Korea 2017 Day 6 : Suwon (Shoot location of Love in the Moonlight, Jewel in the Palace, and Running Man)

Started the day early again for our 6th day in South Korea because we headed for the neighboring city, Suwon.  Suwon is the capital and largest metro of the Gyeonggi-do province, which surrounds Seoul. From general knowledge, this city is not usually part of the top destinations for first-time visitors of South Korea, since you can already do a lot in Seoul.

So, what did I came here for? I first found out about Suwon in Running Man Episode two, where they visited the Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon World Cup Stadium, and World Cup Memorial. Suwon being a Running Man location was already enough reason for me to go, but I was even more convinced when I found out the location set for Jewel in the Palace and Love in the Moonlight (Moonlight Drawn by Clouds) was also found here.

Suwon’s cultural sites are pretty easy to visit as they are within the vicinity of the Hwaseong Fortress. Since we only had a day to spend here, I had to prioritize certain sites visit and took out museum stops. Before your trip to Suwon, I suggest to pin the sites you’d like to see. Then, get a map from the Tourist Information center near Exit 4 of Suwon Station that would help you get around the area.

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Our first stop was the Padalmun Gate, the southern gate of Hwaseong Fortress. This is the entrance used to get inside the Fortress. You have to pass-by this area since this is also the bus stop to Hwasong Palace.

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Padalmun Gate: This gate is unique as it’s the only one detached from the Fortress. The reason for this is that commerce took place around the Padalmun Gate area even before its construction, making it impossible to close the fortress in that area. (Credits: Korean Tourism Organization)

Next is the Hwaseong Haenggung (Hwaseong Palace). I wasn’t used to the word “haenggung” as all the palaces in Seoul were called “gung”, so I looked it up. Apparently, a “haenggung” is a temporary palace where the king and royal family retreated to during a war. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is the largest one of these that was used during the Joseon times.

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From upper left to bottom right – Hwasong Haenggung entrance; first interior gate; martial arts painting at the side of the palace; King’s receiving area

We were lucky because we visited Hwasong Haenggung during their spring break season. We just found out that during this time, a lot of cultural places have promos or discounts for entrances to encourage people to visit. So we got in for free. Yehey!

NOTE: Our trip was from May 6-13. I guess if you want to have free entrances as well, you should go at this time. The downside of this schedule is that most likely there won’t be any cherry blossoms anymore as spring is already transitioning to summer.

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What I like about Hwaseong Haenggung is that they used the palace as a museum to show court life in the past. You’ll see lifesize figures of a queen being served, the king at his study, scholars studying, and kitchen staff.

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From upper left to bottom right: King’s stamp/seal – You’ll get to experience how to use the king’s seal; Memorial banquet – this is what they cook for memorial services; A diorama of a palace celebration; And the king’s throne.

Hwaseong Haenggung might be familiar for K-drama fans, as it is the filming location for the popular Korean period drama, “Jewel in the Palace”. Recently, it was also used by KBS to film the promotional video of “Love in the Moonlight” (also known as “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”). It’s the one where Park Bo Gum was dancing to tune of “Boombastic”.

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Took a picture with Jang Geum and captain of Jewel in the Palace.

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This is where Park Bo Gum danced Boombastic for his Love in the Moonlight (Moonlight Drawn by Clouds) promo video.

Next, we visited the Yeonmudae Post at the edge of Hwaseong Fortress. It’s another Running Man location (hahaha), but aside from that, I wanted to go here because they had the Korean archery experience (Gakgung).

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Me, preparing for my archery lesson.

I recently watched the Korean drama, Hwarang, so this attraction is something I really wanted to try. I was really excited because the you only need to pay 2,000 KRW (Php 90-100) for a 30 minute lesson. You’ll have to set a schedule on-site. They only have a few slots per session. The lesson was short and after which, you get to shoot 10 arrows. I hit the target 3 times! (Yeah!)

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Information and timeslots of Korean archery (Gakgung) experience

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Hwaseong Fortress and Yeonmudae post that was featured in Running Man episode 2.

Before going home, we stopped by Suwon Stadium. This is also a Running Man location, a very famous one. Got to go inside as the entrance was open. There were staff cleaning the stadium and setting up goal posts. Preparations were being done for the FIFA U-20 World Cup that’s being hosted by South Korea this year from May 20 – June 11, 2017. Suwon Stadium is their largest stadium with a capacity of 42 thousand.

