It was refreshing to stay at a family’s home instead of hotels and be shown around by true locals. For a fleeting moment, it felt like I was living in South Korea.
Despite the worldwide media coverage of North Korean’s threats at the time, it didn’t stop me from booking the DMZ & JSA tour (aka Demilitarized Zone or Joint Security Area). I was excited and nervous at the same time to do this tour which was so popular on the day it filled up two busloads of foreigners and off-duty US troops on the day.
It sounded a bit quirky to have a museum dedicated to Korea’s national dish, but I was looking forward to visiting the Kim Chi Museum.
The weather was miserable today as we set out for Garosu-gil. We got a hold of the Dangol, Garosu-gil’s Local Guide Book to help navigate us around. It was refreshing to see so many cool, independent and vintage clothing boutiques here like 60 mod who stocked some unique items.
You can spend hours at Gyeongbokgung Palace. The grounds of the palace are so grandeur that you lose track of how many different living quarters there are and what belonged to whom.
There was talk about maybe going to Everland and Garden of the Morning Calm but in the end we chose the Korean Folk Village. On our way there I was being shown how to play a Korean game called Di Bi Di Bi Dip where you have to move your face in a different direction to where the person points cus if you don’t you’ll to be flicked or pinched as punishment! I was not too keen about this type of punishment, so I introduce my friendlier games like thumb wrestle, double thumb wrestle, rock, paper, scissors using “the point system (best of 3 up to 5 points)” and the clapping game. I forgot how fun it was to play like a kid again!
The weather was pretty miserable when we arrived in Hongdae on a Saturday morning. It was raining and cold and where the streets would usually be crowded on the weekend, I think alot of people opted to stay in. We were meeting up with my sister-in-law’s brother who lives in this area for lunch. We were led to a charming cafe which has books and manga for patrons to read. The menu was laid out so that each dessert corresponded to a particular movie like creme brulee for Amelie, then I think blueberry pie for My Blueberry Nights. We ended up ordering tiramisu and chocolate cake.
It was my brother’s last day in Seoul and he wanted to check out Yongsan Electronics Markets which had lots of vendors on each floor selling all sorts of electronic goods such as cameras and mobile phones. I was looking for an iPad case here but there didn’t seem to be much of a selection here and the prices weren’t that much different to normal retail stores.
I tagged along this morning to my nephew’s photo shoot. The set-up for this baby photo shoot was far more elaborate then what we have in Australia. There are a few different package options, but in this case they gave the parents an album to choose three outifts from and there were quite a few theme displays spread across two levels. It was interesting to watch and judging by the number of the bags I saw with the finish packages in them – quite popular!
Today we went to the War Memorial Museum by Korail. The trains here are extremely quiet. Alot of commuters are on their Samsung phones or just seem really tired. It’s not uncommon to see a few asleep as well. We also saw men wheeling their suitcases from one carriage to the next, trying to sell commuters some of their wares (apparently it’s not really legal, but they still do it anyway).