Next up, a summary of my random wanderings around Seoul. As some of you may have noticed, I tend to travel around Seoul a lot on foot just because I'm bored and I think it's the best way to see the city (how much of the city can you see when you're stuck in a subway?). Seoul has a lot of random sites to see, but one of the most interesting places I think people should visit is Bukchon. Bukchon is a hanok styled area within downtown Seoul where there are several traditional styled Korean houses. If that isn't enough for you, how about the fact that one of these houses was used in the recent drama Personal Preference? Of course, the giant sign with Hanja/Chinese characters on it isn't there in real life, but the front of the house is.
But what of the special things in Seoul to see? Well, there's one sight that won't be here when the next batch of CIEE study abroad students come to Seoul, and that's the box that's been replacing the admiral's statue in Gwanghwamun. Admiral Yi's statue was taken down in November for cleaning, and in it's place, a "changing room" was installed. By popular vote, the Seoul city government decided to keep it there instead of replacing it with a photo of the statue while the real one was being repaired. The statue will be back in its original place by the end of December.
Keep in mind that at this time, the weather was still relatively cool but still pleasant. It was nothing like the frigid weather we're having right now. Before the cold weather set in, I also made a trip to the Seoul zoo over in Seoul Grand Park at the southern end of Seoul.
There were various animals at the zoo, some that you might have expected to see and some that you might not. The usual animals, such as lions, tigers, wolves, rhinos, elephants, were all there. There were also various marine life, insects, and birds. However, the most surprising thing I saw was a skunk on display, especially since back home, skunks tend to be pests that sprayed my dog at least once a month.
That last picture is just one of the many scenes that could been seen around Seoul Zoo. The zoo is built into the side of a mountain and has so many areas with nice sceneries. I think I went at the right time since the winter was about to set in but a lot of the trees still had the red leaves hanging on.
The fun part about that day was on my way back, I met one of the 떼 members on the subway. It was interesting since we were about an hour's ride away from Sinchon, and yet we somehow found each other on the subway. Actually, I saw him on the subway as it pulled into the station but I wasn't sure if it was him. I had to call a few of my friends to get his number, and then I called him to make sure I wasn't going to make a fool of myself on the subway. Turned out it WAS him, so I sat talking to him for most of the trip back to Sinchon.
The next post will be about the Thanksgiving dinner that CIEE put together for us. I have several videos from that day, so I will attempt to upload them onto Youtube before posting the next blog entry. Please stay tuned!