After the DMZ-Tour on Friday, we had the next tourist attraction today. A city tour through Seoul with a private tour guide was on the schedule. We met our tour guide Sally at 8:50 am in the hotel lobby. Because of the bad weather we had to change the initially planned program. We were forced to do more indoor activities. Because of the rain, we were not able to see the changing of the guard ceremony in front of Deoksugung Palace, which only takes place by nice weather. Thanks to our great tour guide Sally we still had a very interesting day.
Our program mainly took place in the Older City of Seoul. First we visited the Sarangchae House. This is in front of the guest house of the official residence of the South Korean President. Sarangchae is an ideal place for tourist to get more familiar with facts of South Korea and Seoul, for example we could learn more about the Korean car industry. After an introduction from Sally, we had half an hour left to explore the Sarangchae House.
Next we visited the Deocksugung Palace. This part took place outside. Because of the heavy rain, umbrellas were a very popular utensil. Despite of the bad weather, the class was very interested in the speech of Sally about the Deoksugung Palace.
A little bit wet, we got in the bus again to drive to the Jogaesa Buddhist Temple. On the way to the temple we learned from Sally, that Buddhism is one of the two main religions in South Korea. The Jogaesa Temple is a very interesting place. First we learned more about Buddhism and after that we had the opportunity to get more impressions of the temple by ourselves.
Next we had our deserved lunch. We ate a traditional Korean meal, which is called Bibimbab. Main ingredients are rice and vegetables. Because we were now already used to eat with chopstick, we finished lunch quickly and continued our city tour.
We drove to Insadong. This is a shopping street, where you can buy antiquity souvenirs. After one hour of buying presents for our friends and family at home we drove to our last place.
The Namdaemun Market is a very impressive place. When walking through the market, you got the feeling that everything you need you can buy here. Especially fabric and food selling points dominated the market. After a long walk through the market and with a lot of new impressions we returned to the bus, which brought us back to the hotel.
The interesting history of Seoul and our excellent tour guide Sally impressed all of us. We received a lot of impressions of the traditional and yet modern City of Seoul.