Review: Trick or Trompe at Seoul’s Trickeye Museum

Trickeye Museum in Seoul

Dance on the beach with the woman in the red dress in Jack Vettriano’s Singing Butler. Climb a tall bamboo with a panda bear. Ride a bicycle through the clouds. Or ride a unicorn through the blue waves.

This is just a sampling of the cheeky fun available at Seoul’s Trickeye Museum, a place where art and optical illusions come together for an interactive exploration into art and 3-D thrills.

It’s a very fun place for kids. Though ours (ages 2 and 5) were a bit young to understand the optical illusions, they loved the freedom of touching and interacting with all the exhibits, climbing up and around and becoming a hilarious part of each exhibit.

According to the museum, the name of the place comes from ‘Trick of the eye’ and refers to the traditional art technique Trompe-l’œil, which  turns two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional images through the use of optical illusions.

The museum has cleverly placed paintings on the walls, floors and ceilings, creating 3-D scenes perfect for photos and laughs.

It also boasts an ice museum, a love museum (no kids allowed there), and a carnival street area just as you enter the museum.

We’re always looking for something different to do while in Seoul, and Trickeye was the perfect addition to our weekend in the city.

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Trick Eye Museum, Seoul seoul-fall-2016-34

See for yourself

What:Trickeye Museum, which also features a love museum, ice sculpture museum, and a carnival-style play area
Where: Hongdae #B2 Seogyo Plaza 20 Hongikro 3gil, Mapogu, Seoul / Tel) 02-3144-6300
How much: Tickets are W15,000 for adults and W12,000 for children under 18. Group discounts available.
Learn more:


Taj Mahal in Korea {Daegu}

Taj Mahal in Korea is a new Indian restaurant in Daegu near the Shinmae metro stop. We’ve been twice now and have enjoyed both of our visits. For a family, we can get out of there with a half order of tandoori chicken, 2 curries, 3 orders of naan and 2 alcoholic drinks for just around 45,000 won. That’s a big meal for a hungry family. It’s more expensive than a Korean meal, but also a nice and welcome change from rice and kimchi.

Chicken Curry and Paleek Paneer.

If you like Indian food, I’d certainly give it a try. With an Indian chef and an owner eager to please (all non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary this month) you’d be crazy not to try it soon. We’ll be going back from time to time because of its proximity to us and because it’s quick, delicious and a nice experience with a kid. They immediately brought naan and a lassi for our normally fidgety 3 year old. He was fed and hooked right away and we got to enjoy our meal without having to chase or tend to our hungry kid.

They know how to cater to the kids.

How to get there
From Shinmae metro stop take exit 5. Walk to the end of the block. Taj Mahal is on the second floor above Dunkin Donuts. If you are driving from Daegu, it will be on your right hand side on the same block as Siji Square.

You can find Taj Majal at the blue 도착 (arrival) flag above Dunkin Donuts.

Check out the menu below.

Percent opens in Daegu

Last night I found myself on a lovely little street in a hip bar drinking a nice beer with a friend. For a fleeting moment it felt like being at any bar in any gentrified part of any wealthy American city. But it wasn’t. I was parked almost right in the heart of Daegu, South Korea at a little place called Percent.
Percent is brand new. So new, in fact, that they’re still working on it’s interior design and menu. This week has been a soft opening for the bar that has taken months to open. 

I took the Daegu metro to Kyungpook National Hospital stop and walked south. On the way, my buddy and I snaked through Daebong-dong, a neighborhood of Daegu that is also in the beginnings of driving out the native Daebong residents with luxury apartment blocks going up at a rate only a Korean construction company can muster.

We walked through an old, forgotten market that lives beneath a decrepit looking Cold War era apartment. The white, paint-chipped building and small musty alleys of the market felt like stepping back in time. Old women sat watch outside of boarded up shops, kimchi pot stores, the tailor’s and a shop that looked like it could service your old Casio watch or Toshiba calculator. 

This juxtaposition is Korea. Modern and old. Korea can hardly keep up with it’s own growth. At times it’s uglier for it, but I can’t help but love this Korean story. Here is a country where many grandparents are still farming with the faintest notions of the internet, while there grandkids plant their faces in computer games and Kakao talk.

The generation gap here between grandparents and grandkids is more akin to me and my great-great grandparents. I am fascinated by this stark contrast and it reveals itself everywhere in the country. As we came out of the market I silently mourned the day when old Korea dies out.

But Korea marches forward and so did we. We came out onto an up-and-coming street in Daegu: Daebong-ro. This street is lined with open air barbecue restaurants, hip coffee shops, trendy eateries and intriguing bars.

I met up with my buddy Jess, who along with Chris at Mesh Printing, cooked up the sleek logo for Percent. The bar is small and has the look of the really interesting coffee shops that are starting to spring up in Korea. It’s open air, wooden walls, clean and with a ceiling that looks like something out of an opera house. Mesh’s logo and the space fit nicely together. It’s classy, cosy and hip. It was a great place to saddle up to the bar and drink a cold pint.

The beer was also pleasant. While they don’t brew at Percent, they are looking to carry craft beer. Last night I spent my money on Bill’s Pale Ale. Bill’s is brewed by an ex-pat at The Booth in Seoul. I can’t give you a connoisseur’s review of the beer other than to say it was well worth the 6,000 won.
There will be more beer and food on their menu. Be on the look out for Magpie, Punk IPA and beers brought to you by Craftworks. I’d check it out soon, while they(and their neighborhood) are still trying to figure it out their identity and while old Korea still looms in its shadows.
At the B…about a 15-20 minute walk from exit 2, KNU Hospital.