The photo above was one of the view to appreciate and enjoy while at Mantigue Island (Magsaysay Island) Nature Park. The island is near in Camiguin Island province which located at Bohol Sea in Philippines. Our visit in the place were part of our Camiguin Adventure which includes Mount Hibuk-Hibok (Catarman Volcano) climb. This photo captured last October 2012.
Touring outside Melbourne were one of my goals while staying in Australia. Sovereign Hill was just one of the classic and historical places to visit in Ballarat in Victoria state. Sovereign Hill is a throwback days of Gold Rush period in Ballarat which occurred half of 18th century. I loved the places because you will really felt what was it like during those times. Captured this photo last March 2013, one of the earliest tour that I availed while living in Melbourne.
It was Monday, most of the tourist spot we wanted to see were closed. Because We don’t have so much option to choose we decided to go to Bukchon Village, one of the hanok village in South Korea located in Seoul. Bukchon is located between two palaces, Changdeokgung on the east and Gyeongbokgung on the west. In the past, the village used to be upscale residential area for wealthy aristocrats and court employees.
From Non-hyeon station, we took Line 7 going to Bupyeong and went out at Express Bus Terminal station, then we transferred at Line 3 going to Daehwa and got off at Anguk station, ahead station before Gyeongbokgung. Our route from hotel is the same when we went to Gyeonbokgung Palace.
I was curious to visit Hanok Village because it’s the traditional residential area in earlier times of Korea, seeing these places excites me. From Anguk station, we walked at Gahoe-ru street, here we saw a building that it seems it’s a government office, until we realized it is the Constitutional Court of Korea. We continued our walk until we found Bukchon Jae-dong Tourist Information Center to inquire how we can go around Bukchon Village. Here they gave us instructions to go to Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center as start of our tour. We followed their instruction and walked along Bukchon-gil, we asked few people where is the exact location of the cultural center until we saw it on our own, it’s quite an adventure since we are not holding any map. Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center is a hanok, few hanoks are there and for me it is more of the tourist center than the first one that we inquired of. Here we were able to get maps of Bukchon Village. Every time I travel, I tried my best to buy souvenir. I always buy post cards, the lightest souvenir you can bring without any hassle. That’s what I did at the cultural center. After taking photos, we started our journey within Bukchon Village.
Constitutional Court of Korea
Corner of Bukchon-gil and Gahoe-ro
Inside View of one of the hanok at Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center
Vicinity area of Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center
We tried to follow the map. But were not able to follow it as is, because sometimes we were lost in the village until we find ourselves again based on the map. Here I will not tell the story based on the map but based on what we have seen so far inside the hanok village. From cultural center, we walked straight along Gyedong-gil (Alley) and from what I learned in the map guide, this alley is one of the original streets that already existing during Joseon period. This is one of the street that still remaining the same as before (of course the looks are different nowadays but what I am saying is the alley itself). In this street we saw coffee shop, art shops and stores in hanok which is unique, because the traditional ambiance of the place can still be felt. We found the guest houses along the alley as well. One significant hanok is the Bukchon Guest House which is before called as Bae Ryum’s House in Gye-dong. We walked up to the top end of the alley where we reached Changdeokgung-gil alley. Here we saw Choong Ang Middle and High School. Along Changdeokgung-gill alley while facing the school we decided to turn right even we saw that the alley is ascending.
Some of the hanoks that we found while touring Bukchon Village
The walk was not easy, the three of us really tired when we reached the top of the alley and from the top we saw that the end of the alley is descending. Well, all of us were laughing because we were tired and we haven’t seen so much yet. At the corner of the alley, there is hanok that seems to be interesting based on the map guide that we have in our hand. We found the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine, but we haven’t seen much because we heard that there is on going lectures inside the hanok and we avoid to disturb the session that is running, we just took photos outside the hanok. This is the place as the 2nd view in 8 views that can be found inside Bukchon. From here we followed some smaller alleys nearby until we saw interesting modern hanok building. We realized that the building is Baek Hongbeom’s House in Wonseo-dong. At the gate, there is a guard and told us that we cannot enter in the building since its closed (because its Monday).
Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine
Baek Hongbeom’s House in Wonseo-dong
This one seems one of the wall gate in Changdeokggung Palace (though not really sure),
based from map, the area is near in historical laundry site
After walking around the area, we decided to go back at the school where we turned right so we can check what’s next to see. With the map guide we have, we followed the tracks of 8 views, though there are other tracks, but we chose the views track to continue our walking adventure inside Bukchon. 1st view was out of our current track because it is near in traditional cultural center and we were far from where we stand that time. What we found next was the 3rd view, we followed the map, we lost and we tracked again, until we found it, the 3rd view was from the Han Sangsoo Embroidery same with other hanok we never able to see what’s inside it and for some reason we were not allowed to go inside.
Han Sangsoo Embroidery
Donglim Knot Workshop
After taking some photos at Han Sangsoo Embroidery, we continue to proceed to the next site view. We used again the map to locate where it is. Until we found Donglim Knot Workshop. Then we strolled in Gahoe-saesak-gil alley until it reached the end. Next, we crossed the Gahoe-ro street. We walked again, but this time it’s along Bukchon-Hanok-gil alley. We walked until we found the 5th View which is Gahoe-dong alley. So far, from the time we started walking around Bukchon Village, this is one of the area that I like, I can really feel that we are inside the Hanok Village. And we are not the only one who enjoyed this alley, most of the tourist comes, they enjoyed it too. We took our time to take photo shots from the bottom (5th View) and from the top (6th View) of the alley, both ends offer great and different views. Before returning at the bottom of Gahoe-dong, we tried to find another way, until we found the 7th View which is the 31 Gahoe-dong.
5th View at Gahoe-dong alley (below)
6th View at Gahoe-dong alley (top)
7th View – 31 Gahoe-dong
We ended our walking tour in Bukchon and we decided to go back since we were tired walking at sunny afternoon. We walked again along Gahoe-ro to reach Angguk station again. This is how we ended our Bukchon Tour.
My previous office when I worked in Singapore is just around the corner in Harbourfront. I captured this one as farewell to the office because that time we were moving to Suntec City and occupying one of the Suntec Towers. I was walking in overpass when I shot my phone to capture this last June 2010.
The place called “The Peak Galleria” can be found in the famous mountain commonly known as “The Peak” or Victoria Peak. It is located in western part of Hong Kong Island. The photo was captured when we had a chance to visit the place last Jan 2012 during Chinese New Year season. It was our second time to visit the place as the first time we tried, when we were at the top, the weather was not really good, it’s drizzling and too windy where it’s too cold for my mom to handle.
The above snapshot was Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines located between Davao City and Davao Del Sur in Mindanao region. I captured this photo after climbing the mountain which lasted almost 4 days last March 2009.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#4) : Puffing Billy Steam Train
Above was a snapshot of a century old steam train in Puffing Billy Steam Railway that still runs on its original track from Belgrave to Gembrook station in Dandenong Ranges located in Victoria Australia. I captured this photo last June 2013 when we visited Puffing Billy with some of my friends and their families at Belgrave Station.
The photo above is Tidal River with the background of mountains and I captured this photo last May 2014 during my Wilson Promontory (The Prom) National Park tour in Victoria Australia. We crossed the river to be able reach Squeaky Beach.
The photo above is Lions Gate Bridge located in Greater Vancouver. The bridge connects Vancouver (South) to West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Under the bridge is Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour. I captured this photo during my Whistler Tour last June 2008 in British Columbia, Canada while inside Whistler Mountaineer train.
It was afternoon when we arrived at Insadong area because in the morning until lunch time, the three of us attended some other stuff near at Seoul station. From Seoul station, we took Line 1 and got off at Jonggak station. We planned to go to Insadong without any idea what we are really going to see there aside from one piece of information that Insadong is a market area.
