Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 3 in Seoul, South Korea (FINALLY!!!!!!!!!)

Okay, so again I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time...and lastnight I realize I have to
do this ASAP before I start forgeting things about my trip u_u 

My Monday (aka Day 3) started EARLY, it started at 6am -it's early when you are on Vacation, isn't it?-, I
woke up at 6am because I had to get ready to leave JoAnna's house at 7am and meet my 2nd Host at 7:15am, I'm glad his house is close to JoAnna's and I didn't have to take the subway...yay!!, so at 7am I was ready to leave and JoAnna's bf Sangyun*** was kind enough to help me with my laugage and then told me where should I take my Cab and also wrote the instructions on a paper for me to give to the driver, phew!!!, the driver was a very nice older man who helped put my suitcase on the truck and then off we went to the National Medical Center close to Euljiro4ga subway sation where Jeff will wait for me , I got there at 7:16 (the cab ride was about 4-5 min) and it was just $2,600 KRW!(It's about $26.00pesos), I met Jeff and we walk 1 block to his house, where he had to give me a password to open the building door and then another one for the Apartment door, I knew I was going to do something wrong whenever I had to use the door by (but I didnt!), we walked in and left our shoes on the entrance (by now I was used to take off my shoes and I would tie my shoe laces anymore...), he showed me "my" room and then the rest of the appartment, he lives on the 4th floor and has a nice street/park view, I specially liked the Kitchen (I'm a cook so I have a thing for kitchens, ok?) so Jeff if you are reading this and you ever need a Roomate...Call me!!!! -lol- Ok, so after he showed me the apartment he gave me a purple cake for breakfast because it turns out his Bday was the day before!!, after we had our cake he took a shower and then we went out because he had to go to work and I...I didn't have any plans yet but I went with him... his building it's just a few setps from Euljiro4ga station so it was really convinient to take the subway, we went to Samseong station where I took off and he went to his office.

I had to take Exit #5 at Samseong station, once outside I realized I was on my own and I didn't know what to
do...Oh! and it was also freaking cold!! so I just sat in a bench while I figured out what to do, since I didn't really know where I was I went to a bust stop to check out the map, turns out...I DON'T know how to read a map!! lol, so I just started walking, I passed the Grand Intercontinental Seoul Hotel (Fancy pantsy!) and I turned around (I was looking for a "mall"... at that time I didn't know I was looking for the COEX mall) so I was walking and saw a Sign pointing to a Temple, GREAT! now I have something to do!, before getting to
the Bongeunsa Temple I passed the Korea Air City Terminal, Hyundai Department Store, KEPCO Headquarters and Gangnam Fire Station...(I just remembered that I DO NOT have pictures of this day :( , when I came back to Mexico I realized the picture files of this day were damaged and I didn't have enough pics of this day...SAD I know!! I was pissed when I realized this...but well.. maybe that means I have to go back to Seould to take more pics, right? ;D )... so... back to the Temple

The Bongeunsa Temple is a buddhist temple that was founded in 794 during the reign of King Wonseong by the monk Yeon-hoe. A fire in 1939 destroyed most of the buildings, and other parts of the temple were destroyed during the Korean War. Fortunately, one of the very few halls which escaped destruction during the Korean War continues to hold the woodblock carvings of the Flower Garland Sutra.

