Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 1 Continued: Bukchon, Samcheongdong and Cheonggyecheon

So, we were walking around the Bukchon area in search of the Bukchon Hanok Village. It was a hot, almost autumn day. We decided that we'd go wherever our feet will take us. When we saw this:
We looked up and saw this.
We have decided that we'll be going to Tapgol Park instead. But then, we saw this:
We looked down and saw this! :D

Thank goodness! We're finally on the right track! Before reaching our destination, we went to the Tourist Information Center. The lady tour guide was very helpful. She gave us maps to help us get to tourist spots around Bukchon. My map reading skill was tested, and it was just our first day!

FINALLY! Bukchon Hanok Village! This side of Seoul was so different from Jongno. This side's old school, traditional. Very peaceful and quiet. By the looks of it, those who reside here must be pretty loaded.
Helpful, English speaking tour guide.
I just had to take this photo. This is a famous Bukchon Hanok Village shot.
They all look the same from the top! 

Ate I and Ate.
Another one won't hurt! 
We were just all smiles. We're in the old and the new was right behind us.
This was actually on the map. Photo spot.
From the top.
Look at those tiles!
The shops surrounding Bukchon also has hanok feel. Some hanoks were turned into coffee/tea shops, others were museums. 
Paul's Eleven. Waffle house hanok.
Another waffle house.

There were a lot of interesting things to see here.
You don't see dog knockers everyday.
I had a special interest in mailboxes that I saw around Bukchon. Check it out here: A Post About Posts

I tell you, it wasn't easy to find the right alley to go to the places in the precious map. It can get really confusing. All the hanoks look the same. We took innumerable wrong turns. But one wrong turn was actually a blessing in disguise.

The search for Owl Museum or some other place in the map led us to Samcheongdong. It was actually in my sister's IT. She read in one magazine that Samcheongdong is the opposite of the traditional Bukchon style.
Cool mural.

Because the Owl Museum is nearby.
If only all side walks were as pretty as this.
I literally fell in love with Samcheongdong when I saw this.
Fire hydrant.
One chic boutique.
Spotted one of many "street art" in Samcheongdong.
Kiehl's at Samcheongdong.

Pizza place.
Ice cream salon.
Fine dining in Samcheongdong.
Right across my favorite building, I noticed this:
That's my name in hangul! How cool is that! I knew then that this place was for me. I have my name on it. Hahaha!

We were getting tired of walking, and for some reason, the heat was on, when we went to a GS convenience store for some refreshments. This is what we saw across:
Food here was of course, more expensive. We weren't hungry at all, but we just can't resist the cuteness, so we decided to order the waffle. It was nothing special I tell you, but then how can you not smile to see your Hello Kitty shaped waffle? I am not fond of Hello Kitty at all, but it was just so lovely, and it helped that it was cooler inside.

It's indeed more modern here. The cool, artsy fartsy vibe in the architecture can be seen in boutiques, restaurants and all over. I just immersed myself in all the creativity around me. It was such an amazing experience!

My sister said that it was a good idea to go to the City Hall. We were just about to ask a random Korean, it wasn't really a bad idea; most of them can understand English. When out of nowhere, this really nice and helpful tourist information lady, whom we met earlier, was there. She told us where to get off and even wrote something on a piece of paper to give to the bus driver. It wasn't very easy to take the bus. I attempted to use my Pop Card for the first time, but failed, so I had to pay in cash.

While waiting for the bus.
Because of excitement, we didn't see the City Hall. We ended up taking pictures at the Gwanghwamun Square where the statue of King Sejong The Great stands. And nearby was the Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Pedestrian crossing.
King Sejong the Great.
Cheonggyecheon Stream.
We just had to. Silhouette shots by the stream.

It drizzled a little that night. That's when we decided that it was time to go home. We got lost finding the subway, but it was okay. The city was so tourist friendly. We eventually found it. It was just our first day, so we took pictures of anything that looks promising.
Police station.
Us and the pagoda (well, the pagoda fence.) Haha!
Heading home.

It was a loooong first day. Getting lost, making wrong turns, asking strangers, all will be part of this great Seoul experience. What I'd remember most was how our Heavenly Father was always with us during the whole trip. More stories later, it's just day one after all. :) 

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