UNITE with Tomorrowland 2017: South Korea

UNITE with TomorrowlandSouth Korea
Hosted at:  Incheon 문학경기장

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WOW WOW WOW GUYS!!!!
It was always my dream to go to Tomorrowland and when I heard they were doing an event with Tomorrowland called ‘UNITE with Tomorrowland’ in Korea, you best know I bought the tickets as soon as they were available. It was the first year that UNITE was hosted in Korea so I was really excited to go. Also, since I didn’t make it to UMF this year I had to do something to make up for it.

 

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My boyfriend and I left Seoul around 6:30pm from 강변 (East Seoul Bus Terminal) and arrived in Incheon around 7:30ish? The bus ride was exactly an hour so it wasn’t too bad and the views were good because the weather was A+ that day.

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After arriving at the Incheon Terminal, we took the subway to our hotel. We took 인천1호선 to 예술회관역 and came out of Exit 2.

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After a 10 minute walk from the subway station we made it to our hotel. It kinda just looks like a huge cereal box though…lol

Hotel The Designers:  Incheon

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We entered from B1 and took the elevator to the first floor lobby. Actually, when we were checking in we got really nervous because they said they didn’t have a reservation under our name. So I was getting ready to fight someone because I prepaid and it was already deducted from my bank account….

**(Thanks to my dad) I learned to always print the receipt and confirmation page of any reservation just in case something like this happens. So I made a folder and had like three seperate documents that showed what we paid, what room we reserved, and the nights we reserved them for.

After 10 minutes they found our reservation. Apparently it was because we reserved through an app that gives discounts and the ‘app reservations’ were not in their database but like a seperate folder on the computer??? I dont know but it ended up fine so whatever.

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So after finally getting our room keys we took the elevator up to go check our room.

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I was really happy about being on the 13th floor because I associate higher floors with better views of the city. We had a fairly good view, especially at night, so I was happy (the pictures came out bad so… no pictures of the view sorry).

There was a huge tub in the middle of our room so we were really confused? lol but the room was spacious and clean. It was perfect for just a one night stay.

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Anyways, by this time it was already like 9pm so we took showers and got ready to go to UNITE. We didn’t really care to see the first 3 DJ’s, as long as we made it to the stadium by 12am to see Far East Movement and the DJs after them.

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We decided to go to a nearby 포차 at like 10pm to pregame in the most Korean way ever, drinking soju and eating dried ramen LOL

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FINALLY WE MADE IT TO UNITE!!!!!

We arrived around 11:30 so we got to see some of Justin Oh’s set, which was actually a really good set. It was just a bunch of remixes of popular songs right now but like pumped everyone up for the next DJs.

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So we ended up giving in to buying drinks, but they were cheaper than expected. I had a gin and tonic and my boyfriend had a vodka and tonic (we made both of ours doubles because we can) and it was around $16.

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I was most excited to see Knife Party live and he was soooooo good.

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We made it to the front of the crowd and were really close to the stage!!!!!!! I thought it would be hard to get there but everyone was so nice and just let us through?? thanks guys lol

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 At this point I think we were all just waiting for the satellite connection to Tomorrowland in Belgium to see KSHMR, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Alesso.

It was like 3:45am and everyone was already dying and taking naps on the ground using pizza boxes for pillows lol. Mind you, UNITE started at 8pm and ended at 8am…. 12 HOURS!!! I was only there for like 4 hours and was ready to sleep. I have no idea how the people who got there at 8pm were still functioning.

My boyfriend and I stayed for a little while to watch KSHMR’s set, but decided to leave around 4:45 am because we had to check out of our hotel early in the morning.

I wish I had more pictures to share of the actual event but honestly I was having too much fun and wasn’t worrying about taking pictures… BUT I encourage everyone to go next year if you’re in Korea!!!

~sawol2

A day in 익선동 Ikseon-dong

매력적인 익선동 ♥

I finally made the time to go visit a neighborhood in Seoul that I’ve been wanting to go to for a while. My co-worker had told me about a place called 익선동 (Ikseon-dong) a month or so ago and immediately put it on my bucket list of places to visit.

