South Korea's past is a rocky one, and at the War Memorial of Korea people from all across the country come to pay respects to brave soldiers who fought for their freedom.
In addition to the museum's huge display of war- and military-related exhibits, there are a variety of live performances, from dancing to military color guards, that happen on Fridays at 2 p.m.
Some of the exhibits are fairly solemn, but a visit is still a good way to spend an afternoon. Getting a sense of how well Korea has developed since the war will be the number-one thing on your mind.
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War Memorial of Korea
Seoul’s War Memorial Museum is a massive complex that can easily eat up a history buff’s whole day. The big-ticket items—tanks, planes, missiles—are outside; inside is a complete history of military actions in Korea. One really cool thing is a replica of Admiral Sun-shin’s “turtle warships,” ironclad fighting boats used in the 16th century. The bulk of the place is taken up with the Korean War, with tons of films and photos that can get a little overwhelming for the unprepared. Korea was a suburb of hell from 1950 to 1953, and no punches are pulled here in showing just what it was like. It might be best to head for a park after your visit, to decompress and remember that it’s always business as usual for the trees.