SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] EXPLORING SEOCHON AND LUNCH AT TONGIN MARKET’S DOSIRAK CAFE

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In my previous visits to Seoul, I have always stayed in the Jongno area, specifically in the heart of Samcheong-dong, and because it’s the neighborhood that I am most familiar with, I have declared so many times in the past that my favorite neighborhood in all of Seoul is Samcheong-dong. Even to date, Samcheong-dong still one of my favorite neighborhoods but my list of favorites is growing the more I visit Seoul.

Last Spring, however, I did not get to spend time in Samcheong-dong at all because I purposely wanted to explore the west of Gyeongbokgung that time. I visited Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jongno-gu which translates to “Western Village” as it is geographically located at the west of Gyeongbok Palace. Historically, Korean literature has plenty of references to Seochon neighborhoods. But I did not learn about Seochon through history. I got curious about it after watching “Legendary Witches” because Seochon was the setting for that drama. Actually, if you’ve been to Tosokchon, the famous Samgyetang place near Gyeongbokgung, then you’ve been to Seochon.

Read more about my route going to and around Seochon below.

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Seoulful Encounters [Busan/Seoul 2017] – 10 Days in Busan and Seoul Spring Itinerary

Ferris wheel at Everland

About a year or two ago, when we were talking about how we wanted to celebrate our respective 40th birthdays, my husband asked if I wanted to do a Europe tour, or visit the US again, or maybe throw a party. I said I just wanted a low-key celebration and a solo trip to Seoul to spend at least 2 weeks there and enjoy the place at my own sweet pace.

Now, I finally just concluded my 10-day trip to Busan and Seoul. It’s the first time I traveled without my husband and son and while I frequently found myself being homesick and missing them during the first 6 days, I did enjoy the experience, learned a lot, and looked forward to the day that they will be joining me in Seoul. I honestly don’t think I can do this again. Maybe in the future, who knows? But right now, I have fully accepted that while there are many things that I wished I can do solo, it really is not as fun experiencing things without my family.

But before I proceed to show you a summary of the places I visited, let me share with you first the DISCOUNTED VOUCHERS that I purchased before traveling to Korea:

And with that, let me now share with you the places I visited during my spring visit to Busan and Seoul. I will be publishing separate and more detailed posts soon so please subscribe to my blog 🙂

BUSAN

It was raining the whole day when I arrived in Busan. Since it was raining and I was still tired from the flight and transfer from Seoul to Busan, I decided to just stay in Seomyeon and explore the  underground shopping mall at the Seomyeon Station. The following day, the sun went out and it was a go signal for me to start exploring Busan. I visited the following:

SEOUL

It’s my third time in Seoul and I just wanted it to be a free-and-easy-anything-goes trip for me. I stayed in Myeongdong so my day is pretty much just Myeongdong and some random place I want to check out. Here are the places that I visited:

  • Myeongdong
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Cheonggyecheon
  • Gwanghwamun Square
  • Seochon

  • Insadong
  • Dongdaemun
  • Ewha Womans University
  • Everland

I also got the privilege to be part of the blogger sponsorship program of Trazy.com where I was sponsored to experience a day tour of Everland along with my family. It was the highlight of my Seoul trip because it’s something that I enjoyed with my family so my first post will be about Everland.

I am excited to share my experience with you. Please stay tuned for my upcoming posts. Annyeong!

Heart and Seoul 2014 – Bukchon, Insadong, Gwanghwamun, Cheonggyecheon, Hongdae and Hello Kitty Cafe

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*This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.

We visited several areas of interest in the Gwanghwamun area on our last day in Seoul and every place was just within walking distance from each other. We started walking from 126 Mansion to Bukchon Hanok Village. We followed the “Bukchon 8 Views” map and were lucky to take photos in 6/8 of those views. Not bad, eh? 🙂

From Bukchon, we walked all the way to Insadong with a few stopovers like at the O’Sulloc Tea House and Ssamzie-gil. Then we walked through the end of Insadong street towards Cheonggye Plaza, the start of Cheonggyecheon stream. From there, we walked back to 126 Mansion while passing through Gwanghwamun Square.

In the afternoon, we went to Hongdae and had coffee at Hello Kitty Cafe.

Photos are down below.

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[Seoul Series] Day 1: Gyeongbokgung Palace

This is a continuation of my earlier post about our first day in Seoul. After exploring the neighborhood of Samcheongdong and Bukchon, we went to Gyeongbokgung or Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The Gyeongbokgung Palace is also called the “Northern Palace” because of its location as compared to the neighboring Changdeokgung (east), Gyeonghuigung (west), and Deoksogung palaces. Each of the palaces has its own beauty but Gyeongbokgung is arguably the most beautiful and grandest of all palaces. It is the main of the five grand palaces built by the Joseon dynasty and when translated, it means the “Palace of Shining Happiness.”

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Seoul Series: Why I Love 126 Mansion

After my posts on how to get a Korean visa and sharing our travel itinerary, here comes the next one to talk about the lovely guesthouse we stayed in while we were in Seoul last March 21-25. The guesthouse is called 126 Mansion in 126 Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. The guesthouse is located in the quiet but artsy neighborhood of Samcheong-dong.

I haven’t stayed in a hostel or a guesthouse in any of my travels before because I am picky when it comes to hotels. However, as I was planning for our Seoul trip, I already had my mind fixated on staying in a guesthouse than in another corporate chain. I have seen so many K-dramas already (I started getting hooked on K-dramas since 2004) and I’ve always been fascinated with their ondol floor. This is why I thought it would be a waste of chance to experience Seoul for real if I stay in a hotel.

I dropped by AirBnB to look for guesthouses in Seoul but there’s nothing there that captured my attention except for 126 Mansion. Just by looking at the photos of their rooms alone, I already got convinced that it’s where I want to stay. But I didn’t book via AirBnB. I directly went to the website of 126 Mansion to make my own booking. And that’s how I started becoming friends with the owners of 126 Mansion.

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