WARNING: Image-heavy post again. My Seoul posts would most likely be full of photos so please bear with me. 🙂
We decided to head to our next destination which was Changdeokgung. We stopped by a subway store to get some refreshments and a stall along the way for snacks .
But then, as much as we wanted to see the Secret Garden inside the palace, the line is terribly long, it’s 3pm, and we might not be able to make the most out of our day. And since Doty mentioned that all the palaces look similar anyway, we skipped this part. After all, this won’t be our last time in Korea. 😉 We headed to Insadong instead.
Insadong is known to be a cultural haven in Seoul. You can easily spot that upon setting foot in the area. Artistry and color just fills the place. This one is a popular place for tourists, too, as this is where most would get some traditional Korean items to bring back home.
And our first stop: a sidewalk store which sells shoes for a bargain. You know autumn is here and they’re exhausting stocks from seasons past. 😛 HOWEVER, having gigantic feet, Yan and I didn’t have a size here. Pfft. We bought a pair each for our sisters instead. And Doty… Right there, got two pairs! (How can life be so unfair? Hahaha!)
Doty needed to go to an ATM so Yan and I sat in one bench to wait for her while watching some cultural presentation on a mini-plaza. Suddenly, two guys approached us. Being the foreigner-looking ones in the place, we were targets. That is, because they are really looking for foreigners to be interviewed. LOL. Questions asked were about our trip so far and how they can speak English better.
Yan was flustered after the interview (Bwahaha! Sorry… :P) She thought of “Mac Park” (Ok, long story here. Must make another entry for this in the future.)
So I was able to check-in at Insadong while waiting for Doty to return – only to find out that she is also waiting for us in front of 7-11. Golly! Haha! (We keep on losing each other this day!)
Of course, you cannot leave Insadong without gong inside the famous 스타벅스 커피. This is exceptional among all their branches because it’s in Hangeul.
We went inside because me and some of my friends wanted a Seoul tumbler. 🙂 This was also an opportunity for Doty, Yan, and I to have a little chat.
We talked about everything Korea – from Doty’s school life to Korean high school to Korea’s culture and then, KPOP. Hehe. It was fun listening to everything she had to share, wishing I could also stay there longer to learn more about the country, its history, and its people. The chat was really enjoyable and informative. There has been a lot of learnings.
(Note: When traveling, it is always best to learn as much as you can about the place you are going to. Even as these things can be easily searched through Google, it’s still different to emerge yourself and be genuinely interested to another’s culture. And somehow, you’ll find the beauty between the differences across the world.)
After finishing our coffees (drinks, because I got green tea frap), Doty took us to what she dubbed as the main attraction in Insadong – the building with no stairs which is known as the 쌈지길 (Ssamzigil). It’s really beautiful if you’re after some artsy-fartsy stuff and exteriors, not to mention the lighting.
And here’s me with Doty and Yan in Ssamzigil:
It was about 7pm when we decided to separate ways. Doty needs to meet some of her friends for dinner and Yan and I are still off to another destination. *Clue: FG*
But we didn’t bid each other goodbye without passing by another store with shoes for sale! (I love end of season bargains!) I finally got something for myself and Doty got another. (LOL. I thought we’re the tourists here?) Poor Yan is still out of options. 😦 Anyway, we need to get going. 😉
Anguk station, subway line 3