Seoul Trip : Dongdaemun Design Plaza + LED Rose Exhibition

Hello hello!

I’m writing this post RIGHT after uploading the previous ones. Hopefully I will be able to start off early, and top up later on. As I’m typing away, my edited photos are already uploading on flickr to be shared here with this post. Today’s blogpost should be quite visual as there’s nothing much to share – but I just want to say that that we shifted Day 4’s itinerary to Dongdaemun for the whole day as we were quite stretched out from Ihwa. We needed a day where we would just chill so we just chose one place. I chose this place because weather was alright and we needed a clear day to enjoy the rose exhibition at night.

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My dad always pumped up to start the day off. Check out his Nikes haha.

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At the lift area where our AirBNB studio apartment is. Love the lighting here, skin looks awesome.   To start of the day, we already planned beforehand to come together to get takeaways. If you’re in Seoul, you just NEED to experience a takeaway in order to feel like a local. And when it comes to takeaways, it has to be jjajangmyun (black bean noodles). Our place was a little too small for 10 people, so we headed over to the Mings at THEIR airbnb house.

Omg their place was SO pretty. It was a fully decorated house with 3 rooms and it nicely fit all of them. When you walk in the house there’s also a nice woody smell to it that makes the whole place smells so cosy. Their host just lives right below them – so its SO helpful!

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We went to their place in the morning. And this was what welcomed us. The two boys outside just recording Kendama shots. This was pretty much how things went throughout the whole trip. This area was the alley that their house was at. You see the wooden house on the right where Ming Han is sitting. Thats the house. SO PREETS. I wish I took a photo.  We then asked their host if he could order the jjajangmyun for us. I also ordered a tangsuyook (sweet and sour pork) and the host asked for some free dumplings as service. Man, when the food came – there was SO MUCH food. He gave us at least three plates of dumplings for free and we couldn’t finish everything on the table. 

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When the delivery man came, all of us took out our camera and kept taking photos haha. Nobody went to pay or help him take the stuff out. It was pretty funny. Jacoons in Korea. I asked if it was okay to take photos (although we were already at our 20th photo probably), he just smiled and say “Sure sure, take all you want!”

 

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All the food for 10 pax. 6 jjajangmyun, one LARGE tangsuyook, and some free dumplings.

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How it looks like all laid on the table. Man.

It was a rainy day, so we waited till the rain went off. Parents were talking and I remember it was the day Pacquiao and Mayweather’s fight was on. We all watched it while waiting for the rain to stop, but it kept on drizzling. My family brought an umbrella, so we headed back to our studio (which was only about 10 minutes walk away) first before meeting up about 30 minutes later at the subway station. 

So yes – for those who wants to learn how to reload a T-Money Card with these machines that don’t operate in English yet, here’s your guidance! For foreigners, it’s quite important to get a T-Money so its more convenient and it’s a lot cheaper travelling around as you get transport transfer discounts. So it you get off the subway and hop onto another bus in probably the next 15 minutes – your ride is either free or probably a top up of 200 won depending on your distance. 

This machine sells the traveller T-Money Card but i highly recommend AGAINST it. I remember the card being sold for a higher price as they come with coupon vouchers for all the tourist spots. If you already have your itinerary planned and don’t plan to get to the palaces and whatnot, a normal empty T-Money card can be bought at convenience stores at about 2000 Won. Just ask for T-Money, and give them about 10,000 won to reload. Probably will cost you about 12,000 Won in total and you can travel for maybe about 10 trips (subway & bus!) before you got to reload again. You should keep the card, because I feel like nobody ever goes to Seoul only once 😛 Save your money.

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Step 1 : Press on the orange tab. There’s still English here so you should be good.

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For those who wants to save the hassle of getting a T-Money at a convenience store, just press the purple tab and your card should come in a box.

DSC05485 Step 2 : To reload or check your T-Money balance, simply put your card into the machine and it’ll automatically scan and identify your card’s information. Direction of card shouldn’t matter.

DSC05486 Step 3: Just click on your preferred reload amount adn you’re good to go! Good to have at least more than 5000 won in the card, just to be safe! 

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 It’s so simple even my brother can do it himself. And he reads no Korean.

Since it was a rainy day, we decided to just get to Dongdaemun Design Plaza where we could be indoors for a little while more incase it was going to drizzle. To get here, just take the subway to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 4 ,5) and get out at Exit 1. You should be able to see the building upon exit. Just look around for abit.

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Looks so grand and huge. I don’t know what about it that’s so…attractive, but I was just staring at it when we first got there. How did they BUILD this thing? What is it supposed to be. So apparently it’s a few building combined together, so just imagine that this huge oval UFO lookaliek thing is like a shell that houses these different entities. Although separate, they mostly focus on arts – just different types of art.

When we got out the station, we were already in the building. We got out at this park-like area. I don’t know if the place was set up like that just for an exhibition, but it was a play area for families and there was quite a crowd. Not as many foreigners as I’d expect to see. I realize that about Koreans though. They visit their touristy spots alot compared to foreigners. (Let’s put Myeongdong aside for now)

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This was all before we got out to admire the structure of the place by its external form. We decided to just walk from top to bottom and look at the building before it gets dark. We wanted to see it at day and night so we went straight for that. Was afraid that it’ll be gloomy again and it wouldn’t look as nice.  We walked out of this little hole and was like WOAHHHH WHAT IS THIS. It’s like you’re in outer space, but not really. Your brain is just not used to building in such form. It’s so polished looking, but you can’t find a reason to explain why was it built that way. Let’s just enjoy and stop trying to judge art.

