Korea Diary | Making the Most of It (Day 49)

5:31:00 PM mandy 0 Comments

Oh before I knew it, the last full day in Korea with my new friends awaited me. Some of us may have gotten back during the wee hours of the morning but it would have been a waste to sleep in and waste our limited & precious time left together.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Sincon Ewhadang 이화당 Chocopie Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Sinchon Ewhwadang 이화당 Chocopie cross section

My last To-Do item was ticked off with the pickup of the prescription glasses and sunglasses. For Bestie C and a few of our friends, their next goal was to get a fresh new haircut in Edae. They decided on a Juno Hair Salon and off we went. Juno was a pretty popular chain in Seoul with many locations throughout the city. The prices were pretty very affordable at around ₩20,000 for a wash, cut, and style. I believed my friends also received a discount for showing their Yonsei IDs as well. The service at the salon was impeccable. Customers received complimentary drinks during their visit and I believe they were able to voice their hairstyle wishes with the help of a digital photo album that the stylists had handy.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Edae Paris Creperie Chocolate Ice cream Soft service

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Edae Paris Creperie Ice Tea Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Edae band performers

Since I was trying to grow my hair out in order to donate it to charity, I decided to skip out on the haircutting experience. Another friend and I leisurely strolled along Edae and window shopped as we waited for everyone else to be pampered at the salon.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Edae Albab House rice bowl

Those who got haircuts finished just in time for lunch. We grabbed quick bites at Albab House in Edae. This place never disappoints: fast service, delicious food, and inexpensive price.

Now my memory starts to get really fuzzy about what happened after eating lunch. Bestie C mentioned going back to the dorms to grab things for the jjimjilbang or Korean spa, yet I don't have much memory of needing to bring much for our spa visit. What I do remember is our group splitting in order to divert attention so that a surprise birthday cake could be purchased.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Myeongdong Choissi Ahjussi Budaejjigae 최씨 아저씨 부대찌개 Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Myeongdong Choissi Ahjussi Budaejjigae 최씨 아저씨 부대찌개 ddeokkalbi 떡갈비

Anyways...! Once the surprise event had been settled, our group met up again to head to Myeongdong. A few friends had wanted to visit a Haunted House type of place there so why not make one last visit to the shopping haven. I wanted no part in the scary trip and luckily Bestie C was on the same page as me.

We ended up eating at a nearby budaejjigae 부대찌개 or army base stew @ Choissi Ahjussi Budaejjigae 최씨 아저씨 부대찌개. My favorite part was the ddeokgalbi 떡갈비 or minced short rib patty that came with the stew. Not that the budaejjigae was bad or anything but since we ordered a non-spicy version to accommodate for the non-spicy eaters at the group, our stew just didn't have the same flavor.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Myeongdong Turkish Ice cream
Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Myeongdong Twisted potato hot dog
Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Myeongdong Egg bread

Our last visit to Myeongdong wouldn't have been complete without a street food sweep. This time, we had the most mouths together which meant we could sample even more foods.

Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Dragon Hill Spa
Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014 - Dragon Hill Spa key tags
Seoul, Korea - Summer Study Abroad 2014

There's no better time to visit the sauna and spa than after a full belly. We wound up at Dragon Hill Spa 드래곤힐스파 in Yongsan. Boy was it an interesting experience that I didn't even fully immerse myself into. (I'll explain more on what I mean later.)

We were greeted by the clerk who collected the admission fee of ₩13,000. In return, we were given a key along with a change of clothes. Once we crossed the turnstile there were rows and rows of small lockers for our shoes to be put into. The number on the keychain corresponds to the lockers number. But yes, be prepared to wander around the place barefoot.

The next stop was to the elevators which led to the locker rooms, changing area, bathing area, etc. This was when it began to get slightly uncomfortable for me. As the elevators were gender segregated and led to gender-specific floors, we were greeted by much nakedness the moment we stepped off the metal box. All the ladies walked around without a care in the world and only wanting to get cleaned and relaxed.

Lockers and changing rooms were on one side of the floor and the other had the snack bar, resting area, heat/sauna chamber, and bathing pool area. I stayed in the resting area most of the time we were there because I was pretty exhausted. Plus, I needed a little shuteye to help with my mission to pull an all-nighter packing, cleaning, and trying to adjust to jetlag before the flight. We did enter the heat chamber once or twice for a few minutes while we were there and it was HOT. I don't know how the older Korean ladies did it but I was sweating the moment I stepped into the contraption. Some point during the night we snacked on eggs and sikhye 식혜 (sweet rice drink) from the snack area. The cool thing about the keys was it doubled as a credit system. If we wanted to buy food or pay for anything while at the spa we could just tap it to keep a record. The bill was settled right before we left.

Before we even arrived I was already adamant I wouldn't take part in the cleaning part of the jjimjilbang experience. My body was and still is not something I am 100% comfortable with, even if everyone else there doesn't give a damn there. While I don't regret missing out on this part of the spa, I won't rule out the idea of trying it later.

We ended up leaving Dragonhill around 2AM. Apparently there was a co-ed arcade area in the spa but we realized it too late. The guys ended up having their bro-time and us girls had our gal-time. It was definitely much needed relaxing nap time to ready ourselves for the checkout process at SK Global the following morning.