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Suwon Statdium being prepared for the upcoming FIFA U-20.

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Outside Suwon Stadium

That’s it for day 6. Annyeong! 🙂

Korea 2017 Day 4: Our Love for Running Man

Even the rain and cold weather couldn’t stop us from pushing through our itinerary for this day, because we were scheduled to visit some Running Man shooting sites (Yehey!).

Korean Manhwa Museum entrance

When I was planning our itinerary, my sister and I made sure to squeeze in some shooting sites from our favorite variety show. One of our favorite episodes was shot at Korean Manhwa Museum, so we first headed to Bucheon.

Robot manhwa

With the famous dinosaur, Dooly.

Bucheon is one of the cities near Seoul. It’s about 1 1/2 hours travel from the place we’re staying at (Yongsan). If you think about it, it’s pretty far, but that’s okay. All for Running Man. Hahaha

Manhwa shelf

A manhwa artist’s desk

When we reached the Korean Manhwa Museum, the entrance fee was discounted (from 5,000 to 3,500 KRW) because it’s election day today. It was a happy coincidence.

Running Man theme song challenge

Running Man played hide and seek here

This is Shin from Goong. His Philippine TV name is Gian.

We got to see and took photos of the shooting areas, where Running Men played hide and seek and the theme song game. We participated in one of the activities where you get to draw a manhwa character. I drew Pororo. AIso, I saw copies and characters of my favorite manhwa, Goong (Princess Hours – it became a drama and was dubbed in the Philippines).

Drawing Pororo

Within walking distance from the Korean Manhwa Museum is another Running Man shooting location, Aiin’s World. It’s a small theme park where you will see miniature models of the world’s famous landmarks. You will literally “go around the world” in 30 minutes. Word of advise, it’s better to visit this destination at night. Landmarks look better with colored lights around.

Colosus of Rhodes, Morocco, Jordan, Mr. Kilimanjaro, Egypt

Sagrada Familia, Collessium, Acropolis, Versailles

We headed back to Seoul to visit my college batchmates, Anne, at Ehwa University. It’s one of the top universities in Korea. It’s famous for their ECC building, one of Korea’s modern architecture landmarks. Enjoyed catching-up with Anne while we toured around campus. She even brought us to the cafetria with good kimbap.

Ewha University ECC

Ewha University Admin Bldg

Ewha University pretty building HAHA

Ewha University Hanok House

That’s it for day 4! Annyeong!

Korea 2017 Day 3: Hongdae, Myeondong, Dongdaemun

We decided to have a light day after a tiring experience yesterday. Thus, we only visited shopping centers today.

Late morning at Hongdae Street

Found SHINEE again, all of them this time!

Our first stop of the day was Hongdae. This is popular amongst young people. It has unique cafes, galleries, accessory stores, fashion stores, clubs, art markets, and gourmet eateries. We basically came here to look for Running Man locations, but ended up shopping and eating as well. 

Seen on Running Man Hongdae episode

Haha’s restaurant: Loco Quan 401

Korea has cheap socks that have good quality. Bought the Sailor Moon set for myself. Hahaha

For lunch, we found a dongkatsu place near Haha’s restaurant. We went in because we saw the picture of the big dongkatsu for 6,900 KRW. Even though it’s cheap (for a restaurant), the food did not disappoint. 

The dongkatsu place!

Dongkatsu meal

Next, we came back to Myeondong to find cosmetics for my sister’s officemates and other finds. I only bought a few things but ended up with a lot of freebies because my sister was going from shop to shop to find items. We’re gonna have a round two of Myeondong because her officemate’s gonna send here more money for stuff. More freebies for me!

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Bought aloe vera and got a lot of freebies!

At night, we came back to Dongdaemun area to eat at a Korean buffet with the family. I enjoyed the food at it has stations to make your own veggie wraps and bingsu! I also got to try dukboki, the traditional Korean rice cakes. 

Buffet place at Hyundai City Outlets, Dongdaemun

Some of the food at the buffet

Before going home, I invited the family to see the LED Rose Garden at DDP since only my sister and I have seen it. Glad we came back because the sky wasn’t too dark we got to take better photos. 

LED Rose Garden, DDP

That’s it for day 3! Annyeong!