Great day today! Wolmi Park and visited the Korean Traditional Food and Cultural Experience Center where we met with, and were “trained” by, a famous Korean television chef (at least that’s what they told us) that taught us how to prepare two traditional Korean main dishes and also traditional rice cakes…yummy! Guess what we had for lunch! Afterward we toured the gardens then visited Incheon’s Chinatown (where the Chinese first settled in Korea). Once there we visited Jayu Park and saw the monument honoring the great General McAuthur for his role in saving Korea. Later we visited Shinpo Street Market (famous since the1890’s) and then made our way to the fish market. There we saw everything that could possibly live beneath the surface of the water…and the “stuff” was big! We had a great dinner and then attended the first evening of an annual two day festival at the university (we thought it was just a welcoming party for our delegation).
May 21, 2013
Today we stayed closed to home base in the Songdo area where we began at the Compact City building. Here we learned the why and how of how this area came to be (it is reclaimed land that was once just mud flats) to include a short boat ride in the canal of Central Park. After a marvelous lunch we had a meeting with the University President, Mr. Sung-Eui Choi. After delightful conversation the students were turned over to their respective host families for the evening (I will let you read their individual blogs to find out about experiences).
May 22, 2013
We left Incheon aboard the KTX Train for Daegu, home of Yeungnam University, and were welcomed by the USA club – the University Student Ambassadors. Upon our arrival we were able to rest a bit from our train ride and were treated to KFC for a snack before our itinerary began. The afternoon began around 3:00 with formal introduction of the staff and students from both sides and a presentation and tour about YU (our delegation was a bit bummed there was not time for our presentation). After the tour we ate a traditional meal at a restaurant favorite of the students and then headed to ….YU’s two festival that had just began!
May 23, 2013
We began with breakfast at the restaurant beside our Guest House and quickly got underway to the Gyeongju National Museum. Here we were able to gain a complete view of the Silla Dynasty at a glance. It was filled with ancient (7th and 8th century) artifacts, some from the tomb we saw later in the day and other from this site as well as from all over the province. Lunch today was another Korean traditional meal which was yummie! We then moved to Gyeongju Bulguska, an ancient Buddhist Temple dating back to the late 700’s which still serves the as a temple for local Buddist in the evenings and early mornings. This magnificent, hillside temple is full of rich history and meaning – everything they do has purpose, every detail to buildings and walkways and landscape. After the temple we headed to the Chonmachong area to visit the Tomb of King Michu. This area appeared as a normal hilly meadow…but our eyes were deceived as each “hill” was actually a tomb! One of the tombs had been excavated and was reinforced to allow tourist the opportunity to see how these tombs were built; captivating, simply captivating. The evening ended with dinner with some of the USA students. They again took us to one of their favorite restaurants were we were treated to a chicken and noodle dish that was pretty darn good!