Hongdae is a university neighbourhood known for its cool and trendy urban scene. I have to check that out as it’s often being cited to be the hippest in Seoul. The funky name is a fusion using the first two Korean syllables of the massive Hongik Daehakgyo, or Hongik University. And with the other major Universities like Yonsei and Ehwa Woman’s in close proximity. Hongdae has become a thriving hangout place for many young Koreans and that energetic youthfulness around the streets is unmistakable. It’s like a edgy pacesetter of the diversity trends and tastes of Seoul.
Trickeye Museum Seoul
The first place of visit was the popular Trickeye Museum Seoul. This unique art gallery has two-Dimensional (2D) paintings created with ‘trompe l’oeil’ techniques that gives flat picture a 3-Dimensional (3D) illusion. And this optical illusion brings loads of fun to the visitors posing to be part of the pictures. There are also guiding instructions and sample photos to those who has zero clue on how to pose! Therefore, it’s a great place to spend some fun time with family and friends with all the silly poses.
The ticket price covers the Ice Museum but honestly, there isn’t really much to see inside.
Castle Praha in Hongdae
Next up was my reunion with the beautiful Prague astronomical clock, in Hongdae! However, I am referring to the replica of Prague’s infamous Tower clock and Old Town Hall. But the attention to details is impressive, from the nice medieval décor to those Czech Marionettes hanging above the bar. Castle Praha is a brewery and restaurant that serves authentic Czech cuisine. And that would be plenty of delicious meaty food!
Meanwhile, hold my Soju. It’s time for some Pilsner! LOL!
Hongdae Mural Street
The alleyway of Wausan-ro 22 gil is commonly known as Hongdae Mural Street or Picasso’s Street. This is the street art gallery where the graffiti is constantly being refreshed or replaced by newer ones. And that’s a mixed bag altogether as some of fantastic works can get replaced by duller ones (hopefully it’s vice versa!). In short, the visit here is kinda underwhelming…
Hongdae Free Market
Hongdae Free Market takes place on Saturday afternoon from March to November between 1 pm to 6 pm. The art theme market has always been held at the park in front of Hongik University. Here’s where the local artists showcase their handmade items and creative artwork. It’s easy to spot various products such as accessories, unique handicrafts, postcards, bags being displayed in this market. Above all, do support these talents!
In addition, there are live music performances to hype up the marketplace which is definitely a nice touch.
The historical Hangang Bridge at night
Han River is one of the most notable landmarks in Seoul and has been pivotal towards the nation’s building. The large waterway cuts through the city from east to west, which explains why there are more than twenty bridges spanning across Han River. Hangang Bridge is one of them and it interests me for the significance It bears amid with a sad tragic history. This oldest pedestrian bridge in Seoul was blown up in an attempt to delay the advancing North Korean troops during the Korean War. The hasty decision was made with no warning or consideration to the innocent civilians commuting on the bridge that faithful day. Seriously?
The bridge has since been restored and reconstructed to what it is today. There is a quiet park which overlooks the beautiful Hangang Bridge near to Nodeul Subway station. The elevated ground would have been a good place to capture the well lit Hangang Bridge at night, if not for the tall trees blocking most of the views.
Finally, it’s time for dinner at Yoogane Myeongdong. I know it’s available in Singapore where I have visited a few times. But somehow the spiciness and ingredients in Myeongdong seems to be better by a few notches.