Friday, September 09, 2005
Tour 2 Seoul Part Two
Myeong-dong is one of the most famous shopping areas in downtown Seoul.
Such street vendor is one of the best place to grab a quick snack. Octopus is cut into bite-sized pieces and grilled (also selling other finger foods).
Myeong-dong Cathedral is the heart of the Catholic churches in Korea and symbol of Myeong-dong. The tower, which is 45 meters, makes itself stand out between the other buildings.
The Gyeongbokgung (the main palace of the five palaces in Seoul) is the place where the affairs of state were conducted and numerous kings had lived in for 500 years during the Joseon Dynasty. Geunjeongjeon, the main hall, was where inquiries and morning sessions were held.
The Gyeonghoeru was where foreign dignitaries met and special festivals were held when good events occurred in the nation.
Most of the buildings were burnt down during the Japanese Invasion (1592) in the 25th year of the reign of King Seonjo and left in ruins for two hundred and seventy three years. In the second year of the reign of King Gojong (1865), Daewongun I Ha-eung who held the political powers disclosed his plans for rebuilding Gyeongbokgung to raise the dignity of the royal family and show off his power.
Roof details in the Gyeongbokgung Palace. I wonder what these figures mean... (to protect the royal families?)
On the south side is the main gate Gwanghwamun. To the north, Sinmumun; east, Yeongchumun; and west, Geonchunmun.
Jangseung is a totem timber pole with a male or female face carved at its apex. They are used as objects to pray for the prosperity and bountiful crops. Erected at the entrance to the village or on the roadside, they protect villagers and ward off evil spirits, ghosts and disease.
The National Folk Museum displays the lifestyle of ancient Koreans, from pre-hostoric times to the Joseon Period.
I think they are local actors and actresses promoting tourism, that we met during our visit to the Namsangol Hanuk Village.
The Namsangol Hanuk Village has restored five traditional Korean houses. This was the mansion of Park Young-hyo (1861 - 1939), husband of Princess Younghye, born of King Ch'oljong's concubine.
Furnished with furniture which is suitable to the scale of the house and the class of the people lived in, these traditional houses show us the life of the Korean ancestors.
Long tteok (rice cakes) are stir-fried with carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and cucumbers and stewed in a gochujang-based sauce. Tteokbokki (left) is very popular at street vendors.
Dongdaemun Market is one of the oldest and famous markets in Korea. The market established in 1905 consists of 30 shopping centers and about 30000 smaller stores to sell textiles, clothes, shoes, sports goods, stationery, toys, household goods and accessories. The origin of 'Dongdaemun Market' comes from the gate named 'Dongdaemun'.
This is a popular autumn and winter dish - 'nenmyon', chicken boiled in soup. Most Koreans eat this dish with spicy red hot pepper.
Here goes Vicky with the huge scissors, cutting to the poor chicken to smaller bits.