Seoul, South Korea March 2015 (Part 2: Korean Baseball, Seoul Tower and more Palaces)

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Seoul, South Korea March 2015 (Part 2: Korean Baseball, Seoul Tower and more Palaces)

Picking up where we left off from PART 1 we were in Insa-dong walking through the somewhat touristy street with tons of shops and street food stands.

insadong seoul south korea

Insa-dong

Our Trip so far!

After walking down and stopping to get a coffee we doubled back up to Yulgok-ro and over to the Palace of Changgyeonggung!  This is about a 10 min walk east of Changdeokgung and also incredibly cheap ($1) and expansive!

(CLICK ON PICS TO ENLARGE)

seoul south korea street food eels

Tank of Eels on the street

seoul south korea

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Peace signs outside Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Changgyeonggung Gate

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Main building of Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Main building of Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

Gotta have peace sign selfies

seoul south korea Changgyeonggung

seoul south korea ChanggyeonggungThe following day we decided to do a little something different than seeing more palaces and looked up the baseball schedule!  Joe and I are avid baseball fans seeing 28 Major League Baseball teams stadium around the US and we decided this would be a cool experience.  Seoul has 3 baseball teams, the Nexen Heroes, the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears.  Two of these teams, the Bears and Twins play at Jamsil Baseball Stadium which is 1 subway stop from the Park Hyatt Seoul, located in the Seoul Sports Complex near the Olympic Stadium.  The season had not started yet so we were able to see a free exhibition game!

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

On our way to the game!

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Olympic Stadium (1988 Summer Olympics)

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Front row seats!

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Front row seats!

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Empty but nice stadiium

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Beverages at the game

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

Very strange but entertaining scoreboard cartoons

seoul south korea baseball doosan bears jamsil stadium

One of the Official hats of the Doosan Bears! (zoom in)

The game was really entertaining.  Not only did we get to see a ball game but the fans were great!  Even though this was  an exhibition game on an overcast Wednesday people were continually chanting, singing,  and doing cheers and dances that everyone seemed to know.  After the game we just had to get a cap!

When the game was over we decided to have dinner in the Seoul Tower at Hancook.  A little tip, if you are taking the metro to the Seoul Tower make sure you get off at the Myeong-dong stop on the 4 (blue) line.  It is just a few block walk from there to a gondola which takes you up to the Tower.  We did NOT do this and trusted google maps to guide us and this was a very bad idea.  Google maps directions aren’t always accurate in other countries.  We ended up hiking up one side of the hill, down the other and back up again to get to the Tower.  It took us about an hour walking at a pretty brisk pace…don’t do that, go to the above station.

seoul south korea tower city view

View from the path on our walk to Seoul tower

seoul south korea tower city view

View from the top of the hill next to the Tower

seoul south korea tower city

Cool building on our long walk up

seoul south korea tower city view

Seoul Tower

seoul south korea tower city view hancook

Hancook for Dinner

seoul south korea tower city view hancook dinner

Us at dinner

seoul south korea tower city view

I’m guessing this was not translated correctly

Although the Seoul Tower is a very cool tourist attraction and has great views in all directions I really can not recommend Hancook which is a Korean restaurant located on Tower 1F which is the first floor of the top level of the tower.  This is marketed as a nicer restaurant but is really a mediocre buffet with 1 entree included and no beverage except tea and water.  Not only is it pretty expensive to go along with that the service was by far the worst of any place on this entire trip.

The following day was our last in Seoul and it was time to see the main Palace before flying to Vegas!  As we had done previoulsly we took the metro to the Jongno historical area to view Gyeongbokgung Palace.  This was the first and grandest of the Joseon Dynasty and the seat of power for centuries.  Like the other palaces this was very reasonable at 3,000 won (about $3).

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

The front gate of Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

Other side of front gate of Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

Main throne room

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

Main throne room

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

Throne

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea

Chinese Calendar in statues

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea chinese calendar

Boar

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea chinese calendar

Boar

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea chinese calendar

Snake

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea chinese calendar

Snake

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea pagoda

Gyeongbokgung Pagoda

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea pagoda

Gyeongbokgung seoul south korea guard

Guard at front gate

Following this we headed back to the hotel and took a free ride over to the the COEX Complex where there is the Korea City Air Terminal.  This was actually a pretty cool facility as it is connected to the Coex Mall but is a full airport check in and transfer to the airport.  We used it simply as a bus to the airport – which was really reasonable at $15-16 considering it took almost an hour – but you can do everything here!  You are able to check-in, and check your bags right there before getting on the bus so when you get there you should only have to get off the bus and into security.  We wanted to see how the check-in experience was for Singapore Airlines at the airport so we skipped this but if you have a lot of bag or kids or both this could be really really helpful.

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Korea City Air Terminal

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Full Service Korean Air office

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Check in looks the same as the airport

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Other airline check ins

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Departures Board

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Immigration Office

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Bus departure and arrivals

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Tickets we bought at the Park Hyatt

So after a free short ride from the Park Hyatt to the City Air Terminal (its close, you could walk in 10 min) it was time to board a pretty comfortable bus for our 45 min ride to the airport!

korea city air terminal seoul south gangnum

Next up Asiana First Class Lounge, Singapore Airlines First Class and more!

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