A couple of weekends ago, some friends of ours were heading up to Hongdae to stay at the Kimchi Hostel for a few days before their plane left for Australia. They had been to Hongdae several times before and agreed to show us around and hang out for the day.
That morning, we got our usual backpack of supplies together and headed out. It was a lovely, warm afternoon I was pleased that I could leave my bulky coat at home on this adventure.
|Directions to the hostel|
'The Joe' had a nice atmosphere and decorations. The best part was we could order in English! If you know me, you know I am picky when it comes to burgers. I absolutely hate mayo, pickles, relish and mustard. Tomatoes, cheese and onions, I can live with however. Being able to custom order my burger was something I missed terribly.
'The Joe' builds their burgers from scratch and they taste amazing! I ordered the mushroom burger. It came with potato wedges and a drink. Excellent, warm, salty, delicious, wedges!
|The Joe Menu|
|Wall art displaying the many burger choices|
Once our tummies were full, we walked around and explored some more. There were hundreds of little shops on both sides of each street. So many shoes.. *drool*.
We went into a shop (sorry I forgot the name) that had amazing wallets made by 'Vegetable Garden' they looked and felt like real leather but they were made with 100% organic material. These wallets even had place for an iPhone and a hole for headphones. Click this link to go to their website to see pictures of the wallet I am talking about: Vegetable Garden.
My boyfriend hasn't had much pie growing up. Especially homemade pies. I made him an apple pie last summer and since then he is a little pie-crazy. He took a picture of the Jester's in Hongdae because he loved that they were so serious about pies. We were too full from Joe's to stop and taste their serious pies unfortunately.
|Hello Kitty Cafe|
|Lush- Handmade cosmetics|
|Blue Lego man|
One of our friends had been looking for a place to get his earring replaced for months so when we came across a piercing studio that looked professional, he checked it out. The employee there spoke flawless English and he said she did a very good job. It was a cool shop that sold not only jewelry but awesome clothing as well.
In Hongdae, we came across some nice graffiti art. Back in Incheon, the only graffiti looks like a 4-year old wrote some poorly-spelled English gibberish on a wall to be rebellious. It was refreshing to see some bright colors and actual art for once.
My favorite part of Hongdae is the street vendors. They are everywhere! One whole street was devoted to jewelry vendors, there was some very nice handmade pieces there. I wish I had bought a couple pairs of earrings as souvenirs for people back home. I hope I can find the same street if we ever return to Hongdae.
Koreans aren't the best at translating into English. I love coming across strangely named places, it gets me every time. I thought my reader's would enjoy the name of a bar we came across. Beer Space. No, it's not a Star Wars themed bar, just a regular bar with a strange name:
|Top right hand corner: Beer Space|
Another personal favorite. Ho Bar. That's not even the best part. There are several Ho Bars all over Hongdae so they named them appropriately to tell the difference. Ho Bar I, Ho Bar II, Ho Bar III, etc.This Ho Bar is on the same street as the Hello Kitty Cafe.
This one is sure to make you giggle. Welcome to 'FuckFake'. Located right underneath the restaurant 'Cats Living.' I'm not 100 percent sure on this, but we were told that Cats Living was a restaurant that had real living cats there roaming around that you could chill with and pet. Cute idea or really bad health hazard? Both maybe?
|Cats Living on top of FuckFake|
|Street food vendor|
As the sun set and night time approached it seemed as though the streets were getting even more crowded. Hongdae is kind of known as a party town so I assume the influx of people had something to do with the night time club scene warming up.
After walking around for hours, we were in a snacking mood. We were told by our friends that we had to try a special pastry while in town and this seemed like the perfect time to grab it. One way to know that the food is decent at a street vendor is that you have to wait in a long line to get to it. The vendor that they took us to had an especially long line. It's nice that you can get good snacks on the go for a handful of change, something like this would have cost much more.
|This is the vendor|
The pastry was very delicious! It kind of reminded me of a BeaverTail. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It was sugar and cinnamon coated and had little nuts and sesame-like seeds on the inside. It also had a sweet syrup in the middle. Definitely worth waiting in line for! I wish I knew the name of this amazing morsel of snackage so I could Google the recipe!
You can see in this picture all the tiny shops on each side of the street with cars trying to squish through the night hoards. I'm not sure what time the shops close at in this country, we left the city around 10pm and it was still just as busy, if not busier than when we arrived.
Walking around in circles sure drains the energy out of you! I was glad to get home and crawl under the warm covers after my Hongdae adventure.