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5D4N Seoul Itinerary 2020 – Perfect Itinerary to bring your parents to Seoul


Korea, a popular country in Asia is more than just having a Korean pop star. The culture in the modern city is what made this country unique. From youngster to Ajuma, there is always something for everyone. 

My parents and I visited Korea 9 years ago with Chan Brother Travel Agency and it was a disaster. They had a pretty bad impression of Korea. Since then, they never return to Korea. This trip, we wanted to change their impression and brought them to some of our favourite places. Also, we explored new places too. This trip was adapted from our previous  2019 4D3N Seoul Itinerary. 

My mom loves the market and this trip, we visited many different markets. Even one month after our trip, she was still talking about the chestnut that we bought from Korea. If you are planning to bring your parents to Korea, this itinerary might interest you.

Also do note that as this is not their first trip to Seoul, we have skipped some major attraction in Seoul. Hope this helps!



Summary
Day 1: Migabon Restaurant - Shopping at Myeongdong -  Okeunnae Chicken Rib –  Shopping at Hyundai I'Park Mall Yongsan – Ikseon Dong 
Day 2: Tong In Traditional Market - Gyeongbokgong Palace - Hwangsaengga
– Shopping at Lotte Mart  - dinner at Hosujib
Day 3: Market – Lunch at -  Eun Pyeong Hanok Village -  2D1N Café – Korean Samgyetang – N Seoul Tower 
Day 4:Mangwon Market – Belief Coffee Roast - Shopping at Hongdae – Dinner at - Okdongsik
Day 5: Seoul to Singapore 

Day 1: Migabon Restaurant - Shopping at Myeongdong -  Okeunnae Chicken Rib –  Shopping at Hyundai I'Park Mall Yongsan – Ikseon Dong 

Migabon Restaurant
After checking out most of the breakfast place, we realized that there were not many places is open at 9am. Thus, we decide to bring our parents to Migabon Restaurant in Myeong dong for porridge. We visited during our last trip and it was so good! It was tasty and flavorful! Dad’s favourite was the abalone porridge and my vote goes to the oyster with mushroom porridge! Unfortunately, H’s beef porridge was mediocre and didn’t shine as much as others. 

Tip: Free upgrade to a large bowl for the all-male customer when each pax order one bowl. 

Migabon Restaurant
Address: 56 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours: 8am–4pm, 5–10pm, Daily

Shopping at Myeongdong
Feeling satisfied with our breakfast, we started our day with shopping in Myeongdong! If you are planning to get your mask, Myeongdong is one of the popular places. The extensive Korean brand you can find here is incredible. We got the higher-end mask from Lotte world duty-free because we were lazy to shop around for price and it carries Shangspree there. 

Okeunnae Chicken Rib 오근내닭갈비
A 15-minute walk from Yong San Station, we visited our favourite Dak Gal Bi restaurant in Seoul. The perfectly marinated chicken is so good, we had to bring my parents to try. The chicken is tender and very flavorful. You can have it on its own, wrapped with lettuce or even go with fried rice. Plus, Gyeran-jjim has a strong seafood flavour and charred taste that makes you want to crave for more. With more people this round, we ordered the pancake to try. Unfortunately, it isn’t as good as it looks.

Okeunnae Chicken Rib 오근내닭갈비
Address:  15 Ichon-ro 29-gil, Hangangno 3(sam)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours: 12–3:30pm, 4:30–10:30pm, Daily

Hyundai I'Park Mall
We stop by Hyundai I'Park Mall that is Located at Yongsan Station. The shopping mall is popular among the locals as it is one of the bigger malls in Seoul. From cinema to super studio exhibition, you can find almost everything you need there.  We didn’t spend a lot of time in shopping malls because they are mainly international brands. However, one thing that I like about the mall is its artsy design. 

Ikseon Dong
Instead of spending our time in the mall, we decide to visit Ikseon Dong. Last year, we visited Ikseon Dong and it was memorable. Thus, I wanted to bring my parents to experience the artsy street of Seoul and introduce café culture to them. 

Ikseon Dong's street is still as charming as it was. Talking a stroll in the Ikseon dong and visiting small boutique shops in the cold weather is romantic. My parents enjoyed walking down the streets and even commented on how pretty the place is. My mom was inspired to place dry flowers home. 

Unfortunately, the cafes we visited was over-price. Despite serving mediocre coffee and snacks, they charge 1.5 times more than other cafes in Seoul. Not sure if it was the rental of the café that contributed to the high price. I doubt I will be back at the café again. 

