Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 4, Seoul City Tour Bus

Day 4 was to be spend on the Seoul City Tour Bus!, I was really excited about this ever since I found out about it, probably because I love taking this Tour Buses here in Mexico (Turibus), I found about it HERE , so Tuesday I got up around 7am to say goodbye  to Jeff who was leaving Seoul to go on a business trip, after he left the house I packed my backpack with  water, maps, the info he printed for me and a pocket book "Korean at a Glance) I got at Bandinlunis @ the COEX Mall the day before, after getting ready I left the house around 9:00am and went to Euljiro4ga station, took line 5 and 2 stops later I found myself in Gwanghwamun. The Bus Terminal is infront of Dongwha Duty Free Shop in Gwanghwamun, right on the corner! (Subway Line 5, Gwanghwamun station exit 6) be careful with the exits!! I took Exit 8 and I ended up on a diferent street lol. There are 2 kinds of Buses
My bus with the super nice driver n_n

Single Decker Bus - Downtown Tour - First 9:00am / Last 19:00 (every 30mins) $10,000 KRW Adult/ $8,000 Under 18years old

Double Decker Bus - Palace - Cheonggye Tour First 10:00am / Last 17:00 (every 1hour) $12,000 KRW Adult/ $8,000 Under 18years old
//Both have a Night Tour that leaves at 20:00//
My tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicket!

There is a 5% Discount for T-Money Card Customers (I ofcourse payed with mine and got my discount...yay!!) I took the DownTown Tour, this tour consist on 27th Stops, since I was pretty much sure of what I wanted to  see I decided to take the whole tour 1st and see if there was something else I was interested in, and Off I went!.... The only downside is the buss is like a regular bus, not one of those top less buses (not even the Double decker!!), but anyway it was comfy, warm and not very crowded :), I obviously got the 1 day pass and cost only $9,500 KRW because of the T-Money Discount and the actual ticket comes with another 15th Discount cupons for Museums, Theater and other amusements....

Anyway I took the 2 hours bus ride and just relaxed while I listened to the guide explaining each of the stops,
I was really excited to go to the N Seoul Tower, despite it was also one of the visits we had schedules for the
Tour I had already organized for a few days later, but It wasn't going to be the same... and you know what...I'm glad I got to see a bunch of things twice beacuse 1.- Most of those things are very Cool/Entretaining, 2.-Is something you will enjoy better with Company or 3.- You didn't have enough time to see enjoy it, so when we got to the N Seoul tower the driver said we could hop off for 8 minuts (Yup, not 5 or 10,,,8 minutes!!) so I took off and got my sis' Nikon Camera just because the Tower and the view were Totally Worth it!!, it was around 10:30/11:00am and chilly, I thought about going to the tower (the bus stopped below bcs cars are not allowed to go all the way up), but I didn't...and it was better (i'll let you know WHY later), so when the driver went back to the bus I followed him and waited for him to sit in order to find a nice sit, I don't know if I had a condused face or what, but the driver was really nice and was telling me something that I ofcourse didn't understand and then he gave me a Chocolate candy...yay!!!, the Tower is step #13 and I still haven't decided what I wanted to do, so I continued on the same bus and finally decided I was going to get off at the Changdeok Palace (Stop 27).

I got off and the day was sunny but REALLY cold and windy, went to the ticket booth and got my $3,000 KRW ticket :D, right on the entrance I found a big tourist group with a guide, too bad the guide was in Chinese lol... otherwise it would've been Perfect timing! hahaha, the palace looks BIG from the outside but it's actually... HUGE because it's also "connected" to another palace, I was there for about 2 hours, most of the times I was surounded by other people, but there was one time I was taking pics of the back side and sudenly everything went quiet and chilly, I could only listen to the sound of the wind.. O_O it felt...weird like when on a movie something like that happens and then the scene transform into a scene of what happen hundreds of years back...well it was something sort of like that and I got a tiny bit scared lol... then there was no more wind and sudenly I could heard people talking again PHEW!!! after walking around and taking 100's of pictures decided it was time to take the bus back so I went to catch the 1:45pm bus, by NOW I was really hungry and all I had on my stomach was water and the candy the bus drive me gave me earlier,
Isn't this place awesome?
once on the bus I had to wait for another 15-20 mins to start the tour again, my next stop was Namdaemun Market (Stop 3) to do some shopping, exchange money and get something to eat... 
This is the weird vibe place...
Sam Sook

