Korea: Museums and intellectual things

It’s been a while since the last post. Chalk it up to a bruising touring schedule – over the past week, I must have walked at least 50 miles. But that’s what happens when you go backpacking in the south end of the country, a place with some of the most beautiful natural sights and cities in the world. If you followed me on Instagram or Snapchat, you’ve seen a few of the sights alongside myself.

More on that later. (I’m planning a massive post detailing every second of my adventures.) I wrapped up my trip yesterday, and spent that day doing yet more walking – albeit, this time, it was air conditioned. I visited the National Museum of Korea, a sprawling complex of galleries and buildings located a few miles away from the city center. It’s easily accessible by subway – just take the Ichon exit and there’s a direct underground link – and it’s free.

I’m a history buff; it was one of my majors in college. Coupled with my desire to learn more about my native country, I could have easily spent the whole day.

Here’s a touring tip: plan to spend at least 5-6 hours if you wanna see everything. The museum is enormous, and chock-full of things to do. For a history nerd like me, it was an absolute dream. 

There’s a comprehensive series of exhibits on Korean history, of course, from the earliest beginnings with Goguryeo and prehistoric Korea to the Chosun Empire, until it fell to Japanese occupation in the 20th century.

Above the ground floor, the museum also covers Asia in general, with exhibits from Southeast Asia, China and Japan, among others. Finally, there’s a special exhibitions gallery; when I visited, it was hosting a series of private collections.

Next to the main building is the Hangul Museum annex, a smaller exhibit detailing our nation’s written language, 한글. Coincidentally, it was also a day after Hangul Day, which celebrates the date of the creation of our language by King Sejong the Great many, many years ago.

All in all, it’s a great way to spend a day. The grounds and the architecture is beautiful as well, and there’s a great view of Namsan from the balcony.


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