Sunday, June 15, 2014

Seoul & Busan April 2014 Photo Diary

Hello everyone!

I'm very excited to share with you my travel diary from my trip to South Korea! I say this instead of Seoul because I did get a chance to visit Busan for a day which was quite exciting. I didn't get to take pictures of all days, but I will try to be as concise as possible and let whatever pictures I have do the talking.

Our flight arrived at around 9PM there, so we didn't do much except for getting dinner at the 7-11 at our hotel and getting rest for the next day, which was rather full.

This was at Bukchon Hanok Village, a series of streets filled with traditional Korean houses with very picturesque views such as this. It was nice to just walk around at our own pace and take everything in, though we were feeling quite cold at this time.

Cherry blossoms! It was my first time seeing them and luckily, they were already in bloom by the time we arrived. 

We also went around Gyeongbokgung again, which is the largest palace out of the five in Seoul. This particular portion of the palace has always been my favourite, alongside the Royal Banquet Hall.

We didn't stay too long because it was freezing and we weren't prepared for such weather. Apparently we came in just at the beginning of what the locals called a 'fake spring', wherein the current weather was much colder than it should have been. It was about 8-9°C while we were going around, and since we were near the mountain, it was very windy! I should invest in a good coat next time.

We went to the National Assembly the following day to see the cherry blossoms. It was an entire street of cherry blossoms blocked off so everyone was walking leisurely and taking pictures. Like the previous day it was still freezing, but the flowers made it all worthwhile. That and the corndogs and array of street food waiting at the end!

As with Gyeongbokgung it was also quite windy, and whenever the wind blew, a lot of the petals would fall off the trees and swirl around before falling to the ground. It was almost like snow and was very pretty, which is why everyone went nuts and had their pictures taken every time the wind blew. It was very amusing to watch. 

Most of the stores and tourist destinations are closed on Mondays, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get out of town and see another place for a day. Busan seemed to be a pretty good idea, especially with the mention of fresh seafood. Yum!

We took the KTX to Busan, which is the fastest way as it would take 6 hours by car or bus otherwise. It is a high speed train and with it, cuts the travel time to around 3 hours. It's quite expensive to buy a ticket on the day itself or at the station, but foreigners can get a huge discount through this site by purchasing the 'Happy Rail Pass'. 

We only got to see Jagalchi Market and Gwangalli Bridge, but it was a nice change of scenery and even just for a day the difference between Busan and Seoul was interesting to see. I would definitely recommend visiting Busan, especially for the delicious, fresh seafood!

We came back pretty late at night, so we didn't plan on going anywhere far or too stressful for the following day. We had lunch and left for Cheonggyecheon Stream afterwards for another leisurely walk (though it may seem like all we did was walk, it was actually mostly eating and shopping!).

I've already been to this place previously (though I went at night the last time), but I find that its a very relaxing place to just walk around and think. It's also just quite relaxing and a big change from the slight hectic vibe of the city.

It is a little more than 8 kilometers long and starts from Cheonggye Plaza (which is very near Gyeongbokgung). We stopped at some point for lunch and then continued on until Dongdaemun.

Went to Banpo Bridge at night and it was just as beautiful as the first time I saw it, though the music during the show has changed. It has shows that start from 8PM and go on every 30 minutes on weekends and every hour on weekdays until 9. It depends on the season though, so it is best to check here

I haven't been to Lotte World previously (as we opted for Everland) but the concept is that it is an indoor theme park (except for Magic Island). I would suggest getting a Magic Pass though because the lines for the more popular rides are quite long, taking about 30 minutes to 2 hours in waiting time.

Since I wasn't able to last time, it was one of my missions to get a picture of Seoul at night, and the best place to get it is in Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower. I love night views of cities and somehow seeing this the night before I left was a good way to end my trip.

Thank you all so much for reading through my travel post! If you have any questions on how to get to these different places, comments, or recommendations on places to visit, feel free to leave a comment below!

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