Seoul: The royal Changdeokgung
palace with the Biwon garden, the Insadong area with its tea houses and arts
and crafts shops, various museums, street food, views from the surrounding
hills, and the amazingly diverse birthday party for the Buddha.
Suwon: The Korean Folk
Village with its displays of traditional Korean food, performances, weddings,
houses, temples, and of ondol, the traditional underfloor heating system
Seoraksan: Where the climb
up and down Daecheongbong offered great views, but almost destroyed my legs;
a more quiet birthday celebration for the Buddha, and more pretty scenery.
Odaesan: Two temples in
pretty environments: Woljeongsa and Sanwongsa.
Gyeongju: Tumuli in the
city and outside, an observatory, street vendors, buddhist carvings and hermitages
in Namsan, and the world heritage sites of Seokguram and Bulguksa.
Haeinsa: A beautiful
temple surrounded by forest, and the home of the Tripitaka Koreana, a collection
of Buddhist scriptures, carved on woodblocks in the 13th century.
Jeonju: Where traditional
Korean architecture is kept alive and rebuilt, including the Hanok Experience
hotel, a confucian school, and a tiny tea shop. Plus, the local specialty,