Awesome Korean Adventures

Living and engineering like never before

Just Korean Things

The most well-known attraction here in Suwon, is the Hwaseong Fortress. My family was visiting here for the week so we decided to go there together. We all wanted to see the #1 sight-seeing attraction. Apparently, there was some culture festival going on so the streets were filled with people, mostly Koreans. Nevertheless, we regrouped in Suwon and marched through the busy streets heading towards the fortress.

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First, we were directed to the Hwaseong Haenggung palace by the information desk lady. It was very similar to the Gyeongbokgung palace I went to earlier in the semester, because it was built during the same era. For a short while, we spectated some kind of horse riding show, where the riders performed tricks while riding, like hitting target dummies with weapons and other crazy things. One of the guys accidentally kicked down a pole that was marking the border of the area and someone had to hold it in place with his hands. Another guy was standing on his head on the horse while kicking the air at the same time.

The fortress itself was a short walk away from the cultural festival area. But first, we had to climb a million stairs to get on the hill. Any enemy trying to attack the fortress would have likely given up halfway through, we all thought. Once we eventually got up, we walked around and reached some kind of temple area. Looking around, I realized how high up we were. On all sides of the plateau, one could see the whole city of Suwon, as well as the mountains of Korea in the distant horizon. It makes a single person feel hardly significant.

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On another day, we decided to go and check out the war memorial located in Seoul. On the way there, we walked past a bunch of statues portraying the Korean war forces. Clearly, a lot of effort was put into this whole thing. In front of the main building was a huge front yard and in a circle shape stood the flags of all the nations that helped South Korea in the Korean war. Even Sweden had a flag there, even though they only sent 200 medics to help the war effort. We really should have considered sending at least 201 of us.

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Inside of the memorial building was a museum of sorts displaying all the weaponry used during that time, and describing the events from the beginning of the war to the end of it. The museum extended over 3 floors. They had a separate section for everything from guns and vehicles to information about war records each filled with all sorts of artefacts. There was also an area dedicated to the UN forces who were portrayed as heroes and saviours of the people. They used mannequins dressed in military gear combined with screens that showed bullets flying to demonstrate what it looked like in battle. It was a very unique way of doing it, and the whole atmosphere there was just that. Really makes one wonder why we don’t have something similar in Finland.

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