Blogger Hangout: Thao

TC & Thao Header

Back in March, I blogged about meeting online friends and that I enjoy meeting them whenever the opportunity arises. Well, the opportunity came when Thao, a long-time blogger friend and former hostee, contacted me about coming to Seoul for a brief trip! Stoked, I helped her plan out her itinerary, and even recommended lodging to her. I told her all about Seoul as I could. Her trip was a short one, so it was quite a challenge to try and cram as much as possible, but it all worked out in the end. Thankfully, she arrived here during Memorial Day weekend, so I was able to be her tour guide for two whole days and still hung out with her before and after work.

Day 1: 33km Adventure

TC & Thao

The first day was a busy one; this was the day we travelled about 33 kilometres all over Seoul! We started off with me picking Thao up at Grand Hyatt Hotel, and we stopped by my flat to drop her stuff off. We had coffee at Waterstreet Cafe and then we walked to Itaewon for her to see a bit of it, but it was too early and nothing was opened.

We decided to check out couple of the areas south of the Han River. Our first stop was Garosu-gil. We had breakfast at the McDonald’s there for Thao to try the bulgogi burger. After, we walked down the actual Garosu-gil, where Thao had a blast at the Line Friends store. Next, we took a cab to Gangnam Kyobo Bookstore, and we spent some time in the stationery section. Thao wanted to see the “Gangnam area” (which is really nothing special, honestly,) and we walked up to Gangnam Station. Having spent enough time down in Gangnam, we returned to Itaewon to buy an extra luggage for Thao, and we returned to my flat to chill for a bit before heading to the guesthouse for Thao to check in.

Our next destination was heavily full of Korean skincare shopping. We spent time at Shinsegae Department Store, Lotte Young Plaza, and Lotte Department Store looking for an O Hui vendor, so Thao could buy something there. Across the street was Myeong-dong, and Thao shopped her heart out in the cosmetic stores (I think we went into like eight different stores!) and in Artbox. We dropped her haul off at the guesthouse, and we had Korean BBQ at Itaewon Sutbulgalbi where we ordered samgyeopsal and pork galbi. Our super long day ended with a nice, cool cocktail at Noxa Oriental.

Day 2: Ye Olde Seoul

TC & Thao

Thao and I started the day by heading to Gwangjang Market for some brunch. We had mayak gimbap, bindaetteok, and sikhye — all specialities of this market. Next we headed over to Gyeongbokgung, the main palace of Seoul. We waited for the free English tour, and we both enjoyed the tour! Because it was such a hot day, Thao and I took a breather at the palace library cafe. We had the iced omijacha. It was a bit too sweet for our taste, and I chewed on one of the omija berries. It was bitter on the first bite, and it eventually turned into a perfume explosion in my mouth! Yech!

Thao and I walked to Insa-dong next. Our first stop was the Sinyetchatjib, a tea house. Thao had the iced citrus punch, and I had the iced jujube tea. Our tea came with some injeolmi tteok and yugwa. I have to say I fell in love with this tea house! After our tea break, we checked out Ssamzie-gil, this winding building with many different shops. Then we checked out Kyung-in Museum of Fine Art tea shop only to see that it was confusing and we never met a server.

We left the tea shop to continue our way down Insa-dong. We stopped and watched the kkultarae demonstration. We were also given a free sample. Both of us bought some of this delicious honey thread snack! We briefly went into by a Korean craft shop before we both went crazy with the street food. We first bought bbopgi — caramelised candy — and then Thao also bought some yakgwa — flower shaped Korean cookies — and fish-shaped pastries with red bean paste and custard.

Finally, we made it out of Insa-dong to head down to Cheonggyecheon. We walked a couple of bridge over to Euljiro Station and we took a cab back to the neighbourhood. We went shopping for Korean snacks at Well-Being Mart. We dropped off the snacks and walked around the neighbourhood, making a pit stop at Berkeley Coffee Social. For dinner, we went to Friend Chicken and had Korean fried chicken and yangnyeom chicken.

Day 3 & 4: DMZ and the Finale

TC & Thao

Day 3 was the day Thao visited the DMZ while poor me had to work. I met Thao after work at the President Hotel, and we made it to Namdaemun Market. We mainly went there for Alpha, where Thao bought more stationery merchandises. We were going to eat dinner there, too, but we didn’t see anything enticing. That was when I suggested to her that we try Korean-Chinese cuisine, so we took a cab to Mao. Thao tried jjajangmeyong for the first time.

On the last day, I met Thao and we had brunch together, eating naengmyeon. Soon, it was time to split, so I put her in a cab to the Hyatt for her to take the bus back to the airport.

This was a short trip, but I’m glad I met Thao in person. After years of being blog buddies, it was good to see how she is in person. I had a blast with her, and I’m only sad it wasn’t longer! Oh, well. There’s always next time! :D


  1. Ah Tara!! I can’t believe how fast those days went and we definitely crammed a lot in, especially in the hot weather! I had so much fun though. Thank you so much for being such a good sport and letting me drag you all over the place! XD

    And I’m so glad I got to meet you finally after all of these years of blogging! I don’t remember when it was exactly that I started reading your blog, but I remember you began hosting me around 2008. So maybe some time before then?

