Saturday, December 21, 2013

Korea Holiday 2013 - Day Twelve

After brekkie The Boy and I headed for Deoksugung which was almost the only palace open today. It was raining but not too heavily so we stuck with one small umbrella. Off to a great start as we alighted at the wrong station - my fault. Short walk around the area and I realised what had happened. Actually walked in the same area yesterday so I knew where we had to go.

Sweet potato yogurt - are you out of your mind?

Sungnyemun (South Gate) was open so we had a look. Carried on down to the palace in time to catch the last of the changing of the guards. Lucky. This palace is pretty basic and not so grand. There was an anti-nukes protest outside the gates so lots of police were in the vicinity.
Got to go and have a closer inspection of Sungnyemun
Changing of the guard
Love the period costumes
Very colourful display
The drum is quite well looked after
Bit difficult to capture them all in one shot
Time to go
Spot the tourist
Panorama of Deoksugung grounds
Fairly basic structures
The Boy showed a bit of interest
Love the eaves
I do. And the creatures on the roof are interesting too.

Gate before entering the main hall
Inside the main hall
I think one of the kings was born in this building
State-of-the-art, at the time
Now there is some wall-top decoration for you

Walked to Gwanghwamun for Yi Sun-shin's statue, past a monument for the 40th anniversary of Gojong's enthronement, Bosingak Belfry and Tapgol Park before having lunch at a Hong Kong restaurant - tangsuyuk (pork) and gun-mandoo. They gave us a seafood kimchi soup, perhaps because it had one piece of pork in it, for free. That food is much better in Perth but the fried noodles were great.

School kids about to do a video dancing to Gangnam Style - they stank
Admiral Yi Sun-Shin
The 40th Anniversary Monument of Gojong's Enthronement (1902)
Bosingak Belfry (from 1396)
Inside Tapgol Park
Tapgol Park's pagoda
Tangsuyuk and gun-mandoo
Couple of hours to kill so walked back to National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. I think it had only opened in the previous December. Some protest going on over the road and plenty of police buses and riot shields were nearby. Quite an interesting museum as the upheavals in Korea in the last 150 years that the people have had to deal with are nothing short of amazing. Didn't quite have time to see everything as we had to meet at the Myeongdong NANTA Theatre at 4:30 to collect the tickets. Beat the missus there by about one minute.

Riot shields
Taegeukgi - Korean National Flag
Lots of war memorabilia on display
Replica presidential office
The office overlooks another palace
Falun Gong protesting organ harvesting in China

Grabbed some Pocky and Pringles from 7 Eleven. Gave the guy W5,000, I'm sure, and he gave me change for W50,000. I tried to take only W500 change but he insisted that I take the full W44,500. Not sure what happened there.

NANTA Theatre show started at 5pm. Fabulous. Hugely entertaining. Worth every won of our discounted tickets. Very funny and entertaining.

NANTA Theatre in the Unesco Building in Myeongdong
A couple of the, ahem, stars of the show
After the show we walked along Cheonggyecheon which was very nice. It's a cleaned up stream with digital waterfalls, crossing stones, lights, etc. Used to be an eyesore neighbourhood but they've done a bang-up job improving it and making it a feature for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.

Crossing stones
It's like a park
Almost takes you away from the big city
Complete with waterfall
In the Gangnam backstreets

Did some shopping at Kyobo Bookstore, underground at Gwanghwamun, before heading home. Had a wonderful Japanese diner at Saboten (next to Burger Hunter). Only W3,500 - fantastic value. Back to the apartment to make plans for tomorrow. Then a late night walk around Gangnam - so many hairdressers and bars open.

Meal at Saboten - Japanese restaurant
Can't go past a prawn tempura

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