Seoul Coffee Shops

November 30, 2015

I still can't believe it's December 1st tomorrow. The holidays is going to creep up really fast so I started my Christmas shopping this weekend. I tried to buy as much as I can because I will be very busy at work before the holidays. No time to shop so I have to get myself very organized. I have a big family so Christmas is always hectic for us. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

I'm still trying to finish up my posts from Seoul before I jump on to my Italian adventures...

Cafe's and coffee shops is huge in Seoul. It is literally everywhere. Every street has one or two at least. I don't personally drink coffee but it was nice to go inside cafe's because each one is unique. My friend Jess took us to this cafe in Insadong. I loved the ambiance of this coffee shop. It felt so cozy. 

I ordered tea and Jess ordered us snacks. I have no idea what they are called but they were really good. I understand why people in Seoul are caffeinated. They work really hard in South Korea and a lot of workers work long hours so I guess they need to fuel up with caffeine. Most of the coffee shops that I saw were packed with business people all the time.

Cheonggyecheon river

November 24, 2015

The Cheonggyecheon river is a modern recreation space that spans about 10km in the heart of Seoul. It took 2 year to build this project and lots of $$$. 

While walking around one afternoon, I noticed installations scattered around the river. I remembered that the lantern festival was scheduled to begin that weekend but I didn't know when the start of it was. I thought we were going to miss it. More on that later... 

While walking around, we saw a lot more installations and also art works dotted along the Cheonggyecheon. I think it's a great idea to use this urban renewal project for art not just for tourists but for local residents. I wish we can do the same for our Gardiner

I enjoyed walking along the river. It's very peaceful and you can get your exercise too!

What I Ate: Korean BBQ

November 20, 2015

I couldn't leave Seoul without having Korean BBQ. We met up with my friend Jess (she lives in Seoul and who I haven't seen for over 2 years) in Insadong for dinner. She took us to Arirang Garden for dinner. 

We chose to the sit in the traditional section of the restaurant because it's not everyday that you can sit on the floor while having dinner. We wanted the experience. It was pretty comfortable because the restaurant provided cushions. 

The food was absolutely delicious as expected. I just love grilling meat!And I love how the servers practically cook everything for you.

Happy Friday! and have a wonderful weekend! 

Bukchon Hanok Village

November 18, 2015

Bukchon Hanok village is neighbourhood in Seoul that dates back to the 14th century. It is filled with traditional homes in narrow streets. The traditional homes have been restored and some of the homes has been turned into guesthouses, cultural centre's, tea house's, and restaurants catering to tourists. It's a very popular attraction for tourists to visit while in Seoul. 

I loved walking around the narrow alleyways and climbing up and down the hill in Hanok village. The traditional homes has a lot of wood incorporated in the architecture. I was wondering who owned some of the houses there. It would be so interesting to live in those homes. 

I wish I could have went inside one of the homes there but I didn't have the time. Instead I admired the wooden gates of the homes. 

The World

November 15, 2015

*painting by Lawren Harris at the Art Gallery of Ontario

I could not sleep last night, I kept thinking about the attack in Paris. I had so many thoughts and emotions going through my head. I was sad. I was afraid. I was anxious. I was thinking about the people who lost their loves one and the people who lost their lives in this gruesome attacks. I could not phantom what they must have gone through. It's disheartening to know that many evil people can just take away lives quickly and easily. 

I was thinking about not just praying for Paris but for the world because we are all affected by violence now. No matter what type of violence; it exists all over the world. How can this be the new reality? When did we become like this? 

There is no easy answers but religion and politics should not be the cause of war and violence. I don't know why we can't all co-exist in peace and respect each other. 

One of the reasons why I travel is because I want to educate myself with our world, cultures, religion, etc. I travel for education. I travel to open my eyes in our differences. And travel has taught me to be tolerant, to be patient, to be respectful, and most of all it has taught me that we are all the same no matter what religion, colour, and race. 

I am praying for the world. 

Sunset at Han River

November 12, 2015

After Namsan Tower, we took a taxi down to Han river. I felt like I was on a Korean drama location hunt. Too many Korean soaps and movies were shot here so I knew I had to see it for myself. It was starting to get dark and we got stuck in traffic! 

I was panicking...ok freaking out a little because I wanted to see it before it's completely dark outside. Luckily, we escaped the traffic just in time to watch the sunset at Han river. It felt surreal being there but I loved it! I was trying to remember the soaps I watched with dramatic scenes here, haha. 

Namsan Tower

November 9, 2015

Every Korean soap opera show that I watched in the past had a scene in Namsan Tower so of course I had to go there and see what the fuss is all about. And the plus side is seeing the panoramic view of the city. Ended up doing a bit of hiking up the hill to get to the cable car. I was struggling going up those darn stairs. Hard work! 

I ended up having lunch at the restaurant in the same building as the cable car. I was so famished after climbing up the hill. Ate more than I should and then took the cable car up to the tower. 

I was greeted by a lot of "love locks". It was insane. I don't really care for love locks, I find it too cheesy and personally too much.  And I have no love for selfie sticks either.

Complaining aside, I concentrated more on the view of Seoul.  I loved looking at the different parts of Seoul from the top. Realizing how big this city is! I wish I had more time to come here at night. I'm sure the view would be even better when you see all the lights in the city.

I hope you have a great Monday!

Some links for you: 
-I have been trying the KonMari method this weekend. I went a little crazy folding my socks by following the method and it really works!

-Carry on packing tips from Ashley. Really great tips! 

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