[Summer in Korea] How to survive the hot weather in Korea

August is the hottest month in Korea when the average temperature rises up to over 36 degrees Celcius (about 96-97 in  Fahrenheit) and stays up for over a month. Add up the humidity and it feels almost like a sauna, doesn’t it?

In recent years temperatures have been rising and it has become harder for me to come up with this weather, in comparison to when I first came to Korea. As a person, who did not have an aircon at her place up until a few days before, I came up with some useful ways to cope up with the heat during the Korean summer.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
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[Places in Seoul] Museum of Fruit

Seoul is a kind of city which is going to give you priceless picture opportunities no matter where you go. You might be living here or you might be just a tourist, but no matter what, you will always find a perfect spot for that one shot which will fit your Instagram feed perfectly.

Yet, if you have lived in Seoul for a longer time, you will start to notice that there is more than lovely architecture where modernity is mixed with Korean traditional culture, but also much more cool stuff to do –  such as various cafes and art spaces. And this time I am going to introduce one of those to you!

Museum of fruit is a pop-up space which was opened in the cultural space of Insadong on May 18th this year and it is going to be operating until September 30th, so you should hurry up if you want to get some cool shots around various fruits!

The main idea of this exhibit it to allow its visitors to experience art, rather than looking at it in a passive way, so every single part of the exhibit is Instagram friendly. It contains a lot of fruit elements, so if you are missing them in Korea (since fruits are really overpriced here, right?) you should definitely give it a try.

We decided to go to the exhibition in the morning, so we not only managed to get an early bird discount (regular tickets are 12$ and the early bird ones are 8$) but also had more space to freely take pictures. Even though some of the visitors were quite rude, getting in the pictures and ruining them, but that is not a museums fault.

The exhibition starts with some fruits and a swing, which was more fun to play at rather than taking pics and then it transforms into a birthday room with a huge cake installation and tons of various props to make your pictures even more fun.

At first, we thought it was the end, but as we open the fridge door, it brings us to a much cooler space of watermelons, pineapples, and grapes. That room is the most popular one, so seriously, it was hard taking a good picture.

Later the exhibition continues and you can get refreshed in a cafe inside or on a rooftop, but since it was really hot that day,  we decided to stay inside and to take more pictures in a pool full of pink balls! It was not only good for pictures but also really fun.

The staff is also really friendly – they will offer to take a picture of you or even hold a light so you can get better quality pics!

A tasty orange is also included in the price!

If you want to be updated about such places easier and faster, make sure to follow me on Instagram where I upload pictures and stories daily!

Adress: 3/F Culture Space and Sky Terrace
133-1, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Price: adult 12,000 won
children 10,000 won
night 7,000 won
Special discounts: If you will go there from 10;30 AM to 1PM and will be one of the first 50 visitors, the ticket will cost you only 8,000 won!
What to bring: Camera and good mood!

[Gangneung cafe] Tasting shark lemonade was something I could have not imagined

Every expat in South Korea is probably aware of the fact that Koreans are crazy about cafes. Yes, you heard me right – not coffee, but cafes. Before I came to  Korea I thought that cafes are usually rated by the coffee quality or the variety of coffee beans, yet after living here more almost 3 years I have transformed a lot – now cafe to me is a place to relax and have a unique experience, either it would be an unseen drink, special type of dessert or even beautiful interior design where I could  take tons of pretty pictures.

Speaking of Seoul, cafes here are appearing and disappearing so fast, you cannot even catch up with all of them, right? Even though most of the cafes I have introduced before were located in Seoul – this time I am here with something different!

Cafe Geumjin station is a little container cafe located just in front of the Geumjin port in Gangneung. As you might already know, after the Winter Olympics 2018 Gangneung has become one of the main tourist destinations in Summer in Korea. It has many beautiful beaches and places to explore, so I definintely recommend going there as well!

Yet, this time we have decided to go farther away from the main Gyeongpo-dae, Gangmun and Jumunjin beaches and moved a little bit South, where the beautiful Jeongdonjin beach,  famous thanks to the Sun Cruise Resort (read more about the resort in my next blog) is located. This is where we found this cafe!

Geumjin station is unique in many ways. First  of all, it does not have an address. If you want to go there, you should move towards the Geumjin port and you will see it next to some raw fish restaurants nearby. Second, it has some  very cute drinks, that are going to make your Instagram feed 10 times more interesting! My personal favorite was the “Jumping sharks” lemonade, which had actual sharks inside! Ok, just kidding! It was not shark meat, but cute jelly shaped as this amazing ocean creature and tasting completely amazing! As for the taste, the lemon was quite strong, so take it only if you like sour drinks! Coffee was great though.

