Monday, 4 December 2017

South Korea SEOUL || Day 6 (Tosokchon, Gwanghwamun, Gyeongbokgong Palace, Samcheongdong

Kimchi at tosokchon
Before I went to Seoul a girl at my Korean cooking class recommended Tosokchon for Korean ginseng chicken soup. Online research shows that the queues can get long during lunch hours, so Mei and I decided to go when it opens.

On the bus there were other tourists who had the same idea as us, but when we arrived at Tosokchon it was still quite empty, and we were seated immediately.


Ginseng tea and liquor
The ginseng tea and liquor were complimentary and aromatic.



How to eat
We ordered a ginseng chicken soup and a seafood pancake - which is enough to feed 4.

Tosokchon ginseng chicken soup
The soup was good and the chicken tender. There was a piece of ginseng in the chicken stuffing as well.

Seafood and green onion pancake
The pancake was yummy as well, but it was too much for 2 girls.


After breakfast we had some time to kill before viewing the changing of the guards at Gwanghwamun, so we explored the area outside the palace.

Some solid feng shui going on here

General Yi Sun Sin
I'm a bit in awe of Admiral Yi, especially after watching The Admiral. So I enjoyed this little underground museum.

Admiral Yi's diary
Admiral Yi's portrait
Admiral Yi standing guard over the city of Seoul
After checking out the museums we went to chill in a cafe (Holly's Coffee), where I took photos of my trendy sleeves -


Unfortunately for me, Bonsoy is not a thing in South Korea, so I relied on instant coffee for my caffeine fix throughout the trip.


Am obsessed with these sleeves! But admittedly it's not easy to eat in this top.


There were lots of people dressed in hanboks around Gyeongbokgong Palace, but I didn't bother as I find hanboks less flattering than kimonos.

Gwanghwamun


After viewing the changing of the guards at Gwanghwamun, we made our way to Gyeongbokgong Palace for the English language guided tour.

Photo op with the struggling cherry blossoms


Intricate roofs

Stone markers depicting rank
Higher ranked officials can stand closer to the King.

Everything at Gyeongbokgong Palace is like a mini version of Forbidden City.


Being able to read Chinese (and knowing to read from right to left) helped in the understanding of the purposes of certain palace buildings. Eg. 勤政殿 literally means palace to diligently execute political affairs.

As I age I'm more and more grateful for my mum's insistence to school me in Chinese.

The throne
..which is mini.

The real treasure is the golden dragon carving on the ceiling-


If the guide hadn't pointed out the ceiling to us, I would've totally missed it!

Palace to think over political affairs


Entertainment pavilion
This is where state guests were wined and dined.


We bumped into a couple of Malaysian girls who took the above photo for us.

Dating pavilion
Where the King and Queen pakto.



Ended our exploration of the Palace with the most charming library-




Our next stop was Samcheongdong, a beautiful shopping street lined with retail stores and restaurants.


Kaya toast in Seoul!
Belief
I didn't do much research re Korean skincare, but Mei did, so I just followed her lead and bought most of what she bought.


All the stores here are well-designed. 

Even if you don't buy anything, just walking around in Samcheongdong brings great pleasure.


Martica recommended this rice cake restaurant, so Mei and I had dinner there.


Note the super rolled-up sleeves


After finishing the rice cakes, we saw all the other tables order burnt rice, so we did the same.

Mei loved it.

After dinner we went to another shopping district (I forgot the name though - this is what happens when you leave journaling until 8 months after a trip! Thank goodness for photos).