An nyeong ha se yo (hello), everyone! It’s back to reality for me after attending a beautiful wedding in the Philippines, meeting up with family and friends, and signing up for transit tours in South Korea.I didn’t find much time to share my 2-week travels, but now that I’m back, I’m reserving time on my days off work to write. Today, I’m sharing about a tour hubby and I signed up for in South Korea.
Most travelers have probably heard that some of the best airports in the world are found in Asia. One of these airports is Incheon International Airport which is the international hub of South Korea. It is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. In 2016, 58 million passengers passed through Incheon International Airport.The airport offers several free services for the comfort and enjoyment of its transit passengers. One of these is the Korea Free Transit Tours which ranges from an hour to five hours. Hubby and I signed up for the Seoul City Tour 1, a 5-hour tour which is the 8AM tour that visits Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest royal palace and main palace of the Joseon Dynasty. On Tuesdays, however, the Gyeongbokgung is closed, and a visit to the second royal palace, Changdeokgung, is offered. The other stop for Seoul City Tour 1 is Insadong Street which is a popular traditional street lined with shops. Unlike the other 5-hour tours, this tour requires a $10 per person fee for the palace entrance fee and lunch. Incheon International Airport is an hour from Seoul, therefore 2 hours is spent on travel and a total of 3 hours spent on the 2 attractions. The tour guides stick strictly to the time, mindful of each transit passengers’ flight times.
Changdeokgung Palace is on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage. It was built in 1405, but was burned during the Korean-Japanese war in 1592. The palace was restored in 1609. It still has many of its original features and is well-preserved.It was my first time to see a Korean royal palace. I love that the colors and décor reflect nature. Provisions were made for air circulation. The gardens are lovely with trees providing shade and shrubs and flowers presenting a visual treat.
Insadong Street is a well-known traditional street in Seoul to both locals and foreign visitors. Shops and restaurants line the streets.Hubby and I enjoyed browsing through the shops after a lunch of bulgogi, thinly sliced meat with soy sauce, and bibimbap, vegetables with egg mixed with rice. It seems that the Koreans like egg as much as hubby and I do! We tried some little snack cakes, and I bought a Korean brand face powder for my Korean TV drama obsessed cousin. She loved my present, of course!
The 5-hour tour gave us a peek at the history and culture of South Korea, and we loved it! It made us want to see more. We absolutely have no regrets signing up for Seoul City Tour 1. Our five hours was well spent.