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KWOW - Season 3

28 Photos Around Gyeongbokgung Palace

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28 Photos Around Gyeongbokgung Palace

 Gyeongbokgung Palace in front of the Bukhansan Mountain.

Gyeongbokgung Palace in front of the Bukhansan Mountain.

 Changing of the Guards Ceremony held daily for visitors.

Changing of the Guards Ceremony held daily for visitors.

 Rooftop of Geunjeongjeon, the Throne Hall where the king oversaw events and greeted officials.

Rooftop of Geunjeongjeon, the Throne Hall where the king oversaw events and greeted officials.

 Doorway to Taewonjeon Shrine, which accommodates the portrait of King Taejo.

Doorway to Taewonjeon Shrine, which accommodates the portrait of King Taejo.

 Child playing camel with her mother near the palace entrance.

Child playing camel with her mother near the palace entrance.

 Full view of the Geunjeongjeon Throne Hall.

Full view of the Geunjeongjeon Throne Hall.

 On the west of the Throne Hall.

On the west of the Throne Hall.

 A lonely shot of the Geunjeongjeon Throne Hall during its closing hour.

A lonely shot of the Geunjeongjeon Throne Hall during its closing hour.

 Looking towards Geunjeongmun, the third inner gate.

Looking towards Geunjeongmun, the third inner gate.

 Pond of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion with Bukhansan Mountain.

Pond of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion with Bukhansan Mountain.

 Gyeonghoeru Pavilion in winter.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion in winter.

 Frozen pond in front of the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion.

Frozen pond in front of the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion.

 The Gyeonghoeru Pavilion towards the end of winter.

The Gyeonghoeru Pavilion towards the end of winter.

 Standing in the middle arch of Gwanghwamun where the king once walked, looking towards the first inner gate Heungnyemun.

Standing in the middle arch of Gwanghwamun where the king once walked, looking towards the first inner gate Heungnyemun.

 The National Folk Museum of Korea in the distance. It houses nearly 100,000 artifacts from the traditional Korean lifestyle.

The National Folk Museum of Korea in the distance. It houses nearly 100,000 artifacts from the traditional Korean lifestyle.

 The National Folk Museum of Korea with the Hyangwonjeong Pond.

The National Folk Museum of Korea with the Hyangwonjeong Pond.

 The two-story Hyangwonjeong Pavilion sits on a man-made island.

The two-story Hyangwonjeong Pavilion sits on a man-made island.

 Jangandang, where King Gojong used to reside.

Jangandang, where King Gojong used to reside.

 Walking through the Geunjeong Gate towards Heungnyemun.

Walking through the Geunjeong Gate towards Heungnyemun.

 The traditional and modern architecture mash-up. From the raised platform of the Throne Hall looking south, you'll see the tall buildings lined up next to Gwanghwamun Plaza.

The traditional and modern architecture mash-up. From the raised platform of the Throne Hall looking south, you'll see the tall buildings lined up next to Gwanghwamun Plaza.

 Statue of King Sejong, the fourth ruler of the Joseon Dynasty famed for his contribution in creating the Korean language.

Statue of King Sejong, the fourth ruler of the Joseon Dynasty famed for his contribution in creating the Korean language.

 The very happy man acting as a royal guard. Feel free to stare at him all day. Just don't touch him.

The very happy man acting as a royal guard. Feel free to stare at him all day. Just don't touch him.

 The lion-unicorn, known as "haitai," sits in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace to protect the city from natural disasters.

The lion-unicorn, known as "haitai," sits in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace to protect the city from natural disasters.

 The statue of the legendary Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, who never lost a naval battle in his life. In the Battle of Myeongnyang, his ships were outnumbered 13 to 133. Who won? Yi Sun-Sin.

The statue of the legendary Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, who never lost a naval battle in his life. In the Battle of Myeongnyang, his ships were outnumbered 13 to 133. Who won? Yi Sun-Sin.

