Ladies and Gentlemen of the WordPress world…we’re finally back! While in the general scheme of things it has been a fairly short sabbatical, we’ve managed to pack rather a lot into that time and have loads of amazing adventures and photos to share with you. All in all, we’re pretty excited to be able to sit down and blog again. There is a bit of catching up to do – when we left you last we were in the stages of our goodbye journey of Korea. We’ve since been through Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and India before reaching our final stop (for now) of Hong Kong. Okay, actually that’s a LOT of catching up to do.
Saying goodbye to Korea was a mixed bag for us. We had our share of ups and downs there but on the whole it was an amazing year full of odd and awesome experiences that we wouldn’t change for anything – even the shitty bits! And talking of all things shitty leads us straight back to one of our oft mentioned topics, the lovely public toilets of Korea.
You old hags of our blog may remember our visit to N Seoul Tower in our honeymoon phase right when we were fresh-off-the-boat newbies in Korea. It seemed only fitting to revisit it on the way out, this time to capture it in all its glory at night time.
The tower looks particularly spectacular at night – interesting fact time: the colour of the lights on the tower indicate the safety of the air quality at certain times of year. We’re not exactly sure which colours mean what but regardless, it looked pretty in pink the night we were there. And the views, as always, were impressive. But didn’t we start by mentioning toilets? Well, just past the nondescript blue man…
lies a bathroom with some of the most breathtaking views we’ve ever had the pleasure of taking care of ablutions in.
Obviously, this is the boy’s loos. But what a way to celebrate one of your last night wees in Korea, right?!
The next morning saw us up bright and early to catch the lovely sunrise from our groovy hotel window before sucking the marrow out of our last full day in Korea, potentially forever! So what to do, you may ask…Wander the cool streets and check out the nooks and crannys, of course!
This year in Korea will forever be known as the year that the world was swept away by the Sensation that was/is Gangnam Style. So what better way to say 안녕히계세요’goodbye’ in style than to head over to the suburb that inspired all the fuss.We were lucky enough to just happen to be there while Psy was doing an impromptu performance in Gangnam itself!!!
Nah, just kidding. For those of you wondering, Gangnam is basically just a fancy-pants suburb of Seoul with big buildings, shiny glass and a CBD kinda area. Pretty impressive to have a nosey at.
Right, so that’s Gangnam ticked off the list. Been there done that, so where to next for our last full day in the land of the morning calm? Well, we hadn’t been to the Hongik University area yet and rumour had it there was a certain pink, themed cafe to be found. So back on the Metro and off we went!
And a confusing walk later we hit our desired destination – the Hello Kitty Cafe!The cafe is ridiculously pukey cute and awesome (if you’re H-J and her mum – the guys didn’t look as enthralled). Instructions were issued to all to order ‘approved’ coffees & cake, i.e. ones that had HK’s face on them. Awwww….The decor is pretty much pink, Kitty, pink, Kitty, pink, Kitty – repeat till you vomit pink and/or furballs.
As strange coincidence would have it, we recently discovered an even more perfect facet of H-J’s love of all things Hello Kitty…her boyfriend’s name is – get this – Dear Daniel! Keeping with our love of all things toilet, lovely Dear Daniel adorned the door to the boys’ room.
Meanwhile a gigantic Kitty mirror took pride of place in the ladies’ room.
All in all the trip to the Hello Kitty cafe was a roaring (meowing?) success.
Last thing on our agenda for Seoul and, indeed for all things Korea, was to visit the War Memorial in Yongsan-dong. The Korean war and the aftermath thereof has shaped so much of modern Korea – its effects are reflected in the country’s astonishing economic growth, the attitudes of the people, even in the food. It seemed fitting, therefore, to end our time here absorbing some of the past and soaking up the amazingly well designed, emotionally moving Memorial Park.
Of course, it wasn’t all serious and sombre. We also took the opportunity to climb all over airplanes, tanks and choppers.
Before we knew it, the sun was setting not only on the powerful sculptures but also on our last night in Korea.
For now, we’re not sure if its goodbye to Korea or 또봐요 ‘see you again’. But what we do know is that exciting adventures lie both behind us in the country we were lucky enough to call home for a year and ahead of us in new and uncharted (for us!) territories. Thanks for the crazy ride Korea!
Hee hee, the Hello Kitty cafe is awesome! Lillie-Grace and I are green with pink envy! ;0) Xoxoxo
Maybe there needs to be a franchise in New Zealand!!! Business opening, anybody?!
Definitely going to find the Hello Kitty cafe next time I’m in Seoul! 😀
Do it! Its SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pink!
Nice pics! The War Museum is one of my favorites ^_^ And awesome bathrooms haha
The War Memorial was spectacular – sadly we went after museum closing time so didn’t get the chance to actually go inside. We hear wonderful things about it. The park outside is certainly worth a visit alone so I’m really glad we at least managed that.
What a way to end your stay!! So what’s next??
