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Korea Day 2: Namsan Tower, Hello Kitty Cafe, Exploring Seoul~

~First Full day in Korea~

 

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~Travel Bear~ Namsan Tower and Love Locks

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The second full day in Seoul we got up early and walked about a block or two from our hotel to the lift heading to the main area that takes you too N Seoul Tower also known as Namsan Tower.

105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 

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You buy your tickets to the cable car that takes you up the mountain to the tower which were about $8 if I remember correctly.

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Once you get up the Mountain you take a few stairs and come across a side area outside that is filled with “Love Locks” these are locks that couples or friends will write their names on it and then lock it to one of the rails or lock trees then throw the key away.

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For $8 I bought a lock that they were selling and wrote my husbands and my name on it as a symbol that our love was forever.

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After leaving the lock area you go up a few more steps to a large outside courtyard that has many beautiful trees, flowers, pagoda type gazebos and lots of great picture spots.

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When you go into the tower there is a concession stand where you can get several different types of popcorn, fried squid, roasted yams and a few other snacks you can get and then go to the top and eat while you look out over the city. When you get on the elevator that takes you to the top you look up and there is a screen that makes it look like your in a rocket and it blasts you into space as you go up. It is a cool thing to do for sure!

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Once your at the top you can walk around the entire thing and look out over Seoul and see mountains surrounding you on all sides just about. There are binoculars you can use to see farther as well. At the top of the tower there is a candy shop, gift shops and a few more cool picture spots.

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We thought it was funny when we went into the bathroom and the whole side on the stall was just glass looking out. You could hear girls go into the stall and gasp slightly when they saw the window.

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There were lots of neat shops inside the tower as well as a Hello Kitty Museum and Hello Kitty Store. Lots of souvenirs to choose from and lots of great memories to make.

Have you ever been here? Do you want to? Tell me about your visit or why you want to go here in the comments!

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~Travel Bear: Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea~

 

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On my first full day in Korea my friends and I went to Lotte World located at:  240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is a partially inside and outside amusement park that has some cute similarities to the Disney Parks in the U.S.. 

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We went on October 7th, 2016 and I was very surprised to see so much Halloween decor everywhere. I knew Halloween was not celebrated as much outside of the U.S. but Lotte World brought out all the stops when decorating for Halloween. There were pumpkins and witches galore and everything had a bit of a cute touch to it!

Our Tickets for the day which are normally about $50 we got for about $23 using a coupon on our phones. I was so amazed that we could get tickets for so cheap!

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On the inside of the park is a large ice skating rink and several floors filled with rides, games, stores and lots of food places and kiosks filled with lots of things. There was a little monorail that went above the park and several rides like: a pirate ship, a Sinbad ride that reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean, A full loop ride, several kids rides and so much more.

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You can exit the inside to head to the other half of the park where there are many more rides and a cute little castle. At the time I went, they were having a zombie island attraction and many little horror themed areas. If you go to Lotte World you want to download the park app on your phone and you can get early passes for the rides. You have a few passes for your visit and you have to be quick to get the times you want for the more popular rides.

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There was so much different food in the park: Hot Dogs, Jajang myeon, Chicken, Kebabs, Pizza, Ice Cream, Cookies, Hamburgers, Udon and Tankatsu plus so much more! I was surprised to see such an array of things from all over the world. I was also glad to see that the prices were not crazy and very affordable compared to an American park where they gauge the price of food like crazy.

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While we were there we got to see the special Halloween Parade which was so fun to watch. There was so many floats, dancers and lots of cool costumes. I videoed the entire thing and will be posting it on my youtube shortly.

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I had a fun day at Lotte World and would defiantly go back in a heart beat. Have you ever been or want to go? Let me know what your favorite part was or what you look forward to the most?

 

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Travel Bear: Korean Food

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On the first night I arrived in Korea I spotted a little street stall outside my hotel that had all sorts of fried foods and ttopokki. I grabbed a fish cake stick and a few fried vegetables, they were so good and I was so happy to finally be eating in South Korea!

 

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The morning after I arrived in South Korea I wanted to hit a Korean Bakery right away. My friend and I found a Paris de’ Baguette Bakery and grabbed a quick breakfast before we went to Lotte World. There were so many different pastries and sandwiches to choose from. I got a crab croquette, a bacon egg wrap and a more traditional red bean bun. I love the Korean Bakeries because you just walk in, grab a tray and tongs and just pick out whatever you want.

 

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I was looking forward to Korean BBQ so much I can not even convey! My favorite food is Samgyeopsal so my friends took me to a very famous BBQ joint in Myeongdong. We ordered Soju, Cass Beer (for Somek), Ogyeopsal (it is 5 layer pork belly instead on where Samgyeopsal is 3 layer) a few other meats, cold noodles and Kim Chi Jigae.

