Sunday, March 27, 2011

Anguk and Insa-dong

A view off the Anguk subway stop.

Today was such a great day and now I like Korea even more! There is so much to see, so much to do and so much to eat! Thanks to social networking, I was able to join a Facebook group called ‘Discover Korea’. They invite you to various events around the country and this one was to visit the old style traditional Hanok villages. I met some great people on the trip and most people didn’t know anyone else before the trip so it was fun. I left my apartment pretty early because I wasn’t sure how long it would take. I actually arrived about an hour early and just walked around where the subway stop was before I met everyone. Most of the group was from the US, but one was from England, one from South Africa, one from Canada and a couple were from Korea.

Here is some of the group.

We first visited Unhyeongung palace. It was split up into the man area and the woman area. We were shown where they all slept and ate with some figurines. Above is Noandang where the men stayed. This palace was used during King Gojong’s reign and the name actually means a place where old men stay comfortably. This was his idea for the creation of the nation.

When King Gojong married Empress Myeongseong they used Norakdang to learn royal etiquette and have the wedding.

Then Irodang was built for the women.

Below is a kitchen 

This is Chinyeong costume which is worn at Garye, a wedding ceremony involving royal families.

We also saw Bukchon village and this beautiful house! It is modernized, but has the typical traditional structure and design. All the wood work was really amazing.

This is a guest house or hotel.

This bench is called 'Sharing a biscuit'

More of Bukchon

Seoul from the rooftops.

After, most of the group went to lunch at a typical Korean restaurant, which was really good.
After lunch we walked around In-sadong, which has a lot of traditional Korean gifts and souvenirs. It was really crowded because it is a tourist hotspot, but there was so much to see. At about 3pm most people were pretty tired so the group split off and I continued on with one girl who had been here for about a year and a half and she showed me more of Insa-dong.

Here is the only Starbucks in the WORLD that isn’t written in English. Starbucks wanted to put a shop in Insa-dong, but the area required the sign to be written in Hangul.

Those potato strings are so good! They cover them with parmesan cheese!

Leaving on the train.

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