고맙습니다, 선생님! (Thank you, Teacher!) ^^



May 15th is Teacher’s Day in South Korea. On this special day, students give their teachers carnations or thank-you letters. Some prefer to give cosmetics or chocolates.


394375_644082432273104_927772010_nMy Korean students usually write me letters or give candies and chocolates on Teacher’s Day.

Destination: Jupil Spider Museum (Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do)

Arachnophobics and kids, look away now – the spiders are crawling and the statues have breasts.

Claiming to be the only spider museum in the world, the Jupil Spider Museum (주필거미박물관) in Namyangju features a lot more than just spiders. First started in May 2004, the spider museum is a small part of the larger Arachnopia Eco Forest. The name Jupil comes from the name of the founder, Dr. Kim Ju-pil, a Dongguk University professor apparently fascinated by the crawly animals.

Destination: Hongneung / Yureung (Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do) – and a couple bonuses

As with many of the other Joseon Dynasty tombs, Hongneung and Yureung are somewhat off the beaten path. Although they’re relatively close to present-day Seoul, they often require a bit of a bus ride to reach. Thankfully, this one’s pretty easy to get to – and a few bonuses while there make the site that much more interesting.

Chronologically speaking, Hongneung and Yureung represent the last two tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Even as the Joseon Dynasty is sometimes thought of as ancient history, it’s worth noting that the last person buried here was relatively recent – Empress Sunjeong in 1966.

Destination: Gwangneung (Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do)

The first thing to know about Gwangneung is that it holds King Sejo on the left and Queen Jeonghui on the right. The second thing to know is that the tombs are part of the Korea National Arboretum, and feature some old trees that have managed to stay vertical through all of Korea's turmoil. The third thing to know is that it's far enough out of Seoul to make it a good day trip. One of Korea's Historic Sites (#197), this 'Royal Tomb of Brilliance' is my latest addition to my Joseon-Dynasty quest.

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