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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Seoul Day 1: Hongdae and Myeongdong

It was already almost 5 pm when we arrived in Seoul from Busan, and after dropping off our stuff at our Air Bnb home, we decided to go to Hongdae first since it was just a few stations away from us.

 "Hongdae" is an abbrevation of Hongik Daehakgyo (Hongik University), which is home to one of the country's top fine arts colleges. You can definitely feel the youthful and artsy vibe while exploring the area. You wouldn't get bored here, there is so much to see and do! So many shops, cute concept cafes, restaurants, and bars.

On the streets outside, there are art exhibitions and live performances- it isn't unusual for artists to bring their own instruments/speakers/mics to do free performances for the public.

This is what greeted us upon exiting the Hongik Subway Station

One of the live performances that day

So many people! Get ready to deal with the crowds :D

My friend A 

After Hongdae, we paid homage to the home of the K beauty gods- Myeongdong! I almost hyperventilated when I spotted how many beauty stores were there. Etude House, The Face Shop, Nature Republic, Missha, Clio, etc. They are literally everywhere- and some stores have several branches in just one street. Crazy! Aside from being much cheaper than what they cost here, you get a lot of freebies upon purchase (some stores even give out free sheet masks just by walking inside hehe) and of course, extra discounts from the tax rebates.

So if you're a K beauty junkie like me or would like to start doing the Korean skin care routine, make sure you have extra luggage allowance to bring home all those goodies :D

Myeongdong, which literally translates to "bright cave" or "bright tunnel" is also one of Seoul's biggest shopping districts. It's every shopping addict's dream come true and if high end brands are your thing, you can also find them here.

Entrance to K beauty heaven. It does look like a bright tunnel! Hehe

There are also many food stalls around here so you won't starve while shopping

Resting and people watching while snacking on some strawberries... I think we just got biceps from lugging around heavy jars and bottles of beauty prods haha

   That was a productive first night in Seoul. Tiring, but really fun!

Hit up Hongdae if you want to:

Dine, drink, party
Chill out at unique concept cafes
Check out live performances
See street art exhibits

And Myeongdong for:

The Nanta Theatre (we weren't able to catch the show, unfortunately)

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