Sorry for the late post! I've no excuses haha, I was just really lazy and... drowsy. But here's Day 3 of my Seoul trip and I hope it will be a useful guide!
Day 3 started out rocky. I really wanted to visit Changyeonggung Palace for the beautiful glass house there but we just can't seem to find the place. We alighted at Hyehwa Station and I relied on asking passer-bys for directions. But we ended up walking in circles, walking across a huge hospital and found ourselves lost. While writing this post I realised that the tourism board actually gave a set of precise directions on how to get there. I will include the directions in the last bit of this post! We didn't get to try it but I hope it works for you. The glass house just looks so beautiful, such a pity that we missed it.
We were left disappointed of course but we noticed a commotion across the street and we decided to check it out. When I saw the people there as well as the stalls set up, I was jumping in joy like a kid in a toy store. It was a farmers' market! Stalls were selling everything from pots of herbs to wooden spoons to organic foods, breads, coffee, sauces, condiments... And on the small stage, there was a trio called Mãpukiki wearing floral-printed shirts performing Hawaiian-inspired songs with their ukuleles (listen here while you continue reading the post!). It was a perfect afternoon.
I posted some pictures on Instagram and a Korean commented that we were at the Marche market. Marche@Hyehwa is an urban farmers' market, or an artisan food and craft market that is set up once a month, usually on the second Sunday of the month. How lucky were we! I've checked out the official site and although I can't decipher the content, I assume that the market is also held at other venues at different dates. Check out the site to see if any markets coincide with your trip!
I think it was one of the few perfect moments of my life. I can still remember the tunes that the trio played and the bustling of families enjoying a picnic. A lovely family of 4 were sitting beside us and I couldn't help staring at their homemade sandwiches and glasses of wine. Their children were just running around, basking in the sunshine, and sometimes running back to their parents to receive 'fart kisses' on their tummies. Shouldn't all Sundays be like that?
After the market at Hyehwa, we headed to Myeongdong for some crazy shopping. I think my mum found her heaven there. She went into almost every store asking for snail masks haha. Makeup and beauty products aside, you can also find great street food and an O'sulloc tea house outlet there.
O'sulloc is known for its premium tea leaves but the branding is also really well done and the shop space was pretty. The tea house is more like a café and their matcha cakes and drinks are the more popular offerings. Be sure to give their hot green tea a try. I usually go for iced drinks but the hot tea was so fragrant and I'm really glad that I tried it. They also sell a wide selection of tea leaves.
Dinner was street food and ice-cream! We had so much ice-cream throughout the trip!
We also visited the Lotte Young Plaza at Myeongdong after I saw people carrying MUJI paper bags! I'm making a point to visit at least one MUJI outlet in every country I visit, haha. I didn't get anything there but it was still fun. Waiting for the day I step into the 3-storey MUJI at Ginza, Tokyo...
*Subway Station | Venue
Hyehwa | Changyeonggung Palace
Opens from 9.00am to 6.30pm. Closed on Mondays.
From Hyehwa Station Exit 3, go 20m and turn left at Seoul Jongno Pharmacy. Next, go 180m and turn left and Jeongmin Onnuri Pharmacy. Go 200m and turn left again. Then, go 60m and cross the road to arrive at the palace.
Hyehwa | Marche@Hyehwa
Follow their website for updates.
Usually held on the second Sunday of the month, from 11am to 4pm.
Myeongdong | Myeongdong Shopping District
Find the map here.
Myeongdong | O'sulloc Tea House
Upon exiting the station, turn into Myeongdong 8-gil. Go straight about 400m and you'll see the tea house on your right.
Myeongdong | Lotte Young Plaza