Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Seoul City Tour

Beth in front of the National Museum of Korea and Matt standing at the end of the bridge to the pagoda
Statue in the museum and the pagoda (with celadon roof)
The scroll man in Itaewon
Gyeongbokgung Palace
The changing of the guard at the palace

Part of the palace-it is surrounded by water.
Pagoda surrounded by water.
Student that asked us questions and wanted to photograph us for a "competition" for school.
Yummy dinner of bulgogi

Today we decided to take the Seoul City Tour and see the city.  For a small fee, you purchase a day long bus ticket.  It has 27 stops and the buses run every 30 minutes.  You can get on and off the bus at any stop along the way.  The guide speaks English and Korean and they have head sets at each seat where you can pick the language you want to hear.  Before each stop it gives a brief description of the site.  We first decided to go to the National Museum of Korea.  It was very interesting.  We toured the gardens outside first and then toured (briefly) the inside.  It reminded me a bit of the Field Museum in Chicago.  Next stop was Itaewon which is a shopping district.  It is very close to Yongsan Army base so there were many westerners there.  Actually so many, we almost didn't feel like we were in Korea anymore.  LOL!  We did a bit of shopping and found the scroll man in the Lobby of the Hamilton Shopping Center.  He made us a wonderful scroll for our living room of our last name and he made smaller pictures out of the Hangul characters for Chloe and Minah's room.  He did such a great job!  While we were there we had two 15 year olds interview us for their school project.  They asked us questions about the World Cup.  They were very polite and we didn't mind helping them out.  Next we hopped back on the bus and went to Gyeongbokgung Palace.  We made it just in time for the changing of the guard.  That was pretty cool.  We wandered around the palace for awhile.  It is amazing when you think about how old these structures are compared to what we have in America.  When we got towards the back section of the palace by the pagoda surrounded by water we were again approached by students asking us if they could take our picture for a photography competition for school.  We agreed and they asked us to hold the blank signs.  Now we are wondering what they may put on them!  :)  After we left the palace, we went to Insa-dong.  It is another shopping district that specializes in pottery and artwork.  Of course, they have tons of other things as well.  This was my favorite shopping district but Itaewon was very interesting too.  We got most of our souvenirs here.  There were lots of vendors selling street food as well but I wasn't brave enough to try any.  During our time there, we were again approached by 2 more groups of students.  One was teenagers asking us for school if we would answer some questions for their homework.  They were interviewing people asking if it was difficult to learn Korean and why compared to the native language they speak.  The second group was college students asking us questions about family dynamics for their project.  They were comparing family dynamics between countries.  We joked afterwards that we must seem very friendly and approachable.  Honestly, the students were so polite.  We really didn't mind helping them out.  We decided to have another Korean meal for dinner and found a nice looking restaurant.  We had bulgogi again and it was even better than the last restaurant.  All in all, it was a fun but exhausting day.  I can't tell you the last time either of us has walked so much.  We certainly did see a lot of Seoul!

5 comments:

  1. The bus sounds great. Must had that to my list.
    Robin

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  2. What a fun day! The bus tour sounds great, and I'm sure those scrolls are beautiful! We have a friend that has scrolls from the same person. We felt the same way about walking. We walked SO much every day and were exhausted!

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  3. It sounds like you and Matt had an amazing day. It is 9:42 on Wednesday night here, so that muct mean that you are getting Princess Minah! YAY!!!!

    I will be gone for the next 2 days since Sofia is having ear tube replacement surgery and having her frenum (muscle under her tongue) cut but I will be sure to check back in as soon as we get home. Heck, you may even be on your way back home by then. If so, have a safe trip and I can't wait to see pics of Minah.

    Hugs,
    Jonni

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  4. That tour sounds great, have to remember that! I think it is so funny that students come up to all the families when they are there, I hear that alot. I want to get scrolls made when we go, they are so beautiful, I love your idea of getting your last name!

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  5. Sounds like a great day! You guys are so adventurous to do all of that, but at least the bus had English.

    Can't wait to hear more about Minah!!

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