Words by Ian Henderson
Most visit Lotte World for the roller coasters, but the exhibits in the complex’s Folk Museum are in their own way just as exciting.
Most foreigners in Korea are familiar with Lotte World at Jamsil Station in southeastern Seoul. However, many people are not aware that it houses a Korean history museum that is creatively named the Lotte World Folk Museum. For some reason most travel guidebooks dismiss it as a quaint little museum that is only worth checking out if your schedule permits. It is certainly not little, and should actually be a priority for anyone seeking to learn about the history of Korea. It is this author’s personal favorite museum on the peninsula.
Much like visiting numerous temples, museum fatigue can begin while travelling in Asia if one is inundated with ancient pottery and scrolls. The Folk Museum stands apart in that it is very engaging, visually appealing, and interactive. There are hundreds of animatronic life-size displays and moving dioramas, which take the visitor on a journey from the Stone Age all the way to the Japanese occupation at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the premiere historical sites in Korea are created either full-scale or in miniature. Among these are the Seokguram Grotto near Gyeongju, the burial tombs of Silla Dynasty kings, and the Mongol-influenced mounted warrior campaigns.
The common people’s history is also well-represented, including chances to try your hand at ancient techniques of food preparation and the day-to-day life of women, peasants, and monks. There is also a small temple in the middle of the museum where one can meditate or pray if desired. The most standout feature of the entire exhibition is a sprawling, cavernous room containing small-scale of old Korea, including Gyeongbokgung Palace with a full royal procession. There are also recreated fortress walls giving an impressive view of the entire room. Last, but not least, the museum is equipped with grammatically perfect, well-written English signage.
Getting There Come out exit 4 of Jamsil Station (line 2 & 5). Adults W5,000. 9:30 am – 8 pm.
|Words by Malcolm Wrest, illustrations by Pat Volz| Korea has a vast amount of natural beauty ...
Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio | Blue Note Records | If one is pressed to name an ...
Konjiam in Gyeonggi-do is know for its skiing, but the newly renovated resort now caters to ...