Rise and shine. On the 2 day of our tour, early morning we had breakfast as usual. Bread + coffee + strawberry spread. This guesthouse we stayed was very accommodating as they transferred us to bigger place since they saw us cramped in one bedroom with 2 double-decker. They shifted us to another bigger place with our very own bathroom. Very kind of them and I think it was God’s blessing too, to have people to take care of us since we had one hell of the journey from Malaysia to Korea. I really like the place as we also had washing machine for us to wash clothes. We didn’t even need to bring many clothes with us .I literally brought 6 shirts and 2 jeans for one whole week. Imagine. Its winter. Nobody is even bothered to see inside.hahahaha. As long you keep yourself and your clothes clean and hygienic , it is good for all.
Moving on, after breakfast, we headed to Chungmuro station to board to our train towards Gyeongbokgung Palace. We arrived just in time to witness the guard changing ceremony. I was in awe when one of the chief guards hit the gong. Call me a jakun (weirdo) but I was like wow! The guards’ uniforms, weapons, and accessories as well as their strict ceremonial procedures catch my eyes most definitely!! And the eyes of passersby, especially foreign tourists (a lot of Malaysians and Cina people I see though). It was interesting to see when the guardsmen perform the changing of guards in traditional costumes at the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace in downtown Seoul during winter. Since it is really hard to experience traditional events in such a big city like Seoul, citizens and tourist really enjoy and love it. It takes place every day except Tuesday. Thank God we came on Monday. Weeee… I am so thankful for every event man.. Seriously…
We took lots of OOTD and POTD and Instagram pics. I was super happy because after so long my Instagram was active back again. After taking pics and touring inside the palace, what I adore was the king actually lived in a really big place and environment. We explored the palace and can’t even finish it in 2 hours. Imagine for the king and his men to live in it. Mind blown.. Seriously. Nearby the palace, they had this national museum which had free entrance. The National Folk Museum of Korea presents historical artifacts that were used in the daily lives of Korean people in the past. Fascinating isn’t it? Through the displays, visitors can learn about the domestic and agricultural lifestyles, as well as Korea’s cultural beliefs.
Next we went and explored Bukchon Hanok Village. It was a 15minutes walk from the Palace. As we were walking to the palace, I was fascinated by the architecture of the buildings that they had there. Adding to that, I came across Chicago Pizza and some European based buildings. Taking back in awe, the fine details of the structure kinda made me think that technology and architecture in this part of the world is just another level higher compared to us in Malaysia. We have a lot to learn. Bukchon Hanok Village is like the mega of the Jonker Street we have in Malaysia. They have hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that dated back to the Joseon Dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to “northern village,” came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture. We got lots of cheap socks and souvenirs on our way down towards the village.
We also stopped for lunch at one of the Korean restaurant named Tteokbokki House. We tried most of the famous dishes they had there and all are the most spicy ones like spicy ramen, spicy soup and kimchi fried rice. One thing happened was, we couldn’t find a place to sit as the restaurant was full. So called famous kan? Anyways, we just lined up and waited for our turn. There was one table which an old uncle sat to have his lunch. The waitress saw that it could fit us 4 in and didn’t even hesitated to ask the uncle whether was it ok for us to sit next to him. We were so shy and don’t know where to put our face. I mean, don’t la go and disturb an old uncle eating. WALAO..!!! .ahahahah.,..he didn’t mind thank goodness. We sat and were very paiseh, however he was very friendly to us and was happy to see us Malaysians coming to visit their country. Food was superb and we could see that one bowl of ramen could feed a person in Korea and to contrast with it, actually could feed the 3 of us Malaysians. After lunch, we just roamed around Samcheongdong-gil Road. This road goes through the middle of the city, but is a peaceful, quaint area. The street is lined with cafes, museums, antique shops and a number of famous art galleries. Since each building along Samcheongdong-gil has its own unique architectural design, taking a walk and appreciating the buildings is a journey in itself. Many galleries have their own cafes, restaurants, or craft shops, allowing visitors to enjoy art, shopping, and lunch all under one roof.
Later that evening, we went to the train station to get to Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has a meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It holds various exhibitions, fashion shows, forums, conferences, and other domestic and international events. It was also a place to shop and they had these amazing flea markets that we could buy souvenirs from.
That night was very cold. I think it hit almost to -4° and we were dancing our way as we took pictures. We ended the day with some hot street food like topokki and grilled squid. For dinner, we just went to the nearest restaurant to get some hot soup to sooth the body.
For more viewing, you can check out my instagram : www.instagram.com/carol_herbert
161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161 (세종로)
Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 계동길 37 (계동)
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자 (DDP))
281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가)