SOUTH KOREA 2013 Day 3: Bukchon, Gyeongbuk Goong, Cheonggyecheon, and Lotte World

Quick summary of this day’s adventure: Day 3: Bukchon Hanok Village, passed by Seoul’s Little Manila, Hyehwa Cathedral, Late lunch at one of Hyehwa’s tiny but high restaurant, Gyeongbukgoong Palace, Lotte World

We went for an early morning venture to Bukchon Hanok Village, for a traditional Korean village feel, as well as stop by the famed Sanggojae house. Upon leaving Anguk station, we walked straight ahead looking for the information booth. But we were there early (booth opens at 10:00 if I am not mistaken). Good thing a Korean student who speaks fluent English was walking by and she helped us get directions to the village (“Go straight until you see a green pharmacy, turn left, then,” pointing at the map I was holding, “go straight here, when you see this, turn right, straight ahead. At the end of it is the Sanggojae.”) She was so sweet she even told us she was the walking map of the area. (shout out to you!!) So we followed her directions but I guess I missed the turn right part, and turned left instead. My friend and I kind of walked aimlessly – getting lost and following a bunch of tourists who clearly were not looking for the Sanggojae, haha – until FINALLY we saw the house number. You can check my post here for a more detailed (and easier!) way of locating Sanggojae.

Minho oppa!.. was here.

Minho oppa!.. was here.

#43 is a corner lot

#43 is a corner lot

Sanggojae!

Sanggojae!

We also found really pretty sights from downhill, and a nice gate while we were making our way out. Right about this time, we saw a tourist group and some volunteer students who were the walking information center of the Hanok Village.

view from uphill

view from uphill

view from downhill

view from downhill

Note though that the place is actually residential, and that people actually live here, so avoid shouting and crazy laugh-out-louds.

After the village, we decided to meet up with my relatives who were working in Korea. We passed by “Little Manila” – a sort of flea market on the sidewalk (bangketa style) that is only open on Sundays, where Filipinos and locals sell authentic Filipino products at reasonably expensive prices. Kuya Manny – my relative – has been staying in Korea for 13 years; his wife Ate Mylene for 10 years without going back to the Philippines. I guess Little Manila helps them remember what authentic Pinoy products really are.

Straight from walking the sidewalk of Little Manila, we visited the Hyehwa Cathedral where there was a Korean Catholic Mass being held. After taking souvenir shots of the place, Kuya Manny said that we will have to proceed to Dongseong High School for the Sunday Mass.

praying to Mama Mary with colorful candles

praying to Mama Mary with colorful candles

in front of Hyehwa Cathedral

in front of Hyehwa Cathedral

inside the Cathedral

inside the Cathedral

After that, we went for a late lunch, passing by a Hello Kitty Café – which is easy access from Hyehwa station. From Hyehwa Station exit 4, turn left crossing the street. Keep your eyes on your left, you won’t miss it with all the pink. This just takes about 2-3 minutes of walking, really.

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We had lunch at this restaurant that’s off an alley from the main street. I was too keen on finding refuge from the cold Spring wind that I forgot to ask what the name of the restaurant was. But it has a nice ambiance. We were seated at the third floor so it wasn’t really busy. But the 2nd floor was a different story. HAHA.

hiding from the cold Spring wind

hiding from the cold Spring wind

After lunch, we walked around Hyehwa district for a little bit more braving the cold wind. I was wearing leggings for Pete’s sake! Not your ideal early Spring attire. But while roaming around, we saw Korean teens wearing short skirts, baring their legs. Seriously, life is unfair sometimes. HAHA.

We went into this tiny Korean boutique in search for gloves, but Winter has passed and they no longer sell those items. Instead, I bought an extra pair of leggings instead just in case.

inside a store in Hyehwa

inside a store in Hyehwa

picking up a wallet... and the leggings!

picking up a wallet… and the leggings!

We rode the bus from Hyehwa district to Gwanghamun square, alighting near the Sejong Center for Performing Arts. Walikng a little bit more to the pedestrian, we crossed the street to the Gwanghamun Square where another flea market is being held – again in search for gloves.

Sejong Center for Performing Arts

Sejong Center for Performing Arts

from Gwanghamun Square

from Gwanghamun Square

flea market

flea market

King Sejong the Great

King Sejong the Great

King Sejong... guide us with your wisdom as we enter the palace. :) HAHA

King Sejong… guide us with your wisdom as we enter the palace. 🙂 HAHA

obligatory Korean pose

obligatory Korean pose

Finally, we crossed the street to Gyeongbukgoong Palace, just in time for the changing of guards.

I have no idea what he's selling but he's too candid to pass up!

I have no idea what he’s selling but he’s too candid to pass up!

this guard is really tall...

this guard is really tall…

oh that's whyyyyy, but still.

oh that’s whyyyyy, but still.

changing of guards

changing of guards

Change of guards

Change of guards

changing of guards

changing of guards

changing of guards backed by the tall buildings

changing of guards backed by the tall buildings

There were so many things to see inside the Palace, even Kuya Manny said he hasn’t really been to every nook and corner of it. We decided to pick the more popular places and rested inside the museum building.

Back view of the Gwanghamun gate

Back view of the Gwanghamun gate

trying to get a shot of the Palace map while listening to the random tour guide

trying to get a shot of the Palace map while listening to the random tour guide

trying to gcapture a photo of the Palace Map

trying to gcapture a photo of the Palace Map

i think this is a hall...?

i think this is a hall…?

Palace wall

Palace wall

YooChun... at Gyeonghoeru Pavillion

YooChun… at Gyeonghoeru Pavillion

if i remember correctly, these were zodiacs...?

if i remember correctly, these were zodiacs…? or ministers…?

quarters

quarters

603701_10151565154628498_441958886_n

details

servant's quarter

servant’s quarter

more for servants...

more for servants…

i think this is also for servants

i think this is also for servants

IMG_68860338277122

Kuya Manny and Ate Mylene

Kuya Manny and Ate Mylene

strolling...

strolling…

Kuya Manny and I, at the side of Hyangwonjeong

Kuya Manny and I, at the side of Hyangwonjeong

jars for Makgeolli? i can easily fit into 1...

jars for Makgeolli? i can easily fit into 1…

Sit like a Korean inside one of the rooms in the Palace

Sit like a Korean inside one of the rooms in the Palace

After the Palace, went back to Gwanghamun Square and then to the statue of Lee Soon Sin. It was amazing to see the Palace right smack in the middle of urban Seoul.

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on the way to Lee SoonSin

Sunday in Seoul

Sunday in Seoul

Lee SoonSin

Lee SoonSin

After that, we went to Cheonggyecheon stream to make wishes and be tourist-y.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream

i threw a wish in the well...

i threw a wish in the well…

We bid Kuya Manny and Ate Mylene goodbye (and ‘see you soons!’), and set off to Jamsil Station where Lotte World is. We purchased after 7 tickets that’s a lot cheaper than the day pass. We weren’t interested on rides so the after-7 ticket was convenient. We took photos of the castle, of the Carousel; saw a bit of Girls’ Generation (not a fan though, but one of my companions in the trip was!), and more of this stage performance by more good looking people. Entertainment, y’all!

Can't pass up a photo in front of the infamous carousel!

Can’t pass up a photo in front of the infamous carousel!

eye candy!

eye candy!

Lotte World!

Lotte World!

We were supposed to go to Banpo Bridge but misunderstandings led us to miss the show – not even sure if there was already one.

So this ended our third day. The next day will be up soon! Anyway, let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them!

Happy tripping!

 

Day 1

Day 2

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