First place we found was Tapgol Park because when we went outside Jonggak station, we turned right. Out of curiosity on this park we went inside until we saw Ten Stone Stored Pagoda enclosed in glass cover. We took some time for photo shots in the park.
Then we strolled in Insadong-gil, a street at the left side of Tapgol Park, and from there it seems some part of the Insadong market can been seen, we followed the street until we reached the market area. For us, it was really fun and exciting walk, we saw a lot of people and since it was Sunday, more people are enjoying the weekend like us. We spent most of the walk along Insadong-gil. And from here we saw different food kiosks and restaurants. Some are typical market products and some are traditional Korean products are being sell.
We continued our walk along the same street until we found a building named Ssamzie-gil. One of the thing that I enjoyed here is the incline walkway wherein you can reach the top floors without taking stairs and only by just walking. And the stores inside Ssamzie-gil are all interesting and quite unique because you can feel the ambiance of korean markets. After enjoying the Ssamzie-Gil, we went to Jogyesa Temple (a buddhist temple) nearby Insadong. We enjoyed many and colorful lanterns hanged around the temple.
Ssamzie-Gil (Inside View)
So far we enjoyed another walking tour for the day. But before we ended the tour, we went to Insadong Information Center and we discovered another exciting activity for the three of us, wearing hanbok, the traditional korean dress. We paid the 20 minutes to take photos of the selected Hanbok we chose. Here we enjoyed so much because we saw ourselves in Korean traditional clothing and we looked differently. The three of us tried the Joseon Queen Hanbok dress, that’s why most of our photos shows what we looked like wearing Royal Korean Dress.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#4) : Gulugud Baboy Mountain
Gulugud Baboy Mountain was the first mountain that I climbed in my country which located in Mabini in Batangas Philippines. Year 2008 was the year that I was reminded how I really love mountains. The climb was my first fun climb and second mountain that I trekked. Gulugud Baboy Mountain climb left so many memories for myself and for my group that I joined in. The trek happened last October 2008 and the snapshot was during the sunrise that we waited at the summit of the mountain.
The photo above was captured while we were on our way to climb Mount Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas in Philippines. The climb was the First Freedom Climb held in my country and Mount Maculot was assigned in our mountaineering group which happened last June 2009.
Home (Post#3) : Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) At Eden Nature Park
I took this photo when I visited Eden Nature Park which located at the foot of Mount Talomo at Toril District of Davao City in Philippines last March 2009, during my three days holidays in Davao after finishing 4 days climb in Mount Apo.
I posted this same photo last April 2009 from my other blog which focused solely to photos from my country. Right now I am still thinking if I will just continue that blog in other site or will just transferring the site here in WordPress. Let’s see whats gonna happen.
When we had a chance to visit Hong Kong last Jan 2012, we did not miss to go to Disneyland. The photo above is Disneyland station in Disneyland Resort Line captured when we were leaving the theme park.
The snapshot above is just the half side view of The Twelve Apostles. I am not really sure why it is called as The Twelve Apostles because currently there is just 8 limestone stack exist. This popular tourist spot are located along Great Ocean Road in Port Campbell National Park at Victoria state of Australia. I got a chance to see this place after joining Great Ocean Road tour last Feb 2013.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#3) : Mount Anawangin
This is one of the magnificent view that I had while at the top of Mount Anawangin. I captured this photo from Mount Anawangin when we had the climb last March 2009. The scenery is looking towards the Anawangin Cove where we enjoyed our time after the trek. It is one of the great holiday I had back home. This mountain is beside Mount Pundaquit which located at San Antonio in Zambales Province of Philippines.
