What we wish we would have done…

I feel like we did a lot while we were in Seoul, but I wish we’d had a few more days.  There are some things we really wanted to do and didn’t get the time.  I know that makes a great excuse for going again (and we will!).  Here’s our list of woulda-coulda-shoulda:

1.  War Memorial…we went to the DMZ on an organized tour (Day Four), and it was sort of disappointing.  I think the War Memorial/Museum would have been much more meaningful and educational, plus I’ve seen pictures and it looks really well done.

2.  Korea House…we went to Sanchon instead (Day Three).  I would have liked to experience both, but if we could do it over again I’d choose Korea House over Sanchon.  Sanchon was more unique, more intimate, but I would have liked to try the royal banquet food at Korea House and also see the spectacle of so many traditional dancers.

3. Open day at Changdeokgung…if you go to Changdeokgung on Thursday, you can walk the palace grounds by yourself.  The tour (Day Seven) was fantastic, but it’s still a tour.  I wish we could have walked through Biwon, the Secret Garden, on our own.  It’s such a huge place…we could have spent so much more time there.

4.  Buy a Buddhist bell (near Jogyesa) and a bojaji…there are a few things we didn’t buy when we had the chance, and I regret it.  My bargain-loving mind said we’d look for it in other markets, but it turns out when you see something you like you should just go for it.

5. Changing of the guard at Gwanghwamun gate…we just missed it on Day Two, and I would have liked to photograph it.  We caught most of the changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung on Day Seven and we really enjoyed the color, movements, and drumming.

6.  Bathhouse…I can’t believe we missed doing this!  I was too self-conscious to try it, but now I’ve talked to other friends who DID try it and they said it wasn’t strange at all…once they got going, they were completely at ease.  Plus the spa-like massage and skin treatments sound incredible.  Next time we go, this will be at the top of our list.  I recently talked to a friend who went, and she said she brought her adopted son (12 mo.) with her into the different baths.  He loved it!

7. National Folk Museum…it’s located between the two palaces we saw on Day Seven, and making a whole day of those three things (Changdeokgung, National Folk Museum, Gyeongbokgung) would have made a lot of sense.  The Frommer’s ’08 writer says it’s one of the best museums for gaining insight into Korean history and culture, and the exhibits sound very interesting.  Next time!

8.  Cheonggyecheon walk…we spent a little while there one night (Day Two), but we should have gone back during the day and walked more of it.  It was so lovely.  I liked the people-watching, all the public art, and the simple beauty of the stream, grasses, and trees in the middle of the city.

I’ll add more as we think of them.  We’ve been home a few months now and I still think of our trip every day.  What great memories!


~ by themagpiesnest on September 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “What we wish we would have done…”

  1. I am hoping to make a family trip to Seoul one day and I will definitely be coming back here to plan my trip.

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