Saturday, 9 May 2015

63 빌딩 | 63 Building

Our friend Katie got us in touch with her friend Louise, who had only very recently moved over to Seoul. On her list of "things to do" she wanted to go up a tall building, so I found the 63 Building.

It's a modern landmark overlooking the Han River, built for the Seoul Olympics. It has all kinds of credits, including being one of South Korea's tallest buildings, previously the tallest building outside of North America (the 63 in its name refers to its 63 floors), and the tallest gold-clad structure in the world. Yup, that faint orange tint in the picture above should actually gleam bright orange-gold on a sunny day, especially at sunset. I'd love to see that one day!

We met at the station and headed towards the river, following my (probably poor) directions. After a while, we saw the 63 Building, rising up out of the mass of apartment blocks and started to head towards it. I'm not sure how, but every time we seemed to get close, it would suddenly be on the other side of us, as if it were deliberately avoiding us.

Which is ridiculous, but still.

After a bit of confusion as to where we should buy tickets, we worked it out (which included queuing to grab a ticket which would in turn allow us to...queue buy a ticket?), grabbed tickets, and went up to the observation deck.

It was kind of strange to see everything looking so peaceful and still.
There were a lot of people up there, including a school trip of elementary-age children, so it was a little crowded but we still had plenty of time to wander slowly and take a good look around.

The building is surrounded by sweeping, open spaces and wide roads that make it look like a kid's play mat from up high.
The observation deck goes 360° round the building, letting you see Seoul from all directions.

Neatly arranged apartment blocks, and a cluster of schools to accommodate the children living in them.
Pixel art!
A large chunk of Seoul strangely untouched by the creeping mass of apartment towers.

In one corner there was a strange sort of exhibit where they tried to combine the viewing experience with the art on the same floor (there were lots of 'no pictures' signs around the artworks, which is why I haven't already shown you that).

The main part of it was a "floating" platform, where clever use of mirrors and glass make it feel like you're standing on thin air. It's not perfect so while you get some initial heeby-jeebies they fade away quickly and instead just provide you with a TON of light that's perfect for selfies ;)

Cheeky photo of the art, shhh!
When we finished looking around we looked for something to eat and had a wander through the Yeouido area until it started to rain, at which point we made a last-minute decision to go and see a movie.

We went to the iPark in Yongsan because we knew there would be a large CGV there (our cinema trips so far have led me to favour CGV over Lotte.)

This is a wedding hall that we had to pass through. This is where a lot of people get married rather than a church.
We ended up seeing the new Cinderella film! There were barely any seats left so we ended up having to take the very front row. This usually worries me, and at home I'd say never mind and do it another day, because you end up with your knees practically touching the screen, and after an average length film you get severe neckache and it's generally just difficult to take it all in because it's way too big.

Korea on the other hand, has a great amount of space between the front row and the screen, so it wasn't too bad at all! There was a bit of looking upwards, but not so much that it was uncomfortable and the comfy chairs helped out massively.

(I really enjoyed Cinderella, btw)

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