익선동 (Ikseon-dong) is an up and coming neighborhood in Seoul that combines traditional Korean architecture/buildings (한옥 – Hanok) with modern shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. 익선동 is not only known for its scenery but also for its good food, coffee and tea shops. The area itself is very small, but still worth the visit.

After visiting 익선동 with a friend for dinner and coffee, I told myself I should come here at least once a month. Honestly, if I could, I would move here. I definitely fell in love with this charming and relaxing neighborhood.

 

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Where you can enter the neighborhood right outside of 종로3가 Stn. Exit 4

The area is located right outside of 종로3가 (Jongo 3-ga). You can take Line 1, Line 3, or Line 5 to get to 종로3가 (Jongo 3-ga).  After you’ve arrived at 종로3가 go to Exit 4 and then immediately cross the street. If continue walking straight, you will run into a 한옥 (hanok) village, also known as 익선동 (Ikseon-dong).

 

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There is a cute map of the neighborhood showing all of the places you can visit in
익선동.

 

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After looking at the map, which honestly didn’t help us much (it was just cute lol), we decided to walk around until we found the café we were looking for. If you are looking at the map, we took the alley on the right (pictured above↑). We went on a Wednesday afternoon, so there were not as many people which was really nice.

The art and greenery that you can see throughout the village was one of the main reasons I loved 익선동 so much.

 

I don’t know if this was someone’s personal residence but I was really tempted to walk in there lol. It’s just so cute with all the flowers and traditional architecture.

 

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Café 그랑 (Graang)

I realized that many of the tea and coffee shops in this area would not only function as a café, but also as a bar or pub.

I didn’t get a chance to go in this particular café, but I definitely want try this place next time I come back. The café’s name is  그랑 (Graang) and they sell coffee, tea, desserts, beer and cocktails, which is all of my favorite things in one place (minus the beer, I can do without lol).

 

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Right now, it’s a trend in Korea to have dried flowers as a decoration or to give as a gift to your girlfriend/friend. Many cafés in Seoul are decorated with dried flowers, even the teachers at my school decorate their classrooms with dried flowers. You can walk down the streets of Seoul and see random vendors selling them in various colors and sizes. I’m all  about this trend though because I love dried flowers. I even have to two bouquets of dried flowers hanging in my room right now, both gifts from my boyfriend (thanks bb).

 

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An entrance to another one of the many cafés I need to try.

 

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A look down one of the neighborhood’s alleys. On the left was a really cute plant shop selling all sorts cacti, plants and, of course, dried flowers because it wouldn’t be Korea without dried flowers.

 

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While I was walking around I happened to stumble on this cute dog and his/her owner and honestly if this picture doesn’t make your heart happy I don’t know what will. Look at how happy the pup is!!!!

That’s pure love right there♥

 

This was yet another cute café I ran into. I’m not quite sure but I think the concept of this café was a sort of workshop café where you can make things? by hand while drinking coffee. But then again at this time we were really hungry and looking for food so I just snapped some pictures because it was cute, even though I didn’t know what it was. I’m pretty sure they sell coffee though?? lol

 

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The entrance to the workshop? café and a cute couple with matching shoes~

 

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여름
싫어;;

(‘I hate summer’)

I related with this poster on a personal level because I also hate summer…

 

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Maybe it’s because I live in a city and there’s barely any greenery, but I really appreciate plant heavy places so much these days.

 

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Old and New Korea vibes

 

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Would you like some beer with that coffee? Whether you’re looking to get lit or to just wake up, TEUM’s got you.

 

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As we were on our way out I saw this cute little house in one of the corners of the neighborhood. I was really curious to see if the inside was renovated or left as is, but I guess I’ll never know.. lol

Overall, in my opinion, 익선동 is definitely somewhere you need to visit if you’re in Korea. There’s so many places to explore for a such a small neighborhood. Also, so many places to take pictures. The only thing I regret about going to 익선동 was that I didn’t dress cute that day so that I could take pictures… (hence no pictures of me there). Next time I go, I need to dress cute so that I can match the neighborhood’s aesthetics and take pictures. I know some of you out there know what I’m talking about lol.  I highly recommend visiting 익선동, so go go go!!!

