I have always been a fan of doing my hair in Korea. Be it cutting my hair or perming my hair – I feel that Korea always provides the best service and quality! They have nice gowns and always offer free snacks and/or drinks while you get your hair done. The hair colours that I’ve been recommended so far by hair stylists in Korea have also been a lot better than those in Singapore.
This time round, I wanted to try perming my hair too. I’ve always dreamt of having wavy hair since I was little, but have never permed my hair because my mother always said it would damage my hair and cause it to be too dry. I know dyeing your hair damages it too, which is why previously I didn’t really want to damage it further.
If you’re wondering about the price – I think it’s comparable to Singapore, so don’t expect it to be a lot cheaper! But generally in Korea those salons in your neighbourhood will be cheaper than the well known ones like Juno Hair. (I cut my hair for ₩20,000 there previously)
I asked my Korean friends for advice on which salon to go and they recommended me to go to Gratia 그라티아 because a friend’s friend was working there as a hair stylist!
It is in the Hongdae area, and we figured out our way there using the Naver map app. Rather than a normal salon that you would expect, is actually is a house/penthouse that was converted into a salon.
In the end, both the boyfriend and I settled for a darker ash brown, and we both permed our hair too!
We were both really satisfied with the end result though I took some time to get used to having short bangs.
Afterwards we went to meet our friends at Hangang/ Han River. Hangang holds a very special place in my heart for an unknown reason, but I think it has something to do with the therapeutic feeling I get while people chilling at Hangang. I also somehow group various areas of Seoul in my mind based on whether they are located above the Hangang or below.
For many reasons, Hangang is an iconic place in South Korea, especially Seoul! You can rent bicycles, have a picnic, watch buskers etc there. It is an ideal spot for chilling with your friends (or alone).
One of the must-have Korean experiences for me is to eat chicken/food and Coca Cola (usually comes free or if not there are convenience stores nearby) along Hangang.
When you walk into Hangang park (which is actually just along Hangang) there are dozens of ahjummas (middle-aged aunties) that will come flooding towards you to offer you various flyers from different chicken/pizza/food delivery outlets.
Take your pick and ask the ahjumma there to call for delivery for you, and it will come within 20 minutes! There are also picnic mats for rental (pretty cheap if I remember correctly).
Alternatively, you can get ramyun (instant noodles) from nearby convenience stores as they provide aluminium “bowls” and hot water for you to cook your noodles there too. Ramyun is also hugeeee in Korea (they have the best ramyun I swear) so take your pick and eat while enjoying the view!
서울 성동구 성수1가1동 685-124 (왕십리길 544)
Seoul-si Seongdong-gu Seongsu1-ga 1-dong
How to get there:
As Hangang is a river, the park is a pretty long stretch so there are many areas along this stretch to chill and this is not the only way to get to Hangang park, but this is where I usually chill at!
1. Take subway line 5 to Yeouinaru station 여의나루역
2. Exit from exit 2 or 3, and you will see it!