Escape to Seoul Day 6 (Part 2 of 2)

Read day 6 Part 1 here

Next stop: Hongdae! Not the Night Hongdae. The Day Hongdae for the Trick Eye Museum in Santorini Seoul! 🙂

Just to give you a warning, finding the place is a bit tricky. I wish I took a video of how we got there. From what I remember, we got off at the right stop but we walked towards the wrong direction. We didn’t see signs  leading to the place. It’s one of those artsy and secluded area. Just the right atmosphere for such an awesome place.

We took the subway Line 2 and got off at Hongik University station exit 9. Then we got a bit lost. Haha! Don’t be deceived by the small streets around you. They’re actually the right ones. Check out their website at http://trickeye.co.kr/

Directions: From Exit #9 of Hongdae Station (Subway Line 2), walk straight for 200m towards the Starbucks coffee shop.

Address: Seoul-si Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong, 357-1 Seogyo Plaza B02-01

We were so lucky that day – we just stumbled upon it while we were getting lost. Trick Eye Museum’s location is like of Cafe Drama’s. You’ll find stairs leading down to the museum, like an underground world waiting for tourists/people and make them happy there.

Based on its name, Santorini Seoul is based on the real Santorini, a beautiful island in Greece. And if you look closely, the place is a mix of Greek and Korean art style. I don’t know if these artworks exist in the real Santorini but they are beautiful. The pictures aren’t even close enough to giving justice to how they really look like.

They are cool, hip, new (to me at least) but without showing too much. I’m no art critic but I see them somewhere between conservative and modern with a play of different medium.

On our way to the ticket booth, we saw this wall with a lot of post its with writings. But we can’t read them since most of them are in Korean. I read somewhere that this wall resembles a church or some building in the real Santorini but I don’t know why people stick post its to it. Help?

I also love this quirky map of the place. I like to have something like this on my future house’ wall.

Entrance to another exhibit inside Santorini:

We also saw this amazing miniature version of Santorini, Greece. I love the structured but quirky look of the piece.

Inside Santorini Seoul, you can also grab something to eat before or after your tour. Believe me, Trick Eye Museum alone can tire you.

Even the café place blends well with the rest of the place. Look at the effort on those pillars! I also love the warm colors painted on the walls.

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TRICK EYE MUSEUM

Don’t be confused, like we were, but basically, Trick Eye Museum is inside Santorini. It is a big gallery that is a part of the exhibit. You can check out the guide above for reference. Aside from Trick Eye, I remember seeing a door leading to a gallery full of cat illustrations, paintings etc. So again, Trick Eye Museum or Trompe L’oeil Museum is INSIDE Santorini Seoul.

And so we went inside and bought tickets for 10,000won each.

Heh! Hilarious. Obviously, I am enjoying this.

HAHAHA.

You won’t regret buying your 10,000won ticket. Because you will enjoy EVERYTHING. Like how I enjoyed this:

And how Kizia enjoyed this:

We love to pout, yeah we do.

My camera’s memory got full (I forgot to dump my files) and driventolive’s camera became a mobile phone (it vibrates when you take a picture) so I can’t take pictures aimlessly. But anyway, here are some:

GIANT SUSHI.

I don’t always shop but when I do, I make sure I buy a lot of bags…

with Kizia’s money.

And yeah, well, my money too.

TIP: It’s best to have a tripod with you when going to Santorini and Trick Eye Museum. So you and your friends/family can share the picture together. Although there are some staff around the place, they are not enough to accommodate everyone. They’re often near the most interesting portraits/pictures. And besides, you couldn’t just ask them to follow you around, right? 🙂

After Santorini, we walked around Hongdae and passed by the Coffee Prince café. Unfortunately, I haven’t watched this drama yet so I wasn’t that interested in getting inside. But I would love to go back there. The place seemed nice and cozy.

We also passed by Hello Kitty Cafe, again, by accident.

We didn’t bother getting inside because we heard it’s expensive. But the little pink café is a bit hard to resist, right?