When we decided to go to this cafe, we planned to take a bus, but later it came clear that the buses here are coming just 4 times a day! Even though the transportation system in Seoul is great, smaller cities, such as Gangneung are not that well developed, so you might need to hop in a taxi in order to go there. Not worth it? I don’t regret it all all!

The girl working in a cafe that day was really nice to us and she even gave us some melon as a service! A big plus for the hospitality.

They also have a dog so you might need to note that before going. Even though the dog was out at the time we visited, I saw quite a lot of pictures in Instagram of other customers petting it! ^^

On the end note, I would totally recommend visiting it if you happen to be in Jeongdongjin or Geumjin areas, but coming all the way from the main area of Gangneung might be too far for a small cafe.

For more cafes and cute places all around South Korea, follow me on Instagram!

Place: Cafe Geumjin Station
Adress: no adress. Just in front of Geumjin port
Opening time: 10 AM
Prices: 2,5$ – 5$

[Seoul Cafe] The Summer Lounge Bar & Cafe

Ikseon-dong is one of the oldest neighborhoods in central Seoul, which was kind of forgotten for quite a long time, but is gaining more attention right now. Recently, it started growing as a new trendy part of the town, where young artists and locals with creative state of minds are starting their own business and finding peace inside of the busy and noisy city of Seoul.

This neighbourhood is mostly known for their Hanok (Korean traditional architecture), but recently more cafes and trendy stores are being opened, so I could not pass by without looking what new they’ve got on the table and I unexpectedly stumbled upon an amazing cafe – bar located in one of the narrow streets of this neighbourhood.

“The Summer” is a newly opened lounge bar & cafe in Ikseon-dong.
Originally, it served its purpose only as a bar and as of this summer has been opened as a cafe as well. Actually, the owners are still working on creating the suitable atmosphere for the daytime, so when we came there at 12 PM when it was originally supposed to open, we got to know that it will open only at 1:30 PM.

We took a stroll around the neighborhood and came to see that there were already many people waiting at the door, who came there earlier – just like us. I guess, despite it being opened late, everyone decided to wait? Just in case you might get into a similar situation, I would recommend calling them in advance or coming a little bit later in the day.

The interior is totally amazing – some people say it reminds then of Bangkok, some – that it gives them Miami vibes! Even though the building originally was a Hanok house, it was repainted and transformed into a light-colored oasis, which even has a swimming pool inside! (No, unfortunately, you cannot swim in there)

Even though the interior is really pretty inside, you might need to be patient in order to get beautiful pictures – the place is completely new, so every single visitor is there to hunt down that perfect Instagram shot!

They also have comfortable seating, but most of the tables are designed for two people, so if you come in a bigger group, you might need to wait a little longer for your seat.

As for the menu – they serve soft drinks, desserts, food and also alcohol, so anyone could find something suitable for them. Therefore, I would say that the prices are a little bit high for what you get. On the other hand, the staff provides a really high-quality service, so I suppose you get what you pay for 🙂

We ordered a Watermelon Slush and Topaz Juice. Both drinks tasted good, but I would say that you should be careful with topaz if you cannot eat or drink sour things – the taste was quite strong.

I liked that they care about the design of their products as well – Topaz juice came in a separate bottle for me to pour it in myself, so that made my experience more unique. I saw that other customers also got some drinks, which had bananas, shaped like dolphins on them as well! Isn’t it cool?

We did not try the food, so I cannot comment on that. Originally we wanted to get Bingsu, but they did not have it at that time, so maybe you are going to be luckier than me!

In conclusion, I would say that “The Summer” is a great place to relax and take some beautiful pictures, especially if you are into trendy cafes! Bring your camera, beautiful outfit and a great mood – you will have a great time!

If you want to know more about trendy cafes and cool places in Seoul make sure to follow me on Instagram!

Place: The Summer Lounge Bar & Cafe
Adress: Seoul, Jongro-Gu, Donhwamun-ro 11gil 31-9
Working time: 12:00 – 01:00
Prices: 7,5$ – 32$
(most beverage drinks are around 10$)

[Explore Seoul] Ant Village: Your New Photo Opportunity

Gaemi Maeul (개미마을) is a small residential community located in the lower part of Inwang Mountain, so the hiking trail starts just at the top of the village. The town itself holds a long history, dating back to the 1950s’ when Korean suffered the hardships of the Korean War.

