South Korea “I Seoul You”【Part 1】

South Korea, an amazing country for shopping and food paradise. It was my 2019 bucket list to visit this country as I have met some friends during my previous travel time/ previous work and would like to re-visit them.

I booked my South Korea trip last March and began to plan the trip during the month of April. It was not easy to plan my Korea trip because I had 8 days 7 nights there and was thinking about what I really wanted to see in this country.

I drafted an itinerary and shared it with some of my Korean friends and here are my 9 days 8 Nights South Korea Itinerary, I spent most of the time in the city and took 3 days to outside of the city, Suwon and Gyeokeng.

KL – SEOUL (Tue 30 Apr 2019 departure 07:50)
SEOUL – KL (Wed 08 May 2019 departure 09:45)

Initial Itinerary: 
Day 1 – Seoul-GyeongBokGung Palace, The Blue House, Bukchok Hanok Village,  Seoul City Wall, Insadong, CheongGyecheon Stream
Day 2 – Seoul- War Memorial of Korea, National Museum of Korea, Seoul City Walking Tours, Noryangjin Fish Market, Jimjilbang
Day 3 – Bukhansan National Park, Peaceful Gapyeong Area
Day 4 – DMZ/JSA Tour, Myeongdong
Day 5 – Bongeunsa Temple, Lotte World Tower, Lotte World Amusement Park, Gangnam
Day 6 – Bukchon Hanok Village, Samcheongdong & Samcheon Park, Seoul Tower
Day 7 – Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Hongdae
Day 8 – Free and Easy, Shopping

Day 1:

Took a morning flight and arrived at Incheon Airport at 3 pm (local time), one hour ahead of Malaysia time. The airport was huge and modern, it required to take a free train for immigration checking. Since South Korea is famous for shopping, it is not surprised to attract many tourists around the world especially Asia tourists from China, HK, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

My first day was free and easy, as I arrived at my friend’s accommodation around 6 pm where we were walking around Seoul Station area. My friend was showing me the area in Namdaemun Market and we had some quick bite and dinner at Myeongdong.

Stopped by Seoullo 7017 and Culture Station Seoul 284 to enjoy the night view

The month of May was nice to visit Korea as it was a spring season and the morning temperature was just nice to walk around, and night time would require to wear outerwear as the temperature dropped to 12-19 Celcius.

Day 2:

It’s a city tour today. Started to walk from Seoul Station till Sungnyemun Gate and walked past Namdaemun Market.

Seoul through my eyes
Sungnyemun Gate

I lost my way of heading to downtown, but I managed to see some different views myself. After walking for a few hours, finally I managed to arrive Deoksugung palace which located at the corner of Seoul’s busiest downtown intersection:

Operating Hours 
09:00-21:00
Closed Mondays

Admission Fees 
[Foreign Visitors]
Adults 1,000 won / Groups of 10 or more 800 won
Teenagers 500 won / Groups of 10 or more 400 won
* Free admission: Children (ages 6 and under, Seniors (ages 65 or older), visitors wearing hanbok, all visitors on the last Wednesday of each month (Culture Day)

[Combination Ticket for Palaces]
– Sites: Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine
– Fee: 10,000 KRW (Note, refund not available after using the ticket the first time)
– Validity: Up to one month after purchase. (source:KTO)

Deoksugung Palace

In the afternoon time, my friend joined me and we continued to visit the Gahoedong Catholic Church which just next to Deoksugung Palace.

We then continue our journey to the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History and took pictures at Gwanghwamun Plaza

Gwanghwamun Plaza

Jogyesa Temple (조계사), is the center of Korean Buddhism. The annual lantern festival in celebration of Buddhist’s birthday also takes place at this temple.

Youngpoong Bookstore, The Jongno branch of Youngpoong is the nation’s largest bookstore, boasting a total area of over 10,600 meters square. (source :KTO)

Cheonggyecheon Stream: The area commemorates the Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project, and also symbolizes gathering, harmony, peace, and unity. (source)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza: Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has a meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It holds various exhibitions, fashion shows, forums, conferences, and other domestic and international events. Registration for touring the architecture is available on-site and other event schedules and kid program information is available on the website. (source:KTO)

We back to our accommodation and my friend blended some fruit juice and we walked around the neighborhood. *Feel like I am living here now*

Day 3:

Continue to get lost in the downtown:

JongMyo Shrine

Joining a Seoul Walking Tour at Gwanghwamun Gate .

Supposed to join another tour initially but went to a wrong and saw someone holding this card, and her guest did not show up. Ended up she became my half-day tour guide, it’s fate and now she is in Penang. Will be meeting her in Malaysia soon 🙂

Bukchon Hanok Village: 

Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Today, many of these Hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants, and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture. As Bukchon Hanok Village is an actual neighborhood with people’s homes, visitors are advised to be respectful at all times while looking around. (source: KTO)

Day 4: Suwon

Took a train from Seoul Station, a fare cost 1300KRW, $1.25USD and takes about an hour. Subway Metro Line is the cheapest option and is slower than comparing to other train options: KORAIL train (arrive Suwon station in 30 minutes, cost 2700KRW)  & KTX trains (the fastest, arrive in 25 minutes, cost 8400KRW)

Once arrived Suwon, as a tourist first thing to do is heading to Tourist Information Center and grab yourself an updated map of Suwon.

The tourist Information Centre was about 3 minutes walk from Suwon Station.

The journey started by taking a Bus to Paldamun Gate from Suwon Station….

To be continued….[Part 2]

Previous trip:
Bangkok,Thailand: click here

Kanchanaburi, Thailand: click here

Labuan, Malaysia: click here

 

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