Sunday in Seoul: Body Worlds, Petra, & Lantern Festival

I had a great (but cold) day in Seoul yesterday!

First I went to Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life: The Original Exhibition at the War Memorial of Korea. It is an anatomy exhibit of all real human bodies and body parts. The website states: “All anatomical specimens on display in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions are authentic. They belonged to people who declared during their lifetime that their bodies should be made available after their deaths for the qualification of physicians and the instruction of laypersons.” The bodies are preserved using a process called plastination. It’s freaky! I must admit that after awhile I started to feel nauseous. Most of the bodies weren’t behind glass so you could get up close and personal. I probably shouldn’t have closely examined their fingernails and toenails. And there was one guy who still had all his skin, hair, everything and his head was chopped in half to show the parts of the brain. That was the only body that looked really real; the rest were just the insides so it wasn’t that bad. Oh yeah, and there was an “adults only” room with the dead bodies doin’ it. Interesting. And sorry, no photos were allowed! 😦 The exhibit runs until March 8th and costs ₩15,000.

I also explored the War Memorial for awhile. Outside they have planes, helicopters, tanks, boats, and other military vehicles on display that you can explore and take pictures with. Inside were lots of exhibits but I didn’t wander around too much as Korean and military history don’t personally interest me. But if that’s your thing you should check it out, especially since it’s free! Oddly there is a giant children’s play area on the bottom floor so it was really loud. It definitely didn’t go with the somber tone of war memorial exhibits. Directions: Samgakji station, lines 4 and 6, exit 12.

Next I met up with Mariah and Caroline for an early dinner at Petra. I have heard so many great things about this restaurant but sadly I was disappointed. We shared the Miza appetizer (₩10,000 plus ₩1,000 for each piece of bread) which was three dips: hummus, baba ghanoush, and a “cheese” dip. You could barely tell the different between the hummus and the baba ghanoush; neither had any flavor. The cheese dip (sorry, I forget the name) just tasted like sour cream. I had the Sultan Chicken (₩14,000) for my entree. The rice was good and the chicken and chick peas were OK but I didn’t like the sauce the chicken was in. They did serve a really good dill yogurt on the side though. Apologies for the photos of half-eaten food… Directions: Noksapyeong station, line 6, exit 3. You will see Petra on the hill; take the pedestrian overpass. (FYI: I’m not doing a full restaurant review as there are tons online already.)

After wandering through Itaewon for awhile to go to What the Book and the foreign food mart (goat cheese! limes!), we took a taxi to Cheonggye Plaza for the Seoul Lantern Festival. The line we waited in to get to Cheonggye Stream was ridiculous but we finally made it down and got to check out lots of awesome and elaborate lanterns. The best were the peacocks breathing fire. Unfortunately it was the last day of the festival so if you missed it you’ll have to check it out next year!

Just for fun: A pic of Bella examining the Christmas tree. 🙂

Weird Korea Part 29: Last night Caroline informed me of the “Burberry man” phenomenon. Apparently in Korea it is quite common for female teenagers to have been flashed by a man in a trenchcoat. I Googled it when I got home and turns out it’s accurate! Ew. By the way, this is what we saw that started that conversation:

-Jen Pace

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Sunday in Seoul: Body Worlds, Petra, & Lantern Festival

  1. Mary Baumgartner

    Jen, Enjoyed talking to you on Caype this morning at Clay’s. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. I’ll hold your Christmas check until you come home or your Mom writes you again. Love, Grandma

  2. Jen Pace

    it’s called skype! 🙂 i enjoyed it too. love you!

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