That afternoon, we were looking for the Bau House, hoping to have a good time with the dogs for the sake of our friend, Jana, who super duper loves dogs. But instead, this is what we found:

Condomania is located near the main gates of Hongik University. It’s not allowed to take pictures but Kizia managed to get a few shots inside before the staff stopped us.

If only I have lots of money then, I would have bought some for my friends. The shop is teasing a lot of teenagers, I tell you.

After visiting this little shop, we realized we want to go back to Myeongdong for last-minute shopping! But we can’t go shopping with an empty stomach right?

We were at Taco bell when we noticed that people leave their bags freely at their tables to grab their food. We are so amazed with the fact that OUR BAGS OUR SAFE HERE. Fast foods are also CLAYGO (clean as you go). Self service. NICE.

It was also our last night in Seoul, so what else is there to do than spend it with Seoul’s happy night life?

We freshened up, and went back to.. guess where?

There were a loooooot of people in Club Cocoon. A LOT. And it was MONDAY, for crying out loud. It is unbelievable and amusing at the same time. Night life is really alive!

And who do you think we saw on our last night who made a very nice comeback pick up line?

.

.

.

(drum roll)

Oppa to me: I like you.

Yihee, he now knows how to say it properly in English. Biggest turnoff: his friend gave him a bottle of beer (although he offered it to me) but he didn’t even give me one or went to the bar and buy us drinks.

What’s more interesting is that HE WAS THERE THAT NIGHT when HE WAS ALSO THERE TWO NIGHTS AGO. Oh how playful faith was that night/week.

We danced. We danced all night. Without even a decent exchange of information about us. It was nice, the dancing part, because I haven’t danced that long in a long while.

When we were leaving, Oppa asked for my number again (and now that I think about it, it was kind of dumb because it’s either a: he doesn’t remember me or b: he didn’t understand my sorry-i-only-have-an-international-number line). So that wraps up Day 6 in Seoul!

One more day!

Escape to Seoul Day 4 (Part 2 of 2)

Disclaimer: The following accounts are true. I am not making up stories. And you should not blame me for what you’re about to read. These are purely observations and personal opinions. If you didn’t like it, or got offended by it, I apologize in advance, especially to the people close to the  ones we encountered that night. These accounts are based on pure amusement (in a good way) towards the party/parties involved. We are not to blame for the following accounts – we are merely tourists having fun in a foreign land, you can’t blame us for the actions of certain people around us. kei??

Ready Day 4 Part 1 here

So where was I? Oh yeah, the getting ready part:

After some dinner/junk food, we hailed a cab and went to Hongdae. We decided to go to Club Cocoon for the night.

When we got there, we realized we left out IDs back at the hotel (so foolish of us). So we had to go back again to grab our IDs. True and funny story.

BUT! The night was EPIC.

Club Cocoon is exactly what you see in photos. Check a full review here: http://www.seoulgrid.com/blog/club-cocoon-hongdae/ (this entry helped us a lot, especially finding its location)

(The photos above are from the seoulgrid.com)

At first, Kizia and I were really scared because:

  1. we are technically foreigners/tourists,
  2. we didn’t know what to do or how to do it (like get lockers, grab a drink etc), and
  3. we want to party/dance but it was too crowded.

What we learned/observed:

  • People on the dance floor face the DJ and dance, while the people near the DJ are on the stairs facing the people on the floor. So basically we (on the dance floor) looked at them (at the stairs) all night.
  • Most guys are on the dance floor, and the women are at the bar
  • It’s either: you’ll just feel something grinding your back and when you turn around there’s some guy looking/smiling at you;
  • or you’ll just hear someone whispering (shouting actually) at your ear asking for your name.
  • Koreans dance crazily. In a good and cute way!
  • Koreans dance because they want to, and because they feel like it. They are not afraid or conscious with how they do it. And WE LOVE IT. (Fact: When we got back here in the Philippines, we attended this party and we danced awkwardly – like how we would dance in Korea. And it was fun! We didn’t care! But we didn’t know how to exactly dance ‘normally’ anymore)

So what do I mean by an EPIC NIGHT?

