Seoul - Day 1

by - 11:34 AM

I still remember I had a super duper busy day in the office on that Wednesday because I need to settle all the important task before I go for 8 days leave.  When I reached home at 5.45 pm sharp that evening, I went through my luggage one more time, re-arranged my stuff and clothes, checked if I left anything behind. I'm sure I put in all the necessaries and with a smile on tired my face, I turned to Ina and said "Ok, you can lock this bag!"

Everything went on smoothly, Azmi helped to sent us to LCCT, we had our quick dinner there, our flight took off as scheduled and I dozed off the moment we took off.  If it was not because of the turbulence, I might had slept through the 8 hours journey. 

It was 1 hour before we landed in Incheon when I remembered something. "OMG, I think we left our toothbrushes at home!!" Of all stuff, I didn't bring our toothbrushes!! Ok that was not cool at all. But it's ok, we can always buy when we reach Seoul. *sigh*

My tired but happy face. We landed safely at Incheon International Airport and this was at 6.19 am
Incheon is one of the largest airport in the world. With the modern facilities and cleanliness, no doubt it was rated as the best airport worldwide by Airports Council International (ACI) for seven years in a row (2005 -2012) Congratulations!  

How to get to Seoul City from Incheon International Airport?

By Arex
I planned to get to Myeongdong city by Korail Airport Railroad (Arex) which will take around 43 minutes to Seoul Station and the cost will be 13,300 per person.  From Seoul Station, there will be a free shuttle bus services to Myeongdong, Dongdaemun & other major hotels in Seoul. I just need to present my Arex Express Train ticket receipt when boarding the bus. The bus will stop at Sejong hotel in Myeondong. 

By Airport Shuttle Coach
Looking at our luggage that morning, I don't think we want to take the hustle to go in and out the metro station and take the shuttle bus to Myeongdong. So I decided to take the Airport Shuttle Coach to Myeongdong.  At least I don't need to hop in and off the bus. The ticket counter is just outside the arrival hall. Just inform where you want to go. The platform number and coach registration number will be stated on the ticket.  The ticket price is around 7,000 per person and the journey to Sejong Hotel will take around 90 minutes.

Airport Shuttle Coach
Finally, after a few wrong turns I'm here at Namsan Guest House

Too bad our room was still not ready by the time we arrived so I decided to take a shower at the guest house's office. After a light breakfast we headed out to Gyeongbokgung Palace.

We were lucky to get to experienced the Guard Changing Ceremony
Gyeongbokgung Palace

How to go to Geokbokgung Palace?
Take metro Line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station. Exit #2

Admission Fees : Adult 3,000, Children 1,500

Operation Hours : March - October 9.00 - 18.00


After the visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, I tried to locate Samcheongdong for their famous shaved ice but we ended up at Insadong instead! Hahahahahahaha.. I'm still wondering how did we missed the junction? Too exhausted to turn back, we stopped at a bakery to have our lunch.

Can you see the cafe on the upper right? It's called Miss Lee Cafe 
Too bad we was too full when I discovered that was the cafe featured in 'We Got Married' (reality variety show)   This is where Jung Yong Hwa of CNBlue and Seo Hyun of SNSD had their meal in one of the episode. I did put this cafe in my itinerary because I love the cute interior but doubt that it will be easy to locate.  Ohhh I should have be more alert because it is quite easy to find. You can see this cafe from far before you enter the Insadong main street.

Ice shaved topped with red bean and almond for 7,000 won 
Insadong Street. I managed to get few cheap souvenirs here
Very cute miniatures sold here. Got scolded for snapping this photo! Hahahahha
Always love the traditional design cafe here
Ssamziegil. One of the must visit in Insadong

The open concept of the Ssamziegil building
We are allowed to write a note on the wall so I left mine
We headed to Changdeokgung Palace next.  We almost gave up on this because we went to the wrong turning and got lost.  It was actually very easy to find, around 10 minutes walk from Insadong. Just go straight ahead and the palace will be on your left.

Changdeokgung Palace
The interior
I was sooooooooo disappointed because we didn't managed to get into the Secret Garden. We reached around 5.30pm but the touring session (with a tour guide from the palace) into the Secret Garden ended at 3.30pm. An admission into the garden without the tour guide is prohibited. UUwarrgghhhh!!! But we decided to revisit if we have the time later

How to go to Changdeokgung Palace?
Take metro Line 3 to Anguk Station Exit #4, walk towards Biwon for 5 minutes. You will see the palace on your left.

Admission fees : Adult 8,000, Children 2,500 
English tour into Secret Garden : 11.30, 14.30

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