Seoul

When I went to South Korea, it was as a college student and as a participant in a special cultural exchange program, which meant that most of each day was already scheduled. It wasn't the typical travel experience, but we got to do a lot of fun things like visit the DMZ, attend a couple lectures at Yonsei University, tour a Hyundai factor, and take a taekowndo lesson, to name a few. I came out of it with a good, general sense of Korea and its history, but I definitely can't wait to go back on my own and get to know Seoul on a deeper and more personal level. 

 
 Pa cheon. I normally detest scallions, but these scallion pancakes were so different, really sweet, and not at all onion-y. 

Pa cheon. I normally detest scallions, but these scallion pancakes were so different, really sweet, and not at all onion-y. 

 This is what people who have been to certain cities are referring to when they say, "Times Square don't impress me much."

This is what people who have been to certain cities are referring to when they say, "Times Square don't impress me much."

 Hongdae University

Hongdae University

 Bibimbap. Little did I know that I would become quite familiar with this dish by the end of the trip. "Oh, you are vegetarian? We are making for you something called bi-bim-bap!" *collective internal groans*

Bibimbap. Little did I know that I would become quite familiar with this dish by the end of the trip. "Oh, you are vegetarian? We are making for you something called bi-bim-bap!" *collective internal groans*

 Cheongyecheon at night

Cheongyecheon at night

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 The Blue House (White House equivalent), I think

The Blue House (White House equivalent), I think

 Gyeoungbokgung

Gyeoungbokgung

 Gyeoungbokgung

Gyeoungbokgung

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 Korean War Museum

Korean War Museum

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 At the DMZ. To be honest, this was the activity that I had most looked forward to before leaving, but the actual experience was different than what I'd imagined. I thought that it would be a really great learning experience since it's such a unique situation, and there was some of that beforehand, but within the actual demilitarized zone, the proceedings leaned quite touristy. We were led out to look upon North Korea and, once all lined up double file, instructed that we could begin taking photos. From there, we were led into one of the buildings pictured that sit directly atop the border. The only instructions we were told were to  not touch the table , which has sensors monitored by both sides. So imagine my horror when  that  student (the one who always took pictures at inappropriate moments and showed up late for all departures), not only placed her camera on this table but also leaned against it. To finish up, the bus drove through the compound, giving us one last photo opportunity. 

At the DMZ. To be honest, this was the activity that I had most looked forward to before leaving, but the actual experience was different than what I'd imagined. I thought that it would be a really great learning experience since it's such a unique situation, and there was some of that beforehand, but within the actual demilitarized zone, the proceedings leaned quite touristy. We were led out to look upon North Korea and, once all lined up double file, instructed that we could begin taking photos. From there, we were led into one of the buildings pictured that sit directly atop the border. The only instructions we were told were to not touch the table, which has sensors monitored by both sides. So imagine my horror when that student (the one who always took pictures at inappropriate moments and showed up late for all departures), not only placed her camera on this table but also leaned against it. To finish up, the bus drove through the compound, giving us one last photo opportunity. 

 San Chon, a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant

San Chon, a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant

 Dinner consisted of 20 small courses

Dinner consisted of 20 small courses

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 a historic village

a historic village

 at a historic villlage

at a historic villlage

 the view from Seoul Tower

the view from Seoul Tower

 the view from Seoul Tower

the view from Seoul Tower

Camera: Canon PowerShot A540
Date: March 2011