Itinerary : World Cup Stadium - Paju English Village - Gyeongbok Palace - Namdaemun
How to go to World Cup Stadium : From Hongdae station take line 2 (green line) and get off at Hapjeong Station, then transfer to line 6 (brown line) and get off at World Cup Stadium Station.
Back in 2002, South Korea and Japan were home for world cup. I'm a fan of soccer myself, not a big one, but I like to watch the match, especially world cup. So why we went to the stadium? There was no soccer match actually. We went there to visit the World Cup Museum. We knew about it from Running Man TV show and it looked quite interesting so we paid a visit. When we entered the museum, I felt that it was different from the one in Running Man. I found out later that Running Man was filming in Suwon World Cup Stadium, not Seoul -.-" But it's ok. Seoul World Cup Museum was nice too.
|World Cup Station|
We had a chance to enter the stadium too. It was my first time being inside international soccer stadium, it's huge!
|Outside subway station|
How to go to Paju English Village : From World Cup Stadium Station take line 6 (brown line) and get off at Hapjeong Station, then take bus no 2200 at but stop in front of exit 2 and get off at English Village.
It took about 1 hour to reach English Village. English Village, what place is that? Maybe that question appear on your mind. English Village is a camp where Korean people can learn English. There are some roles method to learn. It takes place in the post office, police station, etc. We knew about it from a Super Junior TV Show. To enter the camp, we were given a small book for a passport. Then we have to pass an immigration where an officer (western people) asked us some questions in English. When we passed the questions, they gave our "passport" a stamp.
|Bus stop in front of English Village|
The place was quite empty when we were there. Maybe since it was still winter, there were not much activities there. There were some groups of students from high school and elementary school who had camp at that time. Only few people outside the groups visiting the camp that day. The place is actually nothing much and not a tourist attraction, but it's a good place for photography. We spent about an hour there then we headed back to Seoul.
How to go to Gyeongbok Palace : From English Village take bus no 2200 and get of at Hapjeong Station, then take line 2 (green line) to Euljiro3(sam)-ga Station then transfer to line 3 (orange line) and get off at Gyeongbokgung Station.
We had no idea what place is this at first. All we knew was this must be the king's palace back then. Since this place is always appear in tours itinerary so we decided to paid a visit. Gyeongbok Palace is closed every Tuesday. This place is really big! It packed with tourists. There are some tour guides you can hire, they will explain about the history there, but since it cost money, we passed it. So we ended up wandering around the palace only for taking pictures.
Some guards were stand by the gate and they are not allowed to move. Not a little bit. I'm wondering what if they feel itchy? There're another guards who supervise the stand guards. They straight up the stand guards clothes, hats, hairs, etc that were blown by the wind and also the weapon if they hold it wrong.
Inside the palace area, there's a gift shop and a place where people can rent Korea traditional clothes called Hanbok to take pictures with it.
How to go to Namdaemun : from Gyeongbokgung Station take line 3 (orange line) to Chungmuro Station, then transfer to line 4 (light blue line) and get off at Hoehyeon Station.
Namdaemun market is a famous street shopping district. Eventhough it's a street shopping but still, the prices are quite expensive. I read in the internet that we have to bargain until 50% of the price the seller offer us. I tried that but it didn't work. It was hard to bargain price there. Even an auntie mad at me because I bargained too low.
There were many street foods too in Namdaemun market. Hungry after a long journey, we bought egg bread and red bean paste bread. Not far, we found a stall sells wang mandu (big bun) filled with kim (some kind of noodle) and we bought 1 for each of us. We also bought a fried sausage cake (I forget the name). They were so delicious! Still hot, perfect for a cold evening. We went around Namdaemun market and stopped in a gift shop, bought some gifts for families and friends. Then we went to Sinsegye Mall. The mall is a high class one. They're all designer brand. The night was almost fall when we left Namdaemun back to guesthouse at Hongdae.
We managed to took pictures with Jin and Daniel Ho in our last night. Daniel is a worker in Pencil Guesthouse. He arrived early in the morning everyday at guesthouse. I asked him almost everyday about directions that I didn't know and he always kindly helped me search for it.
Thanks to both Jin and Daniel. Our stay in Pencil Guesthouse was more than a pleasure. It felt like home for us. I'll stay there again when I visit Seoul next time ^^ And for readers, if you ever visit Seoul, I highly recommend to stay in Pencil Guesthouse.
World cup stadium - KRW 1000
Paju English Village - KRW 3000 (sightseeing only)
Gyeongbok Palace - KRW 3000
Egg bread - KRW 2000/3 pieces
Red bean paste bread - KRW 2500/4 pieces
Big bun - KRW 3000
Fried sausage cake - KRW 2000