We got hit on three times that night. It was a memorable and fun experience. Let me tell you what happened:

1. Mr. Hoodie and Mr. Nice

Mr. Hoodie was wearing dark grey hoodie jacket with very dark sunglasses. He’s taller than me, I’m assuming he’s around 5’7″? (sorry I’m bad with measurements) His hoodie up, which is weird because dude, come on, you’re in a club. Is the darkness of it not enough to hide your face? Anyway, I know he’s drunk because he smells terrible. With him was Mr. Nice, a bit taller and slimmer than him. He was either wearing a white polo shirt or a white jacket (can’t really remember because he was hitting on Kizia)

We were both dancing and enjoying the new environment when all of a sudden Mr. Hoodie and Mr. Nice started dancing with us, looking at us and smiling. Here’s what happened:

Hoodie: Hi!

Me: Hi!

Hoodie: Where are you from?

Me: From the Philippines!

Hoodie: Nice!

(dance dance dance dance and cutting to the KABOOM moment in 3… 2… 1…)

Hoodie: Do you want to have sex?

Me: What??

Hoodie: Do you want to have sex?

Me: (with my semi-“you disgust me” and “I find this conversation really amusing” face) NO! DO YOU??

Hoodie: Yeah! Don’t you want to have sex?

Me: UHH. NO! (laughs and turns to Kizia)

Me to Kizia: He wants to have sex.

Kizia: WHAT??

Me: Hahahahaha!

She pulls me away from the freaky dude and went to the back of the club. She left Mr. Nice without saying a word. Oh, Mr. Nice was called Mr. Nice because well.. He was nice to her. I forgot bits and pieces of this first encounter please forgive me, it’s been almost a year.

2. Mr. Red

He was wearing red varsity jacket and red cap. And as far as I could remember, he was also wearing black wayfarer. He’s a bit taller than me, almost the same height as Kizia. He’s kind of cute, but not cute cute. I remember him as the guy who looked like Kev Nish of Far East Movement (Just because Kev Nish wears dark eyeglasses every time)

only chubby-er/chubbier and with a bit of pimples.

The conversation we had was longer than Mr. Hoodie but I don’t recall the exact words. Based on what I remember, he speaks really good English. Here’s bit and pieces of our conversation:

Red: (?????)

Me: Sorry?

Red: Oh sorry! I said what’s your name?

Me: Clur!

Red: What?

Me: Clur!

Red: (??? says some name – I guess he was confirming mine)

Me: Uhm yeah sure!

(resumes dancing)

Red: Could you type that out for me? (gives me his phone)

Me: (typing, gives him back his phone) 

Red: Oh right!

Me: And you are…?

Red: (says his Korean name)

Me: What?

(we both laugh)

Red: You can call me by my English name. (Let’s just say he said..) Red.

(resumes dancing; he was trying to dance BEHIND me, but I keep on stepping back so that he will always stay at my right side, Kizia’s at my left)

Red: So where are you from?

Me: From Philippines!

Red: I want to go to the Philippines!

Me: You should!

Red: And you’re staying here…

Me: For vacation.

Red: Until when?

Me: We’re leaving in three days.

Red: Why so soon?

Me: We don’t have any more money! Don opseoyo!

Red: (laughs, he looked cute and sincere when he laughs) You should stay longer!

Me: Give me and my friend money, and then we’ll stay!

Red: Haha! I’ll give you money, so stay!

Me: We need money now! (I laughed at what I said. It’s funny, right?)

Red: Well, I don’t have money NOW…

Me: Well… (shrugs)

(we both laugh at this again)

(resumes dancing)

Red: I may not have money now but… Can I at least buy you and your friend a drink?

Hold it right there, stranger. I was caught off guard. Back here in the Philippines, I don’t get a “can I buy you a drink” offer. I never got a “can I buy you a drink” offer (maybe one big reason is that I don’t party, AT ALL).

