Day 2 had us crossing the river (via the train system of course) and heading to the Gangnam side of things before heading back for some alien-level architecture and Divisoria-level haggling.
- COEX, Hyundai Department Store, SMTOWN Artium. COEX mall had been under construction for the longest time and Tin was hell bent on seeing it, so we went there to literally window shop. The travel budget didn’t really cover too many LVs, see? Hehe. The in-house Hyundai Department Store had a few events (sales) though, and after a few minutes of looking at stuff we headed to the adjacent SMTOWN Artium.
Essentially it’s several floors worth of fangirling, boasting of shops of idol merch, a cafe, studios and even a place where you can get your pictures taken “with your idol of choice.” I’m happy we found this place when we were no longer at the height of our fandom, because those things do not go cheap. But it was a fun field trip!
- Sinsadong Garosugil. Next thing on the itinerary was to look for the Sinsadong Garosugil (tree-lined street), which is literally a street lined with gingko trees and trendy shops and oh so many cafes. One thing we noted though was that there seemed to be a LOT of cosmetic surgery places there too, and there were a LOT of patients walking around with their plasters wrapped around their jaws and their noses and taped on their eyelids. Quite an interesting sight. Anyway, we were running on emergency fuel already, so we looked for a hole in the wall resto first before resuming our walk. There we found the flagship LINE Store!
Sally and Brown and friends were there, as in giant fluffy version of them that you can hug and get pictures taken with! So much cuteness! After that we stopped at a Coffee Smith shop, which is this awesome outdoor, two-storey cafe setup for a dose of sweet potato latte and pumpkin latte. The taste of fall, yum!
- Dongdaemun Design Plaza. DDP was closed last year when we found it, but we caught it earlier this year. The big thing housed exhibits and shops inside, and we were able to look around a little bit before going back out to gape at the buildings again. Because really, that sight is what you come here and endure the nippy air for.
- Dongdaemun Market. We went out and were met with a cluster of street food stalls (hurray!) so we got our eomuk fix again before heading inside Hello apM, which is one of the many 168-style malls in the area. My sister was on the hunt for a winter coat and we found an eonnie willing to haggle it out with a bunch of English-only foreigners. She got the coat down from KRW88k to 60k, and we bought one each (purchases we were happy about until we went to Ehwa, but that’s for another post). Tin was also able to find Taiyou bus merch for her nephew, though looking for that was a greater challenge for us. Note to self: find out the Korean word for ‘toy.’