Summer in Asia – Beijing & Seoul

What is a summer without at least one trip back to Asia? Living a 14-hour flight away from home, these long and tiring trips are nevertheless the highlight of my summers. Last year, I spent a long summer in Korea after graduation, with an amazing trip to Jeju Island. (A recap here:)

 

Unfortunately, I could only go back for a short two weeks (vacation days are limited when you’re not a student anymore…), but it was still great to see the family. My parents moved into a new apartment that they recently renovated themselves, so it was nice to see how they decorated the place.


Tidbits from my first few days in Korea – grocery shopping, grabbing a bite after a morning yoga class…

Also stopped by a Mr. Pizza to fulfill that junk food craving I only get in Korea.

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I also went through the annual chop-off & balayage! I went back to the salon that I visited last year and got my hair colored by the stylist I met through Instagram. The hair studio has a lovely vintage aesthetic and their service is an A+.

I opted for a navy ash, to minimize brassiness as my hair starts to grow and fade.  I love having bright colors in my hair again!

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I actually got the opportunity to fly to Beijing to visit my boyfriend and his relatives. It was quite nice to visit China again – it reminded me of the days when I used to live in Shanghai. But oh boy, it was hot!!!! We basically spent our time there eating a lot of good food and sightseeing (a lot of it spent indoors).

Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace)

Yiheyuan (Summer Palace)

 

Breakfast at KFC.

I did struggle to communicate with my broken, rusty Chinese – but everyone was very sweet and I was treated with such great hospitality.

Then we flew back to Seoul to spent the last few days of our stay in Asia. My boyfriend had visited Korea last year, but it was in the middle of January, when the weather was freezing cold. It’s quite a different vibe to be in Seoul in the summer, with all of its summer snacks and the humidity that comes along with it.

On top of the Lotte Word Tower.

We also visited a Makgeolli bar, serving traditional Korean rice wine with a variety of fusion Korean snacks.

Afternoon tea? (With crackers, kimchi, chives, and cheese) Surprisingly delicious!

We also visited Cheonan to see my grandma. She had a whole feast ready for us!

 

We spent an entire day in Hongdae. (Those of you who’ve seen my last Korea video might know, but we had a good time failing at the claw machines that reward you with stuffed animals…but we finally won one!!!)

Gigantic ice cream cone that did not end well.

Lunch at a restaurant inspired by a Japanese novel.

A DIY studio where you can make your own phone case! 

Of course, you can’t forget Korean barbeque when you’re in Korea! Coincidentally, my dad and my grandma had their birthdays on the same day (my dad celebrates his lunar calendar birthdays so it changes every year), so we had a large family dinner with tons of meat and cake.

Then we spent a day in the Old Seoul, visiting Changdeokgung (with a secret garden in the back) and a cute vegan brunch cafe.

We also visited a trick-eye museum and grabbed some bingsoo to quench our thirst.

Family dinner at the Four Seasons hotel.

The trip back was hard as always, but I’ll be back soon!

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