Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 10: gangnam area

First stop: Bonguensa Temple

Cross junction to turn right.
How to go there: First go to Cheongdam station and go out from exit no2 and walk straight down for around 600m until u reach cross junction. Just turn right and walk until u reach the temple.

Some photos taken inside. Bongeunsa is 1200 year old temple built during the reign of King Wonseong. It has magnificent view and also a lot Buddha statues. It is the most beautiful temple I ever seen in Korea. There is quite a lot people inside doing chanting and mediation so be mindful to lower ur volume and switch off flashlight when taking photos. The temple also offer templestay which is 2 days (overnight stay) and templelife (for foreigner visitors) every Thursday. I am going to give it a try and blog about the experience later.

Second stop: Kimchi field museum

How to go there: It is just located in Coex opposite of the Bongeunsa temple at the basement lv2. If u r going there by subway, it is at Samsung Station line 2 between exit 5 and 6.

Different type of kimchi

Health benefit of kimchi
Kimchi tasting room!!

It is opened from Tue to Sun 10am to 6pm and the admission fee is 3000won. It showcases the history of kimchi and development of kimchi, types of kimchi, kimchi different region, ingredients of kimchi, storage pot for kimchi and other more. There is also a kimchi tasting room where u can try some kimchi xD I think it is an interesting place to visit especially for kimchi lovers cause u r always eating kimchi but do not know wat u really eating. I learnt quite a lot new thing from here like the health benefit of kimchi.

Third stop: Lunch time at Coex mall
It is located at the basement level 1 of the Coex mall.
Sizzling hot tofu stew which blow bubble :)
Hot pepper a toasted bun

The toufu stew is nice with a lot ingredients such as toufu, kimchi and lala. The soup is quite thicken not those very diluted kind. I enjoy drinking the soup till the last drop. The most awesome food is hot pepper a toasted bun. Listening to the name of the food is already very unique!! It is a bit like spring roll but more crispy and the filling is different. It is also a bit spicy but definitely worth trying!! The toufu stew cost 6000 won and the hot pepper a toasted bun cost 5000 won for 10 pieces.

Forth stop: Seolleung Royal Tomb

Entrance of the gate
How to go there: Take subway to Seolleung station and take 5 minutes walk from exit 8.
Photo of tomb of Queen Jeonghyeon
Photo of tomb of King Seongjong

The admission ticket is 1000 won and it is opened from 6:00 to 21:00. Personally I feel it is really a boring place to visit... At first, we were thinking whether to go inside or not. After looking at leaflet, the view is super awesome. But once we go inside, it is just simply disappointing. It is surrounded by fence and wall and u cant enter the barrier. The best view is already on the leaflet, I guess u can find better photo online.

Gangnam underground shopping area
The stuffs there are really cheap but most of the shops are for gals >.< There is little shops for guys which is so unfair!! The structure of underground shopping area is also quite messy and easy to get lost so it is important to stick close to ur friends. Overall, it is really still a good place to shop!

This is the place where we have our dinner.
I have the soyou ramen which cost 4900 won. I strongly advice avoid this place to have dinner. The menu look very nice but the whole meal is just simply disappointing. The soup has no taste except for a bit soyou sauce and the noodle does not has any nice texture. Just regret after having dinner here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 9: seoul

First stop: National museum of Korea (contemporary history)
It is opened every day 0900-1800 except on Monday. The admission is free. U can alight at either gyeongbokgun/anguk/jonggak station and walk over. It is around 5 to 10 minutes walk. There is total 5 floors in this building.

1st: Rediscovering Korea
2nd: Explore Korean history at the Discovery Center
3rd: Prelude to the Republic of Korea (1876~1945)

4th: Founding the Republic of Korea(1945~1960)
5th: Development of the Republic of Korea(1961~1987) + Modernization and Korea's Vision of Future (1988~)

I think it is quite worth visiting as it is free and interesting. U can to see the whole transformation of the Korea from the past to the present. To really tour the whole place would take half a day. U can also go to Gyeong Bok Gung palace which is just beside the museum.

Gyeong Bok Gung palace

How to go there: 5 minutes walk fro the National museum of Seoul
It is the main and the largest palace built by the Joseon Dynasty. It was built in 1395 which is 3 years after the Joseon Dynasty and served as the main palace for more than 500 years. In the early 20th century, much of the palace was destroyed by the Imperial Japan. Restoration work is still on going.

The royal changing of the guard ceremony is held in front of the main gate every hour from 10:00 to 15:00. It last around 10 minutes.
The main hall where the emperor meet the official
Contract of the ancient palace against the current Seoul city

It is quite interesting to know the history of the whole palace but provided u have a good tour guide who can explain everything. Most part of the palace still follow the China palace except there is minor changes. It is pretty same in as Changyeonggung palace except it is much bigger and better restored. The restoration work is still going on though. I think it is better to visit this palace as compared to the Changyeonggung palace. Do take note it is closed every tuesday.
Free guided tours
Korean 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 (15:30 during winter)
Addtional tours are provided on fri/sat/sun 10:00 and on sun 12:30, 13:30, 14:30
English: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Japanese: 10:00, 12:30, 14:30
Chinese: 10:30, 13:00, 15:00

National Palace museum of Korea
It is just located inside the Gyeong Bok Gung palace so if u r visiting the palace, can just go and visit the national palace museum of korea. It houses over 40,000 artifacts and royal treasures, from the palaces of the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire showcasing records, state rites, architecture, clothing, royal life, education, culture, paintings and music of the dynasty’s ruling era. It is quite educating as we learnt more about the lifestyle of the king in the past.
Recommended one day tour: National museum of Korea -> Gyeong Bok Gung Palace -> National Palace Museum of Korea

Nanta Performance

We are not allowed to take photo during the performance so this is the only picture i took before the performance began. It is the most entertaining performance I ever watched!! I always want to watch when they come to Singapore but didnt have the chance. After the whole day tour, I was really tired but somehow the show managed to keep me awake through. It is really funny and also engaging with audience like throwing of stuff and also interaction. The music is also quite nice. I think it is really quite worth it for the price we paid.

Namdaemun market
It is just located at hoehyeon station. Just go out from the exit and u would see the market.

It is like old market where it sells a lot souvenirs, spectacle, clothing and street food. I think if u r thinking of making spectacle can consider going here as there is a lot spectacle shops and the price are quite competitive. I tried one of the street food which is quite nice. Remember to go there early as most of the shops are closed by the time we reach there around 7pm.

It is like small donut ball coated with sugar. It is a bit chewy and sweet. I really love the taste of it. It cost 8 piece for 1000won!!!
This is the shop where we have our dinner.
Banquet noodle which cost around 4000 won. It taste quite normal nothing special.
Kimchi pancake which cost around 7000 won. It is really delicious and crispy however it is a bit oily. The portion is also quite big 8 pieces which u can share with ur friends. Even the local also enjoy and take away the pancake. I will definitely try it if I go there again.