Archive for December, 2012


Seeing a lot of these sorts of lists, so I thought I’d make them. Since the blog only started in September on blogger and moved to wordpress in November, I thought it fitting to do only the top 5.

1) International Gift and Household Fair

2) Everland: Christmas Fantasy

3) Gwangju

4) Seoul’s 5 Palaces

5) Naejangsan National Park

 

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Seoul Overview

I did A LOT in Seoul. And I mean a lot. I was there for all of Sunday and most of Monday and even on Wednesday my feet still hurt from muscles I pulled in both of them with all the walking I did. According to my phone I walked over 50km. I think it’s wrong, then I move my foot the wrong way…and I’m not sure. Anyway, I didn’t want to do one MASSIVE post, so see below for the compartmentalized posts:

The 5 Palaces

Seoul Museum of History

Seoul Museum of Art: Tim Burton

North Seoul Tower

Jongmyo Shrine and Bongeunsa

Traditional Buildings

The Inbetweens of tourist attractions and the smaller attractions

I can’t wait to go back and see the things I didn’t get to and go back to the things I loved during a different time of the year or a different time of day. Maybe I won’t near lose a finger or toe to frostbite then!

More Seoul!

Walking around I saw the Institute of Traditional Korean food–I must try this place out next time I come up if they are open on weekends! I saw nearly everything Seoul has to offer and there are only a few places I want to go to again so this is close to the top of my list!

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I also found Insa-dong, which was not as exciting as I thought it would be.

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I found Myeong-dong to me much more exciting for shopping (and probably getting robbed as there are so many people–at least there were 2 days before Christmas!)

Seoul 2 038I also walked past Jongno Tower which is a beautiful display of modern architecture.

Everland and Seoul 454Oh hey look–the US embassy has a billion air conditioners and a billion guards.

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Outside of the Seoul Museum of History was this display…not sure what it is for but was pretty sad looking.

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I walked down Jeongdong-gil, which was a street that was recommended for a stroll.

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Seoul set up ice skating in the City Hall area.

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There was also a parade of red and green balloons.

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The ‘R’ building?

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A walk down Cheonggyecheon-ro river is not as beautiful as I expected, forgetting that it is winter.

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Another interesting building. I couldn’t decide if it was a letter or not and, if so, if it was an M or N or…

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Cheonggye Plaza

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Crossing Banpodaegyo Bridge

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Spaceship building!

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And some more odd buildings in the Lotte Duty Free-COEX-7 Luck Casino area

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And, of course, required Dokdo signs.

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There were some beautiful buildings that did not fit into the other posts of palaces or shrines, so I present them here. There is another post for more modern architecture and buildings.

A traditional tower behind Jongno Tower.

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Bosingak which is a bell tower.

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Heunginjimun (Dongdaemun) gate, which is the second largest gate in Seoul and the largest gate that was part of the original city wall.

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Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional village with bits of new thrown in.

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There were other buildings that I could not find a name for but were beautiful just the same.

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Jongmyo shrine is Confucian and requires people to do guided tours (50-60 minutes long) everyday except Saturday (and they are closed on Tuesday). The shrine was founded 1395 and continued to expand until it was burned down by the Japanese in 1592. Reconstruction and expansion began in 1608 and it became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1995, as it is the ONLY building of its type–the rest in Korea, China and southeast Asia were destroyed by war, invasion or cultural revolutions.

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Upon entry, the tour goes to Hyangdaecheong, then Jaegung, Jeonsacheong, Jeongjeon, ending at Yeongnyeongjeon before going back to the main gate. The back gate is closed (which I found out the hard way by walking around the construction area thinking ‘oh this will end soon…I hope…’). The main walkway has a raised path for spirts to walk on–so you better not walk on it! Later there is another raised walkway, but it is for the King, and thinner. The only time the Queen was allowed in was on her wedding day.

Hyangdaecheong has a square pond opposite it with a circle island in it, which represents the fact that heaven is round and the Earth is flat (although I’m pretty sure the tour guide gave another story so as to not sound like the shrine believed that the Earth is flat) This building was basically a storage area of things either brought by the King or for the King for the ceremonies.

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Jaegung is where the king and the prince cleaned themselves before the ceremony. They may be carried in but must walk out when going onto Jeongjeon which is where the ceremony happened–the thinner walkway I mentioned earlier goes from Jaegung to Jeongjeon.

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Next you will see Jeonsacheong which is where food was prepared for the ceremony. Animals were sacrificed here and food was cooked (although most was raw) as well as presented before being offered to the King and spirits.

