The next day after Tour Day was the Saturday morning, and Hol and I woke up refreshed, excited and decided (rhyme!) we’d best spend the Lotte KOREA PASS that we’d also been given as part of the trip!
The KOREA PASS is quite a useful little card- aimed for foreigners who don’t want to be carrying around a bunch of cash or getting charged obscene credit cards fees from their foreign cards. It’s a great idea, normally when I travel I get a Travel Money Card from the Commonwealth Bank but unfortunately they don’t have Korean Won on them. With a KOREA PASS you can prepay your money on to it, and then it basically acts as your debit card! Shops and restaurants will accept it, and even more impressive- it works as a transportation card too! Fancy! For me though- what better way to spend it then on another musical??? 😀
Of course my immediate choice was “Crown Prince Rudolf”, a musical by my most absolute favourite musical composer Frank Wildhorn! So I headed on to my trusty go to place for tickets- Interpark Global. This site is incredibly useful, and completely in English. It lets you browse and purchase tickets internationally, and true to the Korean standard- YOU CAN REFUND TICKETS!! This is huge for me, in Australia that is such an unheard of concept so I can only hope it makes it way to Australia soon!
But uh oh… I spoke to soon. Interpark accepts foreign and local cards, and our travel card is counted as a local card, but what the goodness? I can tell you quite honestly that I have never encountered a more difficult system to purchase things online than this one. Apparently you have to install a whole bunch of separate programs and accept all kinds of things?! We were up to about 6 installs on Hol’s macbook when we decided we had absolutely zero idea of what we were doing. That was when Hol had a brilliant idea- why not ask the hotel concierge?
So after we consumed our usual delicious multiple-plate buffet breakfast, we headed around the fancy foyer in search of assistance. Turns out the hotel has it’s very own guest services person and she sat us right down and got the ticket provider on the phone and sorted everything out for us. Thank-you guest services of the Grand Intercontinental Parnas! ❤
So with our third row (!!!) tickets all booked and sorted we decided to head out on our own into the great wide world of Seoul! There was one place I knew we had to visit on our trip- my usual Seoulhome of Hongdae. But first I thought we might as well drop into the shopping world of Dongdaemun Doota! So off we went!
Hol hadn’t yet purchased a travel card, so when we got to the subway station I located the machines. They have a bunch of different types- refill ones and purchase ones and whatever else you’d need really! Hol decided to purchase a travel card- which only cost a couple of won. And we topped it up with about $10 worth of travel money (trips are generally around 1-3 won in my experience). The card came out of the machine in it’s own little box- super super cute!
The subway ride from around Gangnam to Dongdaemun is about 45mins, but it goes over the bridge which I love! There are many bridges in Seoul that cross over, and they all afford you with the most beautiful view across the Han River and to the different areas. Doota is one of the many shopping malls in the district of Dongdaemun- and it really is a hive of possibilities! There are malls and markets and everything all in one place! However, I was soon met with a bit of disappointment. The Doota that I had know- with it’s endless circular floors of chaotic and wonderful shopping had gone 😦 In it’s place was a more ordered mall which, although was still good, it just wasn’t AS good as I remembered. A shame, but we both made purchases and got some smoothies so all was not lost! And now… it was Hongdae time!
Back on the subway, but a really quick trip this time. Arriving at Hongdae Station (which is actually called Hongik University) we head out to Exit 8, which is THE exit in my opinion! It is my normal FunFunStay exit, and I’ve become rather attached. I also think it exits at a good spot- near enough to mainstreet but also allows you to walk through all the food area. Holly was also after a new belly button ring and I knew I remembered a piercing place around the area.
Hongdae is incredible, I love it so much- just walking up and down the streets with it’s endless little shops and it’s delicious snacks and checking out all the street fashion. Holly’s most exciting moment came from the actual real-life in-person physical Paula’s Choice store! Honestly if you don’t know the skin care you have no idea what you’re missing out on- Paula’s is number one. Unlike so many other brands she doesn’t use any fragrances or alcohol (which your skin will LOVE) but most importantly- IT REALLY REALLY WORKS. My skin care routine is entirely Paula’s, and I always recommend her. I’ve converted quite a few followers already!
We spent a fun hour or so wandering in and out of shops (filling out Kat’s wardrobe and trying to not let Holly osmosis into one of the endless beauty shops) and then headed in for a little green tea patbingsu- YUMMMMMMM ❤
But after our little spot of shopping and consuming all of our bingsu it was time to meet up again with Adela, who was happily going to accompany us to… are you ready for this?
MBC MUSIC CORE.