Journal Korea 2024 ZoelieWho

Korea 2024 | Hongdae, Hapjeong and Yeonnam Districts

Hapjeong Shopping District

Address: 20, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 홍익로 20

Hapjeong is another area that we were not able to full discover to it’s full potential because we had such limited days to explore. I came here only for half a day to places that we have planned.

Tarot Bookstore Ga Bom

Closes on Mondays-Tuesdays & Holidays
070 7765 3082   |   PM 02 : 00 ~ PM 7 : 00
Address: 395-131 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu Seoul

Important to check Naver Map for their operating hours.

The bookstore is managed by a duo, presumably an administrator or storekeeper, and a tarot specialist. Their collection mainly comprises tarot decks, with a limited selection of oracle cards. While there were no overtly occult items, they did offer basic tools and crystals. I picked up a set of beautifully gold-foiled tarot cards, while my partner opted for a silver coin. You can also browse their product list on Naver Map for more details.

Bisabeol Jeonju Bean Sprout and Soup Rice

+82 2-3218-4800   |  AM 05 : 00 ~ PM 9 : 00
Address: 531 Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

As we strolled by, we stumbled upon a place with rave reviews. Intrigued and craving soup, we decided to give it a try. The soup, known for its restorative properties, arrived in generous portions, and they even offered a complimentary sobering alcohol to accompany it.

What intrigued us was their unique offering of sliced laver as a side dish, a departure from the usual options. Additionally, their other side dishes were equally impressive. Upon arrival, you simply inform them of your party size, and they promptly prepare the soup for everyone. Interestingly, we noticed one gentleman enjoying both alcohol and the sobering bean sprout soup simultaneously—a testament to the establishment’s intriguing offerings. Overall, our expenditure totaled ₩18,000, approximately RM66.60.

Hongdae Shopping District

Address: 20, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 홍익로 20

Our itinerary was packed with numerous destinations to explore in Hongdae, yet even with a day and a half, we found it challenging to fully delve into everything the area had to offer. However, it’s worth noting that many of these destinations are eateries, and with limited stomach space, we had to prioritize. I would strongly advise planning your day carefully in this district to ensure you make the most of your time, as the options can be overwhelming.

Boseung Hoegwan Soup Rice Hongik Univ. Branch

보승회관 홍대   |   Website
+82 2-6494-1100    |    AM 00: 00~ PM 00: 00 (24 hours)
Address: 429, Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 서초구 강남대로 429

During a spontaneous exploration of the Hongdae area, we stumbled upon a highly acclaimed soup rice joint that had received glowing reviews from Chinese visitors on Red (Xiao Hong Shu). Upon trying it ourselves, we were pleasantly surprised by the generous portions and the tenderness of the meat. Despite initially appearing to have more pork bones than meat, they turned out to be packed with rich collagen and succulent meat.

Accompanied by delightful side dishes, every aspect of the meal was thoroughly enjoyable. The original flavour of the soup rice had a subtle level of spiciness, but for the more adventurous diners, there was the option to kick it up a notch by selecting the spicier variant. Our total expenditure amounted to ₩23,000, approximately RM85.10.

Cafe Gong Myeong 카페 공명

AM 11 : 00 ~ PM 11 : 00
Address: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Floor, 11-8 Wausan-ro 17-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

We stumbled upon this place quite randomly while exploring the Hongdae district, where many shops tend to open later in the day, around 11 am to 1 pm. Upon spotting the building, we quickly searched on Naver Map and discovered that it was quite popular with many positive reviews.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the scones as I’m not usually a fan. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious they were, especially when paired with the cream. I highly recommend giving the scones a try with a dollop of cream. While the rest of the offerings were decent, nothing else particularly caught my attention. Our total bill amounted to ₩31,500, approximately RM116.55.


+82 2-6953-2664   |  AM 11 : 00 ~ PM 10 : 00
Address: 서울시 마포구 독막로9길 42, 2층

Me: Dom features a wide array of recently popular K-Pop albums, CDs, and merchandise. The ground floor serves as a pop-up room, showcasing the latest offerings. For those eager to explore further, an elevator whisks visitors to the second floor, where the merchandise store awaits, brimming with enticing finds.

Offline Duty-Free

0507-1377-0236   |  PM 12 : 00 ~ PM 11 : 00
Address: 365-3 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu Seoul

Previously, the buzz revolved around 时空间 in 2019, but this year, Offline has taken the spotlight. I couldn’t help but notice that 时空间‘s store seemed rather empty, while Offline drew a larger crowd. However, despite the appeal, I wasn’t entirely swayed by their pricing, as it tends to be higher compared to Nyu Nyu. Upon browsing, it became apparent to me that their items are sourced similarly to Nyu Nyu, in my opinion.

