Itinerary : Gwanghwamun Square - Cheonggyecheon Stream - Dongdaemun - Myeongdong - Namsan Tower
Our first day to explore Seoul has begun! YAY!! But first, we had to buy Seoul City Pass Plus. It was another cold and windy day. Bbbbbbrrrr... At 08.00 we headed to Hongdae station, right to station information center. The officer said that they don't sell transportation card and told us to go to tourist information center nearby. So we got out from Hongdae station to the cold air and walked to the tourist information center. Of course, we took many photos along the way. Haha! We finally found the place but it opened at 12.00 and it was still 08.30 at that time. So we decided to go downtown and look for the card there. Our first stop was Gwanghwamun Square.
How to go to Gwanghwamun Square : From Hongdae station, take line 2 (green line) to Chungjeongno station and transit to line 5 (purple line), then get off at Gwanghwamun station.
Gwanghwamun Square is one of the famous tourist attraction where King Sejong statue is located. Behind the statue there's a history hall entrance but we passed it.
We saw there's a filming set was being prepared there. I was wondering if it was a Korean famous variety show Running Man's set because I saw some bowling balls. I was about to ask the workers but canceled it. AND!!! I found out the next morning that it was really a Running Man filming set!! OH MY GOD!! I couldn't believe it! I passed it! AARRGGHH!!! If only I waited a little longer I was able to see Running Man filming LIVE!! It was like once in a life time opportunity for me and I missed it T________T Even until I post this, I still can feel the regret.
|Running Man ep. 85 filming set|
Anyway, let's continue.. From Gwanghwamun Square we headed to Cheonggyecheon Stream. It's only couple of minutes walk. It's a clean stream at the center of Seoul. With the sound of water, it gives a relax feeling.
Not far, we found Korean Tourism Organization office. We went inside to information center. There were so many brochures in there. It was Korea Grand Sale period so we took the card and brochure too. We asked an officer about Seoul City Pass Plus but they also don't sell it. She helped us call the tourist information center nearby, made sure that they really sell it and told us to go there. So we went to tourist information center nearby and finally we were able to purchase it. What a long journey to buy a transportation card! Actually Seoul City Pass Plus is the same with regular T-money but it comes with some discount coupons for foreigner. The card has no any amount in it, so we had to top up first before we can use it. Top up machines are available in MRT stations, but at that time we did the top up at a small stall at the road side near the tourist information center. Done with all that, we headed to Dongdaemun.
How to go to Dongdaemun : From Gwanghwamun station, take line 5 (purple line) to Jongno3(sam)-ga station and transit to line 1 (dark blue line), then get off at Dongdaemun station.
Dongdaemun is a famous shopping district. Not far from station exit we found an alley with shoes stores along the road. We walked along the alley and I ended up buy a pair of shoes for KRW 20.000. I liked it at the first sight! :D
At the road side, there were many food and clothes stall. Time for lunch, we had lunch at Lotteria. Lotteria is some kind of McDonalds. I had a shrimp burger and my friend had a beef bulgogi burger. After lunch, we stopped at a T-shirt stall and bought some T for people at home. The price in Seoul is not cheap. Some people said the price in Doota Mall is still affordable, so we decided to went there. Affordable for some people is still expensive for me! Some stores were on sale so we managed to bought some clothes with reasonable price. I also bought 2 blinky hair pins. From Doota Mall, we went to Dongdaemun Market. On the way to Dongdaemun Market, there was a strawberry seller on the road side. My friend told me that buy a strawberry is a must in Seoul. So we bought 1 pack of big strawberries.
Dongdaemun Market sells lots of fabrics, utensils, etc. We bought 4 boxes of gold color Korean utensils for gift. We had to bargain really hard for the price. The seller gave us KRW 15.000 each, at last we got KRW 12.500 each. Our broken Korean was quite a help in bargaining. Done with Dongdaemun, we headed to Myeongdong.
How to go to Myeongdong : From Dongdaemun station, take line 4 (light blue line) and get off at Myeongdong station.
