Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Seoul Snapshots - Gangnam Style

Time seems to flow differently while travelling - returning to Seoul after a few fun-packed days in Osaka I felt like weeks had gone by since I left Seoul for Busan. Arriving back to Seoul's Gimpo airport the city felt familiar and a 15 minute metro ride later I was at the rather stylish IP Boutique Hotel in Itaewon. The new few days involved ticking off everything that I hadn't seen in Seoul first time around, heading south of the river to Gangnam and using the city heat as an excuse to eat red bean patbingsu at every opportunity.

IP boutique hotel seoul review
The reception of the IP Boutique Hotel is super fun. 
seoul gangnam city guide
Trying on my Japan purchases - Bodyline had a sale and, well, who doesn't need a Japanese school girl outfit? (Someone please please invite me to a Halloween party or I'll just end up wearing this to brunch). 
seoul gangnam city guide
The streets around Ewha Women's University and Hongik University are great for fun, affordable fashion (while avoiding the ubiquitous designer fakes). So many shops seems only sell socks - at 50p a pair I picked up Moomins, Minions, Line Pets, Rilakuma and Hello Kitty Socks. Just like any sensible 28 year old would. 
seoul gangnam city guide
The 63 Building used to be the tallest in Seoul and is still somewhat iconic. It's not the easiest to get to - the nearest metro station is 1km away and there surrounding area is nice but there's not a huge amount near by. That said, arriving at 5.30pm was perfect for watching the sun go down and seeing the city transform from day to night. 
seoul gangnam city guide
The nighttime view from the 63 Building. 
seoul gangnam city guide
Yes, I went on this. Yes, it made me feel a bit sick but was awesome anyway. Lotte World is Seoul's answer to DisneyLand and only 40 minutes by metro from central Seoul. Arriving at 10am meant that queues were short (unlike at Universal Studios in Japan) - the outdoor area is more fun as the rides swoop over a lake and give you views of the under-construction Lotte Tower (soon to be Seoul's tallest building). 
seoul gangnam city guide
The Olympic Park is a few metro stops away from Lotte World. Seoul held the olympics in 1988 and the park has aged very well - it's now a popular place for couples to go on dates in matching outfits to ride tandem Boris-style bikes or for Seoul residents to walk their adorable, teddy-bear like dogs. 
seoul gangnam city guide
Samsung d'light was well worth a visit despite me being an Apple fan. Just next to Gangnam Station the interactive experience is so fun and your picture gets displayed on the big screens around the store. 
seoul gangnam city guide
Back to the Hongik University area to visit the You Are Here cafe - my favourite red bean patbingsu.
seoul gangnam city guide
Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam-Gu is a beautiful retreat from the city. 

seoul gangnam city guide
Old and new - the temple feels a million miles from the city but glimpses of the surrounding office blocks between the wooden buildings make it feel like even more of a special regret from the craziness of the Gangnam area. 

seoul gangnam city guide
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain -my last night in Seoul was spent sitting by the river opposite the N Seoul Tower and watching the dancing rainbow-lit fountains, while trying to enjoy the moment and not think about having to leave both this amazing city and the good holiday mood behind. 

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3 comments

  1. Would you please stop it now? I'm beyond jealous of your amazing trip!! Hehe. These recaps are just making me want to get on a plane PRONTO.
    Your Japanese outfit is fabulous as well - love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your outfit is cute! Seoul looks like such an amazing place and I'm loving the recaps.

    ReplyDelete

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