I got off and cruzed the avenue where the Seoul's Great South Gate was located (I say was because it was destroyed by a Fire on February 11th, 2008 by an elder man because he had a grievance over a decade-old land dispute.... sorry but WTF!!!, by the way he also had been arrested in 2006 for trying to start a fire at the city's Changgyeong palace over the same grievance...) it was there when it HIT ME,,,I was in SEOUL! all by myself!!, have you seen Resident Evil (the last one...)?? there's a scene of an Avenue in tokyo and under this avenue is where the "bad guys" hide...well... I felt like being there only it was South Korea instead of Tokyo lol... I just stood there for a bit thinking how amazing it was to be there finally!!, then my stomach reminded me I was really hungry and went straight to Namdaemun Market, the place is CROWDED, you can buy from food, candies, hats, clothes, bags, make up, gloves, chopsticks!, Kpop stuff and more, at first I was looking for a Hat for my aunt but then I got distracted by this stuffed pig (The one they carry around @ My Name is Kim Sam Soon), I've been wanting to get one since I saw the show and now THERE IT WAS!! OMG!! I got a small one because it wasn't very cheap, the small one cost $10,000 KRW (witch now that I think about it it's expensive for a small stuffed animal, but I was blinded by the excitement hahaha), after getting my Piggy aka Sam Sook i got a few gifts for the family and ofcourse for me, then I went to MISSHA because if you really know me, you know I LOVE Missha make up and as always people were  staring at me O_o of course you are a foreigner!, the sales girl @ Missha was following me around the store and let me tell you,,,it's a SMALL store, and when I was going to pay she finally decided to say something.. "Where are you from?", Mexico I said and she started "WOW-ing" as most of the people that dared to ask me where was I from and since she seemed to speak english I asked where was the nearest bank to exchange money but she didn't understand but thanks to my handbook and a few words in Korean she finally undertood and told me where to go :) (Thanks Missha Girl!), I went to the bank and the...umm the guy that opened the door asked me to wait and then took me with another girl
Good sunset, isnt it?

Who wouldn't want to live there?

