“Jal jumusyeosseoyo!” (Good Morning!), said our guide, as she handed over bowls of steaming hot noodle soup at our table. Along with it was a kimchi side-dish and coffee beverage which we ate and drank quietly. It was 6am, a cold spring morning, and such a warm Korean breakfast was just the kind of boost and welcome we needed.
Petite France, Nami Island, & Winter Sonata
All pumped up from the morning breakfast, we proceeded with traveling to the outskirts of Seoul. Pastel colored maisons (houses) and uniquely designed jardin de fleurs (flower garden) surrounded and filled the whole little French village, Petite France. It was as if we really were in France, with hole- in- the- wall artisanal cafes and shops peeping from every corner, complimenting and augmenting our French experience.
Before heading to our next destination, we stopped by a Korean BBQ restaurant for lunch. We couldn’t miss out on eating charcoal grilled meat and the number of Korean side dishes to eat it with!
Where we felt and witnessed most of spring was at the island park, Nami Island. We strolled along tall leafless trees, sat on benches by the lake, — mostly basking in the beauty of nature—and found a spot popular among Koreans and Korean drama fans.
The Winter Sonata “first kiss” scene location was what we found. A dedication from the director and a description of the scene was placed nearby. What was most interesting were the little snow people atop the wooden tables which were exactly from the “first kiss” scene, allowing us visitors to relive the moment and take a photo of our own.
Seoraksan, Wind Village, and Alpensia Stadium Pyeongchang Olympics
In Seoraksan, cherry blossoms safely tucked on their branches, bloomed; and as we entered the park, a black bear statue welcomed us. We immediately, of course, took a signature photo to begin our second day highlights.
Because it was a long drive to Seoraksan, we ate some tteokbokki and hotteok Korean snacks during a quick coffee break before continuing our tour.
Afterwards, we came across a field covered in snow and a sheep farm at the Wind Village. It didn’t feel like the spring season at all since it was colder in this area of South Korea where the temperature dropped between -2 to -6 degrees. Already in Gangwon-do province, we decided to drop by the Alpensia Stadium and see for ourselves the downward ski slope used in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.
Everland, Line Friends Store, & Myeongdong
Half of our third day we spent on rides, live shows, and cute shops and cafes in Everland. Though it had been a long walk, one of the sites we did love was the Line Store which contained exclusive character goods for both kids and adults.
We continued our day, from the late afternoon until the evening, in Myeongdong, the central shopping district of Seoul. It was the perfect place to unwind, splurge, and feast! The convenience of the district made all these available: the cosmetic shops, brand apparel stores, street food carts, and authentic Korean restaurants, enabling us to enjoy the rest of the night.
N Seoul Tower, Love Locks, & a Surprise Side Trip
Our last day comprised of exploring other parts of the city before departure. We first headed to the N’ Seoul Tower and Love Lock Deck. There we saw a view of Seoul and an array of lovelocks in different colors and sizes. While being there, three thoughts occurred at the back of our minds: first, how many promises were made and kept or broken or rather, proposed their love in this view deck?; second, how many found their oppa/ namjachingu/ yeojachingu during their visit like “love at first sight”?; Lastly, we realized that this was the spot featured in Hwayugi: The Korean Odyssey!!! (and we were fan girling).
This brings us to other K-drama series which you may be more familiar with: Descendants of the Sun (DOTS) and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. Throughout both series, the protagonists had a usual café hang out place called Dal.komm Coffee and as we were going on with the tour, we encountered it along the way. A side trip, as you may say, was the best kind and we didn’t want to leave Seoul without paying a visit!
It truly was a Seoul Lovely four-day trip! We felt like we were in a Korean drama series ourselves where we (coincidentally) saw and experienced the actual shoot locations; even the venue of the PyeongChang Olympics! Add to that the city fun of shopping and café hoppping. Beacause of this, 또 봐요 tto bwayo (See you soon) Korea!
Wonder how everything looks like in autumn? Well, you too #TWIrista can visit Seoul in the AUTUMN SEASON during our group tour from October 31 to November 3!