This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
It was the first day of our adventure, we had our breakfast from the hotel and went straight to our first destination – Gyeongbokgung Palace. I found this palace from the travel book that I bought when I was in Sydney. The book titled “Top 10 Seoul”. We arrived at the palace by taking metro train from hotel. From Non-hyeon station, we took Line 7 going Bupyeong and went out at Express Bus Terminal station, then we transferred at Line 3 going to Daehwa and get off at Gyeongbokgung station. We felt excited seeing some of the photos of the palace on our way. We passed the National Palace Museum and walked at the side gate (Yongseongmun) of the Palace from the Museum. We saw a lot of tourist taking pictures and I felt great to be in this place. My mom and my sister immediately posted their selves for a photo shot. I am the one who brought the DSLR camera, and most of the time I am the one who take pictures which I like because I wanted to capture a lot of things if possible, everything that my eyes see.
When we entered a small gate at the left side of the palace, we saw a ceremony that was being performed. Though I never understand what was happening at first until I learned it later of the day that it was the Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance. We enjoyed the show because of the colorful costumes the royal guards re-enacting the performance.
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
We went to the tourist ticketing area, we bought ticket and brochure guide that we need in our tour. From the guide in my hand, I learned that the main gate is called Gwanghwamun. Based from history this gate is the main gate and south gate of the palace. The next gate we passed is called Heungnyemun (first gate inside the palace walls at the front). This is the gate where tickets are being checked. We saw a small bridge called Yeongjegyo. We walked again until we reach another gate which is called Geunjeongmun. Finally we saw the huge hall named Geunjeongjeon. Based from our brochure, this is the main throne hall where most of the King’s official state affair is happening during Joseon dynasty.
Geunjeongjeon (Outside Snapshots)
Geunjeongjeon (Interior Snapshots)
Next buildings we saw are just behind of Geunjeongjeon is Sajeongjeon. As far as I remember, the middle of the building are still in restoration. While its side building on the west is Cheonchujeon and on the east is Manchunjeon which seems completely restored, while long corridors that connects these two side buildings to Sajeongjeon is not yet rebuilt.
Sajeongjeon (Interior Snapshot – Currently being renovated)
Some shots at west building beside Sajeongjeon called Cheonchujeon
Then we moved to the famous building near the lake called Gyeonghoeru Pavilion. This is the place where most of the banquets in the palace were happened before. This is the famous place where most of the Historical drama of Korea were shot. The settings of the Pavilion is somewhat romantic, it is great scenery where the King and its lovers (either the queen or concubine) probably had a great time for themselves.
Pond at Gyeonghoeru Pavilion
We walked outside the wall of the Pavilion until we saw another gate leading to an open space with mountain. I really like the place, I can understand why the royal family has palace located on this place, for me its a great place for great view of the mountain. We walked straight until we saw the Janggo. Here we found a lot of Jars seating on the terrace. The jars contain fermented paste and soy sauce which is the traditional way of fermentation in South Korea.
Outside View after passing Gyeonghoeru Pavilion beside Hamhwadang and Jipyoengdang
Jars at Janggo
At the front of Janggo, there is a nearby building and its vicinity called Hamhwadang and Jipgyoengdang. Based from the information of my handbook guide, that this place is the queen’s living quarters, residence known as Heungbokjeon and facilities for concubines and court ladies.
Hamhwadang and Jipyoengdang (Outside view from Janggo)
Hamhwadang and Jipyoengdang (Some internal view snapshots)
We moved on to the next vicinity in the palace until we found a square pond called Hyangwonji and we saw islet in the middle of the pond and there standing the small pavilion called Hyangwonjeong. The setting of this place for me is similar to Gyeonghoeru pavilion, very romantic. While reading the guide, I realized that this small pavilion is the place where Queen Myeongseong (queen of King Gojong) killed by the Japanese.
Hyangwonjeong (Pavilion) and Hyangwonji (Pond)
We went next to Jibokjae and its vicinity area. This the place where you can find building with the design of Qing Chinese style. Jibokjae was moved from other palace (Changdeokgung) after King Gojong returned to Geoncheonggung. Jibokjae has become King’s residence, library and reception hall for foreign envoys.
