Episode 5: Exploring Ewha Women’s University

I’ve always known Ehwa Women’s University to be a popular neighborhood in Seoul, known for its cute themed cafes and street shopping! When I got to actually explore the E-Dae area, I was obsessed. Ewha is not only a prestigious women’s university, but also a popular tourist attraction — all shops, restaurants and businesses in general are cute, pink and girly, aimed towards women. And that, my dear readers, makes the Ewha area every girl’s dream come true.

I started off the day meeting up with my friend Nessy for lunch. We ate at Travel and Cook, a fusion jjambong place right nearby SNU Station. We were starting to crave Western food like pizza and pasta, and this came close!

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Nessy and I actually went to the same high school (CHS 271!) and she is also Drexel alumni! She’s currently teaching English full-time in Cheonju, about 3 hours from Seoul. Since she came to visit, we figured what would be a better way to spend our day than to explore Ewha… and also get our hair cut.

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Ewha is bit far from SNU Station, about a 30-40 minute subway ride. Once we arrived, we were attracted to the crowd circulating in and out of a cute, colorful shop called “Artbox” right away. Nessy laughed. She warned me, “I love this place. But it’s torture. You’re going to want to buy everything, and we’ll go broke before we know it.”

She was right. Artbox was another form of heaven on earth for me — for a person who loves stationary and all things cute, this was it. Prices were a bit on the high side, but there were also certain items that were very cheap as well. I cannot remember how long we were in the store, but it began to feel like we were in a trance, and we didn’t want to leave.

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When we finally left (Nessy had to physically drag me out of there), I ended up spending $30 on a bunch of stuff. Some of them being 7 folders. Pink, floral print folders that were high quality, for  about $1.50 each. I don’t know why I would need 7 folders, but I couldn’t help myself.

After walking around for a bit and doing light research on Google to find the best hair salon to get our haircut, we ended up at JUNO Hair Salon. Later, I realized JUNO is a very reputable salon with hundreds of branches or franchises around the city.

Once we entered the salon, we were greeted by stylists dressed in professional outfits and name tags. We had a one-on-one consultation with our individual stylists to tell them what we wanted, and they exchanged our coats and bags for robes. We sat down, got our hair cut and viola.

I decided to be adventurous and decided to color my hair brown, since I wanted a bigger change. I was in Korea, I liked JUNO’s service so far, and so I thought why not? Nessy ended up getting a trim and me, a trim as well but my hair was not black but now brown! The cut was $25, which is the average price for a hair cut in Seoul.

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(Fast forward — JUNO at Ewha didn’t really do a good job with the hair color service. The top of my hair was light brown, while the bottom remained black/very dark. It was also very expensive — $95 for color only. I do not recommend going to JUNO for hair color service — go to Mango Hair. It’s only $50 for the premium dye, and they do, let me emphasize, a GORGEOUS job. Hair Mango is located at a walking distance from SNU Station. Service is much more friendly as well.)

After Nessy and I were done at JUNO, we headed to Sulbing for dessert (told you it’s a weekly ritual), and then proceeded to do some shopping. I actually didn’t expect to buy anything, but I ended up spending so much — the clothes are ridiculously cute and quite cheap! Everything I bought was around $10 a piece. I was super satisfied with my Ehwa haul! This included cute character socks as well, which are well known to be found only in Korea! They were only $1 a pair.

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At the end of the day, Nessy and I were exhausted from our Ewha adventure. This area really took me by surprise, because I was not expecting much. It’s now one of the most memorable neighborhoods I’ve ever explored in Seoul, and I’ve gone back 3 or 4 more times because I love it so much. Maybe Drexel should add Ewha Women’s University to our exchange programs list!

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