Monday, November 2, 2009

Seoul, Part 2

I'll move straight to yesterday because today was completely average in every way except the temperature.  Tonight's forecasted low is 13 degrees (F).

We meant to get up at 9, but we slept until 10:30.  I really look like I need coffee in this photo!

We went to Tom 'n Toms Coffee (a giant overpriced chain).  Out the window, the Halloween aftermath was discreet, but evident.

We decided to head over to Gyeongbok Palace, the main and largest palace built by the Joseon Dynasty.  As with most palace in Korea, it's been destroyed a number of times.  According to Wikipedia, only 40% of it has been rebuilt.  It seemed huge to me, so it's difficult to imagine it 60% larger. 

Outside the first gate of the palace (Heungnyemun) they were setting up for a performance.

Tourist Casey!  We did the audio tour.

The view of the National Folk Museum as you enter the grounds.

Yeongjegyo bridge with a creature guarding the water way.

Ian on the bridge.

Geunjeongmun gate.

As this is the innermost main gate, there are many royal guards:

Ian and I in front of Geunjeongjeon, the throne hall.

A guardian.  Each creature was placed according to it's type and direction.

The throne where the King held formal audiences.  The "simplicity" of the color scheme follows Confucian philosophy.

Gate with the urban skyline.  You can see the court stones here, as well.

This parade made its way passed us twice while we were there.

The roofs are amazing:


Inside another hall.  I'm sorry, I can't remember which one this is.  But, it is supposed to draw power from the mountains, the sun and the moon.

These birds were all over the place.  They are so beautiful.  Hey Bruce, what are they?

This is the brightest yellow tree I've ever seen.


Yeongchumun, the West Gate.  According to our audio tour, this gate was primarily used for dead bodies.

As we were leaving, we found out what the performance was.

Korean tightrope walkgin, or jultagi (which you can see on the sign in the background).

We were pretty hungry after walking around the palace grounds, so we decided to go back to Loving Hut for lunch/ dinner.

Cans labeled "vegetarian food" at Loving Hut.  I hear we make good pets.

Delicious California rolls!

After lunch/ dinner, we headed toward the subway to get to over to Costco.  We went to the Sanbang one this time and it was much easier to get to.  A few things we saw on the way:

Really expensive "fravored" Smirnoff.

A bar for alcoholics.

A happening neighborhood out a subway station window.

I like this Costco much better.  It's a little bigger and more familiar feeling.  We didn't buy anything because we didn't want to waste time in line.

We had to put our bags in a locker...

Christmas (complete with creepy life size Santa) at Costco.

Kirkland teamed up with Jelly Belly to make fruit snacks.

While Costco has many of the American things we expect to see, there are plenty of Korean offerings, as well.

Vine juice!


"Asian size" clothing!

Korea Costco has a lot more alcohol than America Costco.

"Premium" imported beer.

Weird Smirnoff flavors.

Two things we didn't see last time that I was happy to see:

Tillamook cheese!

Churros!  I had one.  It was great.

We also saw that they had cheese pizza as we were leaving.  It wasn't out before we got in line, so we didn't get any, but we will next time!

It was a great trip.  I hope you enjoyed reading about it.  Good night!


  1. The bird is a Korean magpie.

  2. Awesome photos and stories! The architecture is breathtaking! Did you buy some canned vegetarian food? That's hilarious! It goes great with fravored Smirnoff.

  3. Peter beat Bruce to the punch. Did you get to hear the song of the magpie?
    Such beautiful Architecture. Glad you had a great time.

  4. They didn't sing for us. Probably because it was the middle of the day. The are where most of them were was roped off. It was good to see something being protected.

    We didn't buy any canned veggie food. They have a freezer with some soy products, so maybe next time we'll get something. Oh, fravored Smirnoff, I would never pay $80 for a bottle of your semi-ghetto product. :)

  5. Fravored, cracks me up.

    What a cool day. I could look at the intricate paintings and carvings on their architecture for hours.

    Glad you found Tillamook.