Now that I was finally able to see the cherry blossoms (see previous posts here and here), I think it’s time to talk about the trip in itself. I guess I’ll start off by talking about the area that I stayed in – Hongdae.
Hongdae is a college area, it was so named because that is where the Hongik University is located. A side story I guess, aside from the cherry blossoms, one of the reasons that I wanted to travel to Korea was because music video that I saw of 10cm – 오늘밤은 어둠이 무서워요 (Tonight, I’m Afraid of the Dark
I wanted that vibe and feel of just walking around and seeing all kinds of performances. So when I decided to book a hostel, I researched and found out about this area where its common to find people just doing street performances everywhere.
I was not disappointed. There was Hongade Norito, which at daytime (during weekends I think) there were creative types who would sell their wares (trinkets and on-the-spot art mostly) then when evening rolls around, it becomes filled with performers of all types (rappers, guys and girls with guitars, dancers). Aside from Hongdae Norito, there was also an area across the street where all kinds of performers usually sang and danced with crowds surrounding them. It was cool to just walk around the area with street food and beer in hand, just watching and listening to the different performers. You also get to interact with the crowd and generally just have a chill time.
One of the more amusing things that happened was that a certain performer was actually touring the area – Hong Dae Kwang – and I got to see two of his stops unintentionally. First, was at the Hongdae Norito, he was playing his songs and I found it quite amusing that there was a camera crew (I used to listen to kpop but not really that much anymore) so I peered. The producer of the show actually saw me and talked to me and asked if I knew him, when I said no, he told me that the guy perfomed at superstar K. After watching his performance I decided to head on to another area to visit another cafe, as I was walking boom, I saw him again setting up, The producer saw me and told me “Are you a fan?” you see him twice today! I didn’t really mind he sang pretty well and I kinda liked his songs.
Noryangjin Fish Market
During my last night (I flew out evening the following day) Viola and Yan (girls I met at the hostel) decided to take me out to eat at Noryangjin Fish Market. At first, I wasn’t too excited since I thought that I was allergic to seafood but things turned out pretty well in the end.
At this market, you purchase fresh feet seafood from the market, then they will then be brought to a dining area/restaurant where they will prepare and cook them to your liking. In the Philippines we have a similar setup called “Dampa”. Again, I was afraaid to try since I thought I was not able to eat crabs and shirmps, but apparently I am not allergic and I did get to try out a moving octopus as well.
Hongdae – Come Inn Guest House:
My post about this Korea trip would not be complete if I did not mention the people that I met while I was there. Thanks to the guesthouse, I was able to meet some wonderful people who I am still in contact with even now.
I was very fortunate to have flown to different countries for 2016 and when people ask me which I enjoyed the most, I can’t help but respond with Korea. To be honest, I can’t recommend a place to visit but because I had so much fun hanging out with the people who all came from different backgrounds and countries. I may not have gone to that many tourist spots but sharing time with them may it be hanging out at the rooftop, eating lunch or dinner, eating breakfast at the hostel, or just drinking coffee during my last day really affected me and made me realize that sometimes it’s not even the destination it’s the people you meet along the way.