Monday, March 2, 2009

Seoul City Tour

On the 3rd day, we had a chance to go on a Seoul City Tour (set up by KUBA staff) for approx $40 CDN. Having pretty much never traveled outside campus gates, about 70% of the international student population jumped to the opportunity. On the day of, we walked to the Hana Hall (modern sports arena) and met up with our KUBA group. Large shuttle buses took us to the National Folk Museum of Korea. It's a building within the Gyeongbok Palace.
We took a huuuge group picture in front of this building. There were guards standing in black on the tops of the stairs, making sure we didn't climb up.
Funny little things...
hah.. Miho, AK, Ji Yeon, and Mami
Before heading into the museum:
(L-R) German, Ji Hee (KUBA buddy), Sunny (awesome KUBA leader), me, Flo, Wong from HK, and Riki from Japan (bottom).
Flo, Ji Hee, and me
In the museum, we learned about the folk history, lifestyle, and the lifecycle of prehistoric Korean people though replica artifacts. It was pretty fascinating!
They used this to flatten soil:
What farmers wore when it rained.
A bed -- the box is their pillow and the cylinder is a bamboo pillow.
Making cloth
Bride's Palanquin: After the wedding ceremony, the bride went to the groom's house in a colourfully decorated palanquin carried by four men (Sain-gyo). A piece of tiger's skin or a tiger-patterned quilt was put on top of the palanquin to ward off misfortunes. Underneath, the bride's cushion was placed charcoal and cotton seeds, which were believed to chase away bad luck and ensure fertility.
Net basket to catch seafood
They believe it's important to celebrate 60th anniversaries...
Formal wedding ceremony. The women are wearing traditional Korean clothes called a Hanbok.After the museum, we were brought to the Insa-dong district. Insa-dong (인사동), the centre of culture, is known to be a very traditional district and has artsy characteristics. The street, Insadong-gil, is full of food vendors, antique stores and bookstores, and restaurants offering traditional Korean meals as well as other diverse menus. It was really cold and windy that day so we hopped in and out of the small stores.
The girls spent most of their free time in this market (can't remember what it's called but it starts with a "S") because it was a jewelry and accessories paradise!
No stairs needed to get to the next floor -- you just keep walking uphill! You can see polaroid frames -- you can take pictures in them.
This red-headed thing is the mascot of the market.
A nice place to spend with a girl friend or two.
I could spend hours in this market.Celebrity-endorsed charm store (charms in the door!)A store dedicated to teddy bears:
Crazy glasses in front of the optical store hahaha oh my..THEN we all got to attend a martial arts comedy show called JUMP! which was excellent and extremely amusing!! Each actor is an expert in a martial art and there are different actors depending on the night. Very unusual. Here's a sample of the martial arts performance on YouTube (on a different stage minus the story and funny parts). "JUMP tells the story of a crazy Korean family, headed by a domineering grandfather grandmaster. The imminent marriage of the daughter, a surprise visitor and two poor burglars provide the ingredients for martial arts mayhem... Comedy and combat is very Tom and Jerry and the characterizations and plot have the simplicity of cartoons. There are numerous moments of slapstick comedy performed with immaculate timing. To a soundtrack by Dong-Jun Lee, the performers wallop and kick each other with gusto, much to the delight of many in the audience, two members of which are taken onstage as challengers and safely join in." Tickets are usually $50CDN each but because we were a large group, we got to attend for $20. There are a couple other similar shows (such as ones that involve cooking and comedy) that I hope to watch soon!


  1. HEY,

    SO like I said in my email I'm pretty sure I am coming, since my coworker was able to get me tickets for so cheap!

    I'm going to talk to the travel agent soon about arranging my tickets.

    Anyway, did you find out if people can drop in on your classes? LOL well as in is security tight I guess......cause technically you're not suppose in post secondary either, but you know people just drop in....HAHA...

    I think the hardest part right now is looking for accommodations BUT we'll see. My coworker also knows a really good site that he books through for cheaper prices than just booking through the hotel.

    I'm excited.

  2. OH YEA I <3 that toque you are wearing in your profile pic! I envy the korean student's toques when they walk around my school

  3. FREE HUGS KOREAN STYLE BABY!!!!!! hehe!! :)

  4. the place is called In Sa Dong if you wanted to know xD

  5. Oh and just a highlight, In Sa Dong was one of the filming places for the music video SEOUL song, where Super Junior and SNSD were singing. Sooyoung and Donghae were in this part of the MV in In Sa Dong ^^

  6. haha thanks for the info! That little area within Insadong that I forgot the name of is called Ssamziegil :)