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.

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

These are wild vegetables if my eyes serve me correctly. They sure are no ordinary vegetables.

Assorted beans. Korean usually cook these with rice. Yum!

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 (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!

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.

These are wedding gifts I think. Candy and rice cakes.

A whole shop selling wedding stuff.

Traditional shoes which I think is for wedding too or when you wear hanbok for formal holidays.

Hanboks. I particularly love Joseon style Hanbok (not in picture).

So cool to find traditional straw sandals (jipsin) in Gwangjang market.

This is the food corner. As we were there quite early… 10am to be precised, most of the stalls have just opened.

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.

The lady is cooking bindaetteok (mung bean pancake)… something that I so wanted to try.

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.

This is changing of the royal guard at Gyeongbokgung (Palace) 경복궁 at 1pm. It’s free btw.

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) 광화문.

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.

Right in front of Gwanghwamun (gate) is a busy road and Gwanghwamun Square.

This is Gwanghwamun Square 광화문광장. Two statues particular interest me here.

At this concrete wall is the Hangul or Korean alphabet. Above this wall lies King Sejong Statue.

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.

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.

Then we went to the post office in Gwanghwamun to post some letters home before stopping at Tom n Toms Coffee for coffee break.

We ordered caramel machiato and iced americano. Total bill cost 15,400 won (RM46.20).

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.

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).

Gwanggyo (bridge).

Samilgyo (bridge)

Tile painting.

So beautiful and serene. There are fishes in the stream. Wish I could spend more time here.

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

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.

This is the alleyway to Jirisan Restaurant. Very Japanese-y. Haha

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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  • 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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