Ji Young and I spent this past rainy Sunday at Coex, “a business and cultural hub located in the heart of Gangnam, Seoul’s business district” (according to its website). It’s home to Asia’s largest underground mall, Coex Mall, where we spent most of our time. It’s huge and full of stores, restaurants, and people, of course. I would’ve gotten lost if it weren’t for Ji Young, who knows her way around pretty well. Thank goodness.
We met for a late lunch, then proceeded to settle down in one of the mall’s “rest zones” to finalize our trip to the Yeosu 2012 World Expo. (Of course Asia’s largest underground mall has rest areas…) We’re taking a short 2-day trip at the end of this month, and we needed to figure out how we were going to get there (bus, train, or plane) and make our reservations. Fortunately we had already found a place to stay the one night we’ll be there, so we didn’t have to worry about that. After lots of semi-stressful ticket-searching and schedule-checking, we booked bus tickets for early Tuesday morning (Seoul>Yeosu) and late Wednesday evening (Yeosu>Seoul). The bus only costs 29,500 won and takes about 4-4.5 hours, as compared to 3 hours on the KTX.
There was even a traditional Korean ensemble performing in the rest area. The people who run this mall really know how to keep people entertained and well-rested for continuous shopping.
Honestly, Ji Young did most of the work planning our trip, so I was mostly there as a sounding board and moral support. Midway through I went and got us some bubble tea (aka boba), which we both love. I like to think I’m a good cousin.
Despite the fact that all Korean Dunkin’ Donuts serve bubble tea (and Dunkin’ Donuts are everywhere), it’s surprisingly hard to find good bubble tea. So far, I’ve found two boba shops in Sinchon/Edae (the area surrounding Ewha Women’s University, which borders Sinchon), and one of them is good. Ji Young says good boba is a bit elusive here in Seoul. It’s the same in Chicago…
Another quick side note — Coex bathrooms are really nice! The walls are covered in colorful tiles and everything is shiny and clean. Worth a couple photos, I thought.
Anyways, after we finally finished planning our Expo trip, we stopped by a Starbucks so Ji Young could get some coffee before heading to the aquarium. Oh, that’s right, I forgot to mention that Coex Mall has its own aquarium! It’s small but full of a variety of fish, marine creatures, and even some other animals — I can’t say I expected to see a chipmunk, hedgehog, and iguana in an aquarium. Though we were probably the only ones there above the age of six who weren’t on a date, it was really fun.
More pictures coming as soon as Ji Young sends them to me! My camera died right after the above photo, so I couldn’t take any once we were inside. We had a blast taking hilarious pictures (mostly me posing, and Ji Young snapping away) and embracing our inner six-year-old selves. Despite the rain, our Sunday managed to be both productive and entertaining, all within the same building.