    • Yeah, it was definitely around 2008 :D Can’t believe that’s like 8 years ago! Time sure flies! I, too, am happy to have finally met you in person after all these years! We go back quite a bit, haha ^_^

  2. You guys are so cute T_T And this post is so cute T_T

    Oh my gosh! All the foods!! Jjajangmeyong is so good. Thankfully my dad makes homemade jjajangmeyong, sooo yummers.

    Sounds like you guys had a great time. It’s always nice to hang out with friends! Especially when meeting them face to face, haha.

    • Thanks for saying we and the post are cute XD

      I don’t think I’ve ever had home-made jjangjangmyeong! That’s probably way better than the restaurant ones! I’m actually not into them, but I’d try the home-made one.

  3. This is so cute. It really looks like you had so much fun. <3

  4. I’m so glad you got to meet up! It looks / sounds like you both had a great time – Seoul sounds like a beautiful place! I had to Google what Kkultarae was, but it looks delicious, I’ve never heard of anything like it.
    I hope you get to meet up with Thao, and many other blogging buddies, soon =]

    • Kkultarae are amazeballs. I could eat them all the time ^^ Seoul is a great place. I hope you’ll get to visit it one day!

  5. Oooooho look at you conquering Seoul with Thao! Even though she was here for two days, the both of you got a lot done! The food from Korean BBQ sounds delicious!! I like how you both had a lot of free things going on from the tour to tea samples ;). Buying stationery goodies sounds like heaven!!!!! The drinks look delish; probably more so because of the mason jar XD. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the experience! Hope she did too! I wouldn’t mind having you hanging out with me as much whenever I have the chance to jump into SK!

    • Girl, if you ever get your butt here, I’ll so take you on a tour to conquer Seoul like a boss :D You’d love all the stationery stores here, and all the crazy street foods and the KBBQ . . . seriously, why haven’t you come yet? XD

  6. Sounds like you two had tons of fun. It’s always nice to hang out with a friend.

  7. So cool that you were able to meet another long time blogger friend! That’s great that you were able to spend a few days together. Sounds like it was filled with a lot of good food and shopping :) I had to look up what some of the dishes were, but they all look tasty! I’m glad you guys had a fun time together!

    • Yes, I’m always thrilled to meet online friends, so it was great to meet another one ^_^ I hope I’ll get to meet you one day!

  8. Ahh, I’m smiling so much! <3 This is the 3rd time this week, blogger friends have met up and I've read/seen pictures! I'm so happy for you all, I wish an opportunity would arise that we could all have a picnic meet-up, that'd be super cool!

    It looks like it was a busy few days, but I'm glad you had lots of fun! :') It looks like you and Thao enjoyed yourselves! I definitely will be contacting you when I plan my trip to Korea! <3

    • Yes, do contact me if you plan on coming to Korea! <3 I’d love to meet you and hang out together ^^

  9. that looks fun! my sisters have been there a few times and she kept telling me to visit seoul because of the coffeeshops which she said are every where! i wish to visit there one day to see it myself lol XD

    • Yes, Seoul has a lot of coffee shops, and they are awesome :D I live for coffee shops!

  10. I hope you’re ready for your next victims! XD

  11. Hi. You seemed to have lots of fun and especially the first day of going out to look at products of skincare, I just love to do that everytime I can. That’s where almost all of my money goes to, jeje. And the sound of samgyeopsal it’s very good.. I just miss it. Anyways, it does seem like a short trip but much fun and complacent to be with a very good friend. (:

    • Yes, it was a short but sweet trip. I’m glad we were able to meet up :) It’s always nice to hang out with friends, especially the ones who come a long way.

  12. That is really wonderful that you got to meet each other and spend some time together. :D It can be such a special memory to keep. <3

  13. Okay, this is making me really excited for when I visit SK. I really hope I’ll make it over there by next year or the following year. Either way, I’m definitely coming over and hanging out with you~

    And all of the food! That is what makes a trip for me – the food. Food is life <3

    Glad you guys had lots of fun :)

    • YES. COME ON OVER. We can hang a lot! :D I’ll definitely show you all the good food ^____^

  14. Sounds like a fun time! =3

  15. Sounds like you too had a blast + you were able to cram plenty of activity in a short time!

  16. I honestly love meeting new friends and guys via online! My online friends are better than my friends that I’ve known for my entire lifetime. They’re very supportive, encouraging, and everything else that I can positively think of!

    Sheesh! I love them!

  17. Whoa that sounds like a ton of fun. I want to go to South Korea! Also, Tara, I can’t believe you’re still blogging after all this time! So good to rediscover your blog!

    • Come to South Korea! You’ll like it :D

      And yes, I’ve been blogging ^^;; I haven’t really stopped XD

  18. It looks like you had an amazing time! I hope I can meet some other bloggers at some point, as I haven’t met any of my blog friends at all yet. Hopefully someday though!

    I want to try Omija berries now! Even though they don’t sound the greatest. Definitely an experience though!

    Glad to hear you had a great time!

    • I hope you’ll meet your blog friends soon, too :)

      If you ever try the omija berries, you need to let me know what you thought!

  19. Aw, I hope you get more time together next time you meet! It sounds like you packed in a shit ton of things, and walked a lot (WOOOO! – we have been walking a lot throughout Europe and it’s great, my feet are getting calluses though aha).

    I would have loved the hell out of that tea place! Please take me there when I come to Seoul!!!!!

    • Yes, it was full of so many things! It was crazy, haha :D I will definitely take you to the tea place when you visit Seoul! ^_^

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