Henry just made some disparaging remark about how we’ve been home for over a month and I’m still recapping this trip and I was like, “WELL MAYBE IF YOU WOULD HELP ME…” Sike, I don’t want him helping. His posts will be like, “We went on a train and then ate at a market and went to another market and then ate again and walked a lot. And I think I might have accidentally swore at someone when I was trying to say thank you in Korean.”
But, that would probably be preferable to anyone sick of the Seoul onslaught!
Too bad though because this is my post so there will be a lot more words but maybe I’ll try to keep it under 1,000 for once.
We arrived back in Seoul from Busan on a Friday night around 7:30. Here are some photos from that evening!
Before we did anything, we went back to our hotel to drop off our bags before they became permanently affixed to Chooch’s and my backs. We realized that we had never checked out the rooftop garden yet so we did that real quick before heading out. Here’s what the view looked like:
I didn’t notice until now, but you can see the reflection our the hotel’s sign (Atrium) on those windows to the left. I AM SUCH A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER.
I miss this view. I miss you, Jongno-gu. I’d highly recommend staying there to anyone who is thinking of traveling to Seoul because it’s centrally located, within walking distance from numerous palaces, the DDP, Gwangjang Market, and two really accessible subway stations. The Jongno stations also have a huge shopping mall in them. You could get lost in there, honestly, especially if you’re there with Henry. You can by everything from bread to shoes down there, guys. Get on Korea’s (subterranium) level.
Also, it’s an actual shelter because it’s so deep underground.
Our first stop was Gwangjang Market for a piece-meal dinner (something from this stall, something from that stall, something later from a sidewalk stall…).
The food stall cooks must be so accustomed to being recorded and photographed because so many travel and food shows have gone through and then the YouTube vlogging generation swept in and shoved even more cameras in their faces. I know it seems hypocritical as I’m typing this beneath pictures I took in Gwangjang Market! But I just don’t think I could ever be a vlogger. I’d feel like such an asshole walking around with a camera and talking to myself.
Our next Friday night stop was the DDP (we were obsessed with that place) because they were having a Bamdokkaebi Night Market, which was overflowing with food trucks and craft vendors. The vibes were so upbeat and carefree here! Even though it was crowded, everyone was so laidback and chill – it didn’t feel overwhelming or suffocating. There was even a marching band! So festive.
The DDP is crazy amazing to spectate during the day, but it is a must-see at night. I would definitely put it on the recommednation list if any of my imaginary friends were taking a fantasy trip to Seoul.
All the LED roses are stunning at night, obviously! Plus here’s Chooch with his signature “Korea daze” expression. We over-walked that kid, lol.
The one part of the night market that sticks out in my memory is the dog that Chooch was desperately trying to pet on the way out. Some older man had his dog off-leash and that dog was super social and lapping up all the attention he was getting, but he kept getting distracted by other people every time he would start to run to Chooch. Two younger guys were walking by and noticed Chooch’s plight, so they helped lure the dog over to him, and when Chooch was finally successfully in petting the dog, the guys & several other spectators cheered – it was such a heartwarming moment and definitely something that I will always remember.
This cool Last Supper-spoof was in the textile area of Gwangjang Market. I love that the disciples are actually designers!
We continued to stroll around, spectating all the drunken sidewalk revelry, stopping for third dinner at the above food stall, and just trying to take in as much as possible while we were still there. This was when the clock really started to tick for me, and I was hyper-aware that we only had two full days left. It was frustrating because I wanted to start grabbing at everything and clutching it close to my chest, you know? Like, let me double-fist all of these experiences that are still out there before I run out of time because who knows if I will ever get the opportunity to go back. Just, utter panic and behind-the-scenes sadness no matter how hard I tried to live in the moment, because the end was always looming around the corner. LE SIGH.
The next Korea post will be about Changdeokgung Palace! Get stoked for some traditional Korean snaps!