Seoul Day 1
The first day starts with nescafé and toast, it’s cold so I stay in bed until 9am!
I head to the nearest sight, Jong-myo shrine. One is only allowed in with a tour and I just missed it so I continue towards Changdeokgung Palace finding a small and pretty temple on the way.
I have to take a tour there as well, it lasts 1,5 hours and is very interesting.
After that I stroll around a bit an take the back extit that goes directly into the Changdeokgung Palace area.
It’s a big park but not too many buildings so I’m not tired and head towards Naksan Park.
I can’t find the alley where the steps start so an old lady brings me there. She’s so fast running up and down small roads to put me right at the bottom of the stairs. People are very fit and every few minutes inside the park there’s fitness area with plenty of work out machines, and they are in use!
Following the city wall I end up at the Eastern Gate and the Dongdaemun Shopping Complex. It’s a huge market full with fabrics, I nearly get lost in there and find a coffeemachine with 20 cent coffe and a bench outside. Nice break!
I walk towards Namsangol Hanok Village with a stop at a 7eleven for noodlesoup in the sun and the building site of the Design Plaza.
The village is intersting, it’s an open air museum with everything still in place as it used to be.
In the back of the park there’s an exit and the trail climbs up through Namsan Park towards the tower.
Weather’s not great, drizzling and higher up even snowflakes, but still, the vistas are fantastic!
You get a feeling how big the city is, it’s spreading just everywhere! Skyscrapers and hills.
As it’s getting late I’m taking a direct route home making a detour to Myeong-dong cathedral.
Dinner’s another noodle soup as I’m much to tired to hunt for a place with an English menu!
The sights of day 1:
Daegaksa Temple: close to Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace: constructed 1405 to 1412, destroyed by fire during the Hideyoshi invasion, restored 1610, renovated 1907 and home of Korea’s last king, Sunjong.
Members of the royal family lived here until 1989, since 1997 it’s an UNESCO world cultural heritage
Changgyeonggung Palace: built 1484, destroyed by fire 1592, restored 1616, again destroyed 1830, restored again 1834 and renovated 1986
Naksan Park city wall trail: the eastern border of the old town the Naksan hills now feature a great park, viewpoints and fitness areas, the wall was originally built 1396 is 18.6km long in total and many times renovated
Heunginjimun Gate: the eastern gate of the 8 gates from the old town, originally built 1397, this one’s from 1869
Dongdaemun Shopping Complex: the world’s largest market of fabrics and clothing meterials, I nearly got lost in there!
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (not open yet): a brandnew landmark designed by Zaha Hadid, will be home to a design museum, fashion design center and space for exhibitions
Namsangol Hanok Village: traditional Joseon dynasty residences (built 1860 to 1910) have been moved here from other spots in the city, complete with every day utensils and tool
Namsan Park & Namsan city wall trail: 273m Nam-san (South Mountain) was formerly Seoul’s southern border
N Seoul-Tower: 236m high, the 10th tallest tower of the world, finished 1975
Myeong-dong Street: famous shopping area
Myeong-dong Cathedral: gothic style cathedral, 110 years old