On our last day in Korea, MR and I set off at about 9 am. We were still in our sight-seeing mode so we went straight to see King Sejong's statue which is erected in the middle of the city. He's known as Sejong the great for his great achievements during his reign. It was during his time Hangul was created. The Sejong museum was closed since it was Monday. Terasa rugi di situ.. :(
And just a few meters in front of it, stood the Admiral Yi Sun Sin statue
Alamak x nampak pulak muka dia..Actually, this statue is very scary!! Why? Because where ever I stood, it seem to be staring at me!!! haha
He is regarded as a national hero for leading quite a number of victorious battle in his era.
Actually, Kyeongbuk Palace was nearby and it was opened. But since we want to visit Changdeokgung palace, we only took some pics in front of the gate
And this is Gwanghamun Nangsaro; a rice farm in Gwanghamun Square. There are more than 1000 boxes of rice seedling here and this is actually the government's effort to give better understanding to the citizens of farming villages and promote the idea that urban and rural areas can coexist successfully :)
So, on our way to Cheonggyecheon stream by foot, we saw about 2 to 3 preserved buildings like this one. They are decades and centuries old!!! (^^) Sangat kagum!!!!
This is the beginning of Cheonggyecheon stream. What so special about this stream?? It was once covered with concrete for 20 years and was completely restored and opened to public in 2005. Why was it covered?? Well, after the Korean War, many Koreans migrated to Seoul and made settlements along the stream. The stream was a sore sight at that time with trash floating about and foul smell from waste. So they decided to cover it up and in the 70's a highway was built on top of it. But in 2003, the mayor that time decide to restore the stream and voila it is now one of the must-see attraction in Seoul. The stream also comes with other economic and environmental benefits as well :)
It was almost empty that morning. Only MR and I, 4 gentlemen from Thailand and some Koreans on their way to work. We had breakfast at the river bank (^^) Ooo sangat feel~
What we don't know was, there is actually a laser show every night and in special occasions, lanterns are lit along the river. So kawan2, jangan lupa pegi Cheonggyecheon stream pada waktu malam!
And then we continue to walk towards Changdeokgung dan dan dan IANYA TUTOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, DO NOT SCHEDULE YOUR CULTURAL EXPERIENCE ACTIVITY ON MONDAY!!!!
T_T isk isk.. This is the 2nd biggest frustration in Korea since I really want to see how the palace is like inside, marvel at the architecture and learn about Joseon Dynasty (nerd bha kn ko ni, Haziah?? :p)
so with a heavy heart, we head towards Insadong for SHOPPING!!!!!!!! \(^^)/ Penawar hati~
Actually, I manage to control my shopping habit for the past 2 years and focused on saving for my travels.. But in Seoul I had an episode of shopaholic relapse! This was when my precioussssssss magic golden plastic card come in handy. I bought that bag so that I can stuff everything inside as I shop so there's no need to pack again later. I think this was nifty :p but what I didn't realize was, the space was so big that I tend to buy and buy and buy until it is fat and heaped! And Voilla! RM 1k in my credit card bill.. Not much, right?? WRONG! I also spent cash there.. So banyak sebenarnya!!!
Here comes Tips #2: Use your credit card because the currency conversion rate is much lower!
The rate that we got at the money changer was 1000 won = 2.79 but in the bill it's 1000 won = 2.76!
And now show off time.. What I bought in Korea! Actually, there's nothing much. I'm just excited to have them :p
The bracelets I bought in Hongdae (^^)
MR: Ceh! Tak perlu la nak shining2 dalam gamba
The tin cup that I bought in DMZ
I think this cup look so classical and it has this history-like aura :p
And my favourite of all is this travel board that have flag tiles so you can mark where you've been and wanna go (^^)/ But I haven't decide where to hang it :P
Remember the Swiss guy that I sat next to during our DMZ tour.. When he asked about my age and whether I'm married or not, I answered, "I'm 2*.. At this age most women in our country are already married. But me and my friends choose to travel first.." Then he said, "Oh it's okay. That means you don't want to be conventional, you want to explore the world and see things. Travel is EDUCATION.."
Yup, we learned a lot during this trip..
First, the warmth that we receive from the Koreans. So often our society is shackled by prejudice. Almost everything new is assailed with accusation of conspiracy and whatnot. But in Korea, we were different and was a new sight to Koreans who are not from Seoul. Despite the apparent difference in language and the way we dress, they greeted us with a smile and assisted us sincerely when we needed help. And the most memorable part was when we were provided with a room for prayer. This is a good exemplary of acceptance and respect to others.
Second, we learnt the importance of tolerance... The Korean suffered a lot during the Korean War and was still struggling to gain stability in the late 50's. If both the North and South does not resolve to tolerate and let the other be with the principles they hold, the blood shed could have last to this day like in so many other countries at the other parts of the world. During the DMZ tour, you can sense how the Korean really appreciate the peace that they have now because they've gone through bitter times.. This somehow taught us to be grateful as well...
We also saw how the integrity instilled in each of them has driven this country to another level which is far from ours. We witnessed the efficiency of the country from utilizing all improvised systems. We talked about how they manage to do a quicker flight boarding, how they can make the traffic in a big city so smooth during the rush hour, how there is no congestion in the subway during the rush hour and many other competency that made us awe-struck..
To think of it, it is not that we are lack of technology but it got to do with the system, attitude and mentality. Sometimes, we have the facility but not fully utilized. We developed new systems but what's lacking was never improvised. And the saddest part is when people refuse to adapt to new systems and continue to be stuck in the old fashioned way because they are used to it and too comfortable with it.
Hurm.. Actually, I can't wait for my next adventure.. I just love being in a new surrounding, meeting new people and learning what ever there is to be learnt... I hope you learn something too.Off to survey some video cams (^^)/