Visiting Korea: Day 1 at Insadong and Bukchon
Hot Stew: The Best Food for Winter
Landing at Incheon Airport
Finally, I am back in South Korea again for a second visit. This time, I visited in winter season instead of summer. After landing at Incheon Airport, our first move was to purchase T-Money (transportation card) from the nearby 7-11 convenience shop. We then paid for the airport shuttle and headed out to wait for our bus which would bring us to Jongno-3-ga station.
After a speedy check-in, we searched for a highly recommended small restaurant, Ddukbaegi Jip. We finally found it! It is located in a small alley across the road from Tapgol Park and serves delicious stews such as kimchi jjigae (Kimchi stew), sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) and doenjang jjigae (fermented soybean stew) at affordable prices at about 5,000 won each.
Running Man Filming Location: Nagwon Music Arcade
Our first stop after lunch was Tapgol Park just across the road. It is a small park with historical significance. From here, we slowly walked over towards the main Insadong area. Before reaching, we made a quick stop at Nagwon Arcade which was used as a Running Man filming location previously. It is also an interesting stop for music lovers as there are many shops here selling all types of musical instruments from drums to guitars to woodwind instruments.
Infamous Dung Bread at Ssamziegil, Insadong
Soon, we reached the main area of Insadong which is car-free hence allowing visitors to walk freely along the road. An interesting stop here is the Ssamziegil building which houses many shops which sell unique items ranging from household decoration to accessories. You can also try the infamous hotteok and dung bread here (contains red bean).
Bukchon First View: Changdeokgung Palace Rooftops
From Insadong to Bukchon
From Insadong, we strolled to Bukchon Hanok Village. The area is still inhabited by locals hence be considerate when taking photos and be mindful of making too much noise. To help you navigate, head to one of the tourist information centres to get a detailed map of the area. It will map out other locations as well such as Samcheongdong and even up to Changdeokgung Palace. Note that it is not an easy walk as some areas are pretty steep.
Snow in Seoul
Changing KR Pass at Seoul Station
After descending from Bukchon, we rested at one of many cafes along the main Anguk road. We then took the subway to Seoul station to exchange our KR Pass for train tickets to Busan. A lesson I learnt here, don't queue up at the ticket counter immediately. First, go the information counter at the KR waiting area to change your printed online order into a voucher first. With this voucher, then only do you queue at the ticket counter to purchase the train tickets. At Seoul Station, you can also do some shopping as Lotte Shopping Mall and Lotte Mart (food items) are both located here. After a tiring but fun first day, we called it a night. More to come in my next article!
Map of Seoul
More Info on Korea
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