ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 3. Hongdae

Welcome back to my One-day KPOP Itinerary Around Seoul blog series. Sorry it took me 2 weeks to update. If you haven’t seen my other posts about this series, in this series I be sharing how to get from one KPOP spots to another around Seoul. You could visit all these places within a day.

Here are the links of the first two places I have shared:

ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 1. World Cup Stadium

ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 2. YG Building

After YG building, let’s now have a side trip to Hongdae. Hongik University Station is just one subway station from Hapjeong Station (where YG Building is near).  Hongdae is  the abbreviation of Hongik University.

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It is not really advisable to visit Hongdae in the morning. Shops won’t open until 10 or 11 am and as the symbol of Korea’s youth, most of the things really happen at night in Hongdae but we visited the place for cute reason – Hello Kitty Cafe.

My bestfriend and I decided to have a quick break at Hello Kitty Cafe before continuing our KPOP itinerary.

Tip# 4: There are actually Tourist Information Centers in most tourist spots in Seoul. Its pretty hard to find people who actually speak fluent english in Korea so Tourist Information Centers are must-find. They have attendants who could help you find the places you want to go. They have complete maps and they will be happy to sketch where you are and how to get to place you want to go. When we visited Hongdae, we went to the Tourist Information Center to ask where is the Hello Kitty Cafe.

There is a Tourist Information Center near the Hongik University subway station Exit 5.

When we went to Hongdae, we really had no idea where to find the Hello Kitty Cafe so it was really helpful. We also asked where the first shop of Coffee Prince was but since its on the opposite side of Hongdae we just went to Hello Kitty Cafe.

Walking to where Hello Kitty Cafe, you can see shops, various themed-cafes, and graffiti walls. We were past 10 am and most of the shops are yet to open but you can already feel how cool the place when night time comes.

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This cool “rookie” is just in front of Hello Kitty Cafe.

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Graffiti in Hongdae are not crime but a form of art.

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When we went in Korea, NMDs are on trend in the Philippines. We compared prices and thousand of pesos cheaper in Korea than in the Philippines plus shops looks cooler. Hahaha.

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So now for Hello Kitty Cafe…

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This is what Hello Kitty Cafe looks like from the outside.

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I’m not really a big fan of pink and Hello Kitty but I must admit everything is so cute.

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Drinks and cakes are a little expensive compared to normal cafes but hey its all Hello Kitty.

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Even comfort rooms are Hello Kitty. There is also a shop where you can buy authentic Hello Kitty merchs.

As I mentioned above, there are a lot of things to do in Hongdae especially at night. So if you still have time or you are scheduled to visit Hongdae at night here are some other KPOP things I recommend you to do:

  • Visit Hongdae Playground – this is where MOBB (Mino from Winner and Bobby from iKON) did their surprise busking in Hongdae.  You can check out MOBB’s performance below here. (Just to share, they did their surprise performance on the night of our flight back to Manila. Its just sad that we were on that place a day or two before that. )

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(Photo credit to trazy.com)

  • Bar hopping – aside from cafes there are a lot of bars and party place in Hongdae. Some are even owned and operated by YG entertainment (since YG is just near Hongde). You can check out NB (Noise Basement) or if you’re craving for some korean BBQ head over Samgeori Butcher where YG family usually hangs out or have after party after concerts.
  • Look for you fave korean idols – they are in every shop in Seoul and even in Hongdae! Hahaha.IMG_2013
  • Meat-ing in Hongdae – not Kpop-related but you can also visit Meat-ing restaurant in Hongdae. Its a buffet unli meat style restaurant. Its cheaper than most restaurant. They serve lunch and dinner buffet for 12,500 won per person (almost 600 pesos).

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I really wish I could visit Hongdae again and watch street performances, eat korean BBQ and have some beer!

Next on my blog is my experience at Big Bang10 the Exhibition A to Z. This is my personal favorite and I hope I could update soon!

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ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 2. YG Building

Welcome to my second post from my ‘ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL’ series. ICYMI, my first post was about Seoul World Cup Stadium which the venue of the annual Dream Concert in Korea. Below is the link to my first post.

ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 1. World Cup Stadium

Before I go on with the details of my the next stop here is my Tip #2 and #3 when going around Seoul.

Tip #2 – If you could not read Hangul (the Korean alphabet) and you don’t want to stress yourself explaining in Korean to taxi drivers where you want to go , use the train! For me, using the subway train is the most effective way to go around South Korea especially if your Korean is very limited like mine. Subway stations in Korea have signs in Chinese, Hangul and Romanized Korean. Unlike the subway stations, most bus stops’ name are in Hangul. While you can search online what bus number you have to take to go where you want to go, the signs (like what’s the next stop is) inside the buses are also in Hangul. Unless you know where exactly to stop or you can read Hangul, riding buses in Korea can be very  stressful for a foreigner. But in case of emergency, have your hotel/ guesthouse’s  (or any place you want to go)address printed on a paper with the romanized and hangul version so that if you need to take the taxi, you’ll just have to show it to the taxi driver.

