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When you are in Seoul, Korea, there is one particular breakfast shop that is quite hype up over past two years. Isaac Toast (이삭토스트)  is definately one of them that also regard as one of a must have toast place or breakfast place if you visit Seoul. As my schedule is pack with food, and knowing Isaac Toast in Myeongdong is super congested, so found out that they have another outlet at Insadong which fits well in my itinerary.

Isaac Toast has over 700 retail stores in South Korea, with overseas branches in both Macau, Taiwan, and of course the latest news that they will be opening their first outlet in Kuala Lumpur at KLIA 2 – Arrival Hall

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drop by this shop after visited Gyeongbokgung Palace. This shop is like stranger in the street. Do not have to queue super long and just get it within 5 minutes.

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Very simple and straight forward menu. It feels like you are doing the toast at home. Some interesting flaovurs are like : Bulgalbi (3,200 Won), Bulgogi (2,800 Won), Hot Tteokgalbi (3,200 Won), Hot Chicken (3,000 Won), Steak Ham (2,800 Won), Bacon Best (2,800 Won) and Ham Special (2,400 Won).

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Since it is a simple food that prepare at its best so we hit on Ham & Cheese. Honestly, the bread do taste like Gardenia that is toast to perfection. What makes them so special is that they have this special sauce and sweet honey which gave very good appetising sweetness that is not overpowering yet keeps you goes on bitting. Ham is fragrant and it is just so good to pair with their well done airy egg. .

Simple to perfection.

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If you ask me to wait for 30-45 minutes for a toast at Myeongdong, I guess I would have not proceed as they have 700 outlets around and I did try one stall at the road side that did similiar toast which is pretty on par to Isaac Toast. Just that they are a large chain that sits at Myeongdong that kinda make them a super star over past 2 years.

Location:
Isaac Toast Insadong
(at the main road)
nearby famous Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕)

Most of the people would visit:
Isaac Toast Myeongdong
105 Toegye-ro, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 752 3002
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun

Starting off with my recent trip back to Seoul, Korea. This round I did massive food hunting and lets start with one of the famous U.S brand that Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is now operating in Gangnam district. There are 2 items is a recommended by many blogs and local instagrammers are Cruffin And Brioche Donut.

 

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An easy walk of 10 minutes from the station and head all the way in. Rather easy to find with google map. All buildings look nearly the same and you will come across this little white brick house.

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I got excited when see all the colourful donuts and its fillings in it.

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The other must-get was the Brioche Donut ranges from 2,800 Won = RM 9 that is filled with hazelnut chocolate in it.  They have other flavours such as  vanilla cheesecake, passion fruit curd, caramelized banana and strawberry cream. the Croissant looks tempting too 4,400-4,600 won = RM 16.50 – 17.50

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The famous item in the cafe is their signature Cruffins. I read that they are limited to two per customer, and changes flavour every single day. On that day I had 2 flavours to choose from. Earl Grey or White Choco. Hitting onto Earl Grey as the cream is more unique for me.

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Other Beverage available.

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Then only the lady told me that, lower level is for take away and upper level is for dine in.

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There are many parts that can hit OOTD in this outlet where my sis wanted a few.

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Top level pastry bench is even more pretty. Marble top with Gold Box Showcase.

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This is the signature shot that most people would do. I ordered Croffins – Earl Grey, Brioche Donut Hazelnut and chocolate croissant as it looks too good with its pastry look too and a glass of with total damage estimated of 18200 won = RM 69

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Among the three items, Cruffins stood up the most where the texture of it is crispy yet the dough and texture is perfect. The filling of Earl Grey is perfect where it is not too sweet yet smooth finishing. As for Brioche donut, turns out to be better than my expectation as it is like pillow soft, slightly fluffy and the filling in it, thumbs up!

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Some posing before we left.


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As you walk along the stress, I am impress with the creativity of the retail outlet and the amount of investment that they are putting in. Such as Dr Jart+ Flagship store in Gangnam is actually a beauty product house and below, that looks like a vault got rob actually sells handmade premium shoes ranging from 220,000won and above.

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If you do have some spare time, then you can drop by for this outlet. If not then you can head to other places as this area as I only found Mr.Holmes bakehouse only. or there might be others as there are tons of other eateries around the area that look pretty upscale.

