안녕하세요: Settling In Part II


Continuing on what I did on the first four days here in Korea with my mum. So, after my brief meet-up with Sheryl at Hongik University, visiting Thanks Nature Cafe, Hongdae Free Market and Hello Kitty Cafe (refer to previous blog post here), my mum and I proceeded to Gyeongbokgung whilst Sheryl went a subway station further, to Dongnimmun which I will definitely make it a point to visit in the near future after hearing the stories she shared. I really love historical attractions!

Not much pictures on Gyeongbokgung 경복궁 this time round since I have blogged about it in detail just a year ago right here. I thought we were really lucky though, to have arrived just in time for the Changing of the Royal Guard and the Patrol Ritual even though we didn't plan to catch that. Here's a short glimpse of how the ceremony is like. I personally think it is quite interesting ^.^


Gyeongbokgung 경복궁
161 Sajik-ro
Jongno-gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station Exit #5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit #2
Visit their website here

Because mum is a tea lover, our main purpose to this part of Seoul was not Gyeongbokgung but Insadong in actual fact so we didn't spent too much time here either. After our extremely brief visit, we continued walking down the main road towards Insadong (more details here) and reached our destination in no time since they were in close proximity. Here is where you can find many traditional shops and craftsmen selling folk handicrafts and snacks, and also many time-honoured teahouses such as this one, 47 Tea House you can find by turning into the alley on the left of O'sulloc Tea House.

I don't usually like rice cakes, but this one was really tasty!

Received this sticker upon donating to the cause at Insadong :'(

It was evening by the time we were done at Insadong, so we headed over to Lotte Mart at Seoul Station (more details here) for a shopping spree to grab the snacks, instant noodles etc wanted back at home, and also some of the things I will need when I move into my sharehouse the next day. Not that there isn't already a supermarket at the apartment we were living in for the four days my mum was here in Seoul, but same of the items here do tend to be cheaper, especially my favourite Binch biscuit since they are produced by Lotte themselves. The next day was pretty much about moving into my new place as well as packing up the things to be brought back to Singapore by my mum that night.

In case you are wondering the housing options in Seoul, I initially thought of staying in a goshiwon, a very tightly packed private room with just space for a bed, study table and washroom. I don't really mind small spaces, I just need them to be very clean and unfortunately, most of them doesn't look so, and I have heard one too many negative feedback on them so I decided to give up that thought. Then again, the rent of these goshiwons is about ₩450,000 on average, which isn't exactly very affordable either so I turned to sharehouses instead. Of course, there is also the backpackers dormitories too, but I didn't give it much thought given the pricing and the fact that I will not have a place to study or to even open up my luggage properly lol. Anyways, this is where I am staying for my three months here:

This is the double room I am renting from Baadaa, the exact bed I am resting on while I am blogging right now. I am really glad I settled on this one because the house looks exactly like that, my room is way bigger than it looks in the pictures, I have a wardrobe I can walk into, and my roommate could speak English. She taught me the things I needed to know about the house before she eventually returned to her hometown. I really enjoyed the times we had proper Korean-style dinner as well as ordered various food deliveries together. There are only 4 people living in this house now, so each of us practically has an entire room to ourselves.

The house is located in Gongdeok, one of the modern districts in Seoul and is connected by 4 subway lines so even though it is quite far from my school, the journey from Gongdeok to Hyehwa takes less than half an hour. There is not much of restaurants, cafes and such here as compared to my past experiences living in Hongdae or Dongdaemun, but there is definitely sufficient to get by each day especially when there is a 4-storey E-Mart, foodcourt as well as major shops like Paris Baguette, Olive & Young etc in the vicinity. Oh, there is also a Gongdeok Market, whose haemul pajeon and jokbal made it to the Seoul List of Asia's 10 Greatest Street Food Cities here too. I haven't tried it yet, but I definitely will go as soon as possible ^.^

Met up with Sheryl again at Myeong-dong in the late afternoon before my mum had to catch her flight. This was the day I thought I'd bring mum to Myeong-dong and try to find the Teteru Museum she wanted to visit once more since we have quite a bit of time to spare, only to find out from the Tourist Police that Teteru Museum had close down. So we stopped by at Coin Cafe for a bit of rest and food until Bryan came by to pick Sheryl up to N Seoul Tower and also time for my mum and I to head to the airport.

The Blend Coffee was really quite "bland" and the Tiramisu was too milky for me

Mum and I wanted to order something unique, so we had this waffles with ice-cream and tteokbokki. All of us thought it was rather weird when it arrived and we had the tteokbokki separately from the waffles and ice-cream. It was then the waiter came over to tell us that we should have all three together and promised that it will taste extremely delicious haha. I tried, and it was really not bad despite the contrasting temperature and taste. Peculiar, but enjoyable.

We also had dinner at the airport after checking in mum's luggage, at Bibigo. I really like Bibigo in Singapore, but not sure if it is because this is Bibigo in Korea or Bibigo in the airport, the menu is utterly limited and most items just doesn't look very appetising. Thankfully they turned out okay.

By the way, I did not do as poorly as I thought I would have done for my mid-terms. It was actually way way better than anyone including my teachers, friends, classmates, family and myself would have imagined. I am really glad and grateful that my hard work is paying off, that I am learning things I wouldn't have had the chance to experience if I had chosen to remain in my comfort zone, that I am making friends with people I never thought I would have the opportunity to befriend since I usually keep to myself a lot, and many many more. I do feel like I have been handed the chance to live the life I have always wanted and I really appreciate it ^.^

School updates coming up next,

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