June 8, 2018John, South Korea Standard

We spent a week in the heart of Korea, Seoul, and saw only a fraction of what the city has to offer. So much energy, so much excitement and so much Kakao Friends! From the fluffy animals that take after mobile app characters to the endless phone cases, Seoul felt like the cell phone center of the world.

We arrived by bus and were greeted with endless apartment complexes in the Seoul periphery. I believe many are owned by the Chaebol, family-owned Korean conglomerates such as LG and Samsung. Our weeklong trip took us to the famous Gangnam neighborhood, the well-off and Hagwon-crammed neighborhood with endless shopping. We enjoyed tasty beverages in architecturally-impressive cafes that used to be warehouses, paid to play legos for three hours and lounged in swank bars after dinner. No lack of entertainment in this 24 hour city, which, may I add, has a mall with an integrated library-probably the hippest library I’ve ever seen, photos are below.


Our Seoul apartment.


One of the many shopping areas in our neighborhood.


A beautiful river runs through Seoul.


Pomato Spoon, our go-to spot for a quick bite, and delicious all-you-can-eat kimchi.


Trendy and fashionable…Sarah and I fit right in!


Underground market that spread out for blocks, and with so many goods it was hard to walk!


This cafe, overlooking the cool and young neighborhood, helped us feel old and judgmental.


Warehouse turned cafe with drinks served off a truck bed. Thought I was in SF for a minute.


Sarah enjoying her flash-roasted cold press barley-hopped beer.


Gangnam district – lots of malls and lots of business.


Starfield Mall installed their very own library right smack in the middle of the concourse. Incredible. Every mall needs this.


Not really sure what’s going on here, maybe a K-Pop band?


Your feet will never be boring in Korea.


Kakao Friends – from the mobile app.


Mobile phone and fashion shopping street.


Lovely weekend market in our neighborhood of Hongdae.


Streetfood aplenty downtown.


Neat mixture of old and new – a Korean theme for us.


A market just down the street from us – seemingly endless.


Beautiful shopping alleys litter the city.


Notebooks with integrated pillow – a must have for the hard-working Korean student.


Kakao Friends graffiti.


Trendy fashion and architecture to match in Hongdae.


Lego cafes. Korea is ahead of the West in so many ways.


Barbara Jeanne Levin O’Riordan

It is so fun to read your posts and look at your photos. Love, BJ

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