Apart from the "Seoul Downtown/Palace Course", there is another tour course being "Seoul Panorama Course". So, my third day is basically finishing up this course. This bus course covers area beyond hangang river and the stops are mostly have magnificent view of Seoul. Again, one day is not enough to cover all places.
From Gwanghwamun, I took the bus and get off at the second stop, Myeongdong. Here, I visited the Myeongdong Cathederal. There is a hill garden in front of the cathederal which you can climb for a more "scenic" option to get to cathederal (compared to the lame pavement which vehicles use). Inside the church, there was a serene silence with few attendees present making prayers. Behind the church,
there is a statue of Mary and a spot for you to take a kneel and pray. to the left of the statue is a cabinet which has lighted candles sold for 1,000 won. This candle can be placed in front of the statue. I've never seen/heard of this practice when I visited churches in New Zealand not from my Christian friends.
From the Myeongdong, I took the tour bus again and got off at Seoul Animation Center. The front of the center is decorated with statue figures from Korea's famous cartoons (and I'm familiar with none of them). Inside is pretty fancy, like an anime cafe in Japan. There are also cool interactive games which you can try out for free. It's pretty cool for children but I don't think teenagers and adults would love them.
|Neat little studio with cool interactives|
My third stop; Namsan tower. Okay, if you're looking for deal, it is better to take the Downtown-Palace cruise bus and get off at in front of the Namsan tower instead. The Seoul Panorama course bus stops at the cable car at the foot of Namsan hill. You can climb you way up as footpath is available or you could take the cable car which costs money too. My advice is to take the cable car up and walk your way down. I got lucky on that day as there was an event going on where there are actors that wore traditional guards outfit and there was also a booth which they allow you to try out Korean's Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) for free. In front of the water is the water fountain that shoots water from the floor, a turret and two decks which are filled with "love locks" like the one in Paris.
I had a lychee ice cream for lunch (which I will compensate with heavy dinner later) whilst eating, I met with another Malaysian and had a nice chat. From here I proceeded for Som Sevit. Som Sevit is a......convention center if I were to describe it. There were three buildings which stands afloat on top of Hangang river and next to them is a performance stage which is also afloat on top of Hangang.
I went to the top of one of the buildings and viewed a spectacular panoramic view of Hangang river.
After hangang river I took the last bus back to Gwanghwamun and visited the Gwanghwamun Gate.
I was lucky that I made it for the soldier change procession. The process takes about 10 minutes and when stationed, the guards stood tight on their spot like the British palace guard. Walking past the gate, there is a small building that allows you to try out guards uniforms for 5 minutes for you to take photos with. Too bad that they did not allow guests to wander around the compound and even inside the castle with the uniform on. I worn the captain uniform, particularly because of its bright colors and that it's the highest ranking officer uniform that I could worn. I walked around viewing turrets and walls around the site.
Late evening, I went to Dongdaemun to look for anything special for dinner. I found a restaurant with pictures of scene of Runningman members (popular Korean variety show) eating in their place. Cool, they have English menu but I end up eating only Egg Ramen. After spending enough time, I returned back to the Guesthouse, and had a chat with the staffs of the guesthouse before sleep. The staffs were from diverse backgrounds. Only one of them (other than the owner) were Korean. There were a Filipino, two German bffs, two American university students and an American Chinese who is a chef (and he's 21). It's interesting to learn that usually, the backpacker staffs are International students from local Korean universities. Working in guesthouse allows them to have free lodgings with additional pay as well. We chat about places of interests in Korea and back home, relationships and even what to do with our lives. The last bit was kinda deep as we were all in our twenties. Being with them made me appreciate how different the society expectations on its members can be. Good experience. Good learning.
Recently, I have been addicted to "Friction" by Imagine Dragons. Heard it from Ghost Recon Wildlands. It's been stuck in my head since.