Korea Trip K-Pop Special

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BTS Gangnam-dol

My K-Pop filled day was on 14 May 2016. It was quite sunny and warm but still a bit chilly because of the wind. I started off the trip with going to the Apgujeong Rodeo to see the Gangnam-dols in the famous K-Star Road.
Right after I arrived in the Apgujeong Rodeo station, I got out from Exit No. 2 (If I’m not mistaken) and directly I found the first of many Gangnam-dol.

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Gangnam-dol
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Gangnam-dol

Of course seeing those bears, I just had to take pictures of them all. And so every few metres, I stopped and took a picture of the Gangnam-dol. Found many familiar ones, but I was mosy excited to find BTS’s because I’m totally in love with them right now. So, to find that BTS Gangnam-dol was the main priority.

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Me and BTS Gangnam-dol

So, when I found it, I was super excited I couldn’t help but kept on grinning like a crazy woman on the loose. Too bad that I couldn’t really enjoy taking pictures with the bear because there was a construction going on directly in front of the statue and there were a lot of workers walking around and directing people in the area to move quickly because it was quite dangerous (perhaps). So I took only two quick pictures with the bear and moved on to the next location.

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Map of interesting spot around the area

After that, we were just walking around trying to find some entertainment companies like JYP because I heard that their office was in that area, but we just couldn’t find any (later I found out that it was because we only walked on the pedestrian walk near the main road). Then we stumbled upon this map and VOILA! we found the guide to anything K-Pop around the area.

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JYP Entertainment Building

Following the direction of the map (which was pretty confusing), we finally found the JYP Entertainment Office. I was excited to see the building in real life rather than just through some pictures from other people. As a fan of Kpop myself, I felt like I had to at least go there once. Now, I’d done it. I was super happy. Next, we tried to find CUBE but wasn’t able to find it and so we moved on to another desrination, FNC.

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FNC Entertainment Building
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FNC Entertainment Building

After quite a hike (the area was like a hill which totally exhausted any energy I had prior to the journey), we finally found FNC Entertainment Office. Took several pictures and then we were on our way. We then re-traced our trip back to the station because it was said that the SME Office was there, but we just missed it.

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SME Building

Turned out, we already passed the SME Office during our walk through the K-Star Road. My friend even took a photo in front of it, but we thought that it was a new construction for another SM themed building (like the one in COEX) because it really did look like one. And so we just took some pictures in front of the supposed construction site with posters of the SME artists plastered on it. In reality though, that was THE SME office building. And so after we went back, we tried to enter the building because the poster said that there was a store inside (well, we assumed there was a store inside based on the poster). We got closer, my friend even managed to take pictures of the entrance door, before this really rude Ahjussi came out of nowhere and started yelling at us in Korean. My friend tried asking him if there was really any store inside in English, but he kept on yelling at us to go away in Korean. Since none of us spoke decent Korean, we walked away while feeling extremely confused. We were not one of those sasaeng fans trying to get inside the office ilegally, so I was really confused why he yelled at us like we were trying to break in or something. Anyway, since the ever rude Ahjussi couldn’t be reasoned with (due to the language barrier too), we decided to just go back to the station and went to our next destination which was the BTS Official Shop building (or so I thought).

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Big Hit Entertainment Office
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Big Hit Entertainment Office

When we tried to find the address written on the BTS Official Shop website, we asked for direction to the one who knew all the answer, Google Map. Location received, I tried to find the address in real life only to find that it needed a very hard work to find it. And after we finally found the building, we found out that there was no BTS Official Shop in that building and that they only supported online shopping (or so the kind Ahjussi working in that building said after he checked the site). And so, a bit disappointed because I wasn’t able to directly buy BTS Merchandises, we went to our next destination which was (for me) the highlight of the day, the Big Hit Entertainment Office Building.

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Big Hit Entertainment
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Big Hit Entertainment

Their office was located in Shinsa area. But it was quite a hike and walk to get there. And moreover, we fot confused with the direction (we got the direction from someone’s blog who had been there before) and got lost. But after a lot of ups and downs, a lot of sweats being shed and many hikes later, we finally arrived. This building housed the Big Hit Entertainment office where BTS went to day by day (maybe?). Even during the walk there, just walking the streets and knew that there was a chance the boys walked that same street with me, was enough to make me grin and smile throughout the tiring journey. Even with all the hikes, the excitement didn’t fade.

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Me beside Big Hit building

So I took a picture beside the building in front of the wall that looks quite similar to the ones used in RM’s Kim Daily pics. Weird and super freakish, I know. And it might not be the same wall after all, but just taking this picture made me super happy and absolutely satisfied (especially after the hard work I put into hiking those hilly roads).

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SM Town at COEX

Okay, so next, after the super amazing trip to Big Hit, I went to COEX for SM Town. There was a time when going there would absolutely blow my mind with excitement more than if I went to Big Hit. But that time was long over since TVXQ broke up into TVXQ Homin and JYJ. My heart still couldn’t take the separation as a reality. I refused to do so and I will always wait for their comeback as FIVE. Getting off tracks for a bit there. So, since only Homin is left with SME, I wasn’t that excited to be going there. Nothing in particular that excites me more than TVXQ as five so yeah…kinda pointless going there.

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Yunho's signature in SM Town
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Proud Cassies wearing the TVXQ Logo

Still, because I was already there I had to make the best out of it, right? Since who knows when I’ll be back to Korea in the future. So I just took random pictures of Yunho and Changmin and everything about them.

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Some of the awards DB5K won all those years ago

And I found these music show awards that TVXQ won all those years ago when they were still actively promoting as five. Just looking at these awards made me so proud of them (totally fangirling over them all here).

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Hongdae with its street performance

Next up on the list, we went to Hongdae, the famous place for its street performances. Because we went there on a Saturday afternoon, the street was packed full of people and every several meter or so there was a different street performance going on. Mostly they danced, but some were rapping, singing, and just performing their talents in general. I found the area very cool and hip with a lot of support for young artists and musicians. And these guys in particular did some covers of BTS (obviously) and also TVXQ’s Mirotic.

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San E in Hongdae
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San E in Hongdae

In Hongdae we also got to see (well, sort of see) San E doing his performance. I recognized him mostly from the SMTM show and from…somewhere, I forgot exactly where and when. He looked awesome though and his songs he performed there were also very nice. But we didn’t stay long because of the crowd. The crowd was just crazy.

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Dinner

After we struggled with the crowd to try and catch a glimpse of San E’s performance, we decided to have an early dinner nearby. It was awesomeeely good. We added the extra ramyeon twice and ended up not being able to finish all of them (I guess we were just too greedy, huh?!). Anyway, it was definitely a satisfying dinner even though it was very spicy.

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Hongdae Street Performance

So with the dinner finished, we went on our way to go back to the hotel. Of course we were quite stuck (still) and mezmerized with the street performances that we couldn’t help but look around for another couple of minutes. But after that, we just went back to our hotel and with that we concluded our Kpop filled day.

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