Sejong Center

Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (or Sejong Center) is the largest arts and cultural complex in Seoul, South Korea. It has an interior area of 53,202m². It is situated in the center of the capital, on Sejongno, a main road that cuts through the capital city of the Joseon Dynasty. The center took 4 years to complete, opening its doors in 1978. It was "built as a cultural center for Seoulites." It currently is home to the biggest pipe organ in Asia. (Source: Wikipedia)
The building is located in Gwanghamun and you can view the statue of the great King Sejong  just in front of the center. Underneath the statue, you can walk into Gwang Ha Rang, where you can view many free exhibition. The Gwang Hwa Rang is situated right underneath the Sejong-ro crossroads. It is accessible to pedestrians and art-discerning visitors. There is a window-gallery that enable by-passers on ground level to peek inside.

Check out my trip to Gwanghamun on April 2009 here and to King Sejong's tomb here.
My friends Iris, Fiza, Nyna and Hanim recently visited the great King Sejong's exhibition and check out their pictures here. You can even practise writing your own name in Hangul! ^^

The great King errr..Queen Fiza?

Nice kitty..rawrrr!! Be careful Nyna! ^^

Fiza landed into the same dreaded situation like me.
There's no letter in Hangul which sounded like 'Z' and 'F' hence
Korean pronounce our name as Pija and Jarina respectively.
I gave up to teach them on how to pronounce my name properly.
The funnier thing is, Korean pronounce pizza (the food) as pija.

Uri chingu!! From left Fiza, Iris, Nyna and Hanim.
All pictures are from their courtesy.

Myeongdong to Gwanghamun
16 minutes, 5 stops, 5.1km
1,000 won with cash, 900 won with T-Money
Transit at Dongdaemun History and Culture park subway station
Take Exit 5 at Gwanghamun subway station to go to Sejong Center

Teddy Bear Museum

Admission: 8,000 won (Museum only) , 12,000 won (Museum + N Seoul Observatory)

Operating hours: 10:00 - 22:00 (Last Admission: 21:00)

How to go:
By bus - Take the yellow bus for 500 won with T-Money. Check my post for Yellow bus to N Tower.
Once you reach the bus stop at N Tower base, you need to walk a bit up to the steep hill. If you want to avoid this, you can always ride the cable car. If not, please wear comfortables shoes like sneakers.

By cable car - From Myeongdong subway station, Exit 3, walk up to the hill behind Pacific Hotel until you reach the cable car station. Cable car return fee 7,500 won. Check my post for cable car to N Tower.
Source: KNTO

Picture courtesy: Iris, Fiza, Hanim and Nyna

Korean Rice Cake

Another food that I really miss, a lot!! I was surprised when I found Korean rice cake sold right in front of Cold Storage at The Gardens, Midvalley. I'm not sure whether they still sell it now though. A beautiful box of Korean rice cake sold for MYR10.

In Korea, if you pass by a store like this, you can buy a portion for 2,000 to 3,000 won depending on the type of rice cake. I particularly prefer Songpyeon.

Korean rice cake house / shop = 떡 집

My favourite songpyeon. Can someone buy me some from Korea? 
I miss eating this so much.

Inside songpyeon - brown sugar, sesame seed

You can buy Korean rice cake at underground store near the subway station 
for 1,000 won. The cheapest I could get. 

This picture was taken around Suwon Market after my friends
visited Hwaseong Fortress with Mi Hyeon Onni and Min Young. 
Before closing the shop the rice cake are sold cheaply. 3 packet 
for 5,000 won. 

At some larger Korean rice cake shop, you could order it as 
a set of gift. Korean give out rice cake at almost every occasion.
For example when a newly wedded couple move into their new
house, they will give rice cake to the neighbors.

I love 쑥갠떡. The green one. It is made from mugwort. 
Mugwort is beneficial for treating stomach and intestinal disorders. 

Pretty one for gift set.

