[SOUTH KOREA 2012] Day 1: Anguk, Myeongdong

DAY 1 (11 Nov): Anguk, Myeongdong

- Arrive in Incheon Airport
- Check in at Doo Guesthouse (Anguk Station)

- Myeongdong

- Yulgok-ro
- Ssamziegil Complex

AirAsia X have been doing wonders with their international routes in 2011 - first they opened their route to Osaka and subsequently to Tokyo, then we found out that they would operate flights to Seoul!

When my sister and I found out that AirAsia will be operating in Seoul, we immediately booked our flight for November. Since we booked way in advance (almost a year in advance), it gave us ample time to plan on where to go. Initially it was just going to be the two of us, but her friends decided to join in and so the six of us Muslim girls planned our 8-day trip to Seoul. We also decided to visit Jeju for 3 days, as I've heard that Jeju is beautiful and have a lot of interesting places as well.

So after almost a year of waiting, we finally headed to Korea!

Upon arrival, we made our way to our first guesthouse of the trip, Doo Guesthouse. Doo Guesthouse is situated 5-10 minutes from Anguk Station. Let me tell you, the journey from the airport to Anguk station itself was pretty tiring, as we were bringing our luggage through the station which involves lots of walking and, the worst part, lots of stairs. Compared to Japan, Korea subway stations are less luggage-friendly than I would've thought. But then again, I recalled that Japan has their luggage delivery service, which I don't think Korea has.

Anyway, Doo Guesthouse is fashioned in a traditional Korean bukchon-styled house. We were supposed to be given the special room, which was separated from the main guesthouse and could house 6 people. But due to some mis-arrangement, we had to split up into 2 rooms. We weren't too happy with that, but the manager was so anxious to rectify the situation and the two rooms were fine for us.

Only thing is that this style of room really gives you almost no privacy. You can hear the people in adjoining room moving around, and one night two other guests came back to their room late at night and made so much noise that I was having trouble sleeping. Management finally told them to shut up (in more polite terms) so that we could all get a peace of mind. So yeah, we would've been more happy had we gotten the special room. But nevertheless, the place itself is beautiful, and quite strategic, since it was placed in Insadong and all the other attractions are within walking distance or at the very least, within subway distance.

Our room for the night
View from our room. The leftside is the living room, where guests can sit around and try their hanbok collection
After checking in and leaving our luggages in our room, we walked around the area in search for food since we haven't had breakfast just yet. Stopped by a cosy coffee shop nearby (the place could only house like 4 people at most) and had some drinks since it was drizzling and super cold for us.

After the pick-me-up coffee, we went in search of real food as the restaurants in the surrounding area were still closed (most were only opened for lunch, and it was still too early for that). So we headed off to Myeongdong for some sightseeing, shopping and food. 

Stopped by for a photo at the entrance of Bukchon Hanok Village
Arrived in Myeongdong! It was slightly drizzling

Had lunch at one of the restaurants in M Plaza and went window shopping in the area - nothing too exciting in the Plaza itself so we just walked around some more until we couldn't stand the cold and went into one of the Paris Baguette chains in Myeongdong.

Paris Baguette is everywhere in Seoul; there was one at Anguk station and there will always be one where there are shopping complexes. Personally I think their pastries weren't all that great, but the coffee is ace.

After tired of walking around, we made our way back to Anguk after a day of walking.

The alleyway we went through to go back to Doo Guesthouse
One of the more interesting store along the alleyway to look at
We're still not sure what it really is, but I'm guessing it's a photography service
That concludes our first night in Seoul, which was leisurely spent. The next day was about to get more tiring.