A Travellerspoint blog

Seoul South Korea-Museums to Beer Pong

Yesterday i awoke on the late side-around 7:30, simply because of the cold. i don't like cold and stayed in bed. I didn't leave the hostel until around 10-after breakfast and showering, talking to others, etc, and went to Gyeonbokgung, the largest palace in the city, which is really a recreation of a large palace which was destroyed by the Japanese during their invasion, so much of it was reconstructed during the 1980's forward, with the rest of it due to be completed by 2045. The whole complex was quite striking, with once again, lots of Koreans wearing traditional uniforms (I learned they get in free with the uniforms). I took a guided tour, and saw where the king lived, where he held meetings and where he held banquets. I learned that many kings only lived until their 40's, as they had a lifestyle without much physical activity, since the servants helped them do everything. We saw the throne, with dragons, the red sun and the moon, and the 5 mountains of Korea. I learned that the wife of dis ceased King has a separate residence on the property.

After the hour and a half tour, i walked to the Folk Museum of Korea which was right next door, and learned some interesting things about the common folks in Korea as well as the upper class. The upper class competed for government jobs by taking exams, like civil service exams, and this was a path to wealth. Intricate wedding ceremonies we're held, with a live goose presented, and the marriages we're prearranged by parents. i also learned that the life expectancy was way lower in those days, and a party was held for the parents when they reached 60 years of age. (Parental respect is very important in South Korea). I also learned acupuncture and other natural remedies we're developed in Korea, (or at least heavily used). They didn't reconcile this with the fact people lived shorter lives. The poorer people in Korea had hard lives and mostly did farming.

After the museum, I walked along an outdoor exhibit which showed life in Korea-during the 70's-it showed an old fashioned printing press, a room with an old fashioned tv, and a garage with a 1978 Hyundai Pony, one of the first cars made in Korea.IMG_2260.JPG

I was booted from the complex, since it was 6:00 pm, so I took a walk along the side, up a hill, towards some old fashioned houses. After a few hours, I went back to the hostel and took a nap.IMG_2286.JPG

i woke up around 11:00 pm, some folks we're going out to the entertainment district, a few blocks a way from the hostel in Hapsong. I went out and had a few drinks. I one bar we played beer pong. Nobody over the age of 25 should ever mention "beer pong", i thought I succeeded at one thing I haven't before-getting the ball in a cup of beer-I was proud of myself, but learned I leaned over the table too much so it wasn't much of an accomplishment. A few of us left, had some dumplings, and got home at I don't know what time.

Posted by DavidPearlman 16:29 Archived in South Korea

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