Seoul Backpacking Day 3 – Nami Island, Lotte Department Store, Cat Café

We woke up early on the third day despite the fact that we didn’t get enough rest. After a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar we left to our destination, Nami Island.

To get to Nami Island you can either take the cheaper way or the convenient way. The cheaper way would be by taking the subway and cabs and the journey will take more than 2 hours. We chose the easier way, which was by using the shuttle bus. The journey only took around an hour. We get on the bus which was at Tapgol Park in Insadong. The bus will move at 9:30 sharp so you can’t be late. We got there 10 minute before it departed.

Nami Island is an island on the river and we have to take a ferry to get there. There are ferries for every 15 minutes.

Even though snow in Seoul was almost melting away, the snow in Nami were still thick. I can’t believe my eyes, the island was so beautiful. Everywhere we walk it’s like being in a drama scene or somewhere on a fairy tale land.

There were wild animals on the island but they’re not caged. They live naturally on the island and coexist with humans. I was shocked when I saw fluffy squirrels running on the ground and jumping from trees to trees. They’re not afraid of humans at all. Instead, they’re the ones chasing people. LOL. It was the first time I saw people being chased by squirrels.

When we walk further, there were restaurants and I saw ducks and peacocks circling people at food stalls. LOL PEACOCKS. They were asking for food just like cats at street stalls. We also saw rabbits and ostriches.

The main attraction about Nami Island is none other than, Winter Sonata. It was the shooting location of the drama that started the Hallyu Wave 10 years ago. There was the famous kissing snowman and even a human sized statue of Jun Sang (Bae Yong Joon) and Yoo Jin (Choi Ji Woo) which we have to take turn to take photos with.

We had lunch at a seafood restaurant on the island. The restaurant is run by an ahjumma and her daughter (I think) and she made the best pajeon (pancake) I ever tasted. We ordered 2 seafood pajeon because it was so good. We also had the kimchi rice with tuna in a metal box. We have to shake the box to mix the rice and they even provided the gloves because the box was hot. It was delicious. I’d go there again next time.

After lunch and solat and more playing with the snow, we head back to the shuttle bus. It will depart back to Seoul at exactly 4pm. We bought fried sweet potatoes and roasted corn to eat on the journey back. The ahjumma and ahjusshi vendor spoke the price in malay to us! Lol ‘dua ribu won, tiga ribu won’

We reached Seoul at almost 7pm because of the traffic jam. We made a brief stop at Insadong before walking back to Myeongdong. We stop by Lotte Department Store and Duty Free but the place was crowded with people. So we head out and rested for a while at a Cat Café.

Godabang (Cat Café) is filled with cats! We love cats so the idea of drinking coffee with 20 cats sounds fun. To enter the café you have to pay a certain amount for your drink and entrance fee. We paid 8,000 krw each. There were lots of cats there, but they’re not just regular ones. They’re from various types of pure breed cats. There were Persian, Balinese, American Shorthair, Scottish Fold, Birman, Sphynx and more. The cats were so hyper that evening. They were running around and playing. We forgot about how tired we were.

Their Sphynx cat, named Ping was on G-Dragon One of a Kind teaser photo and jacket album. I looked at Ping differently after the owner told me that and pet it so I can get indirect touch with GD. LOL.

After cat café we head back, tired but happy.

We were still unsure of what to do on day 4 since the weather forecast said that it will rain all day.


Next day 4 – Itaewon and Melon Music Awards??


Seoul Backpacking Day 2 – Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Square, Legally Blonde, YoonKrys Surprise


We start our morning with hot toasts and instant coffee! We woke up a bit late that morning because of the soreness of our body from day one adventure.

We took subway and we didn’t get lost this time and managed to get to Gyeongbukgung Palace around 10:00am. The palace is AMAZING. It’s like you’re being sucked in time to the Joseon Dynasty like in the saeguk dramas on TV. It’s not just one building, but its acres of land with loads of beautiful buildings in one place. When we got there, there were a lot of teenagers visiting the palace so it got a bit chaotic with naughty boys jumping around and girls chatting loudly. Later we learned that the palace open to students for free for a period of time. There were guided tours in English and the earliest one was on 11:00am so we were right on schedule. We waited for around 15 minutes and join the tour. There were around 20 people in our group.  There were Malaysians too. Yay, lol happy to see fellow countrymen.

I learned a lot about the history of the palace, but I can only focus for so long lol. It got boring after a while listening to the guide and my toes were almost frozen. I realized then that my sneakers are not enough to endure the cold.

