Seoul – Day 2 : Bokchon Hanok Village, Myeongdong, and Namsan Tower

Here are my favorite Day 2 Photos during our quick Seoul Weekend!
Our first stop was the Bukchon Hanok (Traditional) Village. This is a sloping district filled with houses which date to as far back as the Jeoson era… I think I vaguely remember that that’s one of Korea’s first powerful Emperors. Families still reside in this village of old (and some not-so-old) houses although some have been converted into homestays, spas, and cafes. It was a Saturday and so many locals and tourists were also walking around with us! But there were many corners to explore so it never felt too crowded… plus everyone was quiet, as amply instructed by many signs reminding us that it’s an early Saturday morning and that people DO still live in this village after all.
This was such a beautiful series of steps, but at the top there’s a sign that says, “do not enter.” So just a picture of the stairs.
We got to wear hanboks again! I chose to wear a pink type of dress which is worn for special occasions ex. guesting at weddings. The two girls manning (haha) this place were so cute and helpful. They dressed mama and I up and took our pictures and invited us to walk around all their rooms. Aaah all the Koreans we met on this trip were really so nice! Koreanovela feels talaga! ^_^
Actually when we were there, there was a sequence for a music video being shot! I just saw a lot of girls dancing but I didn’t know who they are 😦 but I didn’t manage to shoot them because everything was so fast. Right after the take, the crew took all of 3-5 minutes to wrap up, roll away everything, jump into vans, and hie off. As someone used to long shooting hours for TV work, I was so impressed!
Random prettiness on walls.

Flowers for the then-upcoming White Day! I’m familiar with Japanese people celebrating it but I didn’t know Koreans (and even Chinese at that) celebrate it too. I think it’s such a cool concept and I wish we practiced this reciprocatory idea here in our country too. Who says only girls should get gifts huh?

Other sights on the way out, on to our next stop: 
Deoksugung to witness the guard changing ceremony! That was cool too though we recorded that on video. Here’s Ranie posing with the very stern guard minutes before his reliever, uh, relieved him.
Next: Myeongdong shopping district!

Or so we thought.
Although I was very, very determined to shop, one look at all the weekend shoppers took all of my enthusiasm down. On my own I’d probably elbowed it out but I know Mama and Ranie would not stand (or walk) for it. It probably wasn’t worse than HK or Divisoria crowds, but then again, it really just wasn’t worth it for a couple of phone cases (especially when we’d already stocked up on cosmetics from other stores/districts). So we just sort of passed by Myeongdong before deciding to just get coffee.
Really good red bean cakes shaped like fish. 🙂

And then it was HI to this tower. Hi, as in HIGH! It’s Seoul’s highest point, the N Tower! Long line up, but the cable car ride was fun.
The view from the observation deck. 360 degree view of the city, so cool.
On the lower level of the deck were the famous padlocks which various lovers have placed their promises upon. Namsan was filled with couples, it was all really very sweet to watch. Not really so jelly because I had two loved ones with me, that’s one more than the average!
Yours truly freezing up as a possum (oops did I say I didn’t have the heart to shop in Myeongdong? I managed to acquire a possum sweater before we left! Haha #profastshopper). Layered it because the weather suddenly dropped come nightfall! I couldn’t stand it as well as Ranie and Mama. Wah.

Warmth came by way of a dinner at a beautiful hidden restaurant (it really is hidden!) back in Insadong.
*Edit:
Looking back at our photos and doing some Googling, I found out that this restaurant’s name is Andamiro and it’s actually quite recommended by people as a romantic spot. I agree it’s quite a mood-setting place… if we hadn’t been tired and if it were just us as a couple it would indeed by quite romantic haha! But I stand by our opinion re: the food… maybe we’re just spoilt. Or we ordered the wrong items. Or just were tired by that time. But yes, I think in hindsight it was quite a nice date place (sorry had to keep spouting that).
The food was so-so (sub by Ranie’s estimate), but the oldish interiors and the great wine selection (they had floors of it) made up for it. We just wanted to try out what Western food tastes like here (OK we were just looking for the first warm place, got into a corner, found this). Food in Korea is pricey, but transportation and most other things are affordable so I guess it was OK to splurge a little!
And yup that’s about it! This is the pretty walkway outside the restaurant! At this point I was seriously freezing and could barely manage to smile. And they say it’s spring! What!
After this we were so grateful to crawl back into our heated ondol beds! 🙂 Day 3 and then I’m done! Or actually more pictures on my Instagram follow follow follow! @kristamgarcia 🙂

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