 Two women walking and talking. Not the first time seeing people carry boxes on their head.

Two women walking and talking. Not the first time seeing people carry boxes on their head.

 Street food sold on a triangular island surrounded by roads. Target customers: pedestrians on the way or from Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Street food sold on a triangular island surrounded by roads. Target customers: pedestrians on the way or from Gyeongbokgung Palace.

 Chestnuts: one of the healthiest winter street foods. That and sweet potatoes.

Chestnuts: one of the healthiest winter street foods. That and sweet potatoes.

 Bandaged tree with crutches. During winter trees are wrapped to prevent being frostbitten.

Bandaged tree with crutches. During winter trees are wrapped to prevent being frostbitten.



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31 Street Foods in Korea

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31 Street Foods in Korea

 1. Stir-fried Ricecakes - 떡볶이 (tteokbokki)

1. Stir-fried Ricecakes - 떡볶이 (tteokbokki)

 2. Blood Sausage - 순대 (soondae)

2. Blood Sausage - 순대 (soondae)

 3. Korean Carp Bread - bungeoppang (붕어빵)

3. Korean Carp Bread - bungeoppang (붕어빵)

 4. Kimbap - 김밥

4. Kimbap - 김밥

 5. Fried Kimbap - 김밥 튀김 (kimbap twigim)

5. Fried Kimbap - 김밥 튀김 (kimbap twigim)

 6. Long-coned Ice Cream. Enjoy even during chilly winter days!

6. Long-coned Ice Cream. Enjoy even during chilly winter days!

 6b. Ice Cream Saxophone

6b. Ice Cream Saxophone

 7. Chicken skewers - 닭꼬치 (dakkotchi)

7. Chicken skewers - 닭꼬치 (dakkotchi)

 8. Steamed Silkworm Larvae - 번데기 (beondegi)

8. Steamed Silkworm Larvae - 번데기 (beondegi)

 9. Old-Fashioned Sugar Candy - 뽑기 (ppopgi)

9. Old-Fashioned Sugar Candy - 뽑기 (ppopgi)

 9b. Woman waiting for customers at her ppopgi stand.

9b. Woman waiting for customers at her ppopgi stand.

 10. Dragon’s beard candy - 꿀타래 (kkultarae)

10. Dragon’s beard candy - 꿀타래 (kkultarae)

 11. Fishcake-wrapped Sausage

11. Fishcake-wrapped Sausage

 12. Bacon-wrapped sausage

12. Bacon-wrapped sausage

 13. French Fry Corndog

13. French Fry Corndog

 14. Egg Bread - 계란빵 (gyeran bbang)

14. Egg Bread - 계란빵 (gyeran bbang)

 14b. Before the egg bread gets baked. Yolk swimming on the surface.

14b. Before the egg bread gets baked. Yolk swimming on the surface.

