Seoul – Day 2 of a 4-Day Trip in South Korea
One of my friends had family in South Korea, so we met up with her cousin for lunch and afternoon shopping. We were becoming accustomed with the time change, so we were starting to sleep in more and more. Today’s focus was to visit Insadong and Myeongdong! It was cloudy, but no rain (which was good!).
Our day started on the rooftop of the guesthouse. The owner had prepared a small breakfast for us, rice shaped in a heart and a star topped with cheese and egg, respectively. The rooftop is beautifully decorated and is a pretty cool spot to hangout.
After a relaxing morning on the rooftop, we took the train to Insadong for lunch, specifically Rain and Star Dak Galbi Insadong. Dak Galbi is a popular Korean dish involving stir frying chicken in gojuchang (chili paste) with rice cakes, scallions, and other vegetables. After you finish the Dak Galbi, the burnt remains are mixed in with rice and stir fried as a final dish. Delicious!
After lunch, we walked through Insadong Street to Insadong Ssamziegil. Insadong Street is home to a variety of small shops and multiple alleys, whereas Insadong Ssamziegil is a shopping mall with an exterior courtyard and small boutique stores. The courtyard had folded paper airplanes strung up in multiple colours and designs. We visited the many shops and bought gifts to bring back to Canada.
After an early afternoon of browsing the shops in Insadong, we headed to Bukchon Hanok Village. Hanok is a traditional Korean house, which were built as early as the 14th century. The homes in Bukchon Hanok Village have been preserved and it felt like we were stepping back in time as we wandered the alleys. We stopped for bingsu (shaved ice mixed with condensed milk and other syrups) at Bukchon Bingsu. The cafe building looked traditional and was quite busy. We were lucky to get a table. We ordered 2 bingsu flavours – strawberry and raspberry. It was very refreshing!
Our next stop was Myeongdong. Myeongdong is a popular shopping district due to its luxury brands and restaurants. We stopped by the various stores to shop and bought skincare products. We were tired from our day and took a break at BHC Chicken Myeongdong. We ordered some snacks and tried the Myeongdong Weizen.
To end our evening, we headed back to Hongdae for a late dinner. We picked from one of the many restaurants, which turned out to specialize in Japanese food. We ordered the fries, okonomiyaki and sake to share. The sake came out in an interestingly shaped bottle and was served cold. The okonomiyaki was good, but I felt it was too saucy, so it was a bit much for me. Overall, a nice way to end our day.
Complete Day 2 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train stations. Check Kakao Map for most accurate travel details. Google Maps does not work very well in Korea.
9:00am: Have breakfast. Most Korean Guesthouses will offer a small breakfast for their guests.
10:00am: Explore Insadong Street (18 minute bus from Hongdae (Seogyodong) to Gwanghwamun, transfer for a 2 minute bus from Gwanghwamun to Jongno 2-na).
11:00am: Have lunch at Rain and Star Dak Galbi Insadong (2 minute walk from Insadong Street).
12:00pm: Visit the many shops at Insadong Ssamziegil (3 minute walk from Rain and Star Dak Galbi Insadong).
1:00pm: Visit Bukchon Hanok Village (18 minute walk from Insadong Ssamiziegil). Stop at Bingsu Bukchon (6 minute walk from Bukchon Hanok Village) for an afternoon snack.
3:00pm: Visit Myeongdong (4 minute bus from Samcheong Police Station to Sejong Centre for Performing Arts, transfer for a 10 minute from Sejong Centre for Performing Arts to Namsan Tunnel 3). Go shopping. Stop for an afternoon beer at BHC Chicken Myeongdong (8 minute walk from Myeongdong Station).
5:00pm: Have dinner in Hongdae (11 minute bus from Euljiro 1(il)-ga to Hongik University) (or near your accomodation).