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Jeongjeon was the main area for the deceased kings and queens, as it was the largest and had the seven symbols (spirit chambers) of protection.

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Yeongnyeongjeon was the second area for deceased kings and queens, as it was smaller, and was used for kings who did not accomplish as much, people who were in the family line before the Kingdom was made, and the last king who was forced to go to Japan. It has only 4 symbols (spirit chambers) of protection. It was built when Jeongjeon could not be expanded anymore.

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I went to Beongeunsa Temple later in the day, right before getting on my bus back to Busan and it was a beautiful last sight to see–especially if the sign they had hanging was true and it might be no more: ‘The Seoul City Government must withdraw the plan to expropriate the land from Bongeunsa’. This temple was built in 794 and became the head temple of the Seon sect during the Joseon Dynasty (the same dynasty that created Jongmyo shrine). Because this was a Buddhist temple, the fact that the government supported it was a huge step for Buddhism in Korea.

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You enter in though Jinyeo-mun Gate (gate of suchness) and the Sacheonwang-sang (statues of the four celestial Kings) are there. After that, you go up a hill to Beopwang-ru (Dharma King Pavillion). I then went right to Seonbul-dang (building for sellecting Buddhas) and  Daewong-jeon (Main Buddha Hall). Further up is Yeongsan-jeon (Vulture Peak Hall) and Bukgeukgo-jeon (Hall of the Arctic, Hall of the Big Dipper). Starting to go downhill you will come to Mireuk Daebul (Great Statue of Maitreya Buddha) and further down to the Bell Pavillion.

Jinyeo-mun gate and statues were beautiful, and I instantly got sad at the idea of them no longer existing because of something the Seoul government would do. The fact that the gate means ‘gate of suchness’ means ‘things just as they are’–the ultimate truth, which is beyond words, and your journey for it will begin there. The Sacheonwang-sang are special because of the fact that the statues are smiling.

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Beopwang-ru was decorated with red lanterns and had a shrine for praying as well as candles and a donation box. Some of the trees and posts were wrapped in plastic which I thought was a bit odd. It is used for prayers, ceremonies and morning services.

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Seonbul-dang is number 64 in the Tangible Cultural Property of Seoul, whatever that means. Monks were examined here to see if they could become the Buddha. A building such as this will not be found in other temples because of its style.

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Daewong-jeon was used for ceremonial services, practices, prayers and a variety of activities.

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Yeongsan-jeon is a representation of Vulture Peak in India, where Sakyamuni Buddha preached.

Bukgeukgo-jeon is a mystery building, as the brochure does not say what it does.

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Mireuk Daebul is a statue for the future Buddha who vows to save sentient being in the era after the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is 23 meters tall.

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The Bell Pavillion is closed so you cannot ring the bell anytime you like, but it is seemingly rung in the morning for services at down.

N Seoul Tower

This has a thousand names: N Seoul Tower, North Seoul Tower, Namsan Tower, Seoul Tower, CJ Seoul Tower…and I have been yelled at for calling it the wrong one by other Westerners! He’s an odd one though…

Anyway, its pretty expensive to get to: 8,000 for the cable car (it was cold and dark so I was not going to walk in the park) and then 9,000 to take the elevator to the top. There is a wait at both parts as well (I’m sure at all times of the day, even to go back). First you do take a free slanted-elevator thing to get from the street to the cable car though.

I like Busan Tower better because you see mountains and the sea, while from Seoul Tower you just see mountains. But that’s just me.

Not much else to say, so have a look at the view.

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From December 12 2012 to April 14 2013 there is a Tim Burton Exhibition going on in the Seoul Museum of Art. I would say go on a week day or during the morning because when I came at about 3 on a Sunday this is what I saw…

Everland and Seoul 719…and it went back a bit further, but I wanted to get the arrow-circle thing in the picture. After paying 12,000 for a ticket, I had to wait inside for about 20 minutes. then get into another line at the top of the stairs to go in though his mouth:

Everland and Seoul 723and then there were about a million people who pushed me though even though I was trying to watch a video but if you stop then everyone must stop and apparently going around you is a no-no. Once I started to see things I had already seen (from bonus features on DVDs) I was skipping over groups of people and getting odd looks. Oh well…(said like Jack Skellington). For the most part you are not allowed to take pictures but I sneaked a few

Everland and Seoul 724 Everland and Seoul 726 Everland and Seoul 727Many of the drawings I had already seen, as stated, in DVD bonus features. So, if you’ve seen one or two of those from Tim Burton movie DVDs then you might want to skip the attraction. For all the pushing, not being allowed to take pictures, the sheer number of people, the number of those people who had no idea why they were there, and stuff I had already seen I wish I had skipped it.

