Robin's Adventures

Southeast Asia
Adventures in the Far East

The Adventure Begins

Our exploration of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia began with a short visit to Seoul, Korea and ended with a brief stay in Bangkok, Thailand. We saw many delightful sights in each of our destinations.

Flight time on Korean Air from Los Angeles to Seoul was 13 hours and 40 minutes.

Shilla Hotel

We stayed in the Shilla Hotel which had beautiful views of the city and all of the latest and greatest technology. The weather was so cold that the fountains in the gardens of the hotel froze, but the seat of the commode was heated and the light went on in the bowl whenever you lifted the lid.

Cheongwadae Sarangchae Museum

The Cheongwadae Sarangchae Museum is a cultural and historical museum with an emphasis on political history. There were many interesting exhibits about past presidents and the current president, Park Geun-Hye. She was very gracious and was more than willing to listen to her two new American "advisers!"

Presidential Residence

The Korean White House is actually referred to as the Blue House or the Pavilion of Blue Tiles. The complex of buildings provide executive offices for the president of South Korea as well as living quarters.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was first built in 1395 and served as the main royal palace for the Joseon dynasty. It is the largest and often considered the grandest of the five royal palaces built by this dynasty. The palace originally contained about 7,700 rooms in about 500 different buildings.

Over the years much of the palace was destroyed and rebuilt during various wars. Currently, the Korean government is involved in the restoration of the palace to its original appearance.

Throne Hall at Gangnyeongjeon Palace

The throne hall was very colorful and ornate.

More Gangnyeongjeon Palace

The banquet pavilion overlooked a peaceful lake. There were many incense burners on display as well as a ceremonial drum and some carved masonry.

Folk Art Museum

There is a wonderful folk art museum on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. We liked the statues in the garden relating to 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Robin was born in the year of the horse and Steve in the year of the dragon.

Folk Art Exhibits

Inside the museum were a variety of exhibits relating to Korean culture, lifestyle, and customs. One of the most interesting exhibits was about kimchi, a traditional food made from spicy fermented cabbage. The kimchi is generally stored in clay pots that are buried in the summer months and then removed from the ground as winter sets in.

Changdeok Palace

Changdeok Palace is the second of five great palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. The palace contained residences for members of the royal family, offices for royal officials, and reception areas for official meetings. The buildings were spread out over a large area with extensive gardens.