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Korean Perspective
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Personal Insight

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1997


Kyongbokkung Palace, Seoul

Kyongbokkung Palace was first built during the Chosun period by King T'aejo, in the fourth year of his reign (1395). What amazes me was that the Palace had been destroyed by the wars in 1593, and later lost all but the Kunjongjon Hall and the Kyonghoeru Pavilion in 1910 to the Japanese. Later, the Japanese also built a huge government building in front of the main Palace entrance to block it from view. Nowadays, all of this damage is gone. The Palace buildings and its gardens have been restored to its close as original state as possible.


Cheju Island

Cheju Island, a tropical island off the southern tip of Korea, also doubles as the vacation spot for Koreans. Many of the newly weds also go to this beautiful Island for their honeymoon. Upon seeing where this island falls on the same latitude as Florida, it truly is a tropical climate. They also have palm trees and orange groves in abundance. Another thing Cheju is famous for, is its little ponies (designated as Natural Monument No. 347). I was told the wars of past also wiped out most of the native horses and livestock, so the animals mainland Korea has was imported. But these little ponies on Cheju have been there since the Mongols brought them in the 13th century. It's been decided the climate and vegetation there is suitable for their livestock too.


2002 Sharon Lee