I think Hongdae is my favorite

Standard

We have planned to go to Hongdae a few times on a Saturday, but rain has canceled our plans. I was excited to go today, even though it was a Tuesday so I would miss the art market.

I think Hongdae is my new favorite place in Seoul. It feels different than most other sections of the city. Actually it doesn’t feel like you are in a big city at all. It feels more suburban with a bunch of cafes and artsy things.

Very close to the Hongik University Station exit 6 is a store called Object. It was really cute. Four floors (three for shopping) with coffee, books, stationary, and jewelry. I found several things that I liked there.

The next stop was Gundam Base. We all had fun looking at the different models and figures. Tim and Clarissa found one to work on together.

We found a very small, but still fun Xiaomi store. It wasn’t on our list for the day but we randomly passed it. We loved it in Hong Kong so we definitely had to check it out.

Then we saw a very large ArtBox. This is the best one we have visited so far. Clarissa and I found several art kits to work on together.

The next planned stop was Crow Piercing. I had my ears pierced twice growing up. One of my ears always got infected so I let them close up. I have been talking about getting my ears pierced again for at least a year so I did my research to see the best place to go. Crow Piercing was highly recommended so I chose to go there. I was not disappointed. I got to choose my earrings and he pierced my ears very quickly since part of the holes were still there anyway. It only cost 8,000 won (like $8 USD). I found a few other earrings for after my ears heal as well. It was very clean. My guy spoke great English. They are open from 1240 – 11 PM everyday.

Our last stop in Hongdae was Clarissa’s favorite. We went to Bunny Cafe. We all enjoyed feeding and petting the bunnies. It was a very clean place and the owner and bunnies were friendly for the most part. One bunny did bite Tim though.

We headed to I Park Mall for lunch. They have finally finished all of the renovations there. It looks great, but some of our favorite stores are gone. We could have skipped it.

The highlight was definitely the Studio Ghibli Store. We went to one yesterday at Lotte World Mall but this one was way cooler because it had the house from Kiki’s Delivery Service and Totoro‘s tree.

The Gundam Base was fine too but we had already been to the one in Hongdae. They were comparable so you only really need to go to one.

Sunday in Kowloon

Standard

Clarissa went to bed about midnight on Saturday (well closer to 1 AM Korea time), so I thought for sure she would sleep in on Sunday. Nope. She was up at 8, as usual.

We walked to Fortress Hill to christen our Octopus cards on the MTR (subway). There was a McDonald’s next door so we stopped in for a quick breakfast. Then we started down the stairs to catch our train. We could not find any elevators. Tim carried the stroller down the stairs and Clarissa walked and held my hand. We were surprised that her stroller didn’t even fit through the turnstile, we had to lift it over.

The transfer of subway lines was super easy. We only had to cross the corridor to the next train. We went to Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon. There were not elevators at that stop either.

The temple was huge! I don’t think that we have been to a temple on a Sunday before. It was very crowded with people buying things, burning incense, and offering prayers. It is still very close to Lunar New Year so there were some special areas set up as well.

People would rub the statues for good luck. I was trying to explain this practice, and a little bit about Buddhism to Clarissa. She was very confused about why people would rub statues or burn incense because those aren’t real gods. We just think some of the buildings look cool.

There was a cool fountain. Clarissa said it was “so beautiful!” She was also excited about the fish.

This was one of the largest temple complexes we have visited.

After the temple, we meandered the subway to explore a few electronics markets for Tim. He was disappointed by the selection. There were some nice items, but most were overpriced.

We then headed to Mong Kok to try a store called Mi Home. It was a pretty cool store room. You see what you like and then stand in line. An employee then comes by to “take your order,” which you receive when you get to the cashier. Tim bought some blue tooth earphones and Clarissa was excited about an LED flashlight. They gave us a bonus item and a catalog for the items in the store.

We went back to the MTR station and headed to Tsim Sha Tsui. I read that on Sundays from 230 – 430 there were dragon dances and Kung fu demonstrations at Kowloon Park. That was the main reason we arrived on Saturday, so we could see this. It was already after 2 PM and we still had to eat lunch. We grabbed some food and then headed to the park. It was 340 by the time we arrived and the exciting part was over. There was a lady teaching Tai Chi. Apparently, you need to arrive right at 230 for the high energy show.

Kowloon Park wasn’t a total loss for us though. Clarissa was really excited to see the aviary and to play on the playground.

We found some fun comic statues before we left.

There was even a Nepalese cultural show so we watched a couple of dances. Clarissa really liked it and asked me to take a video.

Mi Home gave Tim a catalog the first time we were there. That was dangerous. We looked through it and both found some things that we wanted. So we headed back to Mi Home after the park.

Our last adventure of the day was Ladies Market. They had some pretty clothes, toys, purses, and jewelry. Some of it was really nice but a lot of it was knock offs. I did buy a pretty robe.

Clarissa found a great Elsa crown and wig.

img_20180304_193956416011478.jpg

We headed back toward the hotel and had some Chinese food for dinner.