Itinerary #DAY2 Traditional and Culture Experience in Seoul

As you all know, Seoul is the capital of South Korea. Seoul is a huge metropolis where modern skyscraper, high-tech subway, and futuristic building design are located. But, Seoul also has some temples and palaces which culture can be found in this metropolis city. So, in my second day in Seoul, I tried to visit some of them and tried a culture experience through renting a hanbok.


1. Rent a Hanbok

For you who did not know Hanbok, Hanbok is a representative example of traditional Korean dress in Joseon period (Joseon was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries). I had an experience when I went to Japan, there are a lot of Kimono and Yukata (traditional clothing of Japan) but it was so expensive for renting them on the spot. So, I searched some information about hanbok renting and then… I found a cheap hanbok renting through trusting application. The application is Klook, and I booked two hanboks in “Oneday Hanbok Rental” (this is the name of rental place) through this application. I booked it when I was in Indonesia (before went to Seoul). So, if you want to do like me, you can directly click this link Klook – Oneday Hanbok Rental

Well, back to my itinerary, we left our hotel at 08:00 and arrived on time at 09:00 in Oneday Hanbok Rental. This rental is located in Bukchon Hanok Village. So, it is very easy for exploring Bukchon Hanok Village and going to Gyeongbokgung Palace (near from Bukchon Hanok Village). In Oneday Hanbok Rental, you only can try three times clothes, if you want to try more, you should pay extra. Well, luckily we went to this rental in early morning, because when we back at the afternoon to return the hanboks, there are a lot of visitors, wew! So, I recommend you to come here around 9am, so you have more choices and feel more comfortable.  

Oneday Hanbok Rental
Because I cannot take any photos inside the rental, I just show this picture. I will upload more (when I was wearing the hanbok) in the next blog post which will talk about Gyeongbokgung Palace).

I tried two times and after that we directly going to Gyeongbokgung Palace. For your information, if you go to some temples using hanbok, you can get in with FREE!! Yuhuuu~

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Main gate Gyengbokgung Palace
Who did not know this famous gate? Yes, most of you saw this gate through movie like Goblin, etc. This is the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, but I did not come inside through this gate. I went to this gate to see a performance by gatekeepers.

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings’ households, as well as the government of Joseon.

Gyengbokgung Palace
The second layer gate, after main entrance (Gwanghamun Gate) before King’s home.
Gyengbokgung Palace
Absolutely, the King’s home be a center in this site.
Gyengbokgung Palace
Every single spots will be look like this, lol. If you have a tour guide, it will be better, they will explain to you the each function and history of this building.
Gyeongbokgung Palace
I do not know what it is. But it looks like traditional folk housing. I guest, it was servant housing.
Gyeongbokgung Palace
I do not know why this site was closed for visitors when I visited this palace, but I saw some pictures in google which taken by visitors and the could go inside this spot, hufth.. Well, at least I can take some photos from the gate of this building. This is like a house with small lake.

Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north in Seoul when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the largest of all five palaces.

The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located on the eastern side within Hyangwonjeong.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
The National Folk Museum is behind this building.

When you are planning to visit this place, there are some information that should be you knew (others information will be written in another blog post):

  1. Their operating hours are 09:00 – 18:00 (except Jan – Feb and Nov – Dec they only open until 17:00. They open almost every day, except Tuesday.
  2. Admission for international tourist: Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won and Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won. But FREE, if you are using Korean traditional clothing, hanbok.
  3. Performance times:
    Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony
    10:00, 14:00 / 20 minutes per ceremony
    Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
    11:00, 13:00 / 10 minutes per ceremony
    Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate)
    09:35, 13:35 / 15 minutes per ceremony
Gyeongbokgung Palace Gatekeeper
Gatekeepers always stand in front of the main gate during operating hours. They will change and do a performance on schedule like i said above.

