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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Life in Korea: 3 Things to do at 63 Building (Square) in Seoul

I first learned of 63City (Korea's tallest building) from a student during my one year teaching at a  hagwon (private academy) in Pohang.  It's been on my list of touristy things to do in Seoul since then.  During my most recent visit to Seoul, I decided I would head there first to check out what all the hooplah was about.  Since I had been to the second tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, I thought 'Eh, it probably pales in comparison.'  And with summer showers looming, I questioned whether it would be worth it.  Still, I had my heart set on 63City so, with all the mojo I could muster, I took Line 5 to Yeouinaru Station (exit 4) and walked about ten minutes to the tall gold colored building you just can't miss.

Sky Art Gallery

View from 63rd Floor, 63City
Although it was still raining when I got to this iconic building, the sun was shining nicely over Seoul by the time I made way to the 63rd floor.  Quite easily, the best thing to see is the the 63 Sky Art Gallery, overlooking both sides of the Han River and an incredible view of Seoul.  At 264 m (about 866 ft) tall, 63City's Sky Art Gallery boasts the 'highest observation gallery in the world' and an perhaps arguably a few choice art pieces but you won't argue the amazing 360 degree view of Seoul.
Cost:  13,000 won

Coelacanth, 63 Sea World

Sea World

I do love aquariums and the exhibits at 63 SeaWorld are also worth a visit.  At 63 Sea World, you're going to see (and interact with) your typical marine life which will include penguins, exotic fishes (tangs are my favorite), monster crabs, seals, and many, many others.  But you'll also see a few mammals,  arachnids, reptiles and amphibians.  But having seen all of this (and more) recently at Aqua Planet in Jeju Island, the Coelacanth stood out from among the pretty displays.  Having existed 100 million years before dinosaurs, this rare (and nearly extinct) fish tells the tale of evolution.  It's something you have to see to believe; it's fins were used for walking on the ocean floor.
Cost:  19,000 won

Art Hall

IMAX 3D Theater (63 Art Hall) is a 40 minute movie featuring a specific species.  But it's more than a documentary; the animals featured are given life with voice overs in addition to information about their life and behaviors in their natural habitats.  Although it's all in Korean, at your request, you can borrow headphones and a device that offers English translations.  You will be required to fork over some identification which is returned upon return of the voice pack.
Cost:  12, 000 won

Wax Museum

As for the 63 Wax Museum, it features notable figures like Gandhi, Mozart, Pablo Picasso, and a the 12 Apostles at the Last Supper as well as a haunted house feature (it's not that scary).  But unless you have a special love for celebrities and historical figures in wax, I'd say skip it.
Cost:  15, 000 won
12 Apostles at the Last Supper, 63 Wax Museum
Tips for 63 City:
1.  There's a 40% discount if you use a Visa Card to purchase your ticket and/or show your ARC for a foreigner discount.
2.  You can also take Line 5 to Yeouido Station (exit 5) or Line 1 to Daebang Station (exit 4) to get to 63 City.
3.  Get the 'Big 3' (package) at 26% off for 35,000 won.

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