April 2, 2014

Seoul Day 4 ~ National Museum, Gyeongbokgung & Seoul Folk Flea Market

Hello again!
This is about my forth day in Seoul. Time is running but I got used to the life here. Today's schedule is full again. I planned my day after the announced guided tours at the places I want to visit. So first I went to the National Museum of Seoul where a guided tour would start at 10:30 h. An exit of the subway just lead to the entrance of the museum so I had no problems in finding it.

National Museum
It was quite huge. There were many signs leading towards 'Exhibition Hall' and 'Tickets', so I first I searched the ticket counter... but I found any O.o
So inside the Exhibition Hall was an information desk, even separated in Japanese, Chinese and English. So I asked the 'English lady' first 'Where can I get a ticket?'; her answer: 'You don't need any ticket, it's free.' I must have looked at her like she's a ghost or something... but she wasn't kidding. At once she also adviced me of the guided tour which would start in 15 minutes. So I put my bag in a locker and just took my camera with me, I waited in the entrance hall till the tour would start. When someone was standing at the meeting point who looked the guide I talked to him. I was right and an older man would do the tour. Surprisingly I was the only one taking part, so I had my personal guide^^
So besides the information about the museum and Korean history and culture we could have a little smalltalk as well, that was really nice and relaxing. The tour took one and hald an hour and was totally interesting! He really told some interesting details about history, some Korean manners and religion (buddhism, konfuzianism and christianity).
The most impressive thing was the big stone pagoda in the middle of the museum.

stone pagoda
After the tour I also took some time walking around by myself. I explored the section about the Buddhas more and there was also an exhibition about other Asian cultures like Japan, India and the Middle East.
It was already 1 pm and at 3 pm the guided tour in the castle of Gyeoungguk would start. So I had lunch in a little shop near the museum. This time I really found a dish which wasn't hot spicy: rice with black-bean sauce. But of course you could Kimchi as a side-dish for free XD It was really delicious.

my lunch
From the museum I took the subway to Gyeongbokgung. It was just about 2 pm so I decided to also take a view in the National Palace Museum in front of the palace. I got the information that the tour in the palace would start at 15:30 h and that there would also be a guided tour in English in the museum starting at 14:30 h taking about an hour. So I already got my ticket for the palace and strolled around the museum and already took some pictures so that I can concrete on the tour later. In-time I was ready for the tour. This time an American family - the parents were originally from Korea and live now in San Diego with their two children - also took part. But it was very personal again. One of the girls asked many questions she was really curious. But it was funny and we got to chat a little. The guiding woman was also very relaxed and the tour was really interesting as well. She stopped in time because we told her that we all wanted to take the tour in Gyeongbokgung.

entrance hall

picture of ancient Seoul

So we arrived in time for the next tour. I must confess that Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung look quite similiar and what the woman told was quite the same in many aspects. But it was nice nevertheless and so I could contrate more on taking pictures during the tour so I would have more time afterwards for other things.

main palace

garden pavillion
But I was really exhausted so I hadn't got any motivation for going shopping on Namdaemun market. But I have read that there's a Folk Flea Market near my station so I returned to my area and decided to stop by. The market should have opened till 18:30 h and I arrived at the station one hour before... but I was too hungry and exhausted that I take a short break at a nice café and owe me a chocolate latte and a piece of mousse au chocolat cake X3

chocolate X3

But then I didn't even take 5 minutes to get to the Flea Market. It was huge hall and the market was spread over two floors. Unfortunately over half of the stands had already closed U.U

Flea Market entrance

view inside
But they really sold nearly anything: clothes, vintage, things for camping and outdoor activities, furniture and little goods, liquor and so on. There was even a little food court located but it smelled not so good so I didn't want to eat there.
But so I left with nothing. On the way back to my hotel I brought an onigiri and Matcha Icecream for dinner. Unfortunately I couldn't read what's in the onirigi, so I just took one. I prepared myself for Kimchi and tada ~ it was Kimchi taste XD

Matcha Icecream & Onigiri
I also bought a package of rice cake. I couldn't leave without having trastes at least one version of the famous rice cakes. There I took the ones which looked best *lol*

colourful rice cake
It has really an usual taste but it was delicious nevertheless. It was my snack while watching a super exciting volleyball game of the Korean Women League on TV ^.^

Tomorror will be my last day T.T
But I will meet Kim once again but first I have to try and get my luggage to the airport ~ somehow...

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