Day 11 - Insadong, Deoksugung, Lotte Mart and dinner with our Korean Friend
We wake up today and thinking our journey in Korea about to end in several days more. I’m very sad of leaving here and back to work life in Penang. We heading to Insadong today. We took Line 3 at Euljiro (3)sam-ga station and stop at Anguk Station exit 6. Actually from our guesthouse to here, it just take approximately 15 minutes walk but we take subway about one station stop. After exit from the subway station, walk straight about 100m and will come to a traffic light junction. There is the Insadong. We saw the information counter and mobile tourism information people here. We walk along the Insadong street and we come to Ssamziegil.
Ssamziegil building is a very unique building. From the entrance (as the picture below), you will have to goes on the right, there is a staircase. Walk up the staircase and slowly walk following the corridor. We notice we are at the second floor. We continue to walk along the corridor and we at third floor. The building design is very unique as we just have to keep walking and eventually we will go up the floor without noticing.
Without us notice, we had reach to the top of the building. We took few pictures and head to the ground floor. At the side of the building, there is the basement with 2 unique staircase. We tour around the ground floor and basement before proceed to walk around Insadong.
After spend about 1.5 hour here, we proceed to Deoksugung palace. We transfer from subway nearby to subway Line 2 and head towards City Hall station exit 2. This will be the last palace we going to visit and the reason we place came here because it is near to Lotte Mart. So after this tour, we will be heading to Lotte Mart for shopping. Deoksugung is also another unique palace where we can see hybrid of traditional palace and modern western building. The western building was the place where the king rest.
Everyday here will have the guard changing ceremony. We arrive here around 1PM and the next changing ceremony will take place at 2PM. We quickly tour around the palace and took few pictures. At 2PM, we head to the entrance and witness the Royal Guard changing ceremony. This ceremony took about 30 minutes.
We also took few pictures with the staff here. After taking few pictures, we head towards the Lotte Mart located near the City Hall. Lotte Mart is a tax refund mart for foreigners. We stop by to shop for some goods like wine, foods, cosmetic products, and some souvenir. I bought the Maxim Coffee Mix and the Brown Rice Green tea for the souvenir for office. We pack those stuff in the box provided by the Lotte and carry back to guesthouse.
On the way back we are quite hungry but tonight we will be meeting our Korean friend again. I’m thinking of maybe ramen in 7-eleven but my wife want to eat Jajjangmyeon so we stop by the same Chinese restaurant again we ate yesterday. This time my wife order two different Jajjangmyeon and a plate of dumplings. We ate until very full. Then we head back to guesthouse to take rest while waiting for our friend to arrive. In the meantime, we begin to pack our stuff into the luggage.
Around 7PM, our friend call me and he is coming close nearby. We quickly get ready and go down to meet up. We pass him some Jeju chocolate as souvenir from Jeju to him. He walk us around and ask us what we want to eat. We told him that we want to try makchang (pork intestine) as it is difficulty for us to find. We walk around Jongno street and found a shop selling grill makchang. He ordered for us a set of pork heart, makchang and gopchang (pork stomach). It was delicious but it is quite full for us as we just took a big bowl of noodles 2 hours ago. We chit chat and talk a lot about Korea culture.
I told him about the incident in Jeju where i was stopped by police. He told me that I was super lucky as I’m a tourist and it could take about 2,000USD of summon. He told us to drink a lot tonight because he called for the car driving agents to fetch him back. In Korea if we drink, we are not allow to drive even just a single sip of alcohol. So there are this agents that will come to you and drive your car back to your house/hotel along with you. Once they dropped you and your car, they will find their own way back. This is something very special here. It is not cheap but it is way more cheaper than getting a summon.
He also told us that in Korea, they have this believe that odd numbers is good and even numbers is not good. So on the drinking alcohol must be odd numbers instead of even numbers. If we drink soju, it have to be 1 bottle or 3 or 5 bottles. Not 2 or 4 bottles. We drank 1 bottle of soju here and he bring us to another restaurant where we ate fried chicken gizzards. We had makgeolli here.
Our friend, H.S.Yoo. He is a very nice guy and friendly.
He ask us to try cross arm drinking. We quite enjoy our self tonight. After eating and drinking here, we proceed to last restaurant for another round of food and drink. We ordered pajeon (seafood pancake) and makgeolli. We drink and eat until very full. We walk back to the guesthouse at 11PM and wait for the agents to come and fetch him.
It was a very nice evening where we enjoy our self. My wife vomit terribly in the guesthouse toilet since she is not a good drinker. After some vomit, she lay on the bed and sleep like a baby. Since I’m still very full in my stomach with so much foods, I continue to pack the luggage before going to sleep.