On the first day of our Korean adventure, we chose to visit Edae, famous for being a hangout haven of young, female college students. How else were we to best transit into Korean lifestyle, than to join the pace of the similar-aged?
We visited beautiful Ewha first, after scrambling out of Exit 2 of the similarly named subway station (Ewha Woman's University Station), and followed the street straight out from the exit. Five minutes later, and we were there. Fortunately for us, despite a tedious travel from Bugae where we were staying with a friend in Incheon, we were still rather early, so there weren't any imminent, overwhelming clouds of tourists yet. Students rushed into and out of lecture halls, in between classes, while we wandered through the scenic campus with thoughts of how perfect this place would be in the hues of autumn.
Often hyped as the best place for bargains shopping-wise, the shopping streets of Edae definitely do not disappoint. The proximity to Ewha is the reason why much of it is reasonably priced, but there are hidden gems that offer local designer goods as well. At the height of the summer season, many of the inexpensive stores offer basics without much variation, but the price points are good enough for me, at about 5000won (or $6) for a comfortable tee.
Street food is not to be missed in Edae. We had the waffle with ice cream and chicken in a cup (dakgangjeong), by the street formerly passed on the way to Ewha from the station. It was quite an experience as we watched the lady expertly pat and cradle the waffle, just as how a doctor would to a newborn. Seoul is said to be synonymous with Street Food, but the same street food may not be found at different places, so just eat whatever your heart desires!
As with any other popular part of Seoul, just seek out the tourist helpers donned in red and they can assist you if you're lost or if you need any recommendations. Also, if you're looking to get lost in a cacophony, Edae would be your best bet, as it is a wonderful blend of colours, sight and sound. If I had the luxury of time, I would certainly love to return to Edae and people-watch while sipping coffee!