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Showing posts from April, 2018

THEFACESHOP Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil

Dinner and eating culture in Korea

Having a dinner with locals in Korea is an experience where sharing is caring. It differs from Nordic one in a way that there are not always separate individual meals for everyone. A lot of times when I've had dinner with locals they have brought a big pot and plenty of plates full of food and everybody can take the amount they wish from them. Sometimes a hot plate is brought and the food is cooked on the table. There are lot of restaurants where you can grill your own food (Korean barbecue).  Also, if you go to a restaurant with your Korean friends, it's typical to order few dishes or one big dish which everybody shares together. Usually you can get small side dishes like garlic, kimchi, pickles etc. unlimited amount.
sundubu + banchan As a Finn, I'm used to have my own individual meal or cake in a cafe and also pay everything by myself. In Korea if you are with an older eonni 언니/nuna 누나or oppa 오빠/hyeong형 (an older female or a male) they often pay the food or coffee. I hav…

The best places to visit in Seoul — Insadong

Insa-dong is a neighborhood in Seoul where you can find some traditional tea houses, handicraft stalls, restaurants, porcelain stores and other cool stuff. It is known because it is both traditional and modern area the same time. An interesting fact is that many shop names are only written in Korean. I've been there couple of times but it always offers something new to see. 반짝반짝빛나는 I visited a traditional dessert tea house Banjak Banjak Pitnaneun which has really good tea sorbets and other desserts. They have also a room to sit down on a floor the traditional way. The mango dessert was super good, I recommend to try it! We met a craft master Shin Hyun Choul whose Kwangju Royal family ceramics have been exhibitioned all around the world (also in Finland!). He offered us traditional Korean green tea from his teapots and told about his products. It was very authentic and unforgettable moment drinking the hot tea while hearing some beautiful music! I enjoyed probably more than six sm…

The Most Beautiful and Romantic Cafe in Seoul

I've paid a visit to many cafes in Seoul but there is always one over others: Colline.The reason is simple: It is beautiful and I don't know if there is more romantic place to go for a date. Flowers, soft colors, ambient music, atmospheric lights, high quality coffee and pastries. The interior decoration is detailed and rustic which reminds of the old times — there is a bit of romantic cottage country decor. The first impression of the cafe is stunning. All the lights and their warmth make you want to visit the place when the chilly night is setting in. It looks like a cafe for a perfect coffee moment with someone you like or maybe I am just a romantic girl.
The menu includes many kind of drinks to choose for your perfect evening. This time I tried the Earl Grey Milk Tea. For a pastry I chose a vanilla pastry/bun which name I already forgot! They both were really tasty. Somehow the Earl Grey Milk Tea reminded me slightly of salmiakki (a weird finnish candy)or maybe I just sec…

Bukchon Hanok Village 북촌한옥마을

Bukchon Hanok Village is an area with traditional houses from the Joseon Dynasty time. A lot of people still live in these beautiful wooden houses. Visiting the area is a good opportunity for a tourist to see some traditional side of South Korea. The area itself is usually pretty crowded and many people rent a hanbok = a traditional Korean dress and go to take pictures in Hanok Village. I recommend go there in the weekdays and not during the holiday season. Hanbok rental When you climb up a bit you can see beautiful mountain views. When I visit this area I go in the afternoon before the sun is setting down. After taking enough pictures, enjoying the atmosphere and wandering around, I walk the side of the mountain view back to the shopping street. On this street you can also find a few rooftop cafes! In the Hanok Village you can find some traditional cafes and tea houses. They have simple and charming entrances and you can usually see the menu beforehand. Don't hesitate to go in, I…

A Hidden Gem in Seoul (Part 2)

I passed a colorful door and small stairs multiple times. Every time I passed it, I asked myself "What is inside there?" It was calling me to come to visit with all the lights and music. So finally yesterday, I decided to go and see this magical and intriguing place. "Cocktails, healthy juice, sandwiches, coffee..."

It's called Café Bella's Homestay. It is a cozy small cafe which has an unique style: string lights, hula leis hanging from the ceiling, Hawaii posters, a bit old fashioned music, plants, books and bottles. There are only a few seats, wooden tables and a lot of details. Such an eye candy (especially for a person who loves details).

