After that slightly disappointing trip along Yeouido Park, I went back to the hostel to hang out with the other guests. I stayed at a hostel in Hongdae called Come Inn Guesthouse. While on my laptop, I was able to see a couple of Korean friends (who I met during my Singapore trip) on facebook post pictures showing a good area filled with cherry blossoms. I sent one of them a message to ask her where she took it, and she replied that it was at Seoul Racecourse Park. I researched the place and decided that I’d be headed there the following day.
I planned on going there early, but some of the hostel guests invited us to have lunch. So I thought I’d just go after eating, meaning I had some time in the morning. I was planning on just going around the different stations, when I checked the time and realized that I’d be able to catch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony at the Deoksogung Palace (which happens 3x a day at 11:00/14:00/15:30).
I think visiting this place was the only “usual” tourist activity that I did during this trip. I’ve actually been to this palace back in 2013, and was already able to catch the changing of the guards. Back then I didn’t have a camera with me (save for my Note 2) so this was a good chance to try and take good pictures. Another difference is that this time I was able to catch the march from the inside of the palace aside from the ceremony outside the Daehanmun gate.
After the ceremony, I headed back to Hongdae to have lunch with the other guests. We went to this Korean restaurant a few blocks away from the hostel. It was a pretty diverse group consisting of people from Belgium, Canada, the US, Thailand, and me (a Filipino).
Seoul Racecourse Park:
Once we were done with lunch, I headed back to the hostel to prepare my stuff for going to the racecourse park. I told the people where I was headed and Tong (one of the Thai girls I had lunch with) told me that she wanted to join. I was thankful for the company, so we headed over to the park.
The racecourse park actually has a subway station near it (line 4). Going down the station and walking a bit, you would be able to see some signs that lead to the race track itself and the park. We got lost a bit, but the locals were nice enough to point us to the right direction.
When we got to the park, I was overwhelmed by the sight. While it may not be as magnificent as the other sites, being around the area with blossoms and the wind blowing through them and the flowers just swirling around you was still an awesome experience.
The park is a circular road that has various cherry blossom trees around it. I believe there was a festival that happened (or was about to happen) as there was a stage and a sound system setup. It was a great experience to just stroll around the park and having Tong to accompany me was nice as well.