Check out Tteok Museum for more information.
Source: KNTO

How to Make Hotteok

Hotteok is among my favourite street foods of Korea. Nyamm..^^ The price normally ranging from 500 to 1,000 won per piece.

This shop is very famous in Insadong. Expect long queue when you
arrive there. 

Normally I bought the Hotteok mix at the Korean grocery store in Ampang and just mix it as per instruction.

The filling tastes like a mixed of nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Although I hate cinnamon after-taste but this one is an exception!

Check out for full recipe.

Where to Buy Korean Hallyu Souvenirs?

I found a few of these shops in Myeongdong and Namdaemun but couldn't care less to take the pictures until my friends returned from Seoul and showed me their cam-whoring results.

There are various items of imaginable Korean Hallyu souvenirs sold here. Namely socks, t-shirts, calendars, key-chain, mug and etc. You name it! Price differs between shops. Haggling is a must!

This shop is in Insadong. You could also find Korean Hallyu souvenirs here. Insadong mostly caters Korean traditional souvenirs like Korean mask, fan, hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) and etc.

How to go to Insadong - stop at either Jongno /Euljiro/ Jonggak subway station.

Guess who on the far right? Has he finished his military duties yet?

I bought that SNSD file folder but now it sits between piles of books.
Mian he..hehe
This shop is in Namdaemun

How to go to Namdaemun - stop at Hoehyeon subway station. Actually Namdaemun is walking
distance from Myeongdong. They are near to each other.

Make sure you see this building and walk towards Namdaemun!

This makeshift stall is in Myeongdong.

To Big Bang lovers, GDragon said..Kajima!! Don't go until you buy this calendar!
GDragon..Kyaa!! *fangirl mode*

You can find many sellers at the underground shopping centers too like in Euljiro and Myeongdong nearby the subway. Most of the shops are selling similar stuff and price wise is pretty much the same. I rarely get discount from those ahjummas but I would buy a few things at one go and ask for service. In Korea, service means free items or sample. They will gladly give it to you if you purchase a lot from their shop.

The entrance to Hoehyeon underground shopping center

Myeongdong underground shopping center.

Picture courtesy: Iris, Fiza, Hanim, Nyna and 2T

How to go to Cheongyanni Station

If you want to go to Nami Island by train at Cheongyanni Station, you have to ride the subway to until here.

Cheongyanni Station on November 2009

Cheongyanni Station on November 2010

Myeongdong to Cheongyanni

22 minutes, 7 stops, 5.9km
900 won with T-Money, 1,000 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun subway station

After that go out from Cheongyanni Subway Station to Cheongyanni Train Station. The picture above is Cheongyanni Train Station. Don't be confused! ^^
Buy a ticket at Cheongyanni Train Station to Gapyeong Train Station for about 3,500 won.
Gapyeong Station is not in the Seoul Metro map because it is not a subway train. It is a normal train. Don't waste your time finding the station name in the Seoul Metro map.
You can catch a taxi for about 4,000 won to Nami Island jetty from Gapyeong Station. The return ferry ride cost about 8,000 won.

Subway 900 won x 2
Train 3,500 won x 2
Taxi 4,000 won x 2 (Divide among your friends if you are in a group)
Ferry 8,000 won
Total is roughly 23,900 won

Check out the link at KNTO for Winter Sonata Course.

Ice Skating in Seoul

Winter is here and it's time to sharpen your skating skill!! ^^

Honestly, I don't know how to skate at all and it's natural to envy Kim Yuna's skill ^^. No intention to learn it though cause I love snowboarding more than skating. Snowboarding invokes a different kind of adrenaline rush for me like jumping on the craziest roller coaster? Kind of. ^^ (Whatever gonna be stoned to death by Kim Yuna's fans! *run and hide*)

Why you want to skate if snowboarding is much cooler?
1.No time to visit ski resort
2.No budget to snowboard/ski at the ski resort
3.Maybe you will meet Kim Yuna look alike? *who knows..hehe*

