USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences > Blog

July 4, 2014

Seoul City Tour 1

Filed under: Seoul — geakorea @ 2:19 am

By Jiaqi Wang, Jiajing (Jenny) Tang, Eun Bee Park, Go Eun Choi, Hye Jin Kim and Sue Min Park

Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first stop in our Seoul city tour. Gyeongbokgung was one of the major palaces in the Joseon Dynasty, but the original palace was later destroyed during the Japanese invasion. The reconstructed palace is still based on feng shui, and now it’s one of the most symbolic places of Korean history.

Gwanghwamun(광화문) is the front gate for Gyeongbokgung.

Gwanghwamun (광화문) is the front gate for Gyeongbokgung.

Every hour there is a guard changing ceremony. Though it is more of a performance nowadays, in the ancient time, the changing of guard was essential for the security of palaces.

Every hour there is a guard changing ceremony. Though it is more of a performance nowadays, in ancient times, the changing of the guard was essential for the security of each palace.

Geunjeongjeon(근정전) is the place where the king met the officials, greeted foreign visitors and gave national announcements. The ancient Korean architecture style is different from the Chinese and Japanese ones in terms of colors, locations, etc. When the Korean king was building the palace, he didn’t destroy the environment around the location because Koreans believe that they are a part of the nature. The palace is surrounded by mountains in four different directions, and there are rivers crossing the palace. Rooflines are mildly curvy upwards, and the number of statues placed on top of the rooflines represents the rank of the building.

Geunjeongjeon (근정전) is the place where the king met the officials, greeted foreign visitors and gave national announcements. The ancient Korean architecture style is different from the Chinese and Japanese styles in terms of colors, locations, etc. When the Korean king was building the palace, he didn’t destroy the environment around the location because Koreans believed that they were part of nature. The palace is surrounded by mountains in four different directions, and there are rivers crossing the palace. The lines of the roofs curve mildly upwards, and the number of statues placed on top of the roofs represents the rank of the building.

Korean palaces used five different colors to paint the ceilings and draw phoenix in the King’s bedroom.

Korean palaces used five different colors to paint the ceilings and draw pictures of a phoenix in the King’s bedroom.

“Fight On!”

“Fight On!”

Blue House 청와대

Blue House is where the president of South Korea lives, and it is also her office. It is strictly guarded by security, because there have been different opinions in the country about current events, and she is not ready to hear those opinions.

Blue House is where the president of South Korea lives and is also her office. It is strictly guarded by security.

Samcheong-dong 삼청동

Samcheong-dong is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Seoul. It has many Hanoks, which is traditional Korean houses. Today many houses have been renovated into café, shops, galleries and restaurants.

Samcheong-dong is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Seoul. It has many hanoks, which are traditional Korean houses. Today many houses have been renovated into cafés, shops, galleries and restaurants.

Many young people like to hang out with friends in Samcheong-dong because there are a lot of different themed café.

Many young people like to hang out with friends in Samcheong-dong because there are a lot of different theme cafés.

Look what we got! Honey comb ice cream! Yummy!

Look what we got! Honey comb ice cream! Yummy!

Bukchon Hanok Village 북촌한옥마을

Bukchon is a traditional residential area, but most houses are traditional hanoks (traditional Korean houses). There are many guesthouses and museums open for visitors, so that they have a chance to visit or even live in hanoks. The Seoul city government subsidies those who want to build hanoks in Bukchon, so that the history and traditions can be better preserved.

Bukchon is a traditional residential area, and most houses are traditional hanoks. There are many guesthouses and museums open for visitors, so that they have a chance to visit or even live in hanoks. The Seoul city government subsidizes those who want to build hanoks in Bukchon, so that the history and traditions can be better preserved.

We are in the most famous alley!

We are in the most famous alley!

Insa-dong 인사

Insa-dong is famous for its tricky alleyways. There are many shops for tourists to get traditional Korean souvenirs.

Insa-dong is famous for its tricky alleyways. There are many shops for tourists to get traditional Korean souvenirs.

We had a chance to taste one of the best Korean dishes, Jamjyameon.

We had a chance to taste one of the best Korean dishes, Jamjyameon.

Look at this cute Poop bread!

Look at this cute “poop” bread!

Cheonggyecheon 계천

Cheonggyecheon is one of the most popular in the city center for Seoul people to take a walk in their busy days. But who can imagine Cheonggyecheon used to be heavily polluted because of the city garbage. The city government put a lot of effort to restore the stream, so that people can still enjoy the beauty of Cheonggycheon.

Cheonggyecheon is one of the most popular spots in the city center for people in Seoul to take a walk during their busy days. But who could imagine Cheonggyecheon used to be heavily polluted because of the city garbage? The city government put a lot of effort into restoring the stream so that people can still enjoy the beauty of Cheonggyecheon.

Cheonggyecheon is so clean now! You can see the bottom of the stream easily, sometimes you can even see fish!

Cheonggyecheon is so clean now! You can see the bottom of the stream easily. Sometimes you can even see fish!

People like to hang out with their friends along the stream. Sit down and enjoy this moment!

People like to hang out with their friends along the stream. Sit down and enjoy the moment!

 N Seoul Tower  N서울타워

N Seoul Tower is an observatory that has the best view of downtown Seoul. It is 777ft tall, and 1547ft above the sea level. There is a revolving restaurant on the top floor, and many people come to N Seoul Tower to see the night view.

N Seoul Tower is an observatory that has the best view of downtown Seoul. It is 777 ft. tall and 1547 ft. above sea level. There is a revolving restaurant on the top floor, and many people come to N Seoul Tower to see the night view.

This is a view from the top of N Seoul Tower. Fantastic! Are you afraid of the height? =P

This is a view from the top of N Seoul Tower. Fantastic! Are you afraid of the height? =P

Other than the beautiful views, N Seoul Tower is also famous for the love locks. Many couples come here write their names on the locks and throw away the keys, which shows that their love is unbreakable. In fact, many Korean dramas have a scene shot here!

Other than the beautiful views, N Seoul Tower is also famous for its love locks. Many couples come here to write their names on the locks and throw away the keys, which shows that their love is unbreakable. In fact, many Korean dramas have a scene shot here!

Love Lock Trees! One friendly advice for singles, don't come here at night!

Love lock trees! One piece of friendly advice for singles: don’t come here at night!

National Museum of Korea 국립중앙박물관

The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea. It houses some of Korea’s most precious historical objects. It is committed to the research and study of Korean archaeology, history and art.

White porcelain is one of the most important exhibits in the museum. It was really expensive at the time, so only rich people could afford to use it.

The white porcelain exhibit is one of the most important in the museum. White porcelain was really expensive at the time, so only rich people could afford to use it.

How crafty people were one thousand years ago! This is really delicate and pretty!

How crafty people were one thousand years ago! This is really delicate and pretty!

We love porcelains!

We love porcelain!

Fun time with Ewha students

After a long day, we had a great time with Ewha students sharing desserts and our stories.

After a long time, we had a great time together with Ewha students sharing desserts and our stories. This is shaved ice with sesame, red beans, mocha and nuts.

This is shaved ice with sesame, red beans, mochi and nuts.

We like our new friends! Go Trojans and Ewha students!

We like our new friends! Go Trojans and Ewha students!

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