I Love Seoul

We come back to Seoul the second time around and it’s like falling in love again. 

Seoul, you are wonderful and charming in Spring. Thank you for the breathtaking sights, the cold but refreshing weather, the happy smiles and delicious food. We haven’t left yet but here we are, already thinking on when we’ll come back to you.

This post will be updated once I’ve got some time. In the meantime, here are some photos from my instagram. For details, please check my story via my our instagrams (@ibyang and @keemps17) or my twitter page (@ibyang)

Situated in the heart of Myeongdong, this cafe is one that can’t be missed. 

Caffe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)



Cafe Pascucci is a local cafe in Seoul that serves Italian Coffee.  The cafe also serves cakes, pastries, sandwiches and gelato.

Caffe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)



We visited Cafe Pascucci for afternoon tea on our final day and had our usual Cafe Mocha (for the husband) and Cafe Americano (for me).  Their coffee was rich, a little on the strong side but smooth nonetheless.

Caffe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)



We weren’t really hungry due to a heavy lunch at a Japanese restaurant that day.  How I wish we could have some Gelato Honey Toast but we instead opted to share a slice of their creamy, smooth Cheesecake.

Caffe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)


 
The cafe was located on the second floor of a building so we had a good view of Myeongdong beneath us.

Cafe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)



The Husband took photos from downstairs while I checked messages online and enjoyed my cuppa.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


Caffe Pascucci (Seoul, Korea)


Cafe Pascucci is located at Rodeo Street, Myeongdong (near SC Bank)


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Seoul has many shopping havens, one of which is in Myeongdong.


Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

 

 Myeongdong is one of Seoul’s main shopping districts featuring mid-to-high priced retail stores and international brand outlets, including Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Nature Republic. It is a particularly popular area for young people and tourists as a center for fashion and sight-seeing.  

Several large shopping centers and department stores are in the district including Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Migliore, M Plaza, and Noon Square. The floating population of Myeongdong is estimated to be around 2 million a day and in terms of floorspace rents, Myeongdong is one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world. Many hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, and historical sites complete the diverse mixture of the area. {source}

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)
Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

As the sun sets, the streets of Myeongdong becomes more alive as each avenue transforms into one big market of dry goods and food carts.  The crowd becomes thicker but security is tight.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


We explored the streets while it was still a bit light outside.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


But when it grew darker and colder (it was Spring time when we were there), we walked into the shops.  My best shopping experience was at my favourite store: H&M.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


I can live inside H&M!  That’s how much I love this shop.  It took me about two hours to finish shopping and about 30 minutes just paying for our purchases.  I made sure I bought all the clothes I will need from winter to summer.  One thing I love about shopping in Asia is that the clothes fit me perfectly.  I’m petite and it’s so hard to find clothes in Sydney that fits me but in Seoul, it was sooooo easy.  After our 2.5 hour stint in H&M, I left with a happy heart and a big heavy bag.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


It was late when we went out but the streets were so alive even on a weekday.  We were a bit hungry but we opted to hung out in the streets and eat from the food carts.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


This hotdog waffle with potatoes were a favourite of mine.  It was so yummy!

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



Other than the waffles, we also had a bit of their Pork BBQ.  Another delightful treat fresh from the grill.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



We loved Myeongdong so much that on the last day, instead of going to the Korean Village, we decided to just have relaxing day there…and to shop some more hehe.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



We went inside different department stores.  We spent time at Muji because I wanted to buy another pair of the boots I bought in Manila (that’s how much I love it) but they didn’t have it.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



The Husband loved shopping at SPAO as he was able to find shirts and jackets he liked.  SPAO is similar to Giordano and Uniqlo.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



We also went underground and looked at camera shops.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



We found this store for fans of KPOP and Korean dramas.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)



My Husband and I laughed when we saw this jacket and pants ensemble from the Korean Drama “Secret Garden”.  We actually saw kids wearing these.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


Before we went home for Manila (our flight was scheduled that night), we had coffee at an Italian cafe.  Can you see me in this photo?

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Shopping at Myeongdong (Seoul, Korea)


To go to Myeongdong, take Subway Line 4 (Light Blue) and get off Myeongdong station.

 
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This would probably be one of the most memorable cafes we’ve ever experienced.

