Seoul 2023: Day 5
Even though I still felt like shit I guess waking up at 4am after being in bed by 8pm is technically an improvement. Since I was up so early I headed back down to Boulangerie and picked us up some more pastries. Also their olive bread loaf was just the type of carbs I needed to get me going in the morning. After a shower and quick stop at Blue Bottle (obviously) we were on Line 2 of the subway and on our way to where we planned to spend the entire day, COEX Mall.
I know I am going to catch some hate for this, but with every new country I visit I make it a point to eat at McDonald's. Look, with such a global brand it is always interesting to see how each country tries to differentiate themselves. For example in Korea they had the TRIPLE ONION BURGER!!! A quarter pound patty, with caramelized onions, red onions, and fried onions, smothered in some sort of mayonnaise sauce. It was quite tasty and honestly I wish we had it in North America.
Now the main reason we came to COEX Mall was to visit the Starfield Library. Essentially a massive public library inside of a mall, which will probably end up being the most packed attraction visited during our trip. What was interesting was how it seemed to be populated by both locals and tourists. I would have thought this was a tourist trap but it seemed to be a genuine public space. They also have an Arabica coffee shop on the second floor which made us wish we had held off on Blue Bottle today.
Continuing Elsie and I's tradition of visiting zoos and aquariums wherever we go, next up was the COEX Aquarium. I will admit that I was not particularly enthused about it. How big could an aquarium in a mall truly be? Well the answer is actually pretty darn big. It was populated with everything from carp, eels, prairie dogs, pirarucu, manatees, sharks, penguins, and even a lone squirrel (for some reason). My favourite were the were the Asian arowanas which I would love to raise one day.
After finishing with the aquarium we finally decided to do what one normally does in a mall and shop. Elsie managed to find some Cookie Run: Kingdom merch, we stumbled upon a very cute shop somewhat bizarrely named Butter, and on the bottom floor there was a Gundam Base which just once again confirms that I am living on the wrong continent.
The only thing left to do before heading back to our hotel was to find the giant bronze Gangnam Style statue so Elsie could make an ass of herself in front of it. I have to imagine that locals must absolutely detest that statue. We were only there for about 10 minutes but it was a non-stop cavalcade of tourists just coming to do the dance.
By the time we took the subway back to our hotel it was past 5pm and we were spent. Not in the mood for a long trek for food we decided to get some Korean fried chicken at the Kyochon behind our hotel. Even though it is technically a chain restaurant the chicken was amazing. It had the perfect amount of spice and was perfectly crispy on the outside while still remaining juicy on the inside. Highly recommend!#Seoul2023