Dongdaemoon - The East Gate
The East Gate is a fantastic monument that sits along Jongno (Ave.). The gate is currently scaffolded for some nearby construction, but it was still great to see it. If you are walking downtown, you can get some excellent photos of it. It's wonderful and big, and will give you an idea of the scale of all of Seoul!
Kyong bok kung(palace)
Center of Central Seoul
In 1394, when Seoul was established as the capital of the Choson Dynasty, King Taejo had the Kyongbok Palace constructed as the main palace.
Surrounded by Namsan, Mt. Inwang, and Mt. Bukak, the site of the Palace was regarded the most auspicious according to the then geomantic philosophy. It had 390 halls at the time of the first completion, and other structures were added later, until all the palace buildings were burnt down by invading forces, during the Korean-Japanese War (1592-1599). The Prince Regent Taewon-gun, father of King Kojong, restored the Palace to its current state in the 19th century.
A promenade through the palace also shows you the Amisan and the Chimneys with the Ten Symbols of Longevity in the backyard of the Gyotae hall and the Jagyung hall, respectively, both of which are decorated with beautiful patterns. The symbolical or mythical objects like the Ten Symbols of Longevity and the unicorn and unicorn-lion tell much about things that the Korean forefathers considered important for the prosperity of the country and the dynasty.
The Fan Dance
One of the most famous traditional Korean dances is the Buchaechum or Fan Dance. You can see beautiful performances of this every evening at Pulhyanggi Restaurant in the basement of Seoul Tower. A set meal costs W20,000 and the entertainment is included.
Achasan = Missed Chance Mountain?
Here is a little story to tell when you are having lunch at the top of Namsan Tower (it revolves and little signs tell you what you are looking at in the distance).
In Guui-Dong near the Children's Grand Park (aka Zoo) is Achasan (san means mountain). You may think these myths are useless (if so, rate this tip that way) but as you meet older and better-educated Koreans you'll see that get more respect by knowing more about their culture.
Here is the story. A King was testing a shaman/fortune teller. He showed him a box and asked, "How many dogs are inside?" The shaman said, "Three." The box was opened to reveal only two dogs. The king ordered him executed and he was taken away.
For some reason, they cut the dogs open (I guess they ate them back then too) and found a pup inside. Three dogs! Stop the exectution! Too late, the shaman was already dead. The king exclaimed "Acha!"
So now Koreans say "acha" when they have some regret or missed chance.
LOTTE WORLD THEME PARK
The Lotte World Adventure, a huge indoor theme park with amusement rides, shows, and Streets of the World, is organizing a Winter New Year Festival. Various events include parades, a daily rock band performance, and a North Korea traditional culture festival are
at the Folk Museum.
The Lotte World is a gigantic, multi-purpose complex featuring shopping malls, sports facilities, a theme park, a deluxe hotel and a folk village. A most of the facilities are indoors.
Lotte World Adventure
The largest indoor theme park in the world, there has kiddie riders, monorail and scarier roller coaster.
This lake park, which also can be reached from the Lotte World Adventure. Offer romantic setting and features a dancing fountain, rides an outdoor theater
The unique feature of the Lotte World Folk Village located on the third floor of the shopping center. Collection of miniatures of palaces, fortresses and village depicting various aspects of the life during the Joseon Dynasty.
At Lotte World Ice Rink, you can enjoy skating all year round. Larger than many other international ice rinks, this huge ice rink has a capacity for 1,000 skaters at any one time. The rink is conveniently located next to Lotte Adventure theme park where you can enjoy many thrilling rides. In the surrounding area, there are various restaurants that make this a great meeting place for friends or family. Discounts for large groups or for Adventure theme park ticket holders.