We spent our last sight-seeing day in Asia today in very satisfactory fashion. We took a short subway ride to Namsangol Traditional Village (남산골한옥마을), a place where they have moved several historic, and some just ordinary, traditional Korean houses and furnished them with traditional furniture, kitchen implements, etc. Supposedly they do traditional crafts there, too, but we didn't see any of that. Henry and I did get to hear a little concert on traditional instruments, though, a long sort of flute, a double-sided drum and a strange, large, six-stringed instrument that was plucked. Very lovely music.

More Namsangol photos are in this Flickr set. Text continued below.

village buildings

village buildings (with some modern additions)


village garden

as expected, a lovely garden in the village


kimchii pots

the all-too-necessary kimchi pots


Seoul Tower from the village

Seoul Tower in Namsan Park, as seen from the village

You can't go inside the buildings, but you can look in and admire the traditional decor:

interior view spacer interior view

As we often did, we shared our visit here with groups of incredibly cute Korean schoolchildren:

Korean kids


Korean kids


Musical performance shots:

traditional music spacer traditional music

In addition to the traditional houses and exhibits, the park also has a "time capsule" where they buried a bunch of stuff in 1994, on the

600th anniversary of the founding of Seoul. It's to be opened in 2394, on the millenium anniversary. It's set in a very interesting little plaza, with carved messages from heads of state from around the world wishing Seoul "happy birthday." [photo at the right is of Kathy and Sally at the capsule site]

After leaving this park we headed back to Namdaemun Market for some final shopping and then back to the apartment for long naps in anticipation of our sleep-deprived flight home. When Hal got home from work we had our final Korean meal, at a neighborhood restaurant where you sit on the floor. We had been wanting to do this, although I doubt if we'll feel the urge to do it again; it's a little uncomfortable. The food was excellent, though.

[Note the water bottle by Sally in the photo below. As the youngest at the table, it was her job, according to Korean tradition, to keep all of our water cups filled.]

Since Carey was working late we then headed to another district to meet her at a microbrewery place, where we had some tasty beers. Then back to the apartment for birthday cake (Carey is 23 today!) and eventually to bed.


The following was written on the morning of our departure, May 31st:

Hal has left for work this morning already, so we've said our goodbyes to him. Carey is out on an errand but expects to be back before we leave. Henry went out walking and hopefully he'll be back in time to finish packing so we can leave in plenty of time. We plan to follow the Spurs game on the internet and then leave for the airport about the time that the game's over. We checked out the bus terminal last night and are fairly confident that we'll be able to find the correct bus to the airport this afternoon by ourselves.

[Text concluded below]

Henry re-did his walk up to the Seoul Arts Center and up Mt. Umyeon from the other day. Here are some of the pictures he took on this return visit:

Seoul Arts Center

Seoul Arts Center

view from Mt. Umyeonsan

view from Mt. Umyeon


Korean War bunker

Two sides of the nifty bridge entrance to the Arts Center:

bridge to Arts Center spacer bridge to Arts Center

More photos from Henry's walk are in the Miscellaneous Flickr set.

So my next message will be a notice that we've returned to the land of E Pluribus Unum; hopefully I'll have enough energy to do that before crashing to bed in what will seem like 2 days from now.

Hope you all have enjoyed these reports; I have enjoyed writing them. We'll have many pictures and stories to share with you next time we see you all.