 

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The Kim Chi Jigae was so good! It was kind of sour and spicy and it just warmed you right up in the chilly rainy weather. My friends were surprised that I liked it. They worry that as a foreigner the spiciness level would be too much but it was perfect!

 

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I requested to try some cold noodles which I had seen in many videos and to me it seemed a little odd because in North America we really don’t have any dishes like that. It was very interesting and I think in the Summer heat it would be very refreshing.

 

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Fried chicken is VERY popular in Korea! My friends and I went to Hongdae to a fusion restaurant for a fried chicken alla panna dish that was so good. It was cheesy, bready and delicious!

 

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While we were in Hongdae I found a Honey Comb Ice Cream place and had to grab one, it was so tasty with fresh honey comb.

 

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I was so happy to come across the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae, the building was so cute and everything was pink and Hello Kitty to the max. We ordered a Hello Kitty Chocolate Mousse, a Green Tea Latte, a Mocha Latte and a Iced Latte. It was all good but a little on the pricey side.

 

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We went to the movies while I was in Korea and at the concession stand they had fried squid! That seems weird to me but it was so good!

 

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I went to the oldest Korean Market in the Country called Gwangjang Market in Seoul and got the well known Miyak (drug) kimbab that is so good it is addictive hence the name and ttoppokki  which was so soft and spicy and sweet all at the same time!

 

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I also tried Soondae which is also known as Blood Sausage, this was one of the items in Korea that is very odd to North Americans. I was willing to try anything at least once but I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty good. It is a sausage made with glass noodles and blood and a few other things, it doesn’t taste like you would think.

 

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I tried a chicken foot which was on the odder side of all the things I ate in Korea. Would I eat it again? Probably not.

 

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Fish cake soup which was warm and tasty! A perfect Fall/Winter dish.

 

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No matter where you go you will usually always have some form of Kim Chi and side dishes put in front of you.

 

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Went to the Dunkin Donuts and tried a chewy cappuccino donut, an egg tart and a creamed corn donut which was very odd, it tasted like a donut filled with a sweet butter and corn. There is corn in alot of things in Korea.

 

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I found a CocoCurry in Insadong and nearly squealed with joy. I got a Omurice Curry with chicken alfredo and oh my gosh it was so good and filling. I could have shared that dish with two other people, there was so much!

 

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I had to grab these little nut pastries while walking around Insadong, the man was so nice and gave me some of each to try. They were so yummy, it was a soft sweet bread with a nut paste and nut inside each, they were addicting!

 

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Went to a traditional Japanese Tea house in Insadong and tried some traditional Korean Tea Omija which was very sour and bitter but an interesting fruity taste, I also tried some Honey cakes that were very sweet and heavy and Hangwa which reminded me of a packing peanut almost ha ha they were good though and I could see them as a good snack.

 

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I had to try some more common fried chicken and oh boy, They can make some fantastic fried chicken in Korea, there were these tasty sweet chili sauces and seasoned salts to eat it with, along with refreshing radish pickles and Mango Lingo, a mango flavored beer that was surprisingly really really good.

 

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Stopped in at another Korean BBQ place in Insadong and got some Garlic Samgyeopsal and Pig Skin which was very chewy and odd. They gave me so many side dishes and soups and dipping trays, every bite could have a different flavor.

 

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Had to try a Korean style pizza at Dominos so my friend and I got abuck wheat crust shrimp pizza, it was very different than most of the pizzas we have in North America but it was tasty and I would def eat it again!

 

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We went to a cafe and I tried my first Sweet Potato latte, It was so good and filling! I need this in the U.S.! My friend got a cheese cake frozen yogurt that was divine! So good and sweet!

 

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My friends family took us out to a Galbi restaurant in Gwangju and there was so much meat and it was marinated perfectly. It was an amazing meal and I got to learn about a few different kinds of Kimchi like Mul Kimchi which means water kimchi so it was like pickle juice in a way but not as vinegary.

 

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My friend made us a Korean Breakfast consisting of rolled omelet, miso soup, rice and kimchi sides.

 

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In Yeosu (a city by the sea) we went on there cable cars and got some fried squid around the attraction and my 4 friends and I were in Heaven, it was the best fried squid we had ever had and it was in an odd place.

 

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We dropped by at a Fish market and picked out a few fish that they took upstairs and prepared for us right away. The  market ladies also threw in some fresh raw scallops and sea squirts. The Sea squirt (the orange thing in the middle) was the only nasty thing I had in Korea, would not eat again but glad I tried it at least. The fresh Sashimi and all the side dishes were so good, it was a once in a life time meal that I got to share with many wonderful friends.

