South Korea    Seoul (map, info, 2016, 1997).

Seoul Plaza

Seoul Plaza from 26th floor

City Hall

Iconic City Hall building

Seoul downtown

Protestors outside City Hall

View from Gwanghwamun Gate

Queuing for a bus home

Dressed up tourists

Street scene

Typical police station

Restaurant alley (more)

Admiral Yi Sun-sin (more)

King Sejong the Great, Joseon dynasty (1, 2, 3)

Gwanghwamun Plaza

Gwanghwamun Gate

Pedestrian-only shopping zone

A local band performing in English

"Skin food" shop (food that's good for the skin)

Pedestrian-only shopping zone

Seoul Plaza

National museum of Korean contemporary history

Dedicated bus lanes on major avenues

Enclosure for smokers

One Saturday in June, 2016, I came across an LGBT pride festival in Seoul. It was held in Seoul Plaza, an open lawn in front of City Hall. Sadly, the plaza had to be cordoned off with fences and hundreds of cops to keep the peace. A large contingent of Korean Christians had decided to rain on the festival with their nasty signs, loud protests, and Christian pop music. I came across a few LGBT activists addressing the press. I didn’t understand them but they seemed so calm and dignified yet so vulnerable surrounded by a sea of hostile Christians. I felt very moved by them. All I could do to express my solidarity was to walk up to and have myself photographed before a sign that said “Queer I am”. Below are some pics from the event.

An LGBT festival in Seoul Plaza

Stalls on festival ground (more)

Another stall, police keeping out protesters

LGBT activists addressing the press

Christians protesting the LGBT event

Traditionally attired women against LGBTs (1, 2)

Large Christain turnout against same-sex marriage

Hundreds of police keeping the peace

The will of Jesus?

Protesters (more)

Catching 'em young

My way of expressing solidarity

Underground market

Built around metro stations

Christian evangelists

Evening smog

Friday night bustle

Guard at Deoksugung Palace entrance

A shopping district

Cheonggyecheon (stream)

Myeongdong Cathedral

Built in 1898, it's the seat of the Roman Catholic community in Korea

Dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Cathedral interior

Playing for alms

A pedestrian-only shopping street

Lost Christian soul, pretending otherwise

Performance in a small plaza near Tapgol Park

Such statues often appear outside buildings

Downtown Seoul

Pavilion in Tapgol Park

Ten-storied stone pagoda in Tapgol Park

Urban vista

Bosingak Belfry

Seggoul Plaza

Seoul Plaza w/ City Hall

Gyeongbokgung Palace

The royal palace of the Joseon dynasty

Heungnyemun gate

Dressed up for the visit (in attire rented on site)

Posing by Heungnyemun gate

Heungnyemun gate

Girl requests and gets a photo with one of the visiting soldiers

Soldiers are currently popular due to a local TV show in S. Korea

The modern city beyond Gwanghwamun Gate

Geunjeongjeon, the King's throne hall


Inside Geunjeongjeon

Inside Geunjeongjeon (1, 2, 3)


Closeup of painted exterior

Sajeongjeon Hall, the King's office (1, 2)

Cheonchujeon Hall (more)

Cheonchujeon Hall and Sajeongjeon Hall

Manchunjeon Hall, part of the office complex

Ancillary buildings

Manchunjeon Hall

Inside Sajeongjeon Hall

All dressed up

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, used for banquets

Joseon dynasty architecture

Gangnyeongjeon, or the King's residence

Gyotaejeon Hall, or the Queen's residence (1, 2)

Wood and stone architecture (more)

Jagyeongjeon Hall, or King's mother's residence

Jagyeongjeon Hall, or King's mother's residence

Royal roofs (more)

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion in the middle of a pond (1, 2)

Visitors in traditional dresses hired on site

Visitors in traditional dresses hired on site

Visitor at Hyangwonjeong Pavilion

Photo shoot

Geunjeongjeon Hall

Geunjeongjeon Hall (more)

Gwanghwamun Gate

National Folk Museum (info1, info2, info3, info4, info5, info6, info7, info8, info9)

Main building

Statues of the 12 zodiac animal signs (more)

A traditional village home (1, 2)

Storage jars for seeds

Sandaenori, a traditional Korean folk performance with masks that fuses dance, pantomine, and comedy.

Samples of Kimchi (more)

Arranged marriage in Joseon society

A board game called Ssangnyuk, with roots in India

Exorcism for curing smallpox

Table for 60th birthday feast for parents

The bier, for conveying the dead on shoulders to the burial site

Ritual mourning for dead parents for three years

Deoksugung Palace

Daehanmun gate of the Deoksugung palace

Gate leading to Junghwajeon Hall

Junghwajeon Hall, with King's throne (more)

Jeokjodang and Junmyeongdang

Seokjojeon Hall, finished in 1910 and home of King Gojong (more)

Now hosts the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (more)

Western style neoclassical buildings and gardens of Korean royals (more)

Angbuilgu, a hemispherical sundial from the 15th century

Hamnyeongjeon Hall, King's sleeping quarters

Deokhongjeon, place for meeting visiting envoys

Jeonggwanheon, for rest and entertainment (more)

An exhibition on master artist Lee Jung Soeb

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Seoul 1997

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, used for banquets

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Geunjeongjeon, the King's throne hall

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Gyotaejeon Hall, or the Queen's residence

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Watch your step

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Wedding shoot

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Daehanmun gate, Deoksugung Palace complex

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Escape from Seoul

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Ten-storied stone pagoda and Buddha

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