Our tour starts the day off visiting the Blue House, the President’s house ( the current president is not using it, building a new one).

There is a beautiful mountain behind it – one of the five surrounding Seoul.

Next we visit the largest Royal palace in Seoul, Gyeongbok Palace. It looks a lot like palaces in China, but smaller with beautiful painted exteriors with 3 gates to pass through. We watch the demonstration of the changing of the guard ( swordmen, musicians, drummers in formation).

The National Folk Museum shows us how the common people lived mostly as farmers, their traditions and history.

Bukchon Hanok Village is an original area, full of 40 homes. The traditional buildings have been updated inside, but the exterior remain original. People live here currently so visitors are asked to be quiet and respectful, but the residents are not happy because they think too many tourists visit their neighbourhood.

On to Insadong Alley with its art galleries, antiques and more shopping and eateries. For our lunch we order steamed dumplings and beef rib soup. It turns out to be way more than we can eat with 6 large dumplings and a huge bowl of soup but no noodles. Tongs and scissors are provided in order to cut the meat off the bone. Rice and side dishes of kimchi accompany.

On our walk back to the hotel,  we ran across a Buddhist temple decorated in amazing colours.  As well, we watch a parade celebrating Earth day.

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