Day 6: Hiking in Naksan Park, Ihwa Mural Village & the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
When researching Seoul, hiking in the mountains was something I wanted to do. Hiking in the Bukhansan National Park seemed like a big commitment. So, we decided to explore Naksan Park. The Naksan park is a smaller mountain, so it was a very brisk walk. Almost like a hike. The park was beautiful. At the peak of the mountain, there was a stone wall and a view of the whole city.
The Ihwa Mural Village sits at the base of the Naksan Park. Most of the murals, that you see online, have been covered by paint and overgrowth. But there were several cute things along the paths. There was also a cat cafe along the way. Also, whatever you do, don't try to pick the locals fruit. You will get yelled at by the local and your future fiance/granddaughter will be veryyyyyy annoyed with you.
After our walk through the Naksan Park and Ihwa Mural Village, we decided to go back to Insadong for more souvenirs. After souvenir shopping, we decided to stop by the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. The temple is right across the street from Insadong, and it is beautiful. In October there is a festival called the Chrysanthemum Festival. They cover the whole temple and statues in the temple in chrysanthemum flowers. It was one of my favorite sights in Seoul. If you are in Seoul in October, I recommend going to the temple. It is beautiful.
Since we were exhausted, we decided to go back to our Airbnb for a little relaxation. After relaxing for a couple of hours, we decided to explore our neighborhood and find something to eat for dinner. I was so tired of Korean food. We also wondered what Americanized food would taste like in Korea. We found a pizza shop that looked pretty cool, so we stopped in. WARNING if you want something different than Korean food, take the fast food route. For ONE deep dish 2 topping pizza, the price was $50. We could not understand the menu and could not read Korean, so we did not realize how much it was until we paid. So, when in Korea, eat Korean food.
Day 7: Flower Cafés and the DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza)+LED Rose Garden
Our 7th Day was our last full day in Korea. Since Ramtin and I need to pick up just a few more souvenirs, we headed to Insdong while Nana went to the Trick Eye Museum. She said it was interesting, but you do need to go with multiple people. The reason is to take pictures of you with the backdrops. The Trick Eye Museum uses an app that you can use to take pictures. In these pictures, you can see movement in the backdrop. The Trick Eye Museum is something she recommends!
Something that I wanted to do in South Korea was a flower café. After looking through Instagram and Pinterest, I found a really cute café with a flower wall. (Lovin' Her, Check out my other post "Top Touristy Things to do in SEOUL, South Korea!" for more info) We met up at Lovin' Her Flower Café. The café itself was very cute. Your order comes out to you on a serving tray that has flowers in a vase and a small figurine on it. The drinks that we ordered were decently priced and very good. The only complaint I had was two girls who hogged the spot I wanted to sit at and would not leave. So we finally decided to leave after an hour.
The next café we went to was by total accident. While walking to the subway, we decided to wander around. We spotted this door covered in flowers and stopped in. This flower café was called Arriate. The cafe had three floors with different designs. The only thing negative I have to say about this flower café was that the boy behind the counter was VERY rude. As we were told by the boy, "we need to hurry up and buy something, or we need to leave." So you do have to purchase something if you are going to go up to the next levels. Understandable.
Another cafe I REALLY wanted to go to was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. It had a neon sign that said: "I got baked in Seoul," and I love myself a good neon sign. But unfortunately, it was out of business. We found this out by going all the way to it to see that it was closed down. But the bakehouse was close to the Han River. So we stopped by before heading back to our Airbnb.
That night we had to meet up with the new bride (Young Hee) and her family. We had dinner at a steak house. Not the biggest fan of a Korean Stake, but see them before we left was really nice. That night we had to meet up with the new bride (Young Hee) and her family. We had dinner at a steak house. I was not the biggest fan of a Korean Stake, but seeing them before we left was really nice. After dinner, we had coffee in a coffee shop and headed to the DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza.) The DDP and LED Rose Garden were high up on my list of "must see in Seoul." As you might have read in my "About Me," I am a structural engineer. The DDP is one of the many structural wonders of Seoul. I was so amazed by this building and the bridges that ran through it. The LED Rose Garden was also really beautiful. (The garden lights up at sunset.) I HIGHLY recommend going to both, since the LED Rose Garden sits in the middle on the DDP.
Everyone in Korea that suggested to take a stroll through Naksan Park said that we needed to go at night. Supposedly this park is deemed the "lovers park" in Seoul. So since it was our last night in Seoul, my fiance and I took a stroll through the park and reminisced about our time in Seoul. It was truly a great way to end a fabulous vacation.
Day 8 (our last day): Gwanjang Market
Our eighth day was our final day in Seoul, South Korea. Since our flight was in the afternoon, we packed our bags and decided to go one more place. Our last stop in Seoul was a Lotte Department Store and the Gwanjang Market.
Our group thought a Lotte Department Store would be like a Walmart, totally not the case. These places are like high-end department stores. The bottom level is made up of a food court and a grocery store. The upper levels are little stores within the department store. The higher you go in the department store, the more expensive things get. It was a very interesting store, but would probably not go back to it.
Our second and final stop was the Gwanjang Market. The market was cool. The first part of the market you can sit and eat food. The middle portion of the market is mostly shops. The ending part of the market, based on where you come in, is a meat market.
After going to the Gwanjang Market, we hopped on the subway and headed back to the Airbnb to get our luggage and headed to the airport. When we got to the airport, we hopped on a plane back to the states.
If you are planning a trip and have not used Airbnb yet, here is a link to use to get a great discount (up to $55) on your stay! https://www.airbnb.com/c/shelbybreek?currency=USD. This gives me a $30 credit towards my next stay! So if you use it THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Thank Y’all, for taking the time out of your day to read this post! I hope you have an amazing day!
Love, Shelby ♡