[philiptellis] Walking the world in search of interestingness

Monday, May 10, 2004

Seoul on foot and train

Today I decided to go around the city by subway and on foot. Started by taking the subway to Chungmuro, and visited the Namsangol Korean village. The village is small - about 7500 sq.ft., but the houses are pretty. There was a wedding going on in one of them, and I took a few pictures.

Around the village the scenery is quite serene. Walked around for a while. There's a mountain stream that's not too full this time of the year. I guess as the rain picks up it will fill up, or maybe it's the melting snow at the start of spring that fills it up.

Next door to Namsangol is Korea house - which has traditional korean cuisine and weddings and other functions. I walked around a bit. Took pictures of this traditional wedding ceremony, and the musicians and all. Then looked around and there was this large crowd of people dressed in suits and their best formal wear. Peeked into one of the rooms and a buffet table was being set I think. I think I might have gatecrashed someone's wedding and taken pictures of it. The stares I got definitely hinted at it. :P

Got out of there quickly and moved on. Took the subway to Hansung University looking for the Seonjamdan Altar, but couldn't find it. Turned back to Hyehwa looking for Munmyo, but couldn't find that either. Instead found Roboworld and the science museum. After a quick look through I left and along the same road came to Changgyeonggung Palace.

Changgyeonggung is simply huge with loads and loads of gardens. I really hope my pictures come out because it was getting really overcast by then. It took me quite a while to walk around the whole place. Most interesting was the resting place of the placenta and umbilical cord of one of the emperors. Strange that they'd choose to preserve them.

Finishing with that, walked along the wall, and finally came to Changdeokgung, but couldn't go in. You're only allowed to enter with a guided tour, and there weren't any more English tours scheduled for the day. Missed the Royal shrine as well because I couldn't find the entrance, and my feet were too tired to search.

Got to Anguk station and took the train to Amsa with changes at Jongno sam ga and Cheonho. Went walking north towards the Prehistoric settlement site on the banks of the Han. It was already 7:15, and the place was closed, but I got an idea of how to get there - will try again one of these mornings.

After that headed to Jamsil to Lotte World. Decided to skip the amusement park as it was already 8:30, and went to the Lotte Mart instead and got myself some stuff for breakfast.

Got back to the COEX and decided to have dinner at Pizzahut - yeah, boring, but I needed a break and something familiar. Met another Indian guy there - Vikram. He just arrived today and works at Lucent.

Got back to the hotel around 10pm and I have wet socks, blisters on two toes because my socks shifted around too much, and my legs ache too. I think I shall sleep well.