Highlight of Tour Spot
Dongdaemun market: the popular background of TV series
Dongdaemun night market is the common background of TV series with Korean Cinderella characters. It is the market where the youngest designer (acted by Nara Jang) ran to find fabrics in KBS2TV’s TV soap opera, or the main character in who dreamt to become a fashion designer. Like this, Dongdaemun night market was illustrated as a standard night market.
The market is largely categorized as the left side and the right side of the Ogansugyo Bridge. Retail stores including Migliore and Doota building is on the left side. But the main of this passage, the right side of the bridge have wholesale stores. This night market opens at 8 p.m. and peak time is 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. It is usually time to go to bed for some, but for this area most of the time it is over crowded during the later hours.
Famous as night snacks as much as fashion
The best thing about night market is definitely night snacks. Run into the nearest place when you feel hungry during the adventure. Eatery alley was more popular when Dongdaemun Stadium was there. Many cafés and sandwich shops settled in new buildings and looks like outdoor café. The night market is filled with night snacks. Eatery alley between Gwanghee fashion mall and South Peace market has many cart bars with seafood menus and bottles of Soju. These cart bars, the hottest killer tteokbokki, firing chicken feet, Bibim guksu (spicy noodles) in Jeil Peace market are the most famous. Also the left side of the bridge has Kalguksu (noodle soup) with a whole chicken, gopchang (pork tripe), nokdu bindaetteok (fried pancakes made with mung bean) and so on.
Changdeokgung, has been selected as Unesco world heritage and this is one of two that are located in Seoul. There are 10 strict Selection criteria the locations have to have to be part of the Unisco world heritage. Nominated sites must be of “outstanding universal value” and meet at least one of the ten criteria. Changdeokgung was added in 1997. The UNESCO committee inscribing the site stating the place was an “outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design”, being exceptional because the building is “integrated into and harmonized with the natural setting”, and adapted “to the topography and retaining indigenous tree cover.” 2 thirds of the palace are on the terrain part of Bukhan mountain and all buildings are located following the terrain shape naturally, which makes Changdeokgung even more unique and a tradition of Korean architecture and landscaping. Changdeokgung is the only palace where Chosun Kings have used for the longest period of time, more than any other Chosun palaces and it was well preserved. Because of the 4 clear seasons in Korea and Changdeokgung’s unique natural design, Kings and families had loved it.
Built in 1394, which is 100 years before Columbus landed his first footstep on the America continent, Gyeongbokgung is the last palace in the Korean history where the last emperor of Chosun dynasty stayed. There are two different parts in the palace, Naejeon (inner court) where emperor and family stayed and Oejeon (outer court) for the politics and governances.
Geunjeongjeon is the throne hall where the king formally granted audiences to his officials and gave declarations of national importance. Sajeongjeon is the executive office where the king or emperor carried out his executive duties and held meetings with top government officials. Gangnyengjeon is where the king’s bed chamber is located. Gyotaejeon is for queens and Jagyeongjeon is the only royal residing quarters for the late queens. There are so many parts designed for different functions and different residences in the Palace. So the palace is not a single architect but one big area with several sectors or towns.
There are also many interesting architectural elements. For example, Haetae is a symbol for cleanness which people believed would allow only good people who pledge royalty to the king would come into the palace.
You can find out more interesting stories and secrets of the Chosun dynasty and palaces through a IBTS KOREA guide.
The oldest traditional market
Namdaemun market has been originated from the 14th century of king Taejong (1414). Merchants were allowed to open shops around Namdaemun which now became modern markets. As it has a long history, the scale is huge. 17 acres of large size of land where 54 acre size shopping flats are located. Not only by the size of the market but you will be surprised, but also by the variety of merchadise you can buy. Except construction materials and furnitures, you can literally find everything. Food, medicine, fashion items and the list go on and on. Although each shop occupies tiny areas, they have a unique echo system to sustain their business model. They buy things directly from manufactures or someone nearby to minimize distribution cost.
And you can find many shops that are selling their own products, which mean merchants are the manufacturers. During the Late night of the day, all distributors from every corner of Korea come to this market. This causes the market to run for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It is even more active at dawn. The scene itself is magnificent and attractive enough to wake up tourists to come to the market anytime of the day especially late at night till dawn.
Open the way as human
Yookcho (seven government offices of Joseon Dynasty) Street was the symbol of Hanyang (old name of Seoul). The first King Taejo during the time of the Joseon Dynasty relocated the capital city into Hanyang. He built the Yookcho Street on both sides of the streets in front of Gwanghwamun gate. It is the distance between Gwanghwamun to Gwanhwamun intersection these days. It was the best street that continued to the loyal palace, but coming into modern time, it is changed into a street for cars. Meaning the Yookcho Street faded away naturally.
But the center of the street reopened about 34 meter wide and 740 meter long and the Gwanghwamun Square connected Gwanghwamun and Cheonggye square in August 2009. 10 lanes on both sides of Gwanghwamun Square worked as a second square. This means the best street of Korea is revived. Car streets were changed into human-centered space and narrowed the gaps with citizens.
You can enlarge and downsize through a PC mouse or arrow key on the keyboard and the 3D image that rotated 360 degree.
The major square of Korea
The square is divided into ‘recovery block of history of Gwanghwamun’, ‘re-created block of the scene of Yookcho street’, ‘The major square of Korea’, ‘metroculture blocked citizen participants’, from the ‘square which is located in the heart of the city’, ‘link to Cheonggyecheon stream’ . These are working as the space of culture and relaxation to reboot historic city based on its individual characters. Especially the Statue of King Sejong the Great is located in ‘The major square of Korea’, where is the pivot of whole squares.
