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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Seoul City Tour, South Korea

Seoul City Tour, South Korea

The first five days of my trip in South Korea was just with me myself and I, but this around for the following five more days I'll be spending it with my sister. We didn't really planned everything but things work out well with our city tour. The day we meet in the city was also the day we went looking for our accommodation. It was freezing, with my luggage hanging along with me as we stroll around in Myeongdong station searching for a place to stay. 
Check in 24 Guesthouse Myeongdong. I can't recall how much we paid for the room with our own toilet and with breakfast as well but I know for sure they gave us further discount for our whole stay there. Our city tours starts the next day. 

Day 8 
Dec 6 (Sunday) Bukchon Hanok Village, Changeongong Palace and Seoul Tower

For shopping visit Dongdaemun Market 
Directions: Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) Exit 1 or 14 or Dongdaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 4) Exit 8, walk 5 minutes to the market. 
Exit 1 Naksan Trail and Park
Exit 4 Toys, Stationaries
Exit 7 & 8 Used Books, Pet Market, Cheonggye Stream
Exit 9 Restaurants, Clothing, Pyeonghwa Market
Section 1 - Retail Shops 
Section 2 - Wholesale Shops 
Sporting Goods.Near Dongdaemun Market is Dongdaemun Stadium. There is a variety of sporting goods shops around the stadium.

We visited quiet early in the morning for Dongdaemun Market which is more advisable to be at in the evening. There were just a few shops so we decided to head to Anguk Station. There are two significant places we've visited there and each is just walking distance away from each other. It's in the same train line and a few stations away from Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station. 

Anguk Station: Seoul Subway Line 3
a. Traditional Korean Houses in Bukchon Hanok Village
Address: 62-1 Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
How to get there: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2.- Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.

b. Changeongong Palace (near police station)
Address: 185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korean Palace Tour Service 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30(November – January, 16:00)
Admission: Adults (ages 25-64): Individual 1,000 won / Group (over 10): 800 won, Lunch time: Free Entrance Fee
How get there: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3. Walk straight from the exit (east) along Yulgok-ro for about 1 km. Turn left (north) onto Changgyeonggung-ro. Walk about 300 m to find the palace entrance on the left.
Try their Traditional Dress for 3,000 won. 

Samgyeopsal Lunch in Myeongdong 
After seeing the palace we went back to Myeongdong Station and had our delicious Samgyeopsal mealA popular Korean dish that is a must-try when you're in Korea. The meal comprises of slices of pork belly meat and is cooked on a grill at the table. You can eat the meat alone or pair it up with your lettuce and wrap the meat along with your preference of sauce, kimchi and even mushrooms. 

Shopping at Myeongdong
I bought these cute socks as souvenirs for my family and friends. 11 pieces for 10,000 won. Practical choice as each socks will cost less than a dollar.

We were already in Myengdong might as well visit the famous Seoul Tower. The queue for the cable car was ridiculous, we waited for almost an hour for our turn. It's better to avoid the weekend, this is one reason why I prefer the mountains or any nature adventure trips because not everyone wants to put the effort to go this places. 

Sent a Postcard from the highest post office in the world
Namsan Cable Car to Seoul Tower
Address: 83, Sopa-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3. Go south along Toegye-ro 18-gil street to the Pacific Hotel and turn left. Walk along Toegye-ro 20 gil street until you see the Ministop. Turn right to walk along Toegye-ro 20-na-gil street. At the end of the street, you will see the stairway to the cable car. Approximately 10 minutes walking distance from subway
By Taxi: Standard taxi fare from Myeongdong to cable cars

Seoul Tower
Seoul, Yongsan-Gu, Yongsan-dong 2, Mountains 1-3, Telephone: +82 2-3455-9277
Closest subway stop: Myeongdong Station (명동역), Line 4, Exit 3, then take Namsan shuttle bus No. 2, which runs every 15 minutes

Try the Spicy Chicken and Beer Combo
I'm not really that interested about infrastructure but when it comes to food I'm all smiles. Koreans have this chicken and beer obsession. They said its the perfect match made from heaven. After we made our way down from the cable car we passed by this store selling fried chickens, there were no more seats available so we decided to have it in our guesthouse and bought 2 cans of Korean Beer. Now I know what they mean. They really know how to cook their friend chickens. Truly and definitely a perfect match for a beer most especially with the sweater weather .

Day 9
Dec 7 (Monday) Suwon Trip

We took the train early in the morning to Suwon Station to meet my sister's friend. Visited the Korean Folk Village and learned something about Korea's traditional life and culture. I was surprised to see "Queen Seondeok" human size poster inside the village, my family back in Philippines got addicted to this Korean drama series. What a coincidence that I saw a familiar face in Korea which I truly admired. I snapped a picture of it and sent it to my mum which really got her jumping for joy.

Sunset at Hwaseong Fortress
After an enriching tour about Korea we went to Hwaseong Fortress, the wall surrounding the centre of Suwon which is the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. It's amazing to see this fortress as it encircles the city, with all the buildings and car it seemed not to fit its long time location. 

Wonderful Conversation + Korean Steamboat Buffet
I ate a lot with this meal yet it didn't feel heavy in my stomach, I'm guessing it's because of the weather. My sister's friend was kind enough to feed our wanderlust tummy. She's a permanent resident in Korea, married and has two kids. Life is quiet simple in Suwon, away from the bustling noise of city life. I just meet her but I've sensed a strong connection of friendship which made it hard to say goodbye at the end of day. Some people were meant to pass by in our lives, take it as a cherished experience and that is why I love traveling. Meeting wonderful people along the way makes you want to travel more.

Day 10
Dec 8 (Tuesday) Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

The next day was our DMZ Tour which we booked with our guesthouse for 45,000 won. It's the line across the peninsula separating the North Korea and South Korea. We went inside one of the tunnels, 3rd tunnel, which goes all the way to the boundary. The North Korean's dug this hole in order to infiltrate South Korea.

Try out the Country's Coffee Madness and the delicious Ice Shaving Dessert
Coffee shops is everywhere in South Korea. It's a perfect treat for the cold weather. I also heard about their ice shaving desserts ,looking for it was a piece of cake as well. The fine ice melts in your mouth which is creamy and sweet. It's one of my favorite desserts now!

Day 11
Dec 9 Back to Singapore. Seoul Incheon International Terminal A to Changi Terminal 2

All Meat Samgyeopsal Buffet before going straight to the airport. 

Goodbye Korea = Ahnyeonghi Gyeseyo Korea
Thank you = Kamsahamnida for the Wonderful Memories

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