As many of my family and friends already know, I am going to be ending my time of teaching English abroad for something equally scary: starting over in America. It's coming up soon in March 2015. It is now September 2014. That's, like, 6 months.
Though I've lived in Korea for about 8 years, I have failed somewhat on the tourist attraction front. I mean, it's gotten a lot better over the past few years, but I have really missed seeing a lot of stuff. I'm going to try to jam-pack it into this fall because let me tell you, the winters here are awful. I mean, just terrible. They don't salt the sidewalks AT ALL, so walking anywhere is pretty hazardous. When I lived in Seoul, my entire street was covered in a thick sheet of ice for weeks at a time. Walking outside to let Kron do his business was a challenge every day. Fall here is beautiful and mild and lovely, so I'm going to force myself to do something every weekend (starting next weekend).
Over the Chuseok holiday, I finally made it to Namhansanseong, an old fortress that was just declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June. It was a little too warm for my liking, but it was absolutely beautiful. Kron and I will definitely be going again at least one more time.
I also ventured to Everland. Too hot. Too many people. But cheap! And the T-Express wooden roller coaster was not too shabby. (This coming from someone who LOVES roller coasters.)
I need to make a to-do list for what I really want to do in Seoul before I leave (there is SO MUCH!):
- Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower) - seriously, how have I never been here?
- Bukcheon Hanok Village - traditional Korean homes! Near two palaces!
- BONUS! Gyeongbokgung! Changdeokgung!
- National Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art - I LOVE modern art!
- Hwarangdae (Gangneung) - burial mounds! Royals buried here!
- Seonyudo - "Host to a water purification plant for decades, this island was recently turned into a park – but instead of dismantling the plant, it was incorporated into the park’s design: support columns are given over to ivy, chemical settling basins turned into lily ponds."
- Jongmyo Shrine
- The Blue House - like the White House, but blue.
- Seodaemun Prison
- Kimchi Museum - when I first moved here, I mocked the kimchi museum. Now I want to go.
- kimchi-making class! Other cooking classes!
I also have one week of vacation in the winter, and I think I'll be heading to Hong Kong for that week. Stay tuned to see if I can complete my to-do list!