But hey, that fella who imagined this in his head before building it – you deserve more cheese and bacon in your life. Good job there buddy. We took lots of photos before walking to the highest floor and getting our way down. Well, we also took a lot of photos inside. And outside. And almost every part of the building. I guess it’s only fair to post a some of those that we took, to justify the photo spam. 

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DSC05514  DSC05517 After looking at it from afar, we walked up and ended up at this grassy area. Don’t know what’s supposed to be in this area but they have a lot of space to hold events and exhibitions. Pretty smart design I must say. Strolled through that just looking at everything from a higher view.   

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We then got inside the building. I think this was probably the 4th floor or something. The cool thing about the building is that you can choose to take the stairs down, level by level. You can also just walk along the pathway that spirals down every floor. It’s this wide white area that smells like new paint. I also suddenly recognised the place from a drama my Mom was watching. It was pretty cool, felt like Deja Vu – just not mine.

I think the first area we walked into was sort of a Kids Area where everything is just colourful. There was also a(nother) public piano for the kids to just slam their little fingers on to make beautiful music. Actually there was this kid that was playing REAL scores from like Mozart or something, and his mom was just looking on to him with the “NO MISTAKES SON, NO MISTAKES” stare. So much pressure pfft.

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DSC05545Everything was so white and clean. Feels like I cannot make any noise here also. 

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This is the spiralling pathway that takes us to the lowest floor, level by level. 

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 One of the stools cushioned by leather scraps rolled together.

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DSC05560 Look at this rest stops where they put the golden bunnies. So the kids have the colorful ones and when you’re adult enough, golden bunnies please. 

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The gentleman all resting their feet

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Doesn’t this look like the perfect place to hold a red carpet or something. It has an X factor. After visiting the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, we headed opposite to where all the shopping outlets were for dinner. We walked over to Doota which was at the far right and went straight up to the food court because nobody knew what was there to eat. And you know, at the food court everybody gets to choose whatever they want. I got myself a jjolmyeon – which is a spicy cold noodle. It was really spicy, but i LOVED it. The noodles were chewy and the sauce had a lot of flavor too. I think I got this for about 8000 won or something.

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 After dinner, we headed back to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza because my friend told me that there was a LED Rose Exhibition going on when we were there. You should probably check out if it’s still happening during your travelling period so you don’t miss out. We didn’t see this side of DDP so I had to ask the information counter where it was. Roses in Korean are called jangmi. So you can probably just say “LED Jangmi oddisoyo?” Wah the whole stretch of roses were just SOOOOO pretty! I took lots of similiar photos but I’m just going to post them all because I can’t decide on which one to post because they all look pretty to me. Lots of LED roses coming your way. WHITE LED ROSES!

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It’s pretty hard to get a good shot if you’re not good with the camera. I tried pulling up the ISO but there was too much noise in the photo and it didn’t look pretty at all. Everyone was trying to get a photo with the roses but they all turned out to just be shadows amongst the roses lol.

My dad took some and the first one turned out quite eerie haha!

DSC05586SEE! We then decided to just put our phone flashlights to good use and give him some lighting support lol!! So two of us were shining the flash on his face so we can see his bright little smile and still see the roses in their glory behind.   DSC05592 What do you think? DSC05583

Well, I clearly went to a better lit spot cause nobody was there to shine the flashlight for me

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DSC05623  DSC05615 I also took some panaromic shots from the night that I wanted to just put in the post! There was about 20,000 roses all around the area, separated into two lanes. We only walked one lane since it was pretty much the same. It was a simple exhibition, but really beautiful to just slowly stroll through. 

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After taking what probably felt like 2000 photos, we decided to just look out for the Cheonggyecheon River. I read that it was supposed to be nearby so I asked everybody if they could do a little bit more of walking. Everybody was up for it so I quickly asked for directions. I’m the type that wouldn’t mind asking for directions every minute along the way just to make sure. To my surprise, probably only 2/5 people I asked knew where it was. The worst part was, I asked his shop owner where the river was and he said he didn’t know.

The river turned out to just be less than 100m away from his shop. Can we all please give a moment of silence for this man.

Anyway, I wanted to come to the river because it’s really pretty at night and if you walk along the river the whole way to the end (this was the other end) you would see different structures of the river and probably some lantern exhibition or something if you’re lucky! Go look it up.

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After all that walking, we all went back to Hongdae. My family decided to just take a walk at the busy area at Exit 9. After some shopping, we went to the pojangmacha (road side stalls) to just grab a few things to takeaway and eat back up in the studio.

Man, I’d kill for this cart to be at my doorstep every night just ready for me to grab a stick or two. I love the fish cakes, the soup that comes with it, the fried egg that comes with the sauce, the rice cake. Everything in here was just yums to the max – especially in cold weather. I CANT WAIT TO GO BACK TO EAT THIS!

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We ate some at the stall, and took some back home. We also went to buy one of the spiciest Korean noodle as I really wanted Nick to try it. He’s always up for spicy challenges so this one was one of those that I really wanted to put him through. You should see his face when he took his first few bites. After that it was just down the drain. Next thing you know, he was infront of the fan trying to cool himself down.

You guys should try it!

It’s called Buldalg-Bokkeum-Myeon. SO NOMMY though. I tried it, can’t take it, but I love it.

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Our takeaway

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Nick’s noodle before he gobbled EVERYTHING up. This guys no joke for spicy challenges.

And that pretty much wraps up Day 4! If you’d like to watch the day in video form, here’s my vlog for the day!

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