Saturday, August 29, 2015

From Busan to Seoul: N Seoul Tower and Myeongdong

After trying to catch the sunrise at Haeundae Beach (which was a failure because it was too cloudy/misty that morning), I had breakfast at the hostel and then left Busan to take off for Seoul.

From Haeundae Station, I took the subway to Busan Station. Now that I think about it, it probably would have been better if I took a bus instead because I was carrying a huge backpack! Then again, I was trying to catch a train schedule to Seoul and I had no idea how long the bus ride would be. On the other hand, the subway was more reliable time-wise. 

Eventually, I learned that Busan Station (where the KTX trains are) is different from the Busan subway station and I had to exit from the subway station first. The signs were very clear so I didn't lose my way. I bought my KTX ticket at Busan Station and then off to Seoul! The 2.5-hour train ride was quite expensive at KRW54,400 but I really like trains and I wanted to experience Korea's high-speed rail so I still opted for it.

I arrived at a very crowded Seoul Station and took the subway to my hostel. After resting a bit, I went to N Seoul Tower.

I took the subway to Myeongdong. From there, I walked very steep streets towards the cable car station. I found myself cursing because the streets are seriously impossibly steep that I was scared of losing balance and rolling down. Anyway, I got a bit lost going to the cable car station and was already in Namsan Park until a lady (who, thankfully, spoke a little English) asked me to take her photo so I took the chance and asked her where the cable car station  was. Thankfully, I didn't get too far lol.

I found the station easily after that and then bought my round-trip ticket for KRW8,500. Fortunately, the line wasn't very long.

I arrived at the base of tower, explored the grounds and then bought my admission ticket. Originally it's KRW9,000 but I had a coupon from my T-Money card so I got it instead for KRW8,100.

Ah, my first autumn experience!

Beacons from the Joseon dynasty

There was a shop that sold souvenirs (including postcards) and stamps plus a postbox at the top of N Seoul Tower so I bought some postcards and mailed them to some friends. Unlike, say, Tokyo Tower, I didn't appreciate N Seoul Tower very much. In Tokyo, I was quite familiar with the surroundings so I can easily identify the places from above. Meanwhile, it was my first day in Seoul so I had minimal appreciation of the view. There wasn't much to do in N Seoul Tower but I decided to stay until dusk just to see how it's like at night.

Finally, when it was dark, I headed back to the cable car. When I arrived at the cable car station in Myeongdong, it was dark and I couldn't identify where I was. I had no idea how to get back to Myeongdong subway station! In the end, I did the most logical thing to do-- I followed the crowd. Eventually, I found my way back to Myeongdong Station. I guess that way was better because I don't think I could have handled going down the same slope I passed by that afternoon lol.

I was able to stroll  around Myeongdong, a famous shopping area. The street food looked delicious so I sampled some and got too full to eat proper dinner. 

See that KitchenAid Artisan electric mixer?? Quite fancy for street food, right? Lol.

An egg pastry for KRW2,000

Sausages for KRW3,000 a stick

I had a peach shake for KRW5,000. Quite expensive, no?

I also got myself a nice knitted pullover (KRW15,000) from a boutique and a cute little backpack (KRW15,000) from a street vendor and some nail polish. However, when the Friday night crowd started to get to me, I finally decided to go back to my hostel.

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