Changdeokgung Palace, Nanta, Eating, and Shopping

This morning we visited the Changdeokgung Palace. At times like this, I wish I had a better camera. The palace had been rebuilt several times due to fire and after each restoration, the architecture changed a little bit. Sometimes more Western (like glass windows) or reverting back to traditional ways (like making rooms smaller and less open).

The tour was only 2000 or 3000 Won (2-3USD) and in English, Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. It’s about 1 hr and 20 minutes and I think definitely worth it.

Afterwards we visited the Jilsiru Rice Cake Cafe that specializes in traditional Korean rice cakes. These seemed to be desserts, they had flavors like peanut, black sesame, apple, and pumpkin. A light afternoon snack.

We then went to Jirisan Restaurant that serves a traditional Korean meal consisting of vegetables, tofu, and seafood. I think it was about 20 different side dishes including rice.

After lunch we did some shopping at the Insadong area and these people offered to take a picture for us to wish our family happy holidays. It was probably some sort of marketing thing but did it for the heck of it.

Then we headed to watch a show called Nanta, aka Cookin’. It’s a nonverbal show, using cooking instruments like pots, pans, knifes, wisks, etc to make music and interesting sounds. It was a good show and very funny. I’d recommend it if it’s coming to a town near you or if you’re visiting Korea. It reminds me of the Blue Man Group except that it deals with food and that the crowd is much more cozy, less people.

It was freezing but we headed to MyengDong to see the Christmas lights and have dinner with Ron’s Korean classmate Sang-ho.

We ate a noodle place that also served xiao long bao. The place was really busy but also really fast. They only have 4 items on their menu so that’s probably why they could speed through so many customers. The noodles are fresh made so were excellent. It was really good on such a cold night.

Xiao Long Bao:

Noodles with dumplings:

Spicy cold noodles:

Oh, I also forgot to mention we ate bugs!! For the last few days we’ve been seeing these food stalls selling things that look like beetles. Sang-Ho said they are silk worm larvae which are roasted and a bit seasoned and he offered to buy us some to try. I could only eat one… it has a sort of nutty taste which was okay but the thought of eating bugs just grossed me out too much.

The last thing we ate for the night was dessert at a place called Red Mango which serves frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and tapioca. It was freezing outside but being nice and cozy inside, the frozen yogurt hit the spot.

We went shopping for a bit but most things were closing so we had to call it a night. It’s truly been a long adventurous day so it’ll be nice to relax tomorrow when we go to the spa!

More photos from the day (LOTS!):

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