Thursday, June 14, 2012

11 Days Korea Trip 2011 Free n Easy - Day 4, Seoul

4 Dec 2011 (Sun)

Seoul/ Gyeongbokgung Palace/ Insadong/ EWHA Womans University/ Hongdae

We had breakfast in the hotel Biz Jongro, which was a small little corner hidden on a certain floor;

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Our first destination of the day was Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁 ), the National Palace Museum of Korea. We took Line 3 and alighted at the Gyeongbokgung station, Exit 5.

The station theme was in tune with the palace;
The palace was a short walk from the station;
Actually we went there to see the change of guards like those in Taiwan, and only after that we realised that there was no need to buy tickets to see just that. The tickets cost 3,000 won for adult and 1,500 for students;
We went round searching for the place where they had their guards changing ceremony, but we hardly had any clue;
Look at the mountain in the background;
Part of the guard changing ceremony was carried out outside the palace, so you may not need to buy tickets to enter the palace to see them if you are in a hurry;
Most of the guards were rather tall;
Frankly speaking, the Taiwan guards changing ceremony were much more interesting to watch than this. It's ok to give it a skip if one doesn't have the time;

Walked around the palace after the guard changing ceremony;
Nice pattern;

The sundial;
Woa, look at the roof design;
The doors were hanged horizontally to allow maximum air to circulate in;
The garden in the palace near the side exit;
The exit;
Very nice autumn leaves tree;
See what we spotted, a squirrel;
Just outside the palace, we saw these type of flowers which looked like cabbage;
Wondered if they were real flowers, or arranged to look like real;
Back to Gyeongbokgung Station;
Interesting model display at the station;


We took the subway back to Insadong for lunch. 

See this monk's walking stick;
Looking for Miss Lee Cafe to have our lunch;
Finally found it which was not too far from the station, and it was on the second floor of the GS25 convenience store (see map);
Miss Lee Cafe (별다방미스리)became popular after the MBC's episode We Got Married with the couple YongSeo (Jung Yong Hwa of CN Blue and Seohyun of SNSD). In the episode, they had a traditional metal lunch box.
The girls were busy writing notes and hanged them;
Our lunch box;
Shaking the lunch box but the box was hot;
After eating, we didn't find it quite to our taste and it was rather pricey. If not for the popularity after the We Got Married show, we might not have our lunch here;
Traditional snack, too bad we didn't like it too;

Sunday Flea Market At Insadong (벼룩시장)
Cute little signboard placed on the floor pointing to their shops;
I love their tourist information mobile squad;
More monks;
Starbuck in Korean words;
End of flea market, which was not so interesting;
How their police car and station looked like;
So colorful their guitars;

EWHA Womans University (이화 여자 대학교);

Our next destination is the EWHA Womans University. It was a 5 mins walk from the Ewha Womans University Station (Line2).
Typical Korean wedding car;
Our favourite snacks;
The shopping street near the EWHA Womans University is a better place to shop for women;
More varieties and cheaper;
Oh no, look at the cables on top;
How the Korean mothers shopped with their little tots;
The EWHA Womans University right in the background. Note that the EWHA "Womans" spelling;
Did you see the 2 bears;
Had a photo with their Tourist Information Mobile Squad;

Hongdae (홍대)

After shopping at EWHA Womans University shopping street, we took Line 2 to Hongdae Station (or Hongik University Station). Our purpose of coming here is to watch the Nanta Show.

As we did not book our ticket in advance, we had to locate the Nanta Theatre (홍대난타극장) first.                                                                                       
It took us quite sometime to locate it with the help of one kind gentleman. The theatre seemed like still undergoing renovation;
After buying the tickets which cost us 168,000 won for 2 adults, and 1 student, we went round the area looking for a restaurant to have our dinner;
We finally settled for this restaurant;
We had charcoal grill set;
And the total bill was only 29,000;
Went back to the Nanta Theatre and got ready for the show. It was worth while to watch at least one of these shows (there are a number of such shows) though pricey;
During the show, strictly no taking of photo and video;
The crowd slowly filling up and it was a full house later;
Yes we watched the Yellow Team performed for us;
On our way back, my daughter spotted some SNSD photos at one of the shops;


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