Seoul Day 9: Palace

The weather averages -18 deg this morning. It was biting cold and we really felt like staying in today. It was the second last day though and we still have not covered some parts of the city.







A sketch of an ondol house that we went to.


Our second last day in Seoul. A super cold day indeed.

Seoul Day 5: Sunrise at Seoraksan, Sokcho

We checked in Kensington Stars Hotel, Seoraksan the day before. Although the hotel was quiet and old looking, the environment was stunning. Situated very close to nature, we both woke up with the sunrise filtering in through the glass windows. Magnificent!

We didn’t see much of this view last night. It was dark, no city lights in here, although it was full moon, we were not able to see the details. In the morning, we could even see the frozen stream.

The Kensington Stars Hotel is just a short 5 mins short walk to the Seoraksan Park entrance.


Made our way to the Cable Car Station.

It was a cold windy morning, and the cable car ride was suspended momentarily.

We waited for the strong wind to subside and was duly rewarded.
View from the cable car. We could see the Kensington Stars Hotel and further back in the distant is Sokcho city.


The relatively easy stairs climb.

More views along the way.

Some places were out of bounds. Ice on ground. The climb start to get tougher as we walked to the peak.

So, this is where we are. Mount Gwonggeumseong .









Checked out the hotel with a heavy heart and left for Sokcho City.




Autumn in My Heart was shot here. I have no idea about the movie or drama.


After some quick stroll around Socho City we made our way back to Seoul.

At the rest point, I bought something called a Walnut Cake. I loved Walnuts and I loved cakes. So it was a simple choice. But no, it was a flour puff with red beans. I don’t quite like red beans. Back home, it will either by Cheese, Choc, Peanut but never red bean. Walnuts? None at all, It was red beans filling and the puff flour looks like walnut.

In this cold weather, anything warm and fresh in our stomach felt heavenly.

And yes, it was the famous quirky toilet bowl, common in North East Asian countries. I’ve encountered these when I visited Taiwan back in 98. And yes, I still forgot and threw my toilet paper right into it. I ran off as I saw the toilet bowl beginning to stutter and crank.


We arrived at Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal,  made our way to the metro station, walked quickly to Sokcho Hotel, located near Hongik University. The winds were cold and harsh. The area was truly vibrant place even at midnight.

We missed Seoraksan peace, quiet and fresh air though. Should have stayed there longer.

Seoul Day 1: Arrival

 In the plane heading to Seoul I finally watched my 1st Korean movie, Marrying the Mafia 2. Funny indeed, in fact I loved it. Should watch more Korean dramas and movies from now on.



 As usual, I hate airline food. Should have just ordered fruit platter as usual.

As we were reaching Incheon International Airport, we can see the snow capped mountains and frozen streams and some ice blocks at the sea.



Smooth landing at 4:30pm. It was cold. Yahoo! Our 1st winter, excited.

We were supposed to take the Airport Limousine Bus 6015 costing 10000 won pax. There was a Transport Information Center booth at the exit. I can see the Bus Ticket counter from inside the Arrival Hall. Since the girl manning the booth was looking chic, I just proceeded to ask her for directions. She spoke English well, very well. I guessed this trip will not be difficult at all. I stepped out to to the bus ticket counter to buy the bus ticket. It was awfully cold. The famous ahjumma attempted cut in my queue.
Nice try ahjumma! I was well trained in Singapore by the makciks in Geylang, nyonya of Chinatown and aci and bangla in Serangoon. I’ve been warned about the ahjummas, so I was prepared.

The bus driver was not too courteous but very responsible. He went around checking that we had our seat belts on. It was a bad jam out there, and it was getting dark. I do hate to arrive into a city at night, as it is kind of difficult to orientate myself. I noticed cars and vehicles were switching lanes all the time, even much more than in Singapore, KL or Bangkok. It was like “the lane is faster on the other side” mentality is worse in Seoul.

The bus alighted us right in from of our Best Western Premier Kukdo Hotel. Check-in was a breeze and we received 2 complimentary BB cream. Our hotel looked into another office building, but we can see the Namsan Tower from here. We slept for the night. A very cold night.