 15. Walnut Dessert - 호두과자 (hodoo gwaja)

15. Walnut Dessert - 호두과자 (hodoo gwaja)

 16. Cotton Candy - 솜사탕 (somsatang)

16. Cotton Candy - 솜사탕 (somsatang)

 17. Fruit (i.e. strawberries) - 과일 (gwail)

17. Fruit (i.e. strawberries) - 과일 (gwail)

 18. Fresh Pomegranate Juice - 석류 주스 (sungryu juseu)

18. Fresh Pomegranate Juice - 석류 주스 (sungryu juseu)

 19. Meat Unlimited

19. Meat Unlimited

 20. Korean-style Tacos - 타코 (taco)

20. Korean-style Tacos - 타코 (taco)

 21. Eomuk (어묵) - aka: odeng

21. Eomuk (어묵) - aka: odeng

 22. Sweet Potatoes - 고구마 (goguma)

22. Sweet Potatoes - 고구마 (goguma)

 23. Smiley Face Fries - 스마일 감자 (seumail gamja)

23. Smiley Face Fries - 스마일 감자 (seumail gamja)

 24. Dumplings - 만두 (mandoo)

24. Dumplings - 만두 (mandoo)

 25. Sweet Korean Pancake - 호떡 (hotteok)

25. Sweet Korean Pancake - 호떡 (hotteok)

 26. Twister Potatoes - 회오리감자 (hwaeori gamja)

26. Twister Potatoes - 회오리감자 (hwaeori gamja)

 27. Corn - 옥수수 (oksusu)

27. Corn - 옥수수 (oksusu)

 28. Dried Seafood (Squid & Octopus) - 건어물 (geoneomul)

28. Dried Seafood (Squid & Octopus) - 건어물 (geoneomul)

 29. Gingko - 은행 (eunhaeng)

29. Gingko - 은행 (eunhaeng)

 30. Chestnut - 밤 (bahm)

30. Chestnut - 밤 (bahm)

 31. Traditional Korean Cookies

31. Traditional Korean Cookies

For the walking tour of the street foods in Myeongdong, watch KWOW episode 142.



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Staying at Love Motel in Korea

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Staying at Love Motel in Korea

9pm on a snowy Saturday night. I'm surrounded by love motels. They're been re-branded as "design hotels" and are not half as sketchy as you may assume. That is not to say every "design hotel" is 100% safe for solo female tourists to stay in. Do your research beforehand. Check out photos and reviews online. I decided to stay at Hotel Pop near Insadong. I called to make a reservation, but was told there will be spare rooms if I come around 9pm.

Little did I know there were three Hotel Pops. What were the differences? Were they the same but expanded into three buildings due to the success of the first establishment? Or copycats? Later I learned each Hotel Pop had a different owner.

hotel pop love motel
hotel pop

I passed by Hotel Pop 3 first. Photos of their hotel rooms were displayed on the street. Each room had an unique theme and came with a TV, free Wi-Fi, iPod dock, etc. Sounded promising. Before making any decisions I walked to the other Hotel Pops to see their room menu.

It's common for "design hotels" to have mop-like curtains for their parking entrance. They serve as privacy screens for their customers.

hotel pop garage

Hotel Pop 2 also had some fun-themed rooms. I was tempted to stay in the Black Castle room, however headed over to Hotel Pop 1 to see what they had to offer.

love motel menu

More moppy garage curtains. This was the entrance to Hotel Pop 1.

love motel garage entrance

Turned out there were only two rooms left at Hotel Pop 1. I chose the room on the sixth floor.

love motel room

A big TV. Two computers. Perfect unbroken Wi-Fi. Air-conditioning. Hot tub. 24-hour room service. All this for 80,000 won for a night? Not too bad. I've stayed in boring and dusty hotel rooms for the same price before.

love motel room interior

The tub took forever to fill, but the minute it was ready... Life was heaven. Then push the pulsating jets for double heaven.

hot tub love motel
hot tub bathroom

The tub and shower were separate. The toilet had its own separate partition as well.

shower design hotel

Considering that many individuals continue to use "design hotels" as love motels, I didn't see or hear anything naughty. My room was quiet and dark; it was the most restful sleep I've had in Korea. Who knew you could clock in some serious beauty sleep at a love motel?

There were other love motels, however the Hotel Pop threesome were the most welcoming as they displayed photos of their rooms outside. Unless you're in an emergency situation, I don't recommend staying at a love motel that doesn't show their photos.

design hotel menu

Next time I visit Seoul, I'll be trying out another "design hotel." If I could stay at Hotel Pop for my entire trip, it'd be a beauty sleep dream come true.

Street lined with love motels. Excuse me, I mean design hotels.

love motel street

Hotel Pop 1
Address: 186,Nakwon-dong,Jongru-gu, Jongro (Insadong, Seoul, South Korea)
Directions: Exit 1 at Jongno 3-ga Station. Walk straight then turn right at Supyo-ro. Turn right again after passing the hair salon. Walk straight and Hotel Pop will be on your right.



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