Seoul Sisters

For the long weekend of the mid-autumn festival in Hong Kong, I ended up in Seoul with a couple girlfriends. The trip was haphazardly planned in a way, one friend booked flights, a couple of us booked different hotels figuring we could cancel the rejects last minute, and we had a shared Google Doc where we threw up information about stuff that interested us in the city. In the end though, we followed our gut each day (especially to find some tasty eats), and didn't ultimately rely on set plans or reservations at all.

Korean banchan breakfast

Our first Korean bbq meal

Street snacks in Myeong-dong

More grilled meats mmmm

Seoul was stylish in a completely different way from Hong Kong or Singapore or any other big, relatively wealthy Asian city that I have been to. And affordable! The receipt for cocktails in a fancy lounge one night surprised us as we had expected to pay Hong Kong rates. Food and fashion were cheaper as well. I ended up coming home with extra cash in my pocket, which is a rarity for me on the road (I've been known to scrape the bottom of the barrel at the end of a trip abroad).

Basement lounge for a fancy cocktail in Hongdae
Bukchon village is perfectly preserved

Posing in the summer palace

Grand architecture in a heritage site

The neighborhood we stayed in was called Hongdae, and in particular we ended up at the cutest freaking guesthouse called Space Torra that I would highly recommend to anyone traveling to Seoul. It's a big old house with a cozy living room area, ready to use kitchen, and charm galore. The surrounding neighborhood is home to the Gyeongui line forest park, where we spent multiple afternoons sprawled out in the grass chatting to locals and sharing snacks and beers, and popping in and out of quirky coffee shops.

Our guesthouse, Space Torra

The cute patio of Space Torra

Supporting coffee shops near our guesthouse

Yet another coffee shop in the neighborhood

Our meandering around Seoul took us to palaces, parties, and parks, from rap battles in the street to steamy spas. Cat cafes, food markets, and trendy Korean department stores drew us in, as well as art museums and traditional villages. And this was all in 3 days!

Street performers in Hongdae

A food market downtown

With a South Korean guard at a historical palace

Walking along a stream in the middle of the city

We decided pretty early to have some fun dancing around the city, which you can check out in this ridiculous video below (note: it won't play on phones because of copyright rules, computers only).

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