DAY TOUR AROUND SEOUL


On our second day, we left the house at 8am for our trip to Seoul.  Along the way, the yellow trees by the roadside were great attractions by themselves.  Again, we passed by the same alley where we had dinner/coffee and the place was transformed magically leaving no sign of partying or fun from the previous night.  Then we commuted by train from Anyang to Seoul and I was amazed by the talking teller machine.  Of course we chose the English language and it vocally repeats the options selected.  LOL...  It made obvious that we were tourists because of the several unsuccessful attempts.




At Seoul, my sister already pre-arranged a tour through the Transit Tourism Program.  It was a newly launched program then that offers two types of tours - OMI TRAVEL and HANNA TOUR.  We opted for the Hanna Tour because it covered more places and freebies.  I cannot recall how much it costs but the package was composed of:

Ø  Changdeokgung Palace
Ø  Jogye-sa Temple
Ø  Insa-dong Street
Ø  Cheonggyecheon Stream
Ø  N Seoul Tower

And the following freebies:
Ø  Lunch
Ø  Facial Services at Hushu Dermatology Clinic
Ø  Dental Services 
Ø  Souvenir items

There were only two of us for the Hanna tour.  We met our tour guide at the front of Changdeokgung Palace.  She then endorsed us to a group tour inside the palace.  More than the palace itself, I enjoyed the maple trees.  Since I did only little research entrusting everything to sister, I didn’t have expectations about the Autumn season.   And being inclined to nature, the differently colored trees were like fireworks in my eyes.  <<read full story here>>

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After the Changdeokgung Palace, our next destination was the Jogye-sa Temple.  I had same feelings as Changdeokgung, because more than the temple itself, I was stunned by the beautiful flowers laying at the front yard of the temple.  What more was the chrysanthemum flower, my favorite ever.  I was so fascinated of the different variants, different colors and different sizes.  How I wished I could take and grow the same at home...
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From Visit Korea: The Jogyesa Temple is the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea, and is famous for being located in the city.   The locust trees and baeksong trees in front of the Daeungjeon, the main temple building, are about 500 years old. The baeksong tree is designated as a Natural Monument. The Daeungjeon building is a stately building built in 1938. The Dancheong is particularly beautiful with all the different colors painted on it, and inside the building is the statue of Seokgamoni.  In front of the Daeungjeon building, you can also see a seven-storey stone pagoda containing Jinsinsari.






Jogyesa Temple




Jogyesa Temple

It was past 11am when we reached the Insa-dong District.  But because shopping was not a priority, we just strolled around the area.

 Insa-dong District



From Visit Korea:  Insa-dong Street is one of the most memorable attractions in Seoul and represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts.

After Insadong, our guide brought us to a Korean restaurant for lunch.  It was here that her tour-part ended.  But before leaving, she mentioned a bit about the medical tourism program and awarded the free vouchers composed of a facial service at Hus-hu and a dental service at a clinic that I lost the name.

Excited to feel like a Korean (LOL), we rushed to Hus-hu after our meal.  We were hesitant at first as we cannot understand the services they’re offering so we ended up with its Signature Acne Skin Care.  It was only the second time for sister and myself to beautify together.  It was a great sister bonding moment. 




Outside the Hus-hu building, we had a taste of Korea’s pajeon sold at the sidewalk. That was our early merienda for the day.
From Wikipedia: Pajeon (Korean pancake), a whole-pan pancake whose batter is stout enough to handle just about any ingredient you can think of, including chopped vegetables, seafood, meat, bean sprouts or kimchi. Pajeon are fun and easy to handle; with a little practice and a nonstick skillet with sloping sides, you can flip them without a spatula. They are strongly seasoned and real crowd pleasers.

It was already 3:30 pm when we left Hus-hu and as much as we wanted to avail the dental freebie, we opted to saunter Namdaemun Market while waiting for our night tour at 6pm.  I was tempted to grab a Starbucks tumbler with Seoul print but sister mentioned of other coffee brands at Seoul.  So instead of a coffee, I had a free hug.. LOL..
  
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From Visit Korea: Namdaemun Market is a market with over 600 years of history, which is still alive and well today. The area’s narrow streets are lined with a colorful mix of stores offering over 1,700 different kinds of items at reasonable prices, such as: children’s clothes, men’s/women’s clothing, accessories, home goods, utensils, electronics, wedding items, stationery, folk crafts, local produce, and imported goods. For those hoping to experience the feel of the traditional market as well as find some good bargains, this is definitely the place to go.



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Some helpful tools when visiting South Korea courtesy of Visit Korea:


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Travel Date: November 2010


5 comments:

  1. kayo lang dalawa ang tinu tour? ang galing non. so solong solo new ang guide? ang ganda ng mga flowers. me violet pa.at hirap bigkasin yung name ng mga lugar. buti naman natandaan mo pa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi, thanks for reading... oo kaloka kami lang yung nasa tour ang laki nung coaster tapos dalawa lang kaming sakay, parang private tour ang peg lalo na nung gabi...

      yep, i love the flowers super kaiingit... sana madami din dito sa atin :)

      Delete
    2. i made it sure all the time to take pictures of the signages/names para no need to write down. the timestamps also serves as my clock to recall where and what were doing at that time :)

      Delete
  2. Free hugs over coffee! Good choice! :D

    ReplyDelete

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