Seoul Journals

Seoul Revisited

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A February 2010 trip to Seoul by Composthp

Insadong Photo, Seoul, South Korea More Photos
Quote: We spent a short 5 days in Seoul exploring the sights at our own leisurely pace. Having been on a regular diet of Korean dramas for the last few years, Seoul was at once vaguely familiar and yet, foreign to us. It was a rejuvenating trip for my weary soul.

When in Seoul.....

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Story/Tip

Korean Restaurant Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
8 years ago, I would not dare to visit Seoul on my own as everything seemed foreign, from the language to the street signs. A lot has changed since then, there are clear signs in various languages such as English, Mandarin and Japanese not only near and around tourist landmarks but at subways, buses, restaurants, etc. Tourist information booths and tourist guides have sprouted around major sights and shopping areas, the latter can be found standing at intersections dressed in bright red (usually in pairs) in places like Myeongdong or Insadong. Kudos to them as they have to brave the elements to direct lost tourists to the desired destination. The ...Read More

Hotel Sunbee

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Hotel | "Hotel The Sunbee"

Hotel Sunbee Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
If you are looking for a hotel that is of reasonable price and of good location while in Seoul, this 42-room hotel is the place to stay. This is a business hotel located in the cultural hub of Insa-dong and has multi-lingual staff. Jonggak (line 1, exit 3) and Anguk subway stations (line 3, exit 6) as well as the Airport Limousine stops located at these subway exits are less than 15 minutes walk away from the hotel. As Insa-dong is just next to the hotel, there are plenty to see, do and eat. Sights such as the palaces of Changdeokgung, Gyeongbokgung and Unhyeongung, Bukchon and Samcheong are also within walking distance. Staying there, we saved quite a bit on transport as a result.We booke...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2011

Hotel Sunbee
198-11 Gwanhun-dong, Jongro-Gu
Seoul, South Korea

B&B Morning Calm

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Hotel | "B&B Morning Calm"

B&B Morning Calm Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
If you are looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, B&B Morning Calm is a great place to stay. Run by Mr Han Sungho and his wife, Madam Jang Younghee, this bed and breakfast place offers a cosy homestay in the shadows of Mt Bukhan. We stayed in the Royal room with a view for 4 nights at a rate of US$100 per night. This room comes with ensuite bathroom and is located in the 2nd floor of the house. The neighbourhood is generally quiet (if you discount the occasional barking dog) and peaceful. We were served home cooked traditional Korean-styled breakfast that was simply delicious in the quaint kitchen prepared by Madam Jang every morning.Moving around the city is con...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2010

B&B Morning Calm
#345-89, Pyeong-chang-dong
Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-379-1337

Changdeokgung Palace

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Attraction | "Changdeokgung: A Palace Rebuilt"

Changdeokgung Palace Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Changdeokgung palace was originally built as a secondary palace to Gyeongbokgung in 1405. In later years, it became the residence for many kings and eventually, was made the main palace instead as it was deemed to have better "feng shui" compared to Gyeongbokgung.On the day of our visit, the palace was undergoing renovations and many of the paths were muddy. We joined the English guided tour who led us through the main gate, throne hall, past the blue-tiled roof building to the King's bed chamber that eventually became his "office". The highlight of the tour was the secret garden and the prince's study and royal library. We learnt of the tragic history of the palace, felt the desolation as...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2010

Changdeokgung Palace
1 Waryung-dong Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea 110-360
+82 (2) 762 8262

Bukchon Hanok Village

Attraction | "Bukchon: where tradition prevails"

Bukchon Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
In the midst dynamic and modern Seoul lies an area where the history and traditions are well preserved and kept alive. Bukchon was once a district where royal members and noble families resided. Traditional houses have been updated with modern facilities without compromising the unique Korean architectural structures. Some of these buildings are now converted to guesthouses, museums showcasing Korean traditional arts and crafts and restaurants. This area is huge and cannot be completed in a day; careful planning is required. We made a stop at the Bukchon Traditional Cultural center located at 105, Gye-dong, Jongno-gu for an overview of the district and grabbed a free copy of the walking gu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2010

Insadong

Attraction | "Insadong: a Cultural Hub of Seoul"

Insadong Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
We had an ambitious itinerary for the day. We started our day with a visit to Changdeokgung palace, explored the narrow alleyways of Bukchon nearby before meandering our way to Insadong, a short 15 minutes walk from Bukchon. While Myeongdong is known for selling affordable cosmetics, Dongdamun and Namdamun for fashion, Insadong is a magnet for fans of traditional handicrafts, antiques and arts. The streets of Insadong were lively on the day of our visit (deliberately timed on a Saturday) with make-shift stalls selling their wares along the narrow alleyways and pavements. We spent an enjoyable afternoon wandering down Insadong, skipping those shops selling souvenirs, stopping at make-shift ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2010

Insadong
Insa-dong Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea 110-290
+82 (0)2 732 2240

Insadong Gyoza

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Restaurant | "Of broiled pork, gyoza and noodles....."