~sawol2

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감자탕 (Gamjatang)

감자탕이 땡기면..

First, what exactly is 감자탕 – Gamjatang?

Gamjatang is a Korean dish, personally one of my favorites, that directly translates to Pork Neck Bone Soup. The soup base is spicy but not too spicy. I personally enjoy spicy food, but for people who don’t typically enjoy eating spicy food it is probably just the right amount of spice to where you can still enjoy the flavor. The soup also includes (but not limited to) potatoes, mushrooms, and perilla leaf (껫잎 – kkaenip? lol). Lastly, as you can tell from the name, a whole lot of pork neck bones and pork meat go into making the soup. If you’re already turned off by the fact that it’s ‘pork neck’… just wait until you see its visuals. It’s definitely, what I like to call, a sexy soup.

Yesterday after my boyfriend got off work we decided to go to his neighborhood’s Gamjatang restaurant. I had been craving it for a few weeks and my boyfriend had never tried it, so I pulled out my phone and searched where the closest place was to his house. I found a place called 참맛감자탕 (The Real Taste of Gamjatang, I guess you could say).

The soup comes in three sizes:  small – 25,000₩ ($22), medium – 30,000₩ ($26) and
large – 35,000₩ ($31)

I initially wanted to order the small size, but got confused and accidentally ordered the medium size because I thought the word from medium in Korean was small… and that’s a perfect example of how you learn from your mistakes.

 

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They initially brought us our side dishes (반찬). They gave us two types of kimchi, cabbage and radish, green chili pepper (not spicy) with soybean sauce (쌈장) for dipping and vegetable pancake.

And the best part of all, THE SIDE DISHES ARE UNLIMITED REFILL! (but usually most Korean restaurants have unlimited side dishes so…)

 

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This location was having an Open Event, so if you order the soup (which everyone goes there to get soup, so basically they’re just handing it out) you can get a free soda with your meal or a free bottle of soju. My boyfriend and I, being the responsible couple that we are, decided to not drink on a Tuesday night. Even though we were really tempted.

 

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This was what the Gamjatang looked like before it was thoroughly cooked. They prepare the soup in the kitchen, but you still need to cook the soup for about 10~15 minutes at the table before you can eat it.

 

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I was really hungry and didn’t know what to do while I was waiting for it to cook, so I just took more pictures of the table. Here you go.

 

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FINALLY! After 10ish minutes everything was cooked.

The portion size was much bigger than I expected (this was when I realized I didn’t order correctly and ordered the size meant for 3~4 people lol).

I was really surprised by the flavor. I wasn’t expecting much because it’s a franchise restaurant, but I would recommend it to anyone who was craving Gamjatang or wanted to try it for the first time. I think first-timers would get a great first impression.

 

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The meat was really tender and fell off the bone. I was honestly really surprised by the quality and taste.

While I was eating it I kept telling my boyfriend ‘Wow, I know I’ve tasted this somewhere before, but it wasn’t Gamjatang’. I finally realized after I finished eating it reminded me of the pork roast my mom used to make me whenever I’d come home from college for vacation. Any food that reminds me of home has special place in my heart~

 

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Just to show how many bones went into the soup. You can imagine the amount of meat that came off each one.

I honestly didn’t think we could eat it all… so I’m really proud of us lol.

 

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And just like that, another end to another great dinner on a random Tuesday night.

Taste:         8/10 (I don’t like perilla leaves.)
Quantity:  10/10 (but I also ordered the wrong size on accident so it was more than                                enough)
Price (in relation to quantity/quality):  9/10

If you would like to visit this same location, I will link the address to the restaurant below:

참맛감자탕 Location

~sawol2

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If you enjoyed this post, hit the like button~ 
If you’re in Seoul and end up going to the same restaurant let me know how you liked it in the comments!