Seoul & Jeju (1st – 10th October 2014)

Seongsan Ilchulbong
Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) on Jeju
It’s my second trip to Seoul this year, with the earlier trip back in June to attend an event  here.  If not because of our Korean class trip to Jeju this month, I would not have made another trip so soon.  Jeju is one of the places I would like to visit and since this is our class trip, it would be fun going in a group.  It would also be more convenient with a hired bus and a driver who could bring us around the places we’ve planned to visit. 
Our Jeju trip was from 5th – 8th October and the group had arranged to meet at Gimpo Airport to take a domestic flight to Jeju together.  Might as well that I go there a few days earlier to go around Seoul before we proceed to Jeju.  I decided to stay at Banana Backpackers again since it is at a good location near to Anguk Station. 
I would have preferred to take a night flight so that we could arrive early morning in Seoul but since my booking under the 2-to-go cheap tickets did not have that option for my selected dates, our arrival was at almost midnight.  Knowing that I would miss the last airport bus to Seoul, I had made a booking to stay a night in a hotel near Incheon Airport.  I had requested for a transfer pick up but because the booking site did not give details or have a contact, I was unsure about this service. 
On arrival at Incheon, we did not see anyone waiting for us in the arrival hall. After getting the hotel contact number from the airport info counter, I made a call to the hotel.  The man who answered said that the pick up was unavailable at that hour.  It would be good if the shuttle service time could have been mentioned in the booking site and a contact number or email address for inquiries was available.  We finally got to the hotel by cab. The room was spacious and had a fast internet connection through free wifi but the absence of a lift for those with heavy luggage on the upper floors was a bane.  I suppose this being a small hotel, this was not part of the conveniences which would have made it even better.  So we had to lug our heavy suitcase up the stairs to the 3rd level.  Thankfully the helpful shuttle car driver came up to help us bring down our luggage during checkout the next morning.  After dropping off at Incheon Airport, we took the airport bus to Seoul.
Having been to Seoul a number of times, I had planned on visiting places we’ve not been before.  For some reason, I wanted to go cafe hunting and visit the flea markets.  Though I had been around Samcheongdong on a previous trip, I had missed the interesting cafes which were situated away from the main street.  I like what I saw of the cafe deco on Google search, so had marked out a couple of them which I would like to visit. Of course the pics of tempting ice cream waffles was another draw. 
Updates on the Jeju trip will be in the next post. 
2014-10-02 15.37.06Cafe 커피마시는 고양이 (Samcheongdong)
Opening hours : 10am – 11pm
Anguk Station, Line 3, exit 1.
Head right from exit and turn right again into the cafe street.
cat cafe
Love the cat theme deco just inside the entrance.  It has such a relaxing feel that I wouldn’t mind chilling out here all day. This is not a cat cafe so there are no cats here.
Had the waffle and ice cream I had been craving for.
2014-10-02 18.00.32
Art shop in Insadong
2014-10-02 18.27.48Was surprised to find some lovely paintings on the walls of a public toilet at Ssamziegil (Insadong)
2014-10-02 18.30.20Love this wall with many colorful pictures hanging on an equally colorful background, at the ground level resting area in Ssamsziegil.
2014-10-02 19.24.24
I like the nature theme decor of this shop, especially the carpet of mulch which covered the entire floor and gives the feel of being outdoors (Insadong)
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I like these little potted plants too, would be lovely to have all of them outside my front door.
2014-10-02 19.26.10bNice black and white theme of the shop and its attractive products (Insadong)
2014-10-02 19.33.19Hana Art which is now one of my favorite art shops.  Would have loved to buy up all the things here but since I couldn’t possibly lug everything home, I got a couple of cute art frames and stickers of the little girl with huge eyes.  This is one shop I would visit again on my next visit to Seoul (Insadong)

2014-10-02 22.17.18

sheep cafe 1Thanks Nature Cafe, another unique cafe which is located near Hongik University.  It has 2 adorable resident sheep in a pen just outside the cafe, with seats there for those who would like to have their coffee outside.
Thanks Nature Cafe (Hongdae)
Opening hours: 11:00 – 23:00
To get there: Hongik University Line 2, exit 9.

Sheep cafe 2The cafe is located at the basement on the left side of the street and there is a sign with the name of the cafe at street level.  You can see it as you walk towards Hongik University’s main gate.  The picture of the owner bringing the sheep up for a walk is on the wall.

2014-10-04 15.43.40

2014-10-04 15.41.25
If you are there during feeding time, you are allowed to feed them some hay. The sheep are brought back to the farm every summer so if you intend to visit this cafe, you should do so during the other seasons.
2014-10-04 16.31.20-2Saw these giant burgers in the display case of one of the eateries in Hongdae.
2014-10-04 19.08.42  Fish shape toast with different kinds of filling
2014-10-08 17.27.04Charming eatery in Insadong
2014-10-08 17.33.30Street side stall in Insadong selling knick knacks and accessories.
2014-10-09 16.32.17Some sketch artists in Insadong.  Though it may be a place for tourists and souvenir shopping, it has an interesting atmosphere and art shops.


2014-10-09 17.33.10Another art shop in Insadong
2014-10-08 20.15.53Fish shape snacks with red bean filling in Myeongdong
2014-10-03 20.03.13Twirly ice cream cones in place of the normal V shaped ones.  Its entire tube will be filled with ice cream.
2014-10-03 20.07.30
Street side snacks in Myeongdong.  I like the Hotteok, a type of pancake with sweet cinnamon filling (2nd from right).
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