Fall colors in Korea
Scheduling a recent business trip to Korea, one customer meeting was on Friday and the second on Monday. A rare opportunity to spend a weekend exploring the local cultural heritage and enjoy my photography. I asked my colleague and friend Machi Ryu for some suggestions. He offered to join and proposed that we visit the Changdeokgung Palace on Saturday with its Secret Gardens.
The timing for this trip worked out perfectly. The fall colors were close to peaking. The Secret Gardens cover 78 acres of wooded terrain in the center of Seoul, truly a remarkable location.
People love to dress up in traditional costumes
Koreans are smart. When people dress up in traditional costumes, for them the entrance fee is waived. The result is that many couples will rent a costume for the day so that for that one day, they can feel like a prince and a princess. For us, foreign visitors, seeing all the people dressed up in traditional costumes, makes the visit much more interesting. In the end, everybody wins.
Sampling food at Street Markets
I love sampling street food when I visit cities in Asia and Seoul is no different. Close to the Palace is an indoor street food market. It was bustling with people, steamy hot, filled with a multitude of smells. We sat down on a corner and let Machi do the ordering. Some of it was really good, some of it was interesting (blood sausage), some of it was OK (I have had chicken feet before, they do not gross me out, I am simply not a big fan). But every dish contributed to an unforgettable experience. Thank you Machi for a great day!
Minsok Folk Village in Yongin
On Sunday, my colleague Stephen and I visited the Minsok Folk Village. This tourist attraction celebrates the cultural heritage of Korea through a series of pavilions in a large park-like setting. Very enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the artisans that show-cased traditional craftsmanship.