So, after the Temple Tour we joined the Highlight of Seoul City Tour. The course is good for 5 hours and highlights the must-see in Seoul.
First stop, Insadong. Insadong is a neighborhood of the Jung-gu District of Seoul. It is an antique alley which is lined with art galleries, antique shops, craft shops, pottery shops, traditional restaurants, tea houses and street food stalls. We ate lunch there, gladly an authentic Korean food!
The food was amazing! Me and my hubby love it! It has some distinct taste to it… and I don't even know the name of the food we had, hehehe! But this is not my favorite food while in Korea. My favorite is a street food, believe it or not! It is the Ho-tteok - a sweet Korean pancake!!!
This yummy treat is basically a cinnamon and brown sugar pancake, fried on a griddle. It cost a 1000 won, approx $0.90. I shared one with my hubby at first, but it wasn't enough, so I got another one.
And then another one… nyahahaha!
And, I am going to make one, now… I'm not kidding, I am looking on recipes on how to do this one now, hehe! But before that, I will finish this blog, hehe!
So aside from the gastronomic adventure, we saw some exciting and note-worthy finds while roaming around Insadong. This place truly exudes local and traditional charms-- so amazing, so authentic. An hour trip to this place is just never enough.
Next stop is Jogyesa Temple!
Jogyesa Temple is the head quarters of jogyejong sect, the main sect of Korean Buddhism. This temple was first established on 1395, at the dawn of Joseon Dynasty. This historical temple is located in Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, in central Seoul.
After a brief visit to Jogyesa Temple, we went straight ahead to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, a former seat of power, is probably the Korea's most famous royal palace. Its name means a palace greatly blessed by heaven. This was built in the late 1300s, and has been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times. It is located at the northern end of Seoul's main boulevard, Sejongro. It took us a good hour to tour the place.
It was a long, cold, tiring walk touring this place. This place is ginormous! And we have only toured half of it. Some parts of it are still under construction, some we refused to go into, hehehe! But, it was all worth it. It is amazing how the Koreans took pride in restoring and preserving this historical place making not only the Koreans, but also the foreigners understand the people, their culture, their way of life before and the power that this place exudes. Each of this structures showed how creative, innovative and skillful Koreans are. No wonder that a nation such as theirs is strong, dynamic and beautiful. Nothing changed with the way I look at South Korea. It will always be my dream home away from home.