Tapgol Park

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One of the things I like most about Seoul are the many parks scattered around the city. The elderly often congregate and exercise in these parks. Many parks and walking paths in Korea are equipped with a whole circuit of exercise equipment that’s available for anyone to use. Some just have enormous hula hoops and a wide-open space. It’s quite a sight to see little white-haired old ladies hula hooping with those oversized hoops! You often see elderly retirees lounging in the colorful shelters, socializing with each other.

My sister and I spent a few moments resting and wandering around Tapgol Park, a serene oasis located in the center of bustling Seoul:

The park’s main structure as well as some of the smaller satellite shelters are painted in the traditional Korean dancheong style, that is: wood decorated with patterns and symbols primarily in cinnabar and blue-green. You find dancheong on temples and palaces throughout the city. Handpainted by trained dancheong artists, the traditional style buildings provide a striking contrast in an otherwise modern urban landscape.

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