Started off the day with breakfast in hotel which was a yummy intercontinental buffet. The weather seems nicer today with the sun out but the temperature is supposed to be between 9C/48F and 13C/55F but I thought I’d play it safe and wear three layers – tee, hoodie and jacket – if I start to get warm, I can always toss my hoodie into my backpack.
First stop of the day – COEX Mall. The best way for me to get there was by subway, so I headed Euljiro 1(il)-ga (one of the 3 stations near the hotel), and got off 30 mins later at Samseong. Both stations are on the same line so I didn’t have to do any transfers.
This place is huge, and my main reason for coming here was all the way at the other end of the mall. After walking for about 10-15 mins, I finally reached my destination…COEX Aquarium.
Entrance to aquarium is 19,500 won, which was a little steep compared to other attractions but I sort of have a thing for aquariums especially if they have dolphins. This one didn’t have dolphins but they did have something that I had never seen before but wanted to – a nautilus!
After the aquarium, I walked around this huge mall checking out the shops and food options. Didn’t really find much (or possibly just wasn’t interested) but I did get some stuff at Bandi & Luni’s which is a huge bookstore that also sells stationary and even some gadgets. They also have a good selection of books in English. I picked up a few Korean language study books which I’d never seen back home and even if I did, they would have cost me 2 or 3 times more. After shopping in the book store I went in search of lunch. There were a few places I wanted to try but they were all packed or with long queues. I ended up eating at an American restaurant called Bennigan’s. You’re probably wonder why in the world am I eating American food in South Korea, easy, I was really hungry and this place didn’t have a queue lol. I had something completely sinful! It’s called a Monte Cristo which was basically a ham n cheese that’s been dipped in batter and deep fried and then dusted with powedered sugar!!!!! It was yummy but the portion was so huge that I couldn’t even finish half of it. I’ve come to realise that food portions in Korea tend to be on the large size – more on the lines on the portions you’d get in the US but larger than the portions we get back in Singapore.
After lunch, I got back onto the subway and headed to Mario Outlet Mall. It’s actually three large buildings selling a number of branded items (international and local) and discounted prices. You can pretty much find everything, from Women’s fashion, to sportswear to household items. If you’re a serious shopping then you can easily spend a few hours if not the whole day at this place. I was there for about 2 hours but that was because I skimmed the place looking for specific things though with no success mainly because of sizing – they usually only go up to a L in ladies. Sadly, I’m an XL.
Mario is just a short walk from Gasan Digital Complex and you’ll actually walk past another outlet mall called Fashion Island before you reach Mario – they’re right next door to one another. The first building you come across is actually Mario 3 and it has 13 floors of stores and restaurants. Behind Mario 3 is Mario 2 which only has 3 floors and finally behind that is Mario 1 which has about 8 floors. After checking everything out, I headed back to the hotel to grab a light dinner (was still full from lunch) and to watch my fave Korean variety show (Running Man). It was interesting to watch it without English subtitles because while I didn’t understand everything that was being said, I could get the gist of it with my severely limited Korean lol.