Monday, August 23, 2010

Korea Trip Rewind: Day 3

I have a new goal. It is to {finally} get all of my Rewind Korea posts up on here before September 21st {our one year anniversary of having Josiah home}. It's silly really, as I've had most of them ready to go....I just keep forgetting to just.post.them.already! Anyway, so for the next few weeks, you'll be seeing a lot of the fantastic land of Korea....which is actually pretty fitting. Lately I've been thinking a lot about our time there and how much we love and miss it.

And if for some reason I fail at my goal, y'all can call me out and scoff at me.

Oh, and before I post Day 3, I wanted to introduce you to the lovely friends that hung out with us while we were in Seoul {we met them through the church there}. You'll be hearing their names mentioned a lot in the Rewind Korea posts. For some reason, I didn't get many photos of our 3 friends....probably because we were too busy chatting and laughing and having fun.

Here we are with JaeHe, Ellen, and Jay....

5 of us Seoul Tower
{And yes, that's Josh doing the "victory" sign. He kept seeing A LOT of folks doing it and he wanted to join in. :-) }

*****

We woke to gorgeous weather on our 3rd day - 2nd full day - in Seoul {actually, we had perfect weather the entire week}. We saw this good-mornin' view as we headed down the hallway of our hotel to the elevator....

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We began our morning with coffee and treats from the Dunkin' Donuts a few blocks down. Our goal in Korea was to eat as authentically as possible....but we weren't always able to forgo an American-style breakfast! We did, however, sample a Kimchi donut {ha!}....it was interesting. Not so good, but not completely horrible. :-)

As we sipped our drinks, we made our way down the road to the COEX complex {the biggest convention and exhibition center in Korea}. It's such a busy area with much to see and do {including shopping at the largest underground mall in Asia or visiting the Kimchi Museum}.

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We walked the area and took everything in....all the busyness and people and skyscrapers. Eventually we came to the Bongeun-Sa Buddhist temple, which is right across the street from the COEX.

This photo doesn't show just how huge this statue is....

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One of my favorite aspects of Seoul is the unique balance of old and new, traditional and modern. It's unusual and oh so perfect at the same time....

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b temple 1
Korea Trip - Ceiling of temple 1
This ceiling had me at hello. The colors! The detail! Stunning.

After we finished strolling around the temple grounds, we walked along a bridge toward one of the sights of the 1988 Summer Olympics.

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We didn't go inside of the venue, but it seemed pretty run-down {sadly, I don't think it's used for much at the moment}. It was still fun to see though!

Once we made the long walk back to our hotel, we met with our new Korean buddy Jay. He offered to take us to the Korean Folk Village outside of Seoul {about 40 minutes or so}. Unfortunately on the way there we got into a fender-bender. It wasn't Jay's fault {a truck cut him off}, but Josh and I felt horrible for the damage to his car....after all, he was taking us out and about. Thankfully insurance info was exchanged and we went on our way.

The Folk Village is a large outdoor museum that provides the opportunity to learn about and experience traditional Korea culture.

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Traditional buildings are scattered throughout the grounds and bring you back in time. As we walked the paths, we saw workers practicing their skills involved in creating pottery, baskets, Korean paper, furniture, and more. The talent is amazing!

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We really enjoyed learning more about Korea's history and exploring the gorgeous area.

The Village has a performing area where we spent quite a bit of time taking in the music, colors, acrobatics, and equestrian feats. The performers were so talented and lively and fun to watch....

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Korea Trip - Horse performance
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Korea Trip - Tightrope 1
We also had the opportunity to view a reenactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. Everything is spoken in Korean at the Folk Village, so weren't able to understand much of what was said, but it was lovely to see the beautiful ceremony unfold. Notice the wedding ducks!

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We then went to the marketplace to browse and get a bite to eat. Jay was so, so sweet and bought me a very pretty fan to remember our visit. We ate muk {jelly-like acorn dish} and pajeon {Korean style pancake with veggies and such}. The muk wasn't the yummiest {I think it's an acquired taste!}, but we really enjoyed the pajeon!

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After we finished our meal, it was time to head back to Seoul....for a baseball game! Jay is a season ticket holder of the LG Twins and invited us along for a game. It was such a blast! Ellen {Jay's sister} and their friend JaeHe met us there, too.

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The difference between American baseball games and Korean baseball games is one thing: crowd excitement and participation. In Korea, the fans stand then entire time that their team is up to bat....they go nuts doing cheers and chants and songs as they slam bright blow-up bats together! It's hilarious and fun and much more enjoyable than just sitting there the entire game. I smiled and laughed the whole time we were there.

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With Josh sporting his new LG Twins cap, our group of 5 headed to a restaurant next to our hotel to have some drinks and appetizers and conversation. It was a great way to end a very fun, full day in Seoul before we crashed into bed. Day 4 would bring our 2nd meeting with Josiah YeJoon and more adventures in Korea!

*****

If you're interested, here are a few short videos of our time at the Korean Folk Village and the baseball game!







9 comments:

  1. Oh, how I love Korea! And you brought it all back to me. Even though we were JUST there two months ago, I could go back again. Love it.
    You guys did so much in one day! Whew!!! I'm bummed we never made it to the folk village - it looks really cool.
    And we really liked the kimchi donuts. Yum...

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  2. I love your rewind posts! They are so fun to look at, and your photos are beautiful! The folk village looks really neat. It's on our list for next time!

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  3. this was so fun...I love your rewind posts!

    We have a Korean congregation that meets at our church and we share lunch many times. I have realized that I love Kimchi...depending on who makes it!!! but a Kimchi donut doesn't sound too great!!!

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  4. i'm officially home sick! man, i can't wait to go back. we might have to take in a baseball game this time - that looks (and sounds!) like so much fun!

    i can't wait until your next post!

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  5. I'm so glad you're going through the Korean rewind slowly so we can all savor it. Your photos are gorgeous! Like Elizabeth said, even though I was just there, I already miss it!!

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  6. Matthew and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all your pictures. We can't wait till we get to go and visit!!!!

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  7. Rachel - We visited the Korean Folk Village last year. Thanks for the great photos - brought back many great memories!
    Debbie

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  8. You saw some great things while you were there! So fun!

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  9. I loved reading this and seeing the photos. We wanted to go to that Folk Village...but it was closed the day we tried (bummer). Next time, right?! Indeed!

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