On my birthday it was raining out, so there was no way that I could go climbing or out riding. Rather than waste the day, we decided that going to the Korean War Memorial/Museum would be a good way to spend the day. Now before we go anywhere, I try not to look at any images of what to expect. This ensures that I will be totally complacent with what I am presented with. The memorial was no different.
A bus and subway ride to the museum left me breathless. This place was huge, clean, and well planned. The architecture of the building was fantastic, as well as the overall upkeep of the property (which most places in Korea either lack completely or are militaristic in appearance). We spent some time checking out the outside of the building, and made our way inside. Another shock, no admission. I can only assume that the government spends a lot of subsidized money to keep this place open.
I had no idea what to expect, and had assumed that I would only be seeing information about the Korean War. There are a lot of different exhibits that cover most of the time periods of Korea’s thousands of years of history. I learned a lot more than I thought I would, spent a lot of time in the exhibits which were multilingual, and watched the dozens of films they presented throughout.
When we came to the Korean War exhibit we were both quite impressed. A lot of weaponry on display, accompanied by non-nationalistic information about the involvement from UN forces, most importantly the massive US involvement which insured the success of the war.
We found ourselves running out of time, and did not see the entire memorial site. We plan on making our way back there soon, realizing that we have a year to do lots of stuff. I recommend a visit to the War Memorial if you are planning on visiting Korea. It is an interesting way to learn about Korean history.