People have asked me if Korea is at all like China. In a word, no. There are some architectural similarities in ancient building and for formal Korean (Hanja), Chinese characters are used. But the culture, the appearance of the cities, the people..very, very different.
Chinese culture has been strongly influenced by the Cultural Revolution, the one child policy and Communism. Korea is influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity. Cleanliness and politeness are high values. Seoul was amazingly clean. The subways were crowded but there was little pushing or noise. There is very little of the absolute chaos that is China. Korea is just a very different place.
On our third day, we went to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. We had gone to one of the smaller palaces on our first day and not been super impressed. But Gyeongbokgung Palace was beautiful.
Storage pots for rice and other things.
Elisabeth among the kimchi and alcohol storage pots.
One of the exquisite ceilings.
These creatures and roofs are similar to China. I love them.
We also went to the Folk Museum which was seriously my favorite museum. It showed artifacts that showed how people really lived-that is my kind of history.
An ancient back strap loom.
Fabric made of many different things-hemp, linen etc.
It was fascinating. One of my life goals is to learn how to weave and seeing these ancient looms and tools made me want to even more.
Below are some scenes of life and death passages.
There was also some old ceremonial clothing that children apparently gave their parents in preparation for their death. Elisabeth suggested this as a gift for my next birthday. I suggested she get me a loom.