Sunday 21 April 2013

Seoul Day 2: N Seoul Tower, Namsam Park, Myeongdong & Namdaemun

We woke up early to hunt for a place for breakfast, which turned out to be a wrong decision on a Sunday morning. The streets around our hotel were literally empty, with every shop closed for the day. Our hotel concierge advised us to check out this restaurant about 5-10 minutes walk down the street, which should be opened at 10am.

The only restaurant opened on a Sunday
Kimchi kept cool by a layer of ice around the pot
Super awesome kimchi!

The kimchi here was the best I have ever eaten! The waitress told us that some tourists liked it so much that they even packaged 4kg worth of kimchi to take home! However, the noodles and pancake were ordinary so we didn't go back although I would have loved to for another round of kimchi.

After a nice brunch, we proceeded back to our hotel to catch the free hotel shuttle bus to Myeongdong Station, where Mt Namsan is located. The shuttle service is one of the reasons why we decided to stay at PJ Hotel as it made travelling by subway very convenient for us.

Free hotel shuttle information

Information of Free Shuttle Service at PJ Hotel
Course A: Chungmuro Station > Myeongdong Station > Namdaemun Market > Lotte Department Store
Course B: Chungmuro Station > Sejong Hotel Entrance > Myeongdong Entrance > Jongro-2ga > Jongro-5ga > Dongdaemun Market

We alighted at Myeongdong Station as we wanted to take the cable car up to the peak of Mt Namsan. You may choose the cheaper alternative by taking the yellow bus (board from Chungmuro Station) which only costs 950 won per adult as compared to a 2-way cable car ticket at 8,000 won per adult. However, we decided on the cable car as I thought it was more fun =)

Leave the station through Exit 4 and walk straight until the main intersection then turn left. Walk up the slope until you arrive at an inclined elevator.

Walking up a slope towards the tower
Namsan Ohreumi inclined elevator

It's the first time I've ever travelled on an inclined elevator, thought it was super cool! The cable car station was situated at the top where we boarded the cable car and got a nice view of the tower.

Cable car to the top of Mr Namsan
Squeezed like crazy in the cable car

It was a bumpy and uncomfortable ride as we had to squeeze with 30 other people but the view was beautiful!

Great view of the city from the top

We proceeded to the famous N Seoul Tower to purchase tickets to the observatory to get a panoramic view of the city of Seoul City from above.

N Seoul Tower
Did the touristy thing and bought one of the few group photos of our trip =)

The view from the top was quite beautiful although I thought it looked similar to what we've seen at the base of the tower so it was nothing surprising. We also saw the Love Padlock Trees which contained thousands of locks that couples have hung on the tree with the key thrown away to symbolise their eternal love locked together forever.

Love Padlock Trees on Mt Namsan
The "Breaking" Bench

Many Koreans were having a picnic at the Namsam Park on this sunny Sunday morning while enjoying the blooming cherry blossoms in the back drop. We loved the fresh air and chilly winds blowing onto our faces as you will never get to enjoy this in tropical Singapore!

Cherry blossoms
Super long flight of stairs to get up and down Mt Namsan
Twist Potato

The Twist Potato, or potato strips twisted around a sausage, looked really interesting so we decided to buy one to try. Aside for being a tad too oily, it was actually pretty tasty =)

We then took the cable car back down to the base and continued our day shopping at Myeongdong, which was famous for its cheap cosmetics and beauty products!

Myeongdong shopping district

Shops like Faceshop, Tony Moly and Etude House lined the entire streets with more face masks than I can count. The sister was in heaven! I think we bought enough masks and moisturisers for an entire village of people *laughs*

Hungry after all the shopping, we stopped to try a 32cm tall ice-cream!

32cm tall ice-cream!

We've never seen anything like it before as something like this will probably turn into milk in Singapore faster than you can say "ice-cream"! And it only costs 2000 won (S$2)! Yum =)

Having been told that the nearby Namdaemun Market was also famous for shopping, we decided to check it out next.

Namdaemun Market
Walking along the streets

The streets were lined with buntings of all the different flags of the world so you would not miss it if you're in the area. After buying lots of seaweed and souvenirs, we took the subway from Hoehyeon Station (the nearest station) back to Chungmuro Station where we had BBQ yet again for dinner.

BBQ restaurant next to Chungmuro Station
BBQ beef steak

The food here was a lot more expensive than the day before although the cut of the meat was also a lot better. Nevertheless, for the price and the bad service, it is unlikely that we will be back again.

We ended the day in the hotel balcony, where we had deep conversations over Korean alcohol, seaweed and bread from Paris Baguette (addicted to their bread!). Great way to end a fulfilling day =)

Continue to >> Seoul Day 3: Everland
<< Back to Seoul Day 1: PJ Hotel & Dongdaemun


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