Finally catching up with the momentum, busy generating content and ideas for the blog.
Ok! So, in 2015, I went to Korea (for the first time!!) from 14 November to 29 November, spending a huge amount of time for my first trip. Regretfully, I didn’t venture out more and only spent 3D2N in Jeju. To make up for that, I’m heading back to visit Busan this December!
In my Planning for Korea post, I mentioned about visiting places that are near each other, so I decided to blog about that – Deoksugung, Gwanghwamun Square, Gyeongbokgung and Cheonggyecheon stream. Wow, that’s a lot of romanization even for me.
Situated in the city, Deoksugung stands out like Hong Jin Kyung with that pink wig in the Unnies’ ‘Shut Up’ MV. Situated just right outside City Hall subway station, Exit 1/2, Deoksugung is easy to find even for tourists who are bad with directions. Admission is at 1,000won for adults and 500won for teens.
I reached the place at 11am, just in time for the Changing of Royal Guards Ceremony! This happens 3 times a day at 11am, 2pm and 330pm. Note that the ceremony doesn’t take place on Monday.
Tip: If you miss the ceremony, don’t worry! There’s another one at Gyeongbukgung as well.
As there are many palaces in Seoul, Deoksugung is considered relatively small. I visited in Autumn where the foliage is extremely pretty so I couldn’t resist entering. However, if you’re short on time or visiting during other seasons, I would recommend just visiting one main palace.
★★★☆☆ – 3/5 stars
Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gwanghwamun Square
After touring Deoksugung, exit the place, turn left and walk along the main road. My original itinerary was to walk to Gwanghwamun Square and find a place to eat along the way. But, I chanced upon the infamous Cheonggyecheon Stream! This is a very nice place to take a stroll, enjoy the sounds of the streams and have a chat with a friend. Best accompanied with a cup of Americano in hand!
Fun fact: Once a year, the Seoul Lantern Festival takes place along Cheonggyecheon and the place is filled with hundreds (or more) of lanterns! (usually happens in November)
For those who are more inclined towards visual aids – this is roughly how it looks like! You’re welcome.
After sitting along the “river” bank at Cheonggyecheon, it’s time to head to Gwanghwamun Square. Simply go back to the entrance of Cheonggyecheon and walk along the same main road to head there.
You should be greeted by this man below (shown in picture)
Nothing much to do here except taking photos (typical touristy stuff y’know). Maybe you can walk around while listening to Kyuhyun’s song, At Gwanghwamun. (kidding)
This man sitting on a throne is King Sejong, who introduced Hangul. Basically he revolutionized the Korean Language by introducing the 28-letter Korean Alphabet.
Cheonggyecheon Stream – ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars
Gwanghwamun Square – ★★☆☆☆ 2/5 stars (sorry i’m not a fan of statues)
If you see in the picture I posted on King Sejong, you’d notice a nice mountain and some sort of Korean-architecture looking gate. That’s none other than Gwanghwamun Gate, the main entrance to Gyeongbokgung! This is the largest palace in Seoul (correct me if i’m wrong) so if you only have time to spare for one palace – this is it.
Admission is 3,000 won for adults and 1,500 won for kids below 18. Do note that Gyeongbukgung is not opened on Tuesdays. There are tours available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
Did you remember me saying something about the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony earlier on? There’s one at 2pm here! There’s also a Guard-on-Duty performance at 1pm outside the Gwanghwamun Gate.
Gyeongbukgung – ★★★★★ 5/5 stars. Hands down a Must-Visit in Seoul.
There you have it! A simple one-day itinerary for visiting 4 attractions. After that you still have time to visit some cafes and head for dinner. All, just by exiting 1 subway station. Blogging this made me miss Korea so badly. Can’t wait to head back in December. Same place, different season.
Thanks for reading – see you guys in the next post!
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