Currently stationed in Hong Kong but have spent the last two months travelling through Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and India – so LOADS of blogging to catch up on! Then we can finally make a start on HK. We’re here for the year so plan on getting to know it pretty well 🙂
Well, if you ever want to drop south into the Pacific some, there’s this fun little island called Saipan that you can visit!
That Hello Kitty cafe is pure nuts
Totally nuts and totally awwwwesome!!! Happy to see Hello Kitty is super popular in Hong Kong too, haha. I have to get my dose before we return to the end of the world where she doesn’t feature quite as readily…
How fun! Looking forward to your next installment from Hong Kong. Safe travels and Best Holiday Wishes. 🙂
Happy Holidays to you and Elia! Hope you manage to eat loads of yummy Christmas treats!!!
Wow! Sounds like so much fun!! hahaha.. I’ve been to the kitty cafe in Taiwan and yeah, everything is just pretty in pink! OMG can’t believe how beautiful the men’s toilets are. WOW. it’s like…. let me take a piss while i gaze into beautiful Seoul. haha! and yeah, it would be pretty hilarious if Psy was actually there. I initially bought that story. 🙂 Safe travels!!!
Most beautiful toilets, eh!? Now we’re on a mission to see if we can top that find with some spectacular Hong Kong loos, haha.
Amazing (and hilarious) photography as always guys. Love the luxe loos. And that last photo from the War Memorial is just breathtaking – looks like a movie still! RE: your last comment, congrats on surviving India without ‘Delhi belly’ hahaha
It was the perfect combo of stuff to see Korea out on, right?! Loos, war and Kitty. And yeah, pretty stoked about the iron-cast stomachs lasting the distance!
Hmmm Gangnam style looks like my kind of style, architecturally speaking that is… not so much the dancing… I can safely say I wont get busted trying it at Pak’n Save like my crumping style…
Where’s your commitment, dude-man?! I see a challenge in getting you to bust it out somewhere inappropriate in a week or so…
That’s insane!!! Love it, an actual Hello Kitty cafe. (I know, I’m such a girl right!?!) but aside from that the (gent’s) loo did have a pretty awesome view! That sink even looked amazing 🙂
As for the city and all it’s glistening facade gangnam is an actual suburb…cool! Lookinging forward to more stories and tales either here on the blog or in Honkers! 🙂
Hello Kitty cafe is sooooooooooooooooo worth a visit! I’m not even that girly but it hits all the right notes 🙂
Looking forward to catching up with you soon!
Superb photography!! Love the pics!
Thanks so much!
YIKES! Put down the gun, yo!!!! Lol~ Wicked shots~ 😛
So what is Gangnam style?? This is a meme that I’ve obviously missed. Now at least I know it has something to do with the neighbourhood in Seoul.
Interesting that the tower’s lights appear different depending on the air quality…. I’ve heard too that some of the colours in a sunset are also caused by pollution. I’m not sure what colours are though, either. But maybe it’s the same principle?
I’ve enjoyed this wrapping up of your time in Korea! Time to take it to the next level, folks! Excited to hear about your following adventures!
We can’t gage sarcasm levels via blog so are unsure whether you seriously missed out on Gangnam style or not…
The lights on the tower are actually changed according to the levels, apparently only in ‘yellow dust’ season (doesn’t that sound just delightful?!) and blue means safe to go jogging. Check out this interesting article we stumbled across http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/life/dont-hold-your-breath-seouls-air-gets-cleaner-987513
Ohhh, so they change the colours?? I see!!
I am totally serious – I totally missed the Gandnam Style meme. I saw it mentioned on someone else’s blog a few weeks back and that was the first I had heard of it.
I’m guessing you may have seen this already but just in case…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0
Check out how many hits this baby has had – it should give you an indication of just how big of a rock you must have been hiding under in order to avoid this. I must say, I’m slightly jealous, having heard it about a zillion times a day since its genesis…not to mention the kids coming to school and doing the dance…and wearing the masks…and everyone flaunting the merchandise. I’ll have to see if I can find you some GS socks, haha.
Hahah, I just watched with my friend… he couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it either and told me to look at the hits too…….. ONE BILLION!!!!???? Thank you for enriching my existence with this~~ lol
Lol, and thank YOU for making us feel cool in that we knew of something ‘trendy’ before at least one other person on the planet!
Make that two, I still haven’t seen it! I think just to be contrary 🙂
Anytime! 🙂 I’m actually pretty good at that.
Nice guns HJ *eyebrow wiggle*
The old man with his arms stretched out in a begging fashion at the feet of a younger man is heartbreaking and moving. If only I could have seen that in person. My goodness.
Also, your photography is perfection.
Thanks for your comments, Faith! The statues at the War Memorial are incredibly beautiful and moving. There seems to be something extra special about seeing them just as the sun goes down. Highly recommended as a place to visit should you find yourself in Seoul.
I tried to write this before but I wasn’t signed in. If for some reason this is a repeat comment just delete it.
I was saying that the statue of the begging old man at the feet of the young man is heartbreaking and breathtaking. It’s something I would have liked to have seen in person.
Also, your photography is perfection.