Samsung NX Traveller Korea – Day 1 Arrival / Bongeunsa Temple / Sinsa-Dong

We sat Asiana Airlines from Singapore to Seoul and then took the 1 hour plus bus ride to the Intercontinental Hotel at Coex (Something like our Suntec City and Convention Centre but much bigger). We arrived early and with nothing to do before checking in, we went across the street and take a peek at the temple just across the street.

Bongeunsa Temple 

Built in the 10th year of Shilla King, the temple was refurbished and renamed Bongeunsa from the original name – Gyeonseongsa. The temple was shifted to its current location during the Joseon King Myeongjong’s Reign. Bongeunsa (奉恩寺)loosely means temple of gracious offerings.

Do grab a English guide phamplet from the booth just behind the main entrance.

The temple has a fairly huge compound and half of it is taken up by a huge car parking lot. Still the entrance to the temple is very grand with a long and wide passage out front with a artificial stream running on the left side that the pigeons had a great time bathing in the cold.

Inside the compound, there are chantings and praying with devotees sitting around the prayer hall right at the top of the mount and there is a chanting service happening as we approached.

A devotee closing her eyes in prayer as she follows the chants at Seongbul-dang, used as the national examination centre for monks during the Joseon Dynasty.


Prayer lanterns are put up.
Instead of joss sticks, candles are lit instead.
A monk attends to the service just outside the main temple hall which is full of devotees.


There are beautiful cherry blossom trees around the compound
Alston Lim, Geetika, Sze Ling, Stephanie, Connie, Pei Qi & Me. Enjoying a fish eye look at the surroundings.
Most satisfying Saba fish ever!! Cooked to the best BBQ crispiness and yet soft meat.



Sinsa-Dong, Gangam-Gu, Seoul

After lunch, there is some free time so we went to do some window shopping at Sinsa-Dong. An area that is full of small boutiques, cafes, hair saloons and restaurants along narrow lanes, the closest cousin would be Holland Village and Haji lane.  When it comes to street shooting, Sinsa-Dong has many well designed shops to explore. Top of my list has to be Gentle Monster’s Showroom.

Designed and renovated to look like a dilapidated European home, the whole place provides space to showcase Gentle Monsters’ rather high end sunglasses. After all they are used in major fashion catwalks. The details afforded by this place is enough for an avid photographer to stay and shoot. Perhaps using their sunglasses as props.

For those who uses LINE messaging, there is a LINE Friends shop too where you can buy small toys in the form of  Cony the rabbit and Brown the bear.

Coffee lovers would love Korea for sure as the coffee culture is strong in this part of town. We hankered down in CoffeeSmith with its very impressive shopfront. In truth, the coffee standard here is definitely very good and is comparable to Melbourne that’s for sure. Never sick of their coffee and the quality never drop even at rest stops during the trip.

One of the numerous coffee chains but I can safely say most of the coffee in Korea has really high standards.


A huge entrance facing Sinsa-Dong’s main thoroughfare that cuts through the area. It reminds me of Melbourne.


Rex waiting for coffee


Mr Brown and Me.


Super Huggable and Huge!!


Geetika, Connie, Mr Brown, Chee Boon Pin, PeiQi, Yik Keat, Sze Ling with Brown the Bear


Guess whose sexy ass?


@GentleMonster showroom. Beautiful interior design perfect for portraiture.


Sze Ling, Geetika and PeiQi
A full decked out kitchen you would almost think you could cook with it. Specs and Sunnies are left on the table for you to test.



Shot this on the last day in Korea. Because it is raining on a Sunday morning the shop was virtually empty of people. Took the opportunity to take a shot of Stephanie in this awesome space.

Next Post: Samsung D’light + Samsung Innovation Museum (


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