Saturday, October 3, 2009

So what Suwon?

Warning: contains more pictures than usual. And is kind of long anyways.

Today I explored a little fortress built in the late 18th century. It's called Hwaseong Fortress and its basically, well, a fortress. The outside wall is a little more than 3.5 miles long, and I'm pretty sure I walked up at least 200 steps to get to the top portion of the wall. Intense.

As for a little history on this, which I'm sure you're all dying to know (and which Wikipedia is very helpful), it was built (maybe a better word would be commissioned) by King Jeongjo to honor and provide a resting place for the remains of his father. You see, his dad-Prince Sado-was murdered by being locked alive inside a rice chest by his dad King Yeongjo after refusing to commit suicide. Yeah, messed up. I knew I'd like it from the beginning.

So first off, I took the subway then the bus to get to the start of this place. Of course I got on the bus at the wrong spot and almost rode it its entire course before I got to my stopping place. No big.

This is what you see when you get off the bus:

Pretty cool, eh? It's what we call the South Gate. At first this is all you see. I overheard some other guys say "is this it? not cool". I agreed, but I knew there was more. I soon found it. When I say 'it', I mean I found the bottom of the staircase from hell. Ugh. But I made it to the top. Then essentially you just walk around the outskirts of the wall and run into different structures on your way. It was definitely cool.

This is one of those structures. This one had a bell in it.

This is me preparing to ring that bell. Ok JK JK guys. I couldn't really ring the bell. But I pretended. Also, be in admiration of my self-timing skills. No shame.

This little guy is the highest up point around the wall. It was also the most popular. There was a pretty phenomenal view from up there. Also, who knew that you're not even supposed to wear shoes in these? Awesome.

I don't know if its because of the holiday going on or what, but I saw a ton of traditionally dressed people today. This little girl looked super cute. And don't be surprised if you see me sporting one of these dresses when I get back.

There was a forest? on the other side of the wall for awhile. I wandered around a bit.

I wouldn't say I got lost, but I definitely didn't know where I was for awhile. It was like a maze.

Another self-timer shot. I would've made a great warrior. Kind of like Mulan, only Korean. Or white.

This is a ground view of the that top little guy.

So yeah. Good day.


Justin and Coralie said...

I love the pictures! How neat to get to see all of these places! Live it up :)

San Ba Po said...

you are so awesome at self-timing photos~!! we need to find you a travel/day trip buddy.