A Saturday in Seoul: go, eat, walk, drink

People waiting to cross the road in Seoul as a green bus departs

Orientation: memorising landmarks so that you get on the right bus at the right bus stop.

What does a beginner tourist do
on a Saturday in Seoul?
Start with orientation practice:
take bus number 7612
and go five stops
to Hongdik Uni station.
Map, signs, card, gates, signs, gate, done.

Big plate of fried chicken with daikon side dish

A better class of fried chicken with daikon on the side

Next a hearty chicken lunch
in Hongdae, fried and fresh for once
which we consume like dainty gluttons.

Stone walls with colourful vertical flower beds.

Stone wall with vertical beds of impatiens (i.e. flowers) inset

Metro homework carries on
take Subway Line 5 this time
(the purple one)
to Gwanghwamun Station
and congregate at Exit 5
for a mini-walking tour
alongside Cheonggye Stream.
Map, signs, card, gates, signs, gate, done.

Korean drummers in their glorious traditional costumes

Korean drummers in their glorious traditional costumes

It rains and so the tour’s cut short
and we catch some young men
drumming while they dance and spin
and women dancing while they drum.


Next we follow our sexy guide
(seventy-six with two crook hips)
to his regular after-work cafe.

There I like the tofu soup
and the mystery of makgeolli
the living drink that’s milky white
rough and ready like a rice home brew
and touted as a health food too.


Back in Hongdae crowds are swarming
and I saw what I never thought I’d see
a punk musician trying hard
to snarl and scream
and looking cute and clean
in a brand new tidy T shirt.

Rachel patting a sanitised sheep indoors

Petting a sheep in the Thanks Nature Cafe, Hongdae

After such a busy  day
we slipped into a sheep cafe
for cup of tea and a gentle sniff
by a couple of bleached and back-combed lambs
who live indoors as fluffy toys.

Then it’s home again
on green bus 7612.
I must remember that.

Travel notes and photos by Rachel McAlpine. Share if you wish.






21 thoughts on “A Saturday in Seoul: go, eat, walk, drink

  1. Elizabeth says:

    A sheep cafe! Now with goat yoga, I have heard of everything.

    1. cedar51 says:

      and here back home in NZ we have plenty of sheep – just not many this well housed!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Too funny.

  2. What a lovely and busy day you had. The women’s costumes are quite beautiful.

  3. Rainee says:

    Lovely post Rachel!

    1. And a lovely day with an easy rhythm.

  4. Robyn Haynes says:

    You seem to be managing very well Rachel despite the language barrier. I love the poem of your adventures. Especially the neat and tidy punk musician.

    1. Immaculate punk!

  5. Wow so beautiful presentation and so nice to be enjoying every moment. Thanks for the lovely share.

  6. kersten says:

    ‘Trying hard to scream’ it’s all around us fake emotionalism along with fake news.

    1. Yes but punk rockers are supposed to scream 🙂

      1. kersten says:

        Yes but is it real ? the real screams come when fear grips and the possibility of disaster suddenly becomes a reality.

      2. Well I frowned back for sure 🙂

  7. lifecameos says:

    In the coastal city where I worked taxis were my salvation, once my two American co teachers had taught me the Korean words for our local landmark buildings, the school and the big apartment buildings over the road.

    1. Taxis here are cheap compared with New Zealand and ubiquitous, so I can understand that. You could speak Taxi Korean!

      1. lifecameos says:

        It helps. I found that even so far away from Seoul many taxi drivers and shop workers had at least a smattering of English, often much more, and “taxi Korean” would often get you through any basic conversations. This was probably partly due to the USA naval base on the town’s harbour as well as the Korean government’s decision in 1995 that fluency in English be taught right through all levels of school, to help Korea to be really active in the world’s economy – ie EPIK.

  8. Yes, remember that bus number! I love the idea of a sheep cafe. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to farm animals. – Marty

    1. Those animals are as different to the sheep I know as a Bichon frise from a working farm dog.

  9. Jonno says:

    What a great day out and a fabulous poem. Plus it ended in a sheep cafe, brilliant.

  10. I was in Seoul on a Saturday that coincided with the festival of their national dress : Hong ba I think it’s called.
    It was lovely to see all the young people in their national dress complete with hats for the guys and little purses for the girls.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      What luck! The hanbok is a glorious dress.

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