Somehow jet lag did not get to me the next morning because I easily woke up around 7 in the morning. My aunt prepared breakfast for us. For those who wonder what Asians, in particular Koreans, eat for breakfast, well here is an example:
We had a bowl of rice, some kind of soup with green onions, anchovies, kimchi (Koreans are known for this spicy, cabbage dish), and some other spicy vegetable dish. And yes, that’s Costco size pancake mix in the background that my family and I gave to my relatives.
Once we were done with breakfast, my sister and I explored upstairs to the rooftop of my grandma’s complex. You can see more of Seoul from the top.
My grandma has a little garden of vegetables at the rooftop. I like seeing how the vegetables are all lined up. It’s so cute!
Below is a picture of the neighboring apartment complexes behind my Grandma’s place. We never got the chance to explore back there. I actually don’t even know how to get back there other than jump from one rooftop to another like a ninja.
Ok, you might see one too many pictures of my cousin, Soon-oh. He’s just so adorable that I have to share his cuteness with everyone. Here’s another picture of him just chilling in his Korean clothes:
Before we headed out to start an adventure, I had to put my Korean money together. Just to let you know, for every $1, I got 1119 Won. In other words, the dollar was stronger than the Won. Wew! I exchanged my money right before I left Incheon Airport. Look at how colorful the money is! It looks like fake money to play with!
My sister, mom, and I headed out to Coex which is a big shopping mall. First, we had to take the neighborhood bus to get to the subway. The bus was packed when I first got in there. At one point, everyone was rushing out of the bus and I almost got off the bus without my family! People were pushing me to move because I was somehow standing near the exit. I think through the rush, people pushed me towards the exit. It was crazy. I learned my lesson to not stand near the exit or else I will get off the bus without even knowing it.
The bus dropped us off near the subway. We purchased our T-money card which is a re-loadable card that is used to take the bus, taxi, or subway. Taking the bus is less than 50 cents, taxi is variable but cheaper than states, and subway one way is probably less than a $1.50.
The transportation system was confusing at first but we got the hang of it after getting lost. The subway from my Grandma’s to Coex took about an hour. It was really convenient how the subway stopped right at the mall. Once you walk out of the subway, you’re basically at Coex in seconds. In the outdoors area of Coex, we first saw Zara, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Paris Baguette (again). I can’t tell if my eyes are opened or not in the picture below, but enjoy! By the way, I never use peace signs. I thought I should take advantage of using the peace sign since I was in Korea since every uses it there.
Coex is a huge mall where you can do a lot of things such as eat, shop, watch a movie, go to a museum or aquarium, and I think you can gamble there too. Coex is basically an everything mall if that makes any sense. We probably went to majority of the stores. There was actually too many stores there and the layout of Coex was confusing because it was just so big. We shopped around and got lunch from a Korean-Japanese restaurant. They did not really have a hole in the wall kind of a restaurant at Coex. So what I had wasn’t so very special but it was good!
Which mall has an aquarium there? Coex! We had to go to Coex, one because of shopping, two because of the aquarium! Before we were about to enter the aquarium, we saw a bunch of kids lined up in pairs, holding their partner’s hand in cute little uniform! So cute.
The aquarium was less than $20 and I would say it was all better than I expected! I actually didn’t have much expectations. Therefore, it was better than I expected. Here are some fun pictures from the aquarium:
This picture right above is where you put your hands in the water and the fishes nibble on your dead skin. They have cafes like this where you put your feet in the water and the fishes eat away your dead skin. They don’t bite at all but I still got scared to do it. It was fun!
Look how big the aquarium is in the picture below!
This scuba diver was playing with a big fish (can’t remember nor can I tell what kind of animal it is)!
The aquarium reminded me of Long Beach Aquarium because of the flat escalator and the glass arch. I was in awe of how big Coex Aquarium was! This is a great place to check out if you have time.
After the aquarium, we were back at the mall to shop around. As we walked around, we saw this fake looking Apple store! It’s actually called A Sharp, a premium reseller of Apple products. This store scared me like no other! Someone once told me that in China, they have stores that completely look like an Apple store but it’s all fake! So, seeing this store made me think of the fake Apple store in China. Fortunately, this A Sharp store is legal and only sell used Apple products. Apparently in Korea, they do not have any Apple stores. So if you want any Apple products, you would have to purchase it online.
We were at Coex for quite some time and were ready to go back home. We bought some pizza to take for our relatives. We went to Supreme Pizza and bought an XXL go-go-mah Pizza aka sweet potato pizza. It was a little less than $18 but it was tiny for an XXL. Their XXL pizza is basically the size of a large at Pizza Hut in the states. It was good but expensive.
Our day ended at our grandma’s place where we just chit-chatted and had some good, expensive pizza!