Parujeong, Jibokjae and Hyeopgildang snapshots
There is one of the two vicinity areas that we missed to visit. One is Taewonjeon. We passed this one because we thought that another ticket is needed and there are still other parts of the palace that we haven’t seen. That’s why we decided to come back there if we still have time but unfortunately, we were not able to come back.
After Jibokjae area, we went to the vicinity area just beside the pond. It is called as Geoncheonggung, they say that this building is the only building with “gung” on its name which means palace, that is why they call it as palace within the palace and this is King’s Gojong’s residence where both the King and Queen has their own quarters and library.
Jangandang at Geoncheonggung(some external snalshots)
Jangandang Internal Snapshot
Beside the Geoncheonggung, we found another interesting site which is called Jaseondang, which is a residence of the crown prince and princess. We saw the site because the building was destroyed, as per handbook the building was dismantled and brought to Japan, then returned to Korea, but the materials were not usable anymore to rebuilt or restore the building.
Aside from Jaseondang site, we also found another site which is called Gwanmungak. This is the first modern building in Korea but has been destroyed as well when Japanese invade Korea.
We continued our stroll inside Gyeongbokgung Palace, until we found another vicinity called Jangyeongjeon. This was the residence of Queen Dowager Jo. She is the queen who put King Gojong as the king, she is also a regent at that time when King Gojong was still young. From this location you can see from a far the National Folk Museum.
Jangyeongjeon (Internal Snapshots)
National Folk Museum From near Jangyeongjeon
Next vicinity we passed by are Gangnyeongjeon and Gyotaejeon. Gangnyeongjeon is the King’s living quarter, where he reads, rest and sleep, while Gyotaejeon is the queen’s main residence. In the same vicinity we found as well the Amisan garden with beautiful chimneys.
Amisan Chimney Garden at the back of Gyotaejeon
Some snapshots of Gyotaejeon vicinity area
Building besides Gangnyeongjeon
Gangnyeongjeon Internal Snapshots
And then we looked around the area of Heumgyeonggak and Hamwonjeon. This area serves as building for most of the royal household, scientific inventions can be found here during Joseon dynasty.
The second vicinity area that I think we missed to see is Donggung. I checked all the photos that I have and it seems we never been there, but I recall that there is ongoing renovation happening beside Gangnyeongjeon where Donggung is nearly located.
We went back where we started our tour and took a lot of photos. Another area we found is Sujeongjeon where there is a nearby restaurant and wash room. Based from Handbook, that Sujeongjeon was formerly known as Jiphyeonjeon or Hall of Worthies where the Hanguel, the Korean Alphabet was invented under King Sejong.
With the three of us, my mom, my youngest sister and myself, I enjoyed the whole walking tour. Maybe because I was fascinated with Korean History and I can relate because of so many historical dramas that I watched. I felt like it is a living history, though I am aware that most of the buildings are restored or rebuilt because most of them has been destroyed either by fire or by Japanese invasion. But still, the replica is so detailed that you can feel those buildings and structures are for real. I am excited to see the another palace.
We went outside the Gyeongbokgung Palace through Gwanghwamun gate and we cross the road and walked in the middle of Sejong-Daero road and there we found the Sejong Center at the ground floor. Because we are quite tired walking for long hours inside the palace, we walked a little bit to see what’s inside the Sejong Center. And there we found a lot of things about King Sejong, though I am familiar that King Sejong is the king of Jeoson where the Korean Language and Alphabet had been invented, for what I know, King Sejong is one of the Great King that South Korea is recognizing today. I remembered that I watched two historical dramas during his reign, one is Deep Rooted Tree and one is Sungkyunkwan Scandal.
View At My Window (Post#3): Cairns Sea View and Grey Peaks National Park
When I traveled in Cairns with my close friend in Melbourne, I booked a hotel which is Comfort Hotel Acacia Court which located in The Esplanade in Cairns last October 2013. The photo above is just one of the views I captured while at the terrace of our room.