There are stories for each of the mini statues

Built without a single nail

The tour ended about 1 hour later and we parted from the group. We move to the National Palace Museum to heat up and rest lol. It’s in the same area as the palace. There were 3 halls, each focusing on different era of the history of Korea.

Apparently that was a bed

We lost track of time in the palace and we left at 2:00pm. So we managed to watch the Changing Guard Ceremony at the main entrance.

The Royal Changing Guard Ceremony

Next we walk around the beautiful Gwanghamun Square just outside the palace gate. There were two giant statues at the square, one is King Sejong and another one is Admiral Yi (I think). While we were walking we saw crowds and people giving out speeches enthusiastically. Police were guarding the area and media were also present. Later I learned that they were campaigns for the presidential election.

Not sure what these people were doing

We were looking for the largest bookstore there, Kyobo Bookstore and were walking around aimlessly looking for building that we saw on Running Man episode (LOL). There were so many buildings and we don’t have all day (plus we were starving), so we decided to go to the subway and move to Myeongdong for lunch.

But in the subway, we found the way to Kyobo Bookstore. ^^

But at the bookstore, it wasn’t books that I bought. LOL. I happily shop for I AM DVD, Despicable Me Korean DVD and KARA Solo Collection. The KARA one was on sale. o/

Next we hurriedly went back to Myeongdong for two reasons, first we want to eat at a halal restaurant and secondly we have to buy winter boots for Nami Island trip the next day. We got there around 4pm and I managed to drop by Banilla Co. and Innisfree to shop for more cosmetics. And then we found the restaurant by chance! Haha, we were lucky. ^^

We went to Agra Restaurant, which is a popular chain Indian restaurant in Seoul that serves halal and vegetarian menu. One thing though, we didn’t expect the place to be so… classy. Lol. We had their lunch set, which consists of rice, curry with cheese, salad, roti naan and vegetables all for only 9,900krw. Their naan bread and cheese curry was so delicious I can still remember the taste.

Before moving to the next destination we stop by SPAO to buy boots and Harvard shirts that were on sale. The boots were only 45,000krw per pair and they’re pretty! The price there is very reasonable.

Next stop, COEX!

We arrived there around 7.00am and the place was pretty empty. There were rice wreaths mostly for Jessica lined nicely along the floor. I bought Legally Blonde merchandises for me and my friends because they were pretty cheap. The posters were only 1,000krw each!

From Malaysia!

Merchandise booth

My sister isn’t watching the musical (because she thinks it’s a waste of money) and she decided to wait for me at the bench in front of the hall entrance and read. This later became the best decision she made. I told her to keep an eye for other Soshi members who might turn up. We both guessed that it might be Yoona who come, that is if anyone turn up at all. My sister fave Soshi member is Yoona after all.

I went in myself and sat at my seat, next to a nice ahjusshi who also came alone. When I was settling myself at my seat, suddenly people were cheering. I looked up and saw two people walking to their seats and noticed that it was Yoona. I was sitting at the opposite side of Yoona, sadly. So I only saw her from afar. Then I noticed a hyper girl sitting beside her. The girl was trying to cover her face with her scarf as she laughed, and it was none other than Krystal Jung.

The show starts a few minutes after 8:00pm with a cheerful dance number by Elle Woods’s friends. And then Jessica appeared and the crowd was cheering.

The musical was so fun to watch, it was funny and entertaining with lovable characters and witty lines all throughout. You will fall for the arrogant Warner who dumped Elle, though he was kind of a douche but he was cute. And then there was the shy Emmet who always dresses plainly but always there for Elle. And who can forget the vibrant hairstylist Paulette who became Elle’s shoulder to cry on during her time at Harvard. And also Kyle, the delivery guy from PedEx who wears tight clothes all the time.

But Elle was the best. I have never seen Jessica being so committed with something. And her performance through this musical proved to me that she’s not a lazy girl people accuse her to be. She’s amazing.

After the musical ended my sister boasted to me that she saw Yoona up close. They passed by her 4 times! She tried to chase her the first time like others lol but she was blocked by the manager. She decided to use another tactic, which was to act like she don’t care but hid the camera with her. It worked and Yoona and Krystal walked past her so leisurely and the managers didn’t see her as a threat lol.

