Friday, July 16, 2010

Rick's Roadshow: Seoul, Korea Day 1.5

Rick's Roadshow continues from Seoul, Korea. My day started quite early as I had a tour scheduled at Seoul National University with the College of Veterinary Medicine. They have a very impressive facility with some of the most sophisticated equipment in Asia in animal medicine. My day's travels took me all over, so it was a busy day out and about. Here at top left is the entrance to the Palace. Hopefully I'll have time on Saturday to go back for a quick tour. Later in the day we stopped for lunch at a fusion Korean-Japanese restaurant, where we sat on the raised floor and dined on fresh sushi, pumpkin soup, sliced beef, rice, noodles and a few other courses that I've already forgotten. My local colleagues/hosts are quite gracious and welcoming. Which brings me to my observations on Korea. The Koreans I've met are proud people, yet down to earth and humble. (South) Koreans are a peaceful nation who enjoy welcoming you into their home to make you feel comfortable. I noticed that far fewer speak English than in Japan, although I believe they learn English in textbooks but don't have as much practice. I bowed and smiled whenever appropriate, and the customary bow was always returned with a smile. Friday evening we went to a traditional Korean BBQ restaurant, where you cook your own beef in the middle of the table. The food was delicious, and it was a fun way to spend an evening.

The city of Seoul is very different from Tokyo. Seoul seems more typical of other big cities. It shares the same flaws of any western city, but also boasts many positive aspects and interesting historical sites. Clearly, the Koreans are very intelligent, with advancements in technology and such evident throughout the country. One interesting side note, they have the most amazing highway rest-stops. They are huge with numerous restaurants and things to do. Throngs of people were relaxing in cafes and listening to live music, just on the highway rest stop. Fascinating. Anyway here are today's photos:

above: Here with the top Associate Professor from Seoul National University, in the College of Veterinary Medicine. This was just after my tour of their facilities.

above: a temple entrance.

above: another entrance to a temple, with a playground for kids.

above: The Korean "White House" where their president works.

above: A nifty statue of remembrance for war veterans.

above: This colorful ceiling was at the entrance to the Palace. Koreans believe this design helps ward off evil spirits and bad luck. It was very beautiful.

above: Statue of the famous King Sejong who created the Korean alphabet of characters to write.

above: a famous Korean General whose name escapes me.

above: This was an unexpected surprise. Regular apartment buildings with rather interesting art scenes.

above: another building with an art scene on it. Sorry its a bit blurry, it was raining. Or should I say "Laining" like the locals say it. Well that's all for today's edition of Rick's Roadshow. Stay tuned for more from my Asian World Tour...
-Rick Rockhill

1 comment:

KathyA said...

Ah! Lain in Kolea!!! Korea looks lovely and by your description the people seem quite gracious.
PS That dog is beautiful!!!


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