Alright here we go again.
Flicking through photos.. I think today shall be.. Monday of Seoul and then day 1 of Daegu (maybe 2?).. Monday was Hans’ birthday but as a terrible friend I didn’t celebrate with him on the day, instead I went to visit Shirley who was in S.Korea for exchange.
Ignore the guy:
Monday (17-Sep0-12) was a strange day because as I mentioned in the last part it started to rain. Turns out it wasn’t just ordinary rain.. more like typhoon rain (!!). Not sure if it actually became a typhoon though hmmmm..
So my lonely Monday gave me some time to tick off more of my “Seoul To-Do List”. One of the items on this list was – Gyeongbokgung / Gyeongbok Palace. The only challenge was that I had to go see it in strong winds and horizontal rain (“It’s raining sideways!!” – Ollie Williams). But willpower is quite amazing.
I was quite grateful that this place pretty much has its own metro stop, saved a lot of grief. Oh, also grateful my umbrella survived unlike it’s predecessor which snapped like a twig during the wind battles at UNSW.. weak sauce. My shoes on the other hand.. not so lucky.
It’s a bit strange really, Seoul.. a bustling city filled with skyscrapers and modern technology. Then suddenly in the middle of the city you have this preserved historical site. It’s quite amazing actually. It’s also a bit surreal when you stand inside this palace and see skyscrapers surrounding it. I wonder if Kyoto is like this?
It took a fair bit of time to walk around the palace and palace grounds. I’m not even 100% sure if I managed to cover all of it too.. that’s probably a combination of bad weather and poor planning (no plan – just walk around randomly). I could have asked for a tour I guess.. naaaaaah.
Yeahh unfortunately I also didn’t read much. Well.. I did.. but I don’t remember it much, so no photo explanations unfortunately.
If I recall correctly.. this should be further at the back of the palace. It’s like buildings and rock-tiled floors and the back was more like dirt paths and grassy areas.
This was when I was leaving.. I suppose this would be the main entrance but since I entered from the metro station I didn’t get to see them until I left. Yes, I know it’s a bad photo. But, I also took it 4 times :(.
So what do you do when you need to escape the rain and you’re not too sure what to do next?
I mean I had no 3G either so I had to use the WiFi to figure out where my next destination was. Oh, before I came to S. Korea my colleague was joking around asking me why not the North (apart from the fact it’s pretty damn hard to) and what’s there to do in the South.
He then pops onto TripAdvisor and apparently the top 2 attractions are:
At rank 2: The Seoul Metro
At rank 1: MyeongDong Theatre
I figured, I’ve seen the 2nd best attraction in S. Korea, may as well go see the first:
I actually don’t know what they show here, Opera? Musicals? Ceremonies? It was really more of an obligatory photo to show my colleague haha.
Next was to find a place to eat since I really didn’t have lunch yet.. I came across this restaurant that served Chicken Galbi Fried Rice or something.. not sure what the Korean name is (Hans, halp). Pretty sure the restaurant was called Yangbe or something.
Well, think Pepper Lunch but better haha. Oh, and Korean of course :P.
OK so I got “warned” about this by a friend of a friend – restaurants in Korea don’t really cater for 1 person. That goes with serving too. So I got a few weird looks when I walked into the restaurant (escaping the rain) and just sticking my index finger up.
Funnily enough the (trolling) waitress decides to seat me at the window.. I couldn’t tell if the people passing by were looking at the menu or me. I could just imagine it.. “Oohhh.. Aaahh..” Grrr. Whatever, the food was delicious.
Loved the Kimchi raddish (unlimited) too. Oh, I remember (first photo of the restaurant) I thought I needed to serve myself because the chicken and sauce looked like it was about to burn. I was about to dump the rice onto the grill when the waitress quickly rushed over – “Ah no no no no no!” Haha. Oops.
I went back afterwards to the hostel to get ready to meet up with Shirley. The rest of the afternoon and night was spent in this order (no photos – got lazy at night with photos):
- Lotte World (department store with an indoor theme park – the outside part was closed due to rain)
- Jongno-Gu Station (I think) for Gwangjang Markets – where we had seafood pancake and also saw a drunken fight occur with a customer and store owner
- Hongdae for Bingsu (forgot the cafe name)
The next day I ventured for the KTX Station to make my way down to Daegu. Kind of reminds me of the Taiwan’s High Speed Rail (we’re faster, muaha). So glad Hans gave me instructions in Korean for the taxi driver, else I’d probably would have never made it home. Thanks Hans!
In your honour – one of the first things I saw in Daegu:
It took me awhile to figure out how to get into his apartment (he was at work).. any longer and I might have looked like a burglar. When he came back from work we went out to have dinner in a late-celebratory fashion. Onwards to downtown Daegu we went!
We went to a “famous” (family?) restaurant called Mies Container – the apparent Heart and Soul of Daegu. Which Wing trashed all over.
It was quite an interesting atmosphere too, once all the food was down the waiter who was wearing a bandanna would yell something in Korean and then give everyone on a table a “high-five” haha.
Good food, definitely very popular and yeah, not sure what Wing was on about.. I thoroughly enjoyed it for sure. I’m pretty sure Hans’ family did too when they went.
Wow that went longer than expected.. OK, I think I could probably get the rest of Daegu in 1 or 2 more part(s).