At first we tried to pay a visit to Myeongdong Cathedral. We walked along according to the sign but we ended up at the back of the cathedral. We were too tired to walked around to the front so we agreed to passed it and went to shopping area rightaway.
Myeongdong is another shopping district for youth. Stores are in the right and left side of the roads. The place was packed with young people. There were some street food stalls too. We bought a swirly fried potato and odeng (fish cake). Walked along the Myongdong streets was really lots of fun for window shopping. Myeongdong theater is also famous among tourists. So of course, we took a photo of it.
We were heading to Uniqlo when I heard some crowd not too far from my place. 2 youngsters were running toward the crowd. I had no idea what that was and entered Uniqlo rightaway. And I did it again!! It was another Running Man filming and I missed it AGAIN!! UUGGHHH!! Twice in one day! :'( After spent some time (and money) in Uniqlo, we walked along the street again and found a small CD store. Korean CD price is very cheap in Seoul. Yeah of course it's the origin country. I bought Happy Pledis and After School Red. So happy! :D
Actually I didn't have any plan to shop. Maybe just a little bit but well... failed! We didn't even realized that our hands so soon packed with shopping bags. It was already late afternoon, sun was about to set, we decided to go to Namsan Tower by cable car. Namsan car cable station is only 10 minutes walk from Myeongdong, but with all the shopping bags and climb-up road plus we've been walking all day, it was a hard and tiring 10 minutes walk.
To reach the cable car ticket booth, we had to rode a diagonal elevator. We bought round cable car ticket. I really love riding a cable car.
Reached Namsan but we had to climb up stairs to reach the tower ground. HOSH!! Finally we were right in front of the tower. There were some gift shop, a Korean style gazebo (I don't know what does it call) and 5 trees full with love locks. Took some photos here and there then we went upstairs (climbed another stairs) to the bigger love lock place.
At the ticket booth we bought Teddy Bear Museum and Observatory ticket package. Again, in the website stated that by showing Korea Grand Sale card we can get 10% discount but the officer said there was no discount. She said that the package price is already include discount -.-a.
First, we went to Teddy Bear Museum I and continued with II. Finished with both museums, we went up to the observatory deck. The view was beautiful. It was a 360 degree observatory deck, we can see Seoul from way above. It was almost dark so we can see beautiful city lights. There were some binoculars available. You have to insert KRW 500 coin to be able to use it. A gift shop also available in the observatory deck. I bought some cute refrigerator magnets for gift to my friends and myself. They cost quite expensive actually, KRW 16.500 in total.
|Teddy Bear Museum entrance|
|View from observatory deck|
|Namsan Tower at night|
The night had fall when we headed back to Myeongdong. We had dinner at Myeongdong area. After wandering along, we decided to had dinner in a small food store. I had Don Katsu and my friend had Kimbab.They tasted good, but nothing special. It tasted the same with the one in Indonesia. Just to be remember, all food places in Seoul, include food stalls, restaurants and food court are provide free mineral water. So you don't have to buy drink unless you want to drink something else. At first I didn't know, I ended up buy hot tea for drink. It was a small canned drink and it cost KRW 2000. So expensive!
Tired after wandering around, walked along some climb-up road and climb some stairs with many shopping bags on our hands, we went back to guesthouse.
How to go to Hongdae : from Myeongdong station, take line 4 (light blue line) to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station and transit to line 2 (green line) then get off at Hongdae station.One exploring day had passed. We had 4 days left. Eventhough we were tired and our legs muscle were starting to scream but it was one exciting day.
MRT from Hongdae to Gwanghwamun : KRW 2000
Seoul City Pass Plus (card only) : KRW 3000
T-money top up : KRW 10.000
Lotteria shrimp burger ala carte : KRW 3000
Strawberry : KRW 6000/pack
Swirly fried potato : KRW 2000
Odeng : KRW 700
Happy Pledis CD : KRW 10.000
After School Red CD : KRW 7000
Namsan cable car round trip : KRW 8000
Teddy Bear Museum + Observatory Deck ticket package : KRW 14.000
Don Katsu (rice include) : KRW 6000