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blue pin: visited; yellow pin: transit;

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 10: Seoul (Gyeongbokgung, National Palace Museum, National Folk Museum, Cheong Wa Dae, Samcheongdong, Jogyesa Temple, Lantern Festival)

This palace is the biggest among the five palaces in Seoul. We decided to come just for the changing guard ceremony and not going to tour the palace. We had had enough of palaces.

Gyeongbokgung subway station

The changing guard ceremony had almost finished when we reached there.

Main entrance of Gyeongbokgung

After the ceremony was ended, it's time to take photos with the guards.

They are all very tall, a head taller than me means their height is around 1.8 metres.

The weapons

National Palace Museum
It's free admission. We had one hour to visit this place before the next changing guard ceremony.

Hanbok on display

Queen's hairpins

Children socks and shoes

King's private use car

The Queen also has one. I think hers is nicer. :)

Personal stamps

Traditional musical instruments

Mostly percussion

The biggest clock I've ever seen.

After this, we went back to the palace ground to catch the changing guard ceremony again.

Flowers at Gyeongbokgung

Next, we wanted to see Cheong Wa Dae or Blue House, the residential house of President. On the map, it was just behind Gyeongbokgung but it was actually very far, probably 1-2 km away from where we started.

Later I knew that pagoda is the National Folk Museum.

Gyeongbokgung perimeter

Ceiling of a Gyeongbokgung gate.

National Folk Museum
We didn't visit the museum and only walked around the outdoor displays.

Like those in Jeju Island

Totem poles

Outdoor folk performance

We continued our lovely afternoon walk to Cheong Wa Dae. Great cool weather with nice scenery, something that we won't be able to do back home.

Still walked around the perimeter of Gyeongbokgung

This area was exceptionally well maintained, probably because it was near the Blue House.

Cheong Wa Dae

Finally we were here.

Police on the guard

Actually we saw many of them as we got nearer to Cheong Wa Dae.

After the Blue House, we had to walk back towards Gyeongbokgung. But with this kind of scenery, I was more than happy to do it again.

So much greenery, love this place.

Made a stop halfway at Samcheongdong for our very late lunch.

A small enclave of many cafes and restaurants. Another great find!!

That's us at the traffic mirror.

Restaurants and cafes on both sides of the street.

We stopped by here for some meat buns.

Ordered a tray of meat buns and another tray of vegetarian buns.

Just like xiao long bao

Cute little shop

European style cafe

Lavender at the roadside!!

Saw a real residential hanok

This girl suddenly walked up to the middle of the street and started singing and dancing. I was a bit late to capture the whole thing.

Flea market

Lovely scarves

Love the Korean style dresses

On our way back home, we had another surprise.

Lantern Festival

Road closed for Lantern Festival

See the crowd

Before we checked out those tents, we visited the Jogyesa Temple which is also located on the same road.

Jogyesa Temple

Very beautiful temple.

The photo didn't look sharp because of the net covering the decoration.

Three Buddha statues inside the temple.

Thousand of lanterns under the tent.

White lanterns

Saw many kids with their teacher.

A pretty little girl.

Lighting up candles.

Now we went back to the tents.

Paper lotus flower

Not sure what they were doing, they were seated like that for quite long. :P

I love their hanbok!!

We saw many foreigners participating in the activities rather than the locals.

Painting a lotus flower

Mask making

Drawing a paper fan

Lotus flower as hair accessories

We decided to go back to our apartment which was just one block a way to take a rest. But in the evening, we went out again to catch the Lantern Parade.

Found a great place next to the TV commentators to catch all the actions. :D

Colorful costumes and nice choreography

These dancers were ready for their turn.

TV crew just in front of us filming the parade.

The lantern parade began when the night fell.

We watched the parade until 8.30 pm and had our dinner nearby.

Dolsot bibimbap

Short rib beef soup (galbitang)

Don't you think Seoul is such a happening place to be? :)

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