The place is amazing, the old contrast with the New buildings like the COEX Mall, I went there early (around
9am) and I didn't get to see the buildings on the inside since most of them were holding a service at the time, but I got to walk around the place, the gardens and I almost crash with a Monk when I was walking around... I was there for about an hour, it was peacefull and quiet so when I found a bench I just sat there next to an old man and relax for a bit while I decided what to do... after a lil while it was time for me to move on since i was freezing, when I was about to go I found an information booth (wich I didn't found when I enter the temple) and I saw they offer a "Temple Stay Program" and also you can go in something like a "guided tour"...  but it was only on Thursdays and I already had lots of things proggramed for that day *insert sad face here*...anyway I left the temple feeling calm (Weird... I know!) and somehow relaxed, I crossed the street and went straight to COEX Mall, I was sort of hungry and I found a McDonalds (Yup, the name was writen
in Korean!) but I didn't eat there since I figured it would be the same as every other I decided to
explore the COEX mall... turns out.. it's HUGE, I only walked trough the 1st floor and I was TIRED lol, I
shopped a little, went to a bookstore because I needed a Korean/English dictionary and when I was tired of
walking I decided to go for a cup of tea and rest a bit, I wanted to go to the movies but there were only
"American" movies and I was not interested in watching an American movie in I went to the 7Monkeys coffee , it's like a Starbucks only cooler cuz it has a Monkey!! lol, I had a Cold Green tea while I sat there and watched all the people passing by, by the way when I got to the mall (around 10:30am) there was alot of people @ the Movie Theatre,,, I thought it was weird to be at the movies so early on a monday.... also I felt weird because everyone there was a couple and I was all alone, I would soon realize that Couples are all around Seoul, you most likely only see people alone when they are going somewhere (where they will meat their "other half" probably lol), when I finished my Tea it was arund 1:30 so I still had around 5 hours to burn because I had to meet Jeff close to his office at 7:15 outside exit 5 of Seolleung subway station and I thought it would be a "good" idea to walk around and see what I could find... again...NOT such a good idea, because it was COLD outside (remember...I'm from "sunny" Mexico...) and since I could only find the Hyundai Department Store I decided it was time for me to sit down on a bus stop and check my maps and books to see what else to do...I finally decided to go to the 63 Building, it wasn't that close but 5 hours was enough time, I went to the subway and it took me about 3 mins to figure out where to go... I had to go from Samseong Station to Sindorim Station (Line 2), from there I had to transfer to Line 1 to go to Dae-bang station, it was quite easy to transfer from Line 2 to Line 1, this line is more like a Train than a Subway, finally took me about 1hour 20mins to get to Dae-bang station where I had to take the Yellow Bus, I was a bit lost when I got out of Dae-bang sation so I had to ask where the bus stop was (and I was actually standing right there...duh!). I took the bus and since I didn't know how long it will take to get there I had to be very carefull,finally there it was a Shiny building!!, I took off at the 63 bus stop and walked to the building where AGAIN I didn't know where to go, after walking around a bit I found the ticket booth and got my ticket $12,000 KRW to go all the way up to the observation Deck (63rd floor). To get to the 63rd floor I had to take an express elevator with a panoramic view of Seoul, there was a Picasso Exhibit but I have to say... The Panoramic view won my attention over the exhibit... it was AWESOME!, you can see up to 50 km around Seoul (on a Clear day...), I took tons of pics there (the ones I aparently lost :( ), I even took pics of the bathroom because it was really nice lol... on a corner of the Gallery the floor is made of crystal ... I HAD to stand in there!! I'm not the kind of person who is afraid of highs but I was a tinny bit agraid of standing there, lol, but I did it! at the end of the Exhibit you can find the Wishes Wall (???) where you can hang a paper and write a wish or something, of course you have to buy this Shaped-paper, but it's only $1,000 KRW (about $10 pesos) so I went and got a Heart-shaped paper and wrote my wish, after taken a final look at the view (from the exit side you can see the Norgaying market sadly I didn't have time to go because it was almost 5pm and I had to go back to meet Jeff since we were supossed to go have dinner with one of his friends... *insert another sad face here* but at least I got to see it!, right? it was so weird to see all those things like "for Real".... anyway... I took the express elevator again and walked out, I went to the Han River just to take a look around and then went back to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the subway, I was really hungry but didn't want to eat anything because we were supposed to have dinner with Jeff's friend, this time it was ALOT easier to use the Subway and transfer to line 2, I just had a small problem when trying to exit on Seolleung station because I don't know what I did wrong when I passed my T-money card to exit because it charged me again lol, I was lucky because there was a Policeman there and he let me exit trough another door and he must have seen my OMG-I-Think-I'm-Lost face because he asked where do I wanted to go and showed me where to go hahaha, I got there before 6 so I had some time before meeting Jeff... so I went to the Dunkin Donnuts outside Seolleung station and texted Jeff I was going to wait for him there because it was really cold outside. About 20mins later Jeff came to pick me up and since his friend cancelled dinner we decided to go back to Jeff's house and cook dinner :) yay!, we took the subway again to go to Euljiro4ga. Jeff cooked bulgogi, rice and cucumbers and I cooked pasta with a "whiped" cream that was not whiped enough because he didn't have a whisk or a fork...but it was good, after dinner I went to "my" room to get everything ready for
the next day because I was supossed to take the Seoul City Tour Bus...oh! it was that night when Jeff told
me he was going out of town on a bussines trip O_o ....I thought I had to move out of his place but he was
really nice and said I could stay at his house :O since I already had the password and everything (Thanks Jeff!!) After a lil while Jeff came to the room and handed me a bunch of info about the Seoul Tour Bus he downloaded and printed, isnt he nice?... after that I went to bed because I was exhausted u_u after such a LONG day...

Talking about LONG...this was a long post isnt it? can expect more of these soon... lol hopefully with
pics to go with it! :D

The following are ALL the pics I have of this day :(  . I was gonna google for pics of the 63 Building but it hurts too much lol
Temple Entrance

Do I look funny or what???

That looks like a cabbage, but I don't know what it is.....



-Gisela V.


  1. I did the overnight temple stay here, it was great, but a bit hard on the knees when you do the 108 bows.

    My mom and my friend did the several hour long temple stay program and really like it when they came to Seoul. They just happened to be there at the right place and the right time for when it started!

    Hope you enjoyed!

  2. I did, the place is awesome and so calm, if it wasn't because you can see the big buildings there you wouldn't even notice you are in the City O_o

    Hopefully I'll go back to Seoul and will be able to do the Temple Stay :)
    About the bows... oouch!! I saw an elder man doing a bunch of bows in another temple (lost coutn after 50 or something...)