So THAT’S HOW IT FEELS LIKE. It’s flattering and crazy at the same time. My mind zoomed past future possibilities of a:

  • YES, SURE (Do I want to talk to him for the rest of the night? Will he take us back to the hotel? Will he take advantage of us?) and a
  • NO, THANKS (Will he continue talking to me? Is he going to leave us alone? Is he going to ask for my number instead?)

I said “No, thank you. I think we’re good.” And hurriedly faced Kizia to give updates.

I know. I know. “What were you thinking?? You turned down free drinks??” Yeah I know. But with an earlier “Do you want to have sex” question from a stranger, I thought how is this different from a “Can I buy you a drink”? I don’t know Seoul’s nightlife yet. And I am the stranger here. So I guess my ‘NO’ could be spared right?

3. Oppa

So where do I start? Right, how he looks like.

He’s more of Seungri (Big Bang), but his eyes and the sparkles in them are more of Daniel Henney’s. Basta he’s somehow kind of like you know… both.

He comes right behind me and we danced. All night. Just danced.

Oppa: Hi! Do you speak Korean?

Me: No. Aniyo.

Oppa: Where are you from?

Me: From the Philippines.

I really don’t remember what else we talked (because I think we didn’t talk at all) about but we danced. I semi-introduced Kizia but because he really can’t understand that much from all the noise, we just danced. Just danced. Even did a three-way dance (me, Kizia and him).

Dear Kizia, when are we going to do the video about the dance steps??

Oh. And this:

Oppa: You’re my style!

I know what he meant by this (very flattering) but, admit it. This is ridiculously funny and cute at the same time. Oppa is already cute and this made him even cuter. He even asked us if we want to join him and his friends for a soju. But I politely declined. That’s twice in one night.

I think it’s been an hour of dancing already, because my throat became dry and I was thirsty. I asked Kizia if we could go home (and I think she’s already bored haha). I politely turned to Oppa and told him that we’re leaving. He flashed a sad smile and said okay. He shook my hand, bowed and thanked me. ISN’T HE CUTE?????

We were walking up the stairs when suddenly someone grabbed my hand and I almost fell down because of it. I turned and saw Oppa smiling apologetically (so cute).

Oppa: Number?

I swear he looks like this when he asked me:

Me: Oh! I’m so sorry (I really was)! I don’t have a number here! I only have an international number.

Oppa: Okay okay. (smiles sadly… and gave me a bow again)

So that’s about it (for now).

CONCLUSION: EPIC PARTIES in Korea.

Address

서울특별시 마포구 서교통364-26번지

Directions

Starting at Hongik University, cross the street and head left toward the playground (green on the map). Continue down the street on the right side of the playground. Shortly after passing the playground you will see Cocoon on your left hand side.

On our way home, I saw a motel called Good Time Motel. And I remembered Mr. Hoodie. Funny.

Escape to Seoul Day 2 (Part 2 of 2)

Read Day 2 Part 1 here.

NAMDAEMUN MARKET.

We stopped by Namdaemun Market that afternoon. Nana (so so sweet) offered to help us get cheaper prices from the ajhummas in Namdaemun. But we didn’t buy anything (yet again) because, well, we really don’t feel like buying stuff right there and then. We also felt that we are such a big burden to Nana if we make her do the haggling. And it’s a bit awkward too.

In Namdaemun, it’s better if you know how to speak in Korean because most unnis and ajhummas in Namdaemun doesn’t speak that much Englilsh. The place has a Divisoria feel to it (Divisoria in the Philippines), not the 168 area. The old parts of Divisoria. No, scratch that. It’s like Baclaran! The market place near the Baclaran Church is similar to Namdaemun Market – only it’s bigger and cleaner.

We passed by Ssamziegil along Insadong when Nana dropped us off. It was already on our list so imagine how happy we were when we learned  how near it was to our hotel! After saying our goodbyes to Nana, we walked back to the hotel to rest for a while and freshen up because we have a date in Hongdae with Narae. 🙂

HONGDAE WITH NARAE.

