Saturday, February 16, 2013

Seoul sights: 63 City

63 City action

"With 63 floors measuring a height of 264m, the 63 Building is Korea’s tallest and most recognized building. The 63 Building boasts spectacular views of the Hangang River and the surrounding mountains of Bugaksan Namsan and Gwanaksan. 63 Building has undergone considerable renovation and the basement floor boasts convenient facilities including 63 Sea World, 63 IMAX theater, Korea’s greatest buffet restaurant “Buffet Pavilion,” and a host of other restaurants."

I've been wanting to go here since my recruiter sent a Korea travel guide in the mail and after many weekends of not going there, we finally went. Woohoo for getting stuff done and boohoo for procrastination.

63 City's like Seoul's equivalent of the Willis Tower in Chicago, only it has many more things inside it. Whereas Chicago has Willis Tower's Sky Deck and the Shedd Aquarium, 63 City has the Sky Art observation deck and Sea World in the same building. The place also has a food court, a wax museum, and an IMAX theater inside. I must say, the Koreans know how to build a tourist destination. 

Rochelle and I were mostly interested in Sky Art, which combines the 60 story high observation deck with an art gallery full of pieces from around the world. It featured mostly drawings and paintings from Europe this time. Though many looked interesting, a few didn't quite catch our eyes. We did see a Dali piece though. I don't know too much about art, but I do enjoy Dali's surrealistic pieces, so that was good to see. The real thrills lay with the observation deck: We'd come up on a sunny but hazy afternoon and even the haze couldn't stop us from seeing for miles all around the city. We looked out upon Seoul from every direction and found it inspiring. As noted before, the city's a crazed mix of old and new. The contrast between the new concrete high rises and the older neighborhoods looked especially great from 60 floors up. It looked as though the new complexes would swallow the old neighborhoods whole by squeezing them out of the sun.

We enjoyed seeing the city from these new perspectives and plan on going back again to check out the Sea World and the Wax Museum. It makes for a great afternoon out. Highly recommended to anyone in Korea. In fact, there were many families and couples there alongside us, so it's a popular attraction for Koreans as well. Many of my students have been there and they said they enjoyed it.

Directions: It's within 15 minutes walk from exit 5 of Yeouinaru (여의나루) station, but it's also on 3 bus lines. There's a free shuttle as well.

Cost: 12,000won/person for Sky Art. Other stuff is extra. I bought 2 tickets with my card and the lady dropped 2,000 from the price, so perhaps you can do the same if you go with another person. 

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