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, not bad the pastry– !! -Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Seoul
34, Apgujeong-ro 10-gil
Gangnam-gu Seoul
(Sinsa Station Exit 8, Line 3)

Opening hours:
(Mon – Fri) 10am – 10pm ,
(Sat – Sun) 10am – 11pm

on the next day, we head off to Seoul Tower & Teddy Bear Museum. Namsan Seoul Tower was the first tower-type tourism spot in Korea. The top of the tower is at almost 480m above sea level, including Namsan Mountain (243m) and the tower’s own height (236.7m), making it one of the tallest towers in the Orient. It is comprised of Seoul Tower Plaza, recently opened to public access after 40 years, and N Seoul Tower, operated by CJ Foodville since 2005. The tower was first established as a broadcast tower to send out TV and radio signals in 1969. As of now, it has become one of the representative landmarks and multi-cultural venues in Seoul. (source visit Korea)

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Got off from the nearest train station and stroll all the way uphill.

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[Namsan Cable Car]
Operating hour: 10:00-23:00
– One hour extended operating may occurs on the day before holidays and Friday and Saturday depending on situations.
– Fare: Round-trip (Adults 8,500 won / Children 5,500 won) / One-way (Adults 6,000 won / Children 3,500 won)
* Group discount available for groups of 30 people or more
* Children (ages 36 months to elementary school students)
* Seniors (ages 65 or more): Children’s fare is applied.

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Namsan Cable Car

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Teddy Bear Museum: The museum in N Seoul Tower narrates with teddy bears the past, present, and future of Seoul. There is a history gallery and a special gallery where a teddy bear is dressed as a king of Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910) and also shows a wide variety of early images of Seoul in the old days. The museum also features models of major Seoul tourist attractions, such as the Cheonggyecheon Stream, Myeongdong, Insadong, and Dongdaemun, allowing foreign travelers to see at a glance what Seoul has to offer. (source visit Korea)

 Place: Teddy Bear Museum N Seoul Tower
○ Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (Last admission: 21:00)
○ Admission
– Teddy Bear Museum
Adult (19+) 8,000 won / Teenager (14~18) 6,000 won / Children (13 or less) 4,000 won
– Observatory Package (Teddy Bear Museum + N Seoul Tower Observatory)
Adult (19+) 12,000 won / Teenager (14~18) 8,000 won / Children (13 or less) 6,000 won

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Alternatively you can get the ticket combo for cheaper price.

[Observatory]
Sunday-Friday: 10:00-23:00
Saturday: 10:00-24:00
* Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
* Operating hours are subject to change depending on weather or business schedules.

Individual Admission Ticket
– Observatory: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won
– Ssentoy Museum & Show room: Adults 10,000 won / Children 8,000 won
– Hello Kitty Island: Adults 8,000 won / Children 7,000 won

[Namsan Cable Car]
Operating hour: 10:00-23:00
– One hour extended operating may occurs on the day before holidays and Friday and Saturday depending on situations.
– Fare: Round-trip (Adults 8,500 won / Children 5,500 won) / One-way (Adults 6,000 won / Children 3,500 won)
* Group discount available for groups of 30 people or more
* Children (ages 36 months to elementary school students)
* Seniors (ages 65 or more): Children’s fare is applied.

Location:
105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 남산공원길 105 (용산동2가)

Right after viewing on The Guard Changing Ceremony, it takes us about 10 minutes walk from Deoksugung Palace to reach this famous and largest traditional market in Korea known as Nandaemun Market that located in the heart of Seoul, not only that as this make them one of the oldest market too as they started since 1964. In this market, you can find alot of variety of selling items such as Children’s Clothing, Men & womens, daily groceries, kitchenware, local products and most of the shops here do have their own factories and make the product themselves that offer both wholesale and retail price.

For traveller like us, do not worry about it as they have 3 Tourist Booth area to guide us and you will see roaming Tourist info Guide with red vest ready to help us. They are equip with English,Japanese and Chinese speaking guide.

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A traveller like me, I am impress with the friendly people around this area and of course I am hunting for food more than shopping. In here you will get a variety of food products, from Japanese items like  gim (seaweed), gimchi, and ginseng, while the Chinese are into clothing trade and others. This market is rather big and you can spend at least half a day here if you were to slowly walk and stroll around.

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 manage to find a translation map as below: (source from Visit Korea)

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The first thing I am here is to hunt for their local food and went to food street first. Its so pack as it was lunch time and many working people are here to hunt for their favourite stalls. In this little ally you will find all the auntie selling pretty similar food and all have their own customers.

