seoul-searching with my little family

Just came back from our first ever family trip to Seoul. Withdrawal symptom is hitting me hard right now. Why must it end? Actually, I’d take that back. Travelling with a baby for 7 nights was just enough. Any longer, I would be questioning my life decisions.

I was pretty nervous about flying with a baby. I was one of those passengers who would curse and swear when the babies start crying. Y’know how karma bites you in the ass, right? Anyway, they said that latching or pacifying would help. I was on standby mode with my nipples to Adam’s mouth way before the plane took off. See, how nervous I was?

Thankfully, Adam stayed asleep during the take off. Phew! But of course, he fussed about during the flight a couple of times because of wet diapers, hunger, discomfort, and whatever else babies fuss about in this day and age.

When we arrived at Seoul, we were greeted by the nice and chilly weather. We took the Airport Bus 6015 to Myeondong District. The journey took about 70 mins. Good God, the Boss Baby was asleep throughout the entire journey. I caught up on my sleep too because there’s no such thing as reading my book or sleeping in the plane with a baby.

We stayed at Nine Tree Premier Hotel for 6 nights. We loved the hotel. It’s clean, affordable, and located near the busy streets of Myeondong – 10 mins tops by walking. We met up with Trisyia who’s there for exchange. She’s also our personal tour guide in Seoul. You’d think that with a baby in tow, getting to the next destination by the fastest way possible was key (that usually never happened because Luqman insisted on walking to clock in steps for his fitbit challenge – our record was 22.5k steps).

Never quite a picture perfect with a baby and this just proves it.

What goes behind every photo of Adam because this bugger refuses to smile every time we are ready for a photo.

Closest to a family photo we could get. We’ll take it!

Our first food stop was at Busan Jib Halal Restaurant in Myeondong. We had the Bulgogi set of course, and steamed eggs. It was slightly overpriced since it was smacked right in the touristy area – a Bulgogi set for 30,000 won. But yes, they lived up to their raving reviews we read online. So, that’s all good. Their Ginseng Chicken is high up in the list of must-try too! We had that on our last day in Seoul.

Luqman insisted on going to Lotte Mart to find Korean strawberries which were currently not in season.

While waiting for Luqman to do his Friday prayers, I parked myself at Murree Muslim Food in Itaewon. It was quite a hike getting there – it’s surprising hilly in Seoul (I mean, who’d have thought). They had the best value for money meal. In conjunction with Halal Restaurant Week, they had a promotion for Bulgogi set for 2 persons which was very hard to pass. We had the bulgogi (I was obsessed obvs), rice, 4 side dishes, omelette, and dessert for 30,000 won. WIN! We ate so much that we had to walk down from Itaewon station to the next station in hopes to burn off the calories.

One of the best dinners we had was at Yang Good Halal BBQ Lamb Restaurant (ironically, they sell chicken too which tasted better in my opinion). It’s located near Gangnam area. This was the same restaurant that my son pooped all over me (I’d remember this forever, my child). I wasn’t exaggerating when I said ALL OVER ME (I had a change of clothes). But, that didn’t stop me from enjoying TWO rounds of BBQ meat. Yup, it was that good. The chicken meat was succulent. The lamb would have tasted better if it wasn’t overcooked. There were staff around to help you cook if you’re lazy like me. I thought the price was reasonable too – about 20,000 won/person.

Too cute not to take a photo with.

Fashion tip: Carry your baby like a clutch bag.

The overly used pose on this trip.

One of the days, Trisyia took us to the less touristy area for grilled fish (the name of the restaurant was in Korean so err, I’ve no idea what it’s called… maybe, circle circle square square). If I recall correctly, it was in Dongdaemun area. The place was a bit run down and dirty but, hey if you got some really good grilled fish what can you say eh? We ate them to the bones – not sure if it was hunger or that the food was good. This was the place where we were first introduced to Cider which was basically Sprite. We’re so halal, please.

I’ve mastered the art of eating with a baby on this trip. If I’m asked about my strength in my future job interviews, it’d definitely be multi-tasking. You should seriously see me eating with my baby strapped around my waist.

Some of my favourite places in Seoul were Hongdae, Myeondong, and Everland. Hongdae gave me the super chill vibes. I could walk down the streets of Hongdae any day in the cooling temperature. Although, it could get a bit too loud on a Saturday night for babies. But, Adam slept through the loud bangin’ club music and car honks like a boss. We went to the Thanks Nature Cafe thinking that he would love to see the sheep. But, not quite an animal person yet. He enjoyed looking at the fairy lights more than anything else in the cafe. Just great, baby.

No affection or whatsoever for the cutest thing on Earth.

While in Myeondong, you should challenge yourself by counting the number of Innisfree outlets. There would be 1 in every corner. So, please don’t make any Innisfree outlet your meeting point because chances are, you will never meet your friend/partner. As you’d have read in many blogs, you should try the street foods in Myeondong. That we did. One of our favourites was Cheese Butter Baked Scallops. For me, anything with cheese goes. I also tried Baked Cheese which was literally grilled mozzarella and rice cake on a stick drizzled with condensed milk (what the flute, like that also can). Luqman loved the Croissant Taiyaki with Nutella. For him, anything with Nutella goes. We were meaning to try the Grilled Cheese Lobster but, 15,000 won for one was way too expensive. One of the more unique ones we tried was the egg bread which tasted like kueh baulu.

When you are visiting S.Korea, you should definitely make a point to visit Everland. Albeit it being out of Seoul (in Yongin), the trip would be well worth it. The bus journey was roughly an hour. It could be quite uncomfortable for young children because Adam got super cranky mid journey on both trips! We made a point to cover every inch of the theme park. The park had 5 sections – Zoo Topia, European Adventure, American Adventure, Magic Land and Global Fair. My favourite was Zoo Topia especially, the Lost Valley Safari Adventure tour. We got to see the animals up close in a vehicle similar to that of Ducktours just ten times better. One time, we had giraffes sticking their long necks in to be fed. Of course, my baby chose to be sleeping on the most adventurous ride of his life. Luq and I were totally scarred by the T-Express Roller Coaster ride – once and never again. Holy cow, we were dropped at a 77 degrees angle! My heart was left hanging up in the air. I swear I teared during the ride. When I thought the adrenaline rush had stopped, it went on and on and on until the ride was over. Both of us lost our voices from all the screaming. After that one hell of a roller coaster ride, other rides seemed too kiddish for me. Said me never. I’m definitely getting too old for this adrenaline junk! Anyway, the best part about Everland was the fireworks display. It was out of this world, even my 2-month old baby had much appreciation for it. He sat quietly throughout the 10-min sound, light and fireworks show, not kidding!

Our way back to Myeondong from Everland was defying gravity with Adam crying bloody murder in the bus. Very thankful for the group of nurses on-board who helped me soothe an impossible crying baby. He didn’t want my breasts, so I was out of ideas.

Tips for travelling with a baby? Make sure you dress him in the cutest outfit especially on-board a redeye flight. At least other passengers would be a little more forgiving when he starts crying and interrupting their sleep. Other than that, I have zero tips for you because the baby has a mind of his own. So, you embrace that and let it be. I would do this again and again. Motherhood is irrational like that.

Example of a cute outfit.

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