Tag Archives: Ilsan

Views in Ilsan, South Korea

Recently I took my very first public trans bus adventure from Uijeongbu Station to Ilsan to spend the day with a good friend of ours. Thankfully the journey was quite uneventful and I made it there with no hiccup (THANK YOU KATYA AND THE SEOUL BUS APP).

Ilsan is a beautiful city located just northwest of Seoul in Goyang city. I visited Ilsan twice prior when I first got to South Korea. Once was to visit the gigantic convention center called the Kintex, and the other time was to go to Costco before one was built much closer to us. Both trips never really awarded the opportunity to get out and see the city and explore a bit.

When I stepped off the bus I immediately took notice of a beautiful lake surrounded by walking paths and park. I lucked out too because Katya was just as eager to get out for a walk around the park as I was. Katya explained to me that the lake park is a very popular spot in the city and is known as the garden city. There were so many people out being active walking, jogging, spending time with their families, biking, skateboarding, snapping photos for blogs and magazines and yet it didn’t feel crowded one bit. It was a feeling you’ll seldom get to experience in Asia.

It was a wonderful fall day spent strolling around the lake park admiring the views, checking out the local Cafés, mall, restaurants and indulging in some frozen yogurt. I highly recommend a day trip to the area if you ever are looking for a new place to explore while in South Korea.

Thank you for hosting me this weekend Katya you are such a dear friend!

You Know What They Say…

We Bee’s woke up and had plans to go to the Korea International Exhibition Center, also known as the KINTEX Convention Center, to check out our friends Scuba Diving booth along with some others at the 9th Annual Gyeonggi Tourism Expo. Not quite knowing what to expect from the Expo, we still were excited for a new adventure!

The drive was a little under an hour from our place in Dongducheon. The time really just flew by and the next thing we knew, we were already coming up the Ilsan exit.

Driving into Ilsan we could see this massive building structure. We could make out the letter on the building pretty easily and were fairly positive that this was the place we were looking for. WOW! This place is just ginormous and has a really crazy wave-like shape to it.

The KINTEX Center opened in 2005 and spans 224,795 m. There are five exhibition halls that span 53.975 m. plus just this year they expanded into a second exhibition center that provides the building with 54.508 m of extra exhibition space! The KINTEX website says, “that with the combined exhibition areas of 100,000 m from the first and second Centers, KINTEX is Asia’s 5th largest and world’s 34th largest exhibition and convention center. Go big or go home, huh?

When entered into the building we were still just amazing at the size of the Center. There were tons of booths set up as far as the eye could see. The first booth that we saw was a facial stand. Surrounding booths were make-up, hair, skin care, etc. Pretty cool!

We walked around the expo with Mr. B’s friend and checked out different countries like Egypt, India, Japan, etc. Each booth had something different to offer, whether it was informational or free gifts, all geared towards getting you to go visit and travel their country.

We were handed all sorts of materials. We looked at a bunch of different booths on Scuba diving, drank various teas, mashed soybeans, Facebook LIKED Korea tourism’s site, ate rice cakes, sipped Gyeonggi Rice Makgolli, bought Yakgwa (Korean Fried Honey Cookies), and snapped some fun pictures. We had a blast!

The Center is located at Daehwa-dong Ilsan-seoug, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. For more information on upcoming events at the KINTEX Convention Center visit www.kintex.com, plus there is an English site too!

The fun had to end. We were on a time crunch to get back to our place to get changed and catch the train to Seoul. Tonight was Mrs. B’s second work party just with the ladies that she works directly with. The reservations were at the Korea House for a traditional Korean dinner and show.

Well, we missed the first train by minutes because of a wardrobe malfunction. We caught the second train twenty minutes later and were off. We transferred from line one to line four. We got off at Chungmuro Station Exit 3. The restaurant was incredibly easy to find! As soon as you come up the steps from exit 3 look to your right and you will see a gas station and the Korea House sign right behind it up on a building. Bam! You are there!

We had a wonderful time at the Restaurant with all of the dinner guests. We learned some new Korean foods and how to serve and prepare them as well. We also really enjoyed the show afterwards. The music was beautiful and the cast had incredible singing voices. (We included some photos of the cast in the attached album).

The address for the Korea House is, Seoul-si Jung-gu Pildong 2(i)-ga 80-2. To make reservations or find out more information about the restaurant or shows you can check out the website here.

Korea House Show Guide

Korea House Tickets

After the show we decided to grab some drinks at place nearby in the Myeong-Dong area at Bier Halle. We had so much fun just laughing, drinking, and eating. We thought it was very comical that Mrs. B’s co-workers were using chopsticks to eat nachos. You know what they say… only in Korea! Ha-ha!

It was getting late and we still had to take the train back to Dongducheon. We all left and ventured back home.

What did you do on your Saturday?

Costco in South Korea

Woo-hoo! Yes, Costco is actually in South Korea as well! The address of the Costco that we went to is located at: 1312 Eaekseok-dong, Ilsan dong-gu, goyang city, gyeonggi-do Korea.

