Day 2: Modern and Energetic Lifebeat of Seoul
Day 2, we got up really late, like 10:30am because the night before it was too exhausting after doing so much sight-seeing. During lunch-time, we went to an area called Apgujeong, which is a high-end shopping area. The district has a lot of shops selling international brands. We decided to have Korean-style cold noodles for lunch. The restaurant is small but very authentic. You need to remove your shoes and sit on the tatami. Again, we spoke no Korean and there was no food pictures anywhere in the restaurant. What to do? We pointed at the food pictures in our tour-book and the waitresses immediately got what we wanted. Two bowls of auhentic Korean cold-noodles arrived shortly! Then I saw some 餃子at the other tables, so I pointed those to the waitress and we got some of those too. Oh they were all so yummy and cheap.
After we filled our stomach with good food, we decided to walk around Apgujeong district. The streets of Apgujeong are very narrow but clean, reminding me of streets in Japan. On the way, I saw a very nice bakery shop with cafe on the 2nd floor. Went in and took some pictures. Then we went into a Korean CD shop and sampled some local Korean pop. They were all so good and both Jayson and I purchased a few. On the way back, Jayson saw an HSBC branch and he got real excited and took several pics of it (since he works there). We took the train and moved onto our next stop.
Lung-Shan electronic city is a place selling all sorts of electronic goods. It also has a 'normal' mall besides it selling different goods and have another building featuring all sorts of restaurants. It is indeed a huge place. Each floor of the electronic city features like 40-50 small shops selling one type of goods. For example, one floor sells entirely mp3 players; one sells video games; one sells computer accessaries. We got onto the floor selling mobile phones. The folks on that floor all tried to stop us on our way and pursue us to buy their mobile phones and plans with Korean. We must have passed like 6-7 sales before we could reach the escalator to escape from this floor!!
We got into yet another CD shop and purchased more CDs. We also browsed around a shop selling Japanese Gundam models. We checked our emails for a while at a free internet booth. Then we had some Japanese fusion food for the night, a break from traditional Korean food. Food was okay, not exciting and not un-edible. We then took the train again and moved onto our next destination - Hong Ik University.
弘益大學(Hong Ik University)
Actually to be more precise, we didn't actually go into the university itself, but went to the surroundings. As there are lots of young students for this university, the districts around the U are geared towards young people. It was already night-time when we arrived the area. The district was packed with young people - cool! There was this street music festival going on, and we sat on the street for a while to listen to a singer-song writer performing some indie-type music. Quite good with accoustic guitar and very unique music. Then we walked around and felt a little of the night scene of Hong Ik district, with street food, street stores etc. We passed by a 3-storey karaoke shop featuring all-transparent glass. Everyone on the street can actually see what the customers are doing inside the rooms!! Very very cool.
Our next stop is Sinchon. We wanted to go check out the Hyundai Department Store (yes the Korean automobile maker. They've their own departo). Unfortunately it was already late at night so it's closed. We then found this nice cafe called 'A Twosome Place' and decided to get some desserts. This place has some real amazing cakes and desserts. I couldn't stop myself taking pictures of cakes. Some staff of the cafe needed to stop me from taking all those pictures :) I then ordered a Korean-style yogurt called Yogi. It's probably the best ice-cream yogurt I've ever had - not sour, very soft and tasty, not too sweet, very chill. With some berries on top, this was definitely one of the best desserts I've ever had. Not cheap though, I think it was like HK$50. But well worth the price.
This concludes our second day trip. Not as intense as the first day. But we still managed to check out the modern life of Seoul.