Jun 8, 2016

Korea Travelogue: Guide to Dongdaemun & Places To Visit In Seoul.

Today's writeup features bits and pieces of my Korean holiday, scattered out and about Seoul.

My Korea Travelogue Series:
Part 1: Myeongdong Food Guide & Surrounding Eats
Part 2: Guide to Gwanghwamun Square & Surrounding Attractions
Part 3: Guide to Hongdae & Surrounding Attractions
Part 4: Guide to Gangnam & Surrounding Attractions
Part 5: Guide to Dongdaemun & Surrounding Attractions
Part 6: 2D1N Jeju Island Travel Guide

Covered in this writeup:
Places to visit: Jongmyo Shrine, Gwangjang Market, Dongdaemun, Noryanjin Fish Market, Namsan Seoul Towers, Lotte Duty Free Mart,
Food to eat: Beesket, Jin OK Hwa Original Chicken Restaurant
*Trust me - the Korean names below would come in handy when you ask the locals for directions.*

Jongmyo Shrine [UNESCO World Heritage] (종묘 [유네스코 세계문화유산])
Getting There: Jongno 3-ga Station (Line 1 Exit 11) or Jongno 3 Tapgol Park (Line 5 Exit 7,8)
Address: 157 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Admission Fee: KRW1,000

That morning, the plan was to do a quick stopover at Jongmyo Shrine, snap a couple of photographs from the outside, then move on to Gwangjang Market for lunch. 

When we arrived, we found out that an English guided tour was about to begin. Being the only guided tour we had in this trip, we gave that a go, and ended up spending the next hour or so listening to the history behind this UNESCO World Heritage site.

There were no one else apart from the 10 of us in the shrine at that point in time - serene and peaceful like that. One word to summarise it all: Tranquility.

I'd highly recommend the tour for those who have an ear for history, and not so for those who have an attention span of a goldfish, like me. Though it felt draggy, the tour was very informative.

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
Getting There: Jongno 5-ga station (Line 1 exit 8)
Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

We strolled to Gwangjang Market for lunch after that, which took us about 10 minutes walk from Jongmyo Shrine. They have all the traditional Korean street food here and not the fancy-pancy ones in Myeongdong night market.

Some of the must-eats in Gwangjang Market that I sampled include, Mungbean Pancake (KRW4,000), Pan Fried Pork Pancake (KRW2,000), Gimbap (KRW3,000), Fish Cake Soup (KRW3,000), Toppoki (KRW3,000) and a chilled Korean Barley Rice Drink (KRW1,000). Everything tasted delicious! I missed out on the raw octopus this time round, next time perhaps.

It could get extremely hectic during peak breakfast and lunch hour, thus eating while standing is highly probably.

Dongdaemun Shopping Town
Getting There: Dongdaemun History And Culture Park Station (Line 2, 4, 5 Exit 14)
Address: Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul.

Now, I wasn't a huge fan of Dongdaemun - too many buildings; too much of the same things. At the end of the day, I didn't buy anything nor did I spend much time walking around. Needless to say, 24 hours or not, it didn't make much difference to me. Again, for shopping, I'd very much preferred Ewha or Hongdae instead.

I don't know if should say yay or nay to this ATM.

Beesket (비스켓)
Getting There: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park station (Line 1, 2, 5 Exit 1 or 2)
Address: Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park, 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul.

After all the walking, we stumbled into Beesket Juice Bar, located underground of Dongdaemun Design Plaza. My 100% natural custom-made Beesket Juice (KRW6,400) consists of orange, carrot and yoghurt, which was pleasant but felt really expensive to be honest. Having said that, I felt that the concept was interesting and fun, something which we don't have yet in Malaysia.

Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari (Jin Ok-hwa Original Chicken Restaurant) (진옥화할매원조닭한마리)
Getting There: Dongdaemun Station (Subway Line 1, 4 Exit 9). Go straight 160m and turn left at the Industrial Bank of Korea (기업은행). Go straight 50m and turn onto the first side street to the right. Continue 100m straight until you see the restaurant. Alternatively, hop off at Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1 Exit 6). Refer to map.
Address: 18, Jong-ro 40ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

For dinner, we dropped by Jin Ok-hwa Chicken Restaurant, a place which came highly recommended by some of my fellow friends. We had quite a tough time locating the store, hence my advice is to approach any of the English Speaking Guides in the area, and ask for directions. Maps didn't do us much good this time round.

The main highlight of the restaurant would be the 35-day-old fresh young chicken, or Dakhanmari (KRW20,000), which we had alongside a portion of Noodles (KRW1,000). The meat was tender; the soup was wholesome; the experience valuable. The overall dish reminded me of ginseng chicken soup. But to be honest, I didn't find the dish particularly interesting or tasted anywhere near fantastic - it was just okay.

Noryanjin Fisheries Wholesale Market (노량진수산시장)
Getting There: Noryanjin Station (Line 1 Exit 7)
Address: 674 Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea. 

On a seperate occassion, we visited Noryanjin Fisheries Market - out of pure mistake. 

Our intention was to head to Hongdae for some last minute shopping but we took the wrong train and coincidentally ended up in Noryanjin instead. It was a waste not to drop by. 

There're two sections to the market - wet and dry - we visited both. There were plenty of fresh seafood on display, most were repetitive, and some of which I've not encountered before. My advice for those who have no intention of having a seafood-licious meal here - I'd give this place a pass. We were off to our next location within half an hour of stepping on wet puddles.

Namsan Seoul Tower (N 서울타워) 
Getting to Namsan Cable Car: Myeongdong Station (Line 4 Exit 3). Go south along Toegye-ro 18-gil street to Pacific Hotel and turn left. Walk along Toegye-ro 20-gil street until you see Ministop. Turn right to walk along Toegye-ro 20-na-gil street.
Admission Fee for Namsan Cable Car: KRW8,500 (Return) KRW6,000 (Single)
Admission Fee for N Seoul Tower Observatory: KRW10,000

The visit to N-Seoul Tower was during our first day in Seoul, the day when the weather was not cooperative.

Despite the drizzling skies, we walked to Namsan Cable Car which took us up to Namsan Seoul Tower. With the mass of fog clouding visibility that evening, we decided against the idea of going up to the peak of the towers. At least we saw a smudgy Seoul Tower from below right?

Lotte Duty Free Mart - Seoul Station Branch 
Getting There: Euljiro 1-ga Station (Line 2 Exit 7, 8)
Address: 30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. 

I'm dignified snack junkie - that's right. I'd lugged 10kg worth of snacks on my own and walk kilometres back to my hotel room, rearranged my luggage just so there's space to fit all of my bloated potato chip bags in one, then dragged the damn-fragile bag up and down the airplane and safely back home. Oh yes, it was all worth it. 

Hence, for my fellow friends who enjoy snacks as much as I do, Lotte Duty Free Mart is your heaven.

After dinner at Myeongdong, we took the train to Lotte Duty Free Mart. The supermarket was jammed pack with people, mostly eager tourist wanting to purchase trolleys-full of groceries to bring home. The best thing about shopping here - taxes are redeemable and deductible at the counter. No need to go through the hassle of redeeming at the airport. Like everyone else, I bought months-worth of snacks back home.

Tip: Pack your goods in the boxes provided at the counter, check that in at the airport, and taped it as fragile. Also, there's a KRW1,000 (RM3.50) charge for plastic bags. The boxes are free.

Next, 2D1N Jeju Island Travel Guide.


  1. What's wrong with that ATM machine? o.O

    1. Nothing wrong! Haha. just that it'd look super chunky like some 1800's ATM machine lol. Either it's super advance or super behind. lol. Or maybe it's not even an ATM machine.


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