Hongdae – Because Korean Hipsters are WAY cooler than Hipsters in Newtown

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Talyssa checking in – beware people, this post is gonna be a long one!!

Becauuuuuuuuuuuuuuse it’s about Hongdae!!  I. absolutely. love. Hongdae.  It’s so refreshing to be in a Hipster-esque place style wise, fashion wise and people wise, minus the arrogant, overly pretentious, clique-ish, self-entitled hipster attitude that unfortunately accompanies much of the hipster crowd in Sydney. Seriously. Sooo nice and refreshing.

I really wish Sydney had a similar place to Hongdae so I could at least describe to some extent how awesome Hongdae is…I guess Newtown might be the closest, but seriously, it doesn’t even compare. Actually scrap that.  Newtown is nothing like Hongdae. Period.

We set out on our first venture to Hongdae to visit the Trick Eye Museum. Online there was absolutely no information on the Trick Eye Museum – nothing about how to get there or where it was located…so basically we took a giant stab.

Our giant stab lead us instead to a tourist information center (pink dotted path on map below).  I really recommend coming here if you don’t know where to go or what to do.  The customer service is amazing – they are extremely helpful and super friendly.

Not knowing where the Trick Eye Museum was, the staff provided us with maps and hand drew directions on them for us.  On top of this, they gave us info on specials and Grand Korea sale cards so we could get as many discounts as possible during our trip!!  How nice right!?!

Even with our amazing directions, the Trick Eye Museum wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to find…I’ll let you guess why:

It’s like completely hidden right?!?!!?!?!!? I was expecting like some separate building which was quite large with considerable signage since it is a tourist spot!!! We walked passed it once or twice – it was hard to see!!!

You do need to set aside a fair bit of time for the Trick Eye Museum – the museum itself is broken up into sections (we almost missed one section).  On top of this, there are three galleries and a cat museum. We just did the museum and it took us approx 3-4hours?

You definitely want to come here at a time where people are usually at school or work…seriously…otherwise there are huge lines and a stack of couples left, right and center.  If you don’t know it now, you will definitely find out when you go to Korea that Korean couple culture is INTENSE.  There has never been a time in my life where I wanted to be more in love.  I was like damn…I want a Korean man right now, they appear to treat their girlfriends so well!!  *Filled with envy*

End of sidetracked tangent

So what exactly is the Trick Eye Museum?  Basically it is an interactive museum revolving around a new concept that stimulates your creativity and imagination through the Trompe-l’oeil (eye tricking) technique through vision.  To achieve this, the museum features a mixture of artworks and 3D installations you can interact with and take photos of, so you end up looking like a part of the picture.

A bonus – according to the brochure:

“…The trickeye artwork helps you learn aesthetic senses of form and also stimulates your creativity, which leads to the activation of your brain.  Your logic and thinking abilities will enhance!”

LOL! Woahh okay I’m sure these paintings aren’t that miraculous!  None the less, they are still awesome.  Now onto the photos!

One of the different kinds of optical illusions at the museum. These were paintings on the floor which when looked at from a certain angle, looked 3D

Nothing better than a warm drink on a frosty Korean winter day..
Siree’s part time job.
This illusion was awesome!!  Jokes, Siree is just a midget and I’m a giant.
Love struck. My expression is good no? That’s what I call dedication.
It’s not everyday you get to be up close and personal with a Rhino
I love my sushi!!
She was like this the whole trip. What a junkie!
Nicki Minaj right there.
Siree’s tactic for stealing the Museum’s food.
Being posers in typical Korean style LOL
Siree’s typical ‘pretending to be on the phone but really I’m just a poser’s’ pose

These are only some of the AMAZING interactive artworks – there are many many more cool ones as well.  All in all, The Trick Eye Museum is a great experience, a lot of fun, good laughs and results in some pretty awesome photos that friends and family were highly amused by.

For more info on the Trick Eye Museum such as transportation and pricing, check out the bottom section of this post.