Day 2: Tong In Traditional Market - Gyeongbokgong Palace - Hwangsaengga – Shopping at Lotte Mart  - dinner at Hosujib

Tong In Traditional Market
Breakfast was spent at Tong-in Market. After our visit to the market last year, it has become one of our favourite. Tong In Traditional Market also known as the lunch box café is definitely one of the best places to spend your morning. For 5000 won, you get to try different food in the market.  Read more about Tong-in Market here

Tong In Traditional Market
Address:18, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul서울특별시 종로구 자하문로15 18
Closed : Third Sunday of each month (Dosirak Cafe is closed Mondays)


Gyeongbokgong Palace
After spending our morning in the market, we visited Gyeongbokgong Palace. My parents are a huge fan of Korean Drama (Especially those involving palace!). Thus, we made a trip to the palace and they were fascinated by it. A free guided tour is available.

If you can’t get enough of the palace, visit the National Palace Museum of Korea that is located next to the palace. The museum is a lot more informative. You can visit the National Museum of Korea if are interested in the history of Korea dynasty. 

Tip: Dress in traditional Hanbok to gain free entry. If your parents are 65 years and above, they can enter for free.

Lunch at Hwangsaengga Restaurant 
For our late lunch, we visited Hwangsaengga for kalguksu. Unfortunately, the noodle was made with beef stock and we didn’t manage to try. Instead, we had dumpling. It had a chunky texture and was very flavorful. Kimchi was nicely fermented too. In addition, we ordered Bossam and a plate of fried snack. Sadly, both are mediocre and we doubt we will be back just for the dumpling. 


Address: 78 Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hour: Daily - 11am–9:30pm

If you are in the area and do not feel like having noodle, visit Tosokchon Samgyetang! You won’t be disappointed with their Samgyetang! But do avoid peak hour! 

Shopping at Lotte Mart  

Afterwards, we visited a supermarket – Lotte Mart to get our snack and local souvenirs. My usual item – Chocolate Waffles sticks, Korean Nuts and snacks for the next few days. To be honest, Lotte Mart is one of my favourite place to stock cheap mask. They always have promotion (10+10) for brands like Face shop, Innisfree and etc. One piece of the mask is less than $1 SGD.  Plus, you are eligible for duty-free deduction when you purchase min 30,000 won in a single receipt. 

Dinner At Hosujib호수집
This hidden gem is one of the best meal we had in Seoul. We visited around 8pm on a weekday and found this place fully packed with locals. The chicken skewers were perfectly grilled! But to be honest, i still prefer the Satay from Singapore. On the other hand, the spicy chicken with squid stew is really good! Spicy yet keep you wanting for more. I think I drank more than I eat the stew.  Plus, the ajuma were really friendly despite being very busy. Definitely will be back the next time! 

Do head over early to avoid the crowd. Otherwise, be prepared to wait up to 1hr. Once you arrive, write down your name on the waiting list or let the ajuma know in case you can’t find it! 

Address: 443 Cheongpa-ro, Jungnim-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hour: 11:30am–2pm, 5–10pm Daily except for Sunday 


Day 3: Seoul Yeongcheon Market– Lunch at 도깨비손칼국수-  Eun Pyeong Hanok Village -  2D1N Café – Korean Samgyetang – N Seoul Tower 

Yeongcheon Market
We visited the nearest market to our hotel - Yeongcheon Market the first thing in the morning. Unlike Tong-in market, the market is catered to locals. From frozen meat to Korean side-dish, we saw many Ajumas carrying bags around. 
For breakfast, we visited 도깨비손칼국수for noodles. The restaurant is located in the market and is definitely a hidden gem. Noodle is freshly made in the restaurant and cost 2500 won for a huge bowl of noodle. The broth is prepared with bonito flakes and is very flavorful. 

The reason why we won’t be visiting Hwangsaengga Restaurant for its dumpling is that the dumpling served here is a lot nicer.  Texture and taste is a whole new level. The skin was perfectly made – not too thick and yet it can hold the ingredient really well. Plus, they are a lot more affordable. My mom secretly wants to dabao takeaway the dumpling but was stop by us. 

Another favourite served in the restaurant is their Kimchi! We had lots of kimchi during our trip but this is one of the better ones. H refilled the kimchi like 3 or 4 times. Thankfully, we didn’t visit on the last day because this means we had time to revisit the restaurant before flying back. No doubt we will be back for more on our future trip! 

Address: 323 Yeongcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: Open at 11:30am 

Eun Pyeong Hanok Village
Instead of visiting Bukchon Hanok Village, we decide to make our way to Eun Pyeong Hanok Village. Eun Pyeong Hanok Village is located 40 minutes away from Seoul and at the foot of Bukhansan Mountain. 

