The subway becomes more like second-nature every day, and our district hopping around Seoul has already resulted in some pretty neat exploration.
Insadong: the more traditional, folksy tourist district. I will definitely be returning there for souvenirs! Besides shopping, we tried patbingsu, a Korean ice dessert. It was basically ice cream mixed with a snow cone. It was very good! We also tried spicy fried rice cakes, a staple Korean street food. There are some crazy street foods, and I hope to try most of them.
Hongdae: a younger, popular district. This one felt more active compared to Myeong-Dong, where we went yesterday. Both were similarly bustling, though! We were only there for a few hours and have a lot more things we want to see, so we’ll be returning.
Itaewon: a shopping district. All of these districts have an amazing amount of socks with everything under the sun on them: Obama’s face, despicable me minions, Korean currency, etc.. The sock-collecting geek in me is elated.
Wangsimni: this is within walking distance of campus, so we’ve eaten dinner there twice now on week nights. Since it’s a college area, there are a lot of restaurants and things for young people to do. We went to a karaoke bar the other night, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had probably ever. The hosts escort your party to a private room with couches, tambourines, and Karaoke equipment and give you free reign over it for the allotted time. The rooms light up with disco lights, and the videos that play with even the most American songs are hilarious Korean dramatizations of the song lyrics. It was such a fun way to immerse, living how Korean college students do!
Each of these districts is basically a city in itself; Seoul is enormous. I will definitely not run out of things to do in a month!