Pt I: Prologue
Pt II: SIN – KUL – ICN
Pt III: Day 1 – Itaewon, Namdaemun, Myeongdong & Namsan Park
Pt IV: Day 2 – DMZ Tour
Pt V: Day 3 – Seoul Museum of History & Lotte World
Pt VI: Day 4 – Gwanghwamun, Cheonggyecheon & Bukchon
Pt VII: Day 5 – Insadong & Dongdaemun
Pt VIII: ICN – KUL – SIN
Pt IX: Epilogue
Took some more shots of planes after arriving at ICN:-
AirAsia X used the satellite terminal (only Asiana and Korean Air used the main one) and we would need to take the skytrain to the main terminal.
What awaited us at the immigration were the long lines. Apparently morning is peak hour for plane arrivals at ICN.
Since we hadn’t eaten since the previous evening, we got breakfast before traveling to our accommodation in Seoul.
We also purchased T-money (2500 KRW each for the card and additional 10000 KRW for stored value), Seoul’s version of EZ-Link card, from one of the 7-Elevens at the arrival hall.
One of the strange things that I discovered about ICN: there’s a cinema in the airport train station!
It was still quite cold and I was glad that the seats inside the trains were heated.
Following the instructions by the owner of the Airbnb property, I called the phone number when we arrived at Itaewon station (around 1.5 hours after departing ICN). Mr Im met us at the station’s Exit D and brought us to our accommodation.
The location of the house is pretty convenient with the metro station less than five minutes’ walk away and there are several restaurants and a supermarket along the way.
The owners were still cleaning up the place when we arrived but they finished shortly after and left after giving some instructions.
The house have three bedrooms and they are named Room A, B and C.
Room A is self-contained with its own kitchen and toilet and can be rented on its own.
Rooms B & C are rented out together and they came with a living room.
The location of the washroom and kitchen was a little weird though and they could only accessed through Room C.
Although the house didn’t seem as big as I initially thought, it was a comfortable place to stay for a few days. The owners provided us with towels, shower gels and shampoos for our use and the kitchen was equipped with kitchen utensils as well. There were also two washing machines for us to do our laundry. The rental of the place cost us around S$180 per night, which was very reasonable in my opinion.
After settling down, we decided to go out for lunch. It was a typical Korean eating place just round the corner from our accommodation and we just picked our dishes based on pictures and the limited English words on the menu.
It was the first time my cousins tasted authentic Korean food and it was a good sign that they didn’t complain. I thought that it was pretty decent meal at 45,000 KRW or approximately S$50.
We would only get going after our post-lunch nap and the first place that we visited was Namdaemun market. Our choice mode of transport was the very efficient Seoul Metro and getting to Hoehyeon station required a change of lines at Samgakji.
Namdaemun market was a bustling place with many shops and shoppers but nothing really caught our fancy.
I was given advice that we could take the Namsan cable car from near Namdaemun to N Seoul Tower, located at the top of Namsan. Since we were in the vicinity, we decided to take a uphill walk and pay it a visit.
There’s a lift at the foot of Namsan Park for those who didn’t want to walk to the cable car station like us.
There was a huge queue for the cable cars and the tickets (8000 KRW per person) to them at the lower cable car station but the wait was no longer than twenty minutes in total.
Couldn’t recall exactly how long the cable car took but I was quite sure that it was no more than fifteen minutes.
In the end we didn’t pay to go to the top of the tower and were contended to take photographs around it.
The girls found a new friend – Haechi.
Namsan offered pretty great view of Seoul’s urban sprawl.
N Seoul Tower is also the place in Seoul where couples place their love padlocks.
The couples who put their love padlocks here are not limited to Korean ones.
By the time we left Namsan, sun was already setting in the horizon.
Made a pitstop at a 7-Eleven and tried the famous banana milk recommended on a travel program on TV.
It was still a little early for dinner so we first took a walk around Myeongdong, Seoul’s premier shopping area. Along the way my mom and sis picked up some skin care products (cheap compared to Singapore’s prices).
When it was dinner time, we popped into a restaurant which sold Andong jjimdak (Andong-style chicken). We ordered two different types; one original version and one with seafood.
The food was alright but the seafood wasn’t the freshest. The portion was too big as well and the six of us were not able to finish them.
Someone was very excited about her purchase when we got back to our accommodation.
This concluded our long first day in Seoul.