Living in Seoul: Guided Tour with Locals

Went on a guided tour around Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) and Insadong (인사동) with some locals. The tour was completely free and the guides were practicing English. There seem to be a couple of Korean groups offering these tours, so definitely check them out if you get the opportunity! 

Sejong-ro (세종로)

Sejongro lee soon shin

Our first stop was Sejongro (세종로) where they had some sort of memorial camp for the Sewol ferry victims in front of the Lee Soon Shin (이순신) Statue.

Sejong ro ferry victims
Sketch portraits of the victims.


sejongro origami
Origami with names of the victims.

Beyond the memorial was some sort of charity event. Basically you can participate by walking a course laden with rocks. I think it’s supposed to be therapeutic for your feet.


sejong ro charity event
Charity event involving a course laden with pebbles.
sejong ro charity event (2)
Podium for the event.

In the middle of the road is a gigantic statue of King Sejong. There are also some items that he purportedly invented.


Sejong ro statue
A statue of King Sejong.
sejong ro sundial
A sundial monument.
sejong ro rain collector
A rain measuring tool.
sejong ro  compass
Not sure what this one is supposed to be.



A flag placed on a building to commemorate the independence movement on March 1st.


Gyeongbokgung Palace (경북궁)

Gyeonbokgung palace guard ceremony
A guard changing ceremony performed every few hours in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)

After walking along Sejongro, we went into Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁). We didn’t get to explore too much of the palace, but we went to the main areas.

Geunjeongjeon Hall
Lots of tourists and Koreans flock to Geunjeongjeon Hall (근정전). Some even wear Hanok.

Geunjeongjeon Hall 3 Geunjeongjeon Hall 2

Gyeongbokgung CCTV
(Not-so) Ancient CCTV.

Insadong (인사동)

Our last stop, we ate around Insadong. We went to a traditional tea house and ate dinner at Saemaeul Restaurant (새마을식당) where they had delicious samgyeopsal (삼겹살). I will post more details about these food places in future blogs!


Insadong Calligraphy
A crowd develops around a calligraphy artist.
Traditional Tea House 1
A traditional tea house.
Traditional Tea House 2 Yuja Tea
Yuja Tea.


Saemaeul Restaurant Samgyeopsal 2

It was a very tiring, but eventful day. I highly recommend it if you want to meet some Koreans interested in English and foreigners, or if you want to learn more about Korea!


Author: Ryan Mar

Just a guy simply making the most with life abroad. Love travel, photography, food, and just enjoying life. Currently blogging about beautiful places in Seoul, Korea, along with food, culture, and observations at

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