Monday, May 20, 2013

There's More Than Meets the Eye

We had a three day weekend so we decided to get out of Pohang for a bit and enjoy some time in Seoul. Instead of checking out palaces, temples and museums; we were focused on western food options!

We left about 8:15am on Friday morning to catch the intercity bus that would take us to the closest KTX (high speed train) station. Our only option was to get on the 8:50 am bus to SinGyeongju station because the next bus didn't leave until 9:45 which would have been cutting it WAY to close. We got to the bus station at about 8:45am, just in time to purchase tickets and wait in line. Well, the bus already looked pretty full and we were about 10th in line to still get on. When we finally got to the front of the line to hand the driver our tickets, he told us our only option to get on this bus was to stand. With no choice, we stood in the aisle along side 50 of our closest Korean friends. Picture a smaller version of a charter picture us standing in the aisle.

It wasn't so bad actually. It was a quick 40 minute ride to the KTX station. We had about an hour to kill until out train to Seoul so we grabbed a quick breakfast and enjoyed the view. This is a new station, less than a year old, and is located in a truly beautiful surrounding.

We boarded the train and 2.5 hours later we arrived at Seoul Station. It was great to be back in Seoul. The city is so vast with more than 10,000,000 million people! We felt like little country Pohang bumpkins visiting the big city.

We stayed at the BOA Guesthouse located in Hongdae which proved to be a smart choice. The hostel was clean, updated, and the location was perfect. After checking in, we decided to venture to Itaewaon, which is also known as the foreigner district. It's always a nice change to be around other foreigners. The citizens in Seoul see foreigners so often that they don't stare at us walking down the street, like we get in Pohang. Our first stop was a late lunch at Taco Bell! And wow was it delicious! After walking around for a few hours, we decided to grab at beer and people watch at a cute little pub.

We went back to the hostel to rest for a bit before heading out to the river to witness all the lanterns lit up in honor of Buddha's birthday. It was SO UNBELIEVABLY crowded, but we managed to snap a few photos. We grabbed a really late dinner at Subway and then headed back for some much needed rest!

We let ourselves sleep in a bit on Saturday morning because we were tired and we really had no plans. We decided to just explore the Hongdae area. It's home to Hongik University and has a real college town feel. Tons of cheap clothing shops, bars, and restaurants for every pallet! Our first mission was to find the "Trick Eye Museum." An overpriced exhibit where you can take pictures with the paintings as if you are a part of them. Well, it took us about an hour to actually find it. Between the terrible internet directions and a little arguing, we finally gave up and asked the tourist center for help. Turns out we were within about 50 yards the whole time.... Again, it was overly crowded but we had a really good time. Check out the pictures below :)

After the Trick Eye Museum, we headed for lunch and then did a little shopping. Went back to the
hostel for a little R&R before bearing the downpour to eat dinner. It rained REALLY hard the entire night which dampened any evening plans. We found a small little burger place then went to a coffee house to people watch. Have you ever walked narrow sidewalks in a city of ten-million while everyone is carrying an umbrella?! Super annoying and frustrating.

We left about 10:30am on Sunday morning and headed back to Pohang. It was a great short little trip and fun to get out of Pohang for a weekend. Seoul really makes our city seem like a small little town; but we do love it! We can't wait to return to Seoul in August and act as tour guides for Brian and Becky!!! We could not be more excited to introduce them to some Korean culture :)

Until next time!!

Just relaxing!
Oh sneaky, sneaky!

Sarah is "big size."
Will you accept this rose?

Spider Woman!
Come on!

Nice trick shot!

How cute is this :)
Hey, how ya doin? Thanks for coming out!

Whatcha lookin at?!


Just hanging around with a panda.

Oh no! My bags!


Oh, hey there...

Chillin' in the pool!