Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Korea - Itinerary 9 Days 8 Nights, Day 2: Seoul - Anguk, Jongno-gu

TRIP DATE: 13 APRIL 2017

Day 2: 


  • Seoul: Princess Hanbok, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Yeouido Spring flower festival
  • Breakfast at Isaac Toast Myeong Dong, Late lunch at random food place near Jongno-gu, Dinner at Old School Seoul Bulgogi at Mapo

To do:

Princess hanbok
52-6 Anguk-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

There are several hanbok rentals that i found online but i finally decided to go to this place as the owners can converse in mandarin and all the photos shown their website show pretty hanboks. 

Upon reaching, we are told there are 2 tier of clothes - basic and premium. As price difference is only KRW 5,000 i decided to take the premium costing KRW 20,000 per pax. Everything is provided including the locker to keep your things while you walk around in your hanbok. The purse is also given to us to put our stuff. 

My hair is also tied by the lady there. 

The company is quite strict with late comers. We are late and have to pay extra KRW6,000. Yup 4 hours are not enough for me to take pictures. I took a lot and hubby say this is my personal photoshoot. 

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

Opening hours: 9:00- 18:00, closed every tuesday
Fees: KRW3,000 *free if wearing hanbok


This is a UNESCO heritage site. I planned to reach this place by 9.30 to watch all the performances.  
Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training at 9:30 am
Sumunjang (Royal guard) Changing Ceremony at 10:00 am
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-duty performance at 11:00 am



We didn't get to Gyeongbokgung till after 11:00 and we are joining the free tour offered at 12.30 pm. So in the end we missed all performances.

The palace was huge.  Plus the free tour is more than 1.5 hours where the guide highlight specific places of the palace that we will otherwise miss. 


I also saw my first cherry blossoms here. And everyone is so ga-ga over them. 


The palace is big and will need at least half a day to walk through all the point of interest indicated on the map. 

*Tip entrance to the palace is free if you are wearing traditional hanbok and this true of all the palaces to visit. 

Yeouido Spring Flower Festival
Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu Seoul, South Korea


One of the reason i went to Seoul during this time is because of the cherry blossoms. And lucky us, when we reach the flowers are still blossoming. But the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is a week earlier. So we missed this but its okay as long as we see the pretty blossoms. 

The nearest place to get here is stop by at National Assembly Station, Exit 1. This is my first time seeing cherry blossoms and i think they are really pretty. And the petals will rain down when the wind blows littering the entire pathway with floating petals.

It feels so romantic to walk down the street with your loved one and though i was super duper tired from the long day seeing this makes me really happy.


To eat:

Isaac Toast in Myeong Deong - 4.0 stars, budget
105 Toegye-ro, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


We arrive quite early 9 am and there is already a queue. It must really be good. 
We ordered (4) Hot Chicken MVP(6) bacon best . Do note they won't cut the toast for you. 

Our toast in preparation. Really anticipating this. They will put the butter on hot plate and let the bread toast. 
I love the toast. It skewed more towards sweetness but the fresh vegetable they put in with the toast and egg made the toast really refreshing and delicious. The bread is crisp and yet soft. All the ingredients is a perfect match. 
The hot chicken MVP is also delicious. Hubby resolved to try all the toast from that day onwards. Unfortunately, the queue everyday just get longer and we never got to try others.

The only con for this is that we have to drink coffee and toast all at the roadside for this outlet.

Roadside stall - 2.5 stars, budget
Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 

Not sure where is this place. We are looking for a shop called Sanneri but the numbers don't run the normal way and we can't locate the place no matter what. Gyedong is a hilly area and we climb all the way to the top and eventually sat down at the nearest food stall on the way downhill.
 Fish cake with sauce, the soup is delicious. The fish cake is nice. 
Tteokbokki and korean sausage. The korean sausage is made of pig's blood and dong fen. It taste abit gamey and i didn't like it. As for the tteokbokki, koreans really have a love relationship with this. Somehow they love this and some will even take it as a whole meal. But to me its simply starch mixed with spicy sauce. The tempura is ok but not impressive. 

Old School Seoul Bulgogi 옛맛서울불고기 in Mapo - 3.0 stars, mid-range
Sangsu-dong 115, Mapo-gu Seoul, South Korea

Address is what i picked from the internet before i went. Apparently, its incorrect on google map and well, we asked alot of people. Most can't speak english/chinese and point us in a direction. And we got incredibly lost. At long last, we met a nice lady we walked us a little distance and we managed to find the place. 

Korea is not the world's most friendly place. Hmmmm.....

My hubby request for someone who can speak chinese (i think its a totally bad idea). The attitude of the person ordering sucks. If we ain't so hungry and tired from all the walking (nearly an hour just to locate this place), i would have walked right out. We were told there is only one type of meat where there is so obviously 2 options on the menu. So we give up and just ordered what the lady say we should. Grrrrl. 


We are served all the sides (by the way is refillable) on the sides, we didn't know so ate our bbq with rice instead. 

The sliced beef soup on the left taste wonderful. Finally, the main dish is served. 

So we waited for the beef to be grilled by the charcoal. Apparently, they will create a hole instead of just putting all the meat and covering the entire plate. 

The sliced beef is well flavoured with greens. I guess that its the unique selling point. Its good but not as good as what we tried in Singapore Superstar. The food that leaves an impression is actually the big mushroom that is very fresh and sweet. 

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