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And those famous stalls there are line of people waiting behind patiently to wait for their seats. Do expect seating here is cramp! as the owner trying to squeeze as many customer possible.

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We stroll around up and down twice without knowing what to eat and also did not know which is better option as everything in here looks good.

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Then we end up this stall as the owner herself is the most attractive in asking us to join them yet also she got alot of TV coverage in this stall and also one of the busiest too.

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She even pose for me as we wait for our turn to eat.

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All food are served with their kimchi and kimchi in this stall are marinated towards more sourish and with sweet end. That’s something new.

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Its hard for us to take picture as the turn over of this stall is very fast. People quickly sit down and eat then move to let other customers to come in. You can order any sides if you want besides the complimentary and its additional charges.

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We ordered one set by pointing to the owner as they do not know how to speak English. Therefore what people around there eat we follow suit. This is their famous Glass noodle in this stall that is served cold.

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Something new to us as its showered with peanut, yet its cold platter with sourish, yet mild of sweet and spicy end. Something new yet very appetizing. We could not finish it as the portion is pretty huge!

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Follow by their local handpull noodle that serve with seaweed, dry bean curd skin, meat and others.

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Soup base is sweet and this opens out our appetitite for eating, with chili paste added on top to make it mild spicy yet noodle texture is al dante. Finish till to the last drop of it. We call it Korean Pan Mee version! A MUST TRY! One set cost is about RM 20 = 6500 Won

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Korean people sure do can eat as their one portion serve with small glass noodle and a sides its pretty huge for us yet the finish it like eating a small meal. Impressive.

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AS we stroll along the main market, then we saw this is also another product that must eat in Korea yet people are queuing up. I was too full even to put something into my stomach instantly.

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For any online seller or retailer, this would be your paradise of shopping as most of this owner they handmade all the accessories themselves and the quality is GOOD! In this Jangan Accessories Shopping Mall they only sell wholesale price and if you do own a shop online or buy bulk, you have a special discount. After we came back only regretted we did not buy a huge pack to sell as its cheap.

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Right outside this Jangan  Mall, we saw this and decided to try.

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 cost 100o won for 3 pieces

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filled with peanut and another flavour with red bean. Not my type of local pastries as I find the skin is too thick yet very chewy. .

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 Then comes to street snacks that this caught my attention.

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 We stood there and observe as they did it so fast yet customers just come buy and go . .

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Its very good that its thin, coated with mild black sugar with a hint of honey  . .

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Then we saw another long queue that this auntie is doing their traditional breakfast omelette. Smells good though.

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 This is how they do their delivery . .

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This is another side of Nandaemun which is pretty near to GAte 2 that sells all seafood and also alot of pig spare part item.

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Till this stall caught our attention again as the queue is super long and turn out to be like a snake queue.

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They are doing this non stop and it smells so good!

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Anna is queuing while I was looking for something else to eat. It takes us about 20 minutes to reach our turn.

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Among the ingredients, after it was cook, the owner will paint 3 times of this special marinated soy sauce with green papper, red dates, apple, onion, green chili and others to make it so special that the sauce is so fragrant when top on it.

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Inside the fillings are glass noodle with special sauce. Fragrant and huge in pieces that makes it a good snacks. We could not finish though as its too much food for both of us.

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This famous snack can be hunt at this Gate 2 pillar which is directly next to it. Do come by if you are here.

Nandaemun Market CLOSED ON SUNDAY!

How to get here:

Seoul Subway Line 4, Hoehyeon Station Exit 5

As we were very hungry when we arrive, we headed to next door for a quick fix and it was satisfying with a great start of coffee and waffle (click here). Then we slowly stroll to the main entrance and snap a few pictures and we still have quite a lot of time , then we decided to check out inside the palace as the main event here is the Guard Changing Ceremony.

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Deoksugung Palace has held a guard-changing ceremony since 1996 after thorough historical research by leading historians. The ceremony, which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate of Deoksugung Palace, is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture. The royal gate is opened and closed at pre-determined times, and the gatekeepers in charge of guard duty and patrols hold a shift ceremony three times a day. (source from Visit Korea)

Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by various Korean royalties until the colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The buildings are of varying construction, including some of natural cryptomeria wood[citation needed]), painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built in Western style.  [source from Wikipedia]

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right before the show, there will be a few emperor guards standing outside the area and you can take picture freely with them. Best is not to touch them.

