Holiday in Seoul

Holiday in Seoul: Day 3 in Dongdaemun

I thank the cold weather for making me feel fresh and energetic to do another day of walking in Seoul. As with the previous day we had an early breakfast, after which we took the subway train to Dongdaemun. It isn’t that far away in hindsight – about 20 minutes walk or so along the Cheonggyecheon stream.

Greeting us as we got out of the subway stairs was the remains of Heunginjimun Gate (Dongdaemun Gate), which literally means “Gate of Rising Benevolence”, is a prominent landmark in central Seoul. As usual we did the tourist thing, and by that I mean we took pictures of the gate from all sorts of angles (and poses). This area is quite famous for its’ shoes market, as well as its’ fashion town, something like Sungei Wang, only bigger! I think Malaysian girls will be spending a long time shopping for goods over here.

Shoes!

This is how you make girls go crazy

I can’t help but notice how clean their stream/river is. No smell at all, with the water being very clear and clean. They allow people to walk along the stream – which during night time you would see lots of couples sitting by the stream enjoying some time together.

Here’s a shopping tip for you: Prices of goods here are lower than in Myeong-dong. It’s not that big of a difference, but if you were to buy souvenirs to give away to friends and family you might end up saving RM3-6 per item, sometimes even more, for the usual fridge magnets, t-shirts and what not. Clothes here are generally mixed, from local brands to international brands. I suggest going for the local ones as there are a lot of variety, and it’s usually not the same stuff which you get in Myeong-dong.

Crossing the stream

Not advisable if you have very poor balance

 

We had some Korean food for lunch which turned out a bit expensive for my taste, and there was just too much pork and spice in it. I just ate enough to keep myself from being hungry, but Shinchan and Kelvin seem to enjoy the food a lot.

I spent the entire day with the Fujifilm XF1 camera, experimenting with it quite a bit more. I like the “toy camera” and B&W filter quite a lot. As usual I set the camera to my preferred Aperture Priority mode. The only downside to the camera is that there are some sharpening artifacts in the B&W pictures when zoomed in at 100%. Could possibly be due to some firmware issues. Overall the camera has served my needs so far, the only time it wasn’t in my hands was during the visit to Seoul Motor Show.

The rest of the day was spent at walking around Cheonggye Plaza and Yongsan Electronics Market. So here’s another tip – don’t bother as electronic items are currently cheaper in Malaysia, especially if you buy them in Low Yat Plaza. Yongsan Electronics Market is a let down – most of the shops are closed before 5pm and it feels more like Imbi Plaza than Low Yat. For those of you who shop in Singapore, it’s not even close to what you get in Funan IT or the more famous Sim Lim Square.

Right after a short break in Cheonggye Plaza we took a long walk, well a very long walk – maybe half an hour or more, to the War Memorial of Korea at Yongsan-dong. It was freezing cold in the evening during our walk to the war memorial. I had to wear my scarf, beanie and gloves, which was still insufficient to keep me warm. All of us had hot drinks from the vending machine at the rest area outside the building – smart of them to place vending machines there for frozen tourists!

Lucky we didn’t turn out to be the 4 Horsemen of Apocalypse! Tensions between North and South were quite high during our visit. Photo: Reon Su

Next update for this holiday in Seoul recap will be the gang’s second trip to Seoul Motor Show, and also my final thoughts on the Fujifilm XF1 camera. Stay tuned!

What will be your perfect way to spend your holiday in Seoul? Sound off in the comments below!

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