 

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We also had a fish stew that was spicy, fishy, and so so good. It was a nice finishing course to the feast we had.

 

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I bought us all a cake at a cafe to share to celebrate a wonderful day in Yeosu with wonderful people.

 

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We had another homemade Korean breakfast made by my friend. We had Kimchi jigae, cheese sausages and red bean rice. A perfect start to the day!

 

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I had to try the Bulgogi Burger while I was in Korea and it was odd. It was like a normal burger with just the patty and a bulgogi sauce all over it and onions.

 

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Tasty seasoned meat and grilled Kimchi in Daejeon! It was soo good and all you could eat too.

 

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My friend in Daejeon took me to a cute little popular restaurant where we got Bibimbap, Jajang Myeon and Fried Pork Cutlet. Everything was tasty and the little place had a fin simple mod feel to it.

 

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On the last day with my friend in Daejeon we went to a Japanese place and I got a Don Katsu bowl that was amazing but so filling!

 

I ate so much amazing food in Korea, there were several more things besides all of these that I was just too busy eating to take pictures! Everywhere you go in Korea are endless Street Food stalls, BBQ places and unique and fun restaurants.

What is your favorite Korean Foods? Have you eaten any of the things I took pictures of here? Let me know in the Comments!

Heading to Korea ~Day 1~

This was my first day of adventure heading to South Korea! I went from Birmingham, AL to Dallas,TX then to Narita, Japan and finally to Seoul, South Korea. It was such a long day and I went through 4 airports and was on a plane for a total  of around 21 hours.

I flew with American Airlines and Japan Airlines and let me tell you, Japan Airlines is fantastic, the hostesses were so caring and attentive to make sure the flight was as comfortable as it could be. The food was good and man did they keep on feeding you.

It was so great to see my friend in South Korea, we hadn’t seen each other in over 7 years! The moment I entered South Korea I fell in love with the Country.

Stay tuned for many more videos about my adventures, tips and tricks and much more!

~Back from South Korea~

Whew, So I have been back from South Korea for less than two days and let me tell you jet lag is real. I had such a fantastic time over there and have so many pictures, videos and stories to share. I will be working on getting lots of fun and interesting posts up soon so be on the look out.

I learned a lot over there about the best ways to travel around and tips and tricks to make your trip easier all around. During my trip I flew on two different airlines, stayed in 4 different guesthouses and hotels and went to 7 different cities. I went to so many attractions and ate so many things.

Can’t wait to share with you all!

Travel Bear: 5 hours till heading to Korea

Oh my goodness, I am not fully believing of the fact that in 5 hours I will be on my way to South Korea. This trip has been a dream and a promise for 8 years now and it is finally happening. I am starting to get a bit nervous which thankfully I have kept at bay this entire time. I am not very fond of flying but am hoping for the best. This will be my first time overseas and in moments seems overwhelming.

I will be doing so much and will be documenting every step of the way so please look forward to a wave of new content, blog posts, tips and tricks, and videos in the coming month. I look forward to this amazing adventure and am so thankful for my best friend: my husband who without him this would not be possible.

 

Travel Bear: 1 month till Korea!

Oh my GOSH. I have less than one month left till I go to South Korea. This will be my first time over seas and the first time I have seen mt friends in 8 years! It has been way too long since I have gotten to hang out with my friends and I am beyond excited. I thought I would be more nervous the closer I got to the trip but that hasn’t been the case so far, I am just ready to go on this amazing adventure.

So with one month away I only have a few things left to do. I have to call and check my flight schedule with my airline to make sure everything is gravy. I need to order some yen and won to have some pocket cash. Lastly I need to figure out exactly what I will be packing for my two weeks there. I am only going to be taking a carry on to make going around the country easier with all the public transportation.

Thankfully my bank has zero foreign transaction fees, so that is awesome. I will only be taking about $150 in cash and will be able to pull out more along the way if need be. Alot of the markets and street stalls may only take cash so I want to make sure I am prepared.

I have reserved all my hotels for the trip and holy moly, you can get hotels in Korea for super cheap. I got 7 nights at 4 different hotels for about $350 which is like two nights at a Holiday Inn here in the U.S.. I picked out some really cute and simple rooms in the areas I know I will be spending alot of time, such as Myeongdong, Insadong and near Lotte World.

My best friend there told me she will be making a map with the easiest lines to take from one place to another around Seoul and to Gwangju where I will be staying with her for a few days.

I will be posting more about my travel prep soon. Do you have any advice for me? Let me know in the comments! Also check out my Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzB9qRWcOrIGnVskSTITqmQ for my travel vlogs from Korea when I go.