Springin’ around Seoul Day 4: MBC Dramia and Garosugil

Today marked the second-last day that my mother would be spending in Seoul, before my friends joined me for the second part of the trip. As my mother is a huge Saguk (period drama) fan, I decided that I would bring her for a half-day tour out of Seoul to MBC Dramia. There are two ways of heading there, going via public transportation or opting for a tour. Given that we had tired ourselves so much by travelling to Gapyeong the day before, we decided to pay a little more to travel to MBC Dramia, which was in Yongin, in four-wheeled comfort.

I booked the tour the day before via e-mail and it cost us 75,000krw per pax, which we paid the tour guide in cash. (I am not naming the company as I did not like the tour guide’s service, neither did I like how the tour was extremely rushed. Email me if you really wish to know, but I believe such half-day tours are very common and easily searchable on Google.) 
I had chosen this company as my friend had gone to Dramia with them late last year and she commented that it was convenient and the guide was very friendly. Unfortunately for us, the other family travelling with us was really late and so we only got to Dramia close to 2 hours after our actual meeting time (when it was only supposed to take about 1.5 hours). The guide was also very insistent on speaking in Chinese given that the other family was Chinese-speaking. I had to point out to her that I had opted for an English-speaking tour before she grudgingly switched languages. While I do understand Chinese, my Chinese isn’t that awesome and when she started explaining things about Korean history as we drove to Dramia, I got quite lost. I also say it is rushed because we were given about only an hour to roam the grounds, as the tour guide had to rush to another appointment after the tour. Of course, one hour was hardly enough, so we took more of 1.5 hours and by then she seemed quite unhappy that she was running late.

Not sure what I was trying to do here.
Nonetheless, MBC Dramia is a lovely location, and I highly recommend it for all you K-Drama or Sageuk fans! The sets are extremely realistic, and I love how you are able to go up close and personal into these sets and literally touch anything. You know how when you go to palaces, you can only go up to a certain line, but for these sets, we could go anywhere, sit on, or touch anything. It really made for interesting photos.

MBC Dramia was also the place where they filmed some of the Sageuk dramas I really loved, like Arang and the Magistrate (starring Lee Junki and Shim Minah) and House of Gu (starring Lee Seunggi and Suzy). My mom and I had a lot of fun remembering locations from the various drama scenes. If you haven’t watched either, please do. I don’t really like Sageuk dramas, with the exception of Rooftop Prince, but these two have an element of Korean folklore in it, making it less draggy and mundane than the average Sageuk.

House of Gu fans would definitely remember this kitchen where Lee Seung-Gi spent a lot of time in!

I think some random drinking scenes in Arang should have been filmed here.

Not. Tall. Enough.

This house was also used in House of Gu.

Our tourguide in blue scrambling off.

After our very rushed time at Dramia, the tour company dropped us off at Myeongdong, so I did a quick Google and it threw up a popular Buddaechiggae restaurant called Choisshi-Ajusshi Buddaechiggae, right in the heart of the busy Myeongdong street. The restaurant is popular with tourists having been featured on several TV programmes in the past so they had menus in Japanese, English and Mandarin, with special ‘sets’. These did cost a little more than if we just ate Buddaechiggae on its own, but it was well worth the price, the accompanying Kalbi was really good!

We stocked up on Laniege at Myeongdong (and got lots of freebies in the process), made a quick trip back to Hongdae to drop off our many items, and then headed to Garosugil (literally tree-lined streets, you’ll see why in the following photos) for a walk. Can I just say, I am incredulous how it took me THIS long to find out about Garosugil? It is incredibly scenic, thanks to the trees that line the streets and full of trendy boutiques and cafes. There were also dozens of stylish people on the streets and I thought I even spotted a couple of celebrities and ulhjjangs (or at least they looked like it, with their masks and shades).

While I loved shopping there, the problem was that a lot of the shops, as with most Korean shops only stock “free size” meaning if you’re anything above a UK8, you can more or less looking for nice clothes there. I got a few items, but most of those I got were either deliberately oversized items or skirts with elasticised waists. Hoping by the next time I head back to Korea, I would have gone down a size or at least, they would start stocking a size up. At least my size doesn’t prevent me from getting really pretty shoes and bags though!

We wandered up and down the streets for a good two hours or so, and then decided to head back to Myeongdong to grab more souvenirs, soak in the bustling night life there and had dinner at my favourite barbecued meat joint, Saemaeul Sikdang.

최씨아저씨 부대찌개 / Choi-ssi Ajuhssi Buddaejjigae 
54-32 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Nearest subway station: Euljiro-1-ga station (Exit #5) / Myeongdong station (Exit #5)

Saemaeul Sikdang (Myeongdong branch) / 새마을식당 (명동점)
Levels 2-3, 199-48 Euljiro-2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway station: Euljiro-1-ga station (Exit #5) / Myeongdong station (Exit #5)

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