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.