One of my favourite things about Seoul is its abundance of animal cafes. A part of the culture for years, more recently opened cafes have branched out from the traditional cat and dog themes to more unusual pets like raccoons, owls, and beyond. However, I have deliberately avoided these more ‘exotic’ cafes for fear of poor animal welfare – plus, a friend took her dad to the raccoon cafe and he was bitten, subsequently requiring stitches and several hospital check-ups. Of course, dogs and cats can be similarly mistreated, but due to their domesticity, I don’t really have any problems with their […]
Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the wonderful Van Gogh exhibition at 문화역서울 284 (Cultural Station 284). The building is the European-style former Seoul Station, which has been beautifully repurposed into an art gallery/cultural space, and is located (though somewhat shrinking in comparison) next to the sleek new glass station. A lack of time meant that we only managed to cram in a visit when we heard it was the very last day and panicked, but I’m so glad we did; despite the crowds – apparently everyone else was as disorganised as us – the experience was magical. The exhibition […]
In Korea, once something – be it a tv show, food, place, or anything in between – becomes popular, pretty much everyone here begins indulging in that thing. You see countless posts strewn across social media on any given day depicting everyone’s interaction with said craze, and it’s a phenomenon unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else in the world.
Every year since 2009, 청계천 (Cheongyecheon) stream in central Seoul has hosted a spectacular lantern festival. The event, which runs for around three weeks every November, features beautiful and intricate lanterns of all shapes and sizes; some depict special scenes, while others represent themes or come from corporate sponsors. There’s even a small area where visitors can construct their own lanterns, write their own messages on them, light a small candle inside, and set them out onto the stream. While in Seoul last November, I was eager to visit this festival, but unfortunately it began on the day I flew […]
[Day One] I woke up early the next morning and caught a bus to the entrance of 우면산 (umyeonsan/Umyeon mountain), where Eunju, Julie and I would start our second day of Seoul exploration with a short hike and lunch. We ended up only walking for a short time before accidentally stumbling upon the very peaceful 대성사 (daesongsa/Daesong Temple), which with beautiful views across Seoul seemed like as good a place as any to stop and eat. However, the local wasp population decided to make our picnic as difficult as possible, and it wasn’t long before we just gave up and […]
This summer, I’ve been incredibly lucky in finding exciting opportunities completely by accident. It recently happened again; while searching for things myself and a friend could do in Seoul one bored afternoon, I quite by chance came across a free ‘K-Pop Experience Programme’. Naturally, this sounded right up my street, so I clicked on the link and found out that it was a tour and dance class at SM Entertainment (the company that manages most of my favourite Korean artists)’s building at COEX Mall. Even better, it was organised especially for foreigners by the Seoul Tourism Organisation, which meant that it […]
My friend Julie, who I know from university back in London, is currently taking an intensive Japanese language course in Japan. It was her birthday last weekend, and she decided to come and spend it in Korea with myself and Eunju. Because of her lessons, she could only be here for a couple of days, so we did our best to cram in as much as possible in the short amount of time we had. She arrived late on Thursday night and went straight to Eunju’s house, where she would be staying, so I arranged to meet them the next day. […]