Kpop Dallas in Seoul
Hi everyone!! It’s Jessi from KPD!! I want to start off by saying I’m so sorry for the super late post of my Korea trip! My apologies to everyone for making you all wait!! ;n;
So the reason we were were invited to go to Korea was to see EXO’s EX’ACT showcase! This year KPOP DALLAS recently became part of the V.FRIENDS and our first mission was to go to Korea and enjoy EXO’s EX’ACT showcase!!
I arrived to Korea on June 7th at around 4pm (KST) and once I exit the doors I get overwhelmed with Korean taxi drivers to drive me to Hongdae because, usually foreigners stay in Hongdae but I was staying in Gyengbokgung which is near the Blue House. I chose to do Airbnb for my stay in Korea and I have to say it was the best decision I made because, one hotels are super expensive, second Airbnb definitely gives you cheaper options, and third you get to actually feel like you’re part of Seoul! So my host told me it would be easier to ride the bus to the host house because it would be cheaper. I don’t speak Korean so my context clues were up to test the whole trip! I managed to buy my ticket because my host told me which bus number to take and it was only $10!! And lemme tell you guys I got lost when I got off the bus (AND I ALSO GOT OFF THE WRONG STOP TOO). I was staying in an area where not much foreigners stay. I didn’t bother to ask anyone for directions because I was too shy to ask! D: So I used my GPS to guide me to the host house which was like four blocks away… I was so mad at myself because I was super tired, hungry, and thirsty. But then I thought to myself, “hey this is part of my experience and adventures haha!” I start walking more and OMG I got tired super fast. By the time I got to the host house all I wanted to do is shower and knock out!
T-Money Card, KTX Train System:
I got ready and headed out to explore Seoul to familiarize myself with the neighborhood so I decide to take the train to Namsan. My first impression I had of KTX was how clean it was!! So to ride the trains you have to purchase a T-Money card so you can ride the trains back and forth. One cool thing I learned about the T-Money card is that you can use it to buy food at the convenience stores!! To buy a card you have to purchase it at a kiosk and this really nice Korean guy helped me get the right card (he probably saw how bad I was struggling to buy one LOL). There are different T-Money cards, a one time use card or a long time use one where you can deposit money when you’re running low. I took a pic of the KTX system and used that to get around. It can be really easy to get around or hard depending how good you are to directions. I usually followed the crowd and made sure the Korean characters matched the station where I was getting off. Also transferring stations can be difficult, not until I figured out each line is color coded so just follow the color lines you have to transfer off! The color line will help a lot trust me! After the first two days I became an expert at it but also don’t be afraid to get lost! Remember it’s part of your experience!! Plus everyone is super friendly and not to mention Seoul is rated as one of the most safest countries out there!!
MAN THE FOOD OVER THERE IS SO MUCH HEALTHIER AND DELICIOUSLY FRESH!! Don’t be afraid to try new dishes! Hongdae and Myeongdong were my go to spots for street food!! I was able to shop look around while stuffing my face with so many yummy street foods! Some of my favorite street foods were the ice cream churros, the large tall ice cream swirl, hotteok(Korean sweet pancakes), spicy fried chicken (ALL KINDS OF FRIED CHICKEN IN KOREA IS GOOD!!), onigiri (Korean rice ball), all kinds of fresh squeezed juice, and I could go on! Of course there are markets, I just didn’t have a chance to visit those spots. If you guys go to Korea soon please let me know your favorite street food spot! I did try Coreanos Kitchen in Itaewon and wow delicious tacos!! I ordered tacos asada and Amber’s mini chimichangas!! Yup, Amber from f(x) has her own dish there! I recommend you guys trying her dish because it’s the bomb!
Okay now for the fun stuff! If you like to drink and have fun I do encourage you try out the bars, lounges, and clubs. But make sure you take a buddy too!! Don’t go off by yourself. Some of the clubs and lounges I went to was NB2, Mike’s Cabin, and Club Answer. Before I start off, they do check for ID’s (I brought my passport) and when you pay for entry they give you a coupon for one free drink, and clubs don’t close until 7am!! Also the trains stop at a certain time of the day (I don’t remember if it’s 11PM or at midnight) but make sure you have a plan on how to get home safely! When I went out I would usually ride the train to meet my friends and then take a taxi home.
Starting off with NB2, now that club is owned by the very own Papa YG, located in Hongdae!! It’s an all hip-hop club (yes they only play hip-hop and some YG songs) and the dress code is just how like a hip-hop music video would be! I’m telling you the people there looked like they were going to be in a Dean music video! It’s like a basement so it’s literally super dark in there (watch your step in there please!). If you love hip-hop and YG music then NB2 will definitely be your favorite spot!!
Mike’s Cabin is sort of a lounge/club, located in Hongdae. A lot of foreigners go there and they play a variety of music there. From reggaeton to old school rock! I had such a great time dancing there because they didn’t stick to one genre they were hitting all sorts of great songs I love!! Plus they got sangria, margarita, and mojito pitchers that you can share with friends!
Club Answer is an EDM club, located in Gangnam. I really don’t like EDM music but I only went because Amber and Luna from f(x) were going to make an appearance that night! Okay if you’re going to any clubs in Gangnam you have to go dressed to impress. You guys know how in K-Dramas that one rich chaebol is dressed so nice in a club with a pretty lady by his side? Well that’s pretty much how the dress code is for the clubs in Gangnam! The entry is also a bit more expensive! Clubs in Hongdae are like $10 versus in Gangnam they can be $30+.