There was one thing at the end that I quite enjoyed:Everland and Seoul 733

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This museum let me know that I don’t care too much for the dynasty era of Korean history. I tried reading the information but I would get bored less than halfway though reading the sign. That being said, there were some beautiful things throughout the museum.

On the bottom floor there are two exhibition halls, among other things (restaurant, information, gift shop, etc) and the rest of the museum is on the 2nd floor (realistically its the 3rd floor but visitors cannot go anywhere on the 2nd floor).

I first went to the right and there were exhibitions on Jeongdong: a Strange Coexistence and the Universal Exposition of Paris 1900: the Daehan Empire Met the World. The Paris one confused me at first because the sub-heading was not there so I expected some French art…not so much though, it was Korean stuff that was sent to Paris to show the world what Korea was like before 1900.

Below are pictures from Jeongdong: a Strange Coexistence was about the changing times from traditional to Western, which is exemplified in the second picture, of the modern man and the bike. The first picture is of Seoul at the time of 1899.

Everland and Seoul 568 Everland and Seoul 576In the Universal Exposition of Paris 1900: the Daehan Empire Met the World there were many things from the time before 1900 (as the exopsition was in 1900) including the walls that Koreans would put up between rooms and instruments. There were also the chairs that kings were carried on, fans, chairs, pots and drums.

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On the floor with the exhibitions, it starts in Zone 1 of Seoul of the Joseon Dynasty, then Zone 2 of The Capital of the Daehan Empire, Zone 3 of Seoul under Japanese Control, and ends with Zone 4 of Development of Seoul.  However, at the top of the stairs there is the Seoul Panoramic Theater, which has a mini-model of Seoul in it. It’s actually called ‘SEOUL: Now and in the Making’ which I thought was a great title for a city display. Very difficult to get pictures of without a tripod because of how bright it is. As I was looking a kid walked in and just went ‘WOAH’ and went all fours and stared down at what he had been standing on as his father and myself laughed.

Everland and Seoul 583 Everland and Seoul 586What I enjoyed in Zone 1 were the models of the city, or models of how life used to be.

Everland and Seoul 596 Everland and Seoul 604 Everland and Seoul 606Zone 2 is the smallest of the zones and displays the start of modernization/Westernization. One thing that was prevalent was the numbers of foreigners, specifically Japanese,  was increasing–as you can see in the first picture–which lead to Zone 3 quite well. On the floor in one of the three rooms was a map of the Seoul that was before occupation. The final room had a photo show going on with descriptions of the photos. The ones I thought were most interesting were:

  • 1907: Report on the national debt redemption movement, the Daehan Maeil Sinmun (Newspaper) and the Hwangseong Sinmun (Newspaper)
  • 1907: Japanese army soldiers march in downtown Seoul when Emperor Gojong was forced to abdicate
  • 1907: forced abdication of Emperor Gojong and enthronement of Emperor Sunjong
  • 1907: Parade of Emperor Sunjong after ascending the throne
  • 1097: Uprising of loyal army soldiers
  • executing loyal army soldiers
  • 1910: Japanese annexation of Korea

Everland and Seoul 621 Everland and Seoul 627Zone 3 had more models, but this time displaying the way things were changing in specific areas, such as Cafes, Barber shops and Billiard Halls. There was also a lot of writing about the changes in culture and how things were under Japanese occupation. Department stores were created, people started to read more as it was a good way to find out about rebellion and young people who dressed in modern styles were basically saying ‘everything you wear is terrible, look at all the money I have, I am better than you because I dress like a Westerner’. At this time World War 2 was going on and Korea had to fly the Japanese flag.

Everland and Seoul 648 Everland and Seoul 649 Everland and Seoul 655 Everland and Seoul 658Zone 4 starts with a short sum up of Liberation, US Occupation, and the War. There is a whole museum about the Korean War, so I think they skip over it here because there is no point in going over all the information twice. After that there is information about Seoul growing and expanding in number of people but not size, which lead to overcrowding, bad sewage, shanty towns (and fires in them) and food shortages. This lead into the dictatorship which lead to a lot of construction and helped Seoul become a booming city and Korea a booming country. After that it seemed like the museum skipped a bit, showed a 1970s dress and went to the Olympics, which was a massive deal for Korea to hold, less than 50 years after the Korean War.

