Wednesday, 20 September 2017

SEOUL: Hangang River

We initially wanted to rent bikes and cycle around the han river, which I think is really the best way to get around here hehe. However, because some of us couldn't ride bikes, we didn't. Till next time, cycling!!

We started our walk at a not so popular park of the Hangang River near Yeuido Park. However, it was really peaceful as there weren't many people around.

SEOUL: Bukhansan National Park

We were not prepared for this hike. HAHAHA but no regrets :--) after weeks looking back at it. We didn't even climb up to the famous peaks hehehe.

There are only waterfalls and cooling streams near the bottom of the trails and mountains, so do experience refreshing water by drinking some and wiping your arms and neck with it. Feels so good while you hike up and the water evaporates from your skin wew.

This was where we should have gotten the memo that we had taken the hard route HAHA. All we wanted was a chill hike, what happened :')

Amazing that they have an exercise area along the hike up, as if hiking wasn't tough enough. You can't see but there's actually a mirror hung on a tree to the right of this exercise spot HAHA. Initially, I thought it was some kind of talisman to ward off evil but it seemed to big and non-decorative for that. So I concluded that it was for people to check if their hair was alright HAHA. But seriously, there are full body mirrors in train stations for commuters to check themselves out, which they do like it's normal. Pretty interesting sight!

A temple up in the mountains! 

Didn't take pictures of this part but we had to climb our way up using ropes HAHA. It was really fun like some sort of challenge course.

Doesn't look step but it really was heh! Professional hikers <AKA OLDER PEOPLE WHO ARE SO DOPE IN HIKING GEAR> had hiking sticks that allowed them to quickly maneuver themselves up and down these uneven rocks. 

This is the spot we claimed as our peak hehe. We ate our packed lunches, which consisted of egg mayo sandwiches, tomatoes, sausages and a kimbap from the convenience store. IT WAS SUCH A TREAT (check out them views below).

(okay sorry we didn't know but you're not allowed to sit on top of these heh) 

We were lost as how to get down from almost 700m above sea level, and we were tired af from climbing steep rocks. One of my friends also cut herself from having to climb up suing her hands. THANKFULLY, very kind uncles saw that we looked lost and they helped us navigate us to the nearest path back down. They literally deciphered where we were in maps and explained where to go. Bless kind old men THANK YOU! 


Walking down is way easier, but also way easier to slip too.

I think eating lunch on smooth rocks along the stream would have been awesome too hehe. It's really a sight to take in.

Not recorded down in photos is the tedious exit from the national park down to the nearest point where we could take a bus back to Seoul city. We were literally walking without a sense of how long it would take us to get out HAHA. However, along the way I noticed the same yellow bus pass by twice - once near the visitor's centre (which is nowhere near the town area) and once at the town area. So I conclude that there are buses for people to take in and out of the park?? Nonetheless, we managed to get out wew.

SEOUL: Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) | MMCA

First post from Korea, though it has been almost a month since I've arrived here hehe. It took a while to get used to living here: being on my own in a small basement house (haha not kidding); buying groceries; saving electricity; cooking meals; trying to dance; worrying about expenditure; studying and the list goes on. I think the fact that I am blogging kind of shows how life has been getting easier?? Though the only problem that remains at the back of my head ALL the time is the nkorea situation :-( the fear is r e a l. But okay, back to good memories made so far in Seoul!!!

One of the first few attractions we explored in Seoul was the all famous 
Bukchon Hanok Village.

side note: I was only prepared for Winter HAHAHA. The weather in Seoul from end August is still hot af - there are cooling winds, but the sun is relentless everywhere.

We had lunch at this dumpling shop, which is right at the entrance of the hanok village (though there are many entrances actually) - more specifically the one with a school right before the entrance. It was a recommendation from Van who came a few years back :--) NOMS

Looooook attt itttt. One thing I love about Korea is the relative cheapness of food here. I also think food everywhere here is meant to be shared (plus it saves more money to do so). It's quite nice because then people come together more easily to have meals and chat :) 

Also, realised that there is another of this dumpling outlet store in Hongdae - closer to Hapjeong if you continue walking down and past the club area.

Hehe, this is what I love about travelling/walking/impromptu plans. I wanted to visit MMCA (after my wonderful experience in Taiwan's MMCA) in South Korea but didn't really know where it was. After lunch we walked (literally 10 steps) and I saw this small cute lane on the left leading somewhere. I thought we'd just see some shops and head back to the main area of the hanok village but NOPE IT LEAD US TO MMCA HAHA. 

Another interesting and kind of lovely thing about South Korea is that you can find traditional architecture and modern architecture in the same place, all around.

THEN THERE'S A MOUNTAIN VIEW - SAY WHAT. It was a lovely day to be out walking.

This was a winning architecture competition piece on display outside the MMCA building.

I thoroughly enjoyed the contemporary museum, and my expectations from Taiwan did not fail me ^_^ There were artworks to admire and also some more controversial exhibitions that made me think more.

After that we (struggled) went to look for the Bukchon Hanok Village! One thing to note is that the whole attraction is a housing area. There is one famous street which is crazy crowded, plus there is construction going on at one part of the lane. 

There's actually an observatory where you can see a view of Seoul, but we didn't go for it because there was an entrance fee hehe. 

A cute charitable 'store' where you 'buy' what you want and "pay as you like!"
There wasn't anyone to supervise the area.

The famous lane! That's about it really HAHA but yes the architecture is pretty.