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Korea’s Royal Palace

May 9, 2014

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Let me start off by saying this: we’re not all too fond of the Korea Tourism Organization.

Some of you might have heard us say this before, but I don’t think that the KTO does a good job of promoting Korea. Whenever we see ads from them, Korea is always depicted in such a boring manner. “Come to Korea, where you can wear a hanbok and climb a mountain. Did you know Korea has four distinct seasons? Do you know Bee Beem Bop? Come, visit our temples and palaces!”

Now, for some people, this depiction of a very traditionally rich Korea is right up their alley. It’s not for us, though. We’re more interested in modern Korea. Show me the techy side of Korea. Show me the guys on delivery bikes in flip flops. Show me Hongdae. Show me drinking at a baseball game. Show me a night market. Show me where people live and work and walk and play and thrive; don’t show me a vestige of the past that people don’t use anymore. I want to see what everyday life is like in Korea; I don’t want to partake in the touristy stuff that regular Koreans don’t do.

This is one of the main reasons I’ve never been to Gyeongbokgung. I’m sure that it’s a lovely place, and that you can learn a lot about Korea’s history, but I just don’t like what it stands for lately. I’m not talking about what it stands for traditionally or historically; I’m talking about nowadays, as it’s mostly used as a tourist and school trap.

When I was 16 years old I visited my aunt and uncle in Poland, and as they drove me around Warsaw and showed me the monuments I was bored out of my mind. They’d always ask if I know who Piotr Polishinski or someone or another was, and I not only didn’t know, but didn’t care. I remember being scolded for not knowing enough history, for not being a good Polishman, and I know now that this is probably getting in the way of me going to Gyeongbokgung as a result.

Which is why Martina went instead. Yay!

To be fair, she feels the same way I do, but just not with as much conviction. She finally caved and went because of her friend Jackie who visited, and she wanted to see Gyeongbokgung, so Martina complied. Here’s the video they got out of it. As you can tell, they had an ok time, but it wasn’t smashingly fun, unless you have a big imagination and can be amused easily by it. We’re fortunate enough, the two of us, that you could put us in any situation and we’d have a fun time of it, simply because we’re easily amused. If we had the choice, though, we’d go places that have more options for playing.

But, this is just our opinion. We’d love to hear your take on it. When you go traveling, do you like going to the tourist sites? Or do you like getting thrown into the mix and being confused and figuring your way around? Whenever we go to other countries, pretty much all we want to do is go to busy places and eat the local food: is that just us?

Anyhow, Martina and Jackie have some bloopers from their adventures. Check em out here!

And, lastly, make sure you click on this fancy pants button below to make sure you don’t miss out on any more videos. Hooray!

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