Oversea, Travel

Seoul Day 10: Gwangjang Market, Gwanghwamun Square, Cheonggyecheon & Insadong


Day 10 is another packed day. There’s sightseeing, food and shopping. Let’s go! First thing in the morning, we visited Gwangjang Market 광장시장. It’s a market where you can buy vegetables, fruits, apparel, bedding, hanboks, has food corner and restaurant, etc.

Kitchen Items @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
I got wide-eyed when I saw this shop. All the things there are so appealing. But I didn’t dare to go near and touch them or else I might buy a few home. Which isn’t a good thing because I want to reserve the remaining space I have in my luggage for more clothes. Hahaha

Wild Vegetables @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
These are wild vegetables if my eyes serve me correctly. They sure are no ordinary vegetables.

Assorted Beans @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
Assorted beans. Korean usually cook these with rice. Yum!

Assorted Fermented Spicy Food @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
Fermented spicy food. There are fishes, octopus and who knows what else. Hmm I wonder whether I can call these as kimchi.

Fermented Soy Sauce Crabs @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
Fermented soy sauce crabs (간장게장 ganjang gejang). I so wanted to try these but dare not eat it because it’s raw. I’ll build up my courage for next time!

Beauty Stalls @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
These are stalls selling beauty products. And you can sit in front of the ahjumma (old lady) and consult with her regarding all things beauty.

Wedding Gifts @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
These are wedding gifts I think. Candy and rice cakes.

Wedding Gifts @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
A whole shop selling wedding stuff.

Traditional Shoes @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
Traditional shoes which I think is for wedding too or when you wear hanbok for formal holidays.

Hanbok @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
Hanboks. I particularly love Joseon style Hanbok (not in picture).

Traditional Straw Sandals (Jipsin) @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
So cool to find traditional straw sandals (jipsin) in Gwangjang market.

Food Area @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
This is the food corner. As we were there quite early… 10am to be precised, most of the stalls have just opened.

Food Area @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

Boribap @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
These are boribap ingredients. Boribap means barley rice. It’s something like bibimbap too except that you are presented with barley rice and these vegetables.

Bindaetteok @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
The lady is cooking bindaetteok (mung bean pancake)… something that I so wanted to try.

Our Brunch @ Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea
These are the food we tried at Gwanjang Market. Clockwise from left: bindaetteok (2pcs for 4,000 won), eomuk/fish cake (500 won per stick), hobakjuk/pumpkin or squash porridge (4,000 won), mayak kimbap/drug kimbap because it’s addictive! (2,500 won).

We also bought some fruits like pear and strawberry. Then we went back our hostel to unload the goods before taking the subway to Gyeongbokgung Station.

Changing of the Royal Guard @ Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea
This is changing of the royal guard at Gyeongbokgung (Palace) 경복궁 at 1pm. It’s free btw.

Changing of the Royal Guard @ Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea
The whole changing of the royal guard process took about 15-20 minutes. There’s loudspeaker announcement explaining the whole process but I couldn’t hear it well.

Beautiful Ceiling at Gwanghwamun Gate @ Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea
Beautiful ceiling at Gwanghwamun (gate) 광화문.

Gwanghwamun Gate @ Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea
This is Gwanghwamun (gate)… the mate gate of Gyeongbokgung (palace). Not the original gate though. The original gate has been destroyed by Japanese. I didn’t visit Gyeongbokgung (palace) because I’ve visited it before although I’ve forgotten how it looks like. Will add it in my list next time I visit Seoul again.

Gwanghwamun Gate @ Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea
Right in front of Gwanghwamun (gate) is a busy road and Gwanghwamun Square.

Gwanghwamun Square @ Seoul, South Korea
This is Gwanghwamun Square 광화문광장. Two statues particular interest me here.

Hangul @ King Sejong Statue, Seoul, South Korea
On this concrete wall is the Hangul or Korean alphabet. Above this wall lies King Sejong Statue.

King Sejong Statue @ Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, South Korea
King Sejong Statue 세종대왕 동상… one of the greatest king in Korean history. He oversaw the creation of Hangul and many other scientific technology. Before Hangul was created, Joseon people uses Chinese characters for writing.

Admiral Yi Sun Shin Statue @ Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, South Korea
This is Admiral Yi Sun Shin statue 이순신 동상. Admiral Yi Sun Shin is famed for his victory against the Japanese army with his turtle-shaped ship.

Tom N Toms Coffee @ Seoul, South Korea
Then we went to the post office in Gwanghwamun to post some letters home before stopping at Tom n Toms Coffee for coffee break.

