Seoul, South Korea: Dongdaemun Night Market
Day 3 in Seoul was probably the most relaxing day of our entire trip considering we spent half our morning at Siloam Spa. Since my back was experiencing crazy discomfort, this spa day was the most relieving experience. We definitely spent at least 5-6 hours at the spa. It was an experience that was worthwhile, even napping in the oxygen room and having a small lunch in the cafeteria. Soon after, I was refreshed and rejuvenated for the remainder of the trip.
After the spa, we headed to the nearest train station to find our way toward Dongdaemun. We actually ended up getting lost because it was the main station in Seoul, but we eventually found our way to the city. We stumbled upon the Seoul Wall Museum and decided to walk along the path to get a beautiful overview of the skyline and city.
As the sun began to set, we ventured deeper into Dongdaemun to see the street food stands set up and figure out what to eat. Although my friend was unable to meet up with us, we were told to eat chicken soup since it's what Dongdaemun is known for. And seriously...every other shop was a samgyetang shop, so there were plenty of options to choose from. We decided to go to Jin Ok Hwa Original Chicken Restaurant since it seemed the most packed with three stories of seating.
One of the most difficult things in Korea was the language barrier, but we tried our best to translate with Google translator for menus. Water and kimchi was self serve, but our dinner was essentially the most basic soup aside from chopped garlic and rice cake (tteok), which was already available at the table. Regardless, we got by with just kimchi to satiate our hunger.
Once we finished up dinner, the night markets began to set up shop and open up. We got to explore Younghwa Market, Migliore and stumbled across the LINE Friends Pop Up Store at Doota Mall.
Exhausted from walking through various shops late into the night, we headed back to our hostel to start packing. Since our flight was departing in the afternoon the next day, we stopped into 7-Eleven one last time to try out some Korean snacks and refreshments. Things like Cass Red lager and strawberry shrimp chips were purchased as we spent our last evening hanging out on the hostel's rooftop and then retreated to our rooms to finish packing.
We checked out of our hostel early in the morning and had a light breakfast in the lounge area. Since G Guesthouse stands for "graffiti," we left our mark on their wall in the lounge. The owner, Shrek (yeah, that's his name!), even gave us parting gifts for staying with them and helped us book a taxi to get to the airport. With a few hours before our taxi arrived, we stopped into Paris Baguette. I picked up a Short Rib bun and a red bean filled waffle as a snack. They were both so yummy!
By noon, we returned to our hostel to await our taxi driver. This time, we weren't getting ripped off and Shrek made sure the fare was negotiated prior to us leaving. The airport screening was quick and we were early at our gate. With time to spare, friends picked up mochi donuts at Dunkin Donuts, which happen to only be in Korea! Friends got the cookies n' cream and strawberry variation.