Our group left NAIA 2 at 1:00 am Manila time. We reached Incheon Airport about 3 hours and 40 minutes later, past 5:30 am Korea time. We were met there by our tour guides Kris and Alice. We had a good breakfast buffet right there at the airport. You can rent a Korean phone from Skype for only P250 for the whole four days already!
From the airport, it was an hour's drive to Seoul proper. We went to our first stop of the City Tour, which is the so-called "Blue House," the presidential residence. It was a nippy winter morning less than 5 degrees Celsius. We first saw a monument with a phoenix and Korean families surrounding it. In the backdrop is the Dragon's Head mountain. There was the expected high security in the area.
We then proceeded to the National Folk Museum of Korea right beside it. Unfortunately we just did a very quick tour inside the museum basically in the exhibits regarding the Korean lifestyle.
The last stop of our morning tour is the Kyungbok Palace complex. Struck me as a smaller version of the Forbidden City of Beijing. One of the highlights is the grand Gyeonghoeru Pavilion used for royal banquets.
Our first lunch is a very satisfying feat of beef bulgogi, pork kalbi and bibimbap at the Hanyang Restaurant. Delicious!
After lunch, we checked in to our hotel, the Novotel Ambassador. We slept the whole afternoon to make up for the red eye flight and morning city tour. Buffet dinner at the hotel.
The Blue House
Our funny and hard-working guide.
Symbol of Monogamy
Rabbit (of Chinese Horoscope)
Eating the beef wrapped in those very fresh lettuce leaves was fantastic!