The Fall Bucket List Begins
We only have about four months left in Korea, and only part of that time will still be good weather for outdoor activities and exploring. It’s extremely sad to know we don’t have much time left to enjoy Korea’s mountainous and serene outdoors that we’ve loved so much. Therefore, in order to try and avoid the “I wish we…” thoughts post-contract, we’ve compiled a bucket list of things to complete while we’re still here.
Seoul FC Soccer Game
It’s nice being able to still have firsts after living here for over a year and a half. It keeps things new and interesting. We also get to learn more about the country we love so much. One of those new things was seeing a soccer game! We’ve seen a baseball game and the craziness that entails; the beer, the food, the cheers, the tying plastic bags on top of your head to wear as a hat for the end of the game…it was grand. But we wanted to see a soccer game too since soccer is so huge here! We went to one of the last Seoul FC games at World Cup Stadium and it just so happened to be “Ladies Day”. That meant I got half off my ticket and a free face mask - score!
It was beautiful weather. That kind of weather where you can actually enjoy the sunshine, but not be terrified of it. The stadium was half full. Legitimately, one side of the stadium was packed, while the other was completely empty. We think the empty side was a bit more expensive seating, but it’s also a huge stadium and the team wasn’t ranked super high. For a last home game, it was still a good turnout.
I’ve not watched many soccer games in my life and understand enough of it to cheer when I’m supposed to - but not so engulfed that I watched every second. We sat in the corner of the stadium to start with and eventually adventured around a bit and up to the top. We each got a typical cheap Korean snack - Luke had some tteokbokki (hot and spicy rice cakes in a cup) and I bought a sausage on a stick. Then we found different seats right in the middle of the Fan Zone where constant cheering and yelling took place.
The game ended in a tie, but we had a great time! After the game, we looked around their shop and of course had to buy matching shirts.
Right behind the stadium was a wee little mountain in World Cup Park where we walked up to the top. Well, Luke walked up to the top. I stopped a bit before that and enjoyed a small pagoda for a while. There were gorgeous views after a fun game and a great end to our weekend.
Another new area we explored was Dongdaemun in Seoul. We got there in the middle of the day and visited the Dongdaemun Gate, also known as the Heunginjimun Gate, which is one of eight gates along the Seoul Fortress Wall. It had a nice little walking path next to it which we followed for a while until we got down to the Performing Arts center. The area, to me, felt a bit like Myeongdong or Insadong but not as crowded. There was tons of shopping and every restaurant or cafe we saw looked amazing. I definitely want to go back for a day trip and walk through their infamous night market as well!
For dinner, we found an awesome sushi restaurant called Rolling Fish that had just opened a few weeks prior. We got two sushi rolls which came with a side of miso soup and the typical Japanese cabbage salad for a total of about $18. The head chef spoke great English and actually went to school at Purdue University! We would love to go back but there were so many other amazing restaurants we want to try.
Bike Ride Around Songdo
Luke had a great idea to just take a bike ride around our own neighborhood one day. We often just stay in our apartment like hermits or we’re off exploring other areas when really we live in such a cool place and haven’t experienced it all yet. So we spent half a day exploring Songdo on our bikes.
We stopped at the golf course. Unfortunately, it was gated so we couldn’t find a way in, but Luke flew his drone over it and got some great footage! Next, we rode to the beach. There was a long pier where people could look out into the Yellow Sea. We rode our bikes a bit further and found a super cute cafe area! I was a little sad we hadn’t found this earlier when it was warm weather outside, but it was still such a great find. We continued on our ride and found a campground a ways down from the beach area. Also a great find, but a little late since it would be a bit cold camping at night now. Who knows, maybe we’ll round up the courage to camp out over there. But for the time being, we headed back for sunset.
In addition to a cafe, there was a small “Monster Store” that sold “Monster Popcorn” and “Monster Ice Cream” and some other goodies. They even sold ice cream with popcorn on it! We shared a caramel ice cream and I bought a box of chocolate popcorn on the side. Right outside of the store, there was a vending machine where you could purchase hot ramen for ₩3,000 and we were so amazed, haha. It’s the little things, right? They had a rooftop view of the area with string lights and a few tables for seating, and of course music to perfect the ambiance. Within 20 minutes, the sun was setting above the ocean and it made for some really nice pictures, just minutes from our home.