The Morning Palace

13.11.13

This morning, the sun was shining brightly. A perfect day to spend outside. I decided to see the palace that people said was beautiful to see in the morning, the Changgyeonggung Palace.

I took metro to Hyehwa station. It was a short distance from the metro station. At first I was not sure about the way to the palace. It was a residential area with cute shops such as this one:20131113_102543 Continue reading The Morning Palace

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Bye-bye Gyeongju

11.12.13 (Nov 12, 2013)

From the tomb park, it’s a 5 minutes walk to the hostel. I took my bags from the hostel, there’s nobody at the reception area. The young man that welcomed me when I first arrived there, the hostel caretaker, was on his way out throwing garbage when he saw me dragging my luggage down the stairs to the street. He helped me with the luggage and wished me a happy journey….thank you ^_^.

It was around 11.30 AM and the market and its extension on the pedestrian was still busy. I took bus no 50, paid 1200 won and headed to the Singyeongju ktx station. The bus was not full; there were a lot of empty seats.

 

Near the station, while I was using my camera to take video, an old lady who got on the bus at the market too, said something to me. I thought she was showing me the beautiful views. It turned out that she was asking me to press the stop button. I realized this when I saw her walking difficultly to the seat in front of her to press the button. ouch…sorry grandma…Next time in Korea, I had to make sure that I could understand daily conversation.

It was 12 PM when I finished exchanging the ticket reservation with the printed ticket at the ticket locket. The station was new and spacious but there were only 1 ramyeon restaurant, 1 coffeeshop and Lotteria. I went to Lotteria because I wanted to eat chicken. Too bad that the chicken set menu was for family size. So I just bought 4 pcs chicken wings for 4100 won.

I was given a queueing device and was told to wait for 5 minutes. when the device beeped, I went to the cashier again to get my chicken wings.20131112_115930The chicken meat was tender and juicy. yummy.20131112_121323Around 12.50 PM, I went to the waiting area and looked around the few shops there and bought some snacks to eat on the train. I sat on the chairs in front of the arrival board and ate one of the snacks-sweet potato sticks.20131112_125754At 13.04, there’s announcement that the train was coming. Passengers for 13.14 KTX to Seoul was told to go to the platform. There were only 4 platforms at the station. The train from Busan to Seoul was on platform 4. Passengers took an escalator to go up to the platform. The wind was chilly up there. Luckily, near the platform for cart no 7, there’s an enclosed waiting area with glass walls and doors. I went there and waited for the train to arrive.

It took about 2 hours from Singyeongju to Seoul. Arrived at Seoul Station, I went straight to the metro station.20131112_16104120131112_161007For my last 4 nights in Korea, I stayed at Hill House Hotel. This was the hotel direction that I found from one of the people who reviewed the hotel at Trip Advisor:

From Heohyeon station, take exit 1 and walk till you have Woori Bank HQ on your right, go up that street and walk all the way up, you will pass a few BBQ shops on your right, a Japanese restaurant on your left, a GS25 convenience store and you will need to take a left and walk about 10m and you will reach the hotel. It’s quite a hike up and we were often breathless at the lobby, but it was good.

Well, after traveling to lots of places, I still managed to get lost even with when I had the direction. This time was no different. When I stepped outside the metro station, on the street level, I was disoriented. The road was wide and there were tall offices buildings. I walked up and down, even crossed the street back and forth looking for Woori Bank HQ. When I finally found the building, again, I was confused, where was the road that I support to take? The direction said that I had to go all the way up. So I walked to the end of the street, turned right and found that it was a hike. I walked up to the tunnel where there’s no pedestrian and looked at the Namsan Tower. Okay….I was lost….there wasn’t any tower mentioned in the direction.

I walked back down to the direction of Woori Bank and found a small street on my left. I turned there and again found that the road went up and down. Finally, I saw the sign of the hotel. I went inside and asked the concierge, was that the Hill House Hotel. He looked at me with a confused look and I think he pitied the way I looked then, so out of breath…kekekekeke…. He said that it was the Hill Hotel and said that Hill House Hotel was across the street.

I thanked him and laughed at my silliness because the hotel sign clearly said Hill Hotel (written in English, not in Korean alphabet). When I arrived at the correct hotel, I was a little upset seeing that there were more stairs up to the lobby level. At least, I was finally at the right place. Phew.