We went back to Chungmuro station, feeling happy and content. But then there was a problem. We forgot which exit to take. And at a station there were around 8-9 exits. If you took the wrong exit you will get lost. We were lost. LOL. It was late, cold and dark and we were wandering with our shopping bags. Luckily we found a taxi driver, though he refused to drive us or even talk to us, I managed to ask him in my broken hangul and luckily he understood.  He pointed us a way and we finally found our guesthouse. o/

Next is day three, to Nami Island the fairy tale land!

Seoul Backpacking Day 1 – Insadong, Everysing, N Seoul Tower

It’s been 4 days since I left my heart in Seoul and that past 5 days had been nothing but amazing. My sister and I planned this trip in a month when we suddenly felt like going there. I’ve always wanted to watch Jessica in Legally Blonde so we decided to go backpacking in Seoul.


We arrived in Incheon Airport around 8:20am, expecting for the worst weather. Everyone in the flight were sighing when the pilot announced,

“The weather is nice, it’s er… -11 degrees.”

We’re not sure what to expect so we wrapped ourselves with 2 layers of down jackets and gloves. And it was the right thing to do. The coldness hit us hard outside the airport! We take the Airport Limousine to get to our guesthouse, since it’s the most convenient way to get there. It was only 10,000 KRW per trip and it took around 70 minutes till we get off at Chungmuro stop. While we were waiting, we chatted a bit with Semi, a pretty and friendly Korean girl who speaks fluent Indonesian!

From Chungmuro stop we have to rely on our map to find the guesthouse, Dalkom. After wandering for around 5 minutes in the cold, we reached our destination with the help of 2 kind ahjusshis. Dalkom Guest House is such a cute and cozy place to stay in. The rate was also cheap. The only thing I want to complain was the location, lol it was in the alley surrounded by printing companies.

After resting for a bit and ate our lunch (instant noodles Maggi FTW!) we headed out to Insadong to buy tickets for Nami Island. We had a bit trouble finding the subway and ended up roaming Euljiro-3-Ga underground mall for about 10 minutes haha. That place was classic and interesting in its own way, and it was filled with elderly locals. We felt like we’re in the 70’s for a while.

We finally reached Insadong and were overwhelmed with the place’s culture richness. There were galleries along the street, people selling handmade items, food and so much more.

After buying our Nami Island tickets, we made a stop at Etude House to shop for cosmetics. They gave us so many samples! Like no kidding, it was a LOT. We made a stop at it’s Skin and the ahjummas there was so friendly! I speak my broken Hangul with her,

Unnie, neomu yeppo!

and she got excited and gave us Nichkhun posters and cards. They even walk us to the door and take photos together with Khun cut out. I’ll never forget this ahjumma haha.

We were shocked when suddenly the street vendors shouted, ‘Apa khabar!’ and ‘Saya cinta kamu!’ as they saw us. LOL. Who taught them these Malay words?! We tried the cookie, it was wrapped with strings of flour and there were sweet fillings in it, I’m not sure what it’s called though. But it tastes good.

Then we stop by the famous Ssamziegil mall. It’s a beautiful place.

It was cold and we’re tired but we already planned for another destination for day 1. We decided to continue to Myeongdong and Namsan Seoul Tower.

We walked from Insadong to Myeongdong and on the way my sister noticed this cafe with Yonghwa and Seohyun photos pasted on the door. Turns out it was Miss Lee’s café, the one where YongSeo had their date on WGM and also Yoona came during her KBS’s guerilla date.

I ordered a cup of hot chocolate and it was a perfect drink in the cold weather. Also a cute Korean guy near our table greeted us. People here are so friendly. One eye contact and smile and they will talk to you.

We also passed by Cheongyecheon Stream on the way to Myeongdong

While we were walking randomly at Myeongdong, we accidentally found SPAO and Everysing. We went in for a while to rest and keep warm.

Finding the N Seoul Tower cable car was no laughing matter. I read through blogs that it was only walking distance to there from Myeongdong, but it didn’t mention that it was LONG walking distance. But, we still managed to find the place all thanks to a girl who helped us. She’s not fluent in English so she asked us to follow her. It was a long, tiring walk along the steep icy path, but we get to the cable car eventually.

The tower is amazing and we also visited the Teddy Bear Museum. It was very interesting to see the bears were arranged to tell the history of Korea. They were so cute it made us forgot about our tired feet for a while.

There were also the original bears from the MBC drama Goong.

Amazing view from the observatory floor at N Seoul Tower

We were too tired to walk anymore and took a cab back to the guesthouse. LOL. But we’re excited for day two!

Bear Gangnam Style!