Back in November 2012, I was lucky to get an opportunity to visit South Korea. I received round trip tickets of Korean Air by winning the Silver prize in a 2012 Kpop cover singing competition in New Delhi, India. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I could make it to Korea, but it all worked out and I visited the number 1 country of my must-visit holiday destination list! On November 15 2012, my flight touched down on Incheon International airport. It’s the best airport I’ve seen. Really huge and perfect.
While my flight was landing, I saw the BigBang Jeju Air planes too. I wanted to scream out like a fangirl but I controlled myself 😛 My dad visited Korea with me too.
Day 1 (November 15,2012):
A concert of traditional Korean music was going on at the airport which was pretty good!
Then I went to a help counter where I asked in Korean if she knows to speak English lol. She said “I know a bit” in Korean. I showed her the address of my hotel and asked if I could find a taxi or bus from here. She, very kindly, offered to take me to the taxi stand outside the airport. I told her in Korean that it’s my first time in Korea. She said, “Oh! First time? Your Korean is pretty good!” Um , not really, but thanks 😛
We went to the taxi stand where she told one ahjussi our hotel address. (It was freezing cold but no snow that time 😦 ).He couldn’t speak English. She told him where we wanted to go and so, after thanking the lady, we drove off.
After reaching Mapo-gu, he asked me where our hotel was (in some really difficult Korean which I barely understood). Then I immediately called Ruby eonnie who helped me by telling him exactly the hotel address. That’s where I learned one thing: learning few sentences in Korean doesn’t help much. Lol
So when I reached the hotel, it was already evening. After resting a bit in the hotel room, I went out to buy stuff from the nearby store. It was fun speaking in my broken Korean to the salesgirl who tried to speak in broken English to me 😀 I bought Cheese bread, Peppero sticks, and Sablé biscuits.
Spend the whole night watching Korean variety shows, music videos, Boys over flowers on the huge LCD room TV. Ahh, great fun! [The first kpop performance I saw on TV was Hyuna’s Ice cream on MCountdown and the first music video was Son Dam Bi’s Tears are falling :P]
My beautiful Korean friend and sister Ruby came to pick me up in her car on the morning of my 2nd day in Seoul. We ate at roadside stalls as well as McDonalds, and did a lot of window shopping! After that we visited Myeongdong – with all the brand shops next to each other, it’s a shopper’s paradise! [But only if you have a lot of money to spend..it’s super expensive! :P]
Saw huge pictures of a lot of my favorite celebrities! And Shoes…..SHOES ARE AMAZING IN KOREA! We also ate Tteokbukki~And there’s EVERYSING in Myeongdong! I visited the place just to gawk over all things SM related. Spent the evening roaming here and there…very tiring but had an amazing time!
We had the company of Ruby eonnie’s friend Rana who drove us around in his car. Big thanks to him for that! We went to a Pakistani hotel where we ate delicious chana masala! And after that we headed off to Dongdaemun market for some shopping. I traveled by a metro for the first time and it was a great experience completely opposite to how trains are in India 😛
After a LOT of walking during the day, we visited the Chonggyecheon stream at 6 -7pm. Luckily, I happened to visit the stream during the Seoul lantern festival 2012 and it’s absolutely brilliant during the night! Must visit!
After looking around the stream, we grabbed a bite at KFC and then hopped onto a Seoul city tour bus and saw the beautiful bridges around Seoul. By the way, Seoul looks amazing at night!
In the morning, Ruby eonnie brought me to a pork restaurant. I tasted pork for the first time and it was nice. Also, ate some rice and obviously, kimchi!
After we were full, we went to Handel and Gretel for coffee, went to a grocery store, a shopping mall (where I saw a doppelganger of Jo Kwon…he was cute!!), then we went to YG Ent!
There was a group of squealing YG stans screaming in delight while the YG watchman shooed them off. Lol. After that, we went to Hongdae where I ate the most delicious Chicken I’ve ever eaten in my life of 20 years. Seriously, the best. If you visit Hongdae, go to 치르치르 치킨!
And after that was the best part…KARAOKE TIME!!
Went to a noraebang with Ruby eonnie and seriously, it was just a crazy time. We sang our hearts out. Ruby eonnie, I LOVED going to the noraebang with you! (I know you’ll read this :P) I went to bed with a huge smile that night.
This was my last day in Korea. I was at the airport since morning. We ate at burger King, spent time at the airport all day. I had to bid a tearful goodbye to Ruby eonnie in the afternoon since she had to drive home and it took 3 hours for that. I’m super duper thankful to Ruby eonnie for helping me out in everything! My trip wouldn’t have been so amazing if you didn’t help me! You’re the best! Can’t wait till you come to India again!
Since my flight was at 8pm, I decided to just roam around the airport alone. It was fun 😛 Saw an airhostess of Korean Air who was a doppelganger of Taeyeon of SNSD . REALLY pretty omg! I also saw people who looked like Onew (SHINee), Kyuhyun (SuJu) and Seohyun (SNSD) at the airport. I didn’t see any kpop celebs during my stay but seeing these beautiful people was just like seeing the real celebs. 😛 And then, just like that, it was time for me to go.
I LOVED YOU SOUTH KOREA. I’m coming back again next time (in summer hopefully!). Just would love to thank the Korean embassy, JooHee Ahn, Katyayini eonnie, Ruby eonnie, Rana Saif sir, and everybody for helping me so much! THANK YOU! 😀
p.s: All photos credit to me 😛