Visiting Vietnam: Long layover in Korea

Riley C., Michigan State University, Animal Science, '14

March 11, 2013

Last night, five of us began our long journey back to Michigan. We left Ha Noi, Vietman, at midnight and arrived in Seoul, South Korea, at 6 a.m. We had a 12-hour layover before our next flight so we found a tour to keep us busy. 

The Seoul airport had a tour that took us into the city to see some of unique attractions. Our first stop was the Cheong Gye Stream. This stream used to naturally flow in this location but when the city was built the stream disappeared. It was then a large section was rebuilt and filled with natural ground water. The stream was very peaceful running through the city. I found it very interesting how they brought back natural aspects to the large city. 

We also toured the Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum and Insadong street. 

I found the palace very interesting. It has been rebuilt in the same location multiples times, but it kept getting destroyed during wars. There are two buildings we saw today that have been there for more than 100 years. Although there were a lot more buildings rebuilt more recently. The building that intrigued me the most was the kings' bedroom. There was a whole house devoted to just the kings bedroom. On the inside there was a lobby area that had 9 rooms on each side, totaling to 18 bedrooms. He slept in a different one each night so nobody knew exactly where he was sleeping. The fact the had security of the king all the way down to multiple bedrooms I found very impressive. 

The rest of the tour allowed us to see more of the city. I fell in love with it. The city was clean, fresh and well kept. The ocean is nearby. This is somewhere I never imagined visiting, but spending a day there made me want to come back and spend more time there. 

This short visit made me realize that a lot of gorgeous, unique places get by people deciding their travel destinations. I challenge people to go and find their own diamond in the rough travel spot like I did today in South Korea. 

Riley and her classmates studied in Vietnam March 2 to 10, 2013 as a part of a Michigan State University class on emerging issues and sustainability in international agriculture. They stopped in Korea on their way home. 

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