As much as I love Hong Kong, I was very excited to escape to Seoul during reading week. My friend and I had been talking about going to South Korea even before we got onto the year abroad, so actually realizing our plans was pretty surreal. Seoul was everything I expected and more. The street style was on point and I've never seen so many well dressed students in one place before. You're also never far from a great coffee shop either. I didn't take that many photos since I was just having fun wandering around but here are the ones I did take.
One of the first places we went to was Samcheongdong, a more traditional and very pretty neighborhood. There are lots of old buildings, cute little shops and of course places to eat and drink coffee. It was a nice place to go in the morning since it was pretty peaceful even with all the tourists.
I couldn't not take a picture of this adorable, sleepy dog.
This is Myeongdong, one of the main shopping areas. See all the beauty stores in the photo? There are multiple stores of the same brand around here. I bought quite a lot of Innisfree products, which is quickly becoming my favourite Korean beauty brand, and also a couple things from Etude House. You don't really need to come here if you need makeup/skincare though, since you can find these stores pretty much everywhere else including in the subway stations. Also, you get a lot of free samples and offers when you buy products in Korea!
We went to Dongdaemun for the night market and ended up hanging around the design plaza which we recognized from Korea's Next Top Model. The architecture is really cool and it lights up nicely at night.
We stayed in a hostel near Ehwa Woman's University. If you're looking for cheap shopping, here is the place to go! There were lots of stalls selling clothes from 5000 won which is a bit less than £3.
My friend spotted Coffeesmith in Hongdae which was a drama location. I'm not sure which drama or the specific Coffeesmith but if you're a drama fan you can come here. We also saw a Coffeesmith in Garosugil.
We wanted to see the Cheonggyecheon around night time so we headed over to Gwanghwamun station in the evening. I liked seeing all the traditional buildings among the modern ones.
We looked around Garosugil on our last day, which is another pretty area of Seoul. This place is filled with boutiques and coffee shops. The prices can get expensive here, but there are some affordable places too.
Well that was my brief trip to Seoul. I highly recommend visiting. It's got a great mix of old and new so whether you want to see old palaces or shop like you've never shopped before there's lots to see. It's also really easy to get around on the subway and people were helpful if we had any questions or needed directions. I'm definitely coming back some day.