Over the recent chinese new year holidays, we took a trip to Seoul for a few days. It was a short stint but great, nonetheless! 🙂
We wanted to try the new premium economy that was recently launched by Singapore Airlines SQ15 and SQ16. The seats were swanky and new and comfortable enough – a marked difference from the usual packed-like-sardines economy class seating, yet not as pricey as business class. I suppose it gives good bang for buck. 🙂
Many of us travel to South Korea these days, what with it being the plastic surgery capital of Asia. So what can we do during our stay there?
Namsan is located in the heart of Seoul and was originally known as Ingyeongsan. It was renamed as Namsan because the mountain looked like it stood tall towards the south when it was seen from Gyeongbokgung Palace.
We took a cable car ride up the mountain and trekked down the cut stone steps after that. Took 10 minutes to ride up and 30 minutes to walk down.
Located at the peak of Namsan mountain is the Seoul Tower. You could visit the top of the tower to see the view of almost the entire Seoul city, since Namsan is in a rather central location. We didn’t go up though, since the view from beneath the tower was breathtaking enough already.
A recent attraction for courting couples is “Locks of Love”, where thousands of padlocks attached to the fence by romantic Seoulites symbolizing their undying affection. Two TV stars, singer Alex and model Sinae, were seen dating there in the MBC reality program “We’ve Got Married”, making this practice of love declaration popular again.
Since it was located nearby – a short 10 min taxi ride away, we had to drop by Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was erected at the foot of Bugaksan after King Yaeje Lee.
The water of the moat and pond in the photos below was frozen over. How cool is that. 😀
You could see many young girls walking the palace grounds in traditional Korean costumes, even when there is no ongoing event. They were actively taking photos and selfies, maybe for their blogs. 😉 I wish I could wear one of those colorful costumes too.
We stayed at the Westin Chosun hotel – 5 minute walk away from Myeong Dong street. We love the street food there and visited every night for steamed egg buns, fried tornado potato, grilled oysters on shell, grilled lobster at SGD 10, spicy rice cake and Jeju strawberries. It is a must-go for foodies. 🙂 Occasionally, they also sell pumpkin soup which is apparently great for reducing post surgery swelling.
Shopping haven for shopaholics, no doubt. Apparently wholesale shops, but not so “wholesale” prices actually. Yet, the variety of men’s and women’s clothes, bags and accessories will blow your mind. This is my favorite shopping place in all the world to get all my clothes and accessories to last me the year. 😀
There is an art museum located at Dongdaemun that lights up prettily at night. It is built upon an ancient monument and my son thinks the exterior looks like a spaceship.
My 2 most favorite haunts are Migliore and Maxtyle. I visit them every time I visit Seoul. But do note they are wholesale centers, so there is no food or beverage available for tired shoppers. Forget about the shopping mall Doota – they seem to take their goods from one of the shop centres next door to them and then jack up the prices to standard shopping mall prices, so you pay twice what you would just across the street. They do have some F&B though, for the weary shopper to rest their feet. 🙂
Most South Koreans seem capable of speaking some basic English (more than one would expect) and very fluent in Mandarin too, so there is absolutely no problem in getting around. Very friendly people too.