4-1/2 days in Seoul

Jan 13th, 2015, 08:02 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 73
4-1/2 days in Seoul

It has been almost a decade since my last visit to Seoul. This time in late February and I am thinking of making a day ski trip to regain long unused ski-legs! Any recommendations as to how to spend the other days and which would be the better ski resort to go to. ( there are several ) A half day visit to the DMZ will probably occur as well. Hope to stay in the MyeongDong - Namsan area. Would be great to hear some ideas.
silverlex is offline  
Jan 13th, 2015, 08:21 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
Have you looked at my trip report? Just click on my name to find it. The sections on Seoul are near the beginning and near the end; you can search the report once you open it.
kja is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:24 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 73
Thanks for a very long in depth reflections of Korea.
silverlex is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:53 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
Yes, it was long! ;-) I hope you found it useful.
kja is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 07:34 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
kja, Will have to check out your report. I will be in Seoul for just three days, two nights in March. Do you think I should spend one day visiting the DMZ?
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 07:40 PM
  #6  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
I chose NOT to visit the DMZ. Your call.
kja is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 07:40 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
Well, I saw the Interview. Does that count?
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 08:13 PM
  #8  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
Sorry, crosscheck -- I really should have been more responsive to your question Even as I hit the “submit” button, I started formulating a more thoughtful answer, but then, as I was about to post this response, Fodor’s went down. Argh!

I think the choice of whether to go to the DMZ is a VERY personal one. The more I thought about it, the ONLY real reason I could identify for me to visit it would be that it is a border between two sides of an ongoing civil war, even if that war is currently (largely, generally) in abeyance. I have, over the years, felt the importance of paying my respects to those who fought or died in various wars -- including, on this trip, a stop at the UN Cemetery in Busan, and in other trips, visits to Auschwitz / Birkenau, Hiroshima, etc. Those visits were, for me, ways to honor those who had lived or died and ways to pay homage to the lessons we can learn about the atrocities of war and the need to find peaceful solutions to even the most intractable of dilemmas. I couldn't find a way to imagine that a visit to the DMZ would engender those feelings for me. Instead, it seemed to me like honoring a war, and it seemed voyeuristic, and it even seemed disrespectful to ask those who guard the DMZ to have to worry about tourists when they have such heavy responsibilities. I just couldn't bring myself to go. It really came down to a gut reaction for me -- it just did NOT feel right to ME.

That said, I can understand that others might find value in visiting the DMZ because their reasons might be VERY different from mine or might fit within a VERY different context. These are all (I think) really personal interpretations and perspectives. I made a choice for myself; I am not making a choice for, or judging, any one else.

Again, sorry for my initial, non-informative response.
kja is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 12:33 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 73
Did you go to Nami Island? Sounds rather gimmcky? Any thoughts?
silverlex is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 12:53 AM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
I did not go to Nami Island. I don't remember even thinking of going there, so I really can't comment with any degree of insight. Sorry!
kja is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 09:30 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
kja, No worries, my friend - I didn't see your answer as non informative. Interesting prospective. After reading TA reviews (of course, not always accurate) It didn't occur to me that the DMZ would be voyeuristic, just historical and fascinating (the most dangerous place on earth, really??) Also a way to get out of town and see the countryside since I'm there for such a short time.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 08:53 PM
  #12  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
@ crosscheck: If your goal is to get out of town and see a bit of the countryside, you might want to consider Ho-Am -- the garden is glorious; the art collection small, but exquisite; and you can visit on your own. See my trip report for more info.
kja is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 09:18 PM
  #13  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
P.S. Here's some info on Ho-Am:
http://hoam.samsungfoundation.org/eng/html/main/
kja is offline  
Jan 18th, 2015, 07:33 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4
I have been to the DMZ multiple times. For some reason, it's always built into international study abroad programs, US State Department programs, and international conferences.
It is slightly interesting the first time you go. For me, the most interesting thing was hearing all of the propaganda. The time I was there with the Dept of State, the North Korean guards did a "huge show" for us. There were way more guards than are typically there, then they made a show of going right up to the building where the talks are held, peering in at us, taking pictures of us, etc.

If you would like to get out of Seoul, I would definitely recommend going to Jeonju Hanok Village (day trip). It is a traditional village with a ton of cultural activities. Otherwise, Chuncheon is great, too (half-day to day trip). Chuncheon is actually where Nami Island is located. Both cities are known for their food and Korean tourists travel there often, too.

http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.co...ary-hanok.html
http://eatstretchexplore.blogspot.co...itinerary.html

Otherwise, if you want to do skiing, Muju is great. It is located pretty close to Seoul and has a variety of difficulty levels.

Let me know if you have any questions, I have been to a lot more places in Korea, so if you have more random requests I will try my best to help you out!
eatexplore is offline  
Jan 18th, 2015, 08:19 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,349
I, on the other hand, didn't care for Jeonju.

See: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...omment-6763016

I, too, chose not to visit the DMZ, although my reasons were not as well thought out as kja's. It just sounded a lot less interesting than seeing the rest of the country.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 18th, 2015, 08:35 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
Thanks, everyone, for the advice and sorry to hijack this thread. All great suggestions. I am accompanying Mr. C on a work trip and I'm not sure if I will have a free day in Seoul, but will check out all of these ideas once I have the schedule.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 07:16 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 73
Looking at the replies, maybe I will give the DMZ a miss until another visit. Has anyone done the Ho-Am Art museum?
silverlex is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 07:21 PM
  #18  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,999
As noted above, I did visit the HO-AM, and I recommend it. Click on my name to find the trip report in which I describe my visit there. The trip report is long, but it is searchable.
kja is offline  
Jan 28th, 2015, 07:14 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 73
Noted. Thanks.
silverlex is offline  
Feb 7th, 2015, 03:20 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
I'm topping this because we just met with a journalist who worked in Seoul and thinks the DMZ is a must see - a surreal experience and historically fascinating, like a visit to the Berlin Wall when it was still standing. In her opinion it was not exploitative and she learned a lot from the defector who lead her tour.

(I've been interested in N. Korea since I read Nothing to Envy, which I recommend highly to everyone. I also spent a month in Cuba in the 80s and found that extremely eye opening as well.)

So...We've decided to go in March. eatexplore, can you recommend a particular tour, and did you go for 1/2 or a full day?
crosscheck is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:27 AM.