Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 5 - Tosokchon restaurant, Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong, Gwangjang Market & Lotte Mart (Part 2)

Happy 2015!!!

Looking back, 2014 has been a great year – a lot of trips (JB, Penang, Cambodia & Korea), organised a big event and met with awesome people. Anyways, this post is not to look back post but to continue with my never-ending Korea trip entry #^_^#

On Day 5 (Part 2), we were feeling tired and hungry after walking around the temple, so we headed to the famous well-known Tosokchon restaurant, which is just a stone throw away from the temple. They are famous for their samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) and we were immediately greeted by a queue in front of the restaurant upon reaching. 

Luckily, the queue was a fast moving one, we just waited for about 20 minutes only ∩__∩y

There are alot of rooms inside the restaurant and we waited for another 15 minutes for our samgyetang to come. While waiting for our food to arrive, we had a quick chat with a local Korean whom spoke fluent English. Well, not all Koreans do not speak English after all -____-

Our bowl of hot and delicious samgyetang ^.^v

The ginseng were stuffed in the glutinous rice, chicken and boiled to perfection (´`)*

After the sumptuous lunch, we headed to our next destination and by the time we were outside, the queue was gone as it was nearing lunch time. We took the subway to Anguk Station to transfer to Bukchon Hanok Village. 

Bukchon Hanok Village is famous with “hanoks” (traditional Korean houses) that is located at the heart of Seoul. The place where Lee Min Ho filmed “Personal Taste” in it!

Breathtaking view from top of the hill.

We climbed the steps to reach the main village of Bukchon so that we can see the “hanok” up close. However, we can only view from outside as there was no access to inside. Some of the houses were converted to hotel, café, retail shops and restaurants. 

As it is still a resident area, we were not encouraged to make too much noise while having our brisk culture walk ^_^|||

Took photo at the popular alley. 

View from the top of the village.

We walked into a cosy cafeteria with interesting glass display where we can view the guests sitting in the mini garden. With their café’s glamorous sunroof design, it reflects the entire café to be brighter and livelier.

We ordered café latte and affogato to unwind ourselves after a tiring walk. There was even a small art gallery and souveniers on sale too.

Next, we moved to Insadong for traditional Korean cuisine and souveniers. On our way, we stumbled upon a chocolate shop which had a collection of vintage machines and chocolates of course! It kinda reminds me of the chocolates in Belgium which equally taste good!

Loving the huge window display panel ^_^|||

Posing as usual hahaha

At night, we went to Gwangjang Market where there was a lot of small stalls selling traditional Korean food and eateries. Lots of food stalls at Gwangjang market, and it was so crowded at night. Many stalls were selling similar food – pancakes, glass noodles, pork blood, pork intestines and sundae served with maekgeolli warmed up our chilly night {{{(>_<)}}}

To digest our heavy dinner, we took subway station to Seoul Station where Lotte Mart is located. We wanted to do some grocery shopping too!! #^_^# In the end, we bought seaweed, pre-packed kimchi, Market-O brownies, yogurt and etc.

That wraps up a long day and here's to a great and better 2015!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day 5 - Gyeongbukgung temple (Part 1)

We woke up slightly late on the next day, at 9am on our fifth day in Seoul. The good thing about self-tour is that we can wake up at anytime that we’d like. There was no wake up call and we could go for breakfast anytime. After our simple breakfast, we walked to the nearest subway station and wander around the city before visiting Gyeongbukgung temple, the largest ancient palace in Seoul.

The majestic temple blends in well with the vibrant shades of autumn (´`)**  

Panaromic view of the temple (When ancient tradition meets modern skyliners with awesome mountain as backdrop (° ο°))

We were required to pay Won3,000 (RM9) entry fees and coincidentally that day was 23rd October #^_^# 

Awe-struck by the view again~

People started to gather to view the guard changing ceremony 

Guards in Joseon era dress started to march out {{{(^.^)}}}

We were waiting for the special highlight to get started at 10am so we could watch the changing of the guards. It was interesting to watch the show, a traditional palace and show flanked by modern buildings which made me felt transported from modern world to ancient times.

Crowds of people be it tourist or school children thronging the palace.

It was amazing to walk through the palace with beautiful surroundings of autumn foliage colours.

Relax, slowdown and enjoy…

The beautiful architecture of Geunjeongjeon Hall.

Geunjeongjeon Hall, with phoenix throne similar to the Chinese emperors’ dragon throne.

Intricate design of ceilings with dragons.

School kids with their beautiful “hanboks”

Younger version of “Boys Over Flowers”?

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, a hall used to hold important and special state banquets during the Joseon Dynasty.

Curved roof tiles of Sajeongjeon Hall.

School children in their yellow uniform starked contrast against the traditional looking palace.

The place where the king eats and sleep.

Beautiful carvings on the door.

The royal kitchen under renovation with Lee Young Ae in "Dae Jang Geum". 

Just love how yellow the leaves it is~ And with flourishing bloom of greenish leaves *@o@*

Mesmerizing view, beautiful barely describes the sight #nofilter #royalgarden

3 beautiful elements of the Pavilion – lake, mountain and bridge ^_^"

We immensely enjoyed the beautiful and vibrant colours  (^_^)

Can’t get enough of autumn colours~

Amazed by the intricate carved wooden architecture and I just can’t help to pose again ^_^|||

The temple was covered in yellow leaves which somehow look like a gold tree instead~

The glittering effect of the coated gold leaves(⊙o⊙)

Brilliant combo of autumn leaves ~

Tranquil settings nearby the palace – we were tempted to do Bollywood dance around the ginseng look alike branches (just saying!)

Eye-scorching colour again! Autumn was especially beautiful this year~

The first sight of autumn in Seoul will etch strongly in my mind.

And so, this ended a beautiful day in Gyeongbokgung palace. Next on Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong and Gwangjang market. Miss it so much already _