Sunday, 15 December 2013

16 Oct 2013 - Day trip at 남한산성 Namhansanseong Fortress

I took the subway from Hongik Univ Station to Sanseong Station, exit 2. 
The subway ride took 63mins...
Walk straight from exit 2 for about 2 mins and you will see a bus stop.

Nothing.  Public housings in other countries always catch my attention ㅎㅎㅎ

I got on bus no.9 at 11.14am.
I used T money to pay for my bus fare.

Announcements on the names of the bus stops was only in Korean. 
Fear not. Just alight at the last stop ^^

This is the last stop for bus no. 9 - Namhansanseong bus stop.
Easy to identify right?
I reached here at 11.44 am.

Getting here was easy but which direction to take from here??

Seriously speaking, I really did not know which way to go to reach the fortress.
There was nothing in the surrounding that resemble an entrance or gateway to the fortress

Not of much help to me cos I could not see the landmark that I know of or the gate(West Gate) that I wanted to go to..

I will just follow my gut feel.
I crossed the road and turned right as shown.

Pass by this roundabout. 

Curious of what's in there but I did not went in to check out.
I just want to see my fortress >-<

Passing by...

Upon turning right, I saw a lane ahead of me with some eateries alone both sides of the road. Oh! I saw "국청사 Gukcheongsa Temple"!  That's the landmark I was looking for becos the gate is just behind the temple! Yay!! Another 800m to go 화이팅!!

Walk straight.

There was hardly anyone here.

Which way to go??
Left or right??
I decided to turn right becos its heading upslope.

I just keep on walking straight until I saw the restroom. You may wish to use the restroom here before you continue hiking.  I did not notice any restroom when I was at the fortress.  It took me about 25 mins from the bus stop to reach here.

Pardon me. I know this is a bit gross but I just wanna say I still dun know how to use this type of toilet. Do I need to press any button?? I dun understand what is written here. The flushing system operates on foam instead of water. Omg...The toilet was so smelly but definitely a lot better than the ones I have experienced before in the rural parts of China. No more and no way I will go there again. 

I think this is 국청사 Gukcheongsa Temple becos 清寺 sounds like Gukcheongsa ㅎㅎㅎ
Please correct me if I am wrong.

I did not visit the temple but took this stairway up.
The stairway is next to the restroom.

Only one route to take although I had no idea where I was heading to!!

Walk on.

I saw a ray of hope after walking for about 10-15mins ㅋㅋㅋ

Oh yes!! 


Once again, which way should I go?

Or left??
I decided to go right.

Zooming in.
Is that Seoul Tower from far?

As I was taking pictures here, an elderly Korean man stood beside me and started talking to me in Korean. I shall address him as 할아버지. I did not have any idea what 할아버지 was talking about. I just smiled and acknowledged him.


Koreans can really picnic anywhere.
I love the picnic culture in Korea but not under the hot sun like this ㅋㅋㅋ

I can't believe my eyes! Koreans really like hiking a lot. This guy was playing his guitar and singing along. There was also a folding table with food and drinks. They were not the only group with folding tables and food. I saw a few folding tables along the way and the Koreans laid out their food to share with their fellow hikers. How nice ^^
Remember the 할아버지? I met 할아버지 again while I was listening to this guy playing his guitar. 할아버지 kept on talking to me in Korean. I wanted to tell him that I don't understand but couldn't bring myself to do so. Just then, I noticed he was holding a book with English title! I grabbed the opportunity, "That's an English book!" Obviously, 할아버지 was stunned when I spoke English. He looked at me with eyes wide open and said, "You are not Korean? I thought you are a Korean!" Its my turn to be surprise! 죄송합니다 할아버지. I should have spoken up earlier and not let you waste your breath talking to somebody who did not know what you were talking about. 

할아버지 and I became hiking partners ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ He told me that he got off at the wrong subway station when he came here and he had to walk a lot. He got off at Namhansanseong station instead of Sanseong station. I told him I will bring him to the bus stop for our return trip. He laughed becos I became his guide ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ 할아버지 was disappointed becos he came here specially to take photographs of the Autumn leaves. No sight of the orange or red leaves yet.  He said he will be back again two or three weeks later. 할아버지's English was pretty ok but he felt its not fluent enough. He wished that I could stay longer in Korea so that he could practise his English with me. 할아버지...I wish I can stay in Korea forever man.....We chatted a lot as we walked to the bus stop. 할아버지 said he admire our Father of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew very much. Yes. I am so proud to be a Singaporean. I told 할아버지 that Mr Lee Kuan Yew is my idol.
할아버지 asked some Koreans for directions to reach the bus stop. Apparently, the route that I took to the fortress was a short cut. I saw the route that I took this morning but decided to take the proper path by walking straight along the fortress until we reached the North Gate.

Guess what?
할아버지 asked if I want to listen to a song.
He wants to sing an Italian song for me ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ
I was taken by surprise but I replied,"Sure!"
할아버지 sang loud and clear despite a few 아줌마 around.
I think they were used to it.
Remember the guy who sang and played the guitar at the fortress just now?
He did not feel awkward.
Neither was there anyone who stopped to stare at him with strange looks.

Yes. This is the North Gate.
I am not sure how far we walked to reach here.
I don't feel there was a lot of walking done.
Maybe it took us about 20 mins to reach here???

할아버지 offered me the 떡 Tteok that his wife had specially made for him.
It tasted really good.
Soft and chewy but I wondered why there was a slight garlic taste in it.
I asked 할아버지 what 떡 is this cos it had a garlic taste.
할아버지 was puzzled and replied,"No. 떡 does not have garlic."
Then, he suddenly recalled that his wife cut garlic for some dishes this morning. LOL 

할아버지 was very kind.
He shared his apple and drinks with me.
It is one of my favourite drink, black bean drink ^^

정말 감사합니다 할아버지.

The man in blue is 할아버지 ^^
He is already in his 70s and still walking very steadily.

Back at the bus stop.

Waiting for bus no. 9

Bus no. 52 arrived.
Strangely, most people waited for the bus at the parking lot instead of the bus stop.

Hmmm....seems like bus no. 52 also go to Sanseong Station.
Some Koreans asked the bus driver.
Not sure why nobody got onto this bus.
Maybe the departure time was not due yet?

Bus no. 9 arrived shortly. 

Got back to Sanseong Station 역. With your back facing the road, turn to your right and walk straight for the subway station. 할아버지 and I took the same subway. I bade farewell to him at Jamsil Station. 할아버지 will alight at Gandong-gu Office station, so he need not change train. 할아버지, thank you very much for your kindness. I wish you and your wife to be in good health and happiness always ^^

1 comment:

  1. my god they can picnic like that also ah ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ daebak