There were 8 of us girls flying in from 3 different cities. The first batch is myself and another girl, C, coming from Singapore. We took red-eye flight and landed in Seoul at about 8.30am. The rest of the girls were coming at midnight so me and C had a day to ourselves.
Before our trip, I’ve met up with C to discuss our Day 1 plan. The beauty of traveling with these girls is while they are all up for parties, late night mayhem, they still value Sleeping. Our concern is “Will we get enough sleep?”. When you’re traveling as an early 20s you can stay out all night with no regards to your body but when you’re in mid to late 20s, you NEED ample sleep.
We stayed at Ibis Styles Ambassador Myeongdong Hotel, about 5 minutes walk from Myeongdong Subway Station. So we took Airport Limousine no. 6015 for KRW15,000/pax and stopped at Myeongdong station. It took us about 2 hours to reach the hotel because the bus route was a bit of a detour before finally getting to our stop.
1st Stop: Lunch @ Myeongdong Kyoja 명동교자
Because of the limited time we have in Seoul, I wanted to optimize every meal. Meaning researching where to eat instead of going to any random restaurants, although in Seoul that could work as well. I believe I’ve passed by Myeongdong Kyoja a few times in my previous trips to Seoul but it’s the first time I paid attention to it. From the outside it looks ordinary but inside it was packed at lunch time, and the queue moves really fast. There’s only 4 items in the menu and of course we ordered the famous dumpling and Kalguksu.
2nd Stop: Juno 1 Hair Salon
When in Seoul, get your hair done. I noticed almost all the ladies in Seoul had their hair permed and dyed. I went for the “Magic setting perm” which cost KRW280,000 including hair cut. They give out discount coupon for your next visit after the session, which makes me think you can actually ask for discount beforehand. For the first 2 days I was still doubting because the hair hasn’t set properly and I look like Ajumma (Korean for Aunt), but now my hair is great. My friend dyed her hair based on the stylist’s recommendation and it suits her very much. I’m definitely coming back to do my hair when in Seoul.
3rd Stop: Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain
During this trip to Seoul, I wanted to visit at least one place that I haven’t been before and Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain is it. I read from a blog that the colorful reflection is not really visible from the park and that is true. Nonetheless it doesn’t make it less beautiful, but it helps coming with little expectation.
It’s quite tricky getting to this place. If you’re taking subway alight at Express Bus Terminal, exit 8-1 and walk straight towards a flyover, turn right and follow the signs on the ground. At the intersection you need to go down the underpass. The underpass was poorly lit and looks dodgy but it’s the correct path to the park.
We took Uber back as it was pretty late and we haven’t had proper rest since we landed. Korea’s Uber is convenient. The driver provided us with iPhone charger and bottled water. It was a local-brand, Ssangyong, luxurious car and we had a comfortable ride back to Myeongdong.
Before heading back to hotel, we roamed around Myeongdong and bought some snacks back to the hotel.
We were so tired that we slept through the night without waking up to greet the girls who are flying from Jakarta despite putting an alarm at midnight. It was overall a great day to start the trip!