Changdeokgung Palace, a 600-year old UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the very first palace we visited in Seoul, South Korea. Changdeokgung Palace is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon Dynasty kings. Located at Jongno-gu district, this is a beautiful palace complex to roam around in and take photos of.
We picked a good day to visit this Seoul palace. It was Chuseok Festival, Seoul's biggest festival, and entrance fees to all palaces were waived.
This is the Injeongjeon (Main Hall)
These seemingly stone markers were placed so that officials knew where to stand.
The premises are very well-kept and well-maintained, as you can see in the photos. I can already imagine how pretty this area would be during fall or...
The first shopping district we went to in Seoul, Korea was Hongdae. It's the area where Hongik University is (best known for their Fine Arts and Design programs) and where lots and lots of shops, cafes and clubs are (presumably because it's near a popular university). Click this for more of our Hongdae exploration.
One of our discoveries in Hongdae was the infamous Hello Kitty Cafe. (UPDATE: as of November 2014, they're now in a new location, see below) I placed the Hello Kitty Cafe as one of the tourist attractions in Hongdae on my kodigo (cheat sheet) i.e. our TripCase travel app. It wasn't easy to spot, though. It was located in one of the inner streets.
New location of Hello Kitty Cafe: (map nicked from their official website)
Anyway, a stone's throw away from the ...
After visiting Deoksugung Palace and witnessing the changing of the royal guards ceremony, my brother and I then proceeded to Cheonggyecheong Stream, an 8.4 kilometer long stream that flows west to east through downtown Seoul. What used to be a neglected overpass in the 70's was restored as a massive urban renewal project worth $900 Million in 2005 and is now one of the popular tourist destinations in Seoul, South Korea. Actually, even locals love hanging out here as well.
From Deoksugung Palace, we walked for about 250 meters to Cheonggyecheong Stream. If you're at Deoksugung Palace facing the Seoul City Hall, Cheonggyecheong Stream is on your left. Just go straight and look for Chongye Plaza or this cone/shell sculpture. This signifies that you're at the mouth of the stream :)
So before I really get down to business with my Mindanaoan in Korea travel series, please allow me to share a few travel tips and tricks that you may find helpful when you travel to Seoul, Korea. I like to be well-prepared whenever I travel and hopefully, these Seoul travel tips can help you, too.
1. Do you already have a valid visa for travel to Korea? Here's how I applied for a Korean tourist visa
2. Check the weather in Korea at the time of your trip. This way, you can bring proper clothes.
3. I suggest that you bring U.S. Dollars (instead of Philippine pesos) and have those changed to Korean won. The exchange rates at the Incheon International Airport are fair but I got the best exchange rates in Myeongdong, the famed shopping district in Seoul. Here's a handy tip: 1,000 KRW i...
I have been traveling a lot the past few weeks! One of my recent foreign travel destinations was KOREA :) It was my very first time (and most definitely not the last!) to visit the world's only divided country and my brother (who was my travel companion) and I had the most amazing time! We stayed for a little over a week - just the perfect number of days to explore Seoul, Nami Island and a bit of North Korea (yessir!) I can't wait to share with you more details about our Korea trip!
Please follow my humble Mindanaoan in Korea travel series by CLICKING ON THIS FEED and bookmarking/saving the pages :) You may also want to take a look at some of my photos on Instagram. I will share budget travel tips, very helpful travel apps, recommended hostel in Seoul, delicious Korea food finds, videos...
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