Saturday, June 10, 2017

Korea - Itinerary 9 Days 8 Nights, Day 3: Seoul - Anguk, Jongno-gu


Day 3: 
  • Seoul: Changdeokgung (UNESCO World Heritage) and Buchon Hanok Village
  • Breakfast at Paris Baguette @ Myeong Dong,  Late lunch at random food place near Insadong, Tea at random hanok place at Buchon Hanok Village, Dinner at Tosokchon Samyetang at Jongno-gu
To do:

99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Opening hours: 
Palace: 9:00-18:00, Secret garden : 10:00 - 17:30 
Closed on Mondays
Fee: KRW 3,000 (Palace), KRW 8,000 (Palace and Guided tour of secret garden)

The weather forecast for today is rainy and when we got to Changdeokgung its still sunny. We missed the timeslot for english tour so we have to wait till 12:30 pm for the chinese tour to begin. 

I paid KRW 8,000 which includes a guided tour of the secret garden. By itself, the palace is a little boring. But with the secret garden tour, it adds a little new dimension as there are ponds and pavilions and even a tiny-weeny waterfall. 

Its about 45 mins to burn so we just idlely walk around the grounds. Majority of the ground is sand and not stone. So be prepared to be eating sand whenever a strong wind blows. 

Right just about the tour is about to start, it started drizzling and ended pouring. And it rain and rain throughout the tour. 

You can see me in a rain coat and holding on to an umbrella. And all the tourists will hide under a shelter instead of wondering the grounds. 
 This is a very unique pavilion as its not in the usual octagonal shape instead it is shaped like a leaf. 
Towards the end of the tour we are brought to a traditional hanok house to see their living quarters and how people lived. 

*Note: Purchasing a Royal Palace Pass does not guarantee entrance to the Secret Garden (entry requires a reservation made by internet/exchange a voucher at ticket office)
Tour of the secret garden is only guided, we are not free to roam around the garden and will be asked to leave after the tour.  

Buchon Hanok Village
37 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

At Buchon there are mainly 8 sceneries that are promoted. 
Bukchon 1st Scenery : Changdeokgung Complete View
Bukchon 2st Scenery : Wonseo-dong Crafts Workshop Way
Bukchon 3st Scenery : Gahoe-dong 11 Area
Bukchon 4st Scenery : Gahoe-dong 31 Hill
Bukchon 5st Scenery : Gahoe-dong Alleyway(downward view)
Bukchon 6st Scenery : Gahoe-dong Alleyway(upward view)
Bukchon 7st Scenery : Gahoe-dong 31 View
Bukchon 8st Scenery : Samcheong-dong Stone Step Path

It helps to get at a map from the tourist information centre. Base on my research it will take 2-3 hours to complete the entire course if you wan to see all. In the end, i just decide to go with the flow and just walk see a few scenes and go off for the day. 

Along the trail there are alot of tourist information officers who are around to offer their kind assistance. So you can always ask them if in doubt. 

I highly recommend one of the sights in Buchon Hanok Village and it is the only house that is open to public as its a government gazetted residence.  Its called the Baek In-Je House Mueseum. It free but it needs a little time to locate. So far none of the blogs i read mentioned this place, i might have also missed this if the tourist centre personnel didn't share this with me. Opening hours to this place is 9:00 to 18:00. They do conduct guided tours at this place.

Here's a peek to the hanok house. 
This place is huge and it offers a glimpse of how a hanok looks like. Though in a much grander version. The person who used to own this place must be super rich. 

I don't usually see people mentioning this place when visiting the Hanok village but i really like the tranquil environment and they are actually furnishings in the  house instead of a blank empty space. 

There is also a room showing a videography about the house architecture, structure and unique points of the house. 

To eat:

Paris Baguette in Myeong Deong - 4.0 stars, budget
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

We head to Isaac Toast again, upon seeing the queue, we walked further down and head to Paris Baguette instead. So no address again. >_<|||

All the packaging here is instant. But the cups are so cute. There is a variety of bread to choose from, cake as well. Bread is nice but just so. 

Random shop in Insadong - 2.5 stars, budget

Insadong, Seoul, South Korea
Again, this food place in unplanned. We entered the place as it looks clean and modern and serves korean food. 

This time we tried tonkatsu korean style. The curry is sweet and not like japanese curry either. This dish on the menu is called King pork cutlet.

I like to try korean Gimbap and this is an item checked off the list. I think i prefer japanese sushi anytime. This is the tuna mayo gimbap i ordered.

Random Bukchon cafe - 2.8 stars, budget

Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

We randomly walked past this cafe while walking around the buchon hanok village. It is a hanok itself. And it may have been a guest house as well.  That's me sitting around in korean style. 
I had a sikhye (sweet rice drink), a traditional korean beverage made with fermented rice. Its a sweet rice drink with ice. I guess you can try this for experience. Hubby had latte. 

Tosokchon Samgyetang 토속촌삼계탕- 4.0 stars, mid-range

No.5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

I told hubby that this is the place i will go no matter what and what better time to eat then now when we are in the vicinity. Hub's mind is full of grilled beef and only grilled beef. Took a bit of arm bending to get him here. Guess, its dinner and there is no queue! But somehow we are ushered to the traditional style korean room instead of the one with tables and chairs. I had a hard time and need to keep changing postures (all the yoga i've done has gone to waste). 
The traditional style table. We are given a tin with plastic bag for us to throw the bones and the usual side dishes for korean restaurants. 
We ordered the Tosokchon Sansam Baeyanggeun Ogolgye Samgyetang. This is black chicken ginseng soup with wild ginseng adventitious roots. This cost KRW 6,000 more than the normal black chicken due to the wild ginseng roots. And in truth, there is not much taste to it. But the entire soup is very flavourful and has so many ingredients - 3 yr ginseng, red dates, pumpkin seeds,  chestnut, sunflower seeds, ginko etc.

Another dish we ordered is the Haemul Pajeon - the pancake if flavourful with seafood food and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

I was kinda of worried our order will be rejected as we ordered only one soup and there is 2 of us. Luckily the person never mentioned anything and proceed to take our order.

There is a standard sequence to eating the ginseng soup. And we try to follow this and make it as authentic as possible. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and was super happy how the day ended with such a yummy meal.

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