My friends and I pre-gamed at a convenience store (yup just like in the K-Dramas haha XD) and drank $1 soju before hitting the club. Drinks can get a bit pricy (unless you can get a guy to buy you a drink ;D)!! Soju in Korea definitely tastes better because you got a variety of flavors like, grapefruit (my fave), peach, blueberry, and many more!
One last thing! Always be careful of your surroundings don’t believe every little thing a guy/girl may tell you. Be cautious, be safe, and most importantly have fun!
Some of the attractions or places I visited were Hongdae, Itaewon, Gangnam, Myeongdong Street, Namsan Tower, and Gyengbokgung Palace (because I lived down the street from it). I would usually just walk around I stayed and tried bakeries, juice stops, restaurants, and cafes! Honestly don’t be afraid to walk around and explore your surroundings you’ll be surprised what cool things can be around you! I had no problem communicating when ordering because I would usually point at the menu what I wanted. Everyone was just so nice and patient willing to tell me what was their specials and popular dishes!
Okay when you go to Myeongdong Street you will be so overwhelmed with the amount of people there, shops, food stands, restaurants, EVERYTHING!! I loved going to Myeongdong because anything you could think of was there and every time I went I would discover something new! So go get lost in the wonderful street of Myeongdong!! Just a friendly heads up, when you enter cosmetic stores be aware of the sales associates because, they will pretty much be by your side on your back waiting for you to buy something.
Hongdae is more of the art/music scene type of vibe. You will see endless amount of bars, clubs, stores, performers singing/dancing, advertisements, and many more. I saw the K-Tigers do a lovely entertaining performance one early afternoon! I was also able to meet rookie group VAV! They had a mini fanmeet/performance! VAV is super adorable and nice!! If you don’t know who they are make sure to check them out! There’s more activities at night and a lot of young beautiful people walking around too. ;D
Okay I have a funny story of when I visited Namsan Tower. I get to this directory map near the gardens and the map is all in Korean and I stare at the little tower icon. On the map Namsan Tower doesn’t look that far (it literally looked like it was up ahead). HAHAHA!!! Little did I know what I was really gonna get myself into… TURNS OUT I LITERALLY WALKED THE WHOLE MOUNTAIN BY FOOT TO GET TO NAMSAN TOWER!!! I was literally the only crazy person to actually walk it by foot. No wonder when buses passed by people would look at me weird! But hey, I can say I really climbed the whole mountain! Lemme tell you it was one steep mountain. I was so tired by the time I got to the top but it was so freaking worth it!!
EXO EX’ACT showcase:
The concert was at the Olympic Park. Literally on the other side of Seoul! That’s usually where concerts happen and it’s best if you take the train because you will avoid traffic plus it’s cheaper. So when you exit the train station you will end up on the side of the park. I recommend you follow the fangirls. Trust me you will see a crowd of fangirls all walking in the same direction and you will end up at the front of the venue. That’s what my friends told me to do and I did end up at the front haha! Since I was invited by V.FRIENDS (from the VLIVE APP) they had my ticket ready and I didn’t have to worry about getting in line to see if I was one of the lucky fans to see the show. This show was not a concert where you buy tickets and you’re in. You had to buy the special EXOMENTARY package on the VLIVE app and then enter to get a chance to see the showcase. So it was literally a lucky one chance! Thank you so much KG, Naver, and VLIVE for allowing me this awesome opportunity to see EXO’s EX’ACT live showcase!
When I entered the venue it was packed!! As usual they were playing EXO songs while the show started. But, the vibe was different. Back home everybody would have started singing, dancing, screaming, chatting and getting to know your neighbor. But in Korea it was the total opposite. Everyone was on their phones not really talking at all and the EXO songs just blasting in the background. I was so hype I wanted to get up and dance!! I know if I did that I would have gotten some ugly stares so I just hummed and sang my heart out inside my head LOL!! When the show started every EXO-L whipped out their lightsticks!! I felt so out of place without one because they were all so in sync it looked so cool!! AND THE FANCHANTS WOW!!! KOREAN FANGIRLS DON’T PLAY!! THEY WERE ON POINT!! AHHHH!! EXO only performed Call Me Baby, Lucky One and Monster. They did some commentaries in between the songs. If you purchased the special package then you probably saw it live on the VLIVE app! During the commentaries I was so confused because no subtitles LOL so I just laughed when everyone else laughed haha… I also didn’t want to feel left out either. During the Monster performance I saw Sehun almost trip on Lay and I thought I bet someone is going to catch it and, they did because I saw a gif of it on tumblr. The level of performance was incredible just as they were when they came to Dallas this past February! Each member did a little introduction for each song in the album. I remember hearing them and being like, “ayye I like this one and that one and wow I gotta remember that one song (which was One and Only) haha!” During the concert, staff were walking around catching fansites taking pictures with their dinosaur cameras. These staff people don’t play. When they say no cameras they strictly say no cameras. So if you decide to go to a concert in Korea be aware of the rules so you won’t be dragged out by a staff member. When the concert ended all the fans rushed out the door to go to the side of the venue and probably see EXO exit the venue.
THANK YOU~~!!! So that concludes of my experience in Korea!! If you ever plan to go to Korea and need some tips don’t hesitate to contact me for some tips!! I will be more than willing to help you out! I also I deeply apologize how long it took me to do my experience post!! ;n;