A vibrant city – Seoul

Korea is about 2 hours flight from Taiwan, which makes it a must go country for Taiwanese. I’ve never been there because I always feel it’s easy to go, until this time we are going to Central Asia, and most flights depart from Korea, that’s why I finally have the excuse to transit in Seoul for a short 3 days.

Korea is familiar to me because of all the Korean dramas. I didn’t watch a lot of them, but I really love the language. It’s on my to-learn list! First impression of the city is modern and convenient, actually not very different from Taiwan except for the traditional palaces located everywhere.

3 days is really short so I can only visit two most important palaces and try as many food as I can. Luckily I also have enough time to meet a few old friends.

This is my first time to try airbnb, we stayed near Gyeongbokgung, and this is the area I would suggest people to stay, because it’s really convenient and easy to go to most places. From the airport, you can take bus no. 6011 (cost KRW 10,000) and takes about 1 hour to arrive Gyeongbokgung directly.

GAMNAN STYLE

A friend of ours took us to Han river to experience local life. Han river is really big and Korean like to go there during weekend or holiday with family and friends, you can stay in a tent (but not overnight), ride a bike and enjoy picnic. It’s comfortable to walk along the river and see people sit along the river and order fried chicken, buy beer and instant noodles. It’s interesting to see the only few convenient stores flooded with people, beer, and instant noodles!! Also motorbikes delivering fried chicken under the bridge.


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This palace was constructed in 1405 as a secondary palace of the Joseon Dynasty (the first palace is Kyeongbokgung). This place is famous because it is built in harmony with the original landscape. For example, when you walk in the secret garden, you have to climb up and down. It is worth to visit the secret garden to feel the place where the kings and queens strolled. It is also a good chance to know more about Korean history with the professional guide.

Admission: KRW 3000 + KRW 5000 (for secret garden)
It is suggested to book the ticket to the secret garden in advance on the internet because it is quite popular.

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Gyeongbokgung

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The main palace of the Joseon Dynasty. You can see the life of the king, queens and sons. Actually after I visited Changdeokgung, Gyeongbokgung is not that interesting to me. I think it’s because the most impressive part is the secret garden and also this palace is renovated later so it looks quite new. Don’t forget if you wear the korean traditional customs, you can go inside free!

Admission: KRW 3000
Suggest to join the free tour guide

Bukchon

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This is the famous area with many traditional Korean houses just in the very center of Seoul. Because the area is situated in between the two famous palace (as above), therefore in the old times, usually the influential families lived here. It is enjoyable to walk around the streets and you must get a map in the information center (walk 5 min after Anguk Station exit 2) because they will show you what’s the best route to see the most beautiful 8 scenery in Bukchon. It’s a lot of people in the afternoon so it might be better to visit there in the morning.

Food

Most people are not strange to Korean food. It is simply RED RED RED.  There are some good restaurants I would like to recommend to you.

1. Near Namsan there is a nice tranditional Korean food restaurant
http://www.mmmroom.com

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2.  Delicious seafood soup
Gyeongbokgung station exit 2, the first left with many food and restaurant. It is just on the second shop next to the fruit store on the left side.

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Anyway, 3 days are too short and I still have a lot of to eat list and to do list.
Until next time Korea!

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