Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shots of Seoul: Winter Tour (10th - 17th Dec '11)

N Seoul Tower (in the evening and in mystique blue at night)

Just got back from Seoul, Jeju Island and Mt. Sorak - at times it seemed like a whirlwind tour, moving from one destination to another in the space of 8 days (well, 6, if you discount the 2 days meant for flying). Here are some shots of Seoul to share - from street scenes to museums, palaces and the one theme that you might see quite often here: teddy bears!

Teddy bears depicting modern day lifestyle in Korea (above)
and how Koreans in the past celebrated their life (below).

Koreans identify their ancestors, in their mythology, as the bear and a symbolic animal.
According to the Korean legend, a God imposed a stern test on a she-bear and a tiger who both wished to be turned into human forms. If I recalled correctly from what I read in N Seoul Tower's Teddy Bear museum, the bear won as she was patient and followed the rules set upon by the God. She was then turned into a human, and bore children (with bear ancestry) when she married.

Seoul has been interesting to say the least, and very cold especially on our last few nights (-10c) on the night before we came back. Shopping along Myeongdong was a real challenge with the winds numbing your move and the occasional hopping into shops provided some much-needed respite. I managed to shop for what I've always wanted to: my Pororo & Friends soft toys (yes, I do collect soft toys, among many other toys!) :O)

I only wished I could spend a few more nights in Seoul - and I'd definitely love to shoot some live performances there, or even the people in their cultural costumes. Perhaps I'd make my way to Seoul/Korea once again in another season.

I've had my Winter Sonata, and maybe, I'd have an Autumn In My Heart (and sights) sometime soon? :) Here's a quick photo story of what caught my eyes in Seoul, as I did some 'Seoul searching'.

At the entrance of N Seoul Tower's Teddy Bear Museum

Life in the palace - Teddy Bear Museum, Seoul

Signboards on a busy Korean road.

The Namsangol Traditional Garden.
It was the usual hop down from the bus-walking aroundthe place-shot a few shots-hop back onto the bus kind of itinerary for this place in particular.

Shot from the window of our tour bus. I like the name 'Seoul Station' -
sounds a bit like the name of a music band, doncha think? :P

One of the many courtyards of GyeongbukGong Palace.

I've always been fascinated with Korean writings, although I read not a single word - this was taken on our way to the National Folk Museum of Korea.

I like how the traditional rooftop is in the frame at the background as well.

The lake at GyeongbukGong Palace

Korean dolls on display

A souvenir vendor outside the shop where we had our breakfast. Bought a few items from here, with the help of our Korean assistant tour guide.

Possibly my favorite street scene that I shot in Seoul. One of my earliest shots as we learnt to embrace the cold morning in Seoul. Was on my way to hop onto the bus when my still sleepy eyes up woke up to this scene. Three colorful guitars
with Korean wordings - what's not to love?


nishashburn said...

just had the time to really look at ur seoul photos here... gorgeous!! hmm, if and when i get married, can i hire you to take my photos? :) i like the shots that you picked... we have the same 'eyes' for photography shots methinks :P

shutterspeed said...

Thanks, Nisha...it was very cold and really had some tough moments trying to click my camera's shutter..brrrr....

Sure, when u wanna kahwin, just drop me a note! :P