Inwangsan, Gyeongbokgung, Bukchon Hanok Village, Insa-Dong

Wow, another great day! More steps than ever, 25 000. But I am not surprised as we did a hike this morning. Then went on to walking around the biggest palace in this city, and then to the traditional Korean housing village and later to the traditional shopping-district of Insadong and a temple.


Today started with a bus adventure. Going ten minutes too far into unknown territory was exciting. But not too hard to just get on the other side of the road and go back. We followed a blog’s direction to this “extremely easy” hike up the summit of Inwangsan. But it started with the wrong name of the bus stop. It turned out fine eventually, many extra steps. The hike was mostly stairs, but it was steep and went a long way up (okay, only 322m, but still). The smog was worse today so the view wasn’t great (you can see it here), but it felt good to move around a bit again! I am so glad that it didn’t start burning in my legs during the hike, not at all. I think I finally have gotten some muscles, woho!

The hike followed the city wall all the way to the top and down the other side.
There was a military base on the mountain which had an air strike gun.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Once we got down, we took the Metro to the main palace of Seoul: Gyeongbokgung. It was huge, but looked basically the same as the other one we went to. We saw changing of the guard in the first courtyard, right after the big gate, which was uneccessarily big, but I guess the King during that time had money and wanted to show off or something. It was an impressive sight and the area was enormous with many buildings. I am a bit dissapointed that all the cultural places look so brand new. Probably because they are brand new since they all burned down one year or another. It is fun to see what they looked like back in the day, but it also doesn’t give the feeling of oldness like a lot of things do in Europe. It was very pretty still, I really find this type of architecture interesting and very beautiful so it was well worth 3 000 won (25 SEK something).

This 360 is in the main courtyard in front of the actual palace. All other buildings behind were living quarters and such. Here is a picture of what it looked like behind the palace.

One of the three big city gates.
Walking over water before entering the palace (and also temple) to cleanse the body.

Bukchon Hanok Village

There is a neighborhood in Seoul with traditional Korean buildings, called, Hanok, where regular people live today. Of course we had to go there to check it out. It was real pretty and right next to it were super modern and fancy houses. I wonder what that would cost. To live in a Hanok with a small inner garden would be so cute!

Insa-Dong and Jogyesa Temple

The last stop for the day was in Insa-Dong, on the way back to the hotel. They sold tourist-y stuff, but more traditional Korean stuff. I didn’t get anything, but they had really cute things like a metal wallet with incredible motives on.

While we were there, we went to Jogyesa Temple where you can go do a temple stay. Sleep there, meditate, relax, but get awoken at 4:30am… It was really pretty at night, many lights, so many flowers, all lit up.

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