The hotel room was nice. The bed was spacious and the bath tub was clean.wpid-20131112_165719.jpg wpid-20131112_165738.jpg wpid-20131112_165758.jpgIt was around 6 PM and I decided that it’s too early to call it a night – despite the unexpected exercise that I had that afternoon. So I washed up and went out to enjoy the night.

It was cold and the night was just started. Again, I laughed at my silliness when I realized that if I understood the direction to the hotel at the first time, it was just a short walk to the metro station.

That night, I went to see Dongdaemun, the famous fashion market. It’s nice to see the Dogdaemun gate, something that looked so ancient in the ultra modern surrounding.

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Dongdaemun Gate

My first mission that night was looking for dinner. I went inside one of the shopping complex and straight to the food court level. I ate tteok mandu gug (KRW 5,000), it’s a soup with rice cake cuts and several dumplings. The bowl was huge and served with several types of kimchi. I took my time finishing my dinner. There wasn’t a lot of people eating at the food court that evening.20131112_18534720131112_190738It was almost 8 PM when I finally finished the huge bowl of soup. I was tired but at least I wasn’t hungry anymore. kekekeke. I spend my time walking around, watching interesting stores.20131112_192315I went inside 3 shopping complex buildings, from the oldest to the poshest one, where they sold Korean designers clothes. One thing that I learnt that night, you need stamina to shop. When I was tired, nothing looked interesting and the desire to shop around dropped to the lowest level until it was almost non-existent.

I decided to go back to the hotel and took a rest. It was around 10 PM. The streets and shops in Dongdaemun area were still full of people.

 

 

Morning Walk To The General’s Tomb

12.11.13

My destination for this morning was General Kim Yu Shin’s tomb. I chose it because I heard the road to the tomb was beautiful to see in autumn.

It was sunny but still cold. Only about 8 degree Celsius. I took bus no 51 (KRW 1,200) to the express bus station. It was only 2 bus stops away. A very short ride, only 3 minutes.

From the express bus station, I followed the road sign to the General’s tomb. It’s about 1.4 km walk crossing the big road towards the bridge.IMG_8383 IMG_8384 IMG_8385 IMG_8386 IMG_8387 IMG_8388 IMG_8389IMG_8398The view of the riverside from the bridge was beautiful. After crossing the bridge, I turned right onto a beautiful road with colorful trees on both sides.IMG_8390 IMG_8391 IMG_8394 IMG_8395 IMG_839620131112_092349Following the sign, I arrived at the road to the General’s tomb. It was an the left side. The road along the riverside was almost empty so it was easy to cross it.IMG_8399IMG_8400There’s a bit of a hike, about 300 M. The tomb was on a hill with beautiful forest around it.IMG_8401 Surprise….surprise…..there’s public fitness equipment inside the forest.IMG_8403The ticket was only 500 won. There were other historical buildings in the tomb complex.IMG_8404 IMG_8405I went to the tomb. It was a peaceful resting place. I wanted to see the tomb because it’s special. Other tomb was just a mound of earth covered with grass. The General’s tomb was decorated with stones with twelve Chinese zodiac carved on them. The front side was the dragon, to its left was the snake and all the other characters.IMG_8407 IMG_8408 IMG_8409IMG_8410IMG_8411IMG_8412IMG_8413IMG_8415It was around 10.30 AM when I left the tomb. The way to the tomb was a one way road, so to go down the hill, cars or other vehicle must go on a different way. The scenery on the way down the hill also beautiful.IMG_8417

At the foot of the hill, I walked on the riverside and crossed the bridge again. IMG_8419IMG_8420IMG_8422IMG_8423IMG_8424

Good Morning Gyeongju

12.11.13

It was 9 AM when I left the guesthouse that morning. The Jungang market was already busy. Actually, the market was busy almost around the clock.

The evening before, when I arrived from Anapji Pond, the market was still crowded with people. I had a walk there, trying to find something to eat but I was too hungry to think. Moreover, I think it’s unusual for people to eat by oneself in a restaurant; that’s why the meal portion was too big for 1 person. In the end, I had my dinner at the guesthouse’s kitchen. I cooked ramyeon and had it with instant noodle. Not very healthy but enough to appease my hunger.

It’s interesting to see the activities in the market. 20131112_08535820131112_085927CIMG1999CIMG1997CIMG1998CIMG2002CIMG2001CIMG2000