Kizia met Narae in a marketing class back in college. She went to the Philippines to study, and went back to Korea right after graduation. When we finalized our trip, Kizia immediately left her a message – the date was set (although it was finalized when we were in Seoul already haha), and with our trusty Seoul Tourist Map, and our ‘how to get in a packed train’ skills we learned in Manila, we braved the snowy/rainy weather to see Narae and set our foot in the famous Hongdae.

OH YAH! IT SNOWED-slash-rained. AND I WAS SO HAPPY. Oh wait, I don’t have a photo. (-_-) Pffft

Narae said that some Koreans love rain, some love snow, but most of them hate the kind of weather we had that night. Snow / rain. It was more of raining than snowing actually. But I still loved it!

The first restaurant that we went to is full so we transferred to another (unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo of the place). The dinner was spectacular!

Me and our cook, Narae 🙂

Dearest Kizia, please remind me the food we ate that night. All I remembered was the Pork skin. Yum-meh. I will put another blog post about the dinner after this one!

Another great thing about the place is that you can ask for big plastic bags where you can put your stuff in so the smell of the barbecue place won’t stick to them. Narae forgot they were available and only remembered it AFTER our meal.

plastic bags for your bags (and stuff)

Narae also forgot to tell us that tissue papers and napkins are also available (we were looking for napkins all night). It was just right above us!

We badly needed a sweet hot drink after the big dinner. And on our way to the coffee shop, we passed by THE Tukbokki Shop where Mary Stayed Out All Night was filmed! I know this is THE store. Plus Narae confirmed it! Yipee!

The Tukbokki Shop from Mary Stayed Out All Night

Go to and take a picture of one location in your favorite Korean Drama: check.

The boys are so cute. They posed for the camera too when they saw us taking a picture. :))

We also passed by this:

Hehehehe. So back to the coffee shop.

We stopped by EDIYA Coffee shop in Hongdae. It’s a small coffee shop, with a few tables and chairs. Fortunately, we found a table despite the crowd.

The brick walls are great, the colors of all elements inside the shop blends well, and it looks really warm from the outside! The store is part-glass so you can see everything from the inside – the shops outside, the people walking by, it’s a nice spot to people-watch! You can also watch falling snow without feeling cold. Ediya Coffee is small, but cozy. It’s a mixture of modern architecture and just plain cuteness. I love the hanging light bulbs by the way. It adds to the modern feel to the place.

That night, we learned about the power of the… STRAW.

THE STRAW

It’s not just A straw. It’s THE straw. Haha! It’s really a stirrer but it’s also a straw. You can drink/sip your coffee or latte from it. It’s really nice. And it’s blue! We were so amazed with this technology (whut) that we were tempted to get more. Haha! We’ve now seen these strawstirrers here in the Philippines, starting with the first branch of Holly’s Coffee along Taft Avenue. Some branches of Jollibee started providing strawstirrers for their customers’ coffee.

Being a non-user, I rely on Kizia for make up tips and whatnots. And Korea is a known haven for cosmetics. It was one of the topics we had during our coffee time. But Narae felt her knowledge with cosmetics were limited. She decided to phone a friend. Thus the picture:

We were already in Hongdae so the urge to party was strong. But Narae’s got work the following day so the partying will have to wait. Haha! We took the subway home and surprisingly, it was still crowded at that time!

Even though it was kind of a short date with her, it was definitely one of the most memorable nights ever in my life. Meeting a new friend in a faraway country and the discovery of the STRAW = EPIC.

Let’s not forget the Sweet Potato Latte! Love love love…

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P.S. We had a little stop over at Family Mart:

Kizia's Starbucks Latte
and my ice cream. I ate all three of them while Kizia was in the bathroom. Sorry, they were delicious. I'll treat you to an ice cream soon na lang :P.

And another day passed in Seoul. 🙂