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detail of the painting above the shrine in Daeseungwon Temple, Suwon, South Korea

Suwon’s Palace and Fortress

Suwon, South Korea, a city with more than a million inhabitants, is a separate city from Seoul, but it’s been swallowed up in the post-Korean War urban sprawl, so that it’s in the same metro system. Getting to Suwon from the center of Seoul involves a very long metro ride: more than an hour, and…

the cable car with Seoul Tower in the background

Seoul Tower Without a Date

Seoul Tower, perched on Namsan Mountain above Seoul, is visible everywhere, looking like some sort of 70’s version of the future. Built back in the 70’s for radio and television, it was and still is a communication tower. However, it’s also a destination for tourists and locals: a thing to do on a free weekend afternoon….

Six (!) Seoul Palaces

Seoul is home to six different royal palaces, each built by or for a different king. Beautifully crafted and opulent, some are more intact and authentic than others. Authentic? The five older ones all include at least one tale of complete or partial destruction. All were burnt to the ground during the Japanese Invasion in the last decade…