SNAPSHOTS | JAPAN + KOREA 2017 | SEOUL | DAY 11


Our next morning in Seoul, we took a bus from Myeongdong to N Seoul Tower on Namsan Mountain. The tower was built starting in 1969 as a means for TV and radio broadcasting. Since then, it has become a popular landmark visited by both locals and tourists.


General car traffic is actually restricted on Namsan, so to reach the tower, some people hike up the length of the mountain as a form of exercise. Many people also opt to ride the gondola or cable car up, but the easiest and most cost effective way is to just take the designated bus like we did. 


The tower is 777 ft in length, and combined with the height of Namsan mountain (797 ft), you get a pretty stunning view at the top of the observation deck.


For our breakfast/lunch, we popped into one of the restaurants at the base of the tower called Cheiljemyunso. The restaurant is a fast-casual and self-serve establishment, almost like a cafeteria. The restaurant specializes in noodles but they also serve a wide variety of dishes. Because the Namsan area is known for donkatsu, that's what I ordered.

Korean donkatsu is an adaptation of the Japanese tonkatsu, which is a breaded and deep fried pork cutlet. Though they are very similar, there are also some differences. Tonkatsu is commonly dipped in a tangy Worcestershire-like sauce but donkatsu comes slathered with a thick, almost gravy-like sauce.


I forgot the exact name of the dish my mom ordered but I think it was bulgogi and egg over rice. My sister also had mul-naengmyeon but I didn't manage to grab a picture of it. Our meals also came with a bowl of udon noodles with fish cake and a side of kimchi and radish.


After we finished lunch, we went up to the observatory deck which has an admission price of 10,000₩. It's an amazing view and probably even prettier at night time.


There's also a candy and gift shop on the observatory floor, selling cute souvenirs. I picked up a postcard to add to my travel collection!


Probably the most iconic part of N Seoul Tower is the love locks! While you can see similar iterations in Paris and other cities, it's probably not as colourful as the growing collection here!


I purchased a lock myself to leave my mark so to speak. If you search #CTisgoingplaces on Instagram, you'll find all of my pictures from Japan and Seoul.


It was getting really hot so my sister and I got frozen yogurt from one of the coffee shops. It was buy one, get one free, or '1+1' as the Koreans say.


We were also pretty lucky to catch a performance of a traditional Korean folk dance known as pungmul.


We actually spent much longer at N Seoul Tower than I was planning on, so after the performance, we quickly took the bus back to Myeongdong and hopped on the train to Gangnam.

If Gangnam sounds familiar to you ...


... it's probably because of this.

Gangnam is often considered the 'Beverly Hills' of Seoul due to its expensive real estate and high concentration of wealth.


We came to Gangnam mainly to shop. Starting with the Kakao Friends Store!

KakaoTalk is the most popular messaging app in Korea and features a line of cute emoticon characters. The characters, known as Kakao Friends, are so popular that they have all sorts of merchandise -- plushies, figures, accessories, and much more.


A wall of Ryan pillows! He's a lion in case you thought otherwise. Ryan the lion~



On the third floor of the store, they have a cafe, complete with cute macarons and cupcakes.


From left to right, we ordered a green tea frap, iced coffee, and a Biscoff cookies frap. The Biscoff cookies frap was my favourite. So good!

(Fun fact, I prefer flying WestJet over Air Canada just because they serve Biscoff cookies :P) 


We also got a Ryan cupcake which was vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. It actually wasn't very good since the cake was dry but it was too cute to pass up!


After shopping in a few other stores, we hopped on the subway again to check out COEX mall. Connected to COEX is SMTOWN, an entertainment complex dedicated to the artists of SM Entertainment.


Inside SMTOWN, there's a store on the second floor selling CDs and merchandise. They also sell products that their artists endorse like cosmetics and such.


They even sell their own line of energy drinks! EXO can sell anything and fans will still buy it.


The other floors have studio and theatre space, while the fourth floor also has a cafe for you to lounge in.  The tables and chairs are all signed by various SM artists.

I'm also happy to report that Red Velvet's cupcake was actually red velvet cake!


We took the subway home after and attempted to find something for a late dinner closeby. Unfortunately most of the restaurants on the block were closed so we headed back into Seoul Station and settled for fast food at Lotteria.

Lotteria is a fast food chain originating out of Japan, but there are locations all throughout Asia.


One thing I knew we had to try was their famous mozzarella burger. Think super stretchy mozzarella stick. Inside a burger. With bacon.

It's a good thing I was on vacation.

- CT

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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf