While in Seoul : Gyeongbokgung Palace
UNTUK VERSI BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI.
Before that, I would like to stress out again that my tour around Seoul were using subway train (50%) and our own leg (50%). Subway system in Seoul is as good as the one in Japan. Seoul has 18 lines, marked with different colors and not limited to big shopping mall only. They have subway stations almost every corner in and out of this metropolitan. The chance for you to get lost is there since Seoul subway station has 3-4 storey lane. Skillful subway map reader is required. But do not fret. Getting lost is a part of traveling experience too.
For those who dissatisfied with our intercity railway system in Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor, you may enjoy riding train in Seoul. It is like those rides in Disneyworld. Awesome.
I can say that 99% of touristy , must see spot is a train ride away. If you anxious about getting around in Seoul, I advise you to pick up one copy of Seoul’s Attraction Map as soon as you landed in Incheon airport. You may get it at your hotel lobby but, English version pamphlet usually long gone. For budget traveler like Mike and I, I suggest you to get City Pass (see picture above). You can buy City Pass in any subway station in the city. The cost is KRW3000 and you can top it up at any vending machine with T-MONEY sign. It has English version instruction and it is easy as buying coke from a vending machine. I love this City Pass because it has so many advantages such as;
1) Flat rate regardless subway station distances.
2) The rate is cheaper by KTW100-300 compared to single journey passes.
3) Can be used for all 18 lines including airport line and city buses.
4) Can be used throughout South Korea. We used this City Pass in Busan and buses in Jeju Island too
5) Your wallet is free from coins.
6) At the end of the day, you can return the card to its vending machine and get all the remaining/ unused amount.
Back to Gyeongbokgung Palace. I’m not all excited to visit this place. If you been to Forbidden City, Beijing, you will understand what I mean. The palace and pavilions here are very similar to the one in Forbidden City, Beijing. Except, Gyeongbokgung existed 25 years earlier than Forbidden City, China. But, since I am the stereotype traveler, I still include Gyeongbokgung Palace into my must visit list in my Seoul trip.
Subway Direction to the Palace : Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5
Thousands of people flocking into this area. However, Gyeongbokgung Palace is not as boring as Forbidden City since it has live performance. You can buy a glass of iced tea, some souvenirs and sit and relax your sore feet while watching traditional musical performance. If you come at the right time, you are able to see the process of the guards exchange their standing spot in front of the palace’s main gate.
As usual, the location for King’s palace always is at the best spot. If you know about Fengshui, you will notice it in every corner of the palace building and direction. Mike always told me that King and Palace location always located at the best part of the town. Usually located at higher ground with amazing sightseeing as its background. The fengshui is so good, I bet your fever cured on its own just by visiting this places.
It costs KRW3000 per person to enter this palace and good comfortable shoes is advised for fashionista who try to blend in with sylish Korean girls. For your info, normal korean people mostly wearing sneakers and good sports shoes on daily basis. The one you saw with fancy shoes only K-pop celebrities or on special occasion. Not for walking, touring around the city.
For more info about Gyeongbokgung Palace please read it HERE
After we done with the tours, (actually we went few places before and after Gyeongbokgung Palace), we went back to our hotel for dinner. We were too lazy to find Halal restaurant in the city so we decided to have vegetarian menu for dinner. The hotel that we stayed at, Ramada Dongdaemun, was having a promotion on their ramen. KRW 5000 per big bowl. I will do the review on this hotel soon.
After dinner and some rest, we went out again on our quest to find Banpo Moonlight Rainbow Bridge. This bridge is the longest bridge with water fountain in the world. Well, it look so beautiful in the picture so we decided to visit it. But, the truth is, the bridge and rainbow water fountain is way better looking IN PICTURE. I hear no music played or what so ever as they described. It is not worth visit at all. However, we got some experience walking through local, residential area under the dim street light just like we heading home from work. Although the street is quiet and dark, with joggers and cyclist passes you by, I feel the streets here are still safe for you to walk alone at night.
Subway Direction to Banpo Moonlight rainbow Bridge : Dongjak Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) exit 1 or 2. Search for the signboard to the bridge. Distance from Dongjak station is around 1.5km
To be continued.
Seoul, South Korea