Exciting Day!

Yesterday was a big day for us. It was the first time that we ventured into Korea without our quasi~navigator from Canada. We decided to take a trip to Suwon (about 45 minutes north of Anseong), and visit 화성행궁 (Hwaseong Haenggung Palace). So we basically hoped on a bus and went to Pyeongtaek Station. From Pyeongtaek, we took the metro to Suwon, and then took a cab to the palace. In total, I think we spent about 18,000 ₩ for transportation. After we arrived at the palace, we were immediately drawn to a bow and arrow demonstration.

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While this was going on, Jenni found a nice old man who spoke English pretty well. This man told us how to get to the fortress, as it was a short hike from the palace. He then recommended that we hang out at the palace for a bit and watch the next demonstration. Gotta love local advice.

The following demonstration was a  weapons demonstration where Korean soldiers displayed the various weapons used throughout the eighteenth century. Each soldier was equipped with one weapon and illustrated how that weapon was used in battle.Image

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At the conclusion of the weapons demonstration, we hiked up the mountain located behind the palace to the fortress wall.

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Once at the top, we were able to view the city of Suwon in its entirety. What a great view!

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The fortress itself was erected in the mid eighteenth century for two reasons. First, it was used to repel enemy forces. This was a direct result of Japanese invasions during the sixteenth century where a great deal of architecture was destroyed. Second, the wall was built to protect the village inside. The wall is approximately 5 kilometers, and encircles most of the village. We walked most of the 5 kilometers, but man is it a long way around!

The wall itself has a number of gates (image 1), Seoichi (turrets/image 2), Seoporu (cannon forts/image 3), Dongbukgongsimdon (watchtowers/image 4), and Bukporu (sentry posts/image 5) scattered along the path.

(Entry Gate/Image 1)

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(Turret/Image 2)

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(Cannon fort/Image 3)

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(Watchtower/Image 4)

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(Senty Post/Image 5) notice the beautiful artwork on the architecture

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After all was said and done, this was a wonderful experience for us, and I highly recommend doing this to anyone who decides to come visit Korea. Suwon Palace/Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason because it is simply amazing! Take it from a local 😉 –Chris

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