Coffee Break @ Tom N Toms Coffee, Seoul, South Korea
We ordered caramel machiato and iced americano. Total bill cost 15,400 won (RM46.20).

Cheonggyecheon @ Seoul, South Korea
Next we visited Cheonggyecheon (stream). This place used to be a creek before/during Joseon Dynasty which flows to the Han River. It’s then covered and elevated highway were built in the 1950s. In 2003 (the year I visited Seoul for the first time), the Seoul mayor restore back the stream and it’s what you see today… a place to chill and relax amidst the busyness of the city. Restoration was completed in 2005. This is the start of Cheonggyecheon (stream). No idea where the water comes from though.

Mojeongyo (Bridge) @ Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea
There are a total of 22 bridges over the stream. Some of these bridges are built during Joseon Dynasty. This one is called Mojeongyo (bridge).

Gwangtonggyo (Bridge) @ Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea
Gwangtonggyo (bridge).

Gwanggyo (Bridge) @ Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea
Gwanggyo (bridge).

Samilgyo (Bridge) @ Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea
Samilgyo (bridge)

Tile Painting @ Cheonggyecheon, Seoul, South Korea
Tile painting.

Cheonggyecheon @ Seoul, South Korea
So beautiful and serene. There are fishes in the stream. Wish I could spend more time here.

Insadong @ Seoul, South Korea
Next, we went to Insadong for souvenir shopping. Along this road houses many traditional arts and crafts shops, souvenirs and cafes.

Yummy Food @ Insadong, Seoul, South Korea
While mom and sis were shopping, I quietly sneak away and buy some snacks. On the left is my favorite hotteok (1,000 won) which I had them too in Jeju and Busan. On the right is sweet custard bread (2,000 won) with red beans filling inside.

Then we had dinner at Jirisan Restaurant at an alley of Insadong. We ate traditional Korean full-course meal or also called hanjeongsik. Take a look here.

Insadong @ Seoul, South Korea
This is the alleyway to Jirisan Restaurant. Very Japanese-y. Haha

Rice Cakes & Cookies from Jilsiru @  Seoul, South Korea
Finally we stopped by Jilsiru (beside Tteok Museum) to get some traditional Korean rice cakes and cookies. My favorite is the one on the top right called yakgwa made from cinnamon, ginger and honey. Yum!

That’s all for day 10. Stay tuned for day 11.

My South Korea journey so far…
Incheon + Jeju-do Self Drive Day 1: MAS, Car Rental & Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 2: Yeongsil Trail at Hallasan National Park (Part 1)
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 2: Jusangjeolli Cliff, Yongmeori Coast & Cheonjiyeon Falls (Part 2)
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 3: Yilin Pension & Seongsan Ilchulbong (Part 1)
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 3: Seopjikoji & Seongeup Folk Village (Part 2)
Jeju-do + Busan Day 4: Bye Jeju, Dynamic Guesthouse, Cherry Blossom at Dalmaji Road, Haeundae Beach & Gwangalli Beach
Busan + Jinhae Day 5: Cherry Blossom at Yeojwa Stream & Gyeonghwa Station (Part 1)
Busan Day 5: Jagalchi Market, Gukje Market & Dinner at Lotteria (Part 2)
Busan + Jeonju Day 6: Bukyungdang Hanok Guesthouse, Jeonju Hanok Village Scenic Walk & Omokdae
Jeonju Day 7: Jeondong Catholic Cathedral, Pungnamun & Nambu Market
Jeonju + Seoul Day 8: Stay In GAM, Hongdae & Ewha Womans University
Seoul Day 9: Noryangjin Fish Market, Yeouido Cherry Blossom, KBS & Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain

Photos from Nikon D80 and Panasonic TZ-7.

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10 Comments

  • Reply foongpc August 17, 2014 at 12:55 am

    The crabs are raw?

  • Reply foongpc August 17, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Wah! 22 bridges?

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Ya lo. The stream is about 11km long.

  • Reply foongpc August 17, 2014 at 1:01 am

    All those Korean cakes and cookies look yummy! 🙂

  • Reply tekkaus August 18, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Wow…so much to see here. 😀

  • Reply tekkaus August 18, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Fermented crab soy sauce…that’s a bit odd. 😀

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 18, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Ya odd food but uniquely Korean.

  • Reply Constance Ant August 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    i likey to visit local market whenever i visit a new place! it’s a great way to blend into their culture!

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Oh yes. Couldn’t agree more.

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