The rest of Hongdae is pretty amazing.  It’s just a really nice place to go to just chillax with friends. There are super cute and relatively cheap fashion boutiques (the pinkage wig store is also here, but we were slightly disappointed with it!!), really cute cafes, awesome street food, epic clubs for amazingly great clubbing adventures, and just an overall really nice youth atmosphere – really safe, REALLY nice people, and no drunkard idiots – you can actually make real friendships.

The Hongdae Charm

Hongdae by day. I don’t know why, but I really like the look of streets like this…maybe because it looks quite foreign from what we’d find in Sydney.
This is along one of the back streets of Hongdae where most of the clubs are.  This street also connects to Hongik Uni.  The shopfront you see in the picture named “Mama” is actually a club.  This is what most of the clubs in Hongdae look like – they usually have a small black-painted entrance with the club’s name on it in large white text.  Inside you usually go down a set of stairs to the clubbing area.
Very naice. LOL. Opposite Condomania is NB1, where we had our awesome clubbing experience!!
This believe it or not is a restaurant. How nice is it?!!? This is what I mean about Hongdae, its style is sooooo nice!!
Pizza restaurant up close…completely diggin’ this style
Another restaurant. Pretty~
Cute, I love Hongdae!!
I don’t know why, but Korea tends to have a thing for owning a shop pet (usually dogs). Cafe’s have them as well, we found it was fairly common. This one belonged to a cute accessory store in Hongdae.
HOW NICE ARE THE CAFES!?!?! Seriously Sydney!! Get your act together!!
hehehe Master Roshi!!
Yup! Love Korean couple culture. So freaking cute.
Hongdae at night. Look at these cute shops!! I wish we had something like this in Sydney.  I love Korea’s concept of using really visual store fonts/windows, and the clothes are just too cute!
Hongdae at night. I really love Hongdae at night – it comes alive!
Hahahaha this photo says it all!! “Why am I here?!” “I hate my job”


Look at that preparation. Look at that skill. As soon as we saw it, we had to try it.
That block right there is butter. Yup. Buttery Goodness.
Although I’m not a huge fan of sweets, this was delicious – buttery, sweet and savoury all at once. YUMMMM
Our dinner. This was delish!! Spicy seafood hot pot. We also ordered a kimchi pancake…but unfortunately that was not so good…
FREE ICECREAM AT KARAOKE!! Seriously Korea’s service is AMAZING!!!! You never get that kind of treatment in Sydney. It is seriously all these small things that make Korea really stand out and your holiday much more enjoyable!

I LOVE HONGDAE!!!!!!!!! Soooo good!!


Map of Hongdae


For the general area: Take subway Line #2 to Hongik University Station, exit #5.

For Tourist Centre:  Take Exit #5 out of Hongik University Station and follow the pink dotted line on the map.

Trick Eye Museum: Take exit #9 out of Hongik University Station and follow the blue dotted line on the map.
Address: B2 Seogyo Plaza, Seogyodong 357-1, Mapogu, Seoul.
Pricing: 13,000won Adults, 11,000won Students.
Opening Hours: 10:00AM – 9:00PM
Website: www.trickeye.com

How long should I spend there?

There are sooooo many things to do in Hongdae that Siree and I came here on many different occassions.  You definitely need a day to look around, but you will find you need to come back here to dedicate time for shopping, checking out some of the awesome places to eat and to visit places such as the Cat Cafe and Trick Eye Museum.   This is also a great place to hang out with friends, so if you have Korean friends, you will find yourself hanging out here with them often, as Siree and I did.

When to come to Hongdae:

You should experience Hongdae both at day and at night.  There is always something going on in Hongdae, expecially at night, so it is definitely worth checking out.  For example one night we went to Hongdae, there was a HUGE outdoor silent disco going on.  FREAKING. AMAZING.


    1. Talyssa says

      Thank you! Glad you found it inspiring!!

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