The geographical location of this village is not the best option for people to live, because in summer when it rains a lot, there is a danger of the landslides, which can damage the buildings or cause harm to the gardens in people’s yards. Back in the day, people moved to live to live here, because they had no other option, but after settling down, many decide not to move.

Originally this town was called Indiantown, but later it was changed to “ant village”, which represents the hardworking mentality of its residents.

In addition, the neighborhood is comparatively poor and some houses don’t even have their personal toilets. Even though many visitors, especially foreign tourists might mistake the bathroom on the top of the hill as a public toilet for tourists, it actually serves a little bit different purpose – people who actually live here, use it as their main toilet. Of course, visitors are not going to be kicked out, but it was originally not built for tourism purposes.

So, why is this Village important? As you might have already noticed from the pictures, ant village is rich in various murals, which were painted by student volunteers back in 2010.

Now it attracts more visitors, who are eager to take pretty pictures or just look around the village. Even though it is not a popular as Ihwa Mural Village near the Naksan Park (Hyehwa station, it is not less interesting and I would definitely recommend visiting it if you are around the area and have some free time. It does not take long to look around there!

Additionally, it is less crowded than the Ihwa village, so you don’t need to worry about your pictures being ruined by other visitors, nor about waiting for the line to take a picture 🙂

The Ant Village also got more popularity after the release of the Korean movie “Miracle in Cell No. 7” (2013), which had some scenes filmed here! So if you are up to checking out Korean movie and drama filming locations, this place is just for you!

Place: Ant Village / 개미마을
Adress:  Seoul, Hongje 3(sam)-dong
Admission: Free
Note: Be respectful of the people living here, because it is their actual houses.

Boseong is a small city in the South Jeolla Province which is considered to be the birthplace for the commercial green tea industry in the country. It is one of the most popular travel destinations in that region and when Koreans think of green tea, Boseong it the first city which comes to their mind. Actually, more than 40% of the country’s green tea comes from the plantations situated around this city.

Green tea fields are the most beautiful during the summer season, starting late May and ending around the end of August. Every spring, when the plantation becomes green, there is a green tea festival held in the Korean Tea Cultural Park & Boseong tea fields. This year the festival was held from May 18th to May 22nd, but the visitors are welcome all year around.

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[K-Beauty] Kocostar Products You Need To Try

Korea is a country, widely known for its beauty products and skincare.  Even though a few years ago only those who were either living in Korea or highly interested in Korean culture, were aware of the K-beauty phenomena, but in 2018 almost every woman (and some men) on planet earth knows why Korean women usually have perfect skin and are aging really well.

Just a little bit more than 10 years ago Korean cosmetic products became available to the outside world, but it is growing at a speed of light. If back then we knew up to 10 major Korean cosmetic companies, now the number is uncountable.

Last weekend I had a chance to participate in CosmoBeauty Seoul 2018, exhibition and get to hear about the new hottest trends in Korean beauty industry as well as to try out some yet to release cosmetic products. I was lucky enough to get a chance to get to know some cosmetic brands I have never heard about before and I totally fell in love with some and Kocostar is definitely one of them!

Since in my opinion, skincare is more important than makeup, I have got some masks to help to improve my skin condition. Usually, I am spending too much time on the computer, so my eyes are the first one to suffer.  And I guess nobody likes tired-looking under eyes, am I right? So the first product I have got is Kocostar’s Tropical Eye Patch Acai Berry edition.

It is basically a hydrogel undereye patch, which is supposed to help your undereye area keep moisturized and stay young longer. The principle is quite simple – you take a patch,  put it on your undereye and keep it there for 10 to 15 minutes.

I really liked how it felt on my skin and applying makeup on the next day was much easier than it normally is  – I did not have my BB cream sinking into my undereye wrinkles ^^” In addition, this product has no scent at all, so it does not irritate even the most sensitive skin. The package includes 60 patches, so if you use it every day, it is going to be enough for a month. Therefore, I would prefer doing this 2 to 3 times a week instead.

When my eyes are already taken care of, it is time for the lips! Kocostart hydrogen lip mask works in the same principle as the eye patches. You take one sheet and put it on your lips. The recommended time is  10 minutes, but personally, I would keep it longer, especially if you have dry and chappy lips as I do.

