Friday, 2 August 2013

A Return to Building 63

Back in november of last year, only a couple of weeks after my arrival in Korea, I went on a field trip to Building 63, one of Seoul's tallest skyscrapers. It was a fun trip, but as I was looking after my students I didn't get the chance to explore as much of it as I would have liked.

So Angela and I recently returned to the building, and as well as revisiting the viewing gallery near the top of the building, we also saw a 3D movie and explored the building's wax museum.

On the way to the 63 Building we saw this cicada hanging out on a tree. One half of Korea's summer is dominated by rain, the other by the sound of these large locust-like insects, known as maemi in Korean. They seem to populate every tree of every street, and their loud, distinctive noise echoes over you as you wander the city. Think grasshopper chirping but amplified to ten times the volume!  This one was about the size of a small mouse. Thank god they rarely come down to street level.
Some window-cleaners wiping down a building in Yeoido district.
Soon we arrived at Building 63. It's apparently the tallest gold-plated building in the world.
Once inside the first thing we did was watch a 3D movie about coral reefs. It was gorgeous but we were so sleep-deprived and the film so relaxing that we nodded off about halfway through. We then headed to the building's wax museum. Here's Angela posing with Uncle Abe.
This guy wouldn't leave me alone.

Exploring a creepy horror-filled corridor.

Not exactly the spitting image of Beckham.

More impressive than the waxworks were these miniature figurines, which seemed to have a much greater attention to detail than the larger models.

After leaving the wax museum we explored the building some more.
A wall of tubes containing roses.
We snuck into an empty banquet hall.
Angela gives a glorious speech to hundreds of invisible but highly prestigious guests.

Back out in the hallway.
Cicadas weren't the only insects out in full-force. Swarms of dragonflies patrolled the skies.
Looking up at Building 63.
We took the elevator to the building's 60th floor, which contains a viewing gallery.

As dusk approached, the views became more and more ethereal and pretty.

At night the city resembles the film Blade Runner.

After taking dozens of photos of the stunning night-time views, we headed back down to ground level and headed for the docks of Yeoido. There we boarded a cruise ship to begin a romantic tour of the Han River, which will be the subject of my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment