Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Adventures in Seoul, Korea: Day 5

Day 5 out of 7~! As usual, we woke up a bit behind schedule and quickly ate breakfast in our room (oh the amazing things having a kitchen in your room can do.. warm eggs and toast mhm mhm~!) before we headed off to see the Guard Ceremony at Deoksugung Palace. The palace is located pretty close to the City Hall subway station and wasn't hard to find, so we arrived just on time to see the ceremony starting. It was actually quite cool to watch the guards standing on their horses or in line and it was a pretty elaborate process with a speaker explaining what was going on during each step (in both Korean, Chinese, and English!). After the ceremony, we took some pictures, got a waffle from a nearby shop that's supposed to be pretty popular, and headed into the palace. Admission was only 1000 won for adults and 500 won for children (ages 7 - 18)! I really enjoyed looking around at the palace and the architecture and we took a good amount of photos. There was even an app that my mom downloaded that you can listen to so as to have a self-guided tour - pretty nifty if I do say so myself.

This horse kept derping and moving around and the guy sitting on top of the horse was like super annoyed haha.

The yummy waffle we got from the nearby shop~! It was super tasty and I would definitely recommend you check it out if you stop by :)

City Hall~! Located right next to the Palace (well across the street but still really close). We didn't go look at it but I'm sure it's somewhat interesting haha.
After the palace tour, we moved on to Namdaemun Market! This market is known for it's more traditional items and wholesale products so we didn't buy too much but mostly just looked around. We did eat lunch in the market which was absolutely delicious, but that's about as much of the photos that I got. I think I was too distracted just enjoying myself to take photos :)

Ginseng chicken soup
Traditional Bimbambap
My favorite ... Seafood Pancake~! This was sooo yummy :)
After our lunch, we walked around a bit more before we went to go find "Sillo Fire Pot Sauna JimJilBang".. This is a Korean bathhouse or sauna, however you call it, and was something I had been looking forward to the whole trip. It was a bit hard to find and we did get lost, but thanks to the kind folks who knew a bit of English, we managed to find our way there. It's located behind a supermarket and up a hill and you should see the giant red sign saying "Fire Pot Sauna" from a good distance away. (Sorry I wish I could give better instructions but I don't remember exactly sigh -_-) The sauna was a great place to relax in the indoor hot spas and the "hot room" or "cold room" or "marble room".. there were just so many different things to try out! Okay, sorry if that makes no sense at all but basically the Sillo Fire Pot Sauna is a bath house with separate shower rooms for men and women where you can stay overnight (!!) if you want. There are also lots of different special rooms where you can take naps in that are supposed to be good for your health or skin (ie. a salt room that was literally filled with huge chunks of salt and you could rub yourself with it and it felt superr good :D). If you're interested, click here to get linked to their website. We spent the rest of our afternoon at the sauna, relaxing and resting our tired feet and bodies from all the walking we had been doing on the earlier days. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos because well you have to be completely unclothed and naked in the shower rooms and everywhere else I didn't want to carry my camera around so I had locked it up in a locker. However, I think their website has a ton of great photos and probably a much better description haha. You could even get your nails done or get  massage (kind of awkward since you're naked imo, but hey if you're cool with it then go for it!) but you had to pay extra for those things so we passed on it.

After our relaxing time at the sauna, it was basically night time so we headed off to Seoul Square to check out the famous giant LED screen building and eat dinner. Turns out the LED show really isn't that cool.. I'm not even sure what it was supposed to be since it jut showed faces of a bunch of random people.. (you'll see in the photo below) so we quickly got bored of it and went into the shopping mall. The mall is pretty nice, but more importantly, has an awesome food court haha! You order your food a registrar and then they give you a number and you pick up your food from a certain "booth" when your number shows up on the screen. I was really craving Kimbap so I ordered that and my sister ordered an omelet while my mom ordered another soup (didn't get a good picture of it though D: )

After dinner, we decided to get an early night's sleep and headed back to our hotel in Myeongdong. Day 5 was definitely one of our more relaxed and chill days, but I'm glad we did have a more calm day to rejuvenate our bodies for the last upcoming days of our trip! Sorry if this post wasn't as interesting as the others (I know I'm lacking in photos sigh), but hey, the spa took up a good chunk of time and was fun fun fun~! Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed and come back for Day 6~!

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