Saturday, August 28, 2010

Seoul Through My Eyes - Day 1

Let me start this post by saying it rained ALL day today! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little rain here and there, but seriously....we're trying to sight see here. That said, the city does not stop because of rain. Let me paint a picture for you. TONS of people EVERYWHERE walking the streets with their umbrellas, and women in their skirts and high heels. Yep, that's how it is here. These are not t-shirt and jeans sort of girls. Not that I always am, but hey, comfort comes first when I'm walking for eight hours. And, I am totally convinced that there is no respect for personal space here. Then add an umbrella into the mix. Those things are dangerous! Are you getting my picture? For those of you that know me, you know that I NEED my personal space. You know that imaginary circle around you that divides you from others? Doesn't exist here. LOL! I just had to share because it really was entertaining. I did good.
I'd say we had a pretty productive day today.  I was able to mark two things off of my "to-do" list. Yaay! First, I really wanted to see the Cheonggyecheon stream, and we made it there with no problems. Five minute walk from our hotel. It's about a 3.6 mile walk along a stream that is about 15ft below street level. It was a really nice to walk. However, it did start raining pretty hard while we were there and they requested (over a loud speaker) that everyone leave the stream at the nearest exit. OK, I guess we're done there. I put pictures below.

Second on the list, Insadong Market. Wanted to try a couple different food places and do some shopping. Let me preface this by saying my lovely husband and I have always joked about signing up for the Amazing Race (TV show), however, have not actually agreed that we'd enter together. I don't think he trusts that I'll remain calm under pressure (and he's probably right). Back to Insadong....the first goal was to find the place. I don't know if we are completely retarded over here in Seoul, or what, but finding this dang area was a major journey. Holy Cow. Totally would have lost Amazing Race if this was the task. Went to the subway... never took the subway. Exited the subway....went to the wrong place. Not looking so good. Decided to sit down and take a breather and recompose ourselves (I'm seriously annoyed by hard can it be to find this place?!?) and FINALLY found a sign that actually labeled "Insadong" as a real life place (hadn't been able to find it before that). We headed in a new direction (in the rain) and found Insadong Market. Whoooa....this place is insane! People, EVERYWHERE. And don't forget about the cars and motorcycles that will seriously run your @*! over if you don't move out of their way. Oh boy.....this is bit overwhelming for me, but I can do it! At least this is what I told myself. =) So we walked up and down the main alley and then up and down a lot of the side alley ways. We were searching for two specific food places recommended by fellow bloggers and I am really embarrassed to say we never found them! Really? I just walked around in total chaos for 3 hours to find nothing? Mind you, we hadn't eaten since 7am and it's now close to 5pm, so we we're hungry, dehydrated, and I was getting very grouchy! We finally decided to leave, with tail between our legs in total defeat without any food or fun gifts. How lame! We're definitely going back before we leave to give it another go around. Thinking during the week so it won’t be as crowded. Blogger friends Kelly and Michelle, can you help us find the dumpling place and the Chop Shop for name stamp? I found a couple stamp places but didn't know which one was the right one??
We ended the night by heading back to our hotel to take advantage of our "club member" happy hour. Had a couple of drinks, grabbed a Panini and a club sandwich and now we're back in our room. Kasey's asleep and I'm writing this post as I listen to a live concert that's going on just across the street. Pretty cool.

Here are some pictures of Seoul through our eyes on day one of our journey.


  1. Best blog ever, I feel like we are in Seoul with you. You are doing a great job showing us everything and you are hilare! The pics are beautiful and I love that Kasey is like 2 feet taller than everyone in the photos. Our thoughts are with you all day long and we can't wait to here more. BTW, Amazing race comments are the best. Love you both. -Shannon ....AND, Ian here. you need to get back to that market and conquer! if you see people eating bowls of noodles, you point, nod your head, and show them your currency! you may get bamboozled and pay $100 for noodles, but it will be so yummy! You guys rock!

  2. Sorry about the rain and having a hard time finding stuff in Insadong! I just went back and found what I sent Michelle before her trip about the chop shop. I'm copying and pasting it into here. (Also, the dumpling shop is HARD to find. Do you have Frommer's Guide? It kind of explains how to get there but I can't remember which ally so I can't really describe for you. Sorry!)

    2. The chop shop. Nope, can't tell you the name ... but I can tell you generally how to find it. If I were you I might try to print out the photo of the front of the little shop that I posted on my blog. Then - if you are walking down the main street in Insadong from north to south, it will be on your left hand side more or less half way down (actually a little more than half way). If you hit the Starbucks (in hangul), you've gone too far. There is a very big paint brush hanging outside the shop if that helps!

  3. Michelle,
    We were exploring Insadong yesterday too! Our hotel is right next to it. We have a meeting at Eastern at 11 on Monday, so we will probably see you there.

  4. Michelle,
    You are too funny! I totally "get" the personal space thing. We were prepared for it living in San Francisco for many years but still never really got used to it. Hang in there. So sorry about the rain, however it was so hot & humid when we were there and we sweated so much, it might have as well be raining! LOL. Ok, for the dumpling place the name is Sadong Noodle Restaurant. If you are on the main street of the Insadong Market you'll want to turn down the 2nd or 3rd alley on the left hand side. There should be a pharmacy (called Sudopharmacy) on the corner. I'm going to email you a photo of the front of the building for a reference in case the name of the restaurant isn't posted (that's how we found the place).
    For the name chop place - I used Kelly's instructions and knew it by site. I'll also email you a storefront image. However, the name of the place is Myung Sin Dang Art Shop. The key is to definitely find the large paint brush (which looks more like a horse tail) hanging outside.
    Feel free to email me if you guys need anything else. I can't wait to read more about the trip. Good luck! Mmmmm dumplings. . .


Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!