Of course there are definitely some differences when it comes down to product and prices. The membership price in the states is $100.00 but here it is only 30,000 won each or 35,000 won for the “gold household” membership. Once again Korea hands down has the better set-up!

Overall we felt like we were back at home taking our normal trip down the road to buy goodies at Costco. The experience was the same with the employees giving out free samples, large carts, huge warehouse feel, bulk sized products, and tons of cars in the parking decks.

We took a few pictures with our mini cam so the picture quality isn’t as nice but you will get the gist from what we have. We also took some video clips and hope to get that put together when we have some time and uploaded to the blog.

We had to laugh because every corner we took Korean’s were looking to see what the two American’s were purchasing. On the other hand, we were looking to see what all the Korean’s bought when going to Costco as well. Surprisingly it was candies like Hershey’s chocolates, frozen food items, skin care items, clothing, etc.

We bought some items we were used to from back home but mostly things that we have come to love from Korea. Our bill totaled 190,000 Won. We really did not buy much as you can see from our cart picture and they didn’t take our US Costco membership American Express Card. We found out that they will only take the Samsung Credit Card. So if you are planning a trip within Korea make sure that you have plenty of Won for your purchases.

We ended the trip with a tasty supreme pizza exactly like the ones that Costco serves back in the states. Yum-O!

Hello Kitty Restaurant & Amusement

South Korea LOVES Hello Kitty! Of course I myself have a soft spot for the cute kitty in pink too. When I first made it to Korea I knew I had to get to one of the Hello Kitty café’s just to have the experience. Luckily two new friends also shared my same love of Hello Kitty and have two little girls of their own that they wanted to share the experience with as well.

We left a little before 9AM this morning and caught the train in on line one switching lines in Jongno-ga to line three. We took line three all the way to Madu Station, where we got off and went out exit 4 and walked a few blocks taking a left at the Kim’s Club you will see a New Core Outlet Mall on the right we continued walking until seeing the Western Dom shopping area located on the right-hand-side of the street. I made sure to take some reference points for anyone who is planning a trip to check out the area or the Hello Kitty Restaurant. Also Hello Kitty does not open until 11:00AM so you will want to plan accordingly.

Once we got to Western Dom I was pretty excited! We all were pretty impressed and thought this place was pretty awesome! Western Dom is located in Ilsan, South Korea. It’s got a mall vibe but it’s open and exposed to the outdoors at each end plus has some light traffic running through the center of it. Where do I begin? Oh, Yes! Tons and tons of places to eat, shop, play games, grab coffee, and of course visit Hello Kitty! I can’t wait to drag Larry back so he can check out the area too!
We had a bit of a struggle trying to locate the Hello Kitty elevators because it’s on floor three of the Western Dom building. I’m not sure if it was because we were so into checking out what all Western Dom had to offer or just the fact that we were looking so hard…nevertheless we ended up walking right past the doors twice. On the third attempt we saw the Hello Kitty logo on the glass doors and the small room that have three elevators inside.

YEY! We finally made it! The elevator doors opened into another room that had lockers all along the wall. You could put whatever you needed to store and take the key for free while you were inside. Be prepared that you have to remove your shoes, so bring your socks, (Hello this is South Korea) and put on red slippers that they provide you with to be able to enter.

We got there a bit after lunch-time and we were starving after the journey. We immediately decided to order food and let the girls run a bit while the food was being prepared. I opted for chicken pilaf, the two ladies I was with both got pasta carbonara. The little girls shared a plate of chicken cutlet and we had two orders of garlic bread. We had a ton of food! Everything was very good. The ladies said the bacon really stuck out in the pasta dish but that they enjoyed it. Hello Kitty provides the little girls with juice boxes and they bring out a side of pickles too. The total bill for our lunch and the cost for the two girls to play was $60,000 won so roughly $60.00 US. The plates at Hello Kitty range from $9,000 won upwards to about $13,500. They offer a desert menu that features a mud pie with a small scoop of ice- cream or a brownie paired also with a small scoop of ice-cream. Drinks are pretty typical cola, cider, coffees, teas, wine, beer, etc.

The play area is really nice for the children. There is a huge pink castle that you can go inside and play “house” in. Inside the castle Hello Kitty furnished with little pink and white tables, fake foods to play with, blocks, etc. There is a tube that runs inside the castle that the children can crawl through and it’s completely see through so you can keep an eye on your little one. There is a ball pit, slide, a motorized palm tree merry-go-round, little cars for the little ones to get inside and “drive around” in, a library, dress-up area where they have an array of dress-up clothing, a train that children can take around a small track, a baby-room if you have a teeny one that needs to take a nap or be changed, little children’s rest-rooms that feature smaller toilets and sinks, large party area for those that are throwing a party or event, and of course a gift-store area.

We had a great time and it was totally worth the trip! Feel free to check out the website (although it’s in Korean) http://www.hellokittytown.co.kr/ or you can check out the pictures included above.

As I said I cannot wait to drag Larry back to check out the area as well as hit up one of the Hello Kitty Café’s located around Seoul. I also plan on making a stop at the Hello Kitty store located nearby in Uijongbu.