Everland and Seoul 661 Everland and Seoul 662 Everland and Seoul 663Back to the ground floor, there is the Cartographic Achievements of Joseon, which are maps that were collected by a private collector and loaned to the museum for display.

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Changgyeonggung Palace

This palace was built in 1418, destroyed by the Japanese in 1592, rebuilt in 1616, burnt down in 1830, rebuilt in 1834, leveled for a zoo in 1909, called just a park instead of a palace by the Japanese starting in 1911, restored in 1983. It was the first one I visited and, maybe because of that, my favorite. There was almost no one else there, and it also was not so big that it was overwhelming, which I felt some of the others were.

I went in the Honghwamun entrance (on the right side), then the Myeongjeongjeon and then I took a right and went out to the Inner Palace Site, Chundangji, Gwangeokjeong and Jipchunmun. Headed back into Myeongjeongjeon I went further into the Munjeongjeon, Sungmungdang and Haminjeong, then right to Gyeongchunjeon and Hwangyeongjion, Yeongchunheon and Jipbokheon and Tongmyeongjeon and Yanghwadang.

Honghwamun is a beautiful area that was used for greetings.

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Myeongjeongjeon was used as the main hall where state affairs such as royal coronations, royal weddings and, royal banquets were held.

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Inner Palace Site used to have buildings for all the women, but these were all taken down during Japanese occupation.

Chundangji is a pond. It looks as if there are two as it gets bottlenecked at one point, but the smaller one (in the back) was always a pond while the larger one used to be for the Kings rice paddies.

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Gwangeokjeong is a military training area as it is a wooded area and Jipchunmun is a gate that lead to a small shrine.

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Munjeongjeon is a south facing building where the king dealt with routine state affairs.

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Sungmungdang is a banquet and classical literature hall. Haminjeong is another banquet hall, but was also used to receive state officials. I’m seeing a lot of similarities between the uses of buildings, but they are different sizes so can be used for different sizes of groups.

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Gyeongchungjeon is the queens room (and ‘birth hall’) while Hwangyeongjion was for kings and princes.

Yeongchunheon and Jipbokheon were concubine rooms.

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Tongmyeongjeon is the queens bedroom and is elevated because of that while Yanghwadang was used for guests.

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Changdeokgung Palace

This is connected to Changgyeonggung Palace though Hamyangmun exit/entrance. This palace was built in 1405, destroyed by Japan in 1592, reconstructed in 1610, destroyed in a fire  in 1623, restored in 1647, and made part of the Unesco World Heritage List in 1997. There were other small fires that only destroyed a building or two. Much of it was inaccessible when I went, which was disapointing to me on a few levels, the one most people don’t think about being: if I can’t see half the palace, why am I paying full price?  After going in Hamyangmun, I went to Seongjeonggak, Nakseonjae Complex, Huijeongdang and the gift shop which was opposite it, then Seonjeongjeon and out though Injeongjeon.

Seongjeonggak is an area where the Prince used to have books and hold talks about them, as well as read them to audiences. It is on the way to the secret garden, which was quite dead when I went on December 23rd.

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The Nakseonjae Complex is where the prince and king lived and read alone. The colors are not very bright for the reason  that the king wanted to relax there (I was wondering that when I saw the buildings but was too cold to take out the booklet or stand and read a sign).

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Huijeongdang was originally the kings bedroom but became his work area when the other location became too small.

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Seonjeongjeon was that other location. It became too small, so the king moved things to his bedroom, Huijeongdang. This is the only building in the area with a blue tiled roof.

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Injeongjeon was the throne hall and where most major ceremonies went on.

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

I believe this is the biggest palace in Seoul, even though the guidebook does not mention it. It is the one that is at the top of a main street (Sejong-daero and Sajik-ro). Inside it is the National Palace Museum and behind it is the blue house, Cheongwade, where the president lives. It was founded in 1395, destroyed by a fire during Japanese invasion in 1592, reconstructed in 1867 and since there other areas have been destroyed and rebuilt, with the last restoration being Gwanghwamun. It is said that this palace has the best feng shui as it has the mountains in the background. I went in though Gwanghwamun, to Geungongjeon, left to Sujeongjeon and Gwolnaegaksa, back to Sajeongjeon, onward to Gangnyeongjeon and Gyotaejeon, further back to Heumgyeonggak and Hamwonjeon finally going right to Jagyeongjeon and then returning to the main gate. While approaching the gate, there are two statues, as seen below.

