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[Well-curated] Tribute to Fu Bao, travel back to '70s Seoul and quiet haven in city

Feb. 2, 2024 - 09:01 By Lee Si-jin By Lee Yoon-seo By Park Ga-young
Everland's Bao Haus in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Samsung C&T)

Enjoy Everland’s Bao Haus

For precious few chances left to make a special memory with Fu Bao, the first panda to be born in Korea, pay a visit to Bao Haus.

Everland -- South Korea’s largest theme park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province -- opened Bao Haus, a Fu Bao-themed exhibition, on Jan. 20, ahead of the scheduled departure of Korea's favorite panda in April. Fu Bao is due to return to her ancestral home China.

The indoor exhibition is located at the center of Everland, presenting the stories of Fu Bao's family in videos, photos and holograms.

Zookeepers and breeders also share their personal stories and experiences, ranging from the pandas’ hobbies and habits to how to prepare the meals and more. Items and accessories the breeders have made for Fu Bao, including a guitar and glasses, are also on display.

Visitors pose for photos in front of Everland's special exhibition Bao Haus in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Samsung C&T)

Visitors can make an online reservation via Everland’s mobile application. Forty people will be admitted at each time slot.

Visitors of all ages are welcome. There is no additional cost for the special exhibition, but visitors will need a ticket to first enter Everland.

Bao Haus is open from 10:20 a.m. to 6:20 p.m.

In the record room at Cheongchun 1st Street visitors can listen to the music of their choice on a turntable. (Lee Yoon-seo/The Korea Herald)

Window to the '70s Seoul

Situated on the second floor of Seoul Folk Flea Market in Seoul's Dongdaemun-gu is a retro-themed space called Cheongchun 1st Street, which impeccably replicates a Seoul neighborhood from the 1970s.

In a wide open space, a slew of booths ornately decorated with props are squeezed next to each other.

Stationery store at Cheongchun 1st Street (Lee Yoon-seo/The Korea Herald)

The booths re-create the arcades, comic book stalls, stationery stores, restaurants, tearooms, classrooms and even real estate agencies of Seoul in the 1970s.

The intricately decorated spaces function as ideal photo spots for modern Seoulites looking for aesthetic pictures to post on social media.

In select booths, visitors can also interact with props.

At the comic book shops, visitors can peruse actual books published some 50 years ago, while in the arcade, visitors can play the classic games for just 200 won (15 cents).

Visitors order beverages at the Cheongchun 1st Street tearoom. (Lee Yoon-seo/The Korea Herald)

In another room, visitors can select from vinyl records of Korean singers hanging up on the wall and play them on the turntables. Then in the tearoom, hot beverages can be enjoyed with the '70s music in the background.

Cheongchun 1st Street is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It closes every Tuesday. Admission is free.

Interior of Heritage Club (Heritage Club)

Cafe perfectly mixes old and new

Seosunragil runs along the western wall of Jongmyo, a royal shrine in central Seoul dedicated to the kings and queens of the Joseon era (1392-1910).

Along the path, there are many unique cafes, pubs and restaurants allowing visitors to enjoy a leisurely stroll with a perfect blend of old and new cultural exploration.

Cafe and bar Heritage Club is among the inviting places lining the Jongmyo wall.

The renovated hanok, or traditional Korean house, has a translucent ceiling covering the structure, imbuing a warm and bright feeling during the day and creating a cozy ambiance at night.

The absence of high-rises, other buildings and cars outside the window allows for a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere.

Heritage Club's window view (Heritage Club)

Inside where soft music plays, a sign reads: “This is a quiet place, please keep your voice down.” That atmosphere matches the serene surroundings for a peaceful environment. Many books beckon, placed here and there.

Heritage Club offers both cafe and bar menus -- coffee until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. on weekends, as well as stiffer drink options ranging from beer to whiskey shots.

There is a two-hour cap for lounging during the weekend because of high demand.

The path is near Jongno 3-ga Station. It opens at noon and closes at midnight every day.