Geez, have I mentioned how far behind I am in my blogs?! It’s beyond ridiculous.
So in October I went for a short excursion in Seoul to meet my friend. [She was teaching in Japan but she finished that and now she’s living with her husband who is USAF stationed in Seoul. I’ve met up with her a few times: when I first came to Korea, for New Years, and in Japan (here and here)]. We went to go see a famous tourist spot in Seoul (which is actually pretty close to where they live) called Namsan Tower. So we bussed to the bottom of mountain where it’s perched, and we walked up to the top (stopping for some cotton candy along the way).
We headed towards the bottom floor of the tower which contained the museum and where people were waiting in a FREAKING line to go see the top of the tower. We figured we had a lot of time to kill (based upon the # cue) and we did a small bit of shopping/browsing in their gift shop. As for the teddy bear museums, there were two parts and neither were very impressive. The first part had posed teddy bears (some mechanics inside of it to move them) and they told the history of Korea.
The second part of the museum was about Korea today with pop culture and popular places in Seoul. In the second part of the museum there were actual ‘museum’ type bears with a brief history of teddy bears and some really old teddy bears behind class with a tag about the maker, location, and a brief description.
After going to both of the museums, I got impatient because the number for the cue was still like not even close to our numbers. So I walked up to the people checking tickets and showed them my ticket; they asked if we went to both of museums (we had). Lucky us! We got shown right in. Apparently paying a little more to see the teddy bear museums is an express ticket to go to the tower. The elevator to the observation deck is one of the fastest in the world (which was awesome) and the view of Seoul was pretty cool too.
We debated about how to leave the tower and decided to pay for a cable ride from the side of the mountain to the road below. My friend and I rushed towards a window, which only made the cost of the ride partially worth it. I would have been pissed if I had been stuck in the middle and unable to see out any of the windows (which of course is what was the scenario for over half the people in there…we were squeezed in like sardines.)
Overall it wasn’t a bad afternoon excursion, but it’s not really my thing. I wouldn’t go back. I was glad to hang out with my friend and her husband though. We paid for ‘professional pictures’ of us with a day view and night view of the tower in the background. They day view is more flattering for them so they have that copy and I have the night view.
(As always, check out my flickr page for more pics and feel free to comment!)