Inside the bathroom lol

I really like this pic....
(probably because she speak English), I exchanged my money and went out because it was time to eat something...I was worried because 1.- I don't like eating alone, 2.- I don't speak Korean and 3.- I'm SHY!, so I was looking for a not-so-crowded-but-pics-menu place to eat, and I went into an alley with a bunch of small restaurants, I went back and forward until I saw a small one with 2 Halmonis eating... turns out they were the owners of the place and as soon as I got in they stood up and started runing aroung getting me water, a heater, rice and the usuall Panchan...they didn't have an English Menu nor one with pictures so it was sort of complicated to comunicate but also very funny, I had my lil book/dictionary and it has a special section of "Food terms", they managed to say FISH FISH FISH!!, and me being so hungry accepted the Fish, it was a black caserole with what I think it was Gochujang (a hot paste made of chilli peppers) and 2 pieces of Fish, so I had sticky rice, seaweed sheets, water, the Fish, Pajeon (Korean Pancake with onions and veggies), Kimchi Ofcourse!! and other side dishes...when Halmoni #1 brought the Fish caserole and I was about to dig in she decided to feed me... O_O ..funny isn't it?? I bet I was all red  because as I said before... I'm SHY!!! so she comes and puts some rice on a seaweed sheet, roll it and put it  in my mouth.. it was Good but I was ready to eat on my own,,,hehehe after a bowl of rice, kimchi, 1 piece of  fish, a yummy Pajeon and water I was full, but she kept saying "more?, more!!!, more!!" but it was more than enough for me and it was time to pay since I wanted to catch the 4:45 bus to go to the N Seoul Tower, when I payed ($6,000 KRW) my-new-Halmoni (lol) asked to stay for some Coffee (I assume because she was only saying.. Kuhpi!! Kuhpi!! Kuhpi!! ) but I had just enought time to catch the next bus so I had to decline the Kuhpi hehe, while I was waiting for the delayed-bus I decided to call my CouchSurfer #3 and just when we were talking about when and where to meet my bus came and I had to hang up yelling "Call you back!!".. I feel so sorry for hanging up on her :$ I took the 5:00 bus because it was time to go to the N Seoul Tower and the OMG-I'm-Inlove-Teddy Bear Museum, we got there around 5:30 (thanks Traffic!!, you rock as always), and before going up to the Tower I had to go to the bathroom...again if you know me you know this is a MUST for me lol (so I was really excited to see you can find a pretty decent bathrooms and bathroom signs EVERYWHERE!!!, most of them are pretty clean, have cute decorations and some even play Classical, after my quick visit to the bathrooms it was time to climb.. (ha! climb!! as if it was too much), it's not a LONG way but it's inclined and I was tired u_u when I made it to the top it was getting dark!, so I had to hurry to catch the sunset and have a nice view of Seoul... I asked where was the teddy bear ticket booth and they sent me to the "top" part...but it WASN'T there!... at least I made it to the viewer and got some nice sunset pics :), when it was DARK I decided to go to the museum since my night-pics are not goot (You'll see....) and went to the "basement" where I got my ticket for the museum...$8,000 KRW for the Teddy Museum and $12,000 if you wish to include the Observatory (but I didn't do it)

Teddy Bear Museum Entrance

Aw look at the cute bear painting the wall

The Teddy Bear Museum is....well all about Teddy Bears and History, it's actually a very good way to make (People) Kids understand some of the Korean History, on the Hall 1, you are 1st welcomed by a very cute-looking teddy bear and then you can find the story of Dangun Wanggeom ho found the Joseon Kingdom.
Hall 2 is Present-Time-Korea, there's a tunel with a video of seoul and some teddy bears are just walking
around...aww super cute! lol, then you can find the K-pop Teddy Bears, Nanta Bears, The Blue House, and a bunch of bears representing the current Korean-day to day-life...I fell inlove with all of this bears, and after a  quick visit to the gift shop I had to take off to catch the last bus because I was TIRED... at the bus I realized I had lost my bottle of water, where? that remains a mistery to me hahaha, I saw a couple speaking spanish and made me miss my family (weird, huh?), I had to talk to them and asked them for their map (because I lost mine so it seemed like a good excuse!), since it was dark and I was tired after walking for many HOURS, It was time to head home (ok ok ,,,Jeff's home), I got off at Gwanghwamun and was going to take a Taxi (can you see I was tired?) but I walked towards the subway O_O don't know bleh!, I took the subway, it was only 2 stations while I was there I decided to call my CS #3 (again) and we agreed to meet the next day at Euljiro4ga at 7:30pm :),  then I walked to Jeff's appartment, when I got there I was really excited to see all the things I had bought!!! and so I did, after watching a bit of TV (impossible to see more if you don't speak Korean, and I actually tried to watch something that s
It's blurry because you are not allowed to take pics at the gift shop

Bears Bboying O_o


See? told you my night pics are blurry

Bears  @ The Blue House

K-Pop Bears...Rock on!!!!!!!!! lol
eemed to be a Gossip Show but I didn't recognize anyone there, so I turn it off and went to "my" room, I went on msn but it was 5am in Mexico, so there was no point on staying online...I watched a few videos on youtube and fall asleep... Let me tell you...this day was a LONG day, I did alot of things and I feel like this post dosn't do justice to my day lol, I had a great time and really enjoyed it... My day 5 had nothing planned, I just wanted to take it easy because the "real" Tour was scheduled to star on the 16th (Day 6) very early.

For more pics go to my FB :)

-Gisela V.
Working on it!!!!!!!!!!

-Gisela V.

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