Seoul Backpacking Day 2 – Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Square, Legally Blonde, YoonKrys Surprise

12/12/12

We start our morning with hot toasts and instant coffee! We woke up a bit late that morning because of the soreness of our body from day one adventure.

We took subway and we didn’t get lost this time and managed to get to Gyeongbukgung Palace around 10:00am. The palace is AMAZING. It’s like you’re being sucked in time to the Joseon Dynasty like in the saeguk dramas on TV. It’s not just one building, but its acres of land with loads of beautiful buildings in one place. When we got there, there were a lot of teenagers visiting the palace so it got a bit chaotic with naughty boys jumping around and girls chatting loudly. Later we learned that the palace open to students for free for a period of time. There were guided tours in English and the earliest one was on 11:00am so we were right on schedule. We waited for around 15 minutes and join the tour. There were around 20 people in our group.  There were Malaysians too. Yay, lol happy to see fellow countrymen.

I learned a lot about the history of the palace, but I can only focus for so long lol. It got boring after a while listening to the guide and my toes were almost frozen. I realized then that my sneakers are not enough to endure the cold.

There are stories for each of the mini statues

Built without a single nail

The tour ended about 1 hour later and we parted from the group. We move to the National Palace Museum to heat up and rest lol. It’s in the same area as the palace. There were 3 halls, each focusing on different era of the history of Korea.

Apparently that was a bed

We lost track of time in the palace and we left at 2:00pm. So we managed to watch the Changing Guard Ceremony at the main entrance.

The Royal Changing Guard Ceremony

Next we walk around the beautiful Gwanghamun Square just outside the palace gate. There were two giant statues at the square, one is King Sejong and another one is Admiral Yi (I think). While we were walking we saw crowds and people giving out speeches enthusiastically. Police were guarding the area and media were also present. Later I learned that they were campaigns for the presidential election.

Not sure what these people were doing

We were looking for the largest bookstore there, Kyobo Bookstore and were walking around aimlessly looking for building that we saw on Running Man episode (LOL). There were so many buildings and we don’t have all day (plus we were starving), so we decided to go to the subway and move to Myeongdong for lunch.

But in the subway, we found the way to Kyobo Bookstore. ^^

But at the bookstore, it wasn’t books that I bought. LOL. I happily shop for I AM DVD, Despicable Me Korean DVD and KARA Solo Collection. The KARA one was on sale. o/

Next we hurriedly went back to Myeongdong for two reasons, first we want to eat at a halal restaurant and secondly we have to buy winter boots for Nami Island trip the next day. We got there around 4pm and I managed to drop by Banilla Co. and Innisfree to shop for more cosmetics. And then we found the restaurant by chance! Haha, we were lucky. ^^

We went to Agra Restaurant, which is a popular chain Indian restaurant in Seoul that serves halal and vegetarian menu. One thing though, we didn’t expect the place to be so… classy. Lol. We had their lunch set, which consists of rice, curry with cheese, salad, roti naan and vegetables all for only 9,900krw. Their naan bread and cheese curry was so delicious I can still remember the taste.

Before moving to the next destination we stop by SPAO to buy boots and Harvard shirts that were on sale. The boots were only 45,000krw per pair and they’re pretty! The price there is very reasonable.

Next stop, COEX!

We arrived there around 7.00am and the place was pretty empty. There were rice wreaths mostly for Jessica lined nicely along the floor. I bought Legally Blonde merchandises for me and my friends because they were pretty cheap. The posters were only 1,000krw each!

From Malaysia!

Merchandise booth

My sister isn’t watching the musical (because she thinks it’s a waste of money) and she decided to wait for me at the bench in front of the hall entrance and read. This later became the best decision she made. I told her to keep an eye for other Soshi members who might turn up. We both guessed that it might be Yoona who come, that is if anyone turn up at all. My sister fave Soshi member is Yoona after all.

I went in myself and sat at my seat, next to a nice ahjusshi who also came alone. When I was settling myself at my seat, suddenly people were cheering. I looked up and saw two people walking to their seats and noticed that it was Yoona. I was sitting at the opposite side of Yoona, sadly. So I only saw her from afar. Then I noticed a hyper girl sitting beside her. The girl was trying to cover her face with her scarf as she laughed, and it was none other than Krystal Jung.

The show starts a few minutes after 8:00pm with a cheerful dance number by Elle Woods’s friends. And then Jessica appeared and the crowd was cheering.

The musical was so fun to watch, it was funny and entertaining with lovable characters and witty lines all throughout. You will fall for the arrogant Warner who dumped Elle, though he was kind of a douche but he was cute. And then there was the shy Emmet who always dresses plainly but always there for Elle. And who can forget the vibrant hairstylist Paulette who became Elle’s shoulder to cry on during her time at Harvard. And also Kyle, the delivery guy from PedEx who wears tight clothes all the time.

But Elle was the best. I have never seen Jessica being so committed with something. And her performance through this musical proved to me that she’s not a lazy girl people accuse her to be. She’s amazing.

After the musical ended my sister boasted to me that she saw Yoona up close. They passed by her 4 times! She tried to chase her the first time like others lol but she was blocked by the manager. She decided to use another tactic, which was to act like she don’t care but hid the camera with her. It worked and Yoona and Krystal walked past her so leisurely and the managers didn’t see her as a threat lol.

We went back to Chungmuro station, feeling happy and content. But then there was a problem. We forgot which exit to take. And at a station there were around 8-9 exits. If you took the wrong exit you will get lost. We were lost. LOL. It was late, cold and dark and we were wandering with our shopping bags. Luckily we found a taxi driver, though he refused to drive us or even talk to us, I managed to ask him in my broken hangul and luckily he understood.  He pointed us a way and we finally found our guesthouse. o/

Next is day three, to Nami Island the fairy tale land!

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