Seoul: Glasshouse @ Changgyeonggung Place (창경궁)

When I found this glasshouse the first thought popped in my head was why no one ever told me about this place? Why such a photogenic location never appeared in any magazine about Seoul? Why?

No one ever told me such a place existed in the middle of Seoul, much to my surprise not so many locals knew either (well at least my Korean mentor didn’t , he said so himself).

That afternoon me and a friend were visiting the Secret Garden inside Changdeokgung Place and I caught a glimpse of a stunning looking glass ceiling over the old stone wall. I thought it would be part of the Secret Garden since I never heard anything about it, but only when I pulled out Naver map I found out that Changgyeonggung Palace is located right next to the Secret Garden.

Even then it’s till impossible for me to find anything named glass house or something similar. So I decided to just walk along the wall and eventually found it. So yeah, I can’t give you the directions, I don’t even know how I got there (just kidding!)

Nhà kính này nằm trong khuôn viên của Cung Changgyeonggung Palace tại Seoul. Lạ là trước khi tự đến đây mình chưa nghe ai nhắc đến nhà kính này bao giờ, cũng chưa từng thấy ảnh nhà kính này xuất hiện trong các bài viết về các cung điện tại Seoul luôn.

Mình tình cờ phát hiện ra nơi này trong khi đi thăm Secret Garden tại Cung Changdeokgung Place với bạn mình. Tưởng tượng ở đây mà chụp ảnh cưới thì đẹp phải biết, hoặc là mùa đông đứng giữa nhà kính xung quanh toàn tuyết ấy. Nhà kình này nằm ở phần trong cùng sâu nhất của Cung Changdeok, trên các bản đồ địa điểm thăm quan của cung thường sẽ được đánh vị trí số 20 nhé.

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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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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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Seoul: Passion 5 (패션5) @ Itaewon


Passion 5 is a famous dessert café in Itaewon area being known for its delicious desserts. I walked pass the building everytime I’m Itaewon but never knew it’s a cafe and dessert bar till a friend of mine mentioned it on her account.

Someone asked my friend for recommendations about where to eat in Seoul and she answered with a few names along with Passion 5. In her words the café is supposed to have delicious desserts and decent foods. I, after that, did some researches about the place and it turned out there was a punch of blog posts about it 2 or 3 years ago. It seemed that the place got a lot of attention when it first opened.

People mostly wrote about how good their desserts are and how cool design of the building is but I totally forgot to pay attention to the design with foods in front of me (yes it’s that bad). There are good and bad reviews (about their crappy service) so I decided to give it a try myself.

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