Although we were stunned by the cold and had planned way too many activities, more than we could accomplish, we tried to make the most of our vacation!
Throughout our stay we used Seoul’s subway system. Prior to our trip we mapped out the places we wanted to go and which lines we needed to take. I was still a little nervous about using the ticketing machines, but when we arrived I realized that all of the machines had an English option. Unlike our Japan trip, Korea’s subway system was so much easier and a pleasant experience.
On our last day, we decided we needed to cut some of our plans and just do what we could. We woke up late, grabbed some breakfast at Joy Café in Sinchon, and hopped on the train to Gyeongbokgung Palace. We arrived just in time for the English tour to start. This palace was incredible, even more than Deoksugung. Despite being in the middle of winter, the beauty of the palace grounds remained. We walked with the tour group to the King’s quarters, to his Queen’s room, to the pavilion, concubine quarters, and tons of other small buildings. I love the architecture, trees, and pond. We learned about the meaning of the dragon to Koreans and the importance of the Yin and Yang.
From here we walked to the neighborhood of Insadong. We heard that we could pick up souvenirs, but we ended up also getting tons of snacks for ourselves! We tried the street food, soju, and walked around aimlessly. There are tons of art galleries here, too! Korean street food is a must! Peter and I shared a long, spiraled fried potato stick. Peter tried the corn dog with french fries fried into the corn bread. It was all delicious and an experience not to miss. I wish we had more time to explore all the little side streets. It’s a lot calmer and aimed more towards tourists than Hongdae.
Speaking of Hongdae, we headed back there for our last night in Seoul. One of my favorite things about Seoul are the coffee shops. There are many regular coffee shops, but my favorites were the themed cafés like the Hello Kitty Café, the Cat Café, and Mustoy Café. We spent the evening at Mustoy Café painting figurines, listening to calm music, and drinking orange juice. It was the perfect way to end our busy but wonderful trip to Seoul, South Korea ❤