Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 3 in Korea: Seoul

Woke up in the morning just to find out that our breakfast was rice with chicken curry. Too bad, the chicken was not halal, so we told the ajhumma we were going off without breakfast. Koreans are very respectful for food especially when it comes to rice. However, after further explanation (by Nad of course), we went out and stop by at a coffee chop called Caffé Bene for breakfast. 

Interior of Caffé Bene. Almost all Korean cafés we went have splendid interior designs!

The used pager to tell their customers their order is done. 

After munching some sandwich and sipping some coffee, we went out to find Ihwa-dong art project. Based on the review, the project is about some artworks crafted on the wall. We went to Naksan park (where the arts are) and looked all over the park. We went up and down the hill, turn at every corner of the park and houses, climb up and down the stairs and after 1 hour, we reached the top of Naksan Park. But somehow, we could not find the art project at all!

View from Naksan Park

Since I don’t have any pictures, let me share a blog which has the pictures here

We went down the hill and moved on to our next location, Changdeokgung Palace. I didn’t really bother on the history behind anything, so I just went there to enjoy the beauty of the palace. Paid W3,000, we went into the palace and snap a few shots. Met a few groups of student wandering around the palace for school trips. 

Entrance of ChangDeokGung Palace

Inside the palace

Main building for the king

Interior of the palace

Using a map of the palace, we moved around the palace easily. We decided to go to the secret garden located in the heart of this palace.  There was a schedule for entrance to the garden because it is a requirement to have a tour guide (for translation purpose too). We bought a ticket at W5,000 for 1230hrs trip (which was supposed to be with Chinese translator; but we cannot wait for English session at 1430hrs as we have some other places to go). 

History of Secret garden

Pond area

Another shot..

The tour took 2 hours and it was kinda tiring. Done with it, we went out of the palace, rest for a while, munched our leftover donuts and moved on to Insadong.

Insadong is one of our favourite places in Seoul. There we lots of souvenir you can buy and can even bargain! The whole street actually sells almost same things so watch for the smallest shop, so you can bargain more~!

A shop in Insadong

Insadong Street

When we walked down the street we found a small ‘mall’ called Ssamziegil.The mall was built strangely that you can move from floor to floor without using any stairs or elevator. It kinda built like a swirl slides in playground.

Ssamziegil Entrance

Main attraction of Ssamziegil, red bean pancakes shaped like a s***

Done having fun shopping in Insadong, we went up to Namsan Mountain to Namsan Tower. We took a small elevator to the ticket counter, then purchase a ticket of W6,300 (round trip)to go up to the top of the hill by cable car. We reached the top at 1745hrs as we were told that a beautiful light show will start sharp at 1800hrs.

View from top of mountain

N Seoul Tower

As we enjoy the view from all the angles from the tower, we found massive amount of locks all over the place.

I’m not kidding.. They are uncountable!

Couple will have 2 padlocks and tie them together at the fence/tree with a note tied to it. You are free to use ANY kind of padlocks :)

They also have restaurant inside the tower, but it was kinda expensive. It would be best if you could bring something from the ground..

The menu & price.. They even have menu for proposing! Ahahahaha

When the clock stroke 1800hrs, to our surprise, the lights didn’t show up. We thought, ‘ah, maybe they are working on it’. Then we waited, and waited, and waited until it was dark and freezing cold (colder than Jeju!), but there was still no signs of light. We gave up waiting, and went to the information counter asking about it. The lady said, ‘I’m sorry, no light shows today. We have some problem’. Whaatttttttt???????? We have been waiting for almost 2 hours for nothing! With broken heart, we went down the mountain and went off to find our dinner (kebab) in Itaewon

Tiredly, we went back to Friend’s House for a good night sleep…

Tips for day 3:
1)    Tell the House owner beforehand on your meal preferences
2)      Do not bargain too much while buying souvenir. The owner might get a little bit uneasy.
3)      To go to Namsan Park, Take Subway to Myeong-dong and follow exit number 3 (I think) or just follow the exit showing anything with word ‘Namsan’. The tower can be easily found though.
4)      Ask the information counter on the lightshow beforehand. You do not want to waste your precious time in Seoul just for waiting!
5)      If you plan to do the locks, you might want to bring your own padlocks since the shops there sold them expensively.

Lots of luv, 

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