The village is planned to be a tourist site and is quiet and have relatively new Hanok buildings. You can find residential homes as well as cafes and restaurants in the village. We took a walk around the village and was impressed by the design of the Hanok Village with Bukhansan Mountain as the backdrop. Sadly, it was drizzling when we were there & we didn’t spend much time exploring the Hanok Village. 

1 man 1 cup11
We visited 1 man 1 cup 11café once it started to rain. The 5-story café is strategically located at the foot of the village. With glass windows and roof, one can enjoy the view of traditional Hanok buildings with Bukhan Mountain at the back. Coffees and Tea were pretty mediocre but the view is stunning from the café. On a side note, the interior design of the café is beautiful and cosy. A perfect place to chill with nice view of Hanok village. 

Korean Samgyetang 
After spending the rainy day at Eun Pyeong, we return to our hotel for Samgyetang. This round, we decide to try a different Samgyetang restaurant – instead of visiting Toschoko Samgyetang.

Korean Samgyetang is one of Seoul's oldest established samgyetang restaurant in Seoul. As there is a requirement to order 1 main for each guest, we order the classic  Samgyetang, Jeonbok Samgyetang,  Whole Chicken and Abalone Porridge and Fried chicken to try.

The difference between the classic and Jeonbok is the abalone added. The Samgyetang’s broth is clean and the chicken was tender. Save your money on the abalone because the texture was pretty rubbery and tasteless. Sadly, we preferred the one at Toschoko instead. The Samgyetang is more flavourful and there is no requirement to have min one main order.  

Other main dishes that we ordered turned out to be a disaster. The abalone ginseng chicken porridge was bland and we left with ¾ bowl of porridge. The fried chicken was dried and I wonder why. If you are planning to visit the restaurant, just stick with the classic samgyetang and all is good. 
Korea Samgyetang

Address: 1, Seosomun-ro 11-gil Seosomun-dong Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening Hour: Daily 10am – 9pm
Nearest Station: City Hall

N Seoul Towel
Feeling full, we decide to take a stroll at N Seoul Tower and enjoy the beautiful city from the top.  N Seoul Tower is the second-highest point in Seoul and one of the most popular attractions in Seoul. More than just a popular spot, you can find many love lock and messages at the tower. , There is an observatory for one to visit and enjoy 360 panoramic views of Seoul. You can get the tickets at a discount here

Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Opening hours: 10am – 11pm, Daily

Day 4: Mangwon Market – Belief Coffee Roast - Shopping at Hongdae – Dinner at Okdongsik

Mangwon Market 
On our final day in Seoul, we visited one of the largest market Seoul – Mangwon Market. The market is huge and our new favourite! This market is not only for the locals, but you can also purchase many Korean snacks at Mangwon market. Plus, the price is reasonable and one can spend the whole morning there! Definitely will be back next time! 

Address: 486-8 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours 10am – 9pm, daily 

Belief Coffee Roast
Afterwards, we visited our favourite café in Seoul – Belief Coffee Roast. With in-house roastery, you know that the quality of coffee is assured. The café not only serves one of the better coffees, but their pastries are also really good. Definitely better than the ones in Ikseon dong. We even take away some bread for tea! 

Belief Coffee Roast 빌리프커피로스터스
Address: 384-3 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 9:30 am to 11:30pm

Shopping at Hongdae 
Hongdae is a neighbourhood cater mainly for the youngster. With street mural and basking, the street is vibrant and filled with youthful ambience. There are many cafes, fashion stores and restaurant in that area. Even if you are not there to shop, it is nice to surround yourself with these youth vibes. During the weekend, you can even find indie performance almost at every corner of the streets. 

Tip: There is a Hongdae Free Market every Saturday at Hongik Children’s park from March to November. 

Okdongsik
This trip, we revisited Okdongsik for pork soup rice aka Dwaeji-gukbap. This Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant serves one of the pork soup in Seoul. The broth is light yet flavorful and the meat was fresh. Plus, the ambience of the restaurant makes the dining experience very comfortable. 

Okdongsik
Address: 44-10 Yanghwa-ro 7-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours:11am–2pm, 5–7:30pm

Day 5: Seoul to Singapore 
The next morning, we left Seoul and visited the newly refurbished lounge in Incheon Airport. The lounge is definitely one of the better SQ lounges in the world. Read more about SQ Incheon Airport Lounge Here 


Despite the short trip, it was fun and memorable. My parents had fun in Korea hinted us to revisit Korea next year. There are still many places and food H & I would love to visit in Seoul and we can’t wait to be back soon. Let's hope that COVID-19 will be over soon. Stay safe everyone! 

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