Below are places of interest to SCA members. Here you'll find

Palaces and Temples

Museums and Historic Sites

Shopping Galore

Korea is a great place for the Orientally oriented anachronist.

Seoul also offers a wonderful subway system to get around the city on. It's clean, safe, in English, and very easy to use. Click here for a map. If you plan on using the subway frequently, you might want to get a Seoul Multi Trans Card (Seoul Kyottong Kadu), a prepaid card that works for both the subway and bus systems. You can buy them at the bus stations and some banks. The card is 2,000 won plus however much you want to put on the card. It also gives you a 10% discount each time you use it. Click here for an image.
Palaces and Temples
Many of the palaces offer Changing of the Guard ceremonies during the warmer months. Please see the HiSeoul site for admission, hours and directions to the places below. When the site launches, scroll down to the Cultural Heritage section.
Kyongbokgung is the Imperial Palace of Seoul. Gorgeous architecture and painting is everywhere. A Morning Court Ceremony is also performed here in conjunction with the Changing of the Guard.
Changdeokgung is the palace of the famed "Secret Garden". This palace is especially nice in fall when the leaves change colors.
Deoksugung was the Prince's Palace. Today it's smack dab in the middle of the city.
Changgyeonggung was the Palace for other Royal relatives. Another nice place to go to see the fall colors, as it's up in the more wooded northeastern part of Seoul.
Hwaseong Fortress houses the Royal Palace in Suwon about an hour south of Seoul. On Sundays they hold a demonstration of traditional military training exercises and a rotating culture demonstration. The first half of the show is outside the main gate, but the second half is inside the palace on the other side of the gate.
Directions: From the Suwon subway station on line 1, go out exit #5. Head straight and you will see the Folk Village Tourism Information kiosk on your left. (This kiosk has some good fliers.) Go about 50 yards past the kiosk to a bus stop. Catch the 11, 13, 36, or 38 bus. The bus will take you by Paldalmun, a gate that looks like Dongdaemun. Get out at the stop AFTER Paldamun. When you get out, backtrack a block or two to the intersection with a big church. Cross the street to your right, and you will see the main gate to the palace.
If you came to Suwon station by train, go out exit #1, turn left, go straight and you will see the Folk Village Info kiosk on your left. Follow directions as above.
If you came to Suwon station by bus, go to the train station and follow the directions above.
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Museums and Historic Sites
In some areas of Seoul, you can't throw a stick without hitting a museum of some sort. Most universities have private collections that may be viewed, although the hours are usually limited. Below are some of the more historically oriented ones.
The National Museum of Korea - Located on the grounds of Kyongbokgung, the Folk Museum focuses on the culture and lifestyle of Koreans through the ages. There is also a new Children's Museum that is full of hands on activities to learn about traditional Korean life.
The National Folk Museum - Located on the grounds of Kyongbokgung, the Folk Museum focuses on the culture and lifestyle of Koreans through the ages. There is also a new Children's Museum that is full of hands on activities to learn about traditional Korean life.
