Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Seoul Trip : (1) Gwanghwamun

After 6 months staying in Korea, finally we had chance and time to visit its capital city, Seoul. As it were, our housemate also had a conference in there at that time. We departed from Gyeongsan at Saturday afternoon by KTX, an express Korean train. In hurry preparing, because almost of us usually has lab meeting on Saturday, it was a hectic and hot summer day. We could buy family ticket because we were 4 people and we got cheaper one. It was around KRW 25.000 from normal price KRW 38.000. It took round 2 hours trip from Gyeongsan to Seoul. Gyeongsan is just a small city, KTX doesn't stop at here, so first we should go to Daegu Station by Semaul or Mugunghwa train then transfer in this station.

We arrived at Seoul Station at around 8.00 p.m. And then, by subway, we went to our small hotel near Hongik University. The night had not been so late, the sky was clear, so we decided to go to Gwanghwamun. In the next day, we visited some attraction places in Seoul by City Tour Bus that were Deoksugung Palace, National Museum of Korea, The Korean War Memorial Hall, N Seoul Tower and Insadong. Actually, the Seoul City Tour Bus passed more places than I mentioned, but it wasn't enough time to visit all of them. So, we just visited some place which are the main attraction and more interesting.

Inside KTX
Seoul Station, one of the corner
Seoul Station, one of the corner

1. Gwanghwamun

Its view was pretty nice at night. Gwanghwamun is the main and largest gate of Gyeongbuk Palace. It was a symbol and landmark of Seoul's long history built on Joseon Dynasty, so it has gone through multiple periods of destruction and disrepair. Actually I didn't know about its history at that time I visited it, I read about it from wikipedia thereafter. There are some monumental statues like Admiral Yi Sun Sin and King Sejong. Admiral Yi Sun Sin is a Korean naval commander famous for his victories againts Japanese navy during Japanese invasion to Korea. He is a gallant generals seen from his statue. 

There were many people in Gwanghwamun at that night, enjoying night view, taking some picture with their families, friends or couple. In front of Admiral Yi Sun Sin, there is a artificial fountain. It is so beautiful with colourful light flare in water splash, yelow, purple, blue, white and green. We know about this fountain for the second time visiting Gwanghwamun. Because at the first time visiting, the fountain didn't splash out  or maybe it already finished. I think the splashing is on certain time. Sejong the Great statue is also in Gwanghwamun area. He is the fourth king of Joseon Dinasty in Korea. During his regency, he acquired firm foundation of the state by reinforcing Confucius politics and executing major legal amendments. Furthermore, from the creation of Hangul and advancement of scientific technologies, he utilized the accumulated power to expand the territory.
Gwanghwamun at night. The girls appear are my friends.

 In front of Admiral Yi Sun Sin statue. Look at the gallant general standing behind me. It is him...

 Sejong the Great Statue

 Snail architecture

The Fountain at Gwanghwamun at the second visit :

The fountain. Love its colour.

We stopped by at Haechi Madang under Gwanghwamun Plaza on the way to water play. Haechi represents of Korea's mythical folktale character and one of the symbols of Seoul. Haechi, generally known as Haetae, is a lion-like horned creature that often appears in myths as a guardian against fire and disasters. It is just an imaginary creature. 

Me and Haechi

Souvenirs. They are look so cute.

Between them. Actually I don't know who they are.

Finally we found where the water play is. When we decided to go to Gwanghwamun, we already had known that there is a water play here. But after we were on there we didn't know its location exactly, so I asked to police officer who was on duty that night in Gwanghwamun. It was so amazing. Unfortunatelly, my camera isn't good enough for taking picture at night. So, the picture I got wasn't so good. It was blur. But, believe me, this place is more beautiful than that on the picture.
The artifial fountain.

Water play or cool stream

People are sitting down on the edge of river

 The view. Nice.

The water play or cool stream is like small river where a side walk beside along it. This place is so nice and romantic. Light, water stream, bridge, side walk... what a good composition. Imagining someday could walk with him at there. In this water play, there were so many people sitting on the edge of river, almost them were a couple. It started getting late night, we should come back to our room.