Seoul Things to Do Tips by theguardianangel
Seoul Things to Do: 1,003 reviews and 2,052 photos
The Great East Gate
While taking a walk along the Dongdaemum district, I saw this structure that looks like a palace... so I took a picture. Eventually, after reviewing the map, I found out that this is the major eastern gate that surrounds Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty. It’s more commonly called Dongdaemum than Heunginjimun, (maybe because Dongdaemum is easier to pronounce) being the prominent landmark in Seoul which means “Great East Gate”. It’s amazing that it’s just regarded as a major eastern gate but really, for me, looked like a palace. (yeah, I really can't believe that it's just a gate!)
After taking a picture, you can go ahead and head for shopping since the area is surrounded by shopping malls, markets, stalls, etc.…
For fashionable clothes, head to Doota Mall or Migliore. usually, the shopping malls are open until midnight.
Address: Jongno 6-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, south Korea
Directions: take the subway, get off at the Dongdaemum station
N-Seoul Tower's poem of love
From the Myeong-dong Station, we walked a long way going uphill to be able to get a ride of the cable car. Round trip costs KW7,500 and it only took us about 3minutes to reach the peak of Mt. Namsan; credit cards are accepted as mode of payment.
We decided to go to the N-Seoul tower on a late afternoon so we can be able to have a view of the lighting show which starts at 6pm. The lighting show gives a variety of colorful background of the tower that change after a few minutes. There’s no admission fee on the observatory platform and from there you can already have a magnificent view of city. There are also restaurants and shops surrounding the tower.
It’s very cold by the time we went there but we had a great time despite of that. I can really say that the Koreans are romantic people because like we saw in Busan Tower, the N-Seoul tower also has this 2 heart shaped padlocks locked together with promise of love written on it. What’s more fascinating is that all of the locks were put together forming like a Christmas tree. And on the upper deck, there’s a big shaped heart that formed the poem of the Seoul tower. Yes! There’s a poem of the Seoul tower! I am really, really convinced that the people here in this country are very much in love with love.
Another thing we discovered was that one of the restaurants where we took our dinner has one part of its wall covered with small squared tile that are also written with love messages. I believe South Korea is very much appropriate for hopeless romantics like me, haha!
Going back to the city, you can just take the yellow bus parked infront of the entrance of Seoul Tower. You can use your T-money card to pay the bus fee KW500 and KW550, if you use cash. The bus run s 8am-12mn.
N-Seoul Tower opens: 9am-11pm
Address: Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Yongsan-dong 2-ga 1-3
Directions: Subway line 4, Myeong-dong Station, exit 3- 15minute walk through the alley of Pacific Hotel- cable car
handicrafts for sale!
I really had a hard time to find a nice place to stay online. Lucky me, I was able to find Saerim Hotel which is within the Insadong Street! Hurray!!!
Insadong street is the souvenir street where tourists should take time to look around the Korean shops. Along the street are shops selling traditional souvenirs, gift items, local foods (cookies, breads), traditional teas/restaurants, etc. This street starts to get busy at 10am.
Many shops accept credit cards but cash is more favorable. Sometimes when you use a card, you can't have a discount... (dunno why)
I bought some souvenir shirts on our last day but I found out that the prices here are a bit higher than in the Doota Mall. The "I love Korea" white colored shirt costs KW5,000, black/gray colored shirts costs KW6,000 while in Doota Mall costs only KW5,000 (white/gray/black). You see, that's already a KW1,000 difference! Anyway, I just bought additional shirts for my cousins... so I just took the white ones, haha!
I usually find myself lost at times... let me tell you a short story.
One night, I asked my friend if we can eat something heavy since I'm soOo starving! It was 11pm at that time that almost all shops/restaurants are already closed but due to my hunger, I insisted even if it's raining! I saw this place still open, so we went upstairs and sat. An old man politely greeted us and got our umbrellas and placed it in a corner. We were about to order, when... the menu was filled with different kinds of teas! Imagine how you can react in a situation when you are so starving! Then it turned out that the place we got in was a traditional tea house!!! waaaah!!!
if you want some time for relaxation, this traditional tea house is waiting for you (but I forgot the name of this tea house, haha), anyway... this is the only available tea house on a late night.
Directions: take the subway line 3, get off at Anguk Station, 10 mins walk
better to be called the secret paradise
Okay, so after having our own tour around the Changdeokgung Palace, we decided to proceed in exploring the “secret garden” of the palace. Gawd! We can’t wait for the English tour at 1130am! We went to the backyard of the palace where the secret garden is located! The lady at the entrance told us that self-guided tour isn’t allowed but we can join the Korean tour which was about to start when we arrived at the entrance.
Funny thing was, we joined the group even though we can’t understand Korean, haha!!! So the whole 1.5 hours of the tour, we don’t understand anything about the history! We just relied on the plaques’ description (written in English) that defines the halls/annexes as we passed by.
Secret Garden is known as Biwon. It serves as the resting and entertaining place for the Kings and family royalties. This is one of the best places I would really recommend to visit by photographers! Everything is very beautiful!!! I think the season of Fall added a very fantastic sight during our visit! If you can just see my amazed face as I walk along the paths, you might think that I’m exaggerating, haha! I’m just really fascinated… it’s really, really, really nice!!!
During the tour, we also realized that self-guided tours are prohibited due to the numerous paths along the way that are very misleading.
As I’ve mentioned we joined the locals… my friend and I was the only foreign tourists with them. Then a few locals asked me if I can have their group picture taken, haha! I became an instant photographer! Anyway, it’s good meeting other people once in a while. They were 6 gentlemen and thank goodness, there’s 1 guy (Baeck’s the name) who knows how to speak English! Like what I usually mention about the locals, these men too are very kind. Baeck educated us a little about a few of their culture and tradition.
Directions: take the subway line 3, get off at Anguk Station, 7 mins walk
hmmm... i was already here in my past life..?
Korean drama series are very close in our hearts. Okay; I admit that I did watched one of their drama series-the traditional one! I'm amazed by Korea's rich culture and tradition that's why I'm very interested to visit one of the palaces I've seen on TV.
Since we have a very limited time to go around Seoul, we decided to visit the tourist spots near in our hotel and Changdeokgung Palace was the one of them!
There are 5 grand palaces in Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty and one of those is the Changdeokgung Palace. Unlike the other palaces, this one is remarkable due to its homey layout having its structures blended with the wonders of nature. No doubt it’s being recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.
This palace is very wide and has many annexes. There were on-going constructions/renovations when we went there and because of that I admire the people here that they know how to treasure their cultural heritage.
There's a fee to pay at the entrance and from there we just knew that aside from the palace, there's this so called "secret garden" inside that is a must see. We paid KW7000 for a tour in the palace and the secret garden. I forgot to use my T-money card to pay the fee... ughs!
There are Korean, English and Japanese speaking tour guides scheduled within a day. Unfortunately, the English tour has 3 schedules- 1130am,130pm and 330pm... which isn't okay since we have a few hours left behind to catch our flight. Good thing though that the self-guided tour in the Palace is okay but exploring the Secret Garden must be accompanied by a tour guide.
Directions: take subway line 3, get off at Anguk Station, 7mins walk
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