D-3 Seoul Searching – Gwanghwamun, King Sejong Museum, Insadong

D-3 : 11 April 2012

Day 3 in Seoul! Took the subway from Hansung (Line 4), transferred at Chungmuro(Line 3/4)  and then aligned at Gwanghwamun (Line 3) station. Then I went to Exit 3 which is where Kyobo Bookstore is directly located at. 

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I got carried away with the amount of books inside Kyobo!  You name it, they have it! But all the books are in Korea of course except the foreign books section. I went to find the magazine section first but unfortunately I couldn’t find the fashion magazines that 2AM/BEG were featured in for April issues so I didn’t bought anything and went to the “Learn Korean for Foreigners” section. Then I start to hunt for any useful books that I could buy, but couldn’t find anything ideal till I saw these 2 Korean grammar books. I did not really study diligently with it but I sincerely think that it’s a very useful grammar book that provides detail explanations and sample sentences  in both Korean and English.  This series is worth buying for Korean learners.

Actually I took more pictures in YP Books (Another major bookstore in South Korea but not as well known compared to Kyobo) =/

I got out of Kyobo bookstore with my loots and gradually got hungry because I only had peanut butter bread + milk at the guesthouse. And then I saw an ajumma selling   Bbopki (뽑기) for 1000 won near the escalator near a building. Bbopki is a traditional Korean candy which consist of sugar and baking soda.  Probably only people with sweet tooth will like it. Haha I just have the thought of trying it since it’ll probably be my first  time and last time having this chance to do so.

Went to eat Kimchi Jjigae at this place that’s across the road for lunch before I continue with my journey 🙂

Being at Gwanghwamun itself,  I must definitely visit the prominent King Sejong statue that’s right in the middle of the Gwanghwamun Square!

Ta-da! Great King Sejong statue! Great King Sejong are one of the 2 kings that were conferred the “Great” title.

There were many people, including locals and tourists  taking turns to take pictures in front of the statue.  In front of the statue, there were replicas of some of the inventions by King Sejong himself.

Looking afar, it’s Gwanghwamun!

However,  I visited The Great King Sejong Museum first which is located directly below the statue 🙂

King Sejong.

King Sejong is the inventor of Hangul, aka the Korean Alphabet.

Zoomed in and took this. Some sort of a replica of what is it usually like in the Joseon Dynasty era.

The prestigious seat~

History of Great King Sejong.

It was a great eye opener to visit this museum to more about his glorious history.

And yes! Gwanghwamun! One of the must go places to visit when one first visits Seoul!  Isn’t the architectural so exquisite? Gwanghwamun is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung. It’s the landmark of South Korea’s history during the Joseon Dynasty. It has gone through several times of wear and tear due to disruption. It’s been open to public since 2010.

Guards in colourful costumes~

The ticket counter is full of tourists and locals even though I visited on a Wednesday afternoon.

Bought the ticket and ready to enter!

People and more people flooding the place xD

Here’s the prestige emperor seat..

I love this picture. I took a lot of pictures in Gyeongbokgung. Felt so good to walk here and enjoy good scenery. I don’t even walk that much when I’m in Singapore.

Enjoying the scenery..

Yeolsangjinwon Spring

Went to visit National Folk Museum of Korea too, which has an exhibition on Korea’s famous folk song Arriang.

I took very little pictures because Photography is not allowed actually. There were a lot of different kinds of exhibitions dated from the past century till the present. It’s an eye opener for me, but sadly most of the information are in Korean so it’s not that tourist-friendly. But I think only those who are more interested in Korean culture/history knew about Arriang

After that I walked out of the whole palace and walked straight further towards the direction of Anguk (Insadong).  Past by a Starbucks outlet along the way, and thought that it would be great to have some Iced Mocha here to rest for a while before exploring Insadong.  I love being here because there’s free WIFI!

Arrived at Insadong as I walked straight further and crossed the road!  It’s a long stretch of road filled with artistic atmosphere near Anguk (Exit 3) . You won’t miss this place even if you’re lost because it’s very happening there. Here’s the start of the famous Insadong street.  Well above GS25, it’s the cafe that Goguma couple have visited but I didn’t visited because that’s not my main purpose of the trip.

Insadong is definitely the place to go in Seoul if you’re looking for traditional handicrafts, paintings, tea pots and other souvenirs to bring back home. There’s lots of traditional Korean handicrafts here like this traditional mask above named  탈 (Tal) and many more.

Arrived at Ssamziegil in Insadong! Ssamziegil is a shopping complex where you can buy lots of accessories, handicrafts shops, art galleries and get in touch with Korean culture at the same time!

A caricature stall near the entrance of Ssamziegil.

Inside  Ssamziegil.

And finally I saw a stall that’s selling 똥빵 which literally means dung bread. It does not contain dung of course 🙂 The selling point of it was the design of the bread. The filling inside is red bean, and it’s best eaten when hot. Very delicious!

Sikhye, Korean traditional drink that’s make of fermented rice, sugar and etc, which are commonly found in Jimjilbangs.

The packaging is so cute!

So I bought 3 for 200o won! I couldn’t took a picture of the red bean filling inside as I do not have hands ><

I wished I have the money to buy the pretty accessories there.

Lot’s of fantastic artistic/ love dedications can be seen here..

More food and handicrafts.

I only bought a Korean fan for 3000 won but i love it a lot 🙂

Walked further and saw a lot of people queuing for this Hotteok stall.

Freshly fried  Hotteok filled with brown sugar that it’s so scalding hot that I dripped the brown sugar onto the floor.  It may seem oily but it’s not.

And I bought 2 notebooks of these colourful & cheap notebooks at a push cart before I heard home to end my tiring day.  Didn’t really want to buy but it’s so colourful and cheap so it’s something worth to buy after all 🙂

So this marks the  end of Day 3 in Seoul.

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