Friday, May 30, 2014

Koreadventures: The Final Chapter

I’m going to round out this Koreadventures series with some things that don’t really fit into all the other categories I’ve talked about, and that FM and I absolutely loved doing, and you should do too if you’re ever in the Seoul vicinity!

One of my absolute favorite parts of the whole trip was visiting the Korean War Museum.  Now, I know, I’m a giant museum nerd, so anything having to do with history that’s out in an open room or behind a glass display case with a placard next to it is pretty much up my alley.  But this museum was by far one of the most technologically advanced museums I’ve ever seen, and so fabulously put together.  From the painfully, horrifyingly well done bronze sculptures flanking the entrance stairs, to the mirrored walls highlighting an eternal cemetery to all who gave their lives for the war cause, to the stunning dog tag memorial  tear drop, to the outdoor display of every piece of mobile war craft  used during the fight, I was in awe!

Just check out the pictures, even though they do no justice, and seriously, if you’re ever in the area the museum is about 100 feet from the Yongsan base gates, go see it.  Plus, it’s FREE! Yes, you read that correctly, f-r-e-e! Like much of the other historically themed locations in South Korea.  I get the sense they want you to explore their history without cost (hint, hint America!).

While you’re poking around the area, definitely head up to Seoul’s North Tower (at dusk if possible).  It’s a fantastic place to get some great views of the city (you can follow the old city walls all the way around town!), and it is a wonderful place to share a moment with your betrothed.  Apparently, leaving an inscribed lock at the top of the mountain/base of the tower is very lucky for love.  Either way, the top of the tower is amazing, and as you walk around you can check out how far you are from home.  And getting the see the sun set over Korea was just a lovely bonus too!

And if you’re looking for views, the 63 Building is the ticket!  It’s the tallest, and by far the shiniest building in Korea, all plated in gold.  There’s even an art museum on top! It’s got an aquarium and a 3D theatre and some shopping underneath it all too.  And in case that wasn’t enough, outside is a cauldron from the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.  As we all know, I’m pretty much an Olympic super fanatic, so stumbling on this little ditty was a gold mine (pun intended!).  

why not take a picture of your reflections in a plate gold building?

Oh, and if you’re going to visit the area, be sure to catch up with your college foreign exchange student roommate.  Oh you didn't do that, it was just me?? Well... Ms. Doy and I roomed together when she was studying at UAlbany, and we had the best time.  Catching up with her on her home turf years after graduating was awesome!! I’m so glad we had the chance to catch up!

Bottom line? Korea is an amazing country, and I didn’t even get to explore the half of it! If you’re ever over there, you won’t be at a loss for things to see and do, and you’ll certainly be among friends.  Outside of the US, I’ve never been in more accepting company, or with people more excited to have Americans around.  Korea and Koreans are amazing! Go. Visit. Have a great time! FM and I certainly did!  

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