The Museum of Korean Embroidery - A private collection of Korean embroidery. This museum is maintained by a husband/wife team. She is a dentist, and he is the collector. The museum is connected to the wife's dentist office. Just tell the dentist's receptionist that you want to see the museum, and she'll open it up for you. There's no admission, but they do have a small book and gift shop attached.
Directions: From Hakkdong subway station on line 7, go out exit #10. Right after you come topside, turn left at the first street. At the next street, turn right and you'll see a rainbow striped sign for the museum on your right. The museum is in the dentist's office.
The Korean War Museum - Bring a snack and comfortable shoes. This museum is a huge complex that spans almost 5,000 years of Korean warfare and military. The displays are well laid out, and each era flows smoothly into the next. It's an afternoon well spent.
The Turtle Ship - A life-sized replica of the world's first armoured ship. This ship, commanded by General Lee in 1592, was the key element in thwarting a Japanese invasion.
Directions: From Ichon subway station on lines 1 and 4, go out exit #4. Go straight to the river. You'll see the Turtle Ship just a little to your right.
Korean Folk Village - See what life was like in a Korean village of ages past. The village displays replicas of homes and buildings from many time periods. Craftsmen produce traditional arts, a traditional wedding is reenacted, and several performances are held throughout the day. Quite a few museums are available including the World Culture museum and the Historical Drama museum. There's even an amusement park for when the kids (or you) want a taste of modern fun.
Kimchi Museum - Too Korean not to include here. ^_^ See the history and origins of kimchi and its production.
The Tibet Museum - A small, hard to find place, but well worth the wander. Traditional Tibetan costumes, musical instruments and Buddhist art. Unfortunately, the displays are in Korean only, but they do serve a nice tea.
Directions: From Anguk subway station on line 3, go out exit 1 and head to your right. Turn right at the large intersection with the pagoda in the middle. Pass the government building and turn right on the street immediately after. Turn left on the third street on your left. This will take you past some quirky shops and a residential section. Keep going and you will eventually come to the Tibet Museum on your left.
The Asian Eros Museum - A museum of Asian sexual expression through art from primitive times to modern. Not necessarily one to take the kids to, but fascinating nonetheless. Some displays in English, but most in Korean only.
Directions: From Anguk subway station on line 3, go out exit 6. Turn left down Insadong (the first street on your left) to the taffy pull stand. Across from the taffy stand is a short alley that leads to the museum. Admission is 5,000 won. 9:00 am - 9:00 pm.
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Shopping is one of the national pastimes of Korea. Here are some spots that we've found to be particularly useful for SCA life.
Dongdaemun - The whole neighborhood is a shopping mecca, but most of us go for the fabric market. It's five stories (six, if you count the basement) of fabric, craft supplies and homewares. We've listed some key booths below.
Directions: From Dongdaemun Station (not Dongdaemun Stadium), go out exit #9. The fabric market will be the large building slightly ahead to your left.
If you're coming from Hannam Village, take line 6 to Dongmyo and go out exit #2. Walk straight until you come to Dongdaemun exit #7. Go in exit #7 and go out exit #9. It's about an 8-10 minute walk, but it takes almost a full half hour less than riding to Dongdaemun.

