Monday, May 4, 2015



We walk toward the popular Ssamziegil, a huge shopping complex and a tourist attraction. As it was weekend, it was overcrowded.    We just followed the footpath that encircle the courtyard from the 1st floor to the rooftop.  On each floors are shops and handicraft workshops, fashion accessories, traditional fans etc. but we did not get to buy anything......

This is a huge 3-storey shopping complex with a rooftop garden.... the people are queuing up to go into the 3-D museum.  

Overlooking the street below in Insadong.. 

Here, we met up with one of Eunice's bridemaid, Candice. 

She was not teaching today and had come to meet up with Eunice. 

After the bustling busyness of Ssamzie-gil, we walk towards the temple in the center of the city... 

Jogyesa Temple- constructed in 1938 a symbol of Korean Buddhism 

The Iljumun (one pillar gate) is the main gate entrance to the temple.  It is so called because of the single horizontal post above which symbolise one mind ie when people walk through the gate, all scattered minds become single mindfulness.  

Stone Wheel of life? Behind is the Daeungjeon (main Dharma Hall) with the statue of  Buddha.  We did not entered as there were chanting/prayers going on.   Noticed the beautiful carved windows behind.  

This Chinese Scholar tree is 450 years old is considered auspicious as it believes to take away negative energy to bring happiness.   There is also another baeksong tree (white pine tree) which is 500 years in the courtyard. There is also a souvenir shop selling prayers beads, Buddhist books and writings etc and also bags of rice which you can buy and donate to the temple.  Besides the shop, there is a 10-storey pagoda where Buddha's relic is kept and  a Bell Pavillion (Beomjongru)  where the 4 temple instruments are kept. The Brahma Bell is rang every morning 28 times and 33 times in the evening to all beings in the world and save them from suffering; the Dharma Drum is beaten to save all beings on the earth; the Cloud Gong is sounded to save all flying beings in the sky and space while the Wooden Fish is to save all beings in the water and sea.   

Putting up the colourful Lotus lanterns for Buddha birthday which is held every year at this temple. 
The temple also offer temple-stay programme for overseas visitors.

where should we go next....

former site of the Seoul National University 

We walked around the Park  area... a popular lively area of street arts, street musicians performances and cute cafes and shops and flea markets as well as lots of young people..

Candice suggested to go for Korean tea and desserts.. leading the way through some alleys...

to this so unassuming place... 

Moon Bird cafe

You can never imagine what you will find inside without her leading....

We passed the baton to her to order what she thinks is the best....
and she does perform a perfect tea ceremony for us...

felt so zen.... and with the traditional Korean sweets/desserts too.

Recommended by the staff...   some sort of cinnamon tea .... I loved the persimmon best 

also another type of fruit tea.... delicate flavour and sweet-sourish.

Korean sweets.... mochi with red bean filling

this taste like our Chinese version of the "sesame seed puff?" 

Thanks to Candice for the special tea-time..
After the calories intake, its walking time again towards the Ihwa Mural Village.    

walking up some pretty steep hills...

numerous cute little cafes 

saw these cherry blossom trees. 

this village is at the foothills of the Naksan mountains 

winter's gone and  awaiting for revival in  spring.... 

So "geng" - gloves to combat the cold winds

Don't go too far will drop over.....

panoramic view at top of hill... 

see those kimchi/miso pots on the rooftop...

As the sun began to set its time to go back down for an early dinner as Eunice had booked us a Nanta show at 8.00pm.   There are plenty of small theaters around this area.  We did not want to be late, so its a one-pot meals ....   

ladies and gentlemen, the red hot spicy  tteokbokki with fritters. The pan is served bubbling hot on top of a mini gas burner and you let it simmer away as you eat them.  When you finish eating these, a bowl of rice is added to the remaining sauce and mix together and this is seems is the best part of the meal.

and tteokbokki -carbonara style!

The Nanta show which we saw.  No photographs were allowed.   Its a non-verbal,  hilarious and energetic non-stop 1 hour show.   There are only 5 performers and their tactis had both the young and old in the audience clearly enjoying themselves.   As the theme was "Wedding Feast" a young lady and man from the audience were called up to participate in the show. What a wonderful ending of another day!


  1. The tea house is really something and when inside its a totally different thing. Thank you for a wonderful tour.

  2. Good morning Nancy,
    Yes, we were so surprised too!