Nami

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Have you tried internet shopping in Korea? I’m not sure if you have experienced opening up internet banking in Korea but …it’s SUCH a hassle!  If you don’t know any Korean or have any Korean friends to come with you to the bank, it can be very very tricky.  I remember booking some tickets online and yet still, i had to make payment confirmations over the phone.  This is not a particularly good idea since I have a little phobia when it comes to phone conversations in Korean.

However, finally there is a website that makes travelling a lot easier for foreigners coming to or already in Korea without awkward conversations over the phone. Although still a small website, Funtastic Korea enables those to make reservations to selected and beautiful destinations, and ta-dah~ Nami Island is one of them. Being a person who also detests planning to places which are difficult to get to, Funtastic Korea does all the boring work for you so once you check out online, meet at the bus stop, get on the bus, sit back and relax.

Nami Island (남이섬) was probably the most hyped up places in Korea which is all thanks to (surprise surprise!) a ‘drama’ which aired WELL before my time. Collaborating with Funtastic Korea finally gave me the chance to see what all the fuss was about. Although the nature was beautiful (must come back here during Autumn), the most unique thing that stood out were the hobbit like clay sculptures which were in the weirdest positions. I wasn’t even sure if they represented Korean women from a long time ago, but the sculptures were either breastfeeding in the most awkward positions…and even twerking!

If those were accurate representations of Koreans from centuries ago, it is then proof that Koreans were actually the ones who made twerking a thing.  Sorry Miley.

*This post was in collaboration with Seoul Mansion and Funtastic Korea*

 

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Seoul Mansion

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Hongdae has now probably become one of my favourite places in Seoul.  Frankly speaking, I was a little intimidated by the intricate maze like alleyways so due to my non-existent navigation skills, finding the hidden cafes and shops have been complete failures in the past.  I guess one of the charms here are the unexpected things you’ll find, so ditch that map and get lost for fun I say…

So when I was invited to stay at Seoul Mansion, located just 2 minutes away from Hongik Univ. subway station, I thought what a great opportunity to finally master the area.  Although Seoul Mansion is listed as a ‘guesthouse’, I would say it’s more like a ‘family hotel’, run by an awesome group of people consisting of family members and friends.  What was different about this place compared to other guesthouses or hotels was the vibe.  With even a stove, a washing machine, and all basic domestic necessities provided, it really feels like you are coming back to the comfort of your cozy home after a long day.  As I am travelling more often around Korea nowadays, it was really the first time staying at someplace else where my tense shoulders loosened up.  It literally felt like Hongdae had become my second neighborhood.

With a complimentary healthy breakfast, a rooftop terrace with a killer view and the live and kicking streets of Hongdae just seconds away, Seoul Mansion really has the whole package.  Either hit the clubs and explore the electric nightlife, or be an old fart like me and spend a quiet evening at the rooftop terrace playing cookie run whilst watching the fiery skyline set alight.

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*A big thank you to the team of Seoul Mansion and Funtastic Korea for an adventurous week~ loved every minute of it!

Les Macaron Burger

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Hongdae is always the origin of trends especially when it comes to food. Not long ago it was that oozing honeycomb ice-cream, and now there is a rise in popularity of the Macaron Ice Cream Burger~ they taste super good! Honestly when it comes to food combinations in Korea it has mostly been a no go for me, however this one doesn’t seem too desperately thoughtless compared to those rice cake pizzas…euck~

This particular store, Antique is hidden within the alleyways of Hongdae so if you want to indulge on this delicious macaron ice cream burger, bring yourself a map…and perhaps some fries to go with it.

In the picture: Blue macaron & Oreo ice cream burger, yellow macaron & green tea ice cream burger

How to get there:

Store name: Antique

Directions~ Hongik University station Line 2 Exit 8.

Map here

Grass and Wind

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A lot of people ask me what is so special about the Olle Trails in Jeju Island?  Well, I remember seeing a recurring pattern of people taking express buses and taxis and hopping from one location to another.  The beauty of the Olle trails is that you will not miss the hidden beauty that sleeps in between these beautiful locations.  It also promotes a healthier lifestyle and you will always get a sense of healing after a few hours walk. I’m pretty sure the fresh scent of greenery and the unique Jeju wind is much healthier than an air conditioner at full blast.  Korea doesn’t know how to control their air con power!

I mentioned this previously here, it really is like an adventure, you’ll never know what you will come across whether it’s other friendly walkers or the unexpected natural beauty you stumble across which is inaccessible via public transport.

On the last note, I keep getting emails about people not being able to visit these BEAUTIFUL trails because they cannot speak any Korean. Who will you talk to when walking these trails? A tree?  Even getting there shouldn’t be a problem either as the guesthouse/hotel in which you will be staying in will provide you detailed information about the island and how to get there.  I spoke no Korean whatsoever during my first time in Jeju~ ~ piece of cake.

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