Seoul Trip 2016: Day 5 ~ Seoul Lantern Festival

June 13, 2020

After spending most of the day at Hongdae, it was time to go back to Cheonggyecheon because that is the venue of that year's lantern festival! During the planning stage of our trip, we were very pleased to discover that the date of this festival coincided with our travel dates. Plus, the event was just walking distance from our hostel (the stream was a constant scenery whenever we went out). So really, this was a no-brainer to be included in our itinerary!

But before I proceed with the details of the festival, here's some story for you. This happened four years ago already but I still remember the events as bright as day. πŸ˜…

So I proceeded walking along the stream like I've used to for the past few days. I was quite comfortable already with the place because I have been here several times already. I had a general idea of where the festival was to take place (note: along the stream πŸ€ͺ) and so I proceeded to just leisurely walk and cherish the beautiful scenery ahead of me.

I felt so at peace during this moment. It all felt like I was in a lucid dream and I was just enjoying this solitude walk. It felt so liberating because I was this unknown soul wandering around this foreign city.

 I was so amazed with how clean the water was in here. There were even ducks swimming! πŸ¦†

I continued to walk for heaven knows how long, until I realized that it's getting dark already and I still didn't see any sign of a crowd or of the lanterns. And so that was the time that I felt anxious. I pulled up my phone. I didn't have the egg wifi with me and so I searched for a public wifi. I sat down on a bench and searched for the location of the festival. It turned out -- I was walking towards the opposite direction of where I should be! πŸ˜±

Nervously this time, I turned around and started walking back. It was really getting dark at that time and only a few people were at the pathway along the stream (well I could just guess where all the people were πŸ™„). After several minutes of brisk walking (thank goodness it was cold during that time, or else I would have been sweating profusely), I finally saw a crowd in the distance. I have arrived at the right place! πŸ˜“ *whew!*

And so the stress started to subside, and I began transitioning to tourist mode again. Of course, I snapped photos of as many floating lanterns as possible!

At this point, I was trying to contact my thesismates, but we weren't able to meet, so I just went on my way and checked out the festival! There were a lot of people walking along the pathway so it was not really noticeable that I didn't have company. I just blended with the crowd. πŸ˜Ž There was one point I distinctly remember wherein a girl in front of me dropped her wallet. I took it and followed her through the crowd. Since I wasn't sure what to say, I simply tapped her and handed her the wallet. I think I heard her say thank you LOL but I didn't really wait for her reply and just continued walking (oh the wonders of being an introvert 🀣).

This was my first time to attend an event like this so I was really just at awe looking at all the colorful lanterns floating along the stream. In our country, I only see lanterns in a certain form on a specific period (clue: Christmas). So imagine the joy when I saw this at the parade! Our very own parol! Why was I not surprised? 🌟

Aside from the lanterns, I also got to do some people-watching. I saw a bunch of people placing lighted lanterns on the water. I bet they also set a wish on it.

Also, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this couple. I guess the guy is in military vacation? Hehe 

Upon reaching the end of the lanterns display along the stream (at that point the crowd has thinned out), I decided to go to the other side of the stream and start walking back towards the direction of the guesthouse. I don't remember any more eventful occurrences that night -- I just looked back again at the lanterns, bought some food at the street vendors (of which I wanted to say I want them on a takeout container, but ended up getting just the food on stick so I just ate them while walking), and bought this "bread" from another vendor, After a few minutes of walking, I successfully returned back to the guesthouse.
μ—¬λŸ¬λΆ„, 이거 λ­˜κΉŒμš”?

It was such a nice way to end the day. Although I wasn't able to meet up with my friends, I still had some nice "me" time as I wandered around Seoul. This was actually our last night. πŸ˜­ Our flight was around noon the next day, but I planned to do one more itinerary before leaving this city (of course I would utilize all my time while in this wonderful city). Stay tuned for my next post!

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