Seoul Take 2

I once again fulfilled my wish to visit South Korea this year.  Just like in April 2008 when I first settled my feet in this wonderful country, I was equally excited in this 2nd trip to Seoul.   There is something in me that feels I belong there =P

This year I stayed in another hotel but still within Jongno area.  Its a business hotel named Doulos Hotel.   This hotel is value for money.  The area is near  Cheongye and Jongno 3-Ga subway station.  In any future travel to Seoul I will readily opt for this hotel than New Seoul Hotel.  The location is great the rooms are just as good as New Seoul plus it has free breakfast buffet.  On top of it all, the hotel is 25 USD cheaper than New Seoul.

Doulos Hotel in Jongno Seoul

Doulos Hotel in Jongno Seoul

September was a good time to visit Seoul, the weather is perfect. The sun is shining but it isn’t hot.   Late afternoon winds will make you wear a light jacket or shawl.  Seoul still sparkles at night just like Hong Kong, you see a lot of people still hanging out.

Back to Jongno from Itaewon - The Green Line

Back to Jongno from Itaewon - The Green Line

Seoul is still as interesting as it was last year, i thought nothing has drastically changed until I took the subway.   I initially thought I am just trying to re-orient my self with the Seoul subway station as I was confused on how to secure tickets.   I learned that 3 months ago, the government has put in place an automated vending for subway tickets.   Close to Hong Kong MTR, only, card deposit for single journey can be refunded at any station through machine.  There are of course reloadable cards which makes sense for the Seoul residents but for tourist like me, the single journey tickets works perfectly fine.

DMZ Museum

DMZ Museum

As I am very interested in the Korean Culture and History,  i took the opportunity to join DMZ tour.  I was interested in taking the Panmunjom tour which actually allows you to get the closest possible contact with North Korea however, this tour requires 10 days reservation notice.  Nevertheless taking the DMZ tour is a great experience.    The first stop is in the DMZ museum where you can watch a short documentary on the history of DMZ which is of course connected to South and North Korean history.  I could not help but shed tears in one shot where the little boy who appears to be naked was crying pointing to his lifeless mother.  The war really created scars on people’s heart.   Across the museum is the entrance to the 3rd infiltration tunnel.  There are 3 other tunnels but these are not open to public for viewing.

Doorasan Observatory...sneak peak to North Korea.

Doorasan Observatory...sneak peak to North Korea.

Second stop of the DMZ tour is the Doorasan Observatory. According to our tourist guide this is the highest point within the DMZ area which makes the place highly coveted by both south and north.  It ended up to be part of South Korea’s area where they can readily check their brothers on the other side.

Awaiting for the unification...

Awaiting for the unification...

Third and the final stop is the Doorasan Train Station.  This station has been reconstructed after it got devastated  during the war in the 50’s.   This station is symbolic of the longing of the South Korean to re-unite with their brothers from the North.   Currently it carries raw materials to Kaesong province of North Korea, the place where  collaboration between North and South Korea happens in terms of productivity.

Authentic Bulgogi

Authentic Bulgogi

hefty side dishes present in all Korean Meal

hefty side dishes present in all Korean Meals

In this trip i had the most native Korean meals.  I tried all the popular dishes prepared authentically.  I had bulgogi (beef strips), bibimbap (mixed beef, rice, vegetables and pepperpaste),  samgyeopsal (pork grilled served with side dishes) and some street food.  It is also first time for me to eat in an authentic Korean restaurant where you eat seated on the floor.

Deoksung-gung - Palace opposite Seoul City Hall

Deoksung-gung - Palace opposite Seoul City Hall

Seoul is such a vast city to wander around.  The city center actually have 5 Palaces, two of which i was  able to visit 2008  and only 1 for this year.   This is the palace nearest to the City Hall called Deoksung-gung.   It never fails to captivate one’s attention as it is nestled in the busy streets of Seoul City Center.  It creates a perfect contrast to the modern city of Seoul.

I know there are still a lot of places to visit in Seoul and South Korea…so I am now starting to dream of my 3rd visit.

2 Comments »

  1. 2cEnTs Said:

    i would loove to visit south korea. mainly due to my kpop addiction recently. i’ll buy korean chopsticks, visit the places which i would just normally see in kdramas only. they say korea is an expensive city, is it? still, i’d like to experience it myself. just gotta save up for it hahaha

    • janey_bei Said:

      no it’s not that expensive unless you look at the numbers of their money 1USD = 900+ Korean Won so it does look big. I can compare daily expenses to that of Hong Kong. I must say Japan is the expensive city and not Seoul =) Thanks for dropping by.


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