In general, my trip last week to Korea was mediocre. On top of the 14 hour flights, we spent hours upon hours in cars, buses, and trains navigating our way to various corners of the country for meetings. Those few hours that we had to ourselves were often spent hunting food or resting. That is… until Friday.
Shaun and I got back to Seoul on Thursday evening. Being that our flight on Friday wasn’t until 7:30pm, we had all morning to explore the city. Seoul is huge. But centered within its maze of busy modern streets are a few small palaces that once housed royal figures and ceremonial grounds.
We first walked to Deoksugung. This is a small little palace nestled right in the center of the city. The pagodas were beautiful, though the grounds were mostly just sand with limited landscaping. Cost of entry: 1,000 won (one USD)
Deoksugung honored King Sejong, a king who is said to have invented the Sun Dial and the water clock, amongst other clutch old school gizmos.
Finally, we took a long walk towards more statues only to stumble upon Gyeongbok Palace. This place was massive and had beautiful structures and grounds.
Sadly, we didn’t get more time to explore the city. It would have been fun to go up to the DMZ on a tour, but I was happy to be able to get any time for ourselves at all. Our local representative was hoping that I might be able to return to South Korea in mid-August to talk to some more people. Maybe next time I can follow through on my DMZ hopes.
We’ll see I suppose.