Saturday, October 27, 2012

COEX Mall and Aquarium in Seoul, Korea

After coming home really late from Everland the night before, half of our group decided to just sleep a little more and to just wake up in time for lunch at the COEX mall. The other half headed out early to check out the Samsung Kids Museum. Researching on Seoul, Korea; the COEX mall is always included in the list of must-visit shopping malls.

What probably makes this mall attractive to its visitors is its size and the fact that it houses two food courts, hundreds (if not thousands) of retails shops, a well-stocked supermarket, a Duty Free outlet, restaurants, a number of movie theaters and an aquarium. Some would say, it would definitely take you an entire day to go around the entire mall. The mall is also adjacent to the Intercontinenal Hotel as well as the Expo and Convention Center making it very accessible to foreign travelers.

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Arriving at the COEX mall via the subway, our small group headed to the food court to have lunch. The choices were quite limited but each stall had really mouthwatering dishes on display that I had to circle the place thrice until I finally made my decision.

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I first spotted this stall selling Kimbap. Even before my trip, Pan and I are big fans of Korean kimbap. It's really hard to find good ones here in Manila though so I really made the most of my week-long trip as I tried to have as much kimbap as I could have.

I got the mix kimbap where one is filled with beef bulgogi and another with tuna. I loved them both! Paul and I shared this platter and were both very pleased with it.

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We also got a bowl of Bibimbap (stone rice bowl) each. I went with the one sizzling in hot ceramic bowl while Paul went with one contained in a stainless bowl.


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My bibimbap was soooo hot that it took me a while to finish my meal. It also didn't help that the octopus was so spicy that I had to keep on drinking water in between spoonfuls of rice. Whew! What a workout! The soup was very refreshing and the kimchi delicious but the brown side dish was just too weird for my taste buds.

After lunch, Jane, Grace, Paul and I went to meet with the rest of the group.

Just a note: Be sure to bring a 4G phone (eg: iPhone, HTC, etc) as none of our lower end phones worked during the trip. It's a good thing we made use of Paul's HTC and some of our companions' iPhones to coordinate with one another. Otherwise, there's a booth at the airport that can rent you a phone during your stay. 

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We decided to check out the COEX Aquarium which is said to be the best marine theme park in Korea. Since we had kids with us, we had to inject something fun and educational for them too. We really didn't know what to expect. Having been to a number of underground aquariums in the past such as Singapore's Sentosa and Malaysia's KLCC, it really would take an amazing aquarium display to beat those two.

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Some of our companions have been inside so they acted as our tour guide. The COEX aquarium had fishes in places you'd never thought they'd be in. A toilet bowl, vendo machine, computer CPU to name a few. The display was cute but sadly it wasn't for me. In other words, I got bored and felt that the ticket wasn't worth it at all.

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At least, we did enjoyed this "fish spa" corner there we can put our fingers in and had tiny fishes nibble on our dead skin. It was my first time to try it after watching brave Paul demo how it's done. It felt ticklish and relaxing at the same time.

We moved on from one zone to another. There was even an Amazon area showcasing amphibians and reptiles too. I breezed through this area too.The walk was long and there's a part where you can relax, watch a school of sardines swim around the aquarium tank while enjoying some snacks.

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I guess the COEX Aquarium is perfect for families with kids in tow. It's also great for adults who also love to look at fishes in all shapes, colors and sizes. However, this one pales in comparison to the ones I've seen in other countries. This is probably one spot that I won't bother going back to on my return to Seoul, Korea someday.

COEX Aquarium ticket rates: W17,500 (Php. 660) for Adults, W14,500 for teen, W11,000 for kids.
Click here for more info.

Related post:
Seoul, Korea 101
Lovin' Myeongdong in Seoul, Korea
Yoogane: Best Chicken Galbi in Seoul, Korea 
Kimbap ♥ at Gimgane in Seoul, Korea
On Stage: Cookin' Nanta Show in Korea!

Food for the S(e)oul: Lotteria 
Hotel Skypark 1 in Myeongdong, Korea Tower of Love: N Seoul Tower
Two Two Fried Chicken in Myeongdong, Seoul

Gyeongbukgung Palace

COEX Mall is located at Seoul-si Gangnam-gu Teheran-ro 87-gil 58. To get there, take the subway and get off at the Samseong-dong (line 2) station.

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