Tuesday 21st June, 2016
On our second day in Seoul, we took a walk around Seoul Plaza which is situated in front of Seoul City Hall.
The new City Hall is an eco-friendly building with the world’s largest indoor green wall. It is also Seoul’s newest landmark.
As we visited quite early in the day, nothing had been set up on the grounds yet. However, there are mini concerts, outdoor exhibitions, flea markets and fun events on every day. During the winter, they also set up an ice-skating rink.
After a little wander, we headed across the road to Deoksugung Palace.
Originally built during the Joseon period, this historic palace played an important role in Korea’s modern history, serving as the backdrop for the Daehanjeguk, the Great Korean Empire.
Before we entered, we watched the changing of the royal guard ceremony that takes place every day at the main gate which is called Sumumjang.
Also it’s free to just watch the 20-minute ceremony so if you’re in the area, go check it out at these times: 11am, 2pm or 3.30pm.
It is the only palace among all the ancient palaces in Seoul to have a western style garden, fountain and modern royal palace, standing as the bridge between the old and modern eras.
The palace grounds are also home to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art but it wasn’t really my parents’ cup of tea so we gave it a miss.
Surrounding the palace is Deoksugung Doldam-gil is an ancient stone wall road that has been designed as one of Korea’s 100 most beautiful roads.
I literally can’t take my parents anywhere.
If you follow the walled road, it will lead you to the Seoul Museum of Art, passing some artwork on the way.
Album cover material 😉
I made some new friends.
They were really into rock music.
I wonder if anyone actually sees these, haha!
‘Thinking’ by Bae Hyung Kyung
There was a Dreamworks exhibition on during our visit.
Unfortunately, we found it a bit pricy so gave it a miss as there was lots to see in the museum anyway.
The free Dreamworks gallery was pretty cool, though!
The museum displays modern artworks by artists from Korea and around the world.
Mum and dad enjoyed this interactive little number 😉
Our next stop was the Seoul Museum of History.
Visitors can find out more about the life and culture in the early days of Seoul.
A father crosses a street with a pack frame loaded with a boy and family possessions – Jim Pringle (1951)
An orphan who lost his parents during the War – James Martenhoff (1951)
An American soldier and a Korean boy blow bubble gum (1952)
Children and mothers shield their ears as they watch soldiers fire funs – Fred Noel (1950)
Market – Herman Sander (1904)
I would definitely recommend a visit to this museum as it provides a really interesting insight into the beginnings of Seoul.
On our way back to the subway station, we passed Seoul Plaza again and as I mentioned before, they always have something fun going on and this time there was a mass yoga event.
Our next stop was Namdaemun Market, the largest market in Korea with loads of shops and street stalls selling clothes, household items and food.
The market is famous for its low prices. However, I wouldn’t recommend visiting this market unless you love buying knock offs and cheap-looking tat.
Seoul definitely has some much better markets.
For dinner, we decided to have a Korean barbecue outdoors which was pretty yum!
As we had to change at Seoul Station to get back to Janet’s House, we popped into Lotte Mart, a huge supermarket that sells groceries, daily essentials, cosmetics and much more.
I decided to pick up a few souvenirs in the form of bizarre snacks.
I can confirm that the Butter Caramel Pringles tasted pretty good and actually a bit like sweet, butter chicken!
Both the chocolate and shrimp flavours in the Chocolate Shrimp Crackers were pretty subtle but made for an interesting snack.
See you soon for day 3 😉