Sunday, April 19, 2015

Seoul: First Stop, Myeongdong

December 26, 2014
(This was drafted on 12/27/2014)

Didn't get any sleep because my flight was at 9:00AM and I guess it never occurred to me when I booked all my flights that that meant I had to wake up hours beforehand because I have to check in even earlier for international flights. 9:00AM sounded so nice when I was booking it though :(

I used Google Maps for a way to get to Narita, and it told me that it would cost ¥1200 (200 for the train ride, meaning 1000 for the bus right, right?) but the thing is, it said "Airport Line" or something like that, so when I asked around trying to find it, everyone would ask me which bus company it was, and I had no idea >:( I'm not sure if it even had one because it sounded like that's actually what it was called, but I dunno. 

I ended up taking the Airport Limousine for ¥2000, but if I was going to take that, I might as well have taken that from Shinjuku instead of going all the way to Tokyo Station first! >:(
It was also a bit sketch cuz I was the only one on the bus but then I thought about it and I had this ratchet boarding certificate (and I paid at the next stop too)...
1) The price for the ride sounded about right (I paid more to get out of the airport...)
2) This isn't China with those sketchy fake buses (aka Beijing, will update this with post later)

The flight itself wasn't so bad but the takeoff was delayed by maybe 15 minutes? There were so many people O_O I was actually sitting near where they check your tickets to board but I had so much stuff to put on (luggage) that when I was done, I was like eh...line too long, I'll just wait a bit. But the more I waited, the longer the line got... even as time passed, there was just more and more people, eh.. 

I got on and started watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 (one of the movies I wanted to watch this summer, but didn't get to) but got tired a few minutes in and I passed out before taking off >< 
I woke up just in time for food though, heh. I continued to watch the movie as well, but after I finished eating, I passed out again ><;;

I exchanged money at the airport because I didn't want to get charged $12 for using the ATM again -.- I know it's not as good of a rate, but it's convenient and still a better deal than taking out from the ATM. I misread and thought my friend told me not that Korea isn't that credit card friendly, but it turns out to be (aside from street shopping or street food) so I exchange too much wah. My other friend got by 4 days without exchanging cash either, so clearly I did something wrong hmph. 

I took the train to Sinsa, where I was staying and it costs ₩4150 and took two transfers. Took me nearly 1.5-2 hours. My card was having issues too, so I had to ask someone to open up the gate for me when I had to transfer/get out. 

The subway has a system where you pay a ₩500 deposit for single-use tickets and get it back by inserting the card back into this machine once you tap out. I opted not to get a T-money card (₩3000), which isn't a lot but I figured that I would only be there for a few days and it wasn't enough to justify getting one. I bought one for Japan, and I don't think it was worth it (I didn't get a chance to get my deposit back). From what it seems, it's ₩100 more expensive per ride & the inconvenience of buying/returning the ticket without it. 

So anyways, I got to Sinsa Station later than I thought so my friend had to wait in the cold for me :( Sorry!! I stayed at 24 Guesthouse and it was $40 for a double room. The place was like a 10 or so minute walk from the station and it was at least four floors or something. Had a nice kitchen area, but the showers were a bit gross because it doesn't drain well at there's a good inch or two of water in each stall ><

It's my first time staying in a guesthouse o_o since I guess they're not a thing in the States and I don't travel that often anyways... No pics cuz the room was already messy haha. After I got there, I helped another friend of ours pack and brought her to the bus station to the airport.

We had lunch at Little India and it was a bit pricey given the small portions. We went at 4:00PM for late lunch/early dinner so it was empty. The basmati rice made me think that that's how eating plastic would probably taste like. The food wasn't that bad otherwise though...
The dish on the left was something something with cottage cheese o_o Sounded and tasted interesting, but I didn't hate it...
Saw a pretty sunset on my way to the station.

After food, we went to Myeongdong (Line 4 off of Myeongdong)
Tteokgalbi Meatballs ¥3000
I didn't like it or hate it haha. I dunno how to describe it..but it's worth a try. 
It's a very popular and crowded place with lots of shops, street vendors, and food stands. 
Super cool cotton candy

We did purikura here and it was ₩9000!! Damn expensive compared to Japan but then compared to the ones in North America that are like $20, I guess it's still cheap. 

I actually didn't buy anything from Myeongdong aside from the meatballs lol. I wanted a scarf cuz it was the same as the one I saw in Japan (except the color) but it ended up being more expensive than Japan...even though it's made in Korea lol. So naw... (I found it cheaper in Edae the next day too). I figured anything I buy here would probs be more expensive anyways given the location.
It was still kinda early, so we wanted to go check out Gyeongbokgung, but got distracted on the way so we decided to go to err...this shopping mall (forgot the name) but got distracted again and ended up at Namdaemun Market. It's supposed to be a traditional market, but when we got there, they were already closing up. Just looked it up...apparently they open from 11:00PM-5:00PM O_O So we literally got there during their off hours. 
Most of the stalls that were still open sold hats, gloves, or socks. I think socks are a really big thing in Korea...

We went home after this because it was so cold!! Neither of us got sleep either, so we passed out by like 9:00PM even though we were planning on going out. I also learned what bulgeum is lolol. My friend ended up getting food poisoning or something and was throwing up all night =( Ahh I'm such a bad person, she was miserable all night and I just slept through all of it :( 

Hehe, I'm not sure why I already have this post up when I'm still missing tons of China trips and Japan posts. Merp...until next time! 

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