This post recaps my tenth day traveling back in Cambodia during this year’s Spring Break. Technically this final day was spent in South Korea.
An eight-hour layover in Seoul? Who would have thought! Having previously participated in the free city tours the airport offers (which are awesome, by the way), I felt drawn to exploring Seoul a little bit in this surprising free time. Instead of doing the tour, though, I felt comfortable enough to try and explore on my own. It was a fruitful adventure, and though perhaps I would have seen more via the tour, I definitely encountered plenty in my exhausted state. First there’s the the train station at Incheon Airport:
If you factor in the free shower I took when I arrived to the airport (a life saver!) and the process of leaving the airport, that left me with only about 6 hours left. Factor in arriving back to the airport with an hour or two to get to my gate and that’s around 4 hours of actual time outside the airport–nothing too crazy, of course. I also had no game plan; but on the train there was free WiFi the entire time, so it made it really easy to figure out I could see a few things in the Hongdae neighborhood, a trendy shopping and bar area equivalent to a university district. It would be late morning, and the resulted in a bunch of emptiness, but it livened up a bit before I left.
Admittedly, a lot of the food looked amazing; but it also looked way too much for one person, and filled with meat.
Thanks to old fashioned blog posts like this one, I was able to find a few places to visit in addition to my strolling. One of those places is the Hello Kitty Cafe, which was almost entirely empty (there were a couple of girls, probably Korean tourists, taking selfies) which made the experience even more surreal.
My Hello Kitty Green Tea Latte.
One of the key qualities of the Hongdae neighborhood: density. There are just an incredible number of businesses all crammed into one place. I imagine if I was to revisit at night it would be completely different and equally overwhelming with the number of bodies walking these streets; but for a quiet morning, it was intense enough!
The second of three destinations? The Natural Cafe, which features live sheep that can be “enjoyed” while one enjoys their beverage. Sadly, I guess, the sheep were being sheered, so there was no way to sit with them. That said, I was still very caffeinated from the Hello Kitty, so I used the lack of sitting opportunity to take a few photos and get out of there.
More walking around–this time in search of a ramen restaurant, that ended up being closed.
Not like I needed more sweet, caffeinating things in my life, but it appeared like that was the name of the game for this neighborhood during the daylight hours. I ended up stopping by, before heading back to the airport, Coco Bruni, a cafe similar to Chocolati or Fran’s here in Seattle. The mocha was astounding and the chocolates were top class. If only they had a branch out here . . .
Following this experience, I ended up taking the hour-long train back to the airport, getting some lunch, and then boarded for the USA, beyond exhausted. The trip was incredible though incredibly short. My only regret is not having been out there longer, this time!
There are approximately 10 days worth of photos. This has been day 9, and the last day in Cambodia. The last post? My eight-hour layover in South Korea.