As night fell, it was time to take the cable car up to Mount Namsan to have a view of the city from the top. It wasn’t easy finding our way to the cable car station; there were no signs at all. Thankfully Daryl had sharp eyes! From Myeongdong station exit 4, walk along the main road towards Shinsegae department store and turn left at the traffic junction towards Namsan tunnel #3. You should see the entrance of the tunnel, and you’ll find the glass elevator that brings you up to the cable car station.
Dinner was at Myeongdong again, and this time we headed to Dongdaemun for night shopping. Actually I had already been browsing at the malls over the first 2 nights (like I’ve said, the hostel’s location is perfect!). But there were so many malls anyway so we just went to a one that I hadn’t been, haha.
Skipped the last day of the conference because there weren’t any lectures that caught my interest (it was a half day only anyway). Visited Gyeongbok Palace. The weather was perfect, and there was so much greenery surrounding the palace that made it another pretty place to visit.
Met Daryl’s friends for lunch at Insadong and then explored the area. There were plenty of shops selling handmade goods & souvenirs, as well as many traditional teahouses & restaurants. No wonder it’s termed the cultural area of Seoul.
After which everyone went their separate ways and I wandered over to Samcheongdong, an area with numerous small art galleries, shops and cafes. Where old meets new, restored traditional-style houses and modern buildings sit side by side. I thought I got lost, but that’s the beauty of traveling isn’t it? Found my bearings just as the sun was setting and hopped on the train back to the hostel.
# Day 5
Plans for my last day got ruined by rain :( Headed to the City Air Terminal at Coex to check in, which then left me luggage-free to roam around during the day. Also cleared immigration, which meant that I didn’t need to go to the airport that early as I could go straight to the boarding gate. Very handy! Wanted to go explore the Ewha Womens University & Hongik University areas (and potentially get a Korean haircut), but unfortunately it was pouring and I was forced to stay indoors.
Shopped around Coex mall but there was nothing that caught my interest. Searched for a place for lunch, and I just chose a random shop where there was a kind-looking auntie behind the counter. Had to have my favourite Korean dish again! :D
The rain did not stop so I decided to head to Gangnam underground shopping mall. Just so you know, it’s located beneath Express Bus Terminal subway station and not Gangnam station. I assumed that it was at Gangnam but luckily I googled the place before I left Coex, phew! The arcade consists of 2 parallel rows of side-by-side shops stretching about 1km or so, selling clothes, accessories, skin care products, and even household products and kitchenware! I don’t think I saw any men’s stuff though. Bought 2 tops & 4 pairs of earrings for $25 :) Also popped into the food hall at Shinsegae which has a massive variety of food stalls (like Takashimaya), but it was way too crowded so I didn’t get anything.
Since it was on the train line on the way to the airport and the rain had stopped, I got off the train at Hongik University and wandered around the area for about an hour. The place was gradually becoming crowded as the day drew to an end, with bars/pubs opening their doors to business. Came across an interesting flight of stairs.
Got caught in the rain walking back to the station but a kind soul offered to share his umbrella with me. Bless him. An uneventful train ride to the airport marked the end of my short trip. Arrived back in Singapore at around 1am, went home and had some durian, slept for a couple of hours, then had wanton mee & chwee kueh for breakfast before my final flight back to Melbourne. Till the next conference! :)