Annyeong! :) So this post is mainly going to focus on my top 10 things I want to see while I'm in Korea. These are all Seoul specific places as Paju is a mere 40 minutes North of Seoul (20 minutes by train).
At the rate of things I want to discuss before I leave, I imagine I will have a suprisingly 2-3 more posts before Tuesday! :)
So lets start things off! :)
The Gyeongbokgung palace was the largest and main palace of the 5 grand palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. It was the residence of the queen and king and their royal subjects throughout the years until the Japanese government came and destroyed nearly all of the palaces. Heavy reconstruction began to recreate the palace to original state. It is open to the public and serves as a museum. :)
2. North Seoul Tower
I don't really have a reason behind why I want to go here, I just do. :) haha. It's in a lot of dramas and couples often come here to....well, I'm not exactly sure what. But it is supposed to have a gorgeous view. ;)
3. Dongdaemun Market
Okay. You all know I'm not a shopper. But I think I may have to make an exception. DDM is basically a series of malls and shops spanning over 10 blocks. There is approx. 26 shopping malls in this market with over 30,000 speciality shops. There hours consist mainly of times opening at 10:30 am and closing at 5 am with some stores being open 24 hrs. Uhm.. heck yes I'll be going there!
It's a river for those who are wondering. :) It runs through the heart of downtown Seoul. You know that area in the Old Market in Omaha? There is a little stream down there surrounded by artwork and trees? It's just...gorgeous. Thats what Cheonggyecheon reminds me of. I really want to go there and take some pictures. Especially at night!
Okay, this is a long shot by far on my exchange. I honestly don't expect to achieve it but I certainly hope to go there someday. It's an amusement park. It has everything; A zoo, a haunted house, dozens of roller coasters (some ranking in the top 10 highest in altitude in the world), music, and shops. I saw a variety program where the people went there and it looked like so much fun!!
6. Dragon Hill Spa
I don't necessarily want to go to this spa exactly, but rather, just a bathhouse in general. Most Americans don't get it. Bathhouses in Asia aren't what spas are here in the USA. For admissions as low as 5 USD you can enjoy a day at the spa including steam rooms, baths, massages, and food. It's honestly a real family setting. And no, you don't have to be naked in order to attend. Often you wear undergarments or really cute outfits (blue for boys and pink for girls of course!). Oppa said he'll take me here with his friends if I wanted... :)
7. Korean Folk Village
This is a very popular place to go to see the traditional way of Korean life. This place is lined with traditional games and activities, complete with old style food and shops!
8. The Korean War Memorial
9. Music Program
This place will bring tears no doubt. I want to go to see as close to person as possible just what Korea has gone through. Most people look down or even past Korea and think of it as "another country." Korea has a rich history full of tragedy. This museum shows first hand the hardship its been faced with; and has overcome.
9. Music Program
This one isn't exactly location specific but rather, just something I want to do. So in Korea music programs are huge..... It's hard to explain to Americans because we have no real equivalence to a music program in the US. I suppose you could call MTV a music program by Korea's standards...but not really as MTV focuses on music videos... Music programs in Korea- eh, you know what, I'll save this for another post. hah. But regardless, I do want to attend a music program!
10. Olympic Stadium/World Cup Stadium
Both these stadiums hold a special place in Korea's heart. The first was built for the 1988 Olympics and the later was built for the joint World cup ownership with Japan in 2002. I think these stadiums are must sees, regardless if I enter them or just drive past them. :)
As you can tell, there is so much to do in Korea! There is so much more I want to see/do but I attempted to narrow it down to my top 10 must sees! :)
Expect a post tomorrow, probably about my rant on music programs. hah.