gyeongbokgung palace

First of all, I finished the book I started reading about North Korea, The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag. So good. So interesting. And thanks everyone for your other recommendations. I’m going to start watching some documentaries…but I had to get caught up on Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge. (Yes, a sad commentary on my priorities…)

So, my last two days in Korea involved visiting a palace, a museum, a shrine, some qt with a childhood friend, and lots of rain.

To being with, the palace. It was amazing. Especially the grounds. The only one I made it to was Gyeongbokgung, but it was awesome. I wandered around outside at first. There is so much around it including the National Folk Museum of Korea, which I absolutely loved, and a recreation of Korean villages in days gone by. I could have spent hours there if I’d had them. And it was free. Crazy, right?

It’s funny. I don’t really enjoy reading about history (unless it’s in historical fiction or memoir form…and there’s some drama involved), but seeing it? That’s a different story. Especially when it’s a history so different from my own.

And now, the photo tour with a few captions to go along.

Just cool looking.
These are statures of scholars and military officers, usually erected in from of the tombs of  important figures in order to spiritually guard them.

A rotary grinding mill which was used to thrash and mill grain and soften woven straw.

A cool waterwheel, but I love the mountain in the background, too.
A replica of a town at various points in modern history (20s-70s or so).

This was an entire sculpture garden with all of the signs of the Chinese Zodiac. The Dragon reminded me of an awesome Chinese New Year party my roommates and I threw back in college.

This video showed photos comparing past times and today. It was awesome.

The palace gardens. I could have stayed here forever. So beautiful.

The actual palace.
Palace guards. Loved their uniforms.
A sculpture guarding the palace. Dragon? Dog? Falkor?

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