Seoul 2019 Day 9 – Yeouido park, Noryanjin Market and Myeongdong

Everyone was mostly awoke by 9ish. The room warmed up pretty much and was even a little too warm that we had to open the door to let some cool air in. We took some bread for breakfast, something that was bought from Lotte Mart the night before. K got ready with the usual routine and soon we were all ready to leave by 10am. Then we realized my sister’s family had only just woken up! Should have informed them we were visiting the Yeouido park in the morning and that we didn’t plan shopping to take the entire day.

Went to their unit for a while before leaving to Lotte Mart to explore a bit while waiting for our our nephew, as he wanted to tag along with us to go to the park first. At Lotte Mart, other than the mega supermarket that we went to on the 2nd floor the previous night, there was also a 3rd floor that had some shops like Muji and Uniqlo and also a toybox by Toys R Us. Didn’t manage to spend a lot of time there as soon enough, our nephew was ready to leave.

Muji on the 3rd level
Toybox by Toys R Us
Lotte Outlet mall just next door

We met them on ground level and walked towards the subway for the train to Noryangjin Market followed by a transfer. We spent quite a bit of time trying to top up our subway cards, first not having enough small notes to top up and later the machines were unable to take 50k notes for top up for anything less than 40k (as we wanted to just top up 10k first). Then it was to the train tracks after clearing the initial confusion of which direction was the right direction.

The ride was pretty quick with 3 stops on the line 1 followed by a transfer and 2 stops to Yeouido. We weren’t sure if the express train actually stopped at Yeouido and skipped that to take the all stops train.

It was a 5mins walk to the Yeouido park but that took much longer with the kids in tow and the grandparents checking out the food stalls along the way. The roads were wide and missing the time to cross meant we had to wait for the next red light. I tried to quicken the pace by charging forward.

Across the street was Yeouido Park

There were a few more food stalls as we crossed the junction and we stop to buy some street food to munch on. K took a liking to the chicken on skewers while I tried one bug like stew that tasted a bit like crunchy cereal and not that bad. By the time we arrived at the center of the park where there was a big warplane on display, we had quite a bit to munch on already.

Street hawker
Tried this…crunchy
Yeouido Park
Warplane on display

There was mini scooter rental and bicycle stalls and we got one each for K and my nephew XJ, for 3k an hour with my passport as collateral until I returned. Then we proceeded to walk further down the park in the hope to see more consolidated and full cherry blossom trees as those that we had seen so far at the park were sparse and far from my expectation of a nice cherry blossom festival. We spotted a playground and left the kids there to play, and while my parents rested, I took a walk to find out the where the real deal was.

Huge pathway to scoot around
Park amongst tall buildings
Spring time
Park had a small pond

Walking towards Hangang Park, the street became jammed with traffic and hordes of people and of course the view became nicer as the roads were lined with cherry blossom trees. Then just at the location on Naver app that indicated cherry blossom broadwalk that I realized that the main location was here, at least another 15mins of walking from the park. Took a few pictures and headed back to the park to show my parents if they were interested but they declined to walk that far, which I thought so as well. We might have other opportunities elsewhere as we had learnt from our earlier exploration.

Hangang Park was location where the real party was

We met my sis at the park when they finally arrived and together we took the train back to Noryangjin Market, to visit the seafood market and to have lunch.

Was easy getting to the market following the direction signs

Once entered the huge building, the entire ground floor was filled with stalls selling similar stuff. They had huge lobsters and crabs and fishes and K were actually frightened by them. At one stall the staff took out the crab to show and weigh to us and quoted 300k for the entire king crab under 4kg, which we didn’t think was affordable. Huge lobster was 120k.

Crowded with visitors with so many seafood stalls

We moved on to another stall and bought the seafood there, 9 abalones for 20k, half a kilo of hum, 8 prawns for 10k and a fish of 20k totaling to 62k. The stall had a recommended seafood restaurant on the 2nd level and so we just followed the staff that brought us there.

The stall that we visited
Restaurant that we went to

We were given a room as we were a big group and made our orders on how to prepare the food. We had abalones made into porridge, grilled the fish and prawn, steam the hum and ordered an additional fish soup.

The food came and to my disappointment, it wasn’t as tasty as I thought it would be. Comparing to the experience I had in Tongyeong market, the food here tasted bland. Adding salt to injury, the food in totality wasn’t cheap at all. We had to pay an additional 94k at the restaurant which meant it costed us almost 160k for a family of 7adults and 3 kids with mediocre food and ended up being not too full. The service wasn’t fantastic too, a lot of times I saw the lady staff showing signs of impatience. I thought this would be my last time in this market.

Hum – very plain
Prawns, looked small

Our next activity after our late lunch that ended at 4 was to visit the Myeongdong shopping street. Sister went to Dongdaemun instead for their shopping and our parents followed us. Once arrived, we entered the busy streets and into a Savoy hotel 2nd floor where there was a Beans bins coffee. Parents wanted to rest and K had fallen asleep on my shoulder so we parked ourselves into that large cafe for some coffee and ice cream waffle while mommy went out on her own.

Beansbins coffee

I brought K around the area as well and we were both enticed into a toy shop. The store owner that introduced some Korea toys that got both our attentions! The toys were so action packed (literally) that I was wowed! Didn’t buy at first instance as these didn’t come cheap and after returning to cafe to reconsider and waited for mommy, we went back to the store to get the dual beast cars for K for 28k. He left a happy boy.

We proceeded to walk the street with mommy and my dad popping into some of the facial products stores to get stuff. Then we headed into the huge MCM Space store to check out the bags there as it was supposedly cheaper to get the MCM from Korea. The staff that was tagged to us was extremely helpful and even made our visit like a tour inside a museum. He gave us time to take photos with the huge bear and helped us with a family photo with the MCM products, my first time experiencing such moments in a luxury store. After being introduced to some the haversacks in the range of slightly more than 1k, we left the store empty handed to visit the street stalls for dinner.

MCM Space store
Rocket display inside the store
Photograph corner

There were a line of street food stalls crowded with people buying from them and also many passerby’s. We got some food along the way, getting egg omelette cabbage for 6k, sweet and sour chicken for 3k, cheese and butter scallops for 10k, dumplings which K loved, 6 small rolls of kimbap for 5k, chicken on skewers. We would buy, eat near the stalls and then left the rubbish to the stall owners who would help dispose them.

Cabbage+egg store
End product
Kimbap store
Grilled scallop store
Sweet and sour chicken store
End product
Mandu store
Still crowded by the time we left

After the dinner, we then returned to the hotel via the train. It felt like a long day after we when we finally arrived. Even so, K still had energy to play with his new toy for a bit before taking a bath and proceeding to bed. After he fell asleep we purchased our Lotte World tickets before we got into bed too.