Korea Day 1: Gangnam
When in Korea, one must go to Gangnam! *cue Gangnam Style*
When planning things to do in Korea, surely Gangnam is at the top of the list, right? We can all thank Psy for that LOL.
We didn't really have a plan for Gangnam, so we just walked down the big main street and down a few of the side streets. What you heard is true, it is the mecca of plastic surgery offices.
There are quite a few Forever21 and H&M-esque stores like 8 seconds and TopTen10. There's a store called Who.A.U which is pretty similar to Hollister.
It happened to be the day after St. Patrick's day, so we put on green clothes in hopes of finding an Irish pub to drink some Guinness. And we succeeded!
Tucked on one of the side streets is Irish Pub Dublin. It is a large, very Irish-styled pub, with dark wooden interior. We lucked out, as they had a St. Patrick's special on Guinness for 9,500 won per pint. Normal price is 13,000 or 14,000 won, I think.
Irish Pub Dublin Address:
814-5 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Take the metro to Gangnam station (line 2) and use Exit 7.
After Guinness, we headed over to Apgujeong. I was really interested in going to Apgujeong Rodeo Street, which is supposed to be like LA's Rodeo Drive, and I was imagining it to be similar to Ginza in Tokyo.
We actually walked the opposite way when we got off the metro at Apgujeong, so we explored the Sinsa-dong Garosugil area.
One of my top priorities while in Korea was to check out Gentle Monster sunglasses. I've been wanting a pair for a while now, but always stopped myself from ordering online, since I didn't know how it would look on me.
And alas, I found a big eyewear store almost immediately after stepping off the train. I literally tried on almost every pair of Gentle Monsters they had and I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I liked most of them. It was so difficult deciding on just one pair.
I can really see how Gentle Monster glasses are designed for Asian bone structure. For one, they all sat nicely on my lack-of-a-bridge nose, without falling down to my cheeks. I'm a huge fan of big, square, black frames and they have tons to choose from. I decided on the model, Kaiser 01.
The store I bought it from, Eye Rich (아이리치), then custom fit it to my face, even though I thought it already fit me. I guess every millimeter makes a difference!
Apparently, Gentle Monster has opened its first North American store earlier this year, in New York City, and it's crazy. Here's a great article on the store: http://ny.racked.com/2016/2/22/11070342/gentle-monster-nyc
For those of you that want to know a bit more about Gentle Monster, here's their deets:
Website: http://en.gentlemonster.com/ (Store locations are listed, as well as department stores that carry their products)
Sinsa-dong Garosugil had SO much shopping, and there is everything from high fashion stores to high-street stores to stores like H&M and Spao (like a cooler Korean Gap?) to skincare stores.
Boy London is located here, which kind of surprised me because I've never seen a Boy London store before. And you can expect to find favorite Korean brands like Stereo Vinyls and Leata here.
The best part of this area is that everything is so cute. So cute. Everything is so trendy. And so artistic. You could probably do a photoshoot anywhere in this area. Or kick back in a hipster cafe and enjoy all the great fashion that walks by.
Our next mission was to find a restaurant named Han Chu (한추) because they're supposed to have super noms fried chicken and stuffed peppers. It took us a while to find it and luckily I can read Korean because the restaurant sign was only in Korean.
And it totally did not disappoint. The fried chicken was good, but the real star of this place was the pork-stuffed (or was it beef?), tempura-like deep-fried peppers. It was AMAZING. It was Korean green peppers, cheong-gochu (청고추), and it wasn't spicy at all, just amazing. Magical. Korean rice wine, makgeolli (막걸리) and beer was also a must, of course.
The cup says daebak! Which pretty much means "awesome," similar to すごい (sugoi) in Japanese, I suppose. I thought it was cute.
Han Chu Address and other details:
Address: 549-9 Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (강남구 압구정동 549-9)
Hours: 5pm - 3am
After stuffing our faces, we made it over to Apgujeong Rodeo Street. It was quite a long walk, especially after eating so much. We both were under the impression that there was a Supreme store in Korea, but turns out, that isn't the case. (there's 6 in Japan, though!)
But I really wanted to go to Stussy. I kind of have a thing where I buy a Stussy shirt or sweatshirt in every city I go to (that they're in) because they print designs exclusive only to that city. I bought a heather grey Stussy Seoul crewneck sweatshirt (because black was sold out in a small noooo).
The store itself is kind of hard to spot, especially if you're walking from Sinsa-dong. It's on a side street, not on Apgujeoung Rodeo Street. The entrance is really hard to spot, it's like a side door, and you don't enter right into Stussy.
You enter and walk down stairs into the basement floor, which is HUF (if I remember correctly, might've been just a store that sells HUF) and Stussy is on the first floor. The store was awesome, we were the only ones in there, and they had sooo much merch. Much more than the Stussy store in Amerikamura (Osaka).
Actually, I'm not sure if that front door was open, it could've been and I just entered through the side.
Stussy Gangnam Details:
Address: 42, Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-896
As for the rest of the area, we walked around a bit, but didn't spend too much time there, it was kind of late and we were pretty tired. At the time, I wasn't very impressed, since I was expecting some grand shit.
There were some other street stores, like Carhartt. I would have loved to go to Saint Laurent or Givenchy. I didn't do any research on if they even exist in the area, but there has to be a Saint Laurent and Givenchy in Seoul.
But, judging from other pics online, I don't think we saw a lot of it. I did see Louis Vuitton so maybe we just didn't walk down far enough. I'll definitely have to go back on my next trip to Seoul and get my fancy on.
Things to do in Gangnam:
K-Beauty: Korean Skincare Treatment Program
Other fun things to do:
All Day Hanbok Rental in Seoul
Seoul Street Food Tour
SBS MTV The Show
Seoul K-drama Shooting Spots: 1 Day Small Group City Tour
Coex Aquarium Discount Ticket
N Seoul Tower Observatory Ticket
Han River Ferry Buffet Cruise
Lotte World 1 Day Pass + Lotte World Aquarium Combo Discount Ticket
DMZ Shuttle Bus & Ticket Package
Buyeo UNESCO Heritage 1 Day Tour
Make your trip easier!
Incheon/Gimpo Airport ↔ Seoul Transfer - Airport Taxi (24/7)
AREX Airport Railroad Express Train Discount Ticket
Seoul Luggage Storage Service
Seoul Luggage Delivery Service (Hotel ↔ Incheon Airport)
KR Pass (Korea Rail Pass): Cheap way to ride KTX & Trains
Korea Sim Card - Unlimited 4G/LTE Data Package
If you're looking for a place to stay in Korea, check out Airbnb! They have great listings that are often less expensive than staying at a hotel and that offer a unique experience. Get ¥3,664 (or the equivalent in your country's currency) off your first booking by clicking here and using my referral code. :)