Seoul: Lomography store @ Hongdae

During summer when I was having my break after the first semester in Korea I decided to buy myself a Konstruktor just because I was having way too much free time and need something to do. (Then things happened and the camera parts still in its box after 5 months, gosh I need to get down on that thing soon.)

Konstruktor is a SRL Do-It-Yourself camera from Lomography. If you’re interested you can read more about the camera here, it was quite cheap and I beat it’ll be fun creating a camera on your own.

I went on Lomography website just to find out that the camera DIY was soldout but instead they actually have a store in Seoul, Hongdae area. Lucky enough there were a few sets left at the store for me to grab. Yay~

Here are some pictures of the store that I took, if you’re into analogue photography and happen to live in Seoul come take a look. You can get the directions at the end of this post :)

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Seoul: Starbucks @ Famille Park – 스타벅스 파미에파크점

Starbucks Korea celebrates its 15th year anniversary by building a special store in Seocho-gu right beside JW Marriott Hotel. Being a fan of Starbucks I have to pay it a visit just to see how it looks like and yes it’s true that’s the most beautiful looking Starbucks I had ever been to. Apparently this location is marked as Starbucks Reserve which offers the finest coffees that only available for limited times at select Starbucks stores only. Remember to stop by for a cup of coffee if you’re around. Other than coffee I recommend their Cheese Cake too, one of the best cheese cake I ever tasted in Korea!

The amazing cheese cake

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Seoul: Chikalicious (치카리셔스) @ Hongdae – My favorite cupcake in town

If you’re into cupcake as much as I do I’m pretty sure you have heard of Chikalicious – the famous dessert club in New York – before. The shop opened its Seoul location in Hongdae some time in 2012 and right after I found out it has a store in Seoul I went have my cupcake fix right away.

The shop is on a small lane in the back of Hongdae, away from all the noise and people. I arrived at night and luckily there’s still cupcakes left on the shelf. The cake shop doesn’t have a lot of space with only 3 or 4 tables and they all are taken.

The whole shop view

All the beautiful cupcakes

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Rubber Duck Project – 러버덕 프로젝트

I know I’m 2 months late for this but since I have the pictures here I’m going to post them anyway.

If you never heard of the Rubber Duck Project before you can click here to read more about it.

Actually the duck came to Vietnam way before Korea, even before I moved to Seoul but it was in Ho Chi Minh City and I didn’t have time to go see it. So once again when it came to Seoul there is no way I would miss it.

They duck stayed at Seoul’s Seokchon Lake for 30 days in the month of October and November. I think I went meet the duck some time around early November when the project was almost ended for Korea stop and there was still so many people. I was hard finding a spot so you can take picture of the duck without random people appearing in it. But in the end I managed to do it, yay me!

Say hi everyone~

I don’t know if it’s the same in other country too, but for Korea they made up a really cute character for the duck. When the duck, for some reasons, was deflated while floating on the lake they posted a message on official twitter said “Don’t worry I just need a little nap”. And then after they got the duck fixed they put a sign near the lake saying “I had enough sleep let’s play!”. Isn’t that cute? It even sounded a lot cuter in Korean!

I heard he(or she?) headed to Shanghai after Korea and then been swept away in recent floods in China, but he will come back soon I believe; he’s a duck; which duck afraid  of water, right?

Trip to Nami Island (남이섬) on first day of 2015

Thing is when I set to stay somewhere for the amount of time that longer than what a tourist would spend there I tend to avoid all the tourist traps or anywhere that attracts lot of people. And this friend of mine also. We have been in Korea for more than half a year and never set foot to Namsan Tower or Nami Island.

I visited both places before on my first time in Korea though, which was 4 years ago (I went with a tour package, I didn’t have a say), I guess that’s why I don’t feel the need to spend time for it again. I don’t know about my friend but there is reason why we get along well, right?

I explained way too much, didn’t I? Let’s cut the background details, we got one day off on January 1st, we were looking for somewhere to go but the time was short it’s hard to plan, on 31st night my friend texted me “Let’s go to Nami Island, we never there!” and next morning we hopped on the train heading to Gapyeong.

Nami Island is located in Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. It attracts lot of foreign tourists since the island was filming location for the infamous Korean drama Winter Sonata. Nami Island is being marketed with concept of a country named Naminara Republic with its own passport, currency and to visit Nami Island you don’t pay for ticket but pay for visa. (One thing that I don’t get is in Korean Naminara (나미나라) literally means Nami country, I have no idea why they need to put the Republic ending after it.)

If you search online for how to go to Nami Island from Seoul most of the result will tell you to use either ITX Train (which cost 4,000KRW and you’re supposed to buy the tickets in advance since there is change that there will be no seat left when you show up at the station) or Nami Island Shuttle Bus (which also requires you to make reservation in advance). We didn’t have time for any of those so we decided just go by the subway instead. It cost us 2,900KRW and around 1 hour and a half, just a little bit longer than ITX and shuttle bus.

We arrived at the ferry point around 7:30 and found out that the first ferry trip leaves at 8:30AM so we sat down at the coffee shop outside for some hot chocolate while waiting

And greeted the first sunrise of the year

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