Thursday, February 14, 2013

Korea: Seoul Shopping

 We Shopped. Some of it.

When I visit Korea in 2011, I realised shops was not as generous with samples as they used to be in 2010.
Back to hotel at myeongdong, after shopping at dongdaemun

Korea: Seoul Integrated Pass for Access to Five Royal Sites in Seoul

Money saving tip. I bought this ticket.
Integrated Ticket of Palaces - Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine
- The ticket is 10,000 KRW and may be used within a month after purchase.
※ Visitors may take a combined tour of Changdeokgung Palace and Changgyeonggung Palace (additional ticket purchase must be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate).
※ The Jongmyo Shrine tour will be offered only at specific times during the day, except on Saturdays, when visitors may tour at their leisure. The passage connecting Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeonggung will be closed to public access.
※ Closed on Monday: Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace
※ Closed on Tuesday: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine

It is worth it if you are going sightseeing and visiting 2 palaces or more..
Can be purchased at any of the palace.

I think is good to visit the palaces.
Firstly, the entrance fees are affordable.
Secondly, there are free guided tours which usually are interesting.
Thirdly, is a good place for photo taking.
Fourthly, the places are usually accessible.
Try to visit it in the late morning or late afternoon when there is not a lot of people and there is good lighting for photo taking. And usually the weather is still not hot.

1. Try the costume change at Gyeongbokgung Palace.
2. Catch the change of guards at Palace.
3. Do take notes of the closing day and the tour hours.

Have lots of fun

Deoksugung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korea: Seoul Deoksugung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace

Deoksugung Palace
This is a much smaller palace so will take a shorter time to cover
There is a guard changing ceremony to catch and you can take photos with the main actors after the event.

Every Monday

Activity Information
Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony
☞ Ceremony Schedule: 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays)
☞ Ceremony Course:
Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace → Seoul Plaza → Cheonggye Plaza → Gwangtonggyo Bridge → Bosingak Bell ** Bosingak Bell Ringing Ceremony takes place at noon.

Operating Hours
09:00 - 21:00 (Ticketing 09:00 - 20:00)

Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19 - 64) 1,000 won / Group 800 won (over 20 people)
Youths (ages 7 - 18) 500 won / Group 400 won (over 10 people) 

Get off at City Hall Subway Station. At either Exit #2 (Subway Line 1) or Exit #12 (Subway Line 2) walk for about 2 - 5 minutes.

 Changdeokgung Palace, inclusive of secret garden.
If you have no intention of walking much, don't join the secret garden tour because it requires a lot of walking and we just cant stop anytime we want.
But is a beautiful place

Closed Mondays

General Course: 60 minutes
Huwon (Secret Garden) Course: 90 minutes

Operating Hours
Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
April–September: 09:00-18:30
October: 09:00-18:00
March & November: 09:00-17:30
December–February: 09:00-17:00

Huwon Course (Guided Tour only)
February–May & September-October: 10:00-18:00
June-August: 10:00-18:30
November-January: 10:00-17:30

Admission FeesRegular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10): 1,200 won

Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area)
Adults (ages over 19): 8,000 won
Children (ages 7-18): 4,000 won
* Admission to Changdeokgung Palace included.

Interpretation Services OfferedChangdeokgung Palace (Duration: 60min)
Korean: 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 16:30
English: 10:30, 14:30
Japanese: 12:30
Chinese: 16:00
Huwon (Duration: 90min)
Korean: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30
English: 11:30, 15:30
Japanese: 10:30, 13:30, 16:15 (60min)
Chinese: 12:30

DirectionsAnguk Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 3.
Go straight for 5min.
Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 7.
Go straight along Donhwamun-ro Street for 10min.

Integrated Palace pass
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korea free and easy : Seoul Ewha women's university

Hoddeok (Korean pancake with sweet cinnamon) has a toasted version, instead of the fried version here.
The grilled chicken stewer is heavenly, can be found at myeongdon too.
I like the cup of snack, with fried chicken, fried potato and rice cakes. Not sure what is it called but is good.

This is close to the ewha women's university so there are lot of shops, cafes and stalls catering to the students studying nearby.

Lot of interesting snacks and cafes. and shops for clothing, shoes and accessories.

The shopping is as good as dongdaemun, because there is a large variety and the price does not differ by a lot. Dongdaemun is usually cheaper if you buy in bulk. and this place caters to students so price is quite reasonable.

5 mins walk from exits # 2 & 3 of Ewha Womans University Station (Subway Line 2)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bangkok: Sim card

just walk out of arrival hall and you are spoilt for choices.
but do ask them to install and activate for you before leaving the counter, and checked before leaving the counter.
My sis bought the cheapest one available that cost less than s$5 as she think she is not going to use a lot. 
I bought the unlimited one which cost around s$10.