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10 Must See

Attractions in Seoul
BY IAN HARISSON

metropolis of glass and steel and mass frenzy of human activity. Or is it? No city can surface on the international landscape as Seoul has over the past three decades without some terrific points of interest. These ten must-see landmarks prove that South Koreas capital is a real player in the tourist game.

Dongdaemun Market
A major pulsepoint of the city since 1905, Dongdaemun Market may be the best place to go to get a genuine feel for everyday life in crazy Seoul. The market is simply gargantuan and covers 10 city blocks. Over 30,000 shops and 50,000 manufacturers call Dongdaemun home. Suffice to say, if you cant find it here, it does not exist.

uick. Name one landmark in Seoul, South

Korea. Stuck? Need more time? While the sheer size of the capital city is the most notable attribute of Seoul behind only Tokyo with a metropolitan area of 25 million people the former Summer Olympics and World Cup host has a dearth of icon attractions. At least to the West that is. No Times Square. No Eiffel Tower. No Tower of London. No CN Tower. Rather than one or several indelible landmarks that burn themselves in the collective consciousness of tourists like the Hagia Sophia to name a random example Seoul is a modern

Jongmyo Shrine
One of two UNESCO World Heritage sites in metro Seoul, the Jongmyo Shrine was the first Confucian royal shrine in Korea. The venerable landmark looks just as it did in the 16th century and myriad ancient rituals still take place here.

Nat nal M se

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One t e est nati nal m se ms in any ca ital city, t e Nati nal M se m of Korea is t e instit tion of record in t e country for nati e art, culture and history. Go early and ta e your time in the im ressi e facility only fi e Because of peerless other museums in the world cover more continuity with the floor s ace.

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C angde kg ng Palace C plex

Of the five grand palaces built in Seo Palace ul by the long and powerful Joseon Dynasty (13921910), Gyeongbok remains the crown jewel. The main palace was built in 1394, with numerous subse uent additions. With beautiful gardens and the National Folk landscape and remarkable Museum of Korea inside, a tour of the palace comple is a must. Far Eastern architecture, the

On the orders of the am itious Em eror T aejong in the 15th century, a brilliant palace comple was built with reverence for the natural environment in what is now a part of metro Seoul.

complex is now a UNESCO Bonge nsa Te ple The ancient Bongeunsa Temple dates back World Heritage
to 794 and sits on Sudo Mountain in the affluent Gangnam-gu district of Seoul. The Buddhist shrine is a popular attraction where tourists can engage in a program that allows them to live like a monk within the temple grounds.

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Too often the American point of view of war seeps into our mindset and we lose sight of other points of view. The War Memorial of Korea is a dramatic and emotional landmark that chronicles the many violent conflicts the peninsula nation has had to endure throughout her turbulent history. A wonderful museum and monument comple where one could easily spend half a day.

COEX Mall
COEX Mall is across the street from Bongeunsa Temple but could not be more dissimilar. The behemoth underground mall provides a perfect glimpse into hyper -modern Korea. Seoul is a city on the cusp of every digital and technological trend and COEX Mall is a wonderful vantage point from

which to take it all in. Bring comfortable shoes however. The mall features over 250 commercial shops, 800 restaurants, a multiplex, aquarium, Kimchi Field Museum, Game Park and receives over 100,000 visitors on week ys .

Nam an Park
For tranquil escape from the rush of urban Seoul, Namsan Park has the remedy. The mountain peak in the Jung -gu district provides stellar panoramas of the city, with easy cable car access. As the location of the N Seoul Tower, Namsan is never hard to spot.

Namdaemun Market
Historic Namdaemun Market provides more old -school authenticity from COE Mall, wit h traditional stalls that in some cases have been in operation by the same family for generations.

PHOTOS BY

KAREND TC M DONGDAEMUN MARKET EIM BERG, JONGMYO SHRINE C N R , NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA