Monday, April 27, 2009

Seoul, Korea (Day 6)

After breakfast, in our itinerary is to visit Gyeongbok Palace. Built at the beginning of the Chosu Dynasty when the Yi Dynasty moved the capital to Seoul, this palace remained the main seat of power for Korea kings throughout much of the time to the present. Gyeongbok means Shining Happiness.

The main gate (Kwanghwa-mun) separates Gyeongbok Palace from one of the busiest areas of Seoul. Gyeongbok Palace was built as the primary palace of the Chosun Kingdom by its founder, King Taejo in 1395, the fourth year of his reign. The palace compound is very nice with its cherry blossom. With its cool breeze and serene scenery, its so nice to take pic.

After the palace, it is a walking distance to National Folk Museum - comprises three interconnected buildings. The three examples of traditional Korean architecture on the roofs are some of the highest buildings on the palace grounds, and can be easily seen from almost anywhere. Inside the museum are examples of the different periods of Korean history, from pre-history through the Japanese occupation. In addition to actual relics, replicas and paintings show various aspects of traditional life, including many ceremonies and festivals. Jungang Hall, in the center of the three wings, is used to showcase various exhibitions that change periodically

Next visit place is passing by Blue House - Office of the President of the Republic of Korea. Its the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea. We are not allowed to stop the bus or to take pictures because the South Korean is very strict with the security.

After lunch, we went to visit the Ginseng factory, their ginseng factory is fully controlled by their government biro so no bargaining as d products here is fixed price. Initially i thot there wud not be anything interesting there but we end up buying a promising Ginseng Mouisturiser for the face after the given tryouts.

Next stop is to the the Amethyst Factory, not much of an interest for me, didn't buy anyting here too. But managed to go the the food stalls juz outside d factory, took pics and tryout its puff-balls. Here its called 'Kaya Ball' but in Seoul, the filling is a sweet walnut paste. Not bad and its only KRW2000.

Another stop is to Namdaemun local market. Just a few minutes from Seoul’s ancient namdaemun Gate (Sungnyemun or South Gate) is an open-air market and is close to the downtown area and to deluxe hotels, which have the very best selection of merchandise in the nation. Namdaemun Market is also the Nation’s wholesale center and virtually anything you want can be found here.

Just opposite Namdaemun market is Myeongdong Fashion Square. Myeongdong has been the trend setting center for Korean Fashion. Here are more than 50 shops carrying apparel, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry, restaurant, etc… You go crazy with all these markets cos there's juz so much to shop here. If u come to Seoul, this is a MUST visit!!

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