Seoul: Day 2 Seoul Grand Park Part 1 – Theme Garden
Travel Period : 30 May – 5 June 2017 (Tues – Mon)
7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS IN SEOUL/JEJU ISLAND
Something funny happened in the early morning.
I was deep in slumber when I heard a call from my handphone. It was my dad calling me.
“Have you all went out already?” He asked anxiously.
“Huh? No ah?” I was still groggy after sleeping at 2 plus am and the timing then was around 8am. “We are still in the room what.”
“But I went to your room door and knocked, nobody answered the door leh?!” My dad complained.
My mind did an instant clear as I horrifically remembered that we HAD to wake up at 7am to prepare for our early trip to Seoul Grand Park. It was already 8am! Argh… I quickly jumped out of bed and ran to the door, thinking he was there.
Opening the door, I discovered..no one.
I closed it and quickly went to wake the rest of them, my mind a frenzy and full of regrets. Oh no, we won’t be in time for the itineraries I had planned for the day!
A knocking came soon and my Dad stood outside, not in a happy mood. “You said to wake up at 7am ah!” He continued. “I called first, nobody answered. Then, I came to your door and nobody answered too. So I called again and again!” Gasped. This indicated how deep in slumberland we both were, after our first day of flight and itineraries, I only woke up after his third attempt and Vin didn’t wake at all! The room and beds in RoinHome were too comfy!
I guiltily said, “Erm…sorry. I have to get ready. Did you eat your breakfast?” Turned out, he woke up really early at my stated timing of 7am (even though he slept around 1am too), drank his coffee and waited almost an hour for us, attempting to contact us! The 7am timing was for myself because we need time for Ling but he heard me stating it yesterday and thought it was for him too!
I did not know why, but he had the worst thought that we might have gone off on our own. My mum told him it was impossible but he was anxious because he didn’t quite remember the passwords to the main door of our guesthouse (told him but he forgot). Without the password, they couldn’t go out. (I made him write on a paper after this)
Eventually, we took more than an hour to get ready as we had to settle the sleepy Baby Ling and get her to drink milk. We also had to eat the prepared breakfast from the guesthouse which consisted of a sandwich and a packet of fruit juice. As I’m on a wheat-free, GF diet, I just made a packet of instant oatmeal (I brought to Korea) as a drink and didn’t had time to eat anything else.
By the time we stepped out, it was 9plus am (not a good time!)
TO SEOUL GRAND PARK
Comparing yesterday’s experience to Hongdae, the new route felt shorter and more direct when we came back to RoinHome Guesthouse late at night. Thus, we made a right turn and took the route towards Mangwon station. The somewhat cool morning air made our short walk quite enjoyable.
Transferring trains, we finally reached Seoul Grand Park after many stops on the subway. I knew it was far when we did the planning but didn’t know it was soo…ooo far! I began to feel anxious as it was quite late and we would have little time to explore two parks.
STREET FOOD SNACKS
First, we walked along the super long road towards the entrance.
I think I might have stumbled on the reason the entrance was so far…There were a row of street hawkers further down. The first one caught our eye as she was selling some cooked insects. Exotic food…
Then, Mom decided to stop and buy some fried dough from her. I was not happy about stopping since it was already late but Vin bought me Gimbap (Korean Sushi Roll – rice with pickles and kimchi) since he knew I didn’t have much to eat. The snacks were good (Dar love the fried dough) and we ended up walking and eating even before reaching the entrance!
There were three other stalls selling the same foodstuff and when we exited the Seoul Grand Park later in the day, my parents decided to support the last vendor and bought the same fried dough snacks from her.
Reaching the waiting area after a flight of steps, just after handing over our tickets, Vin noticed Ling did her big business! Argh, both of us had to go down to the first level again where there was a spacious baby room to change her (Luckily we had parent’s radar on and spotted it on our way up!). Meanwhile, my parents took care of Dar. We were glad for the nice room with washing sink and hot/cold water dispenser.
Soon, we were back again and got into the front compartment of the Elephant tram, just behind the driver.
It was a breezy ride as we headed towards the Theme Garden, which was the second stop after the Seoul Theme Park (We didn’t visit that). The place was really quite far! In fact, we passed many people along the way who were walking. I admire the Koreans for being so fit!
THEME GARDEN – ROSE FESTIVAL
When I found this place while searching for places for kids, I was intrigued about the Rose Festival coinciding with our South Korea Trip! Thus, I really had to put this itinerary in despite it being so far away from the city center of Seoul. I love photography (In fact, almost all the pictures for our South Korea trip were taken by me) and the idea of people with flower fields seemed so lovely!
Alas…Entering the flower garden, my parents weren’t interested at all so they took a group picture and went off to explore the garden themselves.
Never mind, I took some nice pictures of Dar-Ling and turned to take shots of the flowers. After a few shots, I realised everybody were gone! I hadn’t finish my Gimbap too and it was with the stroller they had taken! (I’m the only one interested in photo-taking.. *sad)
I was upset about this as my purpose was to take pictures of the children with the flowers (that’s why I chose this itinerary) but they were far away at the mini-zoo (quite a distance away) with my parents. Eventually, Vin brought her back with the stroller.
Things seemed smooth until we encountered our third hiccup for the day… like “a series of unfortunate events”. This incident spoilt our happy photo-taking mood.
We were standing near a Seoul sign, wanting to take a self-timed family pic with the stroller. Vin was preparing the camera on the stroller and stood above some tiles.
I heard some sploosh sound and saw smoke coming out from the tiles under him. I gasped, pointed and shouted but he was still looking up at the sky and not moving away. Suddenly, a fountain of water sprouted up from under him and wet his jeans! He was so frustrated and had to endure the wetness throughout our tour. Fortunately, since it was jeans material, it wasn’t too visible. I felt they should have placed a barrier over the fountain area! It was totally off for a long time and people were taking pictures so we didn’t know.
Vin quickly mentioned that we were lucky to discover this early as he had wanted to leave the camera on the stroller there to take our picture using the phone button function. If so, our camera would have been soaked!
Still, we recovered quickly and tried to take picture with the uncooperative Ling a few times. It wasn’t successful as she was being very cranky. Eventually, we managed to take a family picture at a bench surrounded by flowers.
After this, we went over to the Mini-Zoo where we showed Ling the goats and some pigs. The pigs were so fat! They were just lazing on the ground and not moving, while visitors kept exclaiming at the looks of them. There were other animals but I had no time to check them out.
It was afternoon and I decided to not waste anymore time at the Garden and head over to the Seoul Zoo which was opposite…. Continue to Next Post…
Tram Ride: Around 10 mins.
Total Time Spent in the Garden (from around 10.40 – 12.15pm): 1 hr 35 mins
Reason: If you love flowers, pictures and animals, it’s a good place to run around and take pictures against the themed backdrops. However, the summer heat minus some points, because it was terribly hot to try to take pictures around 10-12pm! My original plan was much earlier…We had to squint our eyes a lot as it was too bright.