For Malaysians; take a dip! Do not compare to your Sunway Pyramid's skating experience cause you may need to garb yourself with layers of clothes to endure the bitter cold. Looking at it from another perspective, winter is the time to be flashy and fashionable, right? At any cost, avoid black. It's too somber and depressing for winter. ^^

Gwanghamun Ice Skating Rink

Admission: 1,000 won per hour (Skate and helmet included), 30% discount for group of 20 people
Operating Hours: Weekdays 10:00 - 22:00, Weekend and Holidays 10:00 - 23:00
Date: December 11 to February 15
How to go: Gwanghamun subway station, Exit 1 or 8, Line 5
Source: KNTO

Myeongdong to Gwanghamun

16 minutes, 5 stops , 5.1km
900 won with T-Money, 1,000 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park subway station

Walkerhill Ice Skating Rink

Official website:
Admission: Weekdays 20,000 won/ Weekend or holidays 30,000 won
Skate Rental: 12,000 won
Operating Hours: Weekdays 12:00 - 21:00, Weekend and Holidays 12:00 - 22:00
Date: December 19 to February 15
How to go: Gwangnaru subway station, Exit 1, Line 5 then take complimentary bus to the Walkerhill Hotel
Source: KNTO

Myeongdong to Gwangnaru

29 minutes, 12 stops , 12.4km
1,000 won with T-Money, 1,100 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park subway station

Olympic Park Ice Skating Rink

Official website:
Admission: 1,000 won for 1 hour 30 minutes (Skate and helmet included)
Operating Hours: Weekdays 09:00 - 21:00, Weekend and Holidays 09:00 - 22:00
Date: December 7 to February 15
How to go: Mongchontoseong subway station, Exit 1, Line 5 then take the green bus #2412 or 2413 and get off at the Peace Plaza bus station.
Source: KNTO

I have never thought of visiting Olympic Park although it is only one subway stop away from Jinny's home back when she lived in Bangi area. Now I have a reason to. ^^

Myeongdong to Mongchontoseong

40 minutes, 14 stops , 14.8km
1,000 won with T-Money, 1,100 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park subway station and Jamsil subway station

Grand Hyatt Ice Skating Rink

Official website:
Admission: Weekdays 19,800 won/ Weekend or holidays 24,200 won
Skate Rental: 15,400 won
Operating Hours: Weekdays 12:00 - 21:00, Weekend and Holidays 10:00 - 22:00
Date: November 28 to February 28
How to go: Noksapyeong subway station, Exit 1, Line 6. Cross the road at the crosswalk and take bus #3 to the Grand Hyatt Hotel bus stop. You may also take bus #402 from Seoul Station to the Grand Hyatt Hotel bus stop
Source: KNTO

Myeongdong to Noksapyeong

18 minutes, 5 stops , 4.9km
900 won with T-Money, 1000 won with cash
Transit at Samgkji subway station

Lotte World Indoor Ice Skating Rink

Admission: 8,500 won for 3 hours, 1,000 won for exceeding 30 minutes
Skate Rental: 4,500 won
Operating Hours: Weekdays 10:40 - 22:30, Weekend and Holidays 10:00 - 22:30
Date: All year round , 365 days
How to go: Jamsil subway station, Exit 4, Line 2 or 8.
Source: KNTO
Highlight: Laser show  Weekdays 20:50 - 21:30, Weekend and Holidays 21:20 - 22:00

Myeongdong to Jamsil

31 minutes, 13 stops , 14km
1,000 won with T-Money, 1,100 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park subway station

Korea University Ice Skating Rink

Admission: 5,000
Skate Rental: 3,000 won
Operating Hours: 14:00 - 18:00 / Vacation period (mid July - end August / mid December - End February 13:00 - 18:00
Date: All year round , 365 days
How to go: Korea University subway station, Exit 3, Line 6 then take bus #20 and get off at Korea University bus stop
Source: KNTO

Myeongdong to Korea University

30 minutes, 8 stops , 6.7km
900 won with T-Money, 1,000 won with cash
Transit at Dongdaemun subway station and Dongmyo subway station
Note: Price and date may change.