CONTRIBUTED BY KASSIE O’DRISCOLL
Kassie and her hubby left the tropical climes of Okinawa and for the winter wonderland of Korea. She shares how to do Seoul “Tourist Style”. This is about Days Three & Four. Read about Day One HERE, Day Two HERE.
By day three, Mark was off of work and we were ready to have some fun! From our room at the Dragon Hill we could see the N Seoul Tower so we definitely wanted to check that out, but first we wanted to go to another market. So, we headed to Myeong-Dong.
It was insane! It was similar to Namdaemun Market in the fact that the stores were endless and there were a million different ways to enter and exit. It was different because it wasn’t really a “market” like we were expecting. It was more like a true shopping district; a lot of name brand stores and restaurants.
We did take the time to do some geocaching, which was a great idea because we got bored pretty quickly since we didn’t really feel like going in and out of stores with our many layers on! The first one we did was actually on the roof of a shopping center. We took the elevator as high as it would take us and then a set of stairs led to a really pretty terrace. It would have been much better had there not been snow, but we saw its potential.
We brought some trackables with us from Okinawa because we thought the people that owned them would appreciate that they would make it off the island. Luckily, we found some caches that were big enough to fit them in! We weren’t as lucky with our own trackable that we’d brought along.
We headed to the tower after we got some hot chocolate and regained feeling in our fingers. It worked out to be perfect timing because the sun was setting so we knew we’d have a great view! On a nice, warm day it’s a nice walk to the tower, but we decided to take the cable car. It was a great decision!
Much like we expected, we had some great views on the way up. However, that didn’t even compare to what was in store for us at the top. Have I mentioned it was freezing? Yeah, so imagine the view but also imagine not being able to feel any of your fingers. Therefore, we had a lot of “Oh, that’s really pretty… wanna go inside?!” moments.
We had planned ahead and looked up a cache at the top of the tower. Up top, they do something called “Locks of Love.” … I told you Seoul was filled with romantics! Basically, you take a padlock and write loved ones names on it or a special message and it’s supposed to be a vow to “lock” your love together, to never separate, and to always be true. Cute, right?!
“Locked in Everlasting Love”
Obviously, we had to add our lock and our signature “M ❤ K” and we were amazed at all of the locks! They cover almost every railing, with only a little room remaining, and they also have 7 “lock trees” that are covered from top to bottom. It’s incredible!
Made completely out of locks!
The cache that we found was a lock on one of the trees. The lock itself must have been glued closed and they hollowed out the key hole just big enough to put a logbook. It was one of my favorite finds so far!
Mark trying to get the logbook out of the key.
While at the top, we grabbed some dinner. We had Chinese and it was nothing memorable, but the view was great. Perfect timing and I recommend to anyone that is going to go right at dusk. You get the best of both worlds, sunset and when the city lights up at night!
Not sure why the bench is bent. Too much food? J/K!
We, eventually, made it to the gift shop and found another little love token that we could leave behind. The good thing about all of these little surprises is that the prices weren’t jacked up just because it was a touristy thing. The lock only cost a few dollars as did this magnet.
Added it a wall full of cheesy messages, just like ours!
When we left the whole city was lit up and beautiful. I really enjoyed the N Seoul Tower… just call me a hopeless romantic!
We wrapped up the night by trying a place called, “Self Beer Bar.” It’s exactly what it sounds like… You walk in and there are coolers filled with all different types of beer, liquor, and mixers. The doors are labeled with the price and that’s that! You just pick what you want and drink away. They had a pretty wide range so that was cool.
The sign on the door of “Self Beer Bar”
Day Four: Gangnam Style
Yea, you heard right. We went to “the” Gangnam! I wanted to go just to say we’ve been there! Don’t say you wouldn’t have done it…
“Heyyyy, sexy lady???”
Since there really isn’t that much to do here, unless you’re getting plastic surgery (literally, a surgeon on every corner), we decided to make it a day of geocaching. We found three, I think, and they were some of our best!
Mark found this after it hadn’t been found in over 6 months! There was 6,000 won inside, too! He was pretty proud of himself. 🙂
This was my first small cache. Mark’s usually better at finding them, but not this time!
The longest logbook in the world! haha
I took a spill during this trip and we’d walked really far so we decided to head home early. Right outside of the subway stop that we got off of to go back to the Dragon Hill, there was a restaurant where you grilled your own food. I was super excited to try it out! Apparently, I was feeling adventurous! A gentlemen and his wife were so thrilled that we were there (the only Americans at the time) that they gave us a big thumbs up! They also told us the name of said restaurant, Pyongyang Jib, or Pyongyang House. Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea… I didn’t find out specifically why it was named this.
Above, you can see the “exhaust pipe” over the grills. They turned that on when at our table and as we cooked it sucked up all of the smoke. It was awesome to grill inside, but not be inhaling all of the smoke.
Our waiter pointed to the cow on our chopsticks wrapper and said, “What part?” Ha! Well, we didn’t really know so we just told him to bring us something. What you see above is beef neck. It’s very similar to bacon, the fat cooks down a lot and your left with delicious-ness. We also had some type of marinated beed and something that I think was intestines (I didn’t like it). During dinner Mark said, “Give me your camera… let me take a picture of you being so brave and trying new foods!” Ha! He’s funny.