Oct 24, 2013
Morning: Changdeokgung and secret garden, Bukchon Hanok Village
Lunch: Chicken ginseng soup
One hour before sunset: N Seoul Tower
在酒店吃完早餐后，我们向昌德宫出发了，10分钟路程。 还早，才10点，人比较少。 首尔的宫殿很多，我只选择了昌德宫，因为它的后苑。 我喜欢游览花园。 在购票处，被告知游客不可以独自游览后苑，必须得跟着导游。 可是下一个英文导游团11:30am开始，下一个中文导游团12:30pm开始。 不知道我做功课时怎么漏掉了这么重要的信息，哈哈。 然后灵机一动，我决定跟下一个日文导游团10:30am。 宫殿不错， 后苑好大！ 我原本以为后苑也类似于日式花园，所以有点失望。 日式花园都是人为打理，每一棵树木每一支花都有专人修剪，很精致。 昌德宫的后苑全为天然，没有被人精心修理过的痕迹，虽然没有那么精致，但是和家人在里面走上一圈也是很轻松写意的事情。
After bread and tea as breakfast, we walked from our hotel to Changdeokgung Palace, about 10 minutes. Not a lot of people, since it’s still early, 10am. I chose this palace out of all others in Seoul because of its secret garden. I love visiting gardens. At the gate, I was told that one cannot visit the secret garden alone, we have to join a guided tour. The next available English/Chinese guided tour was at 11:30am/12:30pm. Oops, I somehow missed this information during my research. Then I decided to sign up the next Japanese guided tour at 10:30am. The palace is quite big, and the secret garden is huge. I was somewhat disappointed at the garden, because some reviews said it was beautiful. I guess my expectation was somewhat close to Japanese garden. It’s not, and it’s not even close. However, it does have its beauty. Having a walk with my family there was very soothing and relaxing. Cost: regular admission 3000 won + secret garden admission 5000 won.
参观完昌德宫后，我们去了北村韩屋村，在首尔有着600年历史的韩国传统居住区。 在当时是王室的高官们或贵族人士居住的高级住宅区，因而非常有名。 因为我对建筑的喜爱，所以这个景点完全是我的菜。 房屋虽然小巧，但是装饰精致，我喜欢每家每户门前的一草一物，每个小巷都有它的亮点。 不过这里好多上坡下坡，体力被消耗了不少！
After finishing the palace, we walked to bukchon hanok village, Korean traditional village. Although I loved the architecture very much, it was very tiring with all the steep uphills and downhills.
中午找到了这家很有名的土俗村参鸡汤店，排队20分钟。 还好这家名店有420个座位， 原本以为这么长的队起码要一个小时。 一个童子鸡，肚子里有10几种材料，外加一棵人参和糯米，补回了我们所有的体力！ 每锅15000韩币。
However, after lining up for 20 mins, this famous chicken ginseng soup made up for all the energy lost! Thanks to its 420 seating, we thought we would need to wait for at least an hour. It was well worth waiting! Cost 15000 won.
吃饱喝足后，我们又有了体力，开始朝仁寺洞出发。 仁寺洞是韩国最有代表性的文化商品街，大街上画廊、古董、古代书籍以及各种艺术作品琳琅满目，让人流连忘返。对游客来说，仁寺洞是买小礼物的必到之处。 我才发现我的相机里一张照片都没有，我们三人大概都忙着买礼物去了。 日落前一个小时，我们坐公交车来到了南山顶的首尔塔。 为什么选在日落前一小时，因为好多人说在首尔塔上看日落很漂亮！
With my Nexus 4’s GPS, we walked to Insa-dong. This unique area contains a mixture of historical and modern cultural atmosphere. It sells artwork, antiques, all kinds of traditional papers, and cookware. It’s a well known area for gift shopping, because you suddenly see a lot of foreigners on the street. I just realized that I did not take any picture of the area, I guess we were too busy shopping. One hour before sunset, we arrived N Seoul tower by bus. It was simply amazing to watch the sun goes down, and the light comes on in the city of Seoul!