One eternity later ...

we've finally reached the end of the Japan and Korea travel series! What a ride it's been. If you were to ask me why it took so long, it's mainly because I'm an lazy excuse for a human being. (Let's be real.) I can't tell you how happy I am that I won't have to sort through and edit so many photos anymore!

Actually, that's a lie. San Francisco travel posts will be making an appearance on the blog in the near future.

Started our last day with a morning stop at Paris Baguette. Paris Baguette is to Korea as Tim Hortons is to Canada. It's one of the top bakery-cafe franchises in the country with over 3,000 stores, not including the ones worldwide. They sell all sorts of breads, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and drinks.

I remember it being unbelievably hot this day but I still made my sister get a hot drink with me for the cute cups! Green tea latte for me and coffee for her.

Carbs, carbs, and carbs. Hot dog buns are my go-to in Chinese bakeries, although these were more of a puff pastry type deal. My mom got the toasted bread on the left, which I think had a bacon and onion filling. She also got the cheese tart in the back.

After that quick breakfast, we made our way over to Ewha Womans University. It's a private women's university and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea. Their campus has some of the coolest architecture I've seen.  

This is the Ewha Campus Complex. What looks like a giant hill with a split down the middle is actually a huge underground facility that contains a library, gym, movie theater, cafes, and lecture halls. 

The main reason why we went to Ewha is for the area surrounding it. Because of the young female demographic, the area is a popular shopping district with affordable fashion, accessories, and cosmetic stores. 

One of the main roads near Ehwa had a lot of street food vendors. One of the most common street foods you'll see in Korea: tteokbokki! (I can't believe I didn't try any during our stay). Also twigim, which is basically fried food. This stall had vegetables, crab sticks, shrimp, seaweed rolls, and more.

While we weren't looking, my mom went ahead and bought a plate of sundae (pronounced soon-day). It's basically a blood sausage, made by mixing pork blood with glass noodles and then stuffing it into animal intestines. Sounds delicious right?

When you order sundae, you also get some innards thrown in (liver, lung, heart, ear). I wasn't brave enough to try those but I did have some of the sausage and it actually wasn't half bad. Pretty mild in flavour, which is why they supply you with some dipping salt on the side.

Some more street food my mom bought. Fried pork in a sweet and spicy sauce, finished with a cheese drizzle.

After shopping around Ewha for a while, we took a subway over to Hongdae. Hongdae is named after Hongik University, which is renowned for their arts program.

Known for its indie, urban, and underground arts scene, Hongdae is pretty much a haven for young people. Tons of shopping, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife here. We were there on a Saturday so it was super busy. Lots of buskers and street performers out on the street too.

Lots of alleyways packed with shops.

We opted for an early dinner at Yoogane, which is a restaurant chain known for dakgalbi, a spicy stir-fry of chicken and vegetables. The cool thing about Yoogane is that they actually cook it in front of you! As the chicken cooks on the hot plate, the server comes by multiple times to mix the dish around and then tells you when it's ready to eat.

We ordered one of the dakgalbi dishes that came with a ring of melted cheese.  

The cheese really helped to cool down the spiciness of the chicken.

After you're finished eating, don't forget to order the fried rice for round two! It's a pretty cheap add-on, maybe around 1,500₩. With the leftover sauce and food in the hot plate, the server dumps a bowl of rice with seaweed and mixes it all around. Bam! Instant fried rice.  

We did more shopping and exploring after dinner.

To rest our tired feet, we stopped into Billy Angel Cake Company. A really aesthetic cafe with lots of white marble and pretty desserts.

We ordered a rainbow mille crepe cake, mango bingsu, and a rose mojito.

Mille crepe cakes are a pain to make as in they're really time-consuming. This was really pretty with all the different colors and layers but I wasn't a fan of the taste so much. The cream was fruity in an artificial honeydew candy way.

I did like the rose mojito which was refreshing, almost like a floral 7-Up.

Afterwards, we went back to the Airbnb to pack and rest. But not wanting any time to go to waste on our last night in Seoul, we headed out again around 9 to see ...

Dongdaemun! Dongdaemun Design Plaza, or DDP, is absolutely stunning.

The curvature and blinking lights make you feel almost like you're in a spaceship. The plaza itself is home to various exhibitions, shops, and plays host to many events like Seoul Fashion Week.

We lucked out as there was some sort of night market event going on, with lots of food trucks and vendors.

We weren't particularly hungry but we did get a churro from the Churroman!

LED rose garden at DDP, with a grand total of 25,550 roses. Why is it such a specific number? The garden was unveiled on Korean National Liberation Day in 2015, celebrating the nation's 70th year of independence. The number of roses corresponded to the number of days of their liberation. 365 x 70 = 25,550!

The area of Dongdaemun is also famous for the shopping. Tons of malls across the street from DDP, some wholesale but some not, open all day until 5 or 6 in the morning! You can shop until you drop -- literally!

The next morning, we left for the airport where I had my last meal in Korea. Bulgogi kimbap!

Almost a full day of travel later, it was home sweet home! Dead tired of course, but not tired enough to unpack all the snacks and souvenirs! This wasn't even half of it.

Although there's a ton more countries I'd love to travel to, I would also love to go back to Japan and Korea since there was so much we didn't get to see. But until then, that's it! Fin.

- 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