I am back in Manila from my 2-week Seoul, Korea trip. All I can say is that it’s an experience to go there especially to someone who was not expecting it. Outside of the circumstances (work! ), maybe I could have enjoyed my stay there. But, throughout the trip, I felt displaced. Here are some of the items that I have done in my short trip.
• Like any place, I have to try Starbucks! I really, really love iced caramel macchiato! I was able to get my first Korean Starbucks fix in the Shinsegae mall just below the JW Marriott Hotel. Something notable is that it was the first time I used a reusable glass and not the usual disposable one. It was so cool and wanted to have on my own! I wonder where I can buy that?
• The subway system of Seoul is very complicated, but at the same time convenient. There are just a lot of stops and subway lines that you can choose from depending on your location. With the size of Seoul, I am not surprised of this intricate system. For this trip, it was fairly easy because the nearest subway station to my hotel is the Bus Express Terminal Station. It’s location is very good since it is also near the bus stations when we needed to go to Chonan. For my tourist-y day, I was lucky that BET station is in the same line as Anguk station — my destination. I think it is around 10 stops from mine.
• Changgyeounggung Palace was supposed to be the centerpiece for my touristy day. From Anguk station, it was a relatively short walk going to the place but luck was not on my side that day — it was just a “guided tour day” — meaning, you have to be in one of the tours to be able to get in AND the English and Korean tours just left. Dejected, I just decided to go to the nearby Jongmyo Shrine. It is the oldest preserved royal Confucian shrine which was built on 1394! Spectacular, isn’t? The place was quite bare but you know that there is a lot of history in it.
While walking in the Shrine area, I overheard a tour guide inform 2 Caucasian tourists that the bridge connection Jongmyo Shrine and Changgeyonggung Palace is opened and we can cross it for free. Of course, I grabbed the chance and walked to the bridge and to the Changgyeounggung Palace. It was originally the Summer Palace of the Goryeo Emperor but later became one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. Once again, the palace was bare and there were not much things to see inside.
I will post the pictures I have on a separate album. But, for my Korea trip, that’s a closed book for sure. If I go back there, I will try to be more adventurous and see more of Korea even if I get lost. Haha!