If you have arrived at Incheon International Airport, taking the bus (6002) would get you downtown to Dongdaemun. There are several stops along the way. It’s comfortable and costs only 10,000 won. When I took that ride, I made the mistake of buzzing too early. So I had quite a walk before I reached my destination (Hostel Beige). I remember looking around me and finding it strange. It wasn’t like what I saw on the internet and I uttered a silent prayer in my heart, “What do I do, God?” I was tired after the long flight and didn’t have much sleep. So by the time I reached the hostel, I was really tired. Along the way, I stopped by at several pharmacies to get directions. They’re very helpful and although they don’t speak English well, they do try.
When I arrived at Hostel Beige, it was too early to check-in. So, I left my luggage with the management staff, changed my clothes and headed to Gyeongbokgung. How I managed to find the strength, I have no idea.
You can see from the picture below where Hostel Beige is located. It’s quite a busy street at night with lots of street food stalls along the way. There’s also a stall selling fresh fish. Yes,..that’s right. So, I do smell fish when I come out from the hostel. I guess it’s all right, as long as I don’t smell like fish.
Overall, this is a convenient place to stay because everything is within walking distance. (Pharmacy, Bank, 7 Eleven, Convenience Stores, food stalls, cafes, restaurants, markets, shops (clothes), etc… )
One of the most hilarious moments in Seoul was taking the wrong subway train. I can’t understand why it doesn’t happen to me in Busan. The station that gets me confused the most is Jongmyo-3 . Surprisingly, it’s not one of those stops where all the lines meet.
I can’t remember if I went to Gyeongbokgung on the 2nd or 3rd day.
It wasn’t difficult to get to Gyeongbokgung. Take the subway line 3, stop at Gyeongbokgung station (exit 5). You won’t get lost because there are directions along the way. One thing I should add is that you should wear a good pair of shoes that would enable you to walk far (and climb those oh..so many stairs at the subway stations). Once you get up the stairs, you will be able to see the entrance to the palace.
Sometimes looking at the maps do not give you a real feel of how big the palace is until you actually get there. Then you think you might need a foot massage later that night. It’s about 3 minute walk to get to the entrance. Then walking around the palace compounds is another story. It took me more than 1 hour since I was taking photos.
God answered my prayers. I did get to see the cherry blossoms although they were just starting to bloom. They’re beautiful. There were plum blossoms too. So many beautiful flowers, it was like heaven to me. I didn’t feel out of place taking my own photos. Everyone was doing that, thanks to technology. I could see people using cameras, smartphones and tablets, snapping away.
I made a trip to Seoul Station to get my KTX ticket to Busan too. Along the way, I stopped by at Yongsan Electronics to get an adapter.
When I was in the subway, I noticed that almost everyone is looking at their smartphones. Most of them are very focused on whatever’s playing on their smartphones and they wear earpods.
When I was at Yongsan, I realized that many items were on sale. It’s good that my passion for photography has reached a plateau. I’m not looking for any new equipment unless my existing cameras die on me.
I have to admit that it helps to have a few crazy friends. They help to lighten up the day and life certainly gets more interesting.
So, I told one of my church buddies that I’m so excited about visiting South Korea in late March next year. I said I don’t know why, but I feel like my heart has already left although the actual trip is still 3 months away. What I found so funny was her reaction to my statement. “I tell you, if you find someone there, or meet a man there,.. marry him.” I had to clarify to her that I’m not making a trip there to look for a life partner, but to have a good time. If I had planned to meet someone there, I would have to be away for at least 1 year. Then her response to me was that sometimes it’s a divine appointment. Then she said, “Imagine meeting Hyun Bin.” Hmm…. I guess women of various age are attracted to him. I suppose it would make my trip memorable if I ended up sitting next to a celebrity in my KTX trip to Busan. Then again, if they were making that much money, they wouldn’t be taking the KTX but would fly instead.