Korea Day 4: Sightseeing Seoul

Day 4 was a beautiful day of sightseeing some tourist attractions. We started by taking a bus to Mt. Namsan to see the N Seoul Tower and surrounding area. Then we went to Namdaemun Market and Namdaemun Gate. Afterwards, while on the way to the Seoul City Hall, we got to see an (unexpected) performance of the Changing Ceremony of the Royal Guards. Then we spent some time at the Deoksugung Palace, and I got some great pictures. Finally, we went to Myeong-dong again for dinner and a bit of shopping.

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower is Seoul's version of the Space Needle or CN Tower. Like the other towers in the US and Canada, it's a huge tourist trap, with expensive gift shops and a rotating restaurant at the top. It looks more like the CN Tower than the Space Needle, which is to say it looks quite simple. We decided against going up the tower, because of the admission cost, and because we're planning on going here again after the rest of my family arrives. But we did explore the area around the tower.

N Seoul Tower

Gazeebo

Love Lock Fence

There's this weird tradition at the tower where couples buy "love locks" from the gift store, write their names on it, and lock it to the fence. I guess it's cute.

Love Locks

Bamboo Cutting

There's a bamboo cutting performance every day at 3 PM. While we didn't get to see it, we did see the performers rehearsing. It was cool!

Bamboo Cutting

Namdaemun Market and Gate

Namdaemun Market is a busy open-air market, skewed towards smaller shops as opposed to brand names.

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Gate, also known as South Gate, is one of the four main gates of Seoul. It was really interesting to see a traditional Korean structure in the middle of a busy urban center.

Namdaemun Gate front

Namdaemun Gate side

Namdaemun Gate inside

Changing Ceremony of the Royal Guards

While walking to the Seoul City Hall, we were super lucky to see the Changing Ceremony of the Royal Guards. We had no idea it was going to happen, and it was the last reenactment of the day.

Ceremony pt 1

Ceremony pt 2

Ceremony pt 3

Midway through the ceremony, they allow observers and tourists to take pictures with the guards! It was super cool.

Me with Guards

Deoksugung Palace

The ceremony took place in front of Deoksugung Palace, one of the many royal palaces in Seoul. Normally it costs $10 per person to see it, but on the last Wednesday of each month, admission is free! We weren't planning on going here, but we thought why not? I ended up taking a lot of pictures here.

Palace entrance

Me next to palace building

Pushing door

Building Roof

Roof detail

Pot

Stones

Palace with fountain

Flower