Starfield Coex Mall and Hongdae (Seoul Day 2 Part 3 12th August 2018)

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Welcome back to my blog everyone. Time for part 3 of Day 2 of my Seoul trip, on the 12th of August 2018. This is the part where I visited Starfield Coex Mall, where the SM Town @ Coex Atrium is located, as well as visited Hongdae. Sorry but I do not have much images of Hongdae, so please excuse the lack of pictures. On to the day’s activities

Day 2 Itinerary

Seoul Olympic Park– Gangnam (Shake Shack) – Apgujeong Rodeo (K Star Road) – Coex Mall – Hongdae

So, after visiting K Star Road at Apgujeong Rodeo, I took the metro from Apgujeong Rodeo Station to Samseong Station, to go to Starfield Coex Mall, which is the largest underground shopping mall in Asia. Over there is also where SM Entertainment has this place called SM Town @ Coex Atrium, which is basically like a SM Town experience.

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coexatrium SM Town

How the place is arranged is as follows:

  • 1st Floor: Welcome Zone, where there is just a screen playing SM Artiste’s Music Videos
  • 2nd Floor: SM Merchandise Store, where you can purchase albums and merchandise of SM Artistes like EXO, SNSD, Super Junior, Red Velvet, NCT, and more
  • 3rd Floor: SM Town Museum, where you can walk through and see the history of SM Entertainment, and interact with various exhibits. Do note that there is an entrance fee of 18,000 Won (SGD 22)
  • 4th Floor: SM Town Market and Cafe, which sells various types of food as well as SM Themed snacks
  • 5th Floor: SMTown Theatre, where you can watch various SM Artiste concerts in Surround Viewing, as well as some SM Theatre Production featuring SM Artistes

If you don’t want to pay any money, here is what you can do here which is absolutely free, no cost involved.

Admire Awards that SM Artistes have won at various award shows and music programs outside the SM Town Market and Cafe, like Red Velvet’s Best Female Group Award at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards.

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Red Velvet 1st place at KBS Music Bank for 빨간맏 (Red Flavor)

Take Pictures with posters of SM Town Artistes on the 5th Floor (There are many to choose from). You can also buy any of these posters to take home.

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A Poster of Seulgi from Red Velvet
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A Poster of EXO
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A Cardboard cutout of Seulgi

See the hand prints of SM Artistes on the 5th floor

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Seulgi’s Hand

And get your match to see whether you and your favorite SM Artiste are compatible (Same place as the Handprint Area)

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Me and Seulgi (I have a 98 Percent with Taeyeon haha)

Ya, at this point its quite obvious I am a huge fan of Seulgi haha.

Anyways, on to the Mall. The main attraction is probably the giant library inside Starfield Coex Mall, which is totally worth checking out cause it looks amazing

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The library

I really found this amazing, cause I spend a lot of time in libraries back when I was a student (Jurong Regional Library and NTU Lee Wee Nam Library), but have never seen a library that is right smack in the middle of a shopping mall. It was a Sunday, so the place was really crowded, and there were people from all walks of life, from students mugging away on their laptops to senior citizens reading the papers. I do not know if you could borrow books but there were books all available for people’s perusal as well. I think that the library itself is really amazing, so do take the time to come down and check out this library in a shopping mall once. Although I would never ever study there, cause it was soooooo noisy.

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In terms of shopping, there were many stores in Starfield Coex Mall, from the usual stores like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, to fashion stores like Aland, 8 Seconds. There are really a lot of stores here so you can spend your time slowly walking through the mall to find shops that you like. There is also a Gundam Base at Basement 1, and while it is not as big as the one in I’Park Mall in Yongsan, it is still well stocked with models from all the various Gundam Series.

Anyways, we were feeling really tired, so after walking around for an hour in the mall, we decided to head back to our hotel to wash up and take a nap, before heading out to the streets of Hongdae to see the local nightlife as well as have dinner.

For dinner we tried to find something cheap to eat, but after walking around for an hour we gave up and decided to have Samgyeopsal, which is Pork Belly, at this Korean Barbecue Restaurant that we walked past. One thing here is that at these restaurants they usually ask you to order at least 2 servings on the first order, so we ordered 2 servings of Samgyeopsal, as well as steamed egg.

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The Meat and Steamed Egg
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The 삼겹살(Samgyeopsal) being cooked
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The Banchan (Korean Side Dishes)

The samgyeopsal was of good quality and tasted good, although not as good as the place that we tried out the next day. Then again, this was just some random place that we stumbled upon, so I would say this is of good quality. If you are like really hungry and just want something good to eat, you can not go wrong with Samgyeopsal. It is still my favorite type of barbecue to eat, although I have yet to try Korean Beef or Jeju Black Pork (One Day One Day). Although not pictured, the steamed egg was of normal quality, which is hard to go wrong too (I tried to make it at home myself too).

Another thing that I tried at the restaurant was Apple Flavored Soju. One of my friends told me that I had to try flavored Soju, so since it was available I decided to give it a try. The restaurant was selling it for 4,000 Won (SGD 4.90), but you can get this at a convenience store for 1,500 Won (SGD 1.90). If you like the burn of Soju but cant take the taste of clear Soju, then you should probably try flavoured Soju. When you first drink it, you can taste the apple, before the burn comes in. I really enjoyed the taste of this Apple Flavored Soju, even though I still prefer the grape flavored one.

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Apple Flavored Soju

Hongdae is buzzing with people at night, with many things to see. One thing that most people know are busking performances by students along the strip near to the station. Here is where students will put up performances, from acoustic performances to dance covers of popular Korean pop music.

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A Lady performing on the streets of Hongdae

Another thing that you can consider during is going to a karaoke, known as a 노래방 (Noraebang). Hongdae is littered with Noraebangs, so if you and friends want to have a good time and sing your heart out, then you can go to a noraebang

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One of the many noraebangs in Hongdae

Other than that, there are many shops selling all types of stuffs along the streets, as well as pubs and clubs for those into the partying lifestyle. While Myeongdong is more about shopping, I would say Hongdae is all about nightlife, with a lot more pubs and clubs. But Hongdae is indeed a lively place, and more for Young Adults, so if you are debating where to stay, you can take this in mind.

There comes the end of day 2. For Day 3, we head to Seongsu where we go to 2 different cafes in the area, go to Common Grounds, eat at the famous Yukjeon Sikdang, go to Gwangjang Traditional Food Market, and Dongdaemun, Thanks for reading, and till the next one!!

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