South Korea · Travel Tales

We (unintentionally) gatecrashed a wedding in Unhyeongung

On our fourth day in Seoul, we slept for as long as we could and took our time with breakfast. Our goal was to visit nearby areas — the Jongmyo Shrine, Unhyeongung, the War Memorial, and whichever other place struck our (read: my) fancy. Unhyeongung used to be where the crown prince Gojong stayed before… Continue reading We (unintentionally) gatecrashed a wedding in Unhyeongung

South Korea · Travel Tales

Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung (Hint: Visit the Secret Garden!)

Changdeokgung, built in the 1400s, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung was also burnt down during the 1592 Japanese invasion — not by the Japanese, but by citizens angry at their king for abandoning them — but it was the first palace to be rebuilt, in 1610. The royal court was thus moved here. Now,… Continue reading Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung (Hint: Visit the Secret Garden!)

South Korea · Travel Tales

From Gwanghamun Square to Gyeongbokgung

Sure — the pen is mightier than the sword. But to keep the Joseon dynasty strong and glorious, both pen and sword had to be wielded by its greatest people. Gwanghwamun Square features two large statues. One is of Yi Sun-shin in a very badass pose, which perfectly befits his accomplishments. Admiral Yi found glory in… Continue reading From Gwanghamun Square to Gyeongbokgung

South Korea · Travel Tales

What does the Garden of Morning Calm look like in the afternoon?

  Here’s how we described the Garden of Morning Calm upon seeing it: “This is a place our mothers would love.” We loved it too, of course, but in seeing all the flora, we also felt somewhat nostalgic for home. This pair of city-dwellers appreciated, once again, our moms’ green thumbs and other varied and… Continue reading What does the Garden of Morning Calm look like in the afternoon?

South Korea · Travel Tales

Do Min-Joon is waiting for you in Petite France

We were in the Gapyeong Tour Bus after having come from Nami Island. The tour guide was telling us all about our next stop. “Do you know who Do Min-Joon is? Because Do Min-Joon is waiting for you!” Oh hell, of course I know who Do Min-Joon is. But I suppressed a giggle because Husband… Continue reading Do Min-Joon is waiting for you in Petite France

South Korea · Travel Tales

An Autumn Morning on Nami Island

Notes on visiting Nami Island, Petite France, and the Garden of Morning Calm in one day from Seoul: Preparations Reserve your ITX-Cheongchun tickets here. Print out your reservation form. This is not your ticket; more on this later. Print out a discount coupon (1 for each person) for Petite France here. This gives international tourists… Continue reading An Autumn Morning on Nami Island

South Korea · Travel Tales

You should visit a university when you’re in Seoul

…and by this, I don’t mean getting a brochure on course requirements or inquiring on enrollment for foreign nationals (although of course, you can totally do that). I mean, go to a university and sightsee, and envy the students a bit because they’re young and their school is lovely. As for us, we (I) decided to… Continue reading You should visit a university when you’re in Seoul

South Korea · Travel Tales

Six Days of Seoul Searching: An Itinerary and Guide

My students were on semestral break, and so it was the perfect time for their teacher to go frolicking among the trees bursting with autumn foliage in South Korea. The truth, though, was that I’d planned our trip to Seoul almost a year in advance (thank you, AirAsia sales) because that was around the time I… Continue reading Six Days of Seoul Searching: An Itinerary and Guide