On Wednesday, I got to go into the heart of Seoul and explore the Bongeunsa temple. It was quite pretty and I think the most spectacular part was that it was in the middle of a giant city. This kind of provides a nice place to go in the middle of your busy day and relax a little, get out of the busy life, and just take a breath. Here are some pictures to help me do some describing.
Notice that the roof tops of the temple are among the world trade center of Seoul.
These guys protect the temple
Tons of flowers for some sort of event that I'm not sure of.
I’m going to be honest, this day was also my first (and only so far) day I had McDonalds in Korea. Here’s the thing, I was leaving the temple at 1ish, hadn’t eaten since 8am and was starving and frantic for food when I stumbled upon good ole McyD’s. But here’s the craziest part: I got a cheeseburger, medium fries, and a small drink for….wait for it…3,000 won. If you’re curious, that’s about 2.66 in USD. DAMN STRAIGHT!
As I was walking back to the subway, I stumbled upon these really cool dancers. I’m not sure what they were doing or who they were or why they were dancing but I got really excited and stopped to watch them for a while. The flag in the picture is HUGE and he kept running it over the crowd so it almost touched our heads. It was quite fantastical.
Thursday I was going to venture to Bukchon but after my lunch date with Scott and Danielle, I decided to stay a little closer and ended up at another park in the middle of the city with some crazy tombs. They were the tombs of King Seongjong, Queen Jeonghyeon (his wife), and King Jungjong. Pretty cool stories too. Like the first king ruled at the age of 12 and had a few other queen prospects before his married queen. And the other king was originally buried next to his 2nd wifey person and then his 3rd had him moved to a place of more prestige (where it is now) except that during rainy season, it always flooded (there’s some irony for ya). Here are some pictures of the tombs.
Spirit pathway. You can't walk here, one is for the spirit and the other is for the king.
Again, huge awesome "park" in the middle of the city!
People who apparently can't read English OR Korean because that sign says do not enter.
Finally on Friday I made it to Bukchon. I kinda fell in love with the place. It was an awesome shopping district where there were narrow alleys and cobblestone roads with really cool houses and shops. I definitely want to go back there and do some shopping, because there were tons of shoes and scarves and bags and clothes and it was really cool. You could also see Bukchonson (another mountain to climb) from this area.
These are some famous stairs in the area (I'm finding Koreans have a fascination with stairs)
I also stumbled upon the National Folk Museum of Korea. I wandered around for a while looking at the different village buildings and then walking around the museum not knowing really what I was looking at but finding it all fascinating. There was also a little station that told me all about Kim Chi, like how to make it, its history, and its health benefits.
Friday night we met up with some friends and I got to experience my first Nooribong (karaoke room). It was really fun and we sang our little hearts out!