Korea Travelogue: Day 8 - Bukchon and Insadong

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Day 8 Itinerary (Part 1)

  • Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken Soup (토속촌)
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Insadong
  • Miss Lee Café

Shit, I am honestly running out of time now before I head to Japan in a couple of days but it's okay, I will still continue this trip's travelogue entries when I'm back. Anyway, yes back to Day 8 which is now halfway through my 15-day trip. It was a Saturday but we were up and out of TP by 10am because we were heading to the Gyeongbokgung area for this famous ginseng chicken soup restaurant called Tosokchon 토속촌.

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Directions

Take the metro to Gyeongbokgung Station and exit from Exit No. 2. Go straight about 170m and turn left onto Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road.

Address for reference: 서울 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)

Tip: You can choose to plan your visit to the nearby Gyeongbok Palace and head over to Tosokchon for lunch after that.

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We reached at about nearing to 11am and were able to be seated immediately. The huge crowd that you see in the first picture of this entry was taken upon leaving the restaurant, about 45 minutes later so my advice is to reach earlier as it opens at 10am or before 11.30am as that is when the lunch crowd will surge.

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I read online that the ginseng chicken soup is their signature dish so all of us ordered one each, the KRW15,000 one. It comes with the ginseng extract on the side as well which you add into the soup when it arrives or you can just drink it up if you're game.

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In my opinion, the soup was not as strong as I would have liked it to be and my ginseng chicken was not very meaty but the rest were luckier and had fatter chickens lol. Poor me :(

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Left to see the restaurant get more crowded (there were buses of tourists being offloaded at the entrance) so try to either come before the lunch crowd or after lunch hours at around 2pm. We made our way to Bukchon Hanok Village after our lunch, mainly for Wanjun's benefit as it was her first visit to Korea. The rest of us had been to Bukchon countless of times so we were okay to skip it really.

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Bukchon Hanok Village can be accessed directly from Anguk Station, Exit 2. Just walk ahead and look out for the traditional looking houses in the vicinity - the houses will be a tell-tale sign that you are in the right neighbourhood. And a tip to note is that these are real houses where people live in so do try to keep your volume down while admiring the traditional houses. I cannot imagine the nightmare of living in a house where tourists from everywhere flock there and take pictures really D:

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Yes, selfies are mandatory on all trips HAHAHAHA - it kinda morphed into another location for us to take nice emo shots due to the location and good weather conditions.

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Tradition meets modern culture.

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On this trip, we explored somewhere different from my last trip to Bukchon in 2013 and discovered a different side of Bukchon. I find it really hard to explain where we explored this time because Bukchon is really huge but the wonders of travelling is to let loose and explore the area on your own. You really never know what you will discover :D

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Hello kitty! :P

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Found a nice secluded spot and decided that this was chio and private enough to take pictures shamelessly lol.

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Sought a passerby's help to take a group photo because the self-timer shots were quite fail lol. But...... take a look below.

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...... wah lau eh his friend photobombed us -.-"really not funny dude.

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Walked past a hotteok place and one simply does not walk past a hotteok store without buying any so we all got 1 each to eat along the way #fatdieus I honestly am addicted to eating hotteoks. If only it was easily available here in Singapore D:

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You can also choose to exit at Exit 3 and walk ahead to Bukchon. We made our way back to Insadong using the metro station because being on the road was too confusing.

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Found 2 birthday banners by Sungmin's fans to commemorate his birthday in the metro station. And he apparently has a café nearby too but I do not have much details about it. You can check out their website here.

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Dropped my phone at Insadong and cracked my tempered glass protector T.T

Thankfully nothing happened to my phone's screen so I had it replaced upon returning to Singapore because I am OCD that way lol.

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Finally reached Insadong by exiting from Anguk Station Exit No. 6. Saw a huge crowd gathering outside the main square to watch a bubble artist perform. It's pretty cool how he created the bubbles and in so many ways as well.

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Headed down the main stretch of shops at Insadong to purchase some souvenirs to bring back to Singapore. Got some spoons for my mum because she is obsessed with getting Korean ones as they have designs on the handles and they were decently priced. You can also pick up these spoons and chopsticks at Lotte Mart but the designs on them are not as nice.

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Next stop was Miss Lee Cafe which is a must-visit for me each time I visit Korea. Simply because I love their bingsoo and dosirak :D

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Directions

별다방미스리 Miss Lee Cafe

Upon reaching the main street of Insadong, head towards the GS25 on the right side. The cafe is located above this convenience store.

Address: 서울 종로구 관훈동 144번지 2층

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They revamped the cafe's walls and decor! Even their menu has changed in terms of its layout but one thing is for sure... they never fail to advertise that the YongSeo couple came to this outlet to film during their stint on We Got Married Season 2.

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Ordered hot drinks for all of us because it was still pretty chilly that day. I had the hot honey lemon drink and it's just so cute how they served the drinks in metal cups with cloth holders. I don't recall seeing this way back during my first visit to Miss Lee Cafe in 2012.

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Ordered the standard dosirak to share. I've already mentioned this in my travelogue entries for the 2013 trip so I won't type much but.... I've missed you awesome bento!!!!! :D

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LOL rearranging it to look 'messier' because we wanted to take photos. Yes you're meant to shake the bento with the lid on and it'll become this awesome gooey mess of rice, luncheon meat, kimchi and seaweed. Naturally eating it the way it is served is also fine so your call really. Everyone shakes it though HAHA!

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Ordered the signature naembi bingsoo which is served in a pot and hence the name. They don't serve the fluffy 'pong pia' anymore T.T I really liked having that dessert to go along with the bingsoo and the 'pong pia' the cafe serves is nicer than those you buy from outside.

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The bingsoo is a mix of shaved ice with red bean, ice cream, tomatoes, mochi, nuts and fruits. The tomatoes are a new addition! I definitely do not remember this being inside this dish the last time. Still tastes as yummy though! ^^

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After our short teabreak at Miss Lee, Jacelyn went to meet her Korean friends for dinner while the four of us headed back to the Cheongdamdong area to Cube Studio Cafe which was closed the last time we visited.

Alright, will continue on the next entry once it's done. Till then, bye!