안녕하세요: The National Museum of Korea

04:20:00

At last, exams are over, and this signals the start of my holiday where I'd be busy with some voluntary work, performances, my family trip to Taiwan. But I do have intentions to catch up on my blogging as well during this short one-week break (spam warning!). To be honest, it is kind of hard to start writing again right now, having taken such a long hiatus to keep up and focus on my studies. I do seem to have forgotten how to start, what to say, what I wanted to say for each draft that is waiting to be published. Thankfully, I still remember how my solo tour in Korea, which happened after I graduated from my Korean course, began, with my first destination being The National Museum of Korea 국립중앙박물관, the largest museum in Korea which houses a great number of cultural assets from ancient times.

Fans of Running Man will not be unfamiliar with this location, where they have filmed a few past episodes, though I visited not just as a supporter of the famous variety show, but also as someone who is deeply intrigued by the history and culture of Korea. Which was the main reason why I started learning their language in the first place actually. To get to The National Museum of Korea, I would think the most convenient way will be to take the subway, since the museum is directly connected to Ichon Station on Subway Line 4 or the Jungang Line (Munsan-Yongmun) via an underground path at Exit #2 that will lead you straight to the front of the museum. Do note that the museum is closed on Mondays, and check out their website here to find out more about the exhibitions going on from time to time as well as their opening hours. By the way, admission to the permanent exhibitions is free.


The view that welcomes you the moment you exit the underground passage


The museum occupies a really large space so here's a map if you need one



Got the shock of my life when I realised I entered from the wrong direction, turned back and saw this. I literally jumped and got snickered at by the security guard who happened to be patrolling nearby. Moral of the story, follow the markings on the floor closely and don't stray from the intended course. Lols.


As a substandard photographer, my pictures really don't give justice to this crown.



Having visited all three levels in the museum, I personally thought that the Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery on Level 1, which features different eras such as the Goguryu Kingdom Era, Baekje Kingdom Era and Unified Silla Kingdom Era, was most fascinating. I also like the Asia Gallery displaying art and cultural pieces from China,Japan and Central Asia on the third floor. However, as most of the explanations are in Korean, one might want to rent a digital guide from the reception or to join a guided tour to understand the stories behind the exquisite artefacts better.

Done with exhibition hall of The National Museum of Korea, I went on to tour the Bell Pavilion, Pagoda Garden and Dragon Falls, which lead me to Yongsan Family Park, before u-turning to the National Hangeul Museum so I can return to Ichon Station easily after the entire tour.


Bell Pavilion


Pagoda Garden


Spot the magpie in this picture!



The National Hangeul Museum was only opened quite recently on Hangeul Day, October 9 in 2014, and as its name suggests, showcases the history and value of Korean orthography, one of the things I would say Koreans are most proud of as they believe Hangeul to be the simplest, most logical, most beautiful and most scientific writing system in the world. The museum is quite small with its permanent exhibition on the second floor, but extremely sufficient and effective explaining thoroughly the logic behind the language, as well as how it was developed, implemented and disseminated. Admission is free too, and you can visit their official website here.

video

And that's all for my visit to the National Museum of Korea and the National Hangeul Museum. I think I was really nervous to be going around on my own for the first time hence doing everything so fast that I still have a lot of time left in the day by the time I completed the entire course here. It was then I decided to take subway Line 4 to a nearby station, Samgakji, where the War Memorial of Korea is located. Definitely one of the most memorial attractions I have visited, and also the best place to learn about its troubled not-so-long-ago history.

More in the next post ^.^
Yvette

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