Seoul

The first station of our 2014 holiday was Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Seoul means “capital”. Time is 6 hours ahead of Turkey in South Korea. Our flight had taken totally 13 hours by Qatar Airways by stopping in Doha (Istanbul-Doha 4 hours, Doha-Seoul 9 hours). We arrived at Incheon National Airpot (ICN) after this long travel.

Over Clouds
Over Clouds
Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport
Incheon from plane
Incheon from plane

Currency is South Korean Won (KRW). 1 Won was equal to approximately 0.002 Turkish Liras.

South Korean Wons
South Korean Wons

Traffic works from left side in South Korea. Turkish Citizens who have regular passports don’t need visa for 90 days in their travels. Arrival – departure cards are being filled for visa. Total flight tickets Istanbul-Seul (24.07.2014) and Tokyo-Istanbul (07.08.2014) cost was 520 Euros when we bought tickets on 23rd of April, 2014.

Subway price was 4350 Wons for going to Mokdong station from Incheon Airport, including 500 Wons deposit. You can get your deposit back when you returning the card to the machines in the subway stations you get off. Subway ticket prices were starting from 1150 Wons and changing according to distance. You can buy ticket from machines in the subway stations. Music was differing in the transfer stations.

Subway ticket
Subway ticket

Sockets were different in South Korea than in Turkey, however no need to use converter.

The weather was very hot. Temperature was not decreasing even it was raining. We always took our umbrella with us for protection from heat and rain. If we talk about people, of course technology shows itself everywhere. Everybody – from youngest to oldest – has smartphones in their hands and earphones in their ears. The ladies are mostly dressed in mini shorts, skirts, and the shoes are so chic.

There were places like Mc Donalds, Burger King, Subway, Baskin-Robbins especially near subway stations, where you can eat something.

1. day – 26.07.2014

On the first day we started our tour with palace visits. The combined entrance ticket for Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine was 10000 Wons. Ticket valid for 1 month from date of purchase. Tickets have information about visit days/times, times of guided tours, access methods and history of these places. Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine closed on Tuesdays, and other palaces closed on Mondays. English guided tours were available for Changdeokgung Palace at 10:30, 14:30 times which is taking 60 minutes, and for Secret Garden at 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30 times which is taking 90 minutes. We have previously researched and planned to join guided tour for palace at 10:30, and for the Secret Garden at 11:30. We arrived at palace getting of Anguk Station of 3 numbered subway line, exiting from Exit 3, and then a little walking.

 

Injeongjeon
Injeongjeon
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Injeongjeon - Inside
Injeongjeon – Inside
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Huijeongdang - Inside
Huijeongdang – Inside
Daejojeon
Daejojeon
Daejojeon
Daejojeon
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Nakseonjae - Inside
Nakseonjae – Inside
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Nakseonjae
Nakseonjae
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Secret Garden
Secret Garden
Secret Garden Entrance
Secret Garden Entrance
Yeonghwadang
Yeonghwadang
Juhamnu Pavilion entrance
Juhamnu Pavilion entrance
Buyongjeong
Buyongjeong
Buyongji Pond
Buyongji Pond
Cheonguijeong
Cheonguijeong
Soyojeong
Soyojeong
Soyoam
Soyoam
Nongsujeong
Nongsujeong
Secret Garden inner paths
Secret Garden inner paths
Hyangnamu tree
Hyangnamu tree
Donhwamun
Donhwamun

When we left the palace, we saw a small vehicle selling pies. We wondered its taste and bought. I thought it was salty, however it was sweet with cinnamon 🙂

Hotteok
Hotteok

We visited Bukchon Hanok Village after Changdeokgung Palace.

Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village

English guided tours were available for Gyeongbokgung Palace at 10:00, 13:30, 15:30 times which is taking 60-90 minutes, but we strolled here ourselves without guide.

Gwanghwamun
Gwanghwamun
Entrance to Yuhwamun
Entrance to Yuhwamun
Yuhwamun
Yuhwamun
Geunjeonjeong
Geunjeonjeong
Geunjeonjeong
Geunjeonjeong
Geunjeonjeong
Geunjeonjeong
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon - Inside
Sajeongjeon – Inside
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon
Sajeongjeon - Inside
Sajeongjeon – Inside
Sajeongjeon - Inside
Sajeongjeon – Inside
Gyeongseongjeon
Gyeongseongjeon
Gyotaejeon
Gyotaejeon
Gangnyeongjeon - Inside
Gangnyeongjeon – Inside
Gyotaejeon - Inside
Gyotaejeon – Inside
Hamwonjeon
Hamwonjeon
Punggidae
Punggidae

Fermented foods, soy sauces had been kept in these pots.

Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Janggo
Jibokjae
Jibokjae
Parujeong
Parujeong
Geoncheongung
Geoncheongung
Geoncheongung
Geoncheongung
Hwangwonjeong
Hwangwonjeong
Hwangwonjeong
Hwangwonjeong
Hamhwadang
Hamhwadang

We visited National Folk Museum of Korea after Gyeongbokgung Palace.