The package includes 20 patches and not to mention it is incredibly cute! Do you have any ideas for reusing it after I finish the product? I think that it would perfectly serve as an accessory box. Let’s help the environment!

As any other Korean cosmetic company, Kocostar also offers a variety of one-use face masks, that are supposed to hydrate, clean, revitalize and soften your skin. I’ve got to try two of those – Camelia and Black. Even though both of the masks felt averagely similar to the other masks I’ve tried before, I would say that the concentrate of the Binchotan charcoal is much higher than usual, so it would bring a better effect! Totally recommend this one!

Therefore, I would mention that all of the Korean face masks, regardless of the company are too big for me, so even if I want to take pictures, they all end up looking really wrinkled. I feel like western and Asian face shape is somewhat different, so it will not fit perfectly.

Last but not the least are Foot and hand Moisture packs, which come in a form of socks and gloves. Even though those are actually for your body, beauty is not only in your face, right? As a person who has extremely dry hands, that kind of hand packs are the blessing. I could see some incredible results just after one use, but my hands were as dry as usual on the next day. I think, in order to get the long-term results, you would need to use them more often.

I will wrap my review here, as there are no more products to talk about this time.  Therefore, the upcoming blogs are going to feature more of K-beauty and skincare! I am getting addicted.

To check my day to day updates, follow me on Instagram @Agata0710

[Seoul Cafe] A Nest Of Vipers

ANOV  –  Rooftop Cafe & Bar in Itaewon

When it comes to cafes in Seoul, I am that kind of person who wants to try everything out for myself.

For a long time, I have been avoiding cafes and bars around Itaewon, because I thought they all had a bad reputation and were not as safe as one would hope it to be. But I have changed my mind. Maybe it is my mindset what is changing, maybe it’s Itaewon itself, that is becoming much different from before.

The cafe I wanted to introduce today is a rooftop bar & cafe ANOV located in Hannam-dong, not that far from Hannam station.

The title itself is an acronym for “A Nest of Vipers“, but a viper here does not represent a person you would call one. It does represent an actual snake, so you can see some terrariums which will serve you as a table and decorations, that might make you feel like you ar in the jungle, but don’t get scared – those cold-blooded reptiles are not actually there.

The cafe itself consists of 2 parts – a cafe/bar on the 3rd floor and a rooftop, which has a perfect design to both, take a rest or get some amazing shots for your Instagram!

Prices vary from 4 to 20 thousand Korean won but can go up higher if you would buy bottled alcohol. As for someone, who came there for some coffee and tasty bagels, it was completely reasonable, especially since I wanted to take some pictures as well!

Just how tasty are those?

In between the floors they also have a nice gallery which you should not miss.

Personally, I would recommend going there on a sunny day and if you have a change – be there early to grab a great seat. I have visited this cafe twice and even though one of the times we were the only customers (we arrived at 12 when it opens) the other time it was hard t get a seat.

Place: ANOV Rooftop Bar&Cafe
Adress: Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening times:   12:00 – 01:00 (Fri – Sat 12:00 – 03:00)
Closed on Mondays
Instagram: @anestofvipers

For more interesting places, follow me on Instagram @agata0710 🙂

Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park (Hwarangdae)

Surprisingly, even though Seoul is known for its urban areas the most it is a city rich in forests and parks. Of course, everyone is aware of Han River parks, Seoul Forest, Children’s Grand Park, Olympic Park and other major areas, that make you forget that you are in the most populated city in the country. But the capital of South Korea has much more to offer to its residents and visitors, who might feel tired from the urban atmosphere Seoul breathes.

When I first moved to Seoul, I thought that I have seen the most beautiful parts of it, but the longer I live here, the more I find to explore. Since the weather is getting better and summer is just around the corner, we decided to explore the northern parts of Seoul, that are much closer to our home than usual areas we hang out at.

After a little bit of searching, we stumbled upon the comparatively new  Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park (the old Hwarangdae station), which was opened to the public on November 18, 2017.

The Gyeongchun Line was the first railway originally built during the Japanese colonial era in order to transport natural recourses, so it gives away some Japanese vibes and even has the and old train from that era in the exposition.

Since it was disused and served no purpose for quite a long time, Seoul metropolitan government decided to transform it into a 6.3 kilometers long linear park, which would transform discontinued railroad into a peaceful area for families to relax at or couples to take a long romantic walk along the monorail.