Anyway, if you want to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace from Bukchon Hanok Village, you can just walk 10 minutes and going inside using the east gate. But if you are going to this palace from other places, you can click map below. (map)


3. Bukchon Hanok Village

Leaving Gyeongbokgung Palace, we still have 1.5 hours before time to return our hanbok, so we explored Bukchon Hanok Village. But, because of Gyeongbokgung Palace is a huge palace and we tired walking for 2.5 hour without taking a rest, so we just did a little tour in Bukchon Hanbok Village.

I felt a little regret. Bukchon Hanok Village is a unique village in this modern years. This calm and peaceful Hanok village (Korean traditional buildings) will give you a special view of old of South Korea in the middle of metropolis Seoul.

Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to “northern village,” came about as the neighborhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture.

Not only sightseeing, in here you can also do shopping, eat some locals or western foods, etc. Going to the north part of Bukchon Hanok Village, you can find Samcheong-dong where you can find more café, shops, and others. But, I was not going to there. After strolling Bukchon Hanok Village, we directly went to the rental to return our hanbok and looking for our lunch. It was already 2pm! (sound like a boyband from Korea, right? 2pm! Lol)

Bukchon Hanok Village
Some restaurant in hanok. Unfortunately, they all full when we came, maybe because it was lunch time.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Pop modern street in Bukchon Hanok Village which are shops and restaurant not only for tourists but also for local workers.

4. Gwanghamun Square

Actually, the best ways to get here are before going to Gyengbokgung Palace or after visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, because this square is located across the main gate of Gyeongbokung Palace. But, because we rented hanboks in Bukchon Hanok Village, we should entrance and exit the palace through the east gate. If you are planning to do like me (you are going to Bukchon Hanok Village), you can use bus 종로11 (bus with green colour) from Bukchon Hanok Village transit at Gwanghamun Square to get bus no 7016. Before you get into the next bus, you can take some pictures in this square, because I you can take the next bus free if you transit not more than 15 min. So, you have 15 min to take some pictures. For us, it was more than enough.

Gwanghamun Square
The famouse statue in Gwanghamun Square. Adorable!

5. Tosokchon Samgyetang

Thanks to Ria SW who recommend this place, yuhuuu~ If you want to know who she is, just click link in here (youtuber Ria SW). So, what’s make this place special Ria? They make the foods from 4-years ginseng and they produce their flavors by themselves. Is it Halal? 100% Halal!! 

Tosokchon Samgyetang
Tosokchon Samgyetang also in hanok (traditional housing of Korean). It looks like small when you saw outside, but when you go inside…. it is huge!

Even though one has to wait to enter during lunch time, do not worry about long wait as the restaurant is spacious. They have some huge rooms and many waitresses. Not only the food was so tasty, I also love the architecture of this restaurant. I think I will write in another blog post for detailing this restaurant.

Tosokchon Samgyetang
One of Tosokchon’s room. hommy~
Tosokchon Samgyetang
You should know! There are some rice inside this chicken’s body. How’s come? Do not think much about it, let’s eat! haha

This is the location of Tosokchon Samgyetang (map). They are located on west part of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

6. Ewha Woman University Street

Why I came to here? Did I want to register a new school period in here? No, I did not. Ewha University Street is a famous fashion shopping street, so people call it Ewha Womans University Fashion Street.

Ewha Woman University Fashion Street
In this area, you will surrounded by pretty noonna and ooenni~

This district features a number of stalls lining the streets selling fashion items, such as clothing, shoes and accessories, for young women. It offers a distinctive shopping experience, with all the fun of a “shop-crawl” from stall to stall and store to store along the narrow alleyways. I bought some clothes, in a shop “Star 101”. It is located on the lower ground in Line Friends Café and Shops.

Line Friends Shop and Cafe
No, this is not the fashion shop which I meant, lol. It is a Line Friend Store that I mentioned above.

If your hobbies are fashion and shopping, just go to this place and Hongdae Street. I recommend it, every single shop sell a lot of fashionable clothes with affordable price.

After walking a whole day, we just had a dinner near our hotel and took a rest for tomorrow. So what’s next? Stay tune!


Ria Sitompul

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instagram: riasitompul

youtube channel: Ria Sitompul


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