In the menu you can find a lot of different alcohol drinks which are prettily decorated. There are also plenty of coffee drinks and some home made cakes like chocolate or cheesecake. The place is a bit pricey if you wanna have an alcohol drink but for coffee it is moderate. Based on my experience, an unique cafe experi…

Cherry blossom festival in Yeouido

The spring has finally arrived and I decided to pay a visit to Yeouido park. I went there both day and night time to see the cherry blossoms at their best. The place was really crowded and there were street food, cherry blossom accessories and music performances. I think this festival is one of the highlights in the spring in Korea. There were also other flowers and beautiful spots to take pictures. I really love spring because it is the time of the year when summer is almost here and everything is blossoming from flowers to people. I feel lot of people become happier and I find also myself having more motivation and energy for many things.
What are the best things in spring? Sunlight — It just makes everything beautiful and gives me energy!Flowers — they are one of the most beautiful things in the world.New ideas —I feel I always get inspiration and motivation this time of the year.Spring fashion — There are lot of beautiful and colorful clothes in the shops.Animals — Especially in F…

Simple Korean for a tourist

Like I mentioned before I study Korean language while travelling. Most of the young people know and understand English in Korea but many of the older generation don't. Still many people are afraid to speak English aloud (even tho their English would be great!). So for a tourist it's useful to know some simple Korean.

Let me introduce you some practical and useful phrases what you can use to get better service, to surprise your Korean friends or just for fun! Here you can find the English phrase, romanization and the Korean alphabet (hangul) + short explanation if needed. The phrases in my blog are always double-checked by native Korean. There is a brief guideline about pronunciation at the end of the post!


Basic
Hello Annyeonghaseyo 안녕하세요Thank you Kamsahamnida 감사합니다Yes Ne 네No Aniyo 아니요What is your name? Ireumi mwo yeyo? 이름이 뭐에요?My name is (...) (Belinda) rago haeyo ...라고 해요Nice to meet you! Pangabseumnida 반갑습니다! Places

Where is (...) (...) eodiyeyo? 어디에요?a subway station jihacheol…

A hidden gem in Seoul: Cafe Aalto by Meal

Sometimes the best places are not found by searching. Perhaps because I am from Finland I somehow try to find things to related to my own home country. In addition to Kukka, I have another Finnish cafe to introduce: Cafe Aalto by Meal!
The address 서울특별시 용산구 한강로동 170-3 170-3 Hangangro-Dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul As most of the Finnish people know, Alvar Aalto is a famous Finnish designer and architect. For foreigners he is probably not that familiar. Still in Korea, Finnish brands like Aalto, Marimekko and Marja Kurki are more known than I thought! The most known Aalto product is probably The Aalto Vase which was designed by Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto. I was so surprised to a find a whole cafe dedicated for Aalto so I couldn't hold my horses to pay a visit there! The Aalto Vase
The cafe has definitely Finnish architecture and design: simple, clean and materials are wooden, colors white and a bit of light blue. There are Artek stools and tables. From the menu I found the Finni…

LINE Friends store in Sinsa

Today I visited already familiar LINE Friends store at Garosu-gil, Sinsa 가로수길, 신사 The address: 535-15 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
LINE Friends is from Korea and became quickly famous after 2011. Now it has spread all over Asia and you can see the characters for example in Hong Kong or Taipei. No wonder because they are super cute and as we all know, cute things rock in Asia! They also had a nice cafe where you can buy coffee, ice cream and other sweets! Such a lovely place to grab a cup of coffee with friends, relax or just to visit to take pictures.
They sell all kinds of LINE products like cups, soft toys, post cards and figures. When I was a child I would have definitely fallen in love and never let my parents take me away from there. Even now it was hard to leave because it was so colorful and cheerful place! Somehow I like in Korea and Asia in general that cute and "childish" things are not only for children. You can be an adult and nobody looks at you w…

Spring & cherry blossom festival week

The spring is here which means that the cherry blossom season starts! Actually, this week there will be a cherry blossom festival in Seoul. Like last year, it will be held in Yeouidofrom 7th of April till 12th of April. I am so excited to see the beautiful flowers, hear music and walk around taking pictures! It is definitely a place which should be visited both day and night time. I will definitely post more about it after visiting.
The address is Yeouiseo-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 영등포구 여의서로 I got already into mood in IFC Mall where the interior was decorated with cherry blossom theme.
I also paid a visit recently to my favorite cafe Kukka(translation from Finnish = a flower)which is a theme cafe inspired by Scandinavian and Finnish flowers. The owner had travelled to Nordic countries and got inspiration from the simple but beautiful flowers. It's one of my favorite cafes because they have a flower bar downstairs, the decoration is mainly flowers and plants and the atmosphe…