Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An un-American 4th of July

We have spent a lot of time looking at the wall, walking the wall, and taking photos of the wall. But we hadn't gone in the palace of the wall until now. Admission to cultural things are extremely cheap. We spent about $0.50 admission fee to get into the palace. 

It was a really hot, humid 4th of July. Every day we have checked the weather since the beginning of June, the humidity has been sitting still at 100%. Miserable! However, we decided to brave the elements and check it out!

As I've said in previous posts (nearly a year a go now) the king wanted to move the capital of Korea to Suwon in the 1700's. He built the walls as defense and put the palace in this place. He was unsuccessful, the capital stayed in Seoul, but Suwon gained a great tourist attraction 300 years later. 

If Andrew were invading the palace, they would have been screwed! He is taller than the walls! 

Take your shoes off before entering!

We aren't really sure what these were because the signs were in Korean. However, we guessed either they were for storage, or maybe they were the servants sleeping quarters. 

The King's father had been essentially buried alive in a rice chest. They allowed us to climb into the rice chest and feel how tiny it was. 

... Andrew didn't fit.

For about $1.50 we were able to buy a gold coin. These are replicas of the currency Korea used to have. We then took the gold coins and were able to buy different experience around the palace. 

First we tried on Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress. The outfits we have on are King and Queen clothes. It was so hot and humid we were sweating like crazy. There were many layers to the outfits, and two Koreans had to help us put them on. The headpiece she put on me was so heavy!

Look mom, no hands!

Next, we told our name to this old man. He put our names into Korean calligraphy where he made the different characters animals and symbols.

After that we went and got to make hand-made rice paper. We were able to etch an outline of the Hwaseong wall on the paper.

We were able to try on old warrior clothes if we wanted to, but it was so hot we couldn't even imagine putting on any more clothes. However, this little tyke took up the opportunity! He was marching around so proud! 

They film a popular TV show here. Here I stand with two life-sized models of the main characters of the show. 

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