Seoul Trip 2016: Day 5 ~ Around Hongdae (Again)

May 09, 2020

I know, I know... I have been procrastinating big time on publishing travel logs for the past x years. Well I don't really have any valid excuses for it. 😅 But I guess the Universe has sent the sign that I really should start working on them while I still have the time and the resources to do it. So here I am late Friday night, working on this post. I am really itching to watch the latest episode of this Korean drama I'm currently following but I really need to check off some items that have been sitting for so long in the back burner (like this one) so that I could finally let go of the past (😳 wut). I will do my best to finally finish documenting this trip (that has happened 4 years ago by the way) during this ECQ period. 😉

Loitering Around Hongdae 😂
After that relaxing stroll around the Ewha University, I decided to further explore the Hongdae area. I know I have been here before but I really wasn't able to freely roam the area. And so I decided to do just that this time.

I think I visited this area during the wrong time of the day for the second time around. 😅 During my first visit, I learned that most stores were closed because this place actually thrives more in the night time. I realized I was repeating history again as I checked to see that some of the stores are indeed closed. Well I guess it's a personal preference if you want to visit Hongdae during the daytime or night time, but I must say that the place has its own kind of appeal even without experiencing the infamous nightlife that usually takes place here.

I used Google Maps in navigating around. This app is truly heaven-sent for me, especially because I am bad I find it challenging to find my way around, even in familiar places (heck I still get lost inside a mall). The weather was great that day and so I just took my time walking around leisurely. 

I saw these bags for sale at the park. I was really tempted to purchase one because they're so cheap!
Although looking at them now, I don't feel any regret for not buying. 😀

I honestly believe there's never enough time to explore every nook and cranny of the streets of Seoul.
It feels like there's always something to discover in every corner.

Milk Tea Break at Gongcha
I have been walking for hours by this time and so when I passed by this Gongcha branch, I decided to go in to you know, rest for a bit. There were only a few customers at that time and so the place was peacefully quiet. I took my time and chilled out for a bit here.

Here's my date for the day: Lee Jong-suk

After finishing my drink, I went on to continuing my adventure outside. 

I think I took this photo because it was my first time to see a cinema like this in Seoul.
I have never tried seeing a movie abroad and so I guess I just got curious on how it's like here.

Convenience Store with Pinoy Goodies
I continued walking around and exploring every store (that's open) that caught my eye. I didn't know how long I have been walking already (I was just following the road on my phone). I didn't really have a specific destination in mind but my game plan was to just walk in parallel to the subway line so that in case I get tired already, I'll just walk to a nearby station and go back to the guesthouse.

While walking, I saw this convenience store with assorted snacks and goodies. I got really amused because I saw some very familiar items!

This is where I discovered the Osulloc Greentea Milk Spread. I was not yet familiar with the Osulloc brand at that time, but because the bottle had the "green tea" label on it, I didn't hesitate to buy it. 😅 I turned out to be the best-tasting matcha spread that I have ever tasted! I ended up asking my friend Mai to buy me one of these when she went to visit Seoul some years later. Even my officemates loved it! If you are a matcha fan, this is a must try! 

Gyeongui Line Book Street
After some more walking, I ended up discovering this cute train-themed library. I got super interested because well I love reading books! The only catch here was --- most books were in Hangul... and so I wasn't able to really connect with the titles there. 😅 But of course, this didn't hinder me in appreciating what I could from this library. I still went in and explored some sections of "the train".

Hey, here are some familiar titles!

There were only a handful of people inside the library. I would have wanted to stay longer, but because I really couldn't see something that was written in English, I went off and continued my stroll. 

I was highly aware that I was alone, and even though I truly believe Seoul is a safe city, I still had my guards up. Through most of my walk, I was observing these two guys behind me. I don't know, I just followed my gut and went inside one of the clothing stores to stall some time. When I went outside again, they were already ahead of me. I must have been feeling paranoid, but meh better safe than sorry, right?

After some more minutes, I found myself standing in front of Hongik University again. Last time I was here, I just took a few photos outside. I strongly had the urge to go inside and explore, but I wasn't able to research beforehand if tourists could actually go inside, just like in Ewha University. I decided to skip it again this time.

I also was slightly tempted to explore that mural street that I wasn't able to find before, but I decided to call this a day and go back to the guesthouse (because my feet were tired already). I still was able to get a glimpse of what that street would look like (I guess) through this one mural I got to see nearby.

This was my first legit solo strolling abroad. Looking back, I think a lot of my solitude travelling habits started from my experiences in this particular trip in Seoul. I am really thankful I have friends who were down and cool about the idea of having a "me day" amidst our group trip in Seoul. I think all of us are introverts, and so we really needed this solitude time to be on our own and listen to our own thoughts and just experience the place in the fullest way possible (without the distraction of your companions lol).

On the next post, I (somewhat) reunite with my friends for the Seoul Lantern festival! 🏮

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