On Sunday, June 30th our group set out to complete the Seoul Survival Challenge. This challenge was meant to test our knowledge of everything we have learned about Korea in the past three weeks. We were given a list of 12 clues written in Korean. Each clue led to a place in Seoul we had to visit and take a photo. Each group left early Sunday morning in a race to see who would be the first ones back to the school.
The first thing we did was ask for some help decoding the clues from the front desk security guard. He was so happy to help us and very quickly we were off to the subway. The first stop we went was the Korean War Memorial. This was our favorite stop as none of us have previously gotten to visit it before. There, we needed to find a fighter plane, panel 78 of the soldiers in the war, and a dragon head. After some asking around we found the dragon head attached to this boat!
When we finished at the War Memorial we were off on the subway again to the next museum, or so we thought. We had gained some confidence from getting to the memorial so quick that we miscalculated the next museum and went to the wrong one. The city of Seoul has hundreds of museums. With that, we were off on the subway again. This time, we met a man who spoke English and had been living in Seoul for a while. He was showing his friends from Canada around the country. He was quick to help us map out the rest of our travels.
We continued the challenge for the next 4 hours on foot. We walked all around downtown completing the challenge. We visited a Buddhist temple, a few palaces, another museum, City Hall, the Cheonggyecheon Stream, and various other landmarks in Seoul. I had the chance to meditate under the oldest tree in the city, about 500 years old!
One of the most interesting places we went was the Cheonggyecheon Stream. This stream flows right by City Hall and passes under many bridges throughout the city. What is so great about this stream is that it is a melting pot for the city of Seoul. It was very hot on Sunday and we saw many families with their children playing in the water. We saw many children throwing money in the stream and making wishes. Soon after they would throw the money a group of boys would go take the money out, laughing at the whole thing.
All in all, it was a great day. We explored the city of Seoul on foot for 7 hours and had a great time. We’re all looking forward to Wednesday when we find out which team won!
-Emily, Julio, Chen