Friday, June 8, 2012

Seoul - Day 4

Today, I went to Jogyesa Temple with another girl from the hostel, Erin. She's visiting Seoul from Japan, where she's been studying abroad for the semester. Erin and my sister are roughly the same age. We walked to the temple, and a funeral was taking place! Oops. There was a large temple and a small temple, both of which had people inside praying. The larger temple had a few Buddhist monks, chanting. There were also three large Buddha statues inside - the whole building was gorgeous. In honor of Buddha's birthday, there were several colorful lanterns strung up around the temples. Very cool. There was a tourism office there and a nice gentleman took the time to explain the temples and meanings and so on. He thought I was Korean! O_o Awkward.

Erin joined my sister and I for lunch near Ewha. We ate bibimbap - it definitely tastes better than the Buford Hwy version! Afterwards, my sister went back to class and Erin and I split up. I went to the Gyeongbokgung area again to see Cheongwadae (The Blue House) - it's located behind the Gyeongbokgung Palace. There's also one side street, running the length of the palace, that has interesting buildings and a museum. I walked around quite a bit. There was a huge police presence there, and my sister said it's because the area is really close to North Korea. O_O Anyway, as I was walking down that side street by the palace, I saw the National Folk Museum of Korea. I had noticed it yesterday when I was at the palace, but was too tired to see it. Thank goodness it's free! I went inside and stayed for about 1.5 hours. It's a deceptively large museum! I actually needed more time to see everything, but I had to meet up with my sister for dinner and a show.

We ate a quick dinner (street food) and went to Myeongdong for the show, Nanta (aka Cookin'). It reminded me of STOMP in a kitchen setting - it was a lot of fun! I didn't need to know Korean to understand it. Kudos to my sister for the awesome show selection. Afterwards, we went to a nearby coffee place, Coffine Gurunaru, to relax for a little bit. Then we got on the subway and got off at our respective stops. It probably doesn't sound like I did much today but I really did walk a lot. I've seen a lot of Seoul by now! We wanted to go to Busan tomorrow but the public transportation schedule isn't to our liking. Do; Instead, we're going to do a day trip to the city of Incheon.

Jongno Tower is nearby. 

Blue House - You could only snap pics from behind a yellow line, opposite the Gyeongbokgung Palace entrance. There are tours available but you need to make reservations in advance. O_o

Walking towards the front gate/entrance of Gyeongbokgung Palace - Interesting to see the juxtaposition of old and new 

Street food - Egg bread 

Street food - Cup chicken with a few tater tots tossed in 

Iced blueberry drink - so good! >.<"

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