안녕하세요: Hallyu Star Avenue & Namsangol Hanok Village

00:18:00

To be honest, although I do agree that most Korean celebrities are extremely attractive and some do act or sing real well, I would not call myself a fan of K-pop or even K-drama since I don't recognise most of them, remember names nor go gaga over the latest release or drama. Well, I do wish I could stay up-to-date or to have at least caught Descendants of the Sun by now but I just have this great long list of to-dos that I never seem to have time to clear T.T So naturally I don't belong to the "IN" group that would make it a point to visit Hallyu Star Avenue at Apgujeong. I didn't even know its existence until Doris mentioned that she wants to go take a look and I decided to tag along.



We started the day's adventure at Gangnam Medical Tour Center, located outside Exit #6 of Apgujeong Station on Subway Line 3. Before my visit, I always thought that the place was only meant for tourists seeking cosmetic surgeries, which was not totally wrong since the first floor of the centre is fully occupied by booths and information counters where one can seek professional advice and consultation on the spot. What I didn't know though, was that the second floor has a totally different focus -- the K-Wave Experience Zone.



From the Gangnam Tourist Information Center, we turned left and walked straight all the way until we reach Apgujeong Rodeo Station on Bundang Line. I would not consider it to be a short walk since the weather was freezing, but it was not too far either. We only decided to walk because there wasn't a direct subway route, and the Gangnam trolleybus (see here) that we planned to take just left.



So once you reach Apgujeong Rodeo Station on Bundang Line, take Exit #2 and you will be at the start of the Hallyu Star Avenue 한류스타거리 (or K-Star Road) where you might run into some top idols like Girls' Generation and Super Junior if you are lucky since SM, JYP, CUBE, FNC and BH Entertainment are all located right on this street. Many films, dramas and variety shows are filmed in the vicinity too. But if lady luck ain't shining on you, taking pictures with their representative bears erected to pay homage to the best K-Pop stars is not that bad either. You can get some souvenirs back at the Gangnamdol Haus too!


Which one do you like best?

It was about lunch time by the time we were done and we went on with the day's excursion with a visit to Namsangol Hanok Village 남산골한옥마을. It was an impromptu decision since we did not expect ourselves to have finished the entire tour around Apgujeong so quickly. Of course, it was not before having our meal at a restaurant in Chungmuro, outside the village.


Love the potato pancake 감자전 ❤

The Namsangol Hanok Village was recommended to me by one of my Korean teachers in Sungkyunkwan when the class only thought of Bukchon the moment the text mentioned a hanok village. The attraction is located right outside Exit #3 or #4 of Chungmuro Station on Subway Line 3 and 4, and is a large one that encompasses five restored traditional Korean houses belong to peasants as well as aristocrats, a pavilion, a pond and a time capsule buried in 1994 to commemorate Seoul's 600th Anniversary and scheduled to be reopened 400 years later in 2394 when Seoul turns 1000. Guess none of us here will get to know what's buried within.


You can see N Seoul Tower from here!

While you are there, do catch the traditional marriage ceremony that takes place at Bak Yeong Hyo's Residence. There are also traditional games such as neolttwigi (seesaw jumping), tuho (arrow throwing) and yutnori (traditional board game) on the grounds, as well as workshops teaching you how to make mini-jangseung, mini-sotdae, mokpyeon and straw-craft all for free.



We walked over to Myeongdong for dinner in the evening at the basement of Lotte Department Store, where lots of good food resides! There is also a huge supermarket selling not just Korean food products but also imports from various other countries. There was once I came with my French classmate and she was super excited to see her favourite St Michel Madeleines on sale. My Taiwanese classmate and I bought them to try, along with many others that was recommended to us. They were really good so I dropped by this time to get them again!



Doris, Joan and I then thought of catching a movie in Korea so that our living-in-Korea experience would be a bit more complete. I suggested Little Prince, which was showing then but we later agreed that we should watch one that is exclusive to Korea, one that we will not be able to catch in Singapore ignoring the fact that Korean movies does not have English nor Chinese subtitles so there is a high chance we would not be able to understand a thing. Fortunately, there was something good that was just released and because it was a new movie, the price of a ticket was only ₩5,000. Furthermore, Go Ara happens to be one of the few actresses I'd be able to recognise and best of all, what little I know of Korean did manage to get me by the entire movie. 韩语没有白学 ^.^

The movie experience rocks,
Yvette

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