Category Archives: Travel Seoul

Travel Seoul

Dduk Tak – Korean Rice Wine Bar Review in HongDae!

Dduk Tak (뚝탁) is a Korean rice wine bar in HongDae [홍대](and other parts of north Seoul) that serves Chamsary Makkoli (참살이탁주). This Chamsary makkoli is the best makkoli I’ve tasted in my WHOLE LIFE!  No kidding, I don’t want to capitalize like that, but Chamsary makkoli is really good. Why Chamsary makkoli? Chamsary makkoli is made 100% purely from Korean rice wine, no other ingredients/additives added. The taste?  The taste is very mellow, a hint of sweetness and carbonation.  It’s the cleanest Korean rice wine I’ve tasted in my whole life. I asked the owner of the Dduk Tak Bar why this is so good.  And he tells me it’s all in the art of transporting the Chamsary makkoli from factory to the restaurant at the designated temperature, somewhere near freezing so the taste does not change. This is why you can actually buy the same makkoli from groceries in Korea but it wouldn’t taste the same because the temperature is everything. Chamsary makkoli and the food at Dduk Tak was sooo good, I came back here one more time the day before I flew back to San Francisco. FYI, you can only taste this Chamsary makkoli in South … Continue reading

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Apportion Women’s Hair Accessory Shop!

When I was walking by this store, my first thought was “abortion”? I took a closer look and it said, “Apportion”.  Koreans like to name their brands a bit from the rest of the world, let’s just say brand FAIL. There’s even this factory in Korea called FAG I remember.

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Korean Subway – Seoul Metro!

Seoul’s subway called Seoul Metro, is one of the biggest subway systems in the world. The Korean subway isn’t like any other subway you’ve ridden though, there’s a bunch of ads, TVs, newstands, shops, and even small restaurants. How to use the Korean subway?  You need to wait where the foot diagrams are so people can get out the center path.  When the subway gets busy like during rush hour, don’t mind people who hit you with their shoulders as if they are playing football because they ARE playing football in the subway, literally. Just don’t end up as one of those rude people on the Korean subway. There’s cameras everywhere in the city of Seoul including the subway. Yes, you are being watched. Advertising on the subway is virtually everywhere, this is probably good advertising space though as near 20 million people ride the subway on a daily basis. Oh god, can you please stop the ad spam?  Don’t worry, Koreans are used to ads and advertisers have no worries about spreading them like spam.   Maybe that is why Koreans love spam. The funny thing about Korean subway system is that it gets bigger every year. In about … Continue reading

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Galleria Mall LED Lights in Apgujungdong!

Galleria Mall in Apgujungdong District, Seoul has been around for as long as I can remember.  About 15 years ago or so, they installed these animated LED lights that display flowers, people, and more. BTW, Galleria Mall is exclusive to selling famous brands around the world for brand whores.  Of course, you will be paying a hefty tax over buying them in the U.S. so I would never shop here.  (unless I lived in Korea) Galleria mall also has another building across the street, which isn’t as spectacular. See location on Google Maps [갤러리아백화점]

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Korean Skyscrapers – Hanskin Building!

One of the things I enjoyed while growing up in Seoul, Korea as a kid wasn’t the number of trees or parks (which are fewer than most) but the high number of mulit-level buildings and skyscrapers. Over the last 20 years, Seoul probably has developed thousands more new skyscrapers and I do highly enjoy them. When I first immigrated to California some 20+ years ago, I was highly disappointed by the lack of skyscrapers in San Francisco bay area.  I was used to seeing buildings everywhere like in Seoul.   I wished my parents had moved to New York, I would have enjoyed it more. Anyways, here’s a building of headquarters of Hanskin, who makes women’s cosmetics, you can see this building between Shinsa Station and Kangnam Station.

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 8]

After visiting the observatory, I went down one floor where they had the N Seoul Tower gift shop.  There, I found even more love thingees. You can see that people from all over the world have left their message here on the wall for future visitors to see.  I should have left mine too, oh well maybe next time. Now the wall is full, people are posting them on the ceiling.  The next time I visit, I am sure that will fill up too. Here, you can buy some love locks so you can lock in your love at N Seoul Tower and come back to see it years later. This is probably the best location to take photo of N Seoul Tower, by resting Korean benches. This is a traditional Korean resting area. As I headed back down via cable car, I realized N Seoul Tower is definitely a place to  go with your loved ones.  So next time you are in South Korea, don’t forget to bring your girlfriend/wife and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner on the highest point in Seoul. Go back to Part 7

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 7]

Finally, I bought a ticket to the N Seoul Tower observatory.  Yes, this is the actual N Seoul Tower. There’s also a world-famous Bear Museum on the bottom floor of N Seoul Tower.  I will have to visit that another time. We took a high-speed elevator that took us to T3 floor, the observatory. The N Seoul Tower observatory has 360 degree clear views of Seoul and each window shows you how far in kilometers it is from other countries. New York is about 11,061 kilometers away. And Pyongyang, capital of North Korea is only 193.60 kilometers away.  That’s only 120 miles and reason why there’s a high tension between North and South Korea.  A nuclear missile won’t take long to reach Seoul. I’ve always wondered why Korea doesn’t move the capital more south but then there’s no place in Korea like Seoul. The views are priceless at N Seoul Tower observatory. (of course)  Definitely worth the 8,000 won I paid for my ticket. San Francisco, my hometown, is 9,040.09 kilometers facing east.  I traveled pretty far to take these photos, yey. Russia isn’t too far away. More distances to different countries. Distances to Southeast Asian countries can be seen … Continue reading

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 6]

Like I told you in Part 4, I noticed even more locks on the other side of N Seoul Tower. And there’s an Oriental Roo, some type of fusion Asian restaurant.  I want to try them all one day. Here’s a funky V-shaped bench so you and your lover will make sure to be closer. Some people even put their locks on the sign to not to put locks. More great views of city of Seoul can be seen here. Go back to Part 5 Go to Part 7

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 5]

On the south side of N Seoul Tower, you can see the whole view of Seoul, a very pretty view. You can see the HanGang river that divides north and south side of Seoul. At night, it’s even more spectacular as you will see millions of city lights. There’s also a bar called N Terrace, that probably has the best view in Seoul for a bar. Heineken draft beer looks awfully good not to sit down and enjoy the view at the N Terrace. Go back to Part 4 Go to Part 6

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 4]

When you walk around a bit, you will find these Christmas trees (or love trees I found out) where people will lock their locks with some writing. Let’s take a close look at how crazy Koreans are about leaving their love mark on the N Seoul Tower. You can see “Dr Cindy Leung”, looks like many tourists have left their mark too.  You don’t have to bring your own lock but just buy it at the N Seoul Tower gift shop and lock-in your love life here too when you visit. Some locks look like they have been here for over a decade! Korea is probably only place where they allow people to leave their locks like this. Some even use bike locks, um… And some use ping pong balls. Literally there’s millions locks, I wonder if we can even count them all. Here’s a cool shot I took of the love tree over N Seoul Tower. It doesn’t end here though, later I will show you even more locks. Go back to Part 3 Go to Part 5

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