|The man who invented the Korean language and he made the wise decision to make it accessible to learn with only 17 characters! Don't get me started on Japanese ..|
For breakfast, a spicy tofu stew with beef (a bit odd, I'm not used to eating any protein other than eggs for breakfast), with typical banchan, seaweed and scrambled eggs. The perfect breakfast to combat the day and come out victorious.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace, admittedly its grandeur was diminished severely by the tourists that it amassed. And sympathy for the dedicated guards was much earned. If you want a more peaceful trek through a palace, visit the Chengdeokgung Palace! It's to the east of the Bukchon Hanok Village and several times a day there's tours to the mysterious Secret Garden. I had the opportunity to go on it several times but I opted out as I reasoned that since it was winter, I doubt it would be much a sight to marvel for several hours. Excuses. But despite that, its architecture is enough for you to wonder how on earth humans were able to create such grand buildings.
Bukchon Hanok Village preserves hundreds of traditional houses called 'hanok' that dates back to the Joseon Dynasty. Today, many of these have been converted to cultural centres, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, that provides the opportunity to experience, learn and immerse oneself in Korean traditional culture, keeping them alive beyond their time. If I was ruler of all ancient heritage sites of the world, I would decree that they and their radius remain untouched although it's interesting to see the juxtaposition of the modern and ancient world colliding, it only serves to prove that our old values are slowly disappearing.
Roof top view!
Hanok-ish converted into a stall haha.
A felt pizza decoration.. honestly where do they come up with these things?? And it'd be a rather cruel prank wouldn't it?
The Changdeokgung Palace! Honestly, I thought it was far too similar that I didn't take many photos and as I avoided the main attraction, the Secret Garden, it wasn't that worthwhile.
Insadong! Although one main road, the jewels lurk in the alleys that snake on either side. Galleries, traditional restaurants as well as temple cuisine and ones geared towards health, tea houses and cafes. With over 100 galleries, you can experience Korean art of varying styles in a heartbeat. The alleyways themselves are charming and full of character, deserted one moment then it springs alive as people amble across, carrying about in their regular duties or seeking things elsewhere. In need of souvenirs? Look no further!
In need of more modern, artistic gifts? Ssamziegil is a unique place that was designed in a way that is one with the alleys to spiral upwards to the sky. Boutique stores, squished together, tempt you from each level. Over 70 shops crammed into this area including handcrafted stores, art galleries as well as numerous eateries. This area has a more youthful vibe.
Year of the Ram!
Transforming cold stone into a living organism.
Feel enlightened from mere window shopping!
A giant rose snakes through the level, had this been the beanstalk, Jack would've had no hope getting his golden harp.
Yep, try to refrain from buying everything haha.
Top level view of Insadong!
And at the top, you are rewarded with a permanent marker if you so desire.
An angel among filth HAHAHA
Phases of the moon as you descend.
*heavy breathing. ART INTENSIFIES.
A secret garden at the bottom level?
An ingenious idea isn't it?
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED AHAHAH.
If there's a surface, the pen will find a way.
Beauty lurks in all corners of Seoul shamelessly.
Spicy fried chicken with rice cakes! I must have come full circle as I wanted these to be spicier!
Spicy, tofu stew in an alleyway restaurant
The popular dragon beard candy stores! They're so vivacious and lively, cheerfully calling out in many languages to snare you in haha.
An instrument that reminded me of the Pokemon movie that involved Lugia. So of course I had to buy one for my sister.
Dinner of radish kimchi, spicy stew and kimbap! This along with bibimbap is my favourite, my tastes are very simple aren't they? Ahaha.
The people I stayed with hosts cooking classes, and these were the delicious products. Browniess. I missed baked desserts like crazy, ones at chain bakeries and cafes don't cut it! You can't beat anything homemade!