My bestfriend and I just used the subway trains for this one-day kpop itinerary.

Tip# 3 – Download ‘Subway Korea’. Its a very useful app that could help you navigate through South Korea’s subway sytem. There are also printed maps of the subway systems at different stations. Make sure you have them in case something will happen to your phone.

From this post onward, I will be posting the screenshots from the Subway Korea app starting point and end point of the itinerary so that you’ll have an idea how far it is.

So now for the next stop..

YG Building –  It is located in 397-5 Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu in Seoul. Hapjeong Station is just 3 stations away from World Cup Stadium Station.

  • Why visit? – If you’re a true KPOP fan, I don’t even need to explain why especially if you are a YG stan.
  • How to get to? – From Hapjeong Station Line 6 take exit 8. Unlike Seoul World Cup Stadium which is just right outside World Cup Station, you have to walk to 2-3 blocks away from the station to reach YG Building. There are so many blogs posts available online on how to get to YG building from the Hapjeong Station so i’ll skip that part but here is one which I think I read and used as reference before we went to Seoul –  How to go to YG Entertainment

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Since YG Building is just near Hapjeong Station, most of the advertisements at the station are for YG artists. We visited last September 2016 so birthday ads for September YG babies Bobby and Jinwoo were up during those time.

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So here’s what the soon-to-be old YG building looks like. It is soon-to-be-old because YG is currently putting up a new building just beside this for its new office which is expected to be finished in early 2019.

 

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Beside the YG building was the old building used in Winner’s Half-Moon Friends which now taken down to give way for the new office. The kids will never see Half-Moon Friends school anyomore. 😦

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I am happy that I was able to take a picture with it before it was taken down.

In front of YG building is small empty space with a wall full of vandals from fans. You can see the love of the fans through this.

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There is a GS25 convenience store near YG building so if you want to dedicate your whole day waiting for your fave YG artists, you can stay there. There were few fans ‘waiting’ at GS25 when we went there even if it just I think 9 in the morning.

The new YG building will look like this.

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Note: You’re not allowed to enter YG building unless you have official business with YG. This is the nearest that I can be to the entrance of YG. So near yet so far!

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So next stop is Hongdae and it will be up next week! But here’s a sneak peak of what to see in Hongdae.

For now, you can tweet me @RoxyUnnie if you have any question.

 

 

 

 

ONE-DAY KPOP ITINERARY AROUND SEOUL – 1. World Cup Stadium

Going to South Korea could be very stressful and overwhelming especially if its your first time. As a first-timer, you would want to go to every place you could possibly visit. If you search online there are tons of places you could go to and trust me 5-6 days is not enough for you to see all of the nice places in South Korea. But if you’re kpop fangirl like me, I bet you won’t mind spending a whole entire day going to entertainment companies, going to kpop exhibits, watching kpop “concert” and shopping for kpop goodies.

I will be sharing you details on ‘how to go to’ kpop related places in Seoul which I and my bestfriend visited last September 2016 but I will also be sharing tips on how you could personalize your own itinerary.

Tip # 1 – Most of the places I would share are located in Gangnam except YG Building in Hapjeong (one station away from Hongdae station), Klive Hologram Concert in Dongdaemun and YG Republique in Myeongdong.  So we put these places either first or last especially if you’re staying in Myeondong or Hongdae because you will basically need to stay in Gangnam. It takes 15 minutes thru train to get to Gangnam from Myeongdong and and 30 minutes if you’re from Hongdae.  

The place where we stayed is ‘near’ Hongdae so if you’re staying in Hongdae this itinerary would be ‘fit’ for you.

SEOUL WORLD CUP STADIUM – This could be optional for you because we passed by this basically because the train we are riding will pass by the World Cup Stadium Station which is obviously a station leading you to Seoul World Cup Station. Once you get out of the station, you’ll see the stadium right away so why not. It is also surrounded by parks so if there are no events, its a nice place to visit to relax. This is our first stop so we arrived here very early. There is convenience store near the Stadium so we bought food there and seated in one of the benches at the park to have breakfast.

  • Why visit? – this is the venue of the annual Dream Concert, Big Bang’s 10th year Anniversary Concert, G-Dragon’s  Act III, M.O.T.T.E World Tour and SM Town Live World Tour VI. Even if you’ll not attending the said shows seeing the venue would give you the ‘feels’.
  • How to get to? – Exit no. 1 of World Cup Stadium Station in Subway Line no. 6. Just like what I’ve mentioned, you can see the stadium right away when you exit the station.

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Link to Seoul World Cup Stadium’s website is HERE.

The next stop would be YG BUILDING in Hapjeong. Hapjeong Station is just 3 stations away from Seoul World Cup Station. Details on how to get there is HERE.

For now, you can tweet me @RoxyUnnie if you have any question.