This was my second – and last – full day in Seoul. A busy day lay ahead. I decided to do a few museums, so after breakfast I took the subway to a central area of the city, very close to where I’d been yesterday, and I went to Cheonggyecheon river. This is where a river has been uncovered in the middle of the road and there are plants and lights around it and it looks like quite good.
The river is now uncovered.
It lights up at night apparently.
This was a weird sculpture thing.
It was quite a nice area to be in.
A heron in the river. It seemed mostly oblivious to people.
The swirly sculpture thing is ‘Spring’. This is information about it.
This is called ‘Spring’.
I even saw a heron on the river, which seemed oblivious to the increasing number of tourists about. I went to the excellent National Museum of Contemporary History, which covered everything from the nineteenth century onwards. It was nearby the area I had seen the protest in yesterday, and there were still some protest banners on display.
Information about the museum.
National Museum of Contemporary Korean History – right next door to the US embassy.
Winter Olympic mascots. TheWinter Olympics 2018 will be in South Korea.
Mock up of President’s room in musuem.
South Korean flag.
Map of Cold War countries.
Information about one of South Korea’s biggest industries.
First oil tanker from South Korea.
Some of the statues from the protest.
Statue in main square – not sure who of.
Another statue – I think these are key figures in Korean history.
More protest stuff.
And these were from protest too (the camp is behind it).
I then went to the National Museum, which was less interesting, and dealt with older Korean history. One thing I was impressed with, however, was that in parts of the museum there were desks with replica items on them for blind people to feel what they were like. I thought this was excellent. The museum mainly dealt with earlier history (before nineteenth century; obviously the contemporary history museum took over this). There was an exhibition on Asian art too, though I don’t find that topic that interesting either!
Turtles seem to be a popular theme in Korean culture. In Hiroshima, I saw a similar monument to this.
The National Museum of Korea
Very light and airy inside. I wasn’t overly impressed with the exhibitions, however.
The view from the front of the museum.
After lunch, I went to the War Memorial which was very interesting. There were lots of military vehicles outside. In the main square, there were memorials to all the different UN countries who had soldiers serve in the war. Inside, there was a museum with various exhibitions on war in Korean history.
The War Memorial Hall.
Two men hugging statue.
Information about the plinths which represent each country who was involved in the Korean war.
The two men hugging. You walk through the doorway and on the other side, there were many different military vehicles and the memorial hall.
A plane at the site.
Outdoors at the memorial. Some of the military hardware at the site can be seen here, including the boat.
Again, military hardware at the site, complete with the hills in the background.
A picture in the memorial hall.
Inside the museum at the memorial there are many exhibitions including on which has a case for all the different countries which were invovled in the war. This is the British case. You could push a button in and it played the national anthem.
Outside there were plinths for all the different countries which were involved, plus information in Korean and their own language. This is the UK one.
And again, UK plinth at the front.
And at the side – showing all the different regiments which were involved.
I think this is supposed to be a rocket, I’m not sure though.
Part of the memorial (sorry about the sunlight).
Other half of the memorial.
Information about the memorial..
Map of Korea on floor.
Missiles (I think).
American plane – B-52D ‘Stratofortress’ bomber.
Tanks at the memorial.
The base of the British plinth I think it was.
Following the War Memorial, I headed back to the hotel, stopping for food on the way. I decided that I’d take the cable car up Namsen Hill, and look at the view. Although it was dark, and I don’t have a good camera, it was quite impressive to see the city at night.
A very famous shopping street – lots of posh shops here!
A random yellow van on Garos
Hyundai Department Store.
Seoul at dusk – on my way to Namsen Hill from my hotel.
Seoul Tower – this is at the top of Namsen Hill.
Seoul from the top of the hill.
It was awfully cold up there. It took about an hour to get from base to top, with all the people there.
At the top, there are lots of key chains and locks on fences, like in Paris. Many have messages on them too.
A bush (I think) or something, at least, covered in key chains!
The trip up to the top of the hill was quite long, even though the hill was very close to my hotel. I went there about 7pm (it remained open late), and saw signs which said it was an hour waiting time. Actually, perhaps it was abouthalf an hour or 40 minutes before I managed to get into the cable car to take me up the side of the hill. Once at the top, the views were pretty impressive. I decided not to go up to the top of the tower, but still you had an excellent view of the surroundings. Satisfied, I joined the queue to go back down and then headed back to the hotel.
The following day, I rose, had breakfast and checked out. My flight was about 1pm, so I went to Seoul station for about 9am and just managed to catch the express train to the airport. Once there, I checked in and was back in Beijing by late afternoon/early evening. And with that, my travels were over (for the time being)….