On our third day in Seoul, we found ourselves in the streets of Myeongdong (the shopping mecca of Seoul).  Before we explored and shopped the night away, we had late afternoon tea in one of the busiest streets of Myeongdong.  We found out that the ground level of buildings are retail businesses while the upper floors are restaurants or cafes. 

We looked up and saw a sign that said LAMP.  Just one word.  Simple, short and mysterious.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



We walked closer to the establishment and a small door opened up to a flight of stairs.  It was dark inside but we heard people and music…and most of all, we smelled the aroma of coffee.

Walking up the stairs was visually delightful as we saw little plants and photographs in every step.  And the walls were also adorned with pictures and Polaroids.  It reminded me of my idea of a dream house…my dream house.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



As we reached the second floor, we were greeted by friendly “Annyeong Haseyo!” of the staff.  The room was a bit crowded so we asked if we can sit on the third floor and they agreed.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



We had the whole floor to ourselves (how lucky!).  We enjoyed the quiet…our alone time.  In traveling, our lives can sometimes be noisy with so much excitement, with so many things taking our breath away. 

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



The Husband and I appreciate times during travel where we can sit back and remove ourselves out of the picture for a few moments. It is a way for us to let all the adventure sink in and a way for us to be grateful for our here and now.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



The cafe has a vintage and artsy feel.  The interiors will transcend you into another time and place.  The ambiance was cozy, moody and eccentric.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)


Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)


Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)
Cafe: Lamp (Myeongdong, Seoul, Korea)



We found out that in the afternoons they offer a cup of coffee and a slice of cafe for only 6,000won.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)



The cakes were fluffy and not too sweet.  Their coffee was generally light with no bitter aftertaste.

Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)


Cafe: Lamp (Seoul, Korea)


As we sat and enjoyed our cuppa, we looked below us and saw Seoul come to life at night.  The following day, we will leave Seoul and yet we still cannot believe then how lucky we were to have explored this charming city.

LAMP
Myeongdong, Seoul
Korea

A trip will never be complete without buying souvenirs.  Although, the Husband and I bought a few pieces of souvenirs in tourist spots where we went, we wanted to go to a real market so on our last morning in Seoul, we woke up early and made a quick trip to Namdaemun Market before we hung out at Myeongdong (which will be featured in next week’s WW).

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market in Seoul, South Korea. The market is located next to Namdaemun, the “Great South Gate,” which was the main southern gate to the old city.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market


Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest continually running markets in South Korea, and one of the largest retail markets in Seoul. The streets in which the market is located were built in a time when cars were not prevalent, so the market itself is not accessible by car. The main methods of transporting goods in and out of the market are by motorcycle and hand-drawn carts. It occupies many city blocks, which are blocked off from most car traffic due to the prevalence of parking congestion in the area. The market can be accessed by subway or bus; the location is within a 10 minute walk from Seoul metropolitan station and is even closer to the subway Hoehyeon Station, Line 4.

Much of the market is outside, but there are also many stores which line the streets. Many retailers buy their items, particularly clothing, at wholesale prices at Namdaemun, to resell in their own stores in other cities. Namdaemun is a popular tourist attraction. (source)

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market



Namdaemun Market reminded me of a wet-and-dry market, only this one is cleaner.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market


Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market



The Things We Saw at Namdaemun Market

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Something Pink and Girly: Sunvisors, Headbands and Hair Clips

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Souvenir Items: Fans, Key Chains, Cellphone Chains, Wallets, Ref Magnets

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Silverware

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Earthen Bowls, Pots and Pans

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Baskets, Decors for the Home

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Clothes

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Something for the Fan Girls and Boys of Korean Entertainment

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Just like in the Korean Drama “Secret Garden”, they sell socks with the Stars’ photo on them

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market
Korean Hello Kitty!  They’re soooo cute.  I wanted to buy them but they were expensive (40,000won each) and they weren’t even authentic.




Photo Tip: Some store owners forbid tourists from taking photographs of the products they sell.

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Namdaemun Market

We spent a good hour and a half going around Namdaemun Market and when we were walking towards Myeongdong, we saw a Korean Chess Board on the side of the street, complete with janggi (refers to the chess pieces).  I only see this Korean Chess Board in Kdramas and I’m glad I got to see how it really looks in real life.

Next week:  Myeongdong (The Shopping Mecca of Seoul)


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