Statue of King Sejong the Great is 6.2 meter high, 4.3 meter long, and 20 ton heavy and it is set up on the 4.2 meter high stylobate. His other works such as Haesigye(sundial), Cheukugye(udometer), Honchunyi(celestial globe) is placed together. You can learn about his life and achievement in the ‘the tale of King Sejong the Great’ exhibition area located in the underground level.
‘In the square, the heart of city near the statue of General Lee is also a beloved place by the citizens. Artificial pond and 12.23 fountains is chilling in the heat of the boiling city during the summer. And about a meter of width and 365 in length a ‘Stream of history’ is flowing on both sides. The main history between 1392 and 2008 of Korea is recorded on the east side and unfortunately the west side is still left for future. As if it is the actual stream of time, water is flowing on the past and the future. The place is popular with floor fountains for children in the hot weather.
Besides these, Haechi sculpture, which is the symbol of Seoul and the grass square, is also located. Smiling Haechi helps this square to be familiar with people. The grass square is used as a place to relax for both citizens and tourists, and it also runs an ice rink durig the winter with the beautiful Gwanghwamun in the background.
One of Seoul’s most ambitious revitalized projects of the past several decades and it has transformed the Cheonggyecheon stream into one of the city’s best outdoor pedestrian areas. Cheonggyecheon, a small stream passing through downtown Seoul, was restored in 2005 to give the city a desperately needed outdoor area. The project included the installation of extensive walking paths, 22 bridges, a large central fountain and several murals and art installations featuring the work of local artists. The stream now stretches nearly 7 miles (11 kilometers), so you’ll usually be able to find a place to sit and relax.
In a city that was once largely devoid of natural spaces, Cheonggyecheon is one of the best places in Seoul for walking, people watching or simply taking a break from a walking tour of the surrounding historic district. During the summers, the city hosts cultural festivals and concerts as part of the Cheonggyecheon Cultural Festival. The waters of the Cheonggyecheon stream light up each night, and the city adorns the trees with thousands of lights when it comes to Christmas time. Chenggyecheon is still evolving with meaningful value to Seoul citizens. There are great wishes, hopes and harmony that flow in the stream, which is the heart of the citizens of Seoul and a symbol of evolution. This movement is still flowing.
Where did the past kings of Korea live and what was it like?
Look around Gyeongbokgung Palace where the last king of Seoul and Changdeokgung Palace where it is rolled in the world heritage list, and see how the main street from 600 years ago has changed into a large square through course no. 30. All places are decorated with beautiful lights at night.
Driving down the Chunggyecheon stream, enjoy the shopping in the Dongdaemun night market, the heaven of night shopping.
- Drive through the beautiful night view course spots (Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Square, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Namdaemun Market)
- Dongdaemun market where they never rest at night / Itaewon
- Don’t forget to have night snacks, another charm of Korea
Changdoekgook Palace is the only place that is designated as a World Heritage site within Korean palaces.
Changdeokgoong palace receives a lot of praises for its beauty and is well remained as its original state.
Especially the back garden, which occupies over half of the palace, shows the beauty of the Korean traditional garden the most well.
This place is where the kings of Joseon Dynasty had relived their stressed and spirits from state affairs in the past.
Let us become like a king of the past during the Joseon times and take a stroll and rest around the backyard of the Changdoekgook Palace.
Kyeongbokgung Palace is one of the oldest of the five places in Seoul. It is such a great and magnificent building as a representative of Joseon Dynasty. It shows off the beauty of its construction.Through this, it can be a representative tourism spot for foreigners to understand the tradition and history of Korea.This tour course takes around one and a half hours; you will see remarkable pavilions like Kyunghoiru and Hyangwonjung, and beautiful/classy wooden and stone structures as Kyungcheonsaji 10-story tower, you also will see Kyotaejeon and Kangnyungjun places where you can experience the life of noble people with a guide.
The choicest tour place for foreign tourists.
Gyungbok-gung Palace is the starting point of 500 years of history in Joseon Dynasty.
You will defiantly enjoy the stroll around the place feeling the quiet and peaceful mood.
It can be a representative tourism spot for foreigners to understand the tradition and history of Korea.
If you want to know the history of Korea properly, you should visit this place.
The new Gwanghwamun Square is inaugurated in June 2009. Actually the square is a rectangle stretching over 740 m all along Sejongno from Gwanghwamun itself (still under renovation in its original location) to the Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin at the cross with Jongro and Shinmunro. Until now eight lanes of traffic were separated by a thin green band hosting old gingko trees. The idea is to develop the central section open it to the public and turn the whole street into a large plaza for special occasions. So this rectangle will be 10 to 34 m wide depending on the days and much bigger if you include the large pavements on both sides.
Koreans call Chunggyecheon as an oasis in the city central that is awakened from a long sleep. Among the dense tall buildings’ line-up, one ray of water is flowing through the central. Chunggyecheon has become a resting and picnic place for office workers at their lunch time and weekends. This place is chosen as the most beautiful ‘100 roads’ in Korea, it is really good for taking a stroll during a warm sun shining day.
The oldest traditional market Namdaemun market has been originated from 14th year of king Taejong (1414). Merchants were allowed to open shops around Namdaemun which now became modern market. As is its long history, the scale is huge. 17 acre large size of land where 54 acre size of shopping flats are located. Not by only just size of the market but you will be surprised by the variety of what you can buy. Except the construction materials and furnitures, you can literally find everything. Food, medicine, fashion items and so on. Although the each shop occupies tiny area, they have unique echo system to sustain their business model. They buy directly things from manufactures or someone nearby to minimize distribution cost. And you can find many shops are selling their own products which means merchants are the manufacturers.