National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea

The museum also has an open-air exhibition area. Here, there was “Streets of memory” where displaying the reproduction of former shops.

Straw sandals
Straw sandals
Herbalist
Herbalist
Tram
Tram
Tobacco shop
Tobacco shop
Restaurant
Restaurant
Magazine shop
Magazine shop
National Folk Museum of Korea
National Folk Museum of Korea
Shelter
Shelter
Mill
Mill
Stone statues
Stone statues
Hyojagak/Hyojamun
Hyojagak/Hyojamun
Stone stack
Stone stack

2. day – 27.07.2014

We started our tour with the National Museum of Korea in second day in Seoul . But the museum is so big that we couldn’t visit the whole museum. Entrance to the museum is free. If you want to visit special exhibits, you are only charged for visiting them.

National Museum of Korea
National Museum of Korea
Buddha head
Buddha head
Painting of Fuxi and Nuwa
Painting of Fuxi and Nuwa
Calligraphy
Calligraphy
White Porcelain Ewer and Plate with Fruit and Flower Design
White Porcelain Ewer and Plate with Fruit and Flower Design
Warrior
Warrior
Utensils for dyeing teeth black
Utensils for dyeing teeth black
Buddhist Bell from Cheonheungsa Temple
Buddhist Bell from Cheonheungsa Temple
Gong stand
Gong stand
Shoes
Shoes
Baekje Gilt Bronze Incense Burner
Baekje Gilt Bronze Incense Burner
Gaya Warrior
Gaya Warrior
Ten-story Stone Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple Site
Ten-story Stone Pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple Site

After visiting the museum, we arrived at Jongmyo Shrine after getting of the Jongno-3(sam)-ga subway station and walking about 10 minutes. English guided tours were available at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 times which is taking 60 minutes. We had to wait for the tour to start even though we were there at 15:00. We had to sit in the park near the temple for 1 hour and join the tour at 16:00. The Jongmyo Shrine was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.

It is believed that sprits are walking in the middle of three pathways in the picture, it is forbidden to step on the pathway in the middle. It is believed that people have nightmares at night if walk this pathway.

Pathway for spirits
Pathway for spirits
Mangmyoru
Mangmyoru
Sedan chair
Sedan chair
King clothing
King clothing

The “Deumeu” meaning “big bucket” using as fire hydrant, that contained water to put out fires. It is believed that the evil fire spirit is so repulsed by his own reflection on the surface of the water, that he runs away upon seeing it.

Deumeu
Deumeu
Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine
Jongmyo Shrine

After visiting Jongmyo Shrine, we decided to go up N Seoul Tower to watch the sunset. We got off Myeongdong station of 4 numbered subway line, walked about 10 minutes to get on the elevator for getting on cableway. The round-trip ticket for cableway to N Seoul Tower was 8500 Wons.

N Seoul Tower cableway
N Seoul Tower cableway
Elevator
Elevator
Cableway tickets
Cableway tickets
N Seoul Tower cableway
N Seoul Tower cableway

The entrance fee for the tower including 2 drinks and popcorn was 20000 Wons. The entrance ticket for only the tower was 9000 Wons.

View from N Seoul Tower
View from N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower
Sunset from N Seoul Tower
Sunset from N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower - Innerside
N Seoul Tower – Innerside
View from N Seoul Tower
View from N Seoul Tower
View from N Seoul Tower
View from N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower - Innerside
N Seoul Tower – Innerside
View from N Seoul Tower
View from N Seoul Tower
Love magnets
Love magnets
Love locks
Love locks
Seoul night view
Seoul night view
N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower
Elevator
Elevator

We returned to the hotel (Korstay Hotel) after visiting N Seoul Tower. When returning we bought small desserts containing sweet corn souce in it  from Deli Manjoo shop we saw in the subway station. When we saw the Turkish flag in the shop, we also took its photo.

Deli Manjoo
Deli Manjoo

The desserts were so delicious. But, do not eat them as soon as buying them. The sauce inside is so hot, be careful not to burn your mouth like me 🙂

Manjoo
Manjoo

3. day – 28.07.2014

On our third day in Seoul, we went to Gangnam first. Gangnam did not get interest of us and, we decided to go to the Bongeunsa Temple. We arrived at temple getting off Cheongdam station and walking about half an hour.

Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Ceiling decoration
Ceiling decoration
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Ceiling decoration
Ceiling decoration
Bongeunsa Temple
Bongeunsa Temple
Entrance doors
Entrance doors

Bongeunsa Temple was one of the most beautiful places we visited in Seoul for me. The palaces, the tower is nice, but it did not appeal to me because we saw better in China.

If I had the opportunity in Seoul, I would like to see the Nanta Show, which costs between 40000 and 70000 Wons. I also wanted to visit at least one of Gyeongdong Market, Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market and Myeong-dong, Itaewon, Insadong Streets recommended for shopping.

The next day we went to Incheon International Airport early in the day for our flight to Osaka at 10:15.

Osaka Travel Notes

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