layers, there is a foreground, a mid-ground, and a background. All wrapped up in one beautiful scene. I was mainly walking around the winding roads of Itaewon, and I know that’s some parts are touristy or clubby areas, but it felt nice. And then there was this random bear in a park?
We wondered parks, neighborhoods, bought face masks, walked up giant hills that made me nervous to fall down. I know that I like to plan ahead of a trip to find the coolest places with the best coffee. I felt like I didn’t need to do that with Seoul and when I return I won’t. It was so wonderful just to wander around.
The last night we went to a place called MOW MOW and it was really great. It had an awesome view of the city, the food was amazing, I am running out of adjectives. This place makes their own Makgeolli, which is a milky, sparkling rice wine? This place apparently makes some of the best. We actually asked about it and got confused because of the language barrier, so we didn’t try it. Next time though! We have to get it, and so do you!
After that dinner we wandered more, found a dessert cafe called big step? I think it was big step? The front of the cafe had three big steps up to the counter, with comfy looking bean bag chairs for the patrons to lounge on. There they had extremely gorgeous looking desserts, we took two, read a magazine article about Nicki Minaj and watched the cute couples passing by the big windows.
I really liked how Seoul made me feel. I was excited by everything I saw. Moving to Beijing has been interesting because I so desperately want to feel settled and to be in a routine. I don’t want to think of it as a vacation all the time. But it kind of is? I’m in this massive city where I need to explore. If I lived in New York City, would I just want to cook dinner all the time at home, or would I want t go out for drinks at a new place? Also there is the conversation of what is the REAL Beijing. Am I living in the Western Beijing? The Historic Beijing? I don’t know!
Even though I want to keep exploring Eastern Asia outside of Beijing, it will be important for me to try and force myself to explore this city as well. If you have any Beijing or Seoul recommendations, please leave them below!