Day 3 in Seoul (Seoul City Tours: Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, Jogyesa Temple and Korean Folk Village)

For our 3rd Day in Seoul, I booked the Seoul Joseon Palaces & Folk History Day Tour/Seoul One Day Tour (which included a visit to Korean Folk Village) via Klook (my trusted international attractions/ tours booking site on line).

Click here for Klook booking discount if you are a first time user: Klook Discount Code

The tour was managed by the Seoul City Tours, one of the Seoul's well known tour operators.  

We were timely picked up at Metro Hotel by a private car to rendezvous with the other tourists in a seat in coach that carries about 10-12 passengers.  As it was just a small number, I was expecting a more personal interaction with our tour guide, however, there was very minimal of that. Although nice and cordial,  our guide was mostly rushing from one site to another, with barely enough time for us to enjoy and appreciate the tour.  

First stop is Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the center of Korean Buddhism. The temple was decorated with colorful paper lantern as it readies for Buddha's upcoming birthday.









From Jogyesa Temple, we were ushered to our next stop, the National Folk Museum which was located inside the Gyeongbokgung Palace.  

Our guide, gave us a tour of the National Folk Museum, which was again really rushed.  I think there are more to see and learn, but as we were in a tight schedule - all we could do was point and click our cameras.






The Ox met The Dragon :P



We chanced upon a traditional King's parade, unfortunately it was again time for us to move on.







Waiting for the Changing of Guards



Finally the Changing of Guards Ceremony


3rd Stop is the Ginseng Center  

A lady guide toured us around the ginseng facility. She was very knowledgeable of ginseng (wonderful herb ginseng, but very expensive too)


A traditional Korean lunch was part of the tour package.
We had a hearty (or as my youngest says #healthy) and delicious meal at Insadong.  





  
Next stop is 1 1/2 away the Seoul City Center ~ The Korean Folk Village (KFV).  I have read about KFV as a journey to Joseon Dynasty (Korea's last kingdom being republic), reason why its also a favorite location shooting for Korean Historical Dramas.

It is Korean equivalent of Japan's Edo Wonderland, which we've visited a few years back. Edo Wonderland was like a step back in time.  It felt like being transported to the Edo Period

Too bad we took a group tour and ended up with limited time at KFV. I was really disappointed.  KFV is a huge theme park and I think we've barely covered 1/8th its actual size. We've missed a lot. 
Below is a link to KFV website and you'll see what I mean:  Korean Folk Village

Haizz, this experience has reminded me why I have always preferred DIYs over group tours.    



It was good, we still managed to catch some traditional art performances at KFV, such as the Tight Rope Acrobatics and Equestrian Feat.












TIP:  Do a DIY tour if you can. I would not recommend this tour package,  unless you want to cover a lot of ground and yet not be able to bring back a more worthwhile experience.












Comments

  1. I also joined group tour in the past (SG) and like what you've experienced, you cannot enjoy the place because you have to move to another one. So when we went back to Singapore, I revisited the places that we've visited before, para maenjoy ko lang. :) I also prefer DIY.

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  2. I guess it's good that you were able to see a number of places in one day. But like you I would have been disappointed too if the tour was rushed and I'm unable to really explore the different places. That's also why I don't really like joining group tours.

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  3. I would want to wait for the changing guards, too. Ow, thats the downside of group tour lang, sometimes you need to walk fast or else you will be left behind. Sometimes, you feel rushed as well. I guess with a family like yours and a well-travelled one, a DIY is better. You'll get to experience the place better.

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