23 Sep 2014

A bit of Chuseok in Seoul

Chuseok is the main holiday in Korea, similar to American Thanksgiving, and it gave us a 5 day weekend. After umming and arring about what to do over this break, we decided to go to Seoul.  We had not done many touristy things around the city and as most Koreans head to their hometowns, going to Seoul would be against the traffic and less crowded.  Dean’s mom, Sue, had timed her visit perfectly and we were lucky to spend our Chuseok in Seoul with her. We stayed in Dongdaemun which was convenient for most of the places we visited as well as some good shopping! I can’t wait to go back to the Dongdaemun fabric market as well as the baking market nearby as unfortunately these were closed over the long weekend. 

Outside our hotel in Dongdaemun.
We started our trip with a visit to one of my favorite areas in Seoul, Insadong. I love the atmosphere in Insadong and all the shops selling such cute things too. This time, we went to a tea house which I have kept meaning to do. We went to Chatjip Teahouse because in my tour books it was said to have finches flying around but unfortunately they got rid of their birds. The tea was still great though!

The men in Insadong performing their song and making one of my favorite Korean treats- Sweet Yong Su Yeom
We paid a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of Seoul’s 5 Grand Palaces, and which is just around the corner from Insadong.  I won’t go into the history about this palace but the grounds are massive and really beautiful. It was much grander and different to the other smaller temples I have visited.  The palace area is relaxing place to stroll around and I loved that there are lakes around the grounds. It is also is very photogenic and makes for lovely picture taking.


Many places were closed on the actual Chuseok day, so we went to Ihwa Mural Village (full blog post to come later) and also the Alive Museum. 
3 of the hundreds of photos we took at the Alive Museum. We had good fun posing for all the funny pictures.

** Thanks to Sue for letting me use some of her lovely pictures. 

2 comments:

  1. Hi! Just wanted to ask - are a lot of places (restaurants and shops) still open in Seoul during Chuseok? Two of my four days there at the end of this month fall right at the beginning of Chuseok (September 26-27) and I'm worried there won't be anything for me to shop / eat / visit (have done all the traditional stuff already as I've been to Seoul a couple of times previously). Thanks! :)

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  2. Hi there :)
    As far as I can remember I think many things were open, especially before the actual day of Chuseok. On the actual day a few things were closed though and the streets were much quieter in the morning. I went to the Ihwa mural village on the day which was great and nice and quiet. Some of the markets were closed for the whole weekend. I think you will be fine because you will be there for the beginning days. Enjoy :)

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