For budget, travel info, culture, see Itinerary Part 1.
For Seoul Itinerary Days 1-3, and Days 12-14, see Parts 2 & 8 respectively.
For Andong Itinerary Day 4, see Part 3.
For Gyeongju Itinerary Day 5, see Part 4.
For Busan itinerary Days 6-8, see Part 5.
For Jeju Island Days 9-10, see Part 6.
For Haeinsa at Gayasan National Park Day 11, see Part 7.
Seoul Itinerary Day 12: Leeum Samsung Museum of Art & Han River Cruise
If you’re following my round-Korea itinerary, take the bus down from Haeinsa. At Seo Daegu Bus Terminal, there is a subway, Seongdangmot Station. Take subway Line 1 to Dongdaegu Station. Transfer to KTX train back to Seoul.
After you put your bags down at the hotel, go to Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, which is, in my opinion, the best museum in South Korea. The theme is past, present and future and the museum has a bit of everything: ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, Buddhist art, and contemporary Korean and international art.
If you have time after the museum, explore Itaewon district, just a station away. It’s the angmoh district, similar to our Holland Village, and recently, it has evolved to be known as “Homo Hill,” because of the number of gay pubs. Lots of Western restaurants and shopping.
Have a buffet dinner on the Han River Cruise. After dinner, go back to hotel to rest. Long day tomorrow.
How to Get to Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
Subway line 6 to Hangangjin (exit 1). Walk straight about 100m, and turn right at first alley. Climb uphill for about 5 minutes.
747-18, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Admission fees: ₩10K (adults), ₩6K (youth). Audio guide: ₩2K.
How to Get to Han River Cruise
There are 3 places to get on or get off the ferries: at the Yeouido, Jamsil, and Ttukseom docks. Check out the Korean Tourism website for details on cost and timing.
What to Eat Around Leeum Samsung Museum of Art and Itaewon
1. There is a cafe within the museum. Had a mocha and a cheesecake. Pretty decent.
Tired of Korean food after so many days, I succumbed to Western food at this beautiful Western-styled restaurant. Half of it was shrouded in darkness, lots of dark wood, like an old-fashioned English pub, the other half bathed in sunlight like a glasshouse. It was okay, nothing to shout about but nothing to complain.
Subway line 6 to Itaewon Station, exit 1. Turn right on the first alley.
1F 116-1 Hamilton Hotel Annex, Itaewondong, Yongsangu, Seoul
T: +82-2-796-6854, facebook.
3. Si Hwa Dam (시화담) FOUR COURSE MEAL (CONTEMPORARY KOREAN) Menu starts from ₩100K (lunch) and ₩150K (dinner).
5-5 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 이태원동5-5); +82 2 798 3311; Open M-Sat, noon-10 p.m. Reservations necessary.
My guidebook sucks. The writer doesn’t know about food. This Western-Korean fusion restaurant comes highly recommended, and when I was there, it was packed with angmohs, but the food was average or at most, slightly above average. However, it was good value and had great service. 6 courses for ₩70K. The boss went around, saying hi to everyone.
To be continued…
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.