Monday, August 25, 2014

korea round up

After carrying my DSLR around for over a month in China and Korea, I haven't touched it since I got back to Sydney. I really should take photos more regularly, but I've been the biggest homebody. That, and researching and planning Europe. My excitement is through the roof. One of my high school classmate's boyfriend is from Germany, so he's going to help us buy football tickets! Ah! Super pleased.

First, though, here are the rest of my Korea photos. I was in Seoul for seven days, and to be honest, three to four would've been enough for me. Majority of what I did was eat and shop. I think I expected some of the magic from my Japan trip, but instead I found Korea very similar to China in a way. Of course, from the obvious differences. There was just a similar feeling. Probably because most people I interacted with weren't very friendly - when it came to service, or when I asked for help. (The exception being the staff from my guesthouse, who were so incredibly lovely.) I don't know, it's a little hard to explain, but it comes down to moments of genuine friendliness from strangers. The really small moments you experience on a day-to-day basis, like a nice interaction with a stranger, a stranger helping you out, et cetera. Just strangers spreading a little warmth. It's not something I feel in China, and Korea was the same.

Forgoing a data or sim card meant the struggle was real. We went into a lot of cafes to use the wifi. This was one of my favourite cafes, with walls filled with books.

Macaron ice cream burgers on a very hot and humid day. It rained the moment we stepped out of the shop. Look how nice and photogenic they are.

A truck passed us while we were walking in Hongdae, with crates of empty soju bottles. Ah, Korea likes alcohol.

We hopped into Sunnye Dog Cafe after the macaron ice cream burgers. When I told my friends back home I went to a dog cafe, their first reaction was: "You don't even like dogs." Well, I like them on my laptop screen. (This goes for animals in general.) Maybe this comes down to never having a pet, but real life I am not a fan of the saliva, hair everywhere, and the smell of animal (excrement). I did make an exception while on holiday - walking around Korea in humid Summer... 'Nuff said.

It was kind of crazy! There is a sign outside the door that you have to sit down on the bench immediately when you come through, as all twenty or so dogs come running and barking at you until you do. Then they quieten down and go back to finding something else to do.

Similar to the Princess Cafe, each person has to get a drink. I'm still figuring how they manage the upkeep. It's not like they would be making much money through beverages, not with so many dogs.

Best waiter? I think so too.

Food was definitely affordable in Korea. (But, uh, a bit of a struggle, as I've stopped eating meat for a couple of months now, with the exception of seafood. It did restrict the food available. It meant a lot of kimchi, and a lot of carbs.)

Korea was the first time I made plans by myself. That I met up with friends was a nice coincidence! I stayed in Duriworld House in a dormitory, and it was really comfy. (The only con being a single shared bathroom, which was a little annoying when you needed to use the toilet and someone was showering every time you went to check.) But Duriworld was cozy, and I spent a few nights in the common room chatting with other people. We had a nice celebration on one of the nights before a few of us were leaving. Celebration of fried chicken and chips and Korean alcohol.

The woman who minded the desk during the week was so, so nice! She saw us celebrating and bought us two bottles of a type of alcohol she said Koreans commonly have. She was finishing her shift but she got it for us. So lovely! But whatever it was, it tested like intestines. Eek. I had a sip and had to spit it out. Just too much.

We did go to the Trick Eye Museum and Ice Museum, which was a lot of fun! My 50mm was a bit useless in the Trick Eye Museum. I definitely need to pick up a wider lens for landscape photos.

This is gelato from a vegan chain I went to thrice in Sinchon. I did take photos of the food I had there, but the focus was a bit off (again, disadvantages of a 50mm lens. I have to stand up and hold the DSLR in the air to fit everything into the frame, and then focus is questionable.)

I did really love how young and vibrant places like Hongdae and Sinchon were. Felt like Newtown, but much more alive. It's nice when shops open past six. Looking at you, Sydney.


  1. Dogs are so cute! However I am almost certain that I have an allergy to them. I definitely want either a toy poodle or a cavoodle when I have a place of my own.

    I am guessing that you managed to find someone to go with you?

    1. If I were to get a dog, I think it'd be a shiba - so cute! I guess time will tell!

      I found one person, and we're trying to persuade our friend! Three is a good number to keep accom down, methinks.

    2. That's awesome! When are you going to go?

    3. Right at the end of November after exams wooo!

    4. How long are you going for? I just had a stressful night trying to figure out where to spend Nye without it costing a leg and an arm haha.

    5. I will be there between 5-6 weeks. I think we're going to spend it in Rome - we'll be in Italy for the last leg of our trip. I haven't thought about the prices yet - but we'll be renting an apartment in Rome through Airbnb, so it doesn't seem to be too bad!

  2. Those ice-cream burgers, food and dogs makes me think you've found a version of heaven in Korea. Your photos are so culture-ful. ❤

  3. Too bad you've met some rude people! The dog café is pretty cool, he's definitely the cutest waiter ever :p
    Can I ask you what camera & 50mm lens you use?

  4. Looks like you got up to some fun stuff - so much cute food! Wow that dog cafe looks... intense. I'm not the biggest fan of dogs either!

    1. There were a lot of dogs... but hey, experiences!