Sunday, August 24, 2008

Changdeokgung Palace and Insadong Shopping

Yesterday, some friends and I went into Seoul for a day of exploration in the Insadong neighborhood. The bus ride into Seoul is only $1.80 and takes about 45 minutes. Not too bad, right? When we arrived, we went straight to Changdeokgung Palace just in time for the last tour. I love being a tourist! The palace was originally built in 1405 during the Joseon Dynasty. The gardens were my favorite- such a beautiful getaway tucked right inside of the heart of Seoul!

In Insadong, we ate at this little dive in a back alley that served fish and a big bowl of Makgeolli- a sweet, milky rice wine. The fish were sooo delicious! The little restaurant was quite a dive but super cool- the walls were entirely covered in Korean graffiti left from generations of drunken customers.

All of the tourists snapping photos inside the palace courtyard

Little Tombstones honoring ancestors

John, Allison, Ted, and I in the gardens at Changdeokgung Palace

I love the gardens! Sooo beautiful!

Being a tourist is fun, huh?

I was incredibly in love with the colorful rooftops

A giant Koi in the water

Such a beautiful old tree in the palace courtyard>

A back alley in Insadong, right outside of the fish place we ate at.

A large, inflatable beer outside of a bar in Insadong. We opted for buying cans of beer at 7-Eleven and drinking right there in the street.

Towards the end of the evening, we were outside drinking our beers from 7-Eleven and met a Korean man who kept calling me Michelle. Koreans apparently really love Canada but America, um, not so much. Whatever, our new Korean friend Kevin was nice enough to buy us all a little trinket before he whisked Ted away to get him wasted. Oh boy!