We decided to try the buffet breakfast on hotel which cost 10,000 Won available only from 7 am to 10 am. I filled my stomach with korean meat, vegetable and fruit to prepare us for another long day ahead.
After breakfast, we prepare ourselves and looking forward for this day.
Our first stop was Seoul City Hall and Seoul Plaza. You can reach this via City Hall Subway station. The Seoul Plaza is a lawn plaza in front of Seoul City Hall. There are people building tents in my assumption that there might have an event happening tonight. There are also students practicing the Gentleman dance of Psy. The Seoul City Hall compose of old and new building. The new building of city hall is an eco-friendly building with the world’s largest indoor green wall.
Just across the City Hall, we found out the start of the changing of guards parade in Deoksugung palace. Royal guard changing ceremonies is a regular event happening every 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. It is closed every Monday.
The changing of guards happens in front of palace gate where the royal guards are wearing Hanbok, a traditional korean dress with vibrant colors.
After the ceremony, you can take pictures with guards and even wear hanbok for free.
Afterwards, we proceed to explore the palace. The entrance fee is 1,000 Won per person.
The Deoksugung palace was first built as a royal residence, but it became a palace when the king stayed there after the Japanese invasion in 1592. (A bit of history by the way)
You can see also inside a modern buildings which is the National Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly known as Seokjojeon).
Myeongdong Noodle Restaurant
Outside the palace, we decided to have the lunch break at nearby Myeondong Noodle Restaurant. It was crowded at that time but we were able to find a table for us. We thought that place was famous. We tried to look on the menu and order other people. I was become interested on the noodle while Chino interested to try the order of the other people near our table.
After ordering we found out that it was cold, a cold noodle. It was my first time to eat cold noodle but spicy. The coldness balance the spicyness of the noodle soup makes it delicious. The other white noodle is really a soy based noodle soup. Jucyn luckily chooses the super spicy pork topped rice. She wasn’t able to eat here food and just enjoy the dumplings and maki. After the experience in cold noodle and spicy food, we had a dessert on Dunkin Donut (Mr. Donut) to ease the after taste of the noodle.
Continuing our tour, I tried to lead them on a walking tour on Jeongdong-gil.
Stone wall road encircling the Deoksugung Palace is a beautiful place for a walking tour with tall trees lining the street and an ancient stone wall. We encounter the museum while walking along the stone-wall.
Seoul Museum of Art
Entrance Fee : Free
Open Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (closed every Monday)
Seoul Museum of Art holds the exhibitions of such world famous masters as Changall, Matisse and Picasso each year, as well as contemporary artwork by Korean and foreign artists.
Back to City Hall Station, we travel to Yongsan Station to explore the I’Park Mall. The Yongsan station was big station similar to Seoul Station were many intercity railways stop here. We explore the I’Park Mall knowing it was a largest electronic shopping mall in Seoul. It was really big and full of camera. We were overwhelm by the number of stores selling a lot different DSLRs and Digicam on the first two floors. There are other shops on different level which are the home entertainment section, and mobile section.
After we exhaust our eye shopping, we decided to go to War Memorial of Korea which is really not part of my itinerary but it was a-must visit museum when you visit South Korea.
The way to War Memorial of Korea
We figured out that we have to walk to other subway station which is Sinyongsan in order to go Samgakji where the War Memorial of Korea is just a 5 min walk from that station.
War Memorial of Korea
Finally, we arrived on the big area of War Memorial of Korea. We take a break on nearby food court within the museum grounds. I checked the open hours of the museum over the internet and I found out this.
Entrance Fee : Free
Open hours : 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
We arrived there at around 5:00 pm and finished our snack break at around 5:30 pm. Knowing that museum was going to close in a while we still manage to explore the inside. It was short tour but we still want more. There were interesting stories about the old whole country of Korea before the war.
I can say, you must pay a visit to the museum. If I were to go back to Seoul I will visit here with a tour guide to here the stories of the old Korea and Korean War.
Wait there’s more!
Outside the museum ground, there were war vehicles you are now being part of the exhibit in the museum. I guess these are the war machines really being used during war. I was amazed how big and heavy those tanks, canons, and fighter planes.
It was now 7:00 pm and we need to decided where to eat for dinner. We go back to Samgakji station to travel to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station.
We finally arrive on our last stop for the day which is Dongdaemun. Dongdaemun Market is now a fashion town packed with large and small retail and wholesale shopping malls as well as clothing material store. We found out that you can shop here anytime between and through the night till early morning.
Korean style barbeque dinner
Chino decide to have an experience on Korean barbeque and Dongdaemun provides many restaurant to choose from. It is for you to decide where to eat. Chino treat us with a great and delicious dinner. (Thanks Chino!)
To end our day, we walk to next station which is the Dongdaemun station where you can find the Heunginjimun (Gate) and back to our hotel.