The Street at Dongdaemun

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… )

 

 

Street at Dongdaemun
Street at Dongdaemun
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Paris Baguette, I Miss You

Paris Baguette
Paris Baguette

When I was staying at Dongdaemun, I came across this bakery while looking for some grub in the morning. I absolutely love the presentation there and the presentation. I walked around the bakery, longing to try everything. How I wish there’s a branch in Penang, Malaysia. I love the toast, with the bacon wrapped around it.

 

 

 

Day 5-6: There’s Something About Jeonju

From Busan, I took the bus to Jeonju (also called the “slow city”).  At Jeonju, I stayed at Seonunjae Inn which is located at the Hanok Village itself. I love the uniqueness of this place. It kind of reminds me of Stowe, Vermont – such a quiet, and lovely place. I bet it would be very beautiful in Winter.

This place was crowded with tourists and I could see many couples walking hand in hand. I guess this must be a dating spot as well.

If you’re in Jeonju, you must try the Bibimbap. I want to write more about my trip but I’m still trying to recover from the flu that came home with me.

At Jeonju Hanok Village
At Jeonju Hanok Village

Day 2 – 3: The palace, cafes and Seoul Station

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.

Gyeongbokgung
Gyeongbokgung

 

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.

photo 3

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.

Day 2: Know Where To Stop The Bus

In my earlier post, I wrote about running at the airport to catch the connecting flight. You know what they say about sprinting without having stretched your muscles? They’re right. I started feeling sore during the journey to Incheon International Airport.

When I arrived, I felt as though I was walking right into a scene of the Korean series. People were speaking Korean pretty much all the way. I didn’t hear anything uttered in English until I reached the information desk. Sometimes, no matter how hard you prepare in terms of gathering information for the trip, by the time you get there, some things may have changed.

I had a little notebook with me whereby I scribbled my To-Do’s and in sequential order. Getting the T-money card was the next thing on my mind. You can get that at the 7 Eleven store in the airport (or any 7 Eleven stores). When I walked into the store, I was amazed. They have so many different types of coffee. Once I had the T-money card, I was off to get the bus ticket to town. (10,000 KRW) Bus 6002 took me straight to town.

Of course, being totally new to the surrounding, I stopped the bus a little early. Soon, I found myself having to walk quite a bit down the road at Dongdaemun. (That’s about 5 minutes, dragging my luggage along, and a heavy backpack). I did stop by at the different shops to get directions, and was very relieved when I finally found the hostel.

However, by then, my legs were crying out for mercy and guess what! I couldn’t check in yet. So I stuck around and charged my phone and made a call home to say that I’ve arrived. Took the subway to City Hall and saw some procession going on at Deoksugung Palace.

The other shocking thing…  the stairs! So many stairs. So few elevators/escalators. My poor legs and knees.