EXPLORING SEOUL : MORE PLACES TO EAT // SEOUL SEARCHING #2

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In the process of preparing for my second trip to Seoul, I came up with a list of restaurants and cafes I would like to visit while I was there. Since there were people who asked me for a list of places to eat in Seoul, I thought I should share it on my blog to help anyone else lurking on the internet and asking the same question. I already have a list up somewhere on this blog so here’s another one to keep your mouths busy when you’re in Seoul.

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SPENDING NEW YEAR’S IN SEOUL // EXPLORING SEOUL

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If you don’t know this yet, I spent a small chunk of January in one of my favourite cities in the world, Seoul. After leaving Seoul in May, I had a strong urge to revisit because I felt like I didn’t explore the city enough. I had plans to explore other cities in South Korea, like Busan and the famous Nami Island but all those plans fell through, thanks to bosses and boyfriends. I am a single 20 year-old young woman with no obligation towards a lover or a stern and strict boss. Unfortunately, my friends do not share the same description so I had to compromise my plans. The trip ended up becoming sort of a “healing time” for me, where I let go of any built-up stress and worries to enter the new year with a lot of inner peace.

Since I’ve visited every single tourist attraction that I wanted to visit in May, I had more flexibility on this trip where everything was more casual and spontaneous because I didn’t have an itinerary to follow. I did try coming up with an itinerary because I like to plan ahead but it was surprisingly difficult to do so I decided to wing it, every single day. On this trip, I also decided to leave my blogger responsibilities behind and live in every single moment I had in Seoul. I didn’t plan on blogging about this trip at all but since a few people asked, I decided to do it anyway, in a more personal way. Hence, the existence of this particular round-up.

So, here are some of the things that occupied me on my first winter experience, in Seoul :

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EXPLORING SEOUL : PLACES TO EAT + FINDING HALAL FOOD // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

Being a Muslim, there are food restrictions that I have to follow. I can consume just about any food other than pork and alcohol. As for meat, the animal has to be slaughtered by the name of my God in the manner that has been laid out by the religion, which we have to follow. If you’re not familiar with halal food, I’m sure you can find eye-opening articles (and some controversial ones too) about it online. If you are familiar with halal food or you are concerned about halal food, then I might be able to help you, if you let me.

This might be a bit controversial but I don’t believe in putting restrictions upon myself, in terms of food or anything else, that would definitely make it difficult for me to live. Now, finding halal food is already extremely difficult being in a country where the population of Muslims is less than 1% of its entire nation. So, I think it’s up to us, to make the decisions for ourselves and decide just how strict we want to be towards ourselves. If you want completely pork-free restaurants, that’s your choice. If you prefer halal certified restaurants, again, that’s completely your choice.

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EXPLORING SEOUL : HONGDAE FREE MARKET @ HONGDAE CHILDREN’S PARK // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

The Hongdae Free Market is a popular tourist attraction in Seoul. The market is located at the Hongdae Children’s Park and is basically an open space where local artists would showcase and sell some of their artwork and play their music. The name “Free Market” would normally indicate that everything is free but it actually just means that entrance is free for both visitors and vendors.

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EXPLORING SEOUL : N SEOUL TOWER @ NAMSAN MOUNTAIN // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

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Here’s another popular tourist attraction; the N Seoul Tower. I never really took interest in this tower because I’m not one to appreciate great sceneries and stuff like that, especially when it’s so over-rated that it makes me super skeptical of how great it actually is. However, I decided to go anyway just for the sake of being a tourist. I heard that it’s really great at night but again, being skeptical, I thought going during the day would be much better because I would be able to see the city better.

I went on the cable car, it was ₩8500 per round trip, and I absolutely hated it. There were so many people so we were squished into one cable car, which looked so fragile when it’s getting blown by the wind. I was already getting so much anxiety because we were practically in the sky, so to get squished with zero personal space gave me even more unwanted anxiety. I actually ended up walking down the mountain and getting on the bus when I was making my way back to the city because the cable car was not worth getting so much anxiety over.

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EXPLORING SEOUL : BANPO BRIDGE RAINBOW FOUNTAIN SHOW // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

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On my very last weekend in Seoul, I had run out of things to do because I left my itinerary empty for more spontaneous events. I was alone in the city since my friend had already left for Malaysia and the friend who I was staying with was busy with her assignment. So, I was looking through the Visit Korea app (very useful and reliable) and saw this popular tourist attraction. I’ve heard of the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain show before but I never took interest until, well, I had nothing else to do. I thought it would be nice to actually go and see what the hype’s all about. I don’t regret it at all though, it became one of my favourite nights in Seoul.

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EXPLORING SEOUL : COMMON GROUND @ KONKUK UNIVERSITY // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

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One of the places that I really really really wanted to go was Common Ground at Konkuk University. When I first saw it in a vlog and I think, it was a blogpost, I just had to put it in my itinerary. However, during the first few days that we were in Seoul, we walked so much that we basically busted our feet up so we ended up wanting to rest a lot and wasting a lot of our mornings in bed, trying to recover from all the walking. So, by the end of the trip, we took it really slow and went with the flow, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to go.

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EXPLORING SEOUL : MY BUDGET & EXPENSES // SEOUL SEARCHING 2016

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As you may know, I travelled on my own, for the very first time, to Seoul in May. I did everything myself; my passport, my itinerary, and my budget. I saved up my own money, I worked really hard and ended up in Seoul, South Korea to experience one of my favourite cities in the world and cross it off my travel bucketlist.

A huge part of my travel planning involved my budget. Saving money is hell, let me tell you and what’s even more difficult is deciding how much money I want to bring, how much would be enough and how much would be too much. Would I be able to eat by the end of the trip if I shopped this much? Would I be able to buy an appropriate amount of souvenirs? There are so many things to be taken into account, and now that I’ve experienced it all, I thought I should give you guys a helping hand.

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Samcheongdong

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