Photo Potpourri: Spring Staycation So Far

Photo Potpourri is a precursor to Recent Realities. Starting in July 2016, all Photo Potpourri posts will be known as Recent Realities.

Photo Potpourri

Here’s another photo dump post, and it’s all about my spring staycation so far. :D I admit, I’m a huge fan of staycations since these give me the opportunity to explore Seoul. Population-wise, Seoul ranks in the top 10 of the largest cities in the world, but it’s not in the top 10 based on urban land area size, but it’s still a huge city to explore. Part of it is because Seoul uses practically every nooks and crannies the city offers to stash away stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and whatnot. I swear, even in my own neighbourhood, new businesses pop up in the most obscure alleyways, and I’m flabbergasted when I discover them. Bottom line, one can explore Seoul hundreds of times, and there’d always be something new to uncover. And that, my friends, is why I’m content with Seoul, and I don’t feel compelled to travel outside of it, unless it’s someplace in Japan, haha! Japan aside, enjoy my staycation photos!

Waiting at Severance Hospital

My vacation started on Thursday, April 16, with me taking care of some medical businesses at Yonsei Severance Hospital. The waiting (and the paying) is the hardest part of all this, so I made sure to bring stuff to keep my occupied. Along with my Kindle Paperwhite, I also brought my letterbook I’m working on. Paired that up with a “Lovely Strawberry Yoghurt Smoothie” from Uptown Cafe (that’s really what they called that smoothie!), I was able to ignore the hospital environment until the noise level in the foodcourt got to me.

Gwangjang Market

Friday, my boss and I went exploring downtown Seoul. Originally, I was going to go to Paju Premium Outlets, but my research led me to see that the outlets would have been super expensive, so I decided to visit Gwangjang Market (광장시장) instead. We had a blast. This is a very traditional market with a huge emphasis on food. Apparently the second floor of the market is known for their linens, sheets, and blankets, but we didn’t bother checking that out. The food vendors alone fascinated us. Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap were the market’s specialty. We walked through the market, and I discovered that Bangsan Market (aka Bakers Alley) was right across the street from it, so we also decided to make a return trip there :) Afterward, we backtracked back to Gwangjang Market and took a cab to . . .

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market (남대문시장). Now, this is a place I’ve been to many times, but my boss hadn’t really gotten the chance to really explore it. We came here and got more food, and my boss bought a bunch of earrings and cheap grocery food. She was amazed that this one store was selling three pineapples for 5,000 KRW ($4.50 USD). After, we took a cab back to base to go have a spa day, upon my suggestion :D

Spa Day Manicure

We went to Dragon Hill Lodge salon, Clippers, and I decided to try their “special manicure”, which is their regular manicure plus special cleansing treatment and a paraffin wax treatment. That was my first time trying the paraffin treatment. My verdict? HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I’ve got crap heat tolerance, so my hands didn’t enjoy being dipped into the paraffin four times! Otherwise, it was a good spa day, and I like the pink OPI polish I chose! :D

Hyehwa Area

Saturday found me at Hyehwa Station area, also known as Daehakro. I met up with Piokun and his friend. I caught up with him since he and I hadn’t met since November.

Tonkatsu Set at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai

We decided to get lunch at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai, and I ordered the tonkatsu set. It was okay — not the best meal, but it filled me up.

Chansbros Coffee Shop

Afterwards, I walked 2 kilometres to Jongno 4-ga bus stop, and made it back to my neighbourhood to meet Chibi Toaster at Chansbros Coffee Shop. I people watched and killed time there. When Chibi Toaster came, we hung around my neighbourhood. She bought lunch at Tonic Curry, and later we went to Berkeley Coffee Social, a new coffee place I discovered recently, and their coffee is just amazing. Then she got a haircut, and we finally ended back at Chansbros to have one more cuppa before she left.

Fennel Hot Dog from Hassdog

On Sunday, I met my friend D. and his friend. We went to Fat Cat for brunch, and I had a hummus avocado sandwich with a choco banana smoothie. I wasn’t able to get a good shot of my meal, but it was delicious. Then I stopped by Hassdog to get some gourmet hot dogs for my parents and me, pictured above. I’d been hearing rave reviews about the dogs, so I finally decided to get some. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it! Even my picky parents liked it!

And that’s my staycation so far. It’s been lovely. I’ve got one more week to unwind and have fun. I look forward to the remainder of it! ^^


  1. you’re so lucky you live in the cool part of asia. i live in indonesia and there’s nothing fun here. the structure of the city, i would say, is not as …”comfy” as like seoul or japan where you know, you can basically walk around the neighborhood and find something interesting. anyway, long story short, nobody really does take a stroll around the city because of too much pollution and everyone prefers transportation. it’s like bangkok in a way.

    it looks like you had fun there :) going downtown seems interesting. this is why i love going abroad; i love the structure that each city have :D
    i love walking along roads like hyehwa station area… countries like china and hk usually have such street and i love them. in where i live, there’s no such thing so yea, there’s that difference.

    the food looks satisfying. and tonkatssuuu omg *o*

  2. That looks like fun! I love cities that you can explore for days and never see everything. Alas, my city is much too small for that and not very walking/public transport friendly.

    Bakers Alley sounds like a place I’d like to see :)

  3. I love the photos! I want to do a ~staycation~ too, and well, visit Korea! <3

  4. Crystal on

    The closest thing I have ever done to a staycation, was visiting another city. I like to travel, what can I say. :P Your nails look awesome! Looks like it’s been fun! :)

  5. Hurray for photo dump posts :D. I want to go to Seoul one day, is it true that the city has free wifi for everyone or is it one of those myths I’ve heard years ago? Is it true that most businesses in Asian countries are family-managed? Usually I find creativity more expanded this way to the point where you can see totally random things popping up. Food vendors are awesome, they’re usually cheap and do the job of making your taste buds happy! One of the tasty ones I’ve been to is the one selling bacon with everything :D.

    I didn’t know manicure involves having to dip your hand in some hot liquid! I always thought everything is cold :o. But I like your nail color! It compliments your skin :D. Your food is delicious too. I haven’t had udon for a while! Maybe it’s time ;).

  6. I am glad that you have been having a good time! :D The food looks so delicious and those markets look really interesting.

    Eeek. I would be scared about having my fingers dipped in hot stuff. x_x

  7. I should really take a staycation. I mean, I’ve been to America and Asia but there is so much of my own country I’ve never seen.

    Your nails look so good! I recently picked up a load of OPI nail polishes dirt cheap in America and I’ve fallen in love.

    All the foodie photos are making me hungry! *drool*

  8. I could do with a staycation, right now. Would love to explore more of London because there’s always something new to find. Also, I’m very jealous because you live in Seoul – I would LOVE to visit one day.

    I love emphasis on food. I can emphasis on food, all day err day. The markets reminds me of the one I went to when I went to China. The floors has soo many different things, I was really overwhelmed. Also, 3 pineapples for $4.50?! That’s so cheap!

    Love your nails! So pretty. And the pictures of food are making me so hungry D: Hope the rest of your staycation is just as fun! x

  9. A staycation sounds like a nice way to relax :) You get to explore new places without the usual hassles of travel. Gwangjang Market and Namdaemun Market look like fun places to shop! Your nails look great too.

    That’s too bad the tonkatsu was just ok. That’s one of my favorite Japanese foods. The hot dog looks really good though! I’m glad the staycation is going well!

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