On hilly walk to orientation - tons of students :)
The view from the street where I am living!
Oh my gosh we jam-packed so much in one day I feel like it should be worth 2 or 3 days worth of posts...today we started the day with orientation where ~300 students gathered in the meeting hall at Hanyang University and were introduced to all of the instructors from around the world as well as given a preview of what our trip will entail, including a Seoul city tour, a performance by NANTA, a trip to te worlds largest water park, as well as a mud festival and other international gatherings. I have met students from other states in America, Canada, London, The Netherlands, Japan, China, and of course, Korea. Since we are able to travel and explore the city on our own outside of class, a couple other ONU students and I decided we wanted to see some of the most popular sites in Seoul.
After orientation, we went to Insadong with some of the Hanyang students who will be coming to ONU next year as exchange students, a touristy open shopping market with many traditional tea markets, art museums, and temples located within it as well.
We watched this vendor make a honey-like snack that I know my grandpa would have LOVED to see. They started with a large hard block of honey and whittled it down into thousands of tiny strands covered in corn starch, they looked like spider webs...then broke it into pieces and filled it with almond/chocolate filling and then packaged and sold them right there! The Korean students with us, who are coming to ONU next year as exchange students, treated us to a box of them as a surprise! They were very tasty :)
Traditional Yuzu Tea I ordered at the tea house! It was goooood :)
Me, Sara, and Colleen with several Hanyang Students who will be coming to ONU next year before leaving for Insadong, they love their peace signs :)
After we left the market, we decided to go see Seoul Tower, the number one tourist attraction in all of Seoul. It was UNBELIEVEABLE. Sara and I paid 9,000 won to ride to the top of the tower in the self-acclaimed "world's fastest elevator" (it was pretty fast!) and the views were amazing. It was night time so the entire city was lit up and could be seen for miles out!
Here, Seoul Tower can be seen from Insadong market...and to think we were way up there!!
Lit up at night :) :)
One tradition is to bring locks to the gate at the bottom of the tower and it symbolizes everlasting love. There were millions of locks here and many couples displaying their affection for one another in this area, it was something I will never forget. Many people also wrote notes on backs of phone cases and other things but of course I couldn't read any of them....maybe after my beginners Korean Language class I will be able to understand some of it ;)