Seoul Sunday (Part 1 of my Korean adventure)

I thought I’d write a little about my Korea trip, if only for myself, and to preserve the memories a little. I had such a great time there, but I think I didn’t really appreciate it as much as I should have, until I actually returned home. I was there from May 11-18 2012, so a whole week in beautiful, beautiful Seoul. It was a whole four months ago, and I just want to return there ASAP because I miss everything about it, especially the food, and the sheer convenience of fansigns.

So many highlights in the trip, but Ying Xin and I aren’t exactly picture people (though I’m slowly becoming a selca-whore) so we don’t have a lot of photos to speak for themselves. My memory isn’t the best, so I’ve forgotten all the little little details, so this is mostly an overview of my trip there. I’ve only just watched the 8-10 videos we filmed with my cheap $30 video camera while we were there, and I swear besides sounding like a chipmunk (not helped by the fact that the thing distorts my voice soooo bad) and looking kinda gross in them (what is it about overseas air? I swear I usually don’t look that terrible), I really do crack myself up.

Pre-trip/1st day

Seoul marks my first ever trip abroad without the company of teachers or parents, so woohoo independence! We flew on SIA, and it’s something I always tell people whenever I talk about this trip because how insanely lucky was I to actually score a round-trip ticket to Seoul for $700? *pats self on back* I had the most mouth-watering donut once we landed at Incheon airport from Dunkin Donuts. It was one of those cream cheese and strawberry stuffed ones and homg what I’d do for another right now.

We stayed at Zaza Backpakers Hostel and it was the accomodations that Rachael, Vanessa, Melissa and I picked out when we were initially thinking about going to Seoul together as a foursome. But I guess they were kinda half-hearted about the whole trip, and so that fell through, but I’m so, so glad I ended up going anyway.

The building our room’s in a walk away from the actual office so that was quite odd, but it’s a stone’s throw away from Myeongdong station – super convenient, and we were quite literally in the heart of Seoul. The room’s tiny, but sufficient for the two of us. We didn’t need a luxurious, fancy place anyway since we’d be out most of the time. It was SGD70+ per night for a double room, so I would definitely recommend it, if you’re looking for a decent no-frills place, that’s both affordable and great, location-wise.

We were in a bit of a rush on our first day because I wanted to catch LEDApple‘s concert in Hongdae, which was at about 7 or 8pm. We landed in Seoul at about 4ish, so it was a rush to bus down to our place, settle in a little and then head out to figure out the whole transport thing. Their versions of EZ-link cards are just about the cutest things ever. I guess they also use normal cards to tap in at the train stations, but if you fork out a little bit more, you get cute little plastic cartoon character faces, like the Hello Kitty one I got, which basically serve the same purpose.

Once we reached Hongik University station, which is the station you’d get off at if you’re heading to Hongdae, we were all ready to get to LEDApple in Seoul Vol. 1, but we ended up walking quite a bit. It was at Soundaholic, which if you were to ask me now how to get there, I wouldn’t be able to tell you since I was basically tailing Ying Xin and letting her lead the way. I’m not the most uh, street smart… Okay fine, I’m a directions idiot. We got there right as the opening act, Toxic, began, and thankfully managed to get tickets at the door. They were 20,000 KRW (about SGD22), quite cheap for an idol band performance.

LEDApple isn’t in my top 5 K-pop groups, but I do love them quite a bit. They’re underrated, and I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to finally see them in their comfort zones and playing their instruments live. Hanbyul has such an amazing voice, and it’s just ‘nother whole experience listening to it live. He and Kyumin both got solo stages and the boys all looked so good too. I’m glad I saw KeonU before he left the group. Besides the club being a little stuffy (me being in my fluffy fleece-lined jacket totally did not help), I really enjoyed myself. And because they’re more idol than band, of course they did the typical fanservey thing and came out dressed as girls in one of their performances. And when they slowed down ‘Time Is Up’ for their ending performance – ugh it was perfect, I can’t even.

Dinner afterwards was basically whatever we could find while walking along the streets of Hongdae and we ended up eating fried rice. Mine was seafood, and it was honestly quite blah – not exactly the best meal to start my day in Seoul with. But still a good, good first day overall! One k-pop related thing down, a couple more to go!

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