Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Korea: Seoul

Our trip of the month for September was a 10-day excursion to South Korea. SK is only a 2.5 hour flight from Tokyo, so we couldn't be this close and not check it out. We took advantage of several Japanese holidays held in the same week and snuck away. We visited three cities, ate tons of food and saw lots of fun, quirky things. We couldn't possibly fit all the photos into one blog post, so we will break it up into about five. Here we show some more traditional shots taken at places within Seoul, where we stayed the majority of the trip. Here we are in front of ChangdeokGung Palace (constructed in 1405), a world heritage site and one of two huge palaces in Seoul.
At the ChangDeokGung, a performer in traditional costumes exits with her helper, avoiding the mud.
Here is the gate to the other palace in town, Gyeongbok, built in 1395 and destroyed by the Japanese in 1592, rebuilt in 1865 and then torn down again by the Japanese in 1910.
In the area between the two palaces, up in the foothills to the surrounding mountains, is a collection of traditional Korean house called hanok. This area, called Bukchon, also has an awesome shopping street filled with boutiques in eclectic styles and tons of coffee shops. Korea has a very thriving coffee house culture. In addition to every chain store, there were also numerous independents, all of which stayed open nice and late. Sometimes you could see up to five coffee shops in a row, filled with people. You wonder how they could all stay in business, but at ~$5 for a cappuccino, I guess it makes sense. 
On one of a handful of rainy days, we went to the National museum. It was hard to capture just how huge this complex is (and still fit in the lake and cute pagoda).
Big airy space inside. Interesting collection.
This is apparently a coffin made of clay. Never seen anything like this.
Tranquil buddhas.
In the center of the city, near the big river, is a park on a hill, upon which sits Seoul Tower.
We rode the cable car up to the top of the hill.
Great views of the city from up in the tower.

No comments:

Post a Comment