Chuseok adventures, pt II: falling in love with Cheonggyecheon stream

When moving to a new city, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of emotion- excitement, panic, nervousness, uncertainty, joy- and the first few weeks are always interesting as you start to navigate your surroundings. However, for me at least, there’s always that one moment- that one discovery, that view from the top of a lookout, that gorgeous scene as your train makes its way across a river- that one moment where you feel that you could truly fall in love with a new city. That moment, for me, was discovering Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon stream.

(continuation of pt I)

Megan and I wandered around a bit of Insadong for a while after exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace. We barely scratched the surface and I’m keen to go back on a non-holiday when more shops are open. The area has lots of restaurants, shops and traditional teahouses- the teahouses in particular are something I’d like to experience!

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An interesting area, aesthetically!

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Yeah, little bee, you do your pollinating magic!

 

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Public fountains along Sejong-ro- a major street leading to Gyeongbokgung palace, named after Sejong the Great.

After we finished our Insadong wandering, Megan headed home and I went back to visit the National Palace Museum of Korea, leaving the National Folk Museum for another day. Both museums are located within the Gyeongbokgung palace complex, and admission to the palace museum was included with the 7000 won fee for Gyeongbokgung. I believe the folk museum was included as well. The palace museum contained an extensive collection of jewelry, clothing, pottery, and other artefacts from the elite of the Joseon dynasty. I snapped pictures of a few things that interested me, including:

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Marvelous silk socks o’ luxury!

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I’ve never burned incense in a device quite like this. Looks like I’ve been doing it wrong my whole life!

 

I found this device especially interesting- it’s a water clock that uses water movement and gravity to create a chain reaction, causing a gong to be struck at 18-minute intervals.

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After I’d had enough of the museum, I continued to roam near Insadong. It was a pleasant evening indeed, and I felt quite at peace with life.

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“Imagine your Korea”- don’t mind if I do!

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The highlight of my evening was discovering Cheonggyecheon stream, purely by chance. I’d heard of this area and planned to visit, but didn’t realize I’d been so close to it the whole time.

The stream is a wonderful break from Seoul’s hectic streetscape- after being built over and covered up for ages, the stream was re-opened in recent decades, complete with walking paths, a waterfall and lots of spots to sit and ponder. It’s several metres below street level, and is therefore rather tranquil considering its central location.

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Beautiful.

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No mid-city green space is complete without some bizarre art installation.

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Cheonggye plaza.

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Couples strolled by as the sun slowly set.

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Stumbled upon the Avenue of Youth- definitely a place to soak up some late-night drinking, shopping, and street food snacking.
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And finally…

IMG_1711Me every day.

 

Until next time!

 

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