“Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Hongdae” | DESIGN: Thinking Made Visible

Hello guys,

After the “Trick Eye Museum” and the “National Folk Museum & Gyeongbokgung Palace”. The next location should be Dongdaemun Market. It’s morose because I didn’t have that much time to stroll around and take a picture, so let’s talk about my visit Dongdaemun Design Plaza with my family.

The Dong Daemun Design Plaza or also known as DDP is a major urban development landmark in Seoul, South Korea designed by Zaha Hadid and Samoo, with a distinctively “neo-futuristic” design characterised by the “powerful, curving forms of elongated structures”.

It is the centrepiece of South Korea’s fashion hub and popular tourist destination around Dongdaemun, featuring a walkable park on its roofs, large global exhibition spaces, futuristic retail stores and restored parts of the Seoul fortress.

This is when packing goes wrong (It’s Important to Prepare your “Winter Essentials”). Instead of bringing padded jacket I only bring A long winter coat and some sweaters with me, So in this super cold weather that day (-10 C) I’m paralysed and only able to explore “The Underground Cultural Plaza”.

The Underground Cultural Plaza allows access to the east and west sides of the Dongdaemun Fashion District which is bisected at ground level by a major road. It connects to the Euljiro Underground Arcade.

DDP & Hongdae

It’s cool to see how the lights turn on & off, and create some pattern. It completes the Overall look of this buildings. Another great thing about this building is that It is physically connected to “Seoul Subway” via Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station on Line 2, 4 and 5.

Because we haven’t bought subway cards, we decided to buy one here so we could go to Hongdae (we need to buy some properly padded jacket because we will go to NAMI island and mountain work tomorrow), and we already saw some good one this morning when we went to “Trick-eye museum” around Hongdae district.

The name Hongdae is an abbreviation of Hongik Daehakgyo (one of the nation’s top fine arts colleges in South Korea). It is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, clubs and entertainments.

This area is located Mapo-gu in the western end of Seoul, stretching from Seogyo-dong to Hapjeong-dong. This district also is known as a “The Fashion District” because they have a reasonably priced independent clothing stalls, discount, and vintage shops, especially along the main thoroughfare of Eoulmadang-ro.

They also have some kitschy, quirky and eclectic theme cafes, such as the Charlie Brown Cafe, themed with Peanuts characters, Hello Kitty Cafe, Bau House Cafe for dogs and puppies, Gio Cat Cafe, and Dr Fish Cafe, all around this area.

We didn’t have time to try one of it because it’s quite late at night, but we manage to try street snacks stalls on our way back to Subway station called “Pojangmacha”.

Means “covered waggon” Pojangmacha is a small tented restaurant on wheels or street stalls in Korea that sell a variety of traditional street foods such as hotteok, gimbap, tteokbokki, sundae, dakkochi, odeng, andu and anju.

The food tastes pretty good and it’s surprisingly warm enough. After that, we head back to our hotels using a taxi because we are to exhausted to walk. It’s so far the worst taxi experience I’ve ever had because he didn’t understand the hotel address even though we already write it down and give the full address including the postal code and we’re kind of lost in translation. So yeah no more taxi for me.

Before I closed today’s post, Here’s some Tips & Tricks for you who planning to visit Hongdae:

  • To be able to use the Public transportation, you need a smart card called T-money that could be purchased on T-money machine in every subway station, sometimes some convenience store and kiosk also sell it. They have one in Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station.
  • Moving to one station to another feels like participating in hunger games, so It’s better to download the Seoul Subway Map. Believe me, you’ll need this map because the subway line is super duper complicated, have a look, and welcome to the jungle:

Seoul SMRT Map

  • You also could install some apps to your phone called “Metroid HD: Korean Subway Info”. It helps to guide you by giving some information about the train that you should take, like the gate or lines of the subway that you must take and the departure time of the trains till you reach your destination. After some struggle finally, we arrived at Hongdae Station.
  • If you are planning to do the Korea trip “solo” but didn’t have any idea where to go, what to eat, and where to stay, this web might be helpful for you. You could find a detail information about accommodation, event/festivals, attractions, food, etc. in Korea, so it might give you some clue about where to visit, when, and what to expect.

That’s for today, make sure to follow Instagram @edvisored for more information about the place. And follow my personal instagram@edcharmain & my sisters @gracianikanesia for another travel picture.

Best Regards,

Your Edvisored

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