Insadong Gyoza Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Staying near Insadong has many merits. We were never hungry for long as Insadong is literally lined with restaurants along the main streets and side lanes that suit every budget. We decided to try this little place that was located along Insadong-gil as we had returned to our hotel early after a day of intense sight-seeing cum shopping and were too tired to walk too far for dinner. Attracted by the pictorial menu at the side of the door, we actually entered by the side door located along the short-cut that we used to travel to and fro Hotel Sunbee and Insadong-gil thinking that was the main entrance. It led us down a flight of stairs to a small unlabelled door. We peeked in to find a cosy brightly-lit...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 27, 2011

Insadong Gyoza
192-13 Insa-dong Gil
Seoul, South Korea
02-737-6660

Gogung Insadong

Restaurant | "Joenju Bibimbap fit for a Chosun King"

Gogung Insadong Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
There are a few hidden restaurants in the basement of Ssamziegil, one of them is Gogung, a traditional Korean restaurant that prides itself for serving authentic Goldongban, essentially Jeonju-style bibimbap of rice mixed with assorted vegetables and beef served to the Kings of the Chosun dynasty. This dish was created according to the principles of Yin and Yang and the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water and is said to be of highly nutritious. It is also a favourite Korean comfort food that is often featured in Korean dramas. We arrived just after the peak dinner period so we were seated almost immediately. We were unable to communicate with the service staff but fortunate...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 24, 2011

Gogung Insadong
Gwanhun-dong Jongno District 38 , Insadong, B1 Ssamziegil
Seoul, South Korea
(02) 736 3211

Noryangjin Fish Market

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Attraction | "An unforgettable meal....for seafood lovers"

Noryangjin Fish Market Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
A visit to Seoul would not be complete without a visit to the Noryangjin fish market for seafood lovers. Akin to Tsukiji wholesale market of Tokyo, this is where one can find a variety of fresh and dried seafood such as sole, squid, octopus, crabs, abalone, scallops and the list goes on; hailing from as far as Russia. We entered the market via the carpark that led us towards to the seafood restaurants located in the upper floor of the market. For a small preparation fee, these restaurants would prepare the seafood purchased at the market. I pre-warned my travelling companions to be firm towards the fishmongers before entering the fish market proper at the first floor as the latter may beco...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 20, 2011

Noryangjin Fish Market
13-8 Noryangjin-dong
Seoul, South Korea 156-050
+82 (0)2 814 2111

Namsangol Traditional Folk Village

Attraction | "A Peek into the Lives of "Ordinary" Folks"

Namsangol Traditional Folk Village Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Namsangol Traditional Folk village is a recreation of a village from the Joseon period (1392-1910) by the Seoul government. It comprises of 5 traditional houses furnished with antique furniture and decorated according to that period. Visitors are free to explore the village and to learn more of the traditions and culture of the Koreans. Visitors are also encouraged to participate in the many traditional games and crafts that are provided at the designated house or courtyard. Volunteers are at hand to explain the rules of the games, however, many of these volunteers speak only Korean. Still, the games are fairly easy to learn and no one really bothers about sticking to the rules. Visitors a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2010

Namsangol Traditional Folk Village
84-1 Pil-dong 2-ga
Seoul, South Korea 100-272
+82 (0) 2 264 4412

Nolboo Duck Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Stay healthy with Sulfur duck!"

Nolboo Duck Restaurant Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Nolboo duck restaurant or Yuhwang-ori-jinheuk-gui is named the best Korean restaurant by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. It serves only 1 dish in 1 size- smoked duck that had been fed with feed mixed with sulfur. These ducks are purportedly able to neutralise the poisonous effects of sulfur; when consumed, the meat is supposedly highly nutritious and is said to improve health and um-hmm.. vitality for men. This dish gained popularity when it was featured in a highly popular Korean drama- "Jewel in the Palace" (Daejanggum) in 2005. At the Nolboo duck restaurant, the sulfur duck is baked in an earthenware pot for 3 hours. The duck is stuffed with 23 ingredients such as ginseng, pine nuts, chestnuts, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 26, 2011

Nolboo Duck Restaurant
Seoul-si Seocho-gu Banpo-dong 118-3
Seoul, South Korea