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 Lets go for a stroll inside and see how it looks like as seen in the map, its not a huge palace.

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Deoksugung was originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the older brother of King Seongjong. This residence became a royal ‘palace’ during the Imjin war after all of the other palaces were burned in 1592 during the Imjin wars. King Seonjo was the first Joseon king to reside at the palace. King Gwanghaegun was crowned in this palace in 1608, and renamed it Gyeongun-gung (경운궁, 慶運宮) in 1611. After the official palace was moved to the rebuilt Changdeokgung in 1618, it was used as an auxiliary palace for 270 years and was renamed Seogung (West Palace).

In 1897, after the incident when Emperor Gojong took refuge in the Russian legation, he returned to this place and named it Gyeongungung again. Expansion of the facility followed after his return. After Emperor Gojong abdicated the throne to Emperor Sunjong, he continued to live in this palace. The palace was then renamed Deoksugung, as a reference to a wish for longevity of Emperor Gojong. Emperor Gojong died in Hamnyeongjeon. [source from Wikipedia]

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Love how the whole structure being preserve with the details of it and its quite impressive, as it was 11am and we quickly head outside to check out on the guard changing.

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If you are in the area early, its a highly recommended place to visit especially for tourist like us as its being recommended by many travel bloggers too. This ceremony is happening right at the main entrance in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace and estimated to last about 30 minutes. Its being done 3 times a day  (11:00 / 14:00 / 15:30) .

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It will kick start with traditional musical instruments, and exchanges a password for verification then follow by changing ceremony and end with a patrol with beating of drums.

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Right after the whole ceremony, its a picture session time for free. Do take it quick as you will be cramping with many other travelers to take the picture.

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 Right before we leave, we saw this lady putting this sign ..

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Then I am excited on my next destination which is Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장) which is 10 minutes walk from Deoksugung Palace

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then we stop by at the convenient store to grab a drink and try this drink with its promotion.

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Pretty refreshing and nice, as this had been my next 2 day drinking water.

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As overall visit, you can skip this palace as the main attraction here is for the Guard Changing Ceremony, then you either head to Myeogdong or to next update – Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장)

 

Location:
Deoksugung Palace
99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 세종대로 99 (정동)

* Ceremony Schedule: 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays)
* Ceremony Route:
Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace → Seoul Plaza → Cheonggye Plaza
→ Gwangtonggyo Bridge → Bosingak Bell
** Bosingak Bell Ringing Ceremony takes place at noon.

** The operating hours may vary by season, please check the details ahead of your visit.

Operating Hours
09:00-21:00 (Last ticket sales and admission at 20:00)
Reservation via phone: +82-2-771-9955

City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2),
Exit 1, 2 or 3. Get off at In front of City Hall.

Deoksugung Palace Bus Stop. Get off at City Hall.Deoksugung Palace Bus Stop.
Get off at City Hall Station Bus Stop.

After our first stop in the famous Cheonggyecheon river, Seoul after what that reality game show (Global We Got Married) that capture my attention and which is a must to go, then we walk about 10 minutes to reach this next destination for Deoksugung Palace Guard Changing Ceremony.

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As we reach this area and we were pretty hungry already and we walk around the main gate area to see what we can have for breakfast and saw this shop that sells coffee and pancake and we decided to go for this, as the rest are pretty heavy.

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 Its a pretty simple menu that is only for pancakes, drinks and coffee.

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after I saw the guy in his little kitchen area and saw alot of Nutella, I guess its cheap in Korea.

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This is our simple meal to start off with, latte with love and the coffee is good, not too acidic yet mild enough to suits my taste bud yet the  milk did not over power it. Great coffee to kick start in the morning.

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Waffle here smells good and its done to perfection, as my order is with Maple Syrup. The Syrup is paint till shine onto the waffle and its so aromatic. Each bite is appetizing, as the base is soft yet the outer layer is slight crisp to my likings. Pair with coffee latte is just perfect!

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Friendly staff too, as although he speak basic English but good enough to assist us. 🙂

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If you do pass by to visit Deoksugung Palace, you can stop by at this little outlet Limburg Waffle for a quick bite.

Location:
Deoksugung Palace
(directly next to the main entrace at the little junction)
few shops away as can be seen on the picture above with guard marching outside the palace.

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