Friday, November 30, 2012

Asian Eyes' Korea - Cheongwadae Sarangchae

         Day 2 - Nov/18/12, 7.00am: Morning call was 7.00 am and an hour later we were on the bus to another location for breakfast. Breakfast was a low key tourist scale buffet style of scrambled eggs, sausages, bread and butters, buns, vermicelli, porridge, tofu, vegetables, fried meat, and varieties of kimchi. After having our belly full, we spend some time in a souvenir shop in the vicinity. I spend my first Korean Won there when my kids bought some key chains, fridge magnets, glass shot and K-pop posters. 
Sculpture of a phoenix 
and a mother/kid against 
the backdrop of Bukhansan 
hill outside Cheongwade 
Sarangche museum became 
subject for many tourists
to click away 
         After breakfast our itinerary started with a visit to the Blue House and Gyeongbokgung Palace. We get off in front of Cheongwadae Sarangchae (청와대 사랑채) building, a presidential museum about Korea’s past, present and future, before the Blue House and Gyeongbokgung Palace. This 2010 opened museum, is a history centre that gives visitors a chance to follow in the footsteps of presidents of Korea and gain insight into the history of Seoul. Once we stepped down from the bus, colourful leaves of red, yellow and orange in the surrounding area met our eyes. At the foyer of the museum, a statue of pheonix and a mom/son was erected against the backdrop of a hill named Bukhansan. We did not enter the museum as it was not part of our itinerary. The museum foyer area was also the meeting point of many tour groups to re-group before marching to the Blue House and Gyeongbokgung Palace. After some briefing from Kent, we were allowed about 15 minutes free time to walk about the museum vicinity. We walked around in the crisp cool air, snapping away at the scenery, at the colourful trees, and the statues, and the displays and at each other. 
         I captured some of the sceneries worth seeing along the way to Cheongwade Sarangchae:
Our big bus that took the 16 +2 of us to breakfast.
Bronze sculptures of a boy and a girl outside the restaurant where we had our breakfast caught my attention.

A bust statue of a Mr Han Sanggu, the founder of the restaurant

Many souvenirs shop like this sprouted around tourist restaurants/ attraction locations. They sell roughly the same items and at about the same price.
The trees in Seoul were bald as it was the start of winter. The temperature was a cool 5 degree C .

\Board displayed the admission time to Cheongwade Sarangchae (Korea Presidential Museum), within a stone throw away from Blue House and Gyeongbukgong Palace.

Entrance to Cheongwade Sarangchae facing a hill called Bukhansan.

Colorful leaves and trees, and tourists abound at the Cheongwade Sarangchae museum concourse area, ogled at the attractions displayed before our eyes.
Sculpture of a phoenix and a Mother/kid against the backdrop of Bukhansan hill became a subject for many tourists clicking away.

Kent explained about the museum area, and where to regroup before releasing us for a 15 minutes free activities.

Tourists clicking away against the backdrop of the mountain and statues.
The yellow and orange/red leaves added colors to the scenery.  
An altar on display, added a mystical like to the surrounding area. 
Colorful trees were the captivating sight to behold.
A large Korean drum (dagu) on display in a sheltered gazebo.
Little M posed below a yellow tree that caught his attention.
Tourist guides gathered together to exchange stories after releasing their charge to wander about the museum compound.
It was winter and rice stalks tied by strings to trees were common view everywhere we see. Per our tour guide, the rice stalks were for insects to burrow for the winter and lay eggs. Once spring break, the string will be cut off and the rice stalks burn off. Hmm, what a clever way to get rid of pests and eggs.

A red tree stand out among the green trees along the way from the museum to Blue House.

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