Korea - Free & Easy (Part 4) - Seoul

10:47:00 PM Ashley Tok 0 Comments

We travelled out of myeondong! ^_^

As I mentioned earlier, it was really easy to travel around Seoul. All you need is just a T-Money card and most of the places are relatively near to a train station.

Gyeongbokgung / Samcheongdong / Bukchon / Insadong

We started the day with a sumptuous brunch at  Tosokchon, a famous place for Ginseng Chicken near Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Tosokchon

Direction: Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 2. Go straight along the main road. You are on the right track if you past by “Popeyes”. Continue straight and look for GS25 convenience store. Afterwhich, turn left and look out for the signage (see picture above).

We were there at around 11am to have brunch and it was still quite empty. By the time we finished eating, there was already a long queue outside lor.  So the trick is, go early and avoid the crowd!


We ordered a black ginseng chicken and a normal ginseng chicken for sharing.  Personally,  I preferred the normal ginseng chicken, which was tastier and hor, KW7,000 cheaper.  Keke

Also, there was glutinous rice in the soup and  2 huge tubs of kimchi to stuff yourself with. Very full one, so dont need to order rice. 

Tosokchon
Address: 85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Contact:  (02) 737-7444
Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm


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Gyeongbokgung Palace

After lunch, very full, so do what? Go walk walk lor! =p

Gyeongbokgung Palace is located just a 10mins walk away from Tosokchon. We were lucky to catch glimpse of some pink sakura there, which were prettier than the one at Yeouido Park.  In fact, I was more excited to see the sakura than the palace itself. I mean, the palace will not move or disappear and you can visit it anytime of the year, but sakura is seasonal and the period of its full blossom is so short, so you must be lucky to able to catch it.


We had timed it such that we can catch the changing guards, which I was told at 10am, 1pm and 3pm.  Despite a little rain, the central square ( at the main entrance) was filled with curious tourists, locals as well as many  school students (irritating, ha) on excursion.  It started with loud & clear drumming, followed by a whole troop playing instruments, dressed in Korean traditional clothing.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
Address:  161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea


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Samcheongdong

From the exit near National Folk Museum of Korea (inside Gyeongbokgung Palace), we crossed the road towards Bukchon-ro, 5ga-gil to go to Jeongdok Tourist Information Centre to get the map of Bukchon.

On the way to the Bukchon Folk Village, we walked along Samcheongdong, which housed many pretty cafes, galleries and boutique shops. We cant helped but just settled for one of the cafe to just do people watching over ice-cream.  Dun spend all your time in Seoul shopping, do come here and embrace yourself with the artistic ambiance.


We bought this snack at the stall above, dunno what it was but we liked it!


Bukchon Folk Village

Direction: Anguk Station, Exit 2

The starting point is the Stone Stair Alley of Samcheongdong. We basically followed the map to locate the 8 photo spots in Bukchon which are supposed to be the highlights of this neighborhood. There were also some guides in red top to help you take photos or guide you if you are lost.  The amazing part is it's an actual residential area, ya people are really staying in these traditional houses, how cool is that!

If you are not following the same route as me, alternatively just alight at Anguk Station and walk straight to go to  Jeongdok Tourist Information Centre.


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Isadong

Direction: Anguk Station, Exit 5/6 

We ended the day with Insadong. There are many shops selling souvenir such as fans, chopsticks, sachets, bookmarks etc.  So if you have no idea what to buy for friends/relatives, do come here and take a walk. 


Hongik University (aka Hongdae)


Shimontang

Direction: Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 9

1) Turn immediately left on the road after Exit 9.
2) Walk up the road until the 1st block that ends with Dunkin Donut at the corner, turn right on the road between Dunkin Donut & Coffee Bean.

3) Walk down the whole stretch of the road. There is a crossroad, cross the road directly to continue walking along the stretch of the road. Cross at the lights at Richemont Bakery at the end block to U+Avenue. Between U+Avenue & Mister Donut, continue along the road.
4) Walk pass the 1st block of Mister Donut. Turn left after between the 1st block between a Bluefin tuna restaurant and walk up along the road.

5) At the end of the block, you see an “Orange” signage shop, turn right down the road. Shimsontang is next to the “Orange” signage shop.

If you have seen the Korea variety show "We Got Married", you will know who's Hwang Bo (she's the one who got paired up with Kim Hyun Joong).  Long story cuts short, I went to Shimsontang because it belongs to Hwang Bo.  Anyway, WGM is really a funny variety show to watch, highly recommended! 

I liked the decor and ambiance of the restaurant, it felt like walking into someone's living room, really cozy.



Foodwise, rather passable. Menu was simple with the main dish called "Bu Dae Jigae".  Explained by other bloggers, it was beef broth with some "" (ingredients).  In my explanation, it was a big bowl of soup filled with hotdogs, potato, onions and vegetables.  Kinda cheap "" le.. Hwang bo's fans, please dun hit me. >.<

The soup was rather spicy, and the white rice came in "handy". If I'm not wrong, I think there was cheese in the soup as well, so quite tasty.  Problem is, both me & hubby cant take spicy food well.  Luckily, we ordered the cold buckwheat noodles. Keke

Shimsontang
Address:  1st Floor, Seogyo-dong 355-21, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울시 마포구 서교동 355-21번지 1층)
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 11pm


Hello Kitty Cafe

Direction: Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 9 . From Shimontang, walk toward the Trick Art Museum and turn right into the main lane. Walk down looking to your left, a pink cafe is hidden there. 

How can I miss out Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul rite?  It was walking distance from Shimsotang, so just nice, we popped by for desserts after having lunch.  Unlike the one in Taipei, here only offers desserts and drinks, but overwhelmed with cuteness nevertheless.


Hello Kitty Cafe
Venue: Address: Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 358-112


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Direction: Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 9.  On the same street as Smoothie King. It’s opposite the park where they have performances and art fairs. It is in the same building as a bar with a “Live Jazz” signboard. Ycat is located across from the entrance to the park, between the eyeglasses store and Smoothie King.

For cats lovers, you must come here and play with cats! There are also dogs cafe in Seoul, just google for them ya?

With just KW8,000 per pax, we got a drink and can spend unlimited time there.  The cats were really cute, but super duper lazy/sleepy.  They liked to curl up in your lap and just fell asleep there! Dubz! Keke, funny right? 

I thought it was a superb idea to have such a cat/dog cafe.  For people who cant commit but love animals, this is just fabulous.


Ycat Cafe
Address: Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 358-92 3F
Opening Hours: Tue to Fri 13:00 - 23:00 (Mon 13:00 - 22:00 / Weekend 12:00 - 23:00)


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2 more parts to go  ~ Mt Sorek/Abai Day Trip  & Gapyeong Day Trip! Wait ar..coming soon...  =p

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