Seoul 2013 (3)

As a number of places are near to each other, I would try to group them together into the daily itinerary.  But even if they are not within the same vicinity, it’s not a problem since the subway is very convenient to get around.  Just make sure you get the correct subway line, station and exit.
Places of interests in downtown Seoul

downtown seoul

After our visit to Gyeongbokgung, we went in search of the popular restaurant selling ginseng chicken soup located near the palace, 2 streets away on its left (see location on map in blog link below).  I had read about this place Tosokchon from an online blog which had a very good writeup and recommendation about places of interest in Seoul.  For those who might be considering a holiday in Seoul, this should be a good reference to check out:  http://kampungboycitygal.com/2012/08/seoul-itinerary-day-1-ginseng-chicken-soup-samgyetang-tosokchon-seoul/
After lunch we walked back to the main road along the right side of the palace wall which leads to Samcheong-dong.  Our next destination was the Bukchon Hanok village.  There’s a flight of steps along Samcheong-dong which leads up to the Hanok village but is easily missed as it’s sandwiched between 2 cafes.  We had actually passed it when we decided to ask for directions from a guide we met along the road.  I find it really great that they have such English speaking guides stationed around popular tourist areas from whom one could ask for directions and also get a map of the area.  One can also head towards the Hanok village from the Anguk subway station.
Bukchon hanok village 3
Flight of stairs along Samcheong-dong which goes up to the Hanok village
Bukchon hanok village 2a Bukchon hanok village
The traditional houses (hanoks) in this area dates back to the Joseon dynasty and were once homes for high ranking officials and nobility.  They’ve been very well preserved and show the rich history of that era.  Besides the museums, art centres and tea houses here, there are also a number of traditional craft workshops for those who would like to experience the culture.  As this is also a residential area, visitors are reminded to be considerate and not make too much noise as they explore the alleys. 
During my previous visit to this area, we had come to look for the hanok featured in the Korean drama Personal Taste and had managed to locate it.  This time I had forgotten to bring along the map of this area which I had packed on this trip, so after a bit of wandering around the alleys we decided to head to Insadong.
Green tea patbingsu
Green tea ice cream with shaved ice (Nogcha patbingsu)
I was delighted to find this at a cafe on the way to Insadong.  This was one of the popular desserts I had wanted to try.  The distinct taste of green tea mixed with red beans and nuts was delicious. 
CartInteresting things we saw on our way to Insadong ….. a van totally covered with an assortment of straw baskets and  a shop selling Dutch coffee with its flasks which reminded me of a distillation setup.  The coffee is sold in those cute little round flasks which can be seen at bottom right of the picture. 
Coffee
We came across this citizen’s art wall at the subway station.  I think it should be Anguk station.  Each tile design was created by individuals and they are beautiful.
subway stn subway stn 3 subway stn 2
To be continued ……
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