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Gwanghwamun Gate is south facing and represents summer and fire. It is the largest gate in Seoul, and has three entrances/exits and is a two-story pavilion. There used to be watch towers that were attached, but now only one is left and it is in the middle of an intersection (Dong-sipjagak). They have shows in front of the gate but I’m not sure the times (I twice walked past and it was going on both times but I was across the street and unable to get a good photo). There are also two Haetae statues near this gate, which is a lion-looking creature that is supposed to ward off evil spirits.

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Geungeongjeon is the next area you walk into and was the main throne hall were parties were had and other royal pepole were greeted.

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Off to the left from there is Sujeongjeon and Gwolnaegaksa which were government offices.

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Sajeongjeon is where you go back into the main order of things, and is where the king dealt with state affairs and the name itself means ‘hall where the king should think deeply before deciding what is right and wrong’ which I think is a perfect name and is something all government workers should think of when they do their jobs. This was burnt down during the Korean war and rebuilt in 1988.

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Gangnyeongjeon is the first building in the next area and was the kings house while Gyotaejeon is right behind it and was the queens house. Behind her house is a terraced garden called Amisan which was only restored in 1995.

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Heumgyeonggak and Hamwonjeon were used for scientific discoveries and Buddhist events.

Jagyeongjeon to the right was the living quarter for Jo who brought Gojgong to the throne. It is the most elegant living quarter on the palace grounds and the name means ‘wish for much happiness for senior royal ladies’

At this point I was too cold to go on AND it was crazy busy–way too many people to appreciate it. I will go back in Spring or Summer and go there right when it opens.

Gyeonghuigugn Palace

This palace is the smallest and is behind the Seoul Museum of History. Entry is free. It was originally a royal villa and was constructed in 1617, destroyed during Japanese occupation, decided upon as a historic site in 1980, and reopened in 2002. Probably due to it’s size, I was one of 3 people there.

After going in the main gate, you will see Sungjeongjeon which was the main hall. I really liked the terraced roof behind the building, and it seemed impossible to see any of the other buildings when I went in.

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Deoksugung Palace

This was the last palace I saw, and it is quite near the Seoul Museum of Art and City Hall. This palace was adopted as a temporary palace in 1593 by Prince Wolsan and renamed in 1611 to a palace. In 1904 most of it was lost to a fire, and in 1933 the Japanese colonial government destroyed most of the palace buildings and creates a public park. Looking on the map given to you upon entry, you can see how much bigger (three times the size!) it used to be and how it was impossible for the Korean government to completely restore the palace without destroying buildings, including the Salvation Army. I went in though Daehanmun, then off to the right to Hamnyeongjeon and Deokhongjeon and Jeonggwanheon, then further back to Jeukjodang and Seokjojeon and turning back towards Daehanmun going through Junghwajeon.

Daehanmun is the east and main gate, and was originally titled to mean ‘to be in great comfort’ but now means’ Seoul will prosper’. Once entering you will go over a bridge (you can go around it too) or make a sharp right to the gift and coffee shop.

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Hamnyeongjeon (the first building you see) was the sleeping quarters for the king while Deokhongjeon was where he received guests. Deokhongjeon was decorated in Western style and had a chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

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Jeonggwanheon is behind Hamnyeongjeon and Deokhongjeon and is made in half Western style and half Korean style. I was not a fan of it…but the king served coffee and gave banquets here.

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Heading further away from the main gate is Jeukjodang which served as the main throne hall during Japanese invasion.

Seokjojeon is even further back and looks very Western–a ‘symbol of a nation seeking to modernize’. It initally served as sleeping quarters but is now the National Museum of Art.

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Junghwajeon used to be the main throne hall, when the gate in front of it was the main gate (south facing).

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Everland: Christmas Fantasy

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There was/is a deal to go from Busan to Everland for their Christmas Fantasy for 55,000KRW (bus one way and entry to the park) and since Everland entry is 40,000KRW anyway–why not?

Everland seems like a nice try at making a Korean Disney–as you can even see from the animals on the ticket.  They have a It’s a Small World After All ride (Global Village), Dumbo, etc and areas devoted to different parts of the world like Epcot.

We took the first bus from Busan (5:20am) and got there before 10am which is when they open. There were about a million kids there on school trips!

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There were some great decorations and other areas that were just beautiful because of the snow.