The main forest area is located in the former area of the old Hwarangdae station (not to confuse with the Hwarangdae station Subway Line 6), which is not completely empty, but open for the visitors. The park itself stores some different type of train examples and even an old tram!

Unfortunately, because (almost) all of the trains are really old, it is prohibited to enter them because of the safety reasons. Therefore, in order for visitors to experience the inside of an old train, one of them was renovated and opened to the public. Because of its’ white color, it gives away some mystic vibe. Not to mention, your pictures will turn out just great!

If you are looking for a peaceful walk with a spice of history, Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park is a place just for you! Don’t forget to bring your camera and a good mood!

P.S. There is no convenience store nor a cafe there, so if you are planning to stay there for a longer time, just as we did, don’t forget to bring some water as well, otherwise you’ll need to take a walk to the closest convenience store, which is not as close as I would hope it to be.

We also filmed a Vlog there, but it is going to be released a little bit later. If you are interested in watching it later, make sure to follow me on Instagram for daily updates or subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

As always, Thank You for reading and I hope you enjoy your trip!

Place: Seoul (Disused Gyeongchun Line railway, Kwangwoon University Station – Seoul boundary)
Opening times: Opened all the time, but it is not allowed to be there after 10 PM
Admission fee: FREE

Korean Skin Care: Visiting DA Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Clinic

South Korea is a country which already earned its name in the beauty society as one of the most progressive, looks-centered societies, where everyone, regardless of their age or gender are concerned about their looks in one way or another.
K-beauty is everywhere and people all around the world are talking about it. If you would compare it to few years ago, you could see that now you can get Korean cosmetic products anywhere in the world and more and more people are coming here to get various beauty procedures done here, in Seoul. It’s high quality, effective and cheap at the same time, so why not?

If in 2000’s only East and South-East Asians were coming to  Korea to enhance their beauty 2010’s is a new era, where everyone, even westerners are welcomed. I am also no different.

Staying in Korea and using local beauty products long enough made me wonder, what’s it like to have your skin taken care of by a professional, so I did some research and decided to visit one of the beauty clinics in Gangnam – a neighborhood well-known for its beauty industry.

The clinic I went to is called “DA Plastic Surgery & Dermatology” and even though they are famous for their facial contouring and other major plastic surgeries, they also offer a wide range of various dermatology and skin care services. As I did not want any drastic changes, I decided I would like to have my general skin condition improved and registered for a consultation.

My major concerns were pollution-caused damage and discoloration of my skin. Air quality is getting worse these days in Korea and yellow dust is dangerous not only for your general health but for the skin as well and I felt like simple masks you can buy in the beauty stores were not enough to save it from a long-term damage.

After checking my skin condition, DA dermatologist suggested getting a hydration treatment, since my skin got really dry and was losing its elasticity. This is what we proceeded with.

The treatment consisted of 5 steps:
1. Blackhead and Dead Skin Removal
2. Hydrating Treatment with Green Tea Extract and Aloe
3. Regeneration Laser
4. Hydrating Mask
5. Moisturizer + Sunscreen


After the treatment, I felt relaxed and clean. Even though there were no visible differences in my skin, it felt fresher than before and the next day it was easier to apply makeup.  Even though I feel like you should constantly do those kinds of treatments to see long-term results, for the starters it is ok to treat yourself a procedure like this at least once a few months.

I am very thankful to DA Plastic Surgery and Dermatology clinic for giving me this opportunity to get hydration treatment done. People working in the clinic are really professional and kind to their customers, which is one of the most important points in receiving any kind of service.

Even though I speak Korean, I was positively surprised that they have English interpretation services for those foreigners who don’t speak Korean. They also can interpret other foreign languages frequently used in Korea, such as Chinese and Japanese.  This means that clinic is foreigner friendly and it will make your visit much easier.

As I mentioned before, they are focusing mostly on plastic surgery, but as I chose to have only a skin treatment, I cannot comment on the more serious procedures. Therefore, based on my personal experience, DA is a great place for those who want to improve their looks if they happen to be in Korea.

Disclaimer:  Even though I received this procedure for free, I am not paid to write this review, so this review purely based on my personal experience.

Don’t forget to checkout my VLOG as well!

Place: DA Plastic Surgery & Dermatology
Web page: www.daprseng.com
Kakao: daprsen
Line: daplasticsurgery
WhatsApp: +82 10 3455 7111