Friday, June 8, 2012

Seoul - Day 3

I wandered around the city on my own. I mistakenly went to Changgyeonggung Palace in the morning; it's a small palace with a few buildings, a pond, and a greenhouse. It was nice to see a lot of elderly people walking around, getting their exercise. It reminded of my grandparents. :o) There were lots of places to sit in the shade and just relax - a very calming environment. I went there mistakenly because my sister had mentioned a few palaces I could visit, but I forgot which one she specifically said I should go to. -____-" Oops.

I met up with my sister for lunch in Sinchon. We ate Korean BBQ and were the only ones in the restaurant! Awkward. She said that BBQ is usually a dinner affair. It hit the spot! Afterwards, we shopped a little bit in the Sinchon area until she had to go to class. Then I went to the "correct" palace: Gyeongbokgung Palace. I was originally going to go to the National Palace Museum to get out of the heat/humidity, but it's closed for renovations. Fortunately, the Gyeongbokgung Palace is right next door! This palace is the largest one in Seoul, boasting similarly designed buildings as the Changgyeonggung Palace (only bigger, of course). There were a couple of buildings where you had to take off your shoes to step inside, while you couldn't enter other buildings. I was lucky I arrived in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony - pretty neat! I took some video of it. I also asked a random stranger to take my picture, and it turned out she was from Pennsylvania. Small world! We hung out that afternoon, walking around the palace. Haha... it's nice to meet new people.

My sister met up with me at the front gate of the Gyeongbokgung Palace (where there's free wi-fi!) and we walked away from the gate, down the Gwanghwamun Plaza. This part of town is really gorgeous and updated. There was a King Sejong statue nearby, which had an underground museum attached. Random!! We walked through a couple of parts of it. There was also a fountain at the other end, similar in design to the one at Centennial Olympic Park where the water shoots up from the ground. There were a few families there, with the kids having fun in the water. 

We went to Myeongdong to do some shopping. I ended up getting a few clothing items. We then went to a famous chicken place in another area; we went by taxi because my sister didn't know exactly where it was. I don't think there's an English name for it; we sat down at a table, Japanese-style. O_o The chicken was served in a stone pot with soup and rice - I didn't think there was any flavor to it, but the chicken was super tender. We also had Korean pancakes - yummy!

That was a long day... I'm getting more and more tired the longer I'm here, haha.



























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