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Posts Tagged ‘insadong’

Okay, so this is definitely outdated, but I was wayyyy too busy to blog in Korea.  So I’m going to do it now, back at home.  Everything is still fresh in my memory, so I’ll attempt to blog quickly within the next 2 days to get every thought down in this blog about my trip to South Korea ;D

Enjoy!

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The morning didn’t begin with much… Breakfast and then a lecture about the history of Korea.  I have to admit, the lecture was pretty interesting, if only it wasn’t rushed in an hour and a half.  I tried so hard to pay attention, but eventually, it became too confusing and jumbled up that I fell asleep.  By the way, I was still getting used to the small dorm rooms.  Still not satisfied with the atmosphere, I did not sleep well… tossing and turning and waking up every 2 hours or so.  uggghhhh I was so tired during the day…

It gets better >>>>>>> Following the lecture, we went on a Seoul City Tour!  First stop during the Seoul City Tour was the Chandeokgung Palace Tour.  It was a magnificent piece of architecture…  The palace was very ancient and had a traditional Korean look to it.  I was surprised that it survived for so many years!  The catch to this wonderful place was that the Palace was too large.  The tour took FOREVER.  Oh my, it was hot and humid and the sun was beating down on me as we circled the entire palace.  I could barely hear the voice of the guide as many people were talking and the sound of the sun was ringing in my ear.  No kidding, the sun was actually ringing with heat.  It was extremely hot… plus the soil everywhere made the place very dusty.  Again, the palace was beautiful, but the heat made the tour very unattractive.  By the end, I was dreading the long walks and looking forward to getting back on the bus, where there was air conditioning.  Finally, it came time to head to the Cheonggyecheon Stream.  (yesss!)

The Cheonggyecheon Stream was my favorite activity before the homestay and DMZ came along… but any who, the stream was awesome!  I was really looking forward to this beforehand because the location is so popular for its beauty.  For instance, the stream was featured in IRIS when Hyun-Jun and Sa-woo were running through the streets of Seoul.  lol I was so excited to be at the stream that I took many, many pictures.  The stream looked so natural and pretty… I mean, I’m sure it looked even more beautiful at night with all the city lights!  I also loved the scenery during the day because many Koreans were just hanging around the stream… mostly families with kids.  For example, I took a picture of a little Korean boy playing around in the waters!  It was too adorable to miss~  Another positive note was the coolness of the waters.  It was lovely to dip my feet into the cool stream after bathing in the hot summer heat all through the palace tour.

Next up on the schedule was the Blue House Promotional Hall Tour.  I’ll be honest, it was pretty boring…  What it came down to was that the whole tour was a dense political history lesson of Korea.  It probably would’ve been more interesting had I learned more during that history lecture… 😦

I waited until the souvenir shop… then things got fun because there was a Kyuhyun notebook and SuJu keychains and whatnot.  Way overpriced, I did not purchase any Suju items… But I did buy this keychain thing for my Dad to hang in his car! lol…

Finally, it was time to go to Insadong~ Insadong had many traditional shops with a multitude of cute items!  However, most things were way overpriced… and no bargaining either… Koreans don’t bargain with foreigners 😦

I hesitated and wanted to buy so many things!  But in the end, I didn’t buy any items such as wallets, posters, fans, etc…  Midway through the shopping, rain became extremely heavy and oh boy… couldn’t move anywhere!  When the rain became lighter, my friend Shoshana and I started to head back to the bus before we were late.  On our way back, these guys behind a counter called out for us to watch him… Confused at first, we refused and said that we were not interested… Yet, he was persistent and asked us to please watch him… So we did… oh my gawwwszzz, he and 2 other guys put on a great show on how to make “kkultarae.” lol “Kkultarae” is a traditional Korean sweet in which honey and malt is stretched into many thin strips… then it is filled with peanut, almond, or walnut.  The performance was so amazing, I could not resist but to buy a box!  I bought the peanut one and man can I say, I definitely do not regret buying it! haha~ After we started watching, other kids from the program started to come over and eventually it was a party lol~  Here’s a video of basically what I saw… unfortunately it is not mine… I could not film it because my camera battery was running out! 😦  But this video I found on YouTube is sufficient…

So back at the Global House, I spent the night eating kkultarae and relaxing… well actually, I showered first because I was drenched in sweat from the palace.  It happened to be movie night too… “200 Pounds Beauty” was showing and I really wanted to watch it… but I showered for too long… Since I missed the beginning, there was no point in showing up later on… so I just went to bed… *sigh* I’ll find it on the internet and watch it… woo!  So that was Day 3!  This was only the beginning… more fun to come later!

I forgot to add in that for lunch, we had chicken stomach stuffed with sticky rice and ginseng.  A little afraid to eat it at first, I was so glad that I DID eat it… because it ended up being extremely yummy.  It took a long time to make though so I waited a really long time for my meal… but it was worth the wait.  *slurrrrpppp*

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Credit to National Geographic

More than ever, I am anticipating the trip to South Korea this coming August.  Less than 2 months away, I am actively planning out everything. In the midst of this planning and searching, I found an itinerary of the trip.  Now, the following pictures are not mine… I just found them on google images.  So, apparently, this is a rough outline of what is in plan:

1st stop:  Shinchon Tour

Shopping, walking, sightseeing, etc.  around the Yonsei area.  Oi!  I’m most excited about the shopping… There’s nothing a girl would like better than to shop in the fashion center of East Asia~!

2nd stop: The DMZ Tour

A little historical touch~ I’m so excited to see the famous DMZ line.  Time to visit the area separating N. Korea and S. Korea with my very own eyes…

3rd stop: National Museum of Korea

I haven’t even been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, yet I’ll see the National Museum of Korea first!  LOL… this is sad… I live right in NY too… Well, art is a beautiful thing that I would love to spend the time to observe… since I have never had the chance to do that in a respectable museum… yet. 😉

4th stop: Cheonggyecheon Stream

So, I’ll get to walk along the river… and from pictures I’ve seen, the stream is absolutely beautiful.  Yay!  I’m so happy that I’ll get the opportunity to visit the lovely waters… I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures… And I know some of you may think that it’s just water, but I think it’ll be prettier than some of the polluted bodies of water that I see here in America…

5th stop: Insadong

From what I know, Insadong is a cultural center.  I’m sooo looking forward to this because the area is filled with shops of cultural items.  The pictures that I’ve included here almost look like the Chinatowns and Flushings here in NY.  LOL… this should be exciting… I’m almost expecting Insadong to be the authentic version of Koreatown (which I’ve never been to).

6th stop: Gyeongbokgung Palace

Wahaha~ traditional palace of Korea!  Definitely highly anticipating this one!  The ancient architecture should be fascinating and anything traditional is usually pretty cool…. !  Probably lots of Korean history… lies in this palace.

7th stop: Homestay

Wooo~ this is as good as abroad goes!  Living with an actual Korean family and experiencing their culture and lifestyle hands-on is awesome!  I’ll be Korean for a few days, with a Korean family and all!  hahah~

8th stop: Hanok Tour

More tradition! … as a Hanok is a traditional Korean Village!

9th and final stop: Taekwondo Class

I’ve never flipped in the air.  No somersaulting, no flippies, no cartwheels, no nothing.  Taekwondo will be my first flip in the air (along with my other firsts in Korea).  H-a-p-p-y!  I’ll learn some cool moves and come back to the U.S. ready to kick some butt! HIIYYAAAA!

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In all, I’M PUMPED FOR THIS TRIP~

I’ll actually be experiencing lots of “firsts!”

Plus, on top of everything else, Big Bang‘s comeback is in August!  Yay~!

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