(Ps: they have the most annoying chant ever.)

Romi Story

Website   |   +82 2-332-9960   |  PM 12 : 00 ~ PM 10 : 00
Address: 408-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

For plus-sized women seeking fashionable clothing options in Seoul, Romi Story comes highly recommended. Their range caters to various sizes and body types, offering a diverse selection of styles. However, for petite individuals like myself, it may be challenging to find suitable options without the need for alterations.

Ancci Brushes 서현역브러쉬

Website and Instagram   |   +82 2-6369-3003   |  PM 12 : 00 ~ PM 06 : 00
Address: 332-22 서교동 Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Ancci Brush seems to have gained some celebrity attention, with Zendaya’s visit being a notable highlight, as evidenced by the laminated papers displaying her cart items near the entrance. The store was bustling with activity when I arrived, with the owner busy attending to a group of ladies. Despite the crowd, I managed to browse through the products, although I found that several items were out of stock. Unfortunately, the salesgirls couldn’t provide an estimate for restocking times. Feeling a bit awkward as the crowd dispersed, I opted to purchase what was available in my cart and make my exit.

My total bill for the Ancci Brushes here (with two freebies on the right) are ₩69,000, which is approximately RM 255.30.

Haha & Kim Jong Kook's 401 Restaurant

하하&김종국의 401 정육식당
+82 2-3218-4800   |  PM 04 : 00 ~ AM 02 : 00
Address: 서울 마포구 잔다리로 23
23 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Haha & Kim Jong Kook’s 401 Restaurant left a lasting impression as one of the best BBQ spots we’ve experienced. Every dish was expertly cooked to achieve the perfect balance of crispiness and juiciness. The accompanying side dishes complemented the main course excellently, and the rice served was cooked to perfection. Opting for both beef and pork dishes, we savoured a total of three delightful offerings. Considering the quality of the food and the slightly lower prices compared to their local Hanam branch, we found the experience truly satisfying and highly recommend giving it a try.

Yeonnam Cafe, BBQ, Drinking District

The bus serving this area operates without an ETA, but you can expect it to run roughly between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. While waiting, it’s advisable to give it at least 30 minutes before considering other options, as the buses tend to move swiftly between stops.

Yeonnam-dong offers a diverse range of establishments, from cozy cafes to lively bars, traditional izakayas, upscale dining spots, and sizzling BBQ joints. Depending on the path you take, you’ll encounter various aesthetic settings that add to the charm of the neighborhood. We thoroughly relished our time exploring this area and have already made plans to stay here on our next visit. It’s remarkably tranquil at night, yet brimming with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

oats coffee

Instagram   |   +82 70-7806-5542 |  AM 11 : 00 ~ PM 09 : 00
Address: 29-8, Seongmisan-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

If dining in, every person needs to order at least one beverage.

Oats Coffee won the title of the best coffee according to my partner’s taste buds throughout our entire trip. Not only is it competitively priced, but they also offer complimentary (free!) additional shots, making it a haven for coffee aficionados. We even made a deliberate return visit just to satisfy his cravings once again!

Ieongman Grilled Pork Rinds 이억만껍데기

+82 2-334-8889  |  PM 06 : 00 ~ AM 05 : 00
Address: 255 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 마포구 연남동 229-59

With glowing reviews and a bustling atmosphere, we decided to give Ieongman Grilled Pork Rinds a try. It was a serendipitous find, and we were pleasantly surprised by the attentive service. Opting for the regular pork cuts, we found that despite cooking them for a considerable time, they turned out a bit gummy in texture but still palatable. It was evident that this place was a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts, with many patrons enjoying their meal alongside some drinks.

민트초코월드 mintchoco world

Website and Instagram   |   AM 09 : 00 ~ PM 6 : 00
Address: 32, Seongmisan-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 성미산로 29길 32, 1층

Our final dessert stop before packing up for the airport the next day. Despite being the lone barista, she provided excellent service—patient, kind, and friendly. The ambiance was delightful, adding to the overall experience.

I opted for the Oreo Frappe, although its appearance during consumption left something to be desired (poopy). The strawberry mint ice cream, on the other hand, was quite enjoyable, though perhaps one flavor would have sufficed. The mint coffee spanner was a hit, particularly the playful foam.

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