Shin-kwan 4-34
Shin-kwan 4-36
D-274# - This whole corner is silk shops. Be warned, they don't haggle much here.
A-2127 - Hanbok remnants. Some nice silk/poly blends too.
B-2525 - Not necessarily 100% silk, but interesting Oriental fabrics.
Silk Thread:
Upholstery / Curtain Cloth:
Linen / Ramie:
Shin-kwan 3-22
Booth between D-2798 and D-2799 - Interesting whites for chemises
D-2821 - Shirting remnants for 1000 won/yard
A-2123 - Good muslin for slopers
Costume Play, across from D-1722
D-35-1 and surrounding area
Couching Gold:
D-45 (It's actually thick, gold curtain cord, but it can be separated into strands of couching gold. They sometimes have silver too.)
Restrooms (there are more, but I haven't found them all yet):
Insadong - The artsy section of Seoul. Dozens of galleries and restaurants are nestled along the main strip and side streets of Insadong. This is also a great place to find traditional arts supplies, like mulberry paper, inks and brushes. Be sure to stop in at one of the many traditional teahouses, but there's also a Starbucks, if you must.
Express Bus Terminal - This subway station at the intersection of lines 3 and 7 is the hub of a major shopping area. Go towards exit #1 to find an entrance to the Kangnam Underground shopping arcade. If you go out exit #1, you'll see the bus terminal itself to your right. The second floor is all upholstery, curtains and home decorating shops. The third floor is the wholesale plant and flower market.
Seoul Selection - A book shop/video store that caters to the English speaking population of Seoul. They carry a great selection of books about Korea and a wide selection of Korean videos with English subtitles.
Kyobo Book Store - The largest source for English and other foreign language books in Seoul. Prices are a little high, as all their foreign books are imports, but a good place for hard-to-find books. Kyobo also offers a great art supplies shop and a huge CD/DVD section.
Directions: From Gwanghwamun subway station, go to exit #3. Turn left just before you come topside, and you'll be at the door.
Hongdae Bookstore - One of the best art bookstores I've found in Seoul. They have a good selection on architecture, drawing, design, and even historical costuming. They also sport a healthy anime section.
Directions: From Hongik University (Hongdae) subway station on the northwest side of the line 2 loop, go out exit #5. Turn right at the first street right after you come topside. Turn right at the next street, and you'll see bookstore on your left. The sign is in Korean, and I don't know what the Korean name for the shop is; but it's easy to spot as a bookstore.
Pakistan Carpet - Besides selling gorgeous carpets, they also carry great Mid-Eastern jewelry and the traditional dimple-toed shoes. For those of you who might like a carpet, this shop is affiliated with an organization to end child labor in the Middle East.
Directions: From Hangangjin subway station, go out exit #3. Go straight, and you'll see the shop on your left, just before you get to the Itaewon Hotel.
Young Star - This dancewear shop makes some nice coin belts for Oriental dance for around 35,000 won, and they'll usually go lower if you buy several. They also make some other rather fanciful outfits that are worth browsing through.
Directions:From Itaewon subway station, go out exit #3. Go straight, and soon before you come to the Itaewon Hotel, you'll see some wide, concrete steps to your right. The shop is at the top of the steps to the right.
Subway Stations - The subway stations offer their own unique shopping experience. Many have their own mini-arcades, and most support at least one blanket merchant. You can find everything from farmers' produce, to clothes, to traditional trinkets, to stuff you aren't even sure has a purpose.
Dongmyo Toy Market - If it's made of pink plastic, you'll find it here. However, you can also find lots of cool toys that appeal to an SCA'er with kids (or a toy collection of their own). There are several LEGO knockoffs in middle ages or fantasy themes, including a Korean Chosun army series. You can also find innumerable toy swords, daggers, and even rapiers.
Directions: From Dongmyo subway station on line 6, go out exit #2. Turn left on the third street (not driveway) on your left, across the street from a Woori Bank (blue logo with white half sun design).
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Shopping in Songtan
Seoul isn't the only source for good shopping. Many of the goods popular with tourists are cheaper in Songtan, the shopping area just outside of Osan AFB. Here are some of the shops we've been pleased with.
Lucky Fabric Shop - Nicknamed "Ajuma's Fabric" by those of us who frequent her, this shop is a boon for hanbok remnants of all kinds. For a dollar a yard, you can find everything from the finest silks to the tackiest polyesters. Most pieces are between 1 - 5 yards, but you can occasionally find longer. You can also get unfinished hanbok skirts and children's hanbok jackets for a few dollars. She's also more than willing to set you up with a full hanbok outfit, but that'll be a little more.
Directions: From the main gate of Osan AFB, go down the main strip of Songtan. When you get to the end of the cobblestones, turn right. You'll find Ajuma's on your right.
Evergreen - This shop sells Chinese dresses and robes, but he'll also sell the Chinese silk they use by the yard. His asking price is usually around $6, but he'll haggle down if you buy a goodly amount.
Directions: From the main gate of Osan AFB, go down the main strip of Songtan. You'll see Evergreen on a corner on your right a few intersections down.
Playboy Leather - Makes jackets, coats, and all kinds of other interesting leather get ups. However, he also makes leather doublets. If you bring him exact requirements, he can also make them SCA rapier legal.
Directions: From the main gate of Osan AFB, cross the street and turn right. Take the side street that shoots off at an angle to your left. You'll find Playboy on your right
Honeymoon - This place makes great SCA banners. Just give them a picture of your device (a graphic file is even better), and they'll make them in your choice of trigger, vinyl or "silk". However, be sure the picture you give is exactly what you want. These guys aren't heralds and won't know how to tweak your design. A 30"x40" banner is about $50-70, depending on complexity. He can also make it larger for a little more money.
Directions: From the main gate of Osan AFB, cross the street and turn right. When you come to the intersection, you'll see the shop across the street.
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Last updated this 31st Day of May, AS XLIII, being 2008 Gregorian.
Graphics by Graphica Medii Aevi and Clipart Castle.