Thursday, March 3, 2016

Short Korea Visit

Our flight from Chiang Mai to Seoul was uneventful, if a bit too short for much sleeping. We took the express train into the city and a taxi to the base where Anjali met us and we got our identification cards for getting on and off the base. Tuesday we went into Itaewon to get a few things at the Indian store. On the way, I noticed this restaurant. Itaewon is well known for having a huge variety of cuisines available, but this one wins the prize!

We got some tea and a few other items at the Indian grocery. I was amused when I saw the Pillsbury atta. (India friends will appreciate this!)

We took a half-day tour of some of Seoul's sights on on Wednesday morning. Our guide, Cindy, was very good. We visited one of the main Buddhist temples. She told us Korea is approximately 25% Buddhist, 25% Christian, and 50% "Free Thinkers."

One of four guards at temple entrance

Intricate painting on temple ceilings and eaves

Three golden Buddhas inside; people meditating

Drum pavilion at temple

Changing of the guard at the royal palace

Drummer at changing of the guard

Flag bearers

Throne area inside main palace building

Lake pavilion

Characters on roof; number shows relative importance of the building

Location of former palace buildings that were destroyed during the Japanese occupation, 1905-1945
It was good to see some of the main sights of Seoul. It is an enormous city with lots of history. We are looking forward to returning here next year. In the meantime, we are on our way home on Friday. We depart Seoul Friday at 10:40 AM and get to Chicago at 8:40 AM!