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When we arrived, most of the rides were closed because it was ‘too cold’ for them to be open. As that morning had not been any colder than other mornings around that time of the year, I thought it was a rip off because if it did not get warm enough they would not open the rides. I understand the safety aspect, but why would they not say this on their website? I would have wanted money back if all the roller coasters and fun rides had stayed closed all day–I don’t want to go on kiddie rides all day! After lunch all the rides opened though! Well, all but the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world–T Express. (I don’t think their website is correct in saying it is the steepest ride in the world because a few years ago a roller coaster in Florida opened with a 90 degree drop in it.)

Hurricane: The first ride we went on. I had low expectations since they let us hold our backpacks but it went A LOT higher than I thought. Good ride. With some odd signage.

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Championship Rodeo: This ride was very ‘Americanized’ and turned into a wild-west themed rodeo with posters of Western movie heroes riding horses and trying to catch bulls and the like. The ride itself was quite good, spinning in a car which spins on an access which will throw you back and forth so it is like you are at a rodeo.

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Global Village: copy of It’s a Small World After All. Creepy dolls galore with mostly European countries represented (only 3 from the Americas, 1 from Africa and 4 from Asia).

Flying Rescue: A kids ride, but a fun one. You control the up and down of it while it spins around (but we were never sure who were were supposed to be rescuing). I’m trying to look mean in the picture below because both sides get a control and we were saying that it was going to be “I want to go up” “WELL TOO BAD I WANT TO GO DOWN” and then you slam on the lever.

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Peter Pan: Don’t understand the name of this one as the carts were all attached to a viking style ship, not a captain hook looking one. That is what I originally thought anyway, looking at the picture below, I’m not sure why I did. But alas, it was a bit boring as you did just go in a circle with a few up and downs that did not go that high. The only bit that amused me was when I noticed the only thing making us go around is one wheel on the track–which I thought was odd because there could have just as easily been more.

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Magic Swing: The lady who locks you in slammed the bar on my leg and when I let out a yelp she just looked at me, pulled the bar up and when I moved my leg put it back down without looking sad or saying anything. You slide back and forth and spin (not all the way around, just like 90 degrees).

Rotating House: trick on your mind: you sit and the room spins. I expected that, and then still freaked out a bit, grabbing onto the bar for dear life before realizing my hair and scarf were not starting to hang above my head and I didn’t move at all. There are goblin creatures speaking to you the whole time, seemingly fighting.

Mystery Mansion: shooting game! You have a speech by an old man about ghosts and how you can shoot them with a lazer gun (it was in Korean, but there was a sign in English before entry), then sit on a cart which goes though a tunnel and you shoot green dots. I got second place and my friend got 1st.

Pororo 3D Adventure: don’t let the fact that there are English subtitles in the entry fool you–there are none inside the actual theater itself. That being said, you don’t really need them as the story is pretty easy to figure out–cute, and a good way to sit inside and away from the cold.

Racing Coaster: kids roller coaster, but don’t dismiss these. They can be quite fun and this one did not disappoint! Never a long line and the rides are just as long as the ‘adult’ ones.

Rolling X-Train: Good roller coaster, longggg line (at least when I was there). Two loop-d-loops!

Let’s Twist: I have never seen a ride like this and I loved it! Lot’s of 50s American music playing and lots of flips. During the ride I worried about how well others had tied their shoes on….

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Double Rock Spin: Standard ride that I love. This one spun a lot more than any I had been on before–if you get to the top the main operating it will just spin you in circles which was awesome to me!…but made my friend sick.

Top Jet: Another fun kids ride! You go in circles and control if you spin more and go up and down.

Petting Zoo: sheep, chicks, bunnies, roosters, and hamsters–the sheep were really interested in my popcorn!

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Safari World: It’s….interesting. The bears have been trained which I don’t think is a good idea…what if people get too comfortable with them, forgetting they are wild and they kill staff? Or the kids who see them doing tricks think they area always like that and approach one in the wild? Was pretty cool to see white tigers, but they also have lions which were not in the right setting–snow with 3 male lions in the same pride. Not sure if two were young ‘uns but they didn’t look small…I think there were some ligers too (they were advertised but I’m not sure if I saw a liger or a big lion).

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Moonlight Parade (~12/31): Beautiful parade! My friend did say that it did not change in 10 years though, which would be a bit dull if you went every year (either in it or had kids who couldn’t remember that it was the same everytime). The floats were amazing and one had fire coming out of it!

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Magic in the Sky (~12/30): Since when is Santa a pyro? He was conducting fire and fireworks in this show.Also, the fireworks go off pretty close to you and are angled to not go directly